Emergency Cesareans and Navigating Breastfeeding and NICU Stay

Despite feeling prepared, Amanda’s first birth experience ended in a cesarean birth when her baby started struggling with heart decelerations. Before the doctor even made the cut, she already knew she wanted a VBAC experience with her next birth. The postpartum experience with her first was challenging, but things settled after a few months.

When Amanda became pregnant over a year later, she did everything she could to prepare for a VBAC. She went into labor at 41 weeks and had an amazing labor but experienced a complete uterine rupture after one hour of pushing. She was rushed into emergency surgery. Once delivered, her baby was rushed to the NICU and remained there for 9 days. While recovering in the hospital Amanda experienced chest pain, and a CT scan revealed a pulmonary embolism. Postpartum had other challenges related to low breastmilk supply and she had a physically and emotionally painful recovery. 

ruptured-uterus-birth-story

Amanda Jamison Bio

Amanda lives near Denver, CO with her husband Jonathan and two kids: Rowan (2.5 years old) and Aria (8 months). She can be found on Instagram at @amanda_moves or on Facebook under Amanda Jamison. 

Resources

Ergobaby

Today’s 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 that we discussed on the podcast!

Two Positive Unmedicated Birth Stories – Birthing Center and Unexpected Car Birth

Ashley shares two unmedicated birth stories. The first story of her son’s birth was drastically different from her daughter’s birth. Her son was born at a birth center after being in labor for over 26 hours (and pushing for two hours). Her daughter was born in the backseat of her car, after 15 hours of mild contractions and 5 hours of more intense contractions. She appreciates both of her experiences and is grateful to her husband, her main birthing partner in both births. She is also grateful for the Hypnobabies training that she and her husband completed in preparation for childbirth. 

hot yoga pregnancy

Ashley Boone Bio

Ashley is an excited full-time mommy of two. She lives in Orlando, FL with her husband, three year old son, and one year old daughter. She was a Personal Fitness Trainer and a Sales Engineer before she decided to dedicate all her time to her young children. She loves almost all forms of exercise, especially running and hot yoga. She wants to encourage every pregnant Momma to have faith and trust in your body’s abilities!
Contact IG: a_marie_fit

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

An Undisturbed Home Birth Story

Clarké embarked on the journey of pregnancy and birth with a specific vision in mind – a peaceful, undisturbed home birth. She was interested in home birth since she was young, knowing internally that she could trust her body and wanting to bring a child into the world in a ceremonious environment.

After years of birth work, being the daughter of a midwife, and seeing first hand the health disparities and treatment of younger and women of color in the healthcare system, she had her visions for herself confirmed – home was the right place to be especially as a black mother.

Making the decision to add people into her birth space was taken with great care, tossing up between choosing an unassisted birth and a midwife-attended birth. After numerous interviews, she found a midwife that was the perfect fit for her family and had the joyful, peaceful, and undisturbed birth she dreamed up for herself all those years ago. 

homebirth birth story

Clarké Lunara Bio

Clarké is a birth worker (or doula) & childbirth educator who focuses on the spectrum of health from conception to postpartum (or life forever after). She is a wife, mother, daughter, community herbalist, & teacher at a forest school as well. She lives in the Shenandoah Valley with her husband and son-shine and loves cooking new recipes, learning new crafts and skills, and gardening. 

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.

Planned Birth Center Birth Turned Emergency Induction and C-Section

Jewel shares her story in her own words, listen to the podcast to hear the full story!

My husband and I started talking about babies a little over a year after we got married. I had gotten off the pill after being on it for ten years, so I was off of it for two when we started. I was really familiar with FAM, so when we started trying it only took three months to actually conceive. 

I found out I was pregnant on our delayed honeymoon. We were supposed to go to Vietnam when the pandemic started and that went out the window so we went to Louisiana a year later. I packed a box of soft cups and a few pregnancy tests since we were trying and I would need one of those two things no matter what. I was a day late, and that seemed suspicious, so I took a test but it was negative. Then on the second day, I was supposed to start, nothing. So I lad a pregnancy test on top of the toilet to take the next morning. I rushed to the toilet when I woke up on the third day, took the test, and while waiting…which felt like forever, I finally saw two faint lines. I sat in there for about five minutes making sure my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me and called my husband in to look at the test with me. I cried from excitement, he’s the more level headed one so he was really excited but told me to wait until we could confirm at home since I was barely three weeks along at this point. We had to keep it from family and friends until we could come home and make sure with about five more tests. Which were also positive. 

I, like countless other women, watched The Business of Being Born before getting pregnant and was determined to have a natural labor with midwives. I received care from The Bastrop Birthing Center under Ellie Noble and that could not have been a better choice. 

Pregnancy was great, I never had any complications until after my due date. I went to the gym, got some funny looks in the weight room, and took long walks. When I got ultrasounds the techs commented on how good the oxygen delivery was from placenta to baby so that’s what encouraged me to keep some sort of active routine. I did suffer from some serious pelvic pain and swelling. Since I’m black, my midwives monitored me closely for preeclampsia, protein in the urine, and hypertension, (plus my mother ended up having both when she was pregnant with me) but I think from a combo of reducing stress and exercising often I was able to avoid developing those issues.

My body was trying to go into labor for about two weeks but nothing was progressing past evening contractions. One night I was convinced we would have to go to the birth center but once the sun came out, contractions stopped. Since I was so far past my due date, my midwife scheduled me at Austin Perinatal and I had a biophysical done on the baby. This was scheduled when I was 41 weeks and 5 days pregnant. 

He was a 4 out of 8 on where he should be and his amniotic fluid was almost halfway gone. The head nurse came in, sat down, looked me in the eye, and said, well, you will be having a baby in the next 24 hours. I immediately resigned all my lovely Birth Center plans and accepted the fact that I would be having the hospital birth I did not want. 

I called my midwife and she immediately got all my labs and paperwork sent over to St. David’s Main in Austin. I was admitted to L&D and the nurses were wonderful, one of them even told me she was sorry I didn’t get to have the Birth Center experience I wanted and that made me feel a lot better. 

I scarfed down some Soup Peddler while she went over paperwork with me and then waited for my husband to show up with my truck and my hospital bag. The initial plan was to induce with a foley bulb but I was actually at 3 cm when I came in, so they offered a combo of cervidil, Cytotec, and Pitocin. I kindly asked them if I could just do the Pitocin and see how I progress and they were fine with that. The Pitocin contractions were so intense I caved and asked for the nitrogen, which did nothing other than made me feel sick. Then I needed an epidural because the contractions were sending me out of my body and I really could not handle the pain. After three rounds, it wasn’t really working, but my body progressed to 8cm. Unfortunately, it stayed at an 8 for almost 10 hours or so. By this point, I had intense shivers, had developed a fever, and the head midwife came in to let me know I had developed Chorioamnionitis. The baby was rather large and in a sunny side up position (I think) so a C-Section was recommended. I cried and agreed to it, nothing about this experience was going the way I intended but at this point, all I wanted was our baby boy to get here safely. 

A lot of what happened next is a blur because of the surgery but I remember my midwife being the best cheerleader I could have asked for during the process and she really kept my husband and me calm. Her energy was absolutely perfect and she turned a less than ideal situation into a positive one. My husband was encouraging me letting me know our baby boy would be here soon. 

There was a point where they struggled to get him out of me because apparently my abdominal tissue was so dense it required an extra hand and the sight (from what I’ve been told) was NOT pretty. I’m glad I was told this after the surgery and not during. They got the baby out and once I heard his cry my life changed forever. I cried, my husband cried, and he was the first to hold him 

and do skin to skin while I regained my energy and awareness. He latched like a champion and he’s gained 7 pounds since birth.

His birth weight was 9.86 and he was 21 inches, now he’s about 25 inches long, 16 pounds, and he fits in 6-month-old clothing at 3 months lol. 

Postpartum

I had a lot of help after surgery, but since I could walk the same day I really overdid it and had to remind myself to rest. I was walking around in the recovery room of the hospital and the nurses were like, “What are you doing?!?!” So if any other athletic mommas have a cesarean planned or think they won’t have one, just keep in mind not to overdo it. 

I have some diastasis recti and my pelvic pain is better but hasn’t completely gone away. It’s really flared up by laying on one side the entire night or wearing my baby too long. 

Even though I had the opposite birth experience of what I wanted, it was still really positive and my baby boy never had to do any NICU time so I have that to be grateful for. And even though I had a c-section, my breastfeeding experience has been wonderful. I thought my milk would never come in since it took a full five days to show up, but it did, and now I’m a little bit of an oversupplier so I donate to a national service called ni-q HDM. So if you find yourself having an unplanned or surprise c-section, keep latching your baby as much as possible and use balm if there’s any pain. I didn’t even have to use my pump to get my milk supply started! 

Jewel Broussard Bio

Jewel lives in Smithville, TX with her husband Wyatt, their 3 month old son named Theodore, a cat, dog, and two donkeys. Jewel is a graphic designer and Wyatt is a jeweler. They met through jiu-jitsu almost five years ago. Connect with her on Instagram @ruraljewel.

Resources

  • The Birth Hour – I am grateful for the women who shared their experiences, especially when things didn’t go as planned. Because of that, I went into my induction and surgery very calm knowing that medical interventions might not be ideal, but they can save lives.
  • Aeroflow
  • Kindred Bravely (code BIRTHHOUR for 20% off)
  • STIX – their ovulation/pregnancy tests are amazing
  • Haakaa
  • La Leche League
  • Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
  • Babywearing – I use an Ergobaby and a Moby wrap and it does wonders for bonding and nap time.

Kindred Bravely

Part II of this 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). Listen to this episode for a special coupon code and to hear about my new favorites in their summer line of clothing and loungewear!

Empowering Hospital Birth with Midwives After Infertility

After Liz and her husband Eric experienced a miscarriage in Fall 2018, they thought a few adjustments like addressing slight hypothyroidism would mean another pregnancy within months. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and they ended up undergoing fertility treatment during 2020 and early 2021. Following a failed IVF embryo transfer in February 2021, they conceived their baby girl naturally while waiting for their next embryo transfer. 

Liz sought care during her pregnancy from a group of midwives associated with a large hospital in Chicago. Because of a neuromuscular disease Liz was diagnosed with as a child (Charcot Marie Tooth), Liz also saw a neurologist and Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor, to ensure she and Eric were fully aware of possible complications associated with CMT (those included possible fetal growth restriction, malpresentation, postpartum hemorrhaging, and need for assisted delivery using forceps or vacuum). During pregnancy, Liz aimed to do all she could to prepare her mind and body for birth, including visits with a Webster-certified chiropractor, pelvic floor physical therapist, acupuncturist, and a therapist focusing on pregnancy and early motherhood. Liz also stayed active, keeping up with regular workouts through her 38th week of pregnancy. 

Liz went into labor during the late evening two days before her due date. After laboring all night at home and having contractions 3-4 minutes apart for a couple hours, she, Eric, and their doula Becca headed to the hospital the following morning. Liz was very discouraged to find out she had only dilated to three centimeters, after being at two centimeters at her midwife appointment earlier that week. Because of elevated blood pressure and the midwife’s request to do some labs to check for preeclampsia, Liz was admitted to the hospital. Upon admission, they also determined via manual exam and a quick ultrasound that baby was sunnyside up.

Liz labored into the afternoon with the support of Eric and Becca, but only progressed to four centimeters during that time. She worked with her midwife and team to decide that interventions would be helpful to allow for some rest and progress for her body. An epidural was placed and Pitocin was administered an hour later. After an additional cervical check showed Liz was still at four centimeters dilated, her midwife suggested breaking her waters. That did the trick and between 6 and 9 p.m., Liz’s cervix dilated from four to ten centimeters and baby turned to an ideal position for pushing! 

Pushing was Liz’s favorite part of labor, supported by her amazing team, with Eric holding one leg and their doula Becca holding the other. After just 45 minutes of pushing, their baby was born, healthy but quite calm and quiet. After a couple minutes, baby’s cord was cut by daddy and they realized no one had checked the baby’s sex. Liz was convinced throughout pregnancy it was a boy, so it was a complete surprise when Eric announced it was a baby girl! The team spent a few minutes clearing her airways and checking her vitals before Liz and Eric enjoyed a magical golden hour with baby Emmeline Mae. 

Liz and Emmeline’s postpartum journey so far has included significant sacroiliac joint pain and treatment for Liz and a milk protein intolerance for Emmeline. Liz is extremely grateful for a long period of parental leave, by US standards, and is looking forward to springtime adventures at home with Emmeline! 

Liz Parker birth story

Liz Parker Bio

Liz Parker and her husband Eric live in Chicago with their first baby Bug the Pug and their newest addition, Emmeline Mae, who arrived in December 2021. Liz and Eric both work for a large accounting and consulting firm, where they met while recruiting at their shared alma mater. They love exploring different neighborhoods, parks, and restaurants in their city, and traveling to new places together. They can’t wait to take Emmeline on future adventures, especially to visit family and friends all over the US! Connect with her on Instagram at @lizzyleigh17 or on Facebook under Liz Byrum Parker.

Resources

Premama Wellness

Today’s episode is sponsored by Premama Wellness. Premama creates doctor-backed supplements that support every stage of your maternity wellness journey. From balancing hormones, to trying to conceive, pregnancy, postpartum recovery, and breastfeeding nutritional support. All Premama supplements are gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan or vegetarian, with no additives and no synthetic flavors. Discover why moms (and dads-to-be!) trust Premama wellness for their nutritional support by visiting Premamawellness.comYou can use the code BirthHour25 for 25% off your purchase!

Managing Anxiety and Depression, Using SNS Nursing System, and Finding Support

Sophie Croen McMinimee Bio

Sophie is a lifelong planner, managing nonprofit events for a living. When it came to birthing and then raising her now 2.5 year old Claire, Sophie faced many unknowns, causing her a lot of anxiety. Prodromal labor and sleepless nights didn’t set Sophie up for success in her early postpartum days. The pandemic, nursing challenges, and postpartum depression ultimately made for a tough first eight months of bonding with Claire. After various means of support, Sophie’s mental health improved, along with her confidence as a mom and her bond with Claire. Connect with Sophie on Instagram @sophchroem.

sns nursing system

Ergobaby

Today’s 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 that we discussed on the podcast!