Unexpected Birth Outcomes and Why Choice is so Important

Homebirth Transfer With Supportive Birth Team

Natasha’s first birth was much anticipated. She had been working as a birth doula while also struggling to conceive her own baby. The birth did not go as planned. She wanted her daughter to be born at home, but instead, she was born in the hospital with the use of an epidural. Does this change how she feels about her birth? Not really. She had the support of her partner, her doulas, her midwives, and felt like her choices led the way. When she looks back on this birth, she feels overwhelmed with joy and pride.

Cesarean Birth Where Choice was Removed

Most recently, Natasha gave birth via cesarean section. She found this experience particularly challenging because she felt like her choices were completely taken away from her. After these two very different birth experiences, Natasha feels like the removal of choice from birthing people has a profound impact on the postpartum experience. No one fully explains the complications of healing from a cesarean birth while trying to connect with your newborn. As a birth professional she thought she understood, but nothing prepared her for the reality.

emergency cesarean

Natasha Marchand Bio

Natasha (COO of bebo mia inc and Baby & Me Fitness) is a super talented creative genius that turned her passion for babies and fitness into a lifelong career. She lives in Toronto with her husband, Chris, and two daughters Sadie & Margo. Natasha is a pre & postnatal fitness/yoga professional, birth-doula trainer, and hypnotherapist. After a long fertility journey with her first daughter, Natasha has positioned herself as a fertility expert. She specializes in working with families with a history of try to conceive through their pregnancy and postpartum period. Connect with her in these ways: Bebo Mia Website
Instagram: @bebomiainc @babyandmefitness
Facebook: @bebomiainc @babyandmefitnessinc
Twitter: @bebomia @babyandmefit

Resources

Birth After Infertility
Resolve
Fertility Matters
Baby positions during pregnancy and birth
Plus Size Birth High Risk
Plus Size Birth Website
A video for massaging cesarean scar 

Saranoni Blankets

Today’s episode was brought to you by Saranoni. They create the absolute softest luxury blankets, quilts, and swaddles. The warmth and softness of their products is unmatched; but, they know feeling is believing, so they want to send you a free blanket to experience for yourself. Go to www.saranoni.com/thebirthhour to receive your free mini blanket!

saranoni blankets

Saranoni Luxury Blankets Giveaway!

Bringing home a new little one is such a wonderful time. Saranoni wants to help you get set up with the SOFTEST baby blankets in the world. TWO winners will take home over a $100 gift card! Go here to enter!

Miscarriage, Placenta Previa and Premature Cesarean Birth

Pregnancy Loss and Working with High Risk OBGYN

Erika began her pregnancy journey fairly easily, and discovered she was pregnant the very first month she and her husband, Dan, decided to start trying. After some bleeding and cramping at 6 weeks, this pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, followed by a D&C at 9 weeks. Due to some abnormal blood-work, Erika’s OB suggested she see a rheumatologist before trying to conceive again, which kicked off a year of doctor visits and trying to find answers in order to prevent another loss. After being medicated for mild Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s, suspected Lupus, and Antiphospholipid Syndrome, she felt confident in beginning to try for another pregnancy.

The second pregnancy came at the exact same time of year as the last one and ended at the same time of year as well. At the 7 week ultrasound, there was no heartbeat found, and the pregnancy was terminated by using misoprostol. Erika decided to meet with a High Risk OBGYN to discuss loss prevention and a quick two months later, she was pregnant again, with her now first child Tyber Bruno.

Placenta Previa and bleeding episodes at 33 weeks

Erika’s third pregnancy started off perfectly normal until the 20 weeks ultrasound when she first heard mention of her placenta covering the opening of the cervix. After being told repeatedly not to worry because 99.5% of low-lying placentas move by the third trimester, it was confirmed at 28 weeks that her placenta previa was central and would likely not be going anywhere. A scheduled cesarean was a must.

After two episodes of severe bleeding at 33 weeks, Erika was hospitalized and taken to have an emergency cesarean. The cesarean went smoothly, but baby had to be taken to the NICU and the next day, Erika needed a blood transfusion. Her journey to parenthood started with 2 weeks in the NICU and lots of pumping; but, once baby came home they both recovered very quickly. After some trial and error, Erika and her baby boy happily transitioned to exclusive breastfeeding and lots of snuggling at home.

preemie 33 weeks

Erika Cazeneuve Bio

Erika lives in Long Island, New York with her super supportive husband, Dan, their sweet baby boy, Tyber, and their two lovable cats Frankie and Moo. Erika and Dan both own their own business as Live Event Artists, Erika Event Painting, and Captured on Canvas. They each paint weddings (and other special events) live on canvas, creating a work of art for the bride and groom to take home with them. Erika has a great passion for travel and is so excited to discover the world together with her husband and their little one. You can connect with Erika on Instagram @erikaeventpainting and Facebook.

Resources

Know Your Options Childbirth Course
Back-2-Work Breastfeeding Course
Babylist
The Mental Illness Happy Hour
Happiest Baby on the Block
MamaNatural Week by Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth

Crane

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.

Spina Bifada and Successful Fetal Surgery

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.

fetal surgery birth story

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!”

Aeroflow Breastpumps

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 & VBAC Induction

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.

Resources

The Birth Hour podcast
Birth Without Fear Facebook group/instagram

Ergobaby

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.

Postdates Birth Center Birth, Cesarean Birth & Homebirth VBAC

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.

Ava Women

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 Cesarean + Homebirth VBAC

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!

doula trainings international

Resources

DTI Doulas
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

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!