Jenna-Lee’s Infertility Journey
31 year old Jenna-Lee is a residential child care specialist from Florida and has wanted nothing more in life than to be a mother. After marrying the love of her life back in 2010, she and her husband, Patrick, have been trying to conceive. They were told by doctors they didn’t even need birth control because it wasn’t going to happen due to Jenna’s health issues but they never stopped trying. They tried many different methods to track her cycle and used products to try to increase their chances. All of these things were very stressful and exhausting. It took them 5 years to get pregnant and then they suffered a loss.
When Jenna found out about Ava bracelet she was thrilled to become pregnant again after a year of use! The bracelet helped her and her husband understand her cycle and body better. It taught her what her most optimum days were and, took a lot of the stress out of trying to conceive. She loved that it was very easy to use and see the data daily. Her pregnancy was anything but easy but this she expected.
Preeclampsia and Preterm Labor
She ended up having to be hospitalized the last month of her pregnancy due to severe preeclampsia. On the day of her baby shower, Jenna was rushed into an emergency cesarean section at 30 weeks and gave birth to her tiny 3.5 pound rainbow baby boy Wesley Arlo. Jenna and Patrick feel completely blessed to have him and can’t wait until he can come home from the NICU. Jenna wanted to share her story to give hope to those who have gone thru similar circumstances. If you would like to reach out to Jenna or have any questions for her you can email her at Jleelan@outlook.com.
This episode is sponsored by Ava Women. Wear the Ava bracelet while you sleep for effortless insight about your fertility, your cycle, and your health. Ava monitors nine physiological parameters and is clinically proven to detect the beginning of the fertile window in real time. You can use the promo code: BIRTHHOUR for $20 off each order at avawomen.com.
A Surrogate’s Pregnancy and Birth Story
Having had a very unsupported home to hospital transfer birth in Louisiana (a not very midwifery friendly state) Whitney knew one end of the spectrum of hospital birth, something she would happily never opt to experience again. 4 years later, having a swift, cozy, super-supported home birth in Austin, TX with a 10lb, 4oz boy—she experienced the rosey, ideal, other side of the spectrum.
After two very different births of her own children, Whitney was eager to support another family’s desire for children and experience the excitement and awe of birth again. Through consistent ‘flukes’ her gestational carrier journey resulted in the birth of life-long friends and identical twin boys, born naturally (one footling breech). Whitney knew her gestational carrier journey would automatically fall somewhere in the middle—something, as the birthing goddess title she allowed herself to own, she knew she could face either way.
With the twins, she asked her providers for what she wanted and to know all the possible options throughout the entire pregnancy. As with every birth there are some unpredictable turns (literally in this case) and knowing all the options, allowed for the best experience and smoothest recovery she and the twin’s parents could have hoped for.
Whitney LeBlanc Bio
Whitney LeBlanc is the mother to her little lady, Hazel, age 6 and her big boy, Cypress, age 2. Their birth stories are huge contributors to her decisions and experiences along her journey with the twins, and a balancing reminder of the gift it is to be involved in such an experience. She also owns a retail storefront and online specialty store called Enlightened Baby; the atmosphere of expecting women and small children was the perfect nurturing environment for her journey through another pregnancy. She and her husband trust the process, and welcome what the future holds.
Connect with Whitney on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or via her shop Enlightened Baby.
Surrogates Birth Naturally FB Group
Photography by Austin Birth Photos
This episode was sponsored by Babylist. Babylist believes 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.
Infertility Journey and Hospital Induction Birth Story
After dealing with infertility for over a year, Beth and her husband Wes were surprised to find out they were pregnant on the day of their consultation for IVF. Beth enjoyed a smooth pregnancy up until she was 39 weeks along, when on Halloween morning, her OB discovered that her amniotic fluid levels were low, and she needed to be induced. She was induced with pitocin, and labored in the hospital with an epidural for 12 hours before giving birth to her son. Bexley was born at 2:50 am on November 1st, weighing 7lbs and 1 oz, with a full head of hair.
Beth Belt Bio
Beth is a 31 year old first time mom, to her adorable son, Bexley. She and her husband Wes have been married for 4 years, and live together in Clinton, Utah. As a family, they enjoy quiet nights at home, cuddling and watching movies together. Beth works as Graphic Designer for HARMAN, a SAMSUNG company. You can connect with her on Instagram @beth_belt, and you can see her adorable son grow @bexleybelt.
The Birth Hour
Beat infertility podcast
Pea in the Podcast
Pregnancy Confidential Podcast
The Birth Journal
Today’s episode is sponsored by The Birth Journal, a journal for mamas to write their birth story, pen to paper, through the nostalgic magic of their handwriting. Birth stories are simply too amazing to be tucked away on computers, or not written at all. The beautiful, quality design of The Birth Journal makes it an incredible gift mamas can one day pass down to their babies. They can read about the story of their birth written in the same handwriting that was found on the notes in their lunch box.
The Birth Journal also includes a gentle, supportive birth story writing guide, which provides inspiration and encouragement to write your authentic story, along with some practical writing tips. Birth Hour listeners receive 20% off their first purchase of The Birth Journal at thebirthjournal.com. Use code birthhour at check out.
Cooper’s Unplanned Cesarean Birth
Caitlin’s birth experience with Cooper was not what she had hoped for; but, looking back she wouldn’t change a thing as it’s really impacted her passions and mindset. Caitlin made the common choice of going into the hospital too early, and the doctor on call starting intervening before it made sense. Though Caitlin was at 3 cm and healthy, the doctor decided it was time to break her water and start pitocin. This intervention propelled her into a day that wasn’t at all what she had envisioned. Her progress slowed and her son was no longer handling labor well; and, after about 24 hours, Caitlin had a c-section. Thankfully, all went well with the c-section and Cooper Andrew was born a healthy 8 lbs. 2 oz. She knew for her next experience that she wanted something different. She craved a birth experience that was empowering and what she had envisioned birth to be.
Charlie’s VBAC Birth
Given Caitlin’s birth experience the first time, she knew she wanted to do whatever she could to have an unmedicated VBAC. She spent her pregnancy doing research and exploring her options, and chose care providers that would set her up for success. She went into labor in her own home on New Year’s Day and continued to labor there for about 12 hours with the support of her husband. Once she could no longer manage at home, she left for the hospital with her husband and mom. Her doula and birth photographer met her at the hospital where she continued to labor for about 5 hours. She experienced an amazingly progressive and supportive hospital environment, which really let her doula lead the way. And after an hour-and-a-half of pushing, her 9 lb. 3 oz VBAC baby, Charlie Maxwell, was here!
Caitlin Shrum Bio
Caitlin lives in the Bay Area with her husband, Andrew. They have their hands full with two boys, Cooper (2.5) and newborn Charlie. Caitlin works in human resources for Netflix, but on the side finds herself immersed in all things birth. She is excited to return to The Birth Hour after sharing her unplanned/unwanted c-section story, and to provide support and information to any moms looking for a different birth experience.
The Shrums are frequent farmer’s market visitors and playground enthusiasts, always with coffee in tow. Caitlin would love to connect with other moms via Instagram @caitshrum or Facebook.
ICAN Facebook Page
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
The Birth Partner
Today’s sponsor, Aeroflow Breastpumps, helps new and expecting moms qualify for a free, top-brand breast pump through insurance. They offer all major pump brands including Medela, Spectra, Lansinoh and more. Visit Aeroflow’s website today to get started on receiving your free breast pump through insurance! From dealing with insurance, getting a prescription and handling all paperwork – your dedicated Breastpump Specialist will take care of everything for you. Go to aeroflowbreastpumps.com/birthhour and they will know I sent you!
Hospital Birth in Germany
Ana gave birth like a champ in a hospital in Germany after being assured that it was baby-friendly. That didn’t end up being her experience and although everything ended up ok, she shares how it felt to be treated in a way that wasn’t respectful of her wishes.
Ana Maria Guardia Bio
Ana is a graphic designer and a yoga teacher. She lives in Germany with her husband Ralph and 21 month old Anton. She’s originally from Panama, a country that made it to the World Cup for the first time this year. Connect with her on Twitter @anagrama, Facebook, Instagram and check out her writing on Elephant Journal.
One Bad Mother podcast for honest talk, laughs and judgment-free motivation. And their book: You’re Doing a Great Job!: 100 Ways You’re Winning at Parenting
La Leche League local groups and The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding book.
The mantra: «Divine mother flows through me»
Earth Mama Organics
From the positive test to the big push, from the first latch to the thousandth diaper, Earth Mamamakes effective organic and natural herbal products for the whole journey of motherhood: pregnancy, postpartum, breastfeeding, and baby care. They’ve been safely nurturing mamas this way since 2002 — and they wouldn’t do it any other way. Be sure to check out some of their latest products like the organic deodorant (that really works!) that Megan and I discussed at the end of today’s episode!
4 Hospital Births—Obstetrician versus midwives
In Michele’s first labor, she delivered a healthy 8lbs 9oz baby boy. Along the way, she had the epidural she planned on, and then found herself ignored and talked about, not talked to, while she labored. While very happy with the healthy outcome, she felt like something was missing, and sought out care providers for her next pregnancy who might do things differently. For her 3 subsequent pregnancies, she was cared for by a team of midwives who listened to her and valued her as a partner in her labors.
Michele Ankrim Bio
Michele is a mother of 4 young kiddos, living outside Seattle, Washington. She has been a Doula, studied to be a Childbirth Educator, and is now about to begin nursing school, ultimately to be a Certified Nurse Midwife. She believes women should be heard, respected, and valued during their labors, and encourages people to find care providers that they trust. Connect with her on Instagram @michele.midwife
The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin
Expecting Better by Emily Oster
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 BIRTH18 at www.crane-usa.com.