Waters Break Before Labor, Pitocin & Epidural Birth
Lauren’s first birth was a precious, yet invigorating experience. Her water broke before active labor began and, because there was meconium in the water, she was admitted into the hospital before contractions really began. She set out wanting to have an all-natural birth in which she labored as long as possible at home, but accepted her doctor’s recommendation to use Pitocin to progress her labor and avoid risks of infection. It was a happy, safe and fulfilling experience despite the fear that was produced for her about the use of Pitocin in leading to complications. She hopes this experience relieves fears others have about using Pitocin and epidurals when necessary.
Lauren Alexander Bio
Lauren lives with her wife of almost two years in Los Altos, California. She gave birth to her first baby in October 2017, and plans to have two-to-three more children. She hopes that other lesbian couples trying to start families can learn from her and her wife’s experience of planning, fertility treatments, and choosing a donor.
Cherie Zappas – Lactation Consultant and early education and parenting support
Ursula Sabia Sukinik – doula services, doula training, birthing classes online and local to D.C. and Baltimore metro area
MuTu Systems – pregnancy and postpartum recovery and strength training
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Hospital Birth with Epidural
Claire is 6 foot, so she was never going to have a small baby; however, she only started to worry when she went a week overdue. Claire was pretty sure her baby was going to be massive, and she was. Both Claire and her husband, Rich, had decided to go Team Green and so only knew they were having ‘a baby’. Both expected a boy, but having had three early miscarriages prior to the birth, neither honestly cared so long as the baby was healthy. Claire was feeling very grumpy the day she went into labour. She had some scares, which turned out to be Braxton Hicks warm ups, and so she went for a long waddle to Tesco where she was poo’ed on by a bird. That afternoon, she started to go into early labor. Having sent Rich off to bed (the philosophy being at least one of them would get some sleep) Claire then labored long into the night, until she was told to come into the hospital at 4am by her midwives. Early assessment showed Claire was actually slowing down, so she and Rich were sent up to ‘Level 5’ of the hospital where they waited it out for a further 20 hours without sleep or drugs. Even meptid given at 12am on that second night didn’t touch it. This wasn’t fun, as Claire was pretty sure she was in established labor despite the long waits between strong contractions.
She was right, and at 5am Claire was finally sent to delivery by a very bossy and wonderful chief midwife. Here she was given an epidural and was looked after by two young, bubbly midwives, Daisy and Amy. You’re not meant to have a party in a delivery room, but they did anyway. With the help of drugs to speed the contractions on and having her waters broken for her, the baby made its way down the birth canal. 9 hours later it became clear Claire needed an episiotomy. Artemis popped out very quickly and amazed everyone when they realized she was a girl, not the expected boy (Claire was secretly very chuffed). Cuddles and nursing were done while Claire was stitched (Artemis will still to this day try to root on Rich) and the parents were lucky enough to be left in the delivery room to sleep until they were moved up to a ward. The whole thing was very relaxed!
Claire Lycett Bio
Claire lives in Abingdon Oxfordshire via Kent and London and works for the Women’s Institute residential college as a senior manager. She is married to Rich, with whom she went to university at Birmingham, but they didn’t meet until they converged at their mutual best friend’s wedding where Claire caught the bouquet and also Rich. They live in a small suburb and are ridiculously tired and happy. Claire used to teach courses on the side on film stars of the Hollywood Golden era but is finding time a little constrained now they have their baby Artemis. Not that she minds!
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.
Homebirth, Over 3 Hours of Pushing, Episiotomy
Libby describes her homebirth as a “Victorious Homebirth which included an Unexpected Episiotomy; and, a surprise but necessary hospital stay for jaundice one week postpartum.” Her waters broke around10:30pm on a Saturday night; and, fully expecting to wake up to surges that night, Libby went to bed after texting her midwife and doula about potentially starting labor. Instead, she slept so soundly and snored so loudly her husband had to vacate to the guest room. The next day was spent trying to walk the baby out, a round of homeopathic medicine, and eventually the dreaded caster oil. Surges began at 5:30pm and her doula came to observe at 7pm, at which time Libby was in early active labor. Within about 2 hours, surges were about 2-3 minutes apart.
Together with the support of her amazing birth team, Libby labored in various physical positions around her home. Transition came around 11pm in the form of full body convulsions. She moved to the tub where she labored about 1.5 hours before the urge to push came. Not being able to get grounded in the tub, she moved out of the tub to try pushing in various positions. This was a very frustrating, exhausting and difficult part of her birth. Looking back, she believes her biggest deterrent to pushing was not fully understanding or being able to release the pelvic floor to push properly. She pushed for 3.5 hours, having been crowned for 1 of those hours.
Eventually, fearing a hospital transfer, she asked to consent to an episiotomy. Her husband advocated for more pushing first, and the midwives did the same. When, after about 20 minutes more of pushing there still was no progress: midwives chose to honor the episiotomy request. Baby girl catapulted into the world to the utter joy and relief of her Mama and Daddy.
Libby Tedder Hugus Bio
Libby is a wife, mama, Pastor and caffeine-guzzling podcast consumer. She is married to her darling comedic husband, Jeremy, and together they are raising their wondrous daughter, Harloe. Libby is the the daughter of two continents: North America and Africa and maintains dual citizenship between the USA and South Africa. She believes there is always room for one more around the table and that generous hospitality can and will heal the world. Having moved to Casper, WY in 2011, she has fallen in love with this slice of the windy wester frontier, finding breathing room for the soul in Wyoming’s wide open skies.
https://www.mamanatural.com/ birth affirmations, week by week pregnancy guide, meditations
https://www.kindara.com/wink — I used the phone app to track my cycle without the thermometer
La leche league – Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
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.
Bianca was not yet a doula when she was pregnant, it was actually what sent her into this line of work immediately after the birth of her daughter, Gray.
She went into early labor in the morning of August 7, and she knew that she would have time with her early labor as a primip. She also thought it would be a good idea to ‘help labor along’ because her doctor had told her that he would not let her go passed 40 weeks. She also did not know how to advocate for going to 41 – 42 weeks. Now she knows.
The summer Gray was due, there was a bacterial breakout in the NICUs at 2 major hospitals in Toronto and it was: (a) impossible to get midwifery care, hence Bianca’s home birth dream went out the window; and, (b) people were being rerouted out of the city to have their babies.
Bianca was more than a little nervous about the climate in her city with hospitals either closed or overflowing. She was worried she would be rushed along by the hospital staff and under NO circumstances was she to have interventions… that was about the extent of her birth plan.
She labored at home for 24 hours and then went to a breakfast buffet the next morning with her partner at the time and mother-in-law because she felt like she wanted ALL the food that morning. It was there that labor picked up and she knew she needed to get to a care facility.
After hospital hopping to find one that had room for her, she spent the next 45 hours in active labor and transition. She advocated hard, and with the help of her doula (who was really green), Bianca got her unmedicated vaginal delivery. She ended up needing the vacuum for Gray’s birth and struggled with the repair to her perineum. She felt so exhausted at the end after a 72 hour labor that her bonding with Gray was impacted. It shows so much in the birth photo that was taken an hour after Gray was born. It makes Bianca so sad to look at that moment captured.
There are parts that feel really traumatic, like the vaginal repair that was done without any anesthesia, and parts that make her feel really proud, like the unmedicated labor part.
Bianca suffered in silence with her PPD and her difficulties bonding with Gray as she had no family, partner, or community support. There was a lot of grief around this and it was magnified after her hysterectomy 5 months ago, officially removing the ability to carry another baby. She is planning for her wife to carry their next baby in the next year or two.
Bianca Sprague Bio
Bianca Sprague (CEO of bebo mia inc and Baby & Me Fitness) is a badass queer entrepreneur and mom to Graydon. She lives in Toronto and co-parents with her partner, Alana. Bianca feels especially passionate about creating access to quality pre & postnatal care for marginalized communities. She is an advocate for mental wellness for the entire family, and especially for the birthing parent, after suffering from PPD in silence and losing her father to suicide in 2012. Most recently, Bianca elected to undergo a hysterectomy and has a lot of insight to share on her experiences navigating the health care system. Connect with her on Instagram @BiancaSprague, Facebook @bebomiainc or at www.BiancaSprague.com & www.bebomia.com.
- Because I struggled SO much with my postpartum period I made a tool to support others to ensure they make a plan in pregnancy.
- I firmly believe that birth plans make a difference! Here is why in a video as well as a free cheat sheet to make one:
- Support mental wellness! It is SO important. Olivia Scobie does this SO well and she had made a free guide around mood in pregnancy and the postpartum period.
- This awesome link of TED talks for expecting and new parents is fab!
This episode is 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.
Vaginal Twin Birth after Cholestasis Diagnoses
Molly knew she wanted to try for an unmedicated birth before she became pregnant. When she found out she was having twins though, she wasn’t sure if she would be able to have the birth that she wanted. She educated herself on pregnancy and birth by taking Bradley method classes, and sought out other twin moms who had unmedicated births and listened to their stories. These two things greatly encouraged her and made her feel like it was possible. She switched doctors halfway through, developed cholestasis, and twin B was breech, but in the end she was still able to have the birth she had dreamed of.
Molly Savage Bio
Molly lives in Jackson, Mississippi. She and her husband, Adam, are parents to twin boys who are 4 months old. Connect with her on Instagram @mollynsavage.
What to Do When You’re Having Two: The Twins Survival Guide from Pregnancy Through the First Year
This episode is sponsored by Diono, who has rekindled their ambition, has a rejuvenation, and reinvigoration of the business and is strengthening its foothold out in the great frontier. Diono, (the award winning manufacturer of the tried and trusted Radian RXT Convertible Car seat), has brought some new faces on board, to compliment the excellent team who were already making great strides to celebrate a unique Seattle based company. Staying true to their car seat legacy, new products are launching soon along with strollers, baby carriers and a whole lot more! Sign up for their newsletter to stay on top of all their latest news at us.diono.com.
We’ve been using a Diono carseat with our daughter ever since she outgrew her infant carseat and now that baby #3 is on the way we’re excited to be able to use Diono to accomplish a three across setup in our Prius. Stay tuned for a Facebook Live on Aug. 24 that I’ll be doing with Mat York of That Dad Mat.
Surrogate for her best friend birth story
For Dana, this birth was as much about the process to become pregnant, and the relationship with the father, as the birth itself. Dana and Chad met their freshman year of high school, when Chad asked Dana to go to the Fall Formal dance. They quickly became best friends, and have remained so ever since. And 20 years after they met in high school, Dana gave birth to a girl for Chad and his husband Jim.
Being a surrogate came with different legal, psychological, and emotional ramifications for Dana than her other births. And the birth itself ended up having some complications.
Going from a perfect check up on a Wednesday to developing severe pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome by Saturday, Dana had to be induced at 35 weeks. But she still thinks of it all as one of the most magical experiences she has gone through, and has an even more special bond with the father that she could have ever imagined.
Dana Hawkins Bio
Dana is married to Ken, and a mother of three- Tanner 23, Kianna 7, and Joey 4. She is from central Minnesota, but now lives in Seattle. She works in Marketing at the T-Mobile headquarters in Bellevue, WA (which she loves!). She is an avid camper, LGBTQ activist, and pop culture fanatic. Connect with her via her website grummiesgoodies.wixsite.com/website
Earth Mama Organics
Today’s episode is brought to you by Earth Mama Organics. From the positive test to the big push, from the first latch to the thousandth diaper, Earth Mama makes 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.