Four Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) Pregnancies & COVID-19 NICU Experience

When Morgan was 17 she found out she was expecting her first baby. She chose to see a midwife and have a hospital birth. Early on in the pregnancy she was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG), which lasted the majority of her pregnancy. She was induced at 40 weeks, and ended up with an emergency cesarean birth.

During her second pregnancy she suffered from HG again, and describes having a wonderful scheduled cesarean birth. After her 2nd birth she used a copper IUD for birth control which resulted in a tubal pregnancy when she was 9 months postpartum.

Unfortunately, due to the tubal pregnancy, she lost one of her fallopian tubes. However, when she went in for her six week follow up, she found out they were expecting their 3rd baby. This pregnancy went quite smooth, but she went into labor between 34-35 weeks, and when her son was born he was rushed straight to the NICU where he was intubated.

covid19 nicu stay

She and her husband then tried off and on for years to add a 4th child to their family. They suffered many losses and were told they could possibly be facing secondary infertility. In August 2019, they found out they were expecting their rainbow baby, and it was a wild pregnancy. Morgan had the worst HG out of all of her pregnancies. She also suffered from mastitis and anemia which resulted in iron infusions.

The final twist was finding out they would be having their baby during a global pandemic. This baby was born with a true knot in his cord and rushed to the NICU before Morgan could even see him. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, her husband could not go with their son to the NICU and Morgan was not allowed to go visit the baby until the next morning either. Despite the NICU stay, they ended up being discharged from the hospital much sooner than their previous births and Morgan has found postpartum during a pandemic to be full of challenges.

Morgan Sanchez Bio

Morgan is a mama to 4 married to her husband of 10 years. 

Motif Medical

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

Unplanned Cesarean & Healing Scheduled Cesarean Birth Stories

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.

scheduled cesarean

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.

Resources

Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding was so helpful with my second daughterMindful Birthing I didn’t get to use much of this but I loved reading it in preparation for both births.

Babylist

The people at Babylist believe 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.

Unplanned Cesarean Birth After Induced Labor

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!?

dad in OR cesarean

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.

cesarean skin to skin

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.

Motif Medical

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

Twin Birth during Covid-19 in UK

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. 

cesarean birth covid 19

Melanie Hadida

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

weighing baby in food scale

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), the comfy Jane pajamas, and their high waisted underwear! Listen to this episode for a special coupon code!

Twins Born on Different Days Birth Story

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!! 

identical twin girls

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.

Type 1 Diabetes, Induction for Preeclampsia & Unplanned Cesarean

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. 

Lindsay Contact Info

Connect with Lindsey on Instagram: @lindsayvannieu or via Email: lindsayefillmore@gmail.com.

Resources

Facebook group I mentioned, “Type 1 Diabetes and Pregnancy

Ergobaby

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.