Epidural vs Unmedicated Hospital Births + Finding Care Provider in Rural Area

Two hospital births: two completely different experiences. Logan’s first birth began like many first time moms- one false alarm followed by showing up to the hospital early enough to be put on the cascade of inversions fast track. Water broken by the doctor, being told she couldn’t leave the bed with water broken, an epidural even though she wasn’t in pain, a routine episiotomy, and 12 hours after her first contraction, Logan gave birth to a beautiful healthy baby girl. 

Determined to do things differently the second time, Logan did everything she could to prepare including changing practices and hospitals. After deciding to stay the night close to the hospital after her last doctors appointment, Logan had a crazy short and intense labor and gave birth to their son only 30 minutes after arriving to labor and delivery.

Logan Russell Bio

Living in the incredibly rural Northeast corner of Louisiana, Logan and her husband of 5 years, Ethan, are both sales reps working in the Agricultural Industry. Together they have two children- Eleanor Lane (3), and Elliot Houston (1). 

When she isn’t selling corn, cotton, and soybeans, or chasing two toddlers, Logan loves to spend her time cooking, creating, and spending time outdoors. Connect with her on Facebook or Instagram @loganbdale.

finding doctor in rural lousiana

Resources

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

Postpartum in Lockdown with Twins

twins different sizes

Melanie’s postpartum experience was wildly different than she’d expected. Giving birth 2 days after the UK went into lockdown, she spent her first few months with her twin girls in lockdown, physically isolated from family and friends. She dealt with repetitive mastitis, severe reflux and slow weight gain with one of her babies, and the general anxieties and disappointments that came with Covid lockdown. She was grateful to have her husband home from work during this time, creating an amazing bond as a new family, and especially grateful for a freezer full of nourishing postpartum meals that she’d prepared during pregnancy. 

Melanie Hadida Bio

Melanie is a Canadian living in the uk with her husband Gareth and twin girls Rowan & Lior. She’s a nutritional consultant and owns a small spice blending business. She specializes in nutrition for pregnancy, postpartum, hormonal wellness, and now for toddlers!

melanie hadida

Ergobaby

This episode is sponsored by Ergobaby. Founded in 2003, Ergobaby has pioneered the gold standard for comfortable, ergonomic soft structured carriers. Their commitment to providing parents with the foundation to thrive has launched the company into creating a broad range of award-winning products that fit into families’ daily lives seamlessly, comfortably, and safely – where function and quality are not compromised. In 2020, they launched Everlove by Ergobaby, a first of its kind baby carrier buy back and resale program, a sustainability effort to support families and the planet. Check out Ergobaby’s Embrace in Soft Air Mesh and new Evolve 3-in-1 Bouncer that we discussed on the podcast!

Appendicitis, Long Induction but Gentle Birth and Dealing with Panic Attacks Postpartum

After a diagnosis of appendicitis and abdominal surgery at 7 weeks, Isabel sought out the support of a doula and the general birthing community to hopefully prepare for a lower intervention labor and delivery process. She balanced the desire to have a less conventional hospital birth experience with the realities of being a pregnant black woman in the United States. 

Ultimately, a diagnosis of gestational hypertension and then preeclampsia led to a 44 hour induction where the epidural stopped working three times and she developed chorioamnionitis. In the end, she was able to have a gentle vaginal delivery and deliver a healthy baby girl. Postpartum was marked by significant postpartum anxiety and panic attacks. With the investment of significant resources, the constant support of her husband, the help of her incredible doula, an angel of a night nanny and her entire family and community, Isabel began to slowly recover.

Isabel Malone Bio

Isabel is originally from the Dominican Republic but lives in Chicago with her wonderful spouse and daughter as well as three struggle houseplants she tries to keep alive.  She is an emergency medicine doctor and also works in medical education. Connect with her on instagram: @imbella_ or via email: isabelmalone111@gmail.com.

Resources

  1. The Birth Hour! 
  2. “Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong–and What You Really Need to Know” – Emily Oster 
  3. A community of pregnant and birthing people 
  4. Pelvic floor physical therapy
  5. Prenatal workout classes (I took all the classes offered on the Mirror with Rachel Nicks – @rachelenicks) 
  6. Therapy 
  7. Night nurses 

Oath Care

This episode is sponsored by Oath Care – a welcoming community to connect with fellow moms, find judgement-free support, and get personalized expert advice from pediatricians, marriage and family therapists, lactation and sleep consultants, pelvic floor therapists and more. Download the free to use Oath Care app from oathcare.com or in the App Store or Google Play.

Multiple Miscarriages, and Induction after Cervical Cerclage Removal

At 20 weeks pregnant, Sarah had to get a cervical cerclage due to an incompetent cervix which meant it had to be removed before she gave birth. At her 36 week appointment, her blood pressure became a cause of concern and they decided they would induce her around 37 weeks.

At just over 37 weeks, she was admitted to L&D – they gave her an epidural, removed the cerclage, and then induced her. They started with a low dose of pitocin and inserted a foley bulb. The next day, the foley bulb was removed, pitocin was increased and her water was broken. Dilation appeared to be moving slow and then things picked up very quickly and once she started pushed, it only took 30 mins for her son to enter the world.
Sarah bio: After experiencing 3 consecutive miscarriages, Sarah was thrilled (and anxious) to finally be bringing a baby earthside.

The pregnancy had it’s ups and downs, but at the end of the day, all she cared about was him arriving safely, which he did! Sarah isn’t very active on social media personally, probably because her day job involves running social media for Fairhaven Health. You can find her behind the scenes at https://www.instagram.com/fairhaven_health/.

dad skin to skin

Fairhaven Health

This episode is sponsored by Fairhaven Health. Fairhaven Health offers a wide range of products for fertility – including fertility supplements for women and men, like FH PRO and FertilAid, ovulation prediction tools, sperm-friendly lubricants, pregnancy tests, and more. Fairhaven Health is generously offering 15% off of all products with the code BirthHour15 at www.fairhavenhealth.com

Postpartum Story: Multiple Infections During Recovery and Cross Country Move

Baylee shares her Birth and Postpartum stories in her own words below. Listen to her episode (754) to hear all of the details. 

The morning of February 20th 2022 I woke up around 6/6:30 to some mild cramping. I didn’t think much of it as I had been having cramps for weeks. However, as I tried to fall back asleep I was unable to get comfortable and the cramping was coming in waves. I decided to start timing them to see if this might be contractions. Immediately my contractions were timing at 1.5-2 minutes apart. They were still mild and I decided that I would wait to tell James till he woke up. I got out of bed and went to sit in the living room. The contractions still came 1.5-2 minutes apart so when James and my parents started waking up I let them know I was pretty sure the baby was coming. I went and laid down with my mom for a little bit. This was such a sweet moment and it helped me relax a lot. Once the contractions started picking up I ate a little bit of fruit and tried drinking some water. I knew that this could be awhile so I decided to take a shower and do my hair so I’d be ready for the hospital. Well the shower worked a little too well. As soon as I stepped out of the shower my contractions ramped up to an almost 10/10 pain scale. They were also only a minute apart. However I was determined to still do my hair but ended up laboring on my exercise ball  for the next hour. At this point it was 9:30am and I knew in my gut this baby was coming and he was coming fast. James called our doula and told her that she needed to meet us at the hospital. We left the house in such a hurry I didn’t even get to bring everything I had listed that I wanted to bring. James drove me to the hospital and accidentally missed the turn but we arrived safely. I probably scared the front desk so badly because as soon as I walked in I had such a big contraction I had to squat and breathe through the whole thing. I finally made it up to labor and delivery. My goal was to go without an epidural so all I wanted to do was get in the warm shower. However the advised me that I needed to be monitored for 20 minutes. I was about 3-5 centimeters dilated at this point. This ended up only being about 15 minutes because I begged them to let me out of the bed. At this point my doula arrived and she helped me into the shower I was in there for about 30-45 minutes and when I came out I was 6 centimeters dilated. The nurses then realized I was moving quickly and decided to move us to a delivery room. I labored for another hour and my body started to push on its own. At this point I was complete and the doctor came in to ask if we had any requests for the delivery. We asked if James could catch Strider and announce the gender. The doctor happily agreed. I started pushing and at 1:52 PM Strider made his appearance in the world. I was so overjoyed by the arrival of our little guy and the fact I had achieved my want for an unmedicated birth. It was so fast and such a whirlwind it was the most beautiful thing I have done. I am so grateful for my little man. 

So I would say what I would call the craziest postpartum ever started actually almost 5 days before Strider was born. We had known since January that we could be possibly moving but we had been told that it was only a small chance. However on Valentine’s Day my husband got the call that we would be moving to Alaska. So going into my birth I knew what was ahead of us which is all I had been asking for because the thought of not knowing had been such a cloud over my head.

We knew that we wanted to drive across the country and we knew that it was probably going to take almost two months since driving with Strider was going to be very limiting to us. So at 2 or 3 days postpartum we started mapping out our road trip and we decided that we were going to get a travel trailer to tow behind us. 

So we started planning and getting things set up but then around 2 weeks postpartum things really took a turn for me. One night I went to bed completely fine and then a couple of hours later I woke up freezing cold. I also felt feverish and achy. Nothing I did could get or keep me warm and I finally took my temperature which was 101/102 degrees. At this point my husband woke up and he said that I looked like I had seen a ghost and that my skin was super pale and clammy. The other thing that I had noticed is that my labia was super swollen and sore. I decided that I might have some sort of infection. I hadn’t torn with my birth but had a small abrasion but this was in a completely different area. I got my heated blanket out and slept in my fuzzy robe under two blankets and I finally felt like I had warmed up to some degree. The next morning I decided that it was probably best if I went to the ER. We agreed that my husband was going to wait in the car with Strider and then bring him in when it was time to feed. They determined that I had somehow contracted Cellulitis on my Labia. I am not sure how that happened but it was extremely painful and of course cellulitis is no joke. 

They gave me some IV antibiotics and sent me home with a prescription. I immediately felt better. A side note is that when the PA at the ER was telling me what the plan was I asked if the antibiotics were breastfeeding friendly. He had said he didn’t know and was going to have to double check for me. I think it is pretty crazy that once you step outside a speciality people forget about those kinds of things. 

With me feeling better and starting to recover better from the birth we started to make more concrete plans for the big move. We bought a trailer and scheduled our movers. 

However, again around 7 weeks postpartum, pretty much days after I had finished the first round of antibiotics I began to have the same feverish feelings but less intense this time. I was having lots of pain in my right breast and it was also red to the touch. I was directed by my OB to return to the ER. I believe that since I had a fever they didn’t want me coming into the office. The ER speculated that it was probably mastitis and prescribed me another round of antibiotics. 

However, the same thing happened about 2-3 days after I finished those antibiotics and I began to feel like I was getting the same symptoms. I returned to the ER for a third time where they ran some blood work and urine tests and determined that I had an UTI. So I was put on a third round of antibiotics. 

With all of these rounds of antibiotics I always felt better immediately after I started taking the medication. But after comparing my tests from the first ER trip to the third I realized that my numbers had been the same. So I am pretty sure I had been sitting on an UTI since 2 weeks PP and we were now at almost 2 and a half months post-partum. 

It seems that this last round of antibiotics did the trick because I finally started to feel better. However, the move was looming over us. Then two weeks before we were supposed to leave on our 2 month journey to Alaska I began to have some digestion issues and some of the same symptoms again. I went to my regular doctor were she diagnosed me with a cdiff infection. She theorized that because of all the antibiotics that I had been on it had wiped my gut of any good bacteria. I was prescribed my fourth round of antibiotics with instructions that if the symptoms returned I would need to follow-up with a doctor on Kodiak. 

The antibiotics worked and I was symptom free for about 3 months before it started up again. Luckily we had arrived in Alaska and I was able to be seen by a new doctor. She was worried that I had recurrent cdiff and I was given another round of antibiotics. If you are keeping track this would be number 5 for me. 

However, a month later my symptoms returned. My doctor and I decided to move forward with a colonoscopy. Luckily the biopsies from the colonoscopy were clear and it showed that there was no cdiff left in my colon. I am currently still working through what is going on and recovering from postpartum. My doctor and I are still searching for answers for my symptoms. 

Baylee Engelhardt Bio

Baylee is a mom to 11 month old Strider and fur-baby Kokomo. She and her husband James have been together for 8 years and married for 4. Baylee is a doctor of audiology and loves her work. They currently live in Kodiak Alaska as James is stationed there with the coast guard as a c130 pilot. Baylee works from home providing auditory therapy to kids with auditory processing disorder 

Ergobaby

This episode is sponsored by Ergobaby. Founded in 2003, Ergobaby has pioneered the gold standard for comfortable, ergonomic soft structured carriers. Their commitment to providing parents with the foundation to thrive has launched the company into creating a broad range of award-winning products that fit into families’ daily lives seamlessly, comfortably, and safely – where function and quality are not compromised. In 2020, they launched Everlove by Ergobaby, a first of its kind baby carrier buy back and resale program, a sustainability effort to support families and the planet. Check out Ergobaby’s Embrace in Soft Air Mesh and new Evolve 3-in-1 Bouncer that we discussed on the podcast!


Traumatic Hospital Birth, Well Supported Home Birth Transfer and Breastfeeding Challenges to Triumph

Kelsey’s first pregnancy, although physically uneventful, was riddled with severe anxiety and worry she would not bond with her baby. Kelsey planned for an unmedicated hospital birth but at 41 weeks was induced due to climbing blood pressure. Although proud of herself for avoiding an epidural, Kelsey left the hospital feeling completely traumatized and ill prepared to feed her baby. Breastfeeding challenges were numerous and became the sole focus of that first year of postpartum. Like so many women, this sparked a fire in Kelsey to learn as much as she could about birth and breastfeeding, in part to process her own trauma but also in the hopes she may support other women in their experience from maiden to mother. Kelsey, courageously, left her abusive marriage when her first born was around 2 years old. And while still in the process of a very tumultuous divorce, Kelsey became unexpectedly pregnant in October of 2020. After wading through many different emotions and logistics, Kelsey and her new partner started the process of blending their families and planning for a homebirth. Kelsey had a blissful pregnancy, full of love and support. Followed by a well-supported hospital transfer and redemptive breastfeeding experience.  

hospital-induction 41 weeks birth story

Kelsey Contreras Bio

is a mother of two sweet boys and one awesome bonus boy. Kelsey is married to her best friend, Luccas, and together with their blended family, live in a little town about thirty minutes south of Madison, Wisconsin. Kelsey is a psychotherapist with a specialty in Perinatal Mental Health and is also active in her local birth community. Kelsey enjoys spending time outdoors with her brood of boys, doing yoga, and cooking for her family and friends. Connect with her on Instagram @kelsanns87

Resources

Aeroflow Breastpumps

Today’s episode is sponsored by Aeroflow Breastpumps. Aeroflow has helped millions of new and expecting parents discover the breastfeeding and postpartum essentials covered by their insurance including breast pumps, maternity compression, and lactation education & support.

They take care of everything – including all paperwork, working with your insurance company, and explaining your options to get these free essentials shipped straight to your door. Aeroflow offers all major breast pump brands including Medela, Spectra, Motif, Lansinoh, Ameda, Elvie, Willow and more.

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 we sent you! Bonus — use the promo code “TBH15” in their online shop for 15% off all supplies and accessories.