Tayla shares her three birth story summaries in her own words below:
My first birth was six years ago. I was very uneducated and unknowingly unprepared for the birthing process. My water broke on April Fool’s Day and I was induced after 12 hours. There was no informed consent practiced during my induction, no support, verbal abuse from my OB and ultimately an emergency C-section (due to fetal distress) where I was put out under general anesthesia and my poor husband was left waiting in the dust. It left me shocked and traumatized. My postpartum period was also Traumatic. I did not have any breast-feeding support and I struggled immensely!
My second labor was two years later. In the town I live in we do not have midwives as an option so I was forced to have an OB again. He was not supportive of my VBAC and always mocked me when I reminded him that was my plan. Two weeks before my due date our entire city was evacuated due to a wildfire that destroyed 1/3 of the city. It was extremely stressful as the closest city was five hours away and I had no family in the province I live in.
My husband and I are both firefighter EMTs with the city department and I was actually at work when I was sent home and told to get out of the city. My husband was torn whether he should stay and fight the fire or drive with me for five hours to the closest city. I made him come with me because I was scared that I would go into labor on the side of the road by myself. He drove me to the closest city dropped me and my toddler off at a friend’s house and left to come back up to fight the fire.
The very next morning a midwife contacted me and said she would be honored to take me on as her patient. It was a silver lining because she was so supportive of my VBAC goals! The next two weeks were very stressful as I had nowhere to live and I couldn’t stay in my friends guest room with a toddler and expecting a new baby. I finally found a rental house and as I was nesting trying to make it as comfortable as possible I went into labor naturally. My husband was actually on his way to leave to go back up to Fort McMurray to fight the fire and I told him he would need to stay because labor was starting!
I ended up having back labor because baby was posterior and I labored alone in my rental house for many hours. My husband had to drive across a strange city to drop off my son at a friend’s house during rush hour. Not being from the city we didn’t realize that huge mistake we made. So I was alone entering active labor! I called a friend who had also been evacuated and she drove me to the hospital where the midwife met us. I was not prepared to cope with the pain of labor because I think in my mind I wasn’t really convinced I was going to have a VBAC. I ended up getting an epidural and had a successful vaginal birth! My postpartum period this time was a lot less stressful and I had great support from my midwives. Breastfeeding went better and recovery was like night and day compared to my c section recovery.
In 2018, I got pregnant again with my 3rd! I was determined to have a different birthing experience this time around. The crazy part of my story is that I didn’t slow down my doula business while I was pregnant. I even delivered a baby during a precipitous birth while I was eight months pregnant! I attended my last Doula birth two days before I went into labor.
My water broke on a stormy night 10 days before my due date. I had lined up midwifery care in the closest city which is five hours away. My plan was to have a water birth in the birthing center and I was scheduled to leave in two days when the baby had other plans. My husband was working nights when my water broke and when he got home he was shocked to see that I had my kids packed in the van and all of our stuff packed and ready to go to Edmonton five hours away. He thought I was crazy and perhaps I was! There was just no way that I was going to have my baby in our local hospital. I was invested and I was determined to have my water birth.
Contractions hadn’t started so I figured if we left right away we might make it. I labored at my Doula’s house and got to the birthing center only 45 minutes before my baby was born. If I could do it again tomorrow I would! It was the most empowering day of my life and I’m so glad that I got to experience an unmedicated birth. My postpartum recover was amazing as well aside from being in a city far away from my own home. I came home that night after having the baby to sleep on an air mattress in my doula’s living room!
You would think that being an IBCLC, breastfeeding would go swimmingly, but again I struggled with low milk supply. A lot of people are shocked by this because of my profession, but it just goes to show that sometimes even with the best support women can still struggle! I feel like women are told or made to feel that the only real goal of birth is to walk out of it alive and with a healthy baby. What women need to understand is that there is so much more to the process than that goal. It’s a journey and a life altering event. I feel this is the biggest moment in a women’s life and it deserves respect and support. How a woman views her birth will stay with her forever.
Tayla Malott Bio
Tayla is a 34 year old paramedic firefighter full-time and I have my own business called mamasaurus. I am a certified birth Doula, childbirth educator, IBCLC, one of Canada’s only spinning babies parent educators and a few other things! I live in Fort McMurray Alberta with my husband who is also a firefighter/paramedic and our 3 crazy and beautiful boys. Hoping to have one more!
Prenatal education, a doula, and lactation support
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Prior to this pregnancy, Teisia had two chemical pregnancies back-to-back. She had never heard about chemical pregnancies before trying to conceive, so they were devastating. She thought something was wrong with her and that she might never have a successful pregnancy. She wants all women who have experienced any kind of loss to know that there is nothing wrong with them, they are not alone and there is hope. She hopes to see more light shed on how common this is so that women can feel less alone and more supported.
Teisia had planned an unmedicated water birth at a hospital attached Midwifery Center. She prepared with hypnobirthing methods in anticipation. She went into labor at 39 weeks and left for the hospital soon after her water broke at home. While the midwife staff were blowing up the birthing pool, she was able to labor peacefully in the bathtub. It was the serene, beautiful experience she had imagined. Later on, the baby’s heart rate got too high and she was asked to get out of the tub. Once she was out of the water, the labor became much more difficult.
She was told at 37 weeks that the baby was posterior but tried a lot of different things to get the baby to turn at home – so she thought that the baby had turned by the time labor started. No one told her that the baby was still posterior and therefore pushing was very hard. After an extremely challenging 3 hours, her baby girl was born. Her husband, Brian was there every step of the way and was the most supportive and amazing birth partner she could’ve asked for. Everyone was joking about how he was a “dude-la”. Although she didn’t get to have the calm water birth that she wanted, with the help of hypnobirthing and the support of her doula and husband, Teisia was able to go through with the unmedicated birth she had planned. It was the most magical and empowering moment of her life.
Teisia Wantuch Bio
Teisia is a working mom (software engineer) and lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband Brian, daughter Eleanor and two cats (Mozart and Dwight). She loves the outdoors and seeing live music. After becoming pregnant with her first, she has become very passionate about pregnancy, birth and motherhood – and loves to talk about it and follow companies that are empowering women and mothers. You can connect with her on Instagram @_teisia.
This episode is sponsored by Crane Humidifiers. Crane’s colorful humidifiers are a nursery necessity to help relieve your baby’s tiny congested nose, which can make feeding and sleeping a struggle for both baby and mom. A happy baby is a healthy baby. Crane is generously offering $10 OFF and free shipping on all of their full-priced, 1 gallon, adorable animal shaped humidifiers and drop humidifiers with the code BIRTH20 at www.crane-usa.com.
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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 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.
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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.
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
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.
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.
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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.
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
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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