Birth Center Birth Story & Postpartum Experience

Bekah and her boyfriend discovered they were pregnant after 3 short months of dating, and struggled to navigate their new roles as partners and future parents throughout an otherwise uneventful pregnancy. She prepared as much as possible for the birth; researching, reading, taking birth and breastfeeding classes, hiring a doula, listening to and watching birth stories constantly, and seeing a pelvic floor physical therapist. Bekah planned for an unmedicated experience at a local birth center with midwives.

At 40 weeks + 2 days she went into early labor on the night of Thursday, January 31st. Early labor continued throughout Friday until nightfall, when active contractions began to kick into gear. Bekah continued to labor at home with her mother by her side late into the night with little contact or support from her doula. Very early in the morning on Saturday, February 2nd, they headed to the birth center with Bekah dilated to 9cm. After a few hours of difficult pushing, Ruth Ray De La Luz Leonard was born into the water and world at 10:14am. 

Despite feeling somewhat prepared, Bekah experienced a rough first few weeks of postpartum healing and baby blues, which she found harder than the birth itself. She hopes that others can educate themselves on the postpartum period and create a plan for support so that they can ease their transition into motherhood. 

bekah bachelor birth

Bekah Martinez Bio

Bekah is a former reality TV star, podcast host of Chatty Broads, professional “instagrammer” (@Bekah), and 25-year-old mother. She loves sharing her journey through the ups and downs of navigating life, relationships and parenting. Bekah lives with her boyfriend and one-year-old daughter in Long Beach. They’re expecting baby #2 in June and planning for a home birth. Check out Bekah’s podcast, Chatty Broads.

Links to her birth video on Youtube and IGTV

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!  

Birth Center & Hospital Unmedicated Births + Getting Help with PPD

Karyn Brown had two unmedicated births with midwives, but both experiences were very different.  Her older child, Cecily’s birth was an empowering Birth Center experience: she went into labor at 41 weeks and arrived at a full birth center on Thanksgiving day.  She spent time laboring in an empty birthing classroom, eventually moving into a birthing room, then Cecily was born after a long pushing phase.  

Her younger child Caleb’s birth was in a hospital due to moving towns.  Labor started at 38.5 weeks with a water leak, and a slow early labor at home that took a lot of walking and distraction to progress to active labor.  Once at the hospital, after transitioning in the tub, her water broke and her body began pushing baby out on its own. Baby came out fast and furious, and then Karyn had a postpartum hemorrhage.  The next morning, Caleb was taken to the NICU for Tachypnea (fast breathing due to fluid) and he was there for 5 days. Karyn experienced Postpartum Depression and NICU PTSD and ultimately found a postpartum counselor to help her through it.  

birth center birth

Karyn Brown Bio

Karyn is a working mom who lives the greater Philadelphia area with her husband Julian and her two children, 4 year old Cecily and one year old Caleb.  She is a babywearing educator with Central New Jersey Babywearing, a sewing and crafting enthusiast, and a regular contributor on the Everything Is Permitted podcast. Connect with her on Instagram: @orangutangy

Resources

  • Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
  • Mama Natural visual birth plan template
  • www.cnjbabywearing.com
  • Clue cycle tracking app

Kindred Bravely

Today’s episode is brought to you by Kindred Bravely.  From adorable maternity wear to comfortable nursing bras, this mom-owned company has you covered.  See all of their comfy clothing at kindredbravely.com! I especially love their Simply Sublime nursing tank, their high waisted leggings (for pregnancy AND postpartum), the comfy Jane pajamas, and their high waisted underwear! Listen to this episode for a special coupon code!

Bradley Method Birth & Overcoming Breastfeeding Challenges

Having attended the home births of three of her siblings, Victoria knew she wanted an unmedicated birth from the start.  Living on an island notorious for its horrible traffic made Victoria nervous about birthing at home (if by chance there was a medical emergency), so after touring a local birth center, she decided that was where she felt most comfortable. 

She completed the Bradley Birth Method course that the center offered on site, and credits the Bradley Method with allowing her to speak up for what she wanted, and not be pushed into an induction by an OB-GYN in her group practice who also swept her membranes without permission.

After a long walk up and down a steep hill in her neighborhood, Victoria went into labor at 39 weeks and 4 days, and proceeded to vomit non-stop from 3:30am until arriving at the birth center the next day at 1:30pm. She received fluids to help with her dehydration, and then labored for three more hours until she was ready to push. Her daughter Frances was born at 5:02pm, after 40 minutes of pushing.  

Despite having attended many La Leche League meetings as a child with her mom, breastfeeding did not come as intuitively as Victoria had imagined it would.  A cracked and bleeding nipple and her infant throwing up blood convinced her to seek out her local La Leche League, as well as a Mommy Hui, where she felt very supported, and most importantly, not alone.  She went on to nurse her daughter for 3 years and 3 months, and is grateful to the example that her mom set as a home birthing and breastfeeding mom. 

birth center birth

Victoria Hill Bio

Originally from the Chicago suburbs, Victoria Hill has lived mostly in Honolulu since 2005.  Victoria has worked in higher education as an Administrator and ESL teacher, and is currently the Director of Online and Graduate Admissions at Chaminade University of Honolulu.  In her free time she enjoys hiking with her daughter (now 5), and spending as much time as she can at the beach. You can see pictures of her life in Hawaii, and reach out to her on her Instagram at @victorialoha.

Resources  

Crate & Kids

This episode of The Birth Hour is sponsored by Crate and Kids. Crate and Kids believes in rooms that welcome little ones and their grown-ups. Ready for each stage of childhood, their inspiring, versatile designs celebrate your family’s unique way of living, and help make yours a creative home to grow in. Use code TheBirthHour10 at checkout to receive 10% off your full-price purchase of Kids furniture and more at crateandkids.com. It’s valid online only, and some exclusions apply, so see their website for details. 

Transferring Care at 30 Weeks & Birth Center Birth Story

Birth Summary

After taking a year and a half to get pregnant, Jana and her husband Mikey found out they were expecting their first baby in November 2018. Jana started her care with an OB that a friend recommended while researching options to deliver at a birthing center. She and her husband both wanted an unmedicated birth experience. At 30 weeks they switched care to a birthing center. After a very easy pregnancy, her 38 hour labor started at 41 weeks, with over 5 hours of pushing, she almost gave up at the end and wanted to transfer to a hospital. She is grateful that she pulled through and gave birth to her son, Zion Marley, at the birth center.

transfer care late pregnancy

Jana Iankova Bio

Jana and her husband Mikey met 15 years ago in Vail, Colorado (now they live in California). She went there from Bulgaria to snowboard and work for just one winter. They met at the ski shop where she worked and they fell in love but after the winter she had to go back home. They kept in touch during the summer and Jana went back again for the next winter following her heart and never looked back. They enjoyed snowboarding and working together at the ski resort and during the off-seasons, they traveled around the world for about 4 months out of the year. They were in their late 20’s and not ready to settle.

After 7 years of dating and traveling to over 30 countries together, they got engaged in Morocco and married in the Dominican Republic. After 11 years in Colorado, they decided to move to California. Being 35 and 36 years old at that time they were still not ready to settle and have kids despite all the pressure from friends and family. Two years later they decided that finally they are ready and they can try to have kids. They wanted it to happen naturally and unplanned which took a year and a half to get pregnant. At the end of 2018 their dream came true and they were expecting their first son. You can follow them and their travels on Instagram @onelove.ourlove@onelovewithzion and their blog www.oneloveourlove.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

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Gestational Diabetes, Beautiful Birth Center Birth, and Postpartum Preeclampsia

After dealing with Gestational Diabetes that was insulin dependent for her fasting numbers and finding out she had Group B strep, Victoria had the most amazing, beautiful birth. She labored for 24 hours, pushed for 3 hours, all with the wonderful support of her doula and birth center. She had a birth plan and things went pretty well according to her plan.

Unfortunately things got harder postpartum. Victoria tried to breastfeed but got sick every time and it got progressively worse. Her baby had no wet diapers for 24 hours so she started to supplement with formula. After a lactation appointment where she mentioned how she’d been feeling, she was sent to the doctor the next day with a subclinical infection where they checked to make sure she didn’t have any remaining placenta. Her health continued to worsen, so she went back in to the doctor and found out she had high blood pressure, 30 lbs of swelling, a headache, and URQ pain. She was sent home and told to get a BP cuff. 4 hours later her blood pressure was in critical level and she was admitted to the hospital for severe post natal preeclampsia and stayed in the hospital for 4 days.

postpartum preeclampsia

Victoria is still sorting out issues months later. She is now considered pre-diabetic, has high cholesterol, is still on blood pressure meds for chronic hypertension, and had to wear a heart monitor. She is working with a therapist for medically-based anxiety and PPA, and taking Zoloft. Victoria never had any health issues prior to pregnancy and now she feels like her body is failing her after such a joyous birth.

Victoria Buker Bio

Victoria is the Director of Development & Marketing for a non-profit and has over 15 years of non-profit development and sales experience. She and her husband welcomed their first child, Madison Kai, in June. Victoria has an MBA from Georgia Southern University and a BS in Biology from Mary Baldwin.  Victoria loves to be outdoors: whether that is running, hiking, exploring her new town, SCUBA diving or paddle-boarding. She is thankful that her little babe loves being outside too and taking adventures with Victoria and her husband! 

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!  

Mom Describes Birth as “Best Outcome in a Worst Case Scenario” – Preeclampsia Induction

While planning on an intervention free birth center birth, Taya and her husband prepped by doing the Know Your Options childbirth course. At 39 weeks, Taya was diagnosed with preeclampsia and, after being turned away from a local hospital for refusing certain medical treatments, finally ended up at the university of Washington medical center.  

An induction was started with misoprostol, a Foley bulb, and then pitocin. A 31 hour labor with kidney complications ended with the birth of her baby boy. He was transferred to the NICU for monitoring 4 hours after being born while Taya’s sodium and electrolyte levels tanked. 3 days later they were released from the hospital only to be back at the NICU within 24 hours for her son’s hyperbilirubinemia.

jaundice nicu stay

That night, while he was under the lights, Taya ended up in the ER with elevated blood pressure again and diagnosed with postpartum preeclampsia. After 24 hours they all were able to come home and begin the recovery process! Things leveled out and they are now thriving.  Even though things didn’t go according to plan, Taya felt empowered to stand up for what was important to her and ended up having the best outcome in a worst case scenario. She and her husband credit this to the in-depth birth course they did together and encourage everyone to take it! 

Taya Huntley

Bio: Taya and her husband, Jake, live in Mount Vernon, WA with their son Quinn, dog Mazey, and cat Lola. Taya works doing customer service from home for a jewelry company, GLDN, and teaches a fitness class once a week at a local gym. Jake is a commercial electrician. 

Resources

Kindred Bravely

Today’s episode is brought to you by Kindred Bravely.  From adorable maternity wear to comfortable nursing bras, this mom-owned company has you covered.  See all of their comfy clothing at kindredbravely.com! I especially love their Simply Sublime nursing tank, their high waisted leggings (for pregnancy AND postpartum), the comfy Jane pajamas, and their high waisted underwear! Listen to the podcast episode for a 20% off coupon code!