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.

VBAC with Twins & Baby Born with Hearing Loss

Shortly after getting married Kalen and her husband were lucky to become pregnant quickly with their son and had a healthy, uneventful pregnancy. She was induced at 41 weeks and 1 day but after 24 hours of labor and a cascade of interventions, her son Maverick was born via emergency c section. Determined to try for a VBAC, Kalen found a supportive provider 50 miles away. During her first ultrasound, she and her husband were shocked to find out they were expecting identical twin girls. She was induced a day shy of 37 weeks and after 30 hours of labor she was able to push out Baby A and had a breech extraction of Baby B. She talks about being readmitted to the hospital a few days after birth for the girls’ low temps and birth weights and triple feeding for 6 weeks until being able to exclusively nurse for 17 months. Kalen also talks about the processing of the news that her son was born with hearing loss and how he’s doing now. 

hearing loss baby

Kalen Andelin Bio

Kalen, 33 and her husband Ian live in Kenosha, Wisconsin with their 3 children: Maverick, 3.5 and their identical twin daughters Indy and Bowie, almost 2. They enjoy spending time in their newly renovated home and taking advantage of the four seasons the midwest has to offer.  In what little free time three toddlers during COVID have to offer, she enjoys listening to audiobooks for her book club and podcasts about pregnancy and birth while doing some therapeutic cleaning and organizing. Scrolling social media while enjoying a glass or two of wine is her favorite way to unwind, as well as couch surfing or playing some board games with her husband. There’s always a DIY project going on in their house and cute kid videos that can be found on her instagram, @kalenamy. 

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.

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

Using Hypnobirthing for Pregnancy Challenges and Childbirth

At Nathalie’s twenty week ultrasound, she learned that she was at high risk for placental challenges and pre-term labor. In the eighteen weeks between her twenty week ultrasound and birth, she would make over 52 visits to various doctor’s offices, including twice-weekly non-stress tests and dopplers. The gravity of Nathalie’s health challenges and her desire to make it to term caused an overwhelming amount of stress. To cope with her anxiety, Nathalie turned to Expectful’s meditations and hypnobirthing. Within one week of using Expectful, Nathalie saw her condition stabilize, and she was able to make it to term.

At 38 weeks and one day, Nathalie went into precipitous labor. She was so entranced with her hypnobirthing exercises that she didn’t realize she was in labor. Nathalie arrived at the hospital eight centimeters dilated and continued to labor unmedicated until it was time to push. At this time it became evident that she was having a placental abruption. Nathalie was quickly whisked away to the operating room, where she received general anesthesia and had an emergency c-section. Her delivery doctor called her birth “an emergency of all emergencies.”

hypnobirthing expectful

Thankfully, Nathalie and her son, Everett, have recovered, and both are doing well today. Her experience with the failure of the US healthcare system as it pertains to nurturing the mental and emotional wellbeing of pregnant and new mothers prompted her to leave her career in tech to join Expectful as the CEO.  Her motivation for joining Expectful is to provide universal access to evidence-based wellness solutions, such as meditation, that help millions of women worldwide navigate the new state of parenthood.

Nathalie Walton Bio

Nathalie is the CEO of Expectful, the go-to wellness app for growing families. She has spent the last eight years in leadership roles at Airbnb, Google, and eBay. Nathalie lives in San Francisco with her husband, Max, and their one-year old son, Everett. You can find Nathalie on IG @expectful or @nathaliewalton

Resource

Expectful Meditation App

Expectful

This episode is sponsored by Expectful – the #1 guided meditation & sleep app for your fertility, pregnancy, and motherhood journey. Just like you probably take a prenatal vitamin for your body, Expectful’s meditations are like a prenatal vitamin for your mind and can help you have a happier, healthier journey to parenthood. Whether you are TTC, pregnant, or postpartum, everything in the Expectful app was made just for this special moment in your life and created based on interviews with hopeful, expecting, and new parents just like you. Ready to reduce stress, improve sleep, and connect with your little one? Go to expectful.com/birthhour or download Expectful in the App Store to get started with a free trial today. 

Gentle Cesarean for Breech Baby & Difficulty Nursing + Postpartum Gallstones

Hillary got pregnant quickly after waiting two years to conceive to get her autoimmune disorder under control and develop a plan for managing the disorder while pregnant. At her 20 week anatomy scan, she learned her baby had a single umbilical cord artery.

With the pandemic underway in her second trimester, she learned at her 34 week check up that her baby girl was breech. After attempting Spinning Babies and chiropractic care to help the baby flip, she did an ECV at 37 weeks that was unsuccessful. She began planning for a surgical birth to be scheduled at 39 weeks, but her water broke a few days after the EVC.

With her doula on the phone as she and her husband Mike drove to the hospital, Hillary looked forward to the most positive birth she could. She and her husband played music, a nurse took photos, and she had a clear drape to allow her to see the baby coming out, and be placed on her chest. The baby needed phototherapy for jaundice the next day, but other than that, was totally healthy.

The biggest challenge back at home (besides sleeping!) was nursing; after 2.5 weeks and a consult with an amazing IBCLC lactation consultant, she weaned. At about 8 weeks postpartum, Hillary got very sick and went to the ER; she was admitted for several days because of gallstones and pancreatitis, and had surgery to remove her gallbladder. Then, about 6 weeks later, she was back in the ER: she had retained stones following gallbladder removal, a rare complication. After another multi-day hospitalization, she made it back home and has been snuggling her baby and her husband ever since.

gentle cesarean

Hillary Dixler Canavan Bio

Hillary Dixler Canavan lives in Los Angeles with her husband Mike and baby Claire. She works in food media, and you can find her on Instagram, @hillarydixlercanavan — she shares photos of food and her baby, and her DM’s are open.

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.


Fallopian Tube Cyst & Breech Baby Cesarean Birth

In March 2018, Hannah found out she had a large cyst on one of her fallopian tubes that required surgical removal of both. This began a conversation between Hannah and her husband about when they should begin their conception journey. They were very lucky and ended up conceiving on their first try. In January 2019, Hannah took a pregnancy test and was ecstatic as she watched the two blue lines form into a plus sign. Hannah enjoyed being pregnant and spent much of her time researching and planning to have an unmedicated birth. But Hannah also spent much of her time a little stressed and uncertain as she worked as a nurse in the Emergency Department of a major hospital during the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

At her 37 week appointment, Hannah’s OBGYN discovered that her baby was in the breech position and had also developed a heart arrhythmia. She was sent to Labor and Delivery for further follow up and an ultrasound. Her baby was measuring in the 96th percentile for weight and her amniotic fluid levels were low. The doctors recommended an urgent Cesarean section that evening. Of course, Hannah’s Husband was on the ocean fishing during this time. Luckily, he was able to make it back with an hour and twenty-six minutes before baby was born. Hannah loves her birth story, but it is vastly different from what she had ever imagined and she is still trying to process through what happened and why. She and her husband feel blessed and are happy to have their healthy daughter here!

er-nurse-giving-birth-in-pandemic

Hannah Wildhaber Bio

Hannah Wildhaber lives in Dayton, Oregon, and is married to her high-school sweetheart, Luke. They share their home with a dog named Harold, a cat named Howard, and their new baby girl, Rosemary Jude, welcomed on August 24, 2020. Hannah is an Emergency Department nurse while her husband, Luke, is an agricultural financial loan analyst. In their free time, they are avid outdoors people, spending most of their off days on the water fishing. Connect with her on Instagram: @hannah_wildhaber or on Facebook: Hannah Wildhaber. You can also email her via harder.hannah@gmail.com.

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