Chamblee writes out a brief summary of her story below. Listen to the episode for the whole journey.
“On March 13th, 2017 my OBGYN called me at work to come in for an ultrasound. I thought this was weird, because I had just been there the week before for my 16 week check up (during that check up everything went well, & we got to see my daughter during a routine ultrasound). When I arrived at the office I knew something was off— they told me that some of my blood work results (from the week before) had come back a little high & they wanted to just recheck my baby’s progress via ultrasound.
Instead of being very chatty, like usual, the ultrasound tech was very quiet and diligent with gathering images. As I looked at my baby in the screen I thought “she looks fine. She is kicking her legs, moving her arms and head, her heart rate was normal, etc”. Later, my doctor came into the room and explained that my daughter had a neural tube defect called Spina Bifida—my heart hit the floor. “What is that?” I asked because honestly I was ignorant to any details of SB. She explained that I would need to see a perinatal specialist to get specific details, but that as a “whole” babies with SB would never walk & would have a lifetime of struggling with hydrocephalus (water on the brain). I fell apart—my child would never walk & have mental issues.
Fast forward to our appt at the perinatal specialists. Instead of being supportive, comforting, and positive (like my OBGYN), the doctor took more invasive images and delivered very bleak news. He said that my child would live a hard life filled with struggles—but then he directed his attention to me and my husband. As we sat shivering in a conference room he said “unless you want to live a life of constant obligation & hardships, you may consider abortion. Legally, in the state of GA, you are still within the timeframe to eliminate your pregnancy.” Luckily for me, I got to see my baby that day during the ultrasound. She was moving. She was wiggling and she was kicking. She had life in her & so far was enjoying it just like every other baby in a mommy’s womb. Abortion wasn’t the path for us.
After thorough research, I realized that there was a surgery available that could help lessen the effects of SB. I immediately called Children’s Healthcare of Vanderbilt, who was one of three places in the U.S. that can perform the surgery. They scheduled a consultation, and after a rigorous weekend of evaluations, we were approved for the fetal surgery! On May 2nd both me and my daughter underwent surgery. The recovery process was intense, and I had to remain on bedrest for the remainder of my pregnancy.
On June 27, 2017 our daughter Bryce Magnolia Madani made an early 2nd arrival into this world. Born at 32 Weeks. 4 lbs 1 oz. 17 in long. Now, she is a strong 6 month old baby girl! She kicks her legs and mentally meets every milestone for her age!
As far as walking, she may walk normally or may never walk at all; but, based on her SB level she was suppose to be paralyzed from the waist down. The Fetal Surgery maintain those exposed nerves in her back & allowed her back to heal more normally! We may never be able to have other children, based on how harsh Fetal Surgery is on the uterus— but God blesses us with a miracle! He gave us strength during tough times, & has showed us how to truly see the positive side of life. Not to mention, we have a beautiful, little baby who continues to enhance our lives tremendously!”
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!
Emergency Cesarean after Preeclampsia & Long Induction VBAC Birth Stories
On this episode, Amarachi shares her two birth stories. She had an uneventful pregnancy with her firstborn, but a very eventful emergency c-section at 32 and 6 due to severe preeclampsia, including: a 48 hour magnesium sulfate drip; a 26 day NICU stay for her baby; and, PPD upon arrival home. During her second pregnancy, which was considered high risk due to her previous delivery, Amarachi had morning sickness from weeks 5-28. At week 28, she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes (non-insulin-dependent). Amarachi was induced at 39 weeks; and, after a 43.5 hour labor, she had a successful VBAC delivery!
Amarachi Ukazim Bard Bio
Amarachi lives with her husband, Mike, and their two tenacious daughters – Auden (3) and Joona (1) in Central Connecticut. She spends her days taking care of her family, (most likely) eating tacos, being shop manager for a Christ-centered women’s magazine called Deeply Rooted Magazine, and blogging at simplyamarachi.com. She captures her everyday life on Instagram @amarachibard.
The Birth Hour podcast
Birth Without Fear Facebook group/instagram
Today’s episode was sponsored by Ergobaby. Founded in 2003, Ergobaby is dedicated to building a global community of confident parents with smart, ergonomic solutions that enable and encourage bonding between parents and babies. Ergobaby offers 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. At the end of today’s episode I spoke to Rebecca about what makes them unique and the features of their newest sleeping bag. Use the coupon code “thebirthhour” to get 20% off any sleep product Ergobaby.com or ergobaby.ca for our Canadian listeners.
Three Births: Postdates Birth Center Birth, Cesarean Birth & Homebirth VBAC
For her first birth, Jessica and her husband chose an out of hospital birth center and they welcomed their daughter Josie after a 41 week and 6 day long pregnancy. Her second birth was with the same midwives; but, due to cord issues, their son Elliott was born in the hospital by c-section. After a cross country move half way through her third pregnancy, Jessica and Chris decided they wanted to attempt a homebirth VBAC. At 40 weeks and 6 days, and after a week of prodromal labor, Jessica finally went into active labor while out at a pizza place with her family! After a very intense 8 hours of back labor, she pushed for 8 minutes and her third baby, 10lb 7oz Ian, was born at home with the help of their amazing midwives.
Jessica Higgins Bio
Jessica has been married for 8 years to her husband, Chris, and is a busy mom of 3 who works as a statistical programmer. When not working or chasing around her wonderful and crazy kids, she is a Scottish highland dancer and enjoys knitting items for said crazy kids. You can find her on Instagram @jk_higgins.
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.
Gina Shares a bit about her Homebirth Cesarean and Homebirth VBAC below.
“Our wild Zelda Francis was born by a homebirth cesarean during one of the hottest summers in Austin. I was surrounded by my husband, sister (who was 6 weeks pregnant!), dear friend and my amazing midwife and friend. 17 days past my due date, it was breast pumping that convinced my body it was time to go into labor. It was a gentle beginning that turned into a hard, long haul. I labored for 36 hours at home. I walked, got in and out of the pool, took showers, changed positions many times and napped as much as I could. Then I stalled at 7cm and become tired and dehydrated. After trying everything we could at home, we made the call to go to the hospital. I immediately got an epidural and slept for 5 hours! I was excited to wake up fully dilated. I then pushed for 4 hours. Her head never came down past a certain point so we decided it was time for her to be born by cesarean at 331am. I remember looking into her dark eyes as soon as she was given to me and I knew she was going to grow up a persistent and loving creature. So far, I was right.
Our sweet Oona Rosemarie was born at home during a quiet spring morning. Surrounded by our wonderful birth team…my husband, our magical midwife GB, her assistant, and my bestie and doula (who made it all the way from San Fran!). Contractions started in the middle of the night and I immediately knew labor was happening. I was enjoying my alone time so I didn’t wake the family. After they got up, my husband took our oldest to school. During that time, I turned music on and let the contractions take over. During the day, my husband and I watched a movie, ate, walked and went to acupuncture. It wasn’t until that evening, when my water broke, that things became more intense. Worried that I was in for another long haul, I asked my midwife to check me. I was 9cm! Pretty quickly after, I started pushing and just a couple of hours later, she was born in our living room at 310am. I remember the room becoming very quiet when she came out. So peaceful and so intentional. It was just us taking her in and meeting her gentle spirit for the first time.”
Gina Giordano Bio
Gina Giordano is a doula and a creator. Originally from Miami Florida, she grew up in a close family unit. As the oldest of five children, she was taught how to support and nurture at a very young age. After studying fine arts in college, she moved to New York City where she was introduced to the idea of doula work. Just after one training, her passion for working in pregnancy, childbirth and beyond was ignited. In 2005 she started a business, offering birth and postpartum doula services and education to families. Through her work she learned how to offer compassionate, dignified care for ALL families during childbirth and the postpartum time, no matter their choices. She also saw a need for more doulas. Driven to serve that need, she co-founded Doula Training International (DTI) in 2010 with her business partner Tara Brooke. DTI is a mission based community that trains and certifies birth professionals unified in reproductive health and justice for all bodies. By working as the creative director of DTI, Gina’s mission is to bring awareness to all birth and reproductive options through innovative and curated design. She is the honored mother to two wild girls, married to her lifelong sweetheart and lives in Austin, TX. Connect with her on Instagram via @ginamgiordano or @DoulaTrainingsInt!
Born Into This Conference
The Birth Hour’s Know Your Options Childbirth Course
We just re-launched the course in honor of Mother’s Day! Go here to enroll, and hurry because the first 25 new students will be getting some amazing goodies from Earth Mama Organics ($40 value!).
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 here and they will know I sent you!
Peaceful Medical Intervention Birth and C-section after a Difficult Hyperemesis Pregnancy
Desiree Charles is a 32 year old wife, new mom, and young professional. She has been married to her husband for 3 years and enjoys her job, spending time with friends, and a nice glass of wine. She and her husband had not been trying very long when they got pregnant. Unfortunately the pregnancy was not what either of them expected and Desiree suffered from severe hyperemesis gravidarum. After several hospitalizations, Desiree gave birth to a healthy baby girl.
This episode is sponsored by CollegeBacker. CollegeBacker is the easiest way to save for college with help from family & friends. In just 5 minutes, you can open a tax-advantaged 529 Plan, and then invite family & friends to contribute – even before your child is born! Sign up at CollegeBacker.com/TheBirthHour and receive a $10 match when you start saving for your child, or when you send a gift to kickoff someone else’s college fund.
Emergency Cesarean followed by Three VBACs & an Adoption
Rachel’s first birth was an emergency c-section, due to baby’s dropping heart rate and failure to progress after many long hours of labor. He ended up being a large baby (9 lbs, 8 oz) with a huge head. Her 2nd birth was a successful VBAC 18 months later to a smaller, healthy boy (8 lbs even). It was another long labor, but it went smoothly. Her 3rd birth was a VBAC birth to a baby girl, a much quicker and easier labor lasting only 6 hours. Baby weighed 8 lbs, 1 oz. Her 4th and last birth was a VBAC birth to a baby girl. Labor was a bit longer than the previous birth (12 hours) due to her water breaking and labor taking a while to get started but it was a smooth and relatively easy delivery. Baby weighed 8 lbs, 8 oz. She and her husband fostered a little boy 2 separate times (once during her 4th pregnancy, and again when that baby was a few months old) and his adoption was finalized last summer.
Rachel Bausili Bio
Rachel is from Oklahoma, and is a mom of 5 children ages 2 through 9. Her first baby was a c-section, and she has had 3 VBAC births and has adopted a child through the foster care system. She teaches fitness classes part time at the local Y, and loves hiking and adventuring with her family, traveling, baking, running, following the Oklahoma Thunder basketball team, and coffee dates with her husband. Connect with her on Instagram @befitandeatchocolate or on Facebook at Rachel Green Bausili.
Earth Mama Organics
Today’s episode is sponsored 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.