Precipitous, Unassisted VBAC in a Moving Car after Planned C-section

Emily’s first birth was a c section. She was planning to give birth unmedicated, with midwives and her doula at the Connecticut birthing center in Danbury. After she found out her son was breech, she did everything she could to try to get her son to flip. Wanting to still give birth vaginally, Emily desperately tried to find a breech provider to no avail. She was absolutely devastated and finally decided on a planned, family centered c section. 

It took years to work through the pain and disappointment of not being “allowed” to birth her baby. She spent three years preparing her mind, body, and soul to have a triumphant, healing VBAC.

At 37 weeks and 4 days into her next pregnancy, Emily attended a family wedding in Lancaster, PA. After the wedding, she and her husband, Travis, went back to the hotel room to go to sleep. A half hour later at midnight, her water breaks. Labor hadn’t started and she knew she probably had a long night/day ahead of her, so she decided to get some rest before they drove back to New York, and eventually to Danbury, CT. At 3am, contractions started and were immediately intense and close together. They packed up the hotel room and hopped in the car around 4am making their way back. All Emily had was her gentlebirth contraction timer and a water bottle in the back seat.

giving birth in car

A whirlwind 1 hour and 45 minute later, their daughter, Rosemary, was born unassisted while her husband was still driving. She didn’t know she was that close until she felt her head crowning. Emily credits her calm, empowering birth to all her birth preparation and training as an opera singer. The total labor from first contraction to baby was 2 hours and 45 minutes!  Emily’s birth story has gone viral, and has been featured on the Today show, Inside Edition, USA Today, Good Morning America, People, and more.

Emily Geller Hardman Bio

Emily is a professional opera singer and mom to Wesley (3 years old) and Rosemary (6 months). She lives with her husband, Travis, in Westchester, NY. She’s passionate about all things birth and is happy to connect via social media. www.emilygeller.cominsta:@emilygellerfacebook: Emily Geller Contralto 

Resources

Ergobaby

Today’s episode is sponsored by Ergobaby. Founded in 2003, Ergobaby has pioneered the gold standard for comfortable, ergonomic soft structured carriers. Ergobaby is dedicated to helping families bond, grow, and thrive by creating premium baby products where function and quality are not compromised. Ergobaby has created a broad range of award-winning baby carriers, strollers, swaddlers, nursing pillows, and related products that fit into families’ daily lives seamlessly, comfortably and safely. 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.

Breastfeeding Struggles Lead to Founding Nest Collaborative

Surprised to find her baby had “flipped” near to term, Amanda discusses her experience with version as well as a dural puncture postpartum.  Her struggles with breastfeeding postpartum ignited a desire to directly address a national problem of suboptimal breastfeeding rates by creating a national network of virtual lactation consultants and her company, Nest Collaborative.

Amanda Gorman Bio

Amanda Gorman is a board-certified pediatric nurse practitioner, specializing in primary and urgent pediatric care. An early adopter of health technology for the family, she founded Nest Collaborative in early 2017 to address the growing need for affordable and easy access to reliable healthcare for families with young children.

Amanda holds undergraduate degrees in Nursing and Psychology from Columbia and Fordham Universities, and received her graduate nursing education in Pediatric Primary Care at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Prior to her transition to primary care in 2011, Amanda spent 6 years in emergency and peri-operative nursing at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Washington Hospital Center, Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles and UCSF. Additionally she has consulted for the US Department of Labor’s Job Corps program, as well as provided patient support for One Medical Group’s virtual clinical support team.

She and her husband, a family physician, have two small children, and now live in Connecticut. She can be contacted through www.NestCollaborative.com, and on FB and IG @nestcollaborative.

nest-collaborative lactation consultants

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

Unexplained Infertility, Twin Pregnancy, ICP, & Cesarean Birth + PPD Discussion

After over 4 years of dealing with infertility Gisselle and her husband Lynneric found out they were pregnant due to an IUI. A few weeks later they found out they were having twins! After a mostly uneventful pregnancy to that point, Gisselle was diagnosed with cholestasis at 30 weeks. At 32 weeks they found out both babies were breech and began to plan to have a cesarean. She delivered at 36 weeks and the babies never had to go the NICU. Postpartum she dealt with some postpartum depression and sought help from her doctor for medication and also attended therapy on a regular basis. 

twin-pregnancy-after-infertility

Gisselle Topham Bio

Gisselle and her husband Lynneric live in Ogden, Utah with their 4 yr. old boy girl twins. Her husband works for the government and she is a trained doula and childbirth educator working on her certification. She became involved in the infertility world while trying to get pregnant and has since also joined her local twin moms club. She enjoys watching movies and reading books. With her family she likes to have dance parties. Her kids keep her busy and she loves laughing at the crazy things they say and do. Connect with her via Facebook (gisselletopham) or by email gisselle.topham@gmail.com. Gisselle is also an active member of The Birth Hour Patreon group!

twins cholestasis

Resources

  • Gisselle’s husband’s Partner Podcast episode
  • UIRC- Utah Infertility Resource Center
  • Resolve 
  • The Birth Hour
  • Dr Berlins Informed Pregnancy Podcast
  • Evidence Based Birth (website and podcast)
  • Plus mommy (website, facebook, and podcast)
  • Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
  • The Birth Partner
  • When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads by Barbara Luke
  • What to do when you’re having two – Natalie Diaz
  • Searched twins in podcast app and google
  • PSI International
  • Facebook groups for infertility and twins
  • Asking about a therapist and psychiatrist
  • Local Twins club
  • Other twin moms

Wumblekin

This episode is sponsored by Wumblekin. Life’s busy and there’s a lot of noise out there, that can be especially true during pregnancy. Wumblekin breaks down pregnancy, labor and birth with evidence-based education and expert-curated products for mom and baby. Easily buy or gift single boxes, or subscribe to receive them throughout pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Be informed and prepared by ordering Wumblekin pregnancy, birth and postpartum essentials, today! Get 15% off your first box by using promo code BIRTHHOUR at checkout. Visit wumblekin.com to order or subscribe, today!


Beautiful, Serene “Gentle Cesarean” Birth for Breech Baby

After Caroline and her husband, Matt, learned they would be welcoming their first baby in July 2020, they established care with a midwifery practice and hoped for a low-intervention birth experience. Except for a brief bleeding scare about 6 weeks into the pregnancy, and a case of gestational thrombocytopenia that resolved itself in the third trimester, Caroline had an easy and active pregnancy. 

At their 20-week anatomy scan, the technician laughed that they had a little breech baby, knowing that babies constantly change positions that early in the pregnancy. However, at every subsequent ultrasound, baby continued to present in the breech position. Around 32 weeks, the midwives discussed possible interventions to turn the baby (whose sex was a surprise), explaining that no one in the state of Maine would perform a vaginal breech birth. During this time, COVID-19 hit and they learned that their hired doula would no longer be able to attend their birth. 

Caroline and Matt began trying everything under the sun to turn their baby head down in an effort to avoid a c-section: moxibustion, acupuncture, Spinning Babies, flips in the pool, and two ECVs. Ultimately, Caroline found acceptance in a scheduled c-section and loved her birth experience. She was able to advocate for all of the gentle cesarean practices including immediate skin to skin, a clear drape, arms free, music playing, etc. Aila Mae Roy was brought into the world in a beautiful, serene birth on July 2, 2020 at 9:25am. 

caroline-culbertson

Caroline Culbertson Bio

Caroline Culbertson is a ‘southern girl transplant’ living on a farm in the Portland, Maine area with her husband Matt, daughter Aila, and a menagerie of animals. She is a life-long equestrian. Follow her on Instagram @caroline.culbertson

Resources

Cord Blood Registry

We are so excited to introduce our new partnership with @CordBloodRegistry, also known as CBR. CBR has helped millions of parents bank their children’s newborn stem cells. Newborn stem cells have amazing potential for treatments in the future and cord blood stem cells have already been used for thirty years in stem cell transplants. It’s kind of like investing in your baby’s future health.

For a limited time, CBR is offering The Birth Hour listeners some pretty big discounts. Go to cordblood.com and use code: HOUR to get 60% off the Newborn Stem Cell Bundle which includes both cord blood and tissue banking. Visit their website to learn more about how newborn stem cell preservation could protect your whole family and why CBR is the #1 most recommended cord blood bank by families and OB/GYNs.

Cesarean Breech Delivery with Oligohydramnios

Georgiana describes the first half of her pregnancy as pretty stress-free and idyllic; from a fairly easy conception process, to loving the midwifery practice they chose, and learning everything she could about hypnobirthing /natural birth, Georgiana and her OBGYN husband, Salvatore, felt like they were coasting through pregnancy.

Things began to intensify between 22 – 32 weeks.  The pandemic broke out and was particularly severe in their home of the New York City/ Long Island region. Salvatore became a front line worker during Georgiana’s third trimester. Just as they had received news that the baby was breech and started discussing options, Georgiana was diagnosed with oligohydramnious and began twice weekly monitoring by Maternal Fetal Medicine doctors. After being faced with needing to transfer care at 34 weeks, Georgiana wound up letting go of the “hypnobirth of her dreams” due to the need for an urgent caesarean section at 37 weeks. This story ends with a wonderful, healthy baby boy born in the middle of the pandemic, with a finale of post partum anxiety that no one saw coming.

Georgiana Bio

Georgiana is a Mental Health Counselor in New York City, currently finishing her post-graduate training at New York Anxiety Treatment. Georgiana and Salvatore met in 2015 in Brooklyn, New York as he was about to start an OBGYN residency and she was beginning graduate school. Their son, Tomo Cosimo was born in June 2020. In her free time, Georgiana enjoys writing, running and trying new restaurants…  and she looks forward to doing so again once the pandemic is over!

Resources

Kindred Bravely

Today’s 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 loungewear including the Clea Bamboo PajamasBetsy Ribbed Bamboo Nursing & Maternity Nightgown, and Bamboo Maternity & Postpartum Lounge Pants.

Prenatal PPD & PPA During COVID-19, IUGR, ECV, Breech Cesarean Birth with Virtual Doula

Following an ectopic pregnancy that ruptured one of Shana’s fallopian tubes, she unexpectedly got pregnant almost immediately after her first loss. At the time, she was living in London, England and preparing for her husband, Doug, to move in early 2020. During the first half of Shana’s pregnancy she dealt with heavy bleeding from a subchorionic hematoma, untreated prenatal depression and anxiety, and was working towards submitting her PhD dissertation all whilst living on her own. As she and her husband were preparing for his transatlantic relocation, COVID-19 began shutting down borders, which prompted Shana to move back home to the DC area instead.

With the help of Shana’s long-time therapist in Maryland, she was introduced to both a psychiatrist specializing in perinatal mental health as well as Ursula, a doula and founder of Birth You Desire. With all three of their support and a special shout out to modern technology allowing for virtual services, Shana was able to do all she could to get her mind, body, and spirit prepared for the second half of pregnancy and everything ahead. At the start of her third trimester, Shana and Doug learned their baby was intrauterine growth restricted (IUGR) and was breech, which required weekly visits to the midwife and OB for fetal monitoring as well as countless hours spent practicing Spinning Babies exercises, yoga, and receiving repeated chiropractic care. Whilst the conversations around the necessity of an early emergency cesarean section intensified as the weeks went on, their daughter had a miraculous growth spurt at 36 weeks, allowing her to reach full term (but was still stubbornly breech). An external cephalic version (ECV) was scheduled at 39 weeks.

Leading up to the ECV, it was uncertain whether their doula would be able to be physically present during the birth because of quickly changing COVID-19 restrictions. In a rare situation, Ursula’s virtual presence was a blessing because after 3 attempts of trying to get the baby to turn, Shana was taken into the operating room to deliver their daughter, Poppy, by cesarean section, whilst Ursula was on the phone with headphones shared between Shana and Doug offering support and guidance the entire time (even without COVID-19, it was unlikely she could be present for the ECV and certainly not in the OR).

new baby during covid

Aside from being more mucousy than what’s considered normal, Shana, Doug, and Poppy had a blissful first 24 hours together in the hospital. After that, however, an incredibly astute nurse noticed that Poppy would turn slightly blue when feeding and took her to the NICU for a quick peek. There everyone learned that Poppy was born with a fairly common congenital abnormality called tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF) and esophageal atresia (EA), an abnormal connection between the esophagus and trachea and between the esophagus and stomach. She was immediately transferred an hour away to the NICU at Johns Hopkins Hospital with Doug, whilst Shana waited to be discharged the following day. Poppy had a successful primary repair of her esophagus and trachea at 3 days old and then proceeded to be in the hospital for the better part of 4 months. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, only one parent could be present in the hospital with Poppy at a time, so with the support of their families, Shana and Doug relocated to Baltimore to live in a nearby hotel. They encountered various complications including a blood infection, repeated narrowing of her esophagus, trouble feeding, terrible reflux, and very poor weight gain, which all required prolonged hospitalizations and several procedures. After 4 months, it was discovered that Poppy had a hiatal hernia caused from her initial surgery. She received a final surgery to address the hernia and had a gastric-tube put directly into her belly to help with feeding, which, so far, has made a tremendous difference in everyone’s quality of life.

Poppy is now nearly 6 months old and her parents are very much enjoying settling into their home as a family of 3 at long last. Shana is currently working through the cumulative trauma and complicated emotions around Poppy’s journey. Despite the challenges, Poppy wakes up every morning with the biggest smile on her face and is a stunning example of resilience and strength.

Shana Silverstein Bio

Shana lives just outside Washington, DC with her husband, Doug, their six month old daughter, Poppy Chaya, and their first baby, Marcel the Poodle. She is on the precipice of receiving her doctorate in neuroscience from University College London and the National Institutes of Health. Her research focuses on social learning and memory around empathy related behaviors. Shana is also a certified yoga teacher. Connect with her by email at shana.silverstein@gmail.com.

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