Two Birth Center Births & PPROM Baby with Congenital Heart Defects

Valerie’s journey to motherhood started with a surprise pregnancy in college that unexpectedly catapulted her into the world of midwifery, natural birth, and was a huge time of transformation in her life. Mosely was born at 40w5d in a birth center, surrounded by his dad, grandpa, grandma, aunt and midwife.

birth center birth

Three and a half years later her second pregnancy and birth center birth had a few hiccups along the way in the form of a subchorionic hemorrhage. Despite the minor complication, she delivered Rocco at 40w2d after only 1.5hr of active labor in the same birth center suite and surrounded by the exact same people plus a big brother and doula.

PPROM congenital heart defect

Five and a half years later, nothing could have prepared Valerie for the devastating complications she had to face with her third pregnancy.  Complications started around 9 weeks with a subchorionic hemorrhage.  Shortly after the bleeding stopped, her baby boy was diagnosed with congenital heart defects via ultrasound and fetal echo.  Then, her water broke at 22 weeks.  They were given less a 1% chance of him surviving the pregnancy after the rupture.  She managed to miraculously stay pregnant after her PPROM (preterm premature rupture of membranes) for 9 very tumultuous weeks (one of which included a hospital stay for a suspected placenta abruption).  At 31w3d Rex was born after his parents arrived at the hospital just in time for Valerie to push him out into the hands of his NICU and CICU teams.  

Rex spent over 3 months in the hospital and had 4 open heart surgeries before he was 8 months old. Valerie is still amazed by the miracles that have taken place in her body and is excited to share the story of her miraculous boy that beat all the odds.

Valerie Rowekamp Bio

Valerie is a 37 year old mom of Mosely (12), Rocco (9) and Rex (3).  She’s a Texan living in Denver, Colorado since 2013.  Valerie is extremely passionate about style, beauty, personal growth, spirituality and women’s empowerment. She co-hosts Facing 40 podcast which celebrates the evolution that happens to women as they “level-up”.  You can find her on instagram @charmedvalerie and @facing40podcast or her blog www.charmedvalerie.com

Motif Medical

This episode was sponsored by Motif Medical. Motif designs insurance-eligible products for busy moms. With a focus on innovation and empowerment, Motif’s line of breast pumps and maternity compression garments are sophisticated, yet discreet, and made to support mothers as they navigate new motherhood. Discover why moms are reporting more milk in less time with the Luna breast pump, and see how you can get it covered through insurance at motifmedical.com/birthhour

OB/GYN has a Preemie by C-section with Inadequate Anesthesia

During Nicole’s first pregnancy, her baby was diagnosed with a rare intestinal malformation called duodenal atresia. She went into labor at 32 weeks and went on to have a c-section with inadequate anesthesia. Her baby had surgery 3 days after birth and spent a month in the NICU. This experience has helped Nicole better serve her patients as an OB/GYN.

32 week preemie baby

Nicole Rankins Bio

Dr. Nicole Calloway Rankins is a board-certified, practicing OB/GYN and mom of 2 who empowers first time moms to feel supported and prepared for pregnancy and birth. Over the last 15 years she’s helped more than 1,000 babies come into this world and has demystified pregnancy and childbirth for thousands more women through her 5-star rated All About Pregnancy & Birth podcast, her free online birth plan class, and her signature online program – The Birth Preparation Course. Visit her website www.drnicolerankins.com and follow her on Instagram @drnicolerankins.

Aeroflow Breastpumps

Aeroflow Breastpumps has helped thousands of new and expecting moms find the perfect pump for her lifestyle. They offer all major pump brands including Medela, Spectra, Motif, Lansinoh, Ameda and more. And the best part, they take care of everything – including getting all required paperwork, dealing with your insurance company, and explaining your options in order to get your free pump shipped straight to your door. 

Bonus — you may also qualify for free maternity compression garments like compression socks, maternity support band, and a postpartum recovery garment PLUS breast pump resupply products ranging from new bottles, tubing, and flanges to duck valves and pump membranes. 

All you have to do is go to the Aeroflow Breastpumps website and fill out their free and easy Qualify Through Insurance form. Be sure to go to aeroflowbreastpumps.com/birthhour so they will know I sent you!  

Positive Hospital Birth with Hypnobirthing & Midwife

Justina conceived in 2019, and saw the same midwife for all of her pregnancy care and for her baby’s birth. Justina gives credit to the midwifery model of care and a Hypnobirthing course for her positive birth experience. 

She kept active as a part-time group-fitness instructor and continued teaching spin classes until 22 weeks. She enjoyed swimming and walking as exercise in her 3rd trimester.

Justina planned for an unmedicated birth. Her vision was to labor in the tub and that her baby would emerge by using relaxation techniques and in a very peaceful way. Her birth plan was to limit any intervention, no medications, and allow her baby to come when she was ready. 

Justina endured 36 hours of prodromal labor at home until “real” labor began in the middle of the night.  She labored in the tub at the hospital, which allowed for tub-labor but not birth.

Once the baby’s heart rate decelerated, there was a team effort to get the baby out quickly and safely. Justina was instructed to push on all-fours and that was how she ultimately birthed her baby girl.

Something about that position allowed the baby to be in better alignment and to avoid tearing. The nurses helped her flip over with the cord still attached. They did skin to skin and the baby breastfed. Justina was surprised by how much coaching she needed for pushing even during an instinctive birth. 

hypnobirthing hospital birth story

Justine Perry Bio

Justina Perry is a Physical Therapist from New Bedford, Massachusetts who specializes in pelvic health. She lives with her husband and 1 year old daughter in their hometown. Where to find me: linknd Justina Perry southcoast.org/pelvicrehab

Resources

Peanut

Peanut is an app that helps you make meaningful connections throughout all stages of motherhood. Peanut provides a safe space for mothers, expectant mothers and those trying to conceive to build friendships, ask questions and find support by introducing you to others nearby who are at a similar stage in life, Peanut provides access to a community who is there to listen, share information and offer valuable advice: Whether it’s understanding IVF, adoption, pregnancy, baby’s first years or beyond, Peanut is a place to connect with other moms in the thick of it.

Download the app for free today!


Rainbow Baby Hospital Birth with Midwives After Miscarriage

After suffering a difficult pregnancy and miscarriage, Mimi planned for an unmedicated hospital birth with midwives. She shares the story of her rainbow baby and discusses how her husband prepared for and took on the role of doula.

Mimi Maitrichith Bio

Mimi is a first time mom living just north of Seattle, WA with her husband and one year old baby boy. She works in healthcare as a data analyst. Mimi can usually be found spending quality time with her family, learning new recipes, and connecting with her network of fellow moms.

Resources

Babylist

The people at Babylist believe that you should be able to get exactly what you need for your unique and growing family. That’s why their baby registry lets you add any item from any store. Even add cool services and favors like prenatal yoga, doula support, home-cooked meals or dog walking. Start your registry today to be eligible for a free Hello Baby Box of goodies for baby worth up to $190 while boxes last.

Peaceful Birth Center Birth and Hospital Induction with Posterior Baby

Jasmine gave birth to her firstborn in what she likes to call “the frozen tundra of Minnesota.” She and her husband Phillip were southern transplants with few friends and connections and entered the world of birth and parenthood as newlyweds. Wynn’s birth was a slow and steady, peaceful birth center experience. During her pregnancy with Wynn, Jasmine’s biggest fears were 1) an induction, 2) having her water broken, or 3) birthing a sunny-side-up baby. All three of those unforeseen circumstances happened two and a half years later with Langston, and he was born in a completely different but equally beautiful way in a hospital in Jackson, Mississippi.  

sunny side up baby
all photography by @jemmiephotography

Jasmine L. Holmes Bio

Jasmine is the author of Mother to Son: Letters To A Black Boy on Identity and Hope, as well as a contributing author for Identity Theft: Reclaiming the Truth of Our Identity in Christ and His Testimonies, My Heritage: Women of Color on the Word of God. She teaches history at a classical Christian school in Jackson, Mississippi, where she and her husband, Phillip, are parenting two young sons. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @jasminelholmes.

Motif Medical

This episode was sponsored by Motif Medical. Motif designs insurance-eligible products for busy moms. With a focus on innovation and empowerment, Motif’s line of breast pumps and maternity compression garments are sophisticated, yet discreet, and made to support mothers as they navigate new motherhood. Discover why moms are reporting more milk in less time with the Luna breast pump, and see how you can get it covered through insurance at motifmedical.com/birthhour

Accidental Unassisted Homebirth

After an uneventful pregnancy, Deborah thought she had planned for all aspects of her labor and delivery; but, she never anticipated having an unexpectedly quick labor and unassisted delivery. Deborah and her husband, Michael, prepared to have a home birth with their midwife, her sister, and her mother present.

Deborah went into labor at 40 weeks and 2 days. After her mucus plug came out she went into intense labor that lasted 5.5 hours. Before her midwife and sister could arrive, and after just 10 minutes of pushing, Deborah delivered with her husband catching their surprise baby girl! Although it was quick, it was very peaceful and everything happened the way it was supposed to.

born before arrival homebirth

Deborah Woodson Bio

Deborah is a 28-year-old Massachusetts native who recently relocated to Maryland with her husband. She works for a consulting firm that contracts with government and public agencies. Deborah considers herself to be a pregnancy and birth junkie and can often be found listening to birth stories and encouraging new soon-to-be mamas. She aspires to one day become a midwife. Deborah is passionate about forming connections with other women and mothers via social media and can be found on Instagram: @Deborahmichel

Crate & Kids

This episode of The Birth Hour is brought to you by Crate and Kids. Crate and Kids is all about empowering the self-expression of families through environments that spark creativity and encourage individuality. Their versatile collection celebrates each new stage and helps you design a nursery that’s an extension of your own personal style.

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