1st birth: Elise’s husband, Paul, was able to come home from his overseas deployment for ten days. At 41 weeks, Elise went in for a scheduled induction. After 27 hours (three of which included pushing), Ellerie was born via c-section. Recovery was difficult and made harder by the fact that Paul had to leave again when Ellerie was just four days old.
2nd birth: After originally hoping for a VBAC, Elise made the decision to have a scheduled c-section at 40w2d. It was the opposite experience and incredibly healing.
Elise Cripe Bio
Elise Blaha Cripe lives with her husband and two young daughters in San Diego, California. She has been sharing thoughts and DIY projects online since 2005 and is the founder of GET TO WORK BOOK, a day planner brand. In 2019, her book, Big Dreams, Daily Joys about goal-setting was published. Connect with her at elisejoy.com or on Instagram @elisejoy.
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Shannon went into the labor naturally, the day she was scheduled to be induced. It was snowy outside and her husband timed contractions starting at 3 minutes, two minutes, then 90 seconds apart as they enjoyed walks, brunch, lunch, and labored at their favorite restaurant over dinner.
They texted family and friends with updates and were giddy and nervous thinking thier baby boy may come within a few hours…they didn’t plan on a few days.
Shannon took a peaceful nap in her room and packed last minute items in her hospital bags. She still remembers laying in her quiet bedroom and feeling close and cozy. She went to the hospital and ended up having to stay the night because it had been several hours since her water broke.
Shannon labored through the night and as the sun rose the next morning. She and her husband walked around the hospital, outside, and even home because they lived ten minutes from the hospital. Shannon’s Sister, close friend Gina, and Mom came in the afternoon. They took turns rubbing her back, walking with her, using essential oils, and breathing along with her. They said she was doing an amazing job, they added more Beyonce to her playlists, laughed and cried with her. Shannon labored on.
Shannon used Nitros gas, the robozo, a birthing ball. She dialated, but not enough. She used Citotec to get contractions started, then pitosin, then the jacuzzi tub and finally, after 36 hours, an epidural.
Marcos, was as close to an extension of Shannon as a partner could be. He held her hand as she squeezed through painful contractions. He counted with her, he made her a hospital mix with “Cheery Music.” He got into the tub and held Shannon as she moaned in pain. He whispered over and over that he loved her and was so proud of her from the first hour and as they approached the end of the second day of labor. His words kept Shannon breathing and hopeful.
At hour 43, Shannon’s midwife held her hand, while Marcos held the other. She explained that while Shannon’s contractions were strong the baby was showing signs of distress in the birth canal. Shannon was not dilating and the risk of infection and further complications was increasing. The thing Shannon wanted to avoid was a c-section and the next step, for a safe delivery, was a c-section.
The surgeon sat by Shannon’s bed and with a bright and peppy voice listed off the risks that could occur during surgery, including the removal of my uterus or death and if yes, Shannon was giving permission to go ahead…umm…Sure!?
Shannon remembers having to take off her gold earrings and give them to her Sister and also that she was SO thirsty. As they wheeled Shannon into the operating room she was shaking from the medication and Marcos held her shoulders still. She kept licking her lips and just wanting for it to be over so I could drink a gatorade. They pinched Shannon and asked ” Do you feel this Shannon?” She did. They said “Really?” Then they pinched further down… “Does this feel the same as this?” The two pinches felt the same. She felt the blade of the knife and it hurt. Eventually it numbed but it was more than a little pressure. Shannon just kept staring up at Marcos. Then, quiet.
The baby was having trouble breathing. They were about to take him to the NICU and then… he took a big breath of air and was breathing on his own. No NICU. Shannon heard laughter and saw relief in Marcos’s eyes as he brought Shannon their baby.
Fitz had so much hair and they laid his body haphazardly on my chest while they finished stitching Shannon up. Shannon was shaking and when they laid him on her chest he calmed. His feet and lips looked exactly like Marcos. Shannon remembers the Dr. saying “Shannon, we are just putting your uterus back.” She didn’t love this real time update but was relieved it was over and the baby was actually here. Shannon had started to doubt he would ever come out.
The sweetest moment was when they were wheeling Shannon and the baby into recovery. Shannon explains that her baby was nestled beside her and he confidently grabbed her fingers, like “we got this.”In that moment Shannon felt like they did it together, and they were fine. Shannon felt proud for bringing him here, and strong, and a huge cloud of relief surrounded her new little family.
In the recovery room Marcos held the baby while Shannon rested. They had both been up over 46 hours at that point. Shannon heard grunting and movement like Marcos was trying to wrestle a bull or something. The baby wanted to nurse and was trying to latch onto Marcos. Marcos brought the baby over and his little body melted onto Shannon. He was instantly quiet. Marcos kept saying “Wow, that is what you were looking for. ” He was looking for his Mama… and he found her.
Shannon McQueen Bio
Shannon works at a Startup in San Francisco and lives in Berkeley California with her husband Marcos and three year old son. Connect with her on Instagram @babywokemama and www.babywokemama.com.
Part II of 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.
After a very early miscarriage, Melanie was surprised to find out she was expecting twins shortly after. She spent her pregnancy focusing on preparing for postpartum, both nutritionally and emotionally, and she struggled with SPD pain (Pelvic pain) and trying to decide on the best way to birth her girls. Towards the very end of her pregnancy, COVID-19 began to spread, adding a new layer of anxiety and uncertainty to Melanie’s birth and postpartum experience. She elected for a C section, which went incredibly well, and is now one-week postpartum.
Melanie is a Canadian who’s been living in the North of the UK for 8 years. She’s a nutritional consultant and focuses primarily on Ayurvedic cooking, women’s hormonal health, and more recently, pre and postpartum nutrition. She also owns her own small, specialty food business. Connect with her on her Website: www.melaniehadidanutrition.com or on Instagram: @melaniehadida and @spiecandgreen
Jackie and Albert tried for a year to get pregnant before they had a successful IVF transfer. Jackie had a pretty good pregnancy until the end when she had kidney stones and then the wild ride of the twins’ birth! 48 hours from beginning to end, baby A came vaginally on September 10th, and 15 hours later, baby B was born on September 11th from an emergency C section. The babies were in the NICU for about a week before they got to take them home and they are now happy and healthy!!
Jackie Laino Bio
Jackie lives in New Jersey and works at a medical device company as a Marketing Manager for the US Region. She is happily married to her husband, Albert, who is a solutions consultant and they’ve been married for three years. They have identical twin girls named Amelia and Shea, and a 90lb fur baby named Gus. You can follow their life with twins on Instagram @jakk__ & her husband @all_day_alay, or you can join her twins community @tipsfortwinning.
March of Dimes
Today’s episode was sponsored by March of Dimes. March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. They support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. March of Dimes is partnering with the CDC to generate awareness among women of childbearing age, families, and health care providers about things they can do to help prevent birth defects. At the end of this episode we’ll be discussing 5 main tips from March of Dimes and the CDC to help your baby have a strong start. You can also find out more at marchofdimes.org/TheBirthHour.
Lindsay and her husband, Jeff, live in Detroit, Michigan, with their son, Rivers. Lindsay has had type one diabetes since she was a child, and with it came some obstacles to navigate in order to start her journey to become pregnant.
Lindsay became pregnant shortly after her team of doctors gave her a green light; and, her pregnancy went well until she was unexpectedly hospitalized at 27 weeks due to pre-eclampsia. By 34 weeks she was induced because of elevated blood pressures at an NST. After a 40-hour induction/labor hooked to a magnesium drip, a failed Foley bulb, and hours of pushing Lindsay’s labor ended in a c-section that felt more mentally traumatic than she anticipated.
Her son had to stay in the NICU for 12 days but was not in a serious condition despite his gestational age. They were able to exclusively breastfeed a few weeks after he was home and they’re both happy and healthy now.
Today’s episode is 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 Kelly all about the new Embrace carrier from Ergobaby.
Jennifer’s husband was diagnosed with cancer two months after they were married. They were able to bank his sperm before he started chemotherapy and knew that IVF would be the only way to have children in the future. After years of battling cancer they decided they didn’t want to let cancer hold them back from living life. They implanted one embryo through IVF and were shocked when they found out their one embryo had split into two. They were expecting twins!
When Jennifer was seven months pregnant, her husband got very sick and was admitted into the hospital. They weren’t sure he would make it to the twins birth. Miraculously he made it home and was able to be at the birth with is wheelchair and oxygen. Jennifer’s birth was not easy and she decided she wanted to try and have her babies vaginally. The first baby came vaginally, but the second baby’s heart rate started to drop. They had to do an emergency c-section. Baby B came out blue and they rushed him to the NICU. Thankfully he was only in for the evening and Jennifer was reunited with both babies in the morning. They were able to spend a couple months together as a family of four before her husband passed away in July 2018.
Jennifer Hanks Bio
Jennifer recently lost the love of her life to cancer. She is now a single mom of IVF miracle twin boys. She hopes to help others as she shares her journey as a new widow and mother of twins. Connect with her on Instagram @cocoscaravan or on her website cocoscaravan.com.
FamilyAlbum Photo Sharing App
Today’s episode is sponsored by FamilyAlbum. FamilyAlbum is a family-focused photo sharing app with over 5 million users worldwide. FamilyAlbum helps you save, share, and remember the special moments in your baby’s life. You can even get started before baby is born and document your pregnancy.
FamilyAlbum app offers unlimited free storage, is completely ad-free, and provides smart, automatic organization. But my absolute favorite thing is that you can invite friends and family to view your photos privately and securely. You can even specify which family members see which photos. Your family will be notified when new photos are added and they can leave comments creating a fun conversation! You can also use suggested ideas for monthly photobooks, or create your own and then have them shipped straight to your door. The app keeps your memories safe, allowing you to recover them even if your phone is lost or damaged. To download this fun app head to the apple or google play app store and search for FamilyAlbum, or go to family-album.com!