Bri loves teaching and empowering families about all things boobs, babies and breastfeeding. She’s a Registered Nurse, IBCLC Lactation Consultant, childbirth educator, and Certified Instructor of Infant Massage. She has 4 kiddos of her own so she knows firsthand how rocky the road into parenthood can be. She likes to help make that transition as smooth as possible for families like you. You can find her on Insta for quick tips and tricks @breezy__babies, at www.breezybabies.com, or on her Breezy Babies Podcast.
This episode is sponsored by Ergobaby. Founded in 2003, Ergobaby has pioneered the gold standard for comfortable, ergonomic soft structured carriers. Their commitment to providing parents with the foundation to thrive has launched the company into creating a broad range of award-winning products that fit into families’ daily lives seamlessly, comfortably, and safely – where function and quality are not compromised. In 2020, they launched Everlove by Ergobaby, a first of its kind baby carrier buy back and resale program, a sustainability effort to support families and the planet. Check out Ergobaby’s Embrace in Soft Air Mesh that we discussed on the podcast!
After just one short year of moving from Toledo, Ohio her hometown to Houston, Texas Von Lane and her husband decided to try for a family right before the pandemic hit in Jan 2020. Prior to getting pregnant Von started to do a ton of research: reading books, trying to gain knowledge from YouTube, following whoever she could related to pregnancy on Instagram and also listening to her favorite podcast, The Birth Hour.
After a month of trying to conceive she decided to try everything possible from tracking her BBT, cervical mucus, and using ovulation test strips and they conceived in April of 2020. Two days late for her period, she decided to take a pregnancy test and it was positive! She was beyond excited although concerned because it was the middle of the pandemic and no one knew how long quarantine would last.
Being pregnant in the middle of a pandemic left Von feeling that her options were very limited, but all of that research paid off when she knew 100% that she wanted a homebirth. She did a quick Google search for midwives in Houston and there were plenty of midwives but not as many black midwives she wanted. She knew that she wanted to hire an all black birthing team.
After just four interviews she found the perfect midwife for her—Frances Coleman. They did a phone interview after just about 60 minutes of chit chatting and getting to know one another, she decided that Frances was the best fit for her and her family. Now all she had to do was find the perfect Doula. Again after a quick Google search she finally found someone by the name of Anya and she was absolutely amazing. Little did she know, Anya and Frances were friends and had worked together on quite a few occasions which made the decision even easier for her.
Pregnancy was fairly easy for Von and her first trimester flew by with no nausea, just mild food aversions and headaches. During her second trimester she decided to get out in the world to work as a nail technician. Getting out in the world means exposing yourself to COVID-19 so of course she was scared but she knew that after being quarantined for 90 days she needed a little bit of socialization. Her second trimester flew by with no complications. Third trimester for her went along the same way and at 38 weeks Von decided to stop working to rest before Baby came. At her 38 week check up she was two centimeters dilated and 80% effaced. She started eating dates and drinking her red raspberry leaf tea and also started curb walking.
At her 39 week check up, her blood pressure was high and her midwife was worried about preeclampsia but there was no protein in her urine so she was advised to start taking magnesium and go home and rest. Von was told to take her blood pressure every few hours and record it. If nothing changed in 24 hours her midwife would come and they would try to do everything natural possible to have a baby. They did nipple stimulation, curb walking, eating dates, midwives brew, castor oil, sex and at 40 weeks they did her first membrane sweep.
During the membrane sweep Von was dilated to 3 to 4cm and she had contractions for a few hours so she decided to get in the tub but the contractions stopped. She was devastated. Her Midwife told her to relax, take her time, and allow for baby to come when baby is ready. Luckily, her blood pressure was regulated and under control so they were back in the safe zone and had time.
At her 41 week check up, Von decided not to do another membrane sweep and to try to get baby to come on its own. That didn’t work and she was back in at 41w+4d and she told her midwife to do all the things. They tried clary sage essential oil and another membrane sweep and before she could walk out of the building she had three contractions.
That night January 12 at 2am she realized she was in full fledged labor and reached out to her doula, Anya, letting her know that she was having contractions that were lasting one minute long for one hour and were five minutes apart. Anya told her she was going to get ready. Von decided to wake her husband and went into the next room to let her best friend and her father know that she was in labor.
Anya arrived at the house at about 5am. By that time Von was nearing the transition stage. She started throwing up at about 4am and from then it never stopped! By the time her midwife arrived at 10am Von was 9 1/2 cm dilated. Baby was not in the best position so they had her doing some mile circuits to help baby move down into the pelvis a little better. At 11am, her midwife broke her water. She was GBS positive so this was the best scenario for starting antibiotics. At 12:30pm it was time to push and Ramsei Quinn Lane arrived at 12:54pm. She came out with her hands by her face, causing two tears in the clitoral hood and labia. They shared the golden hour together and they waited one hour before cutting the umbilical cord.
Postpartum for Von was long and she struggled with breastfeeding and vaginal healing. At two days her milk came in and that’s when she realized her baby was lip tied and tongue tied. By day five she reached out to a lactation consultant, Leah Whitley, who saved her life. She confirmed that baby girl Ramsei was tongue tied and lip tied. She gave her some recommendations and by four months old she got the procedure done to release the ties.
In the meantime, she was able to successfully breastfeed with Leah‘s help with and without a nipple shield. She never had any issues with her milk supply; a few clog ducks here and there things started to look up for her. Her vaginal healing finally healed completely at around six weeks postpartum.
Around six weeks postpartum she also started to experience anxiety and she went back to work at 12 weeks. Von recognizes that for some people, going back to work causes more anxiety but she needed to be out in the world and socializing again and work is her happy place just as much as home. Finally, when baby was seven months old, she felt like herself again.
By 10 months she was pregnant with her second baby due July 2022. She is planning another homebirth and using the same team. She hopes to be able to share that story some day as well!
Von Lane Bio
Von is from Toledo Ohio and moved to Houston in 2018 just one year after after being married to her husband, Charles. Charles is from Seattle and a navy veteran. They have a daughter, two dogs Astro the pit bull & Yogi the English bulldog, and are expecting their second baby. Connect with her on IG @Von__Lane, via TikTok: von__lane or listen to her podcast – Anchored Podcast.
Part I of this episode is sponsored by Panda Crate from KiwiCo. With Panda Crate, your baby receives a new crate filled with two-months’ worth of products and content every other month that help build a foundation for early learning! Get 50% off your first month on ANY crate line with code BIRTHHOUR at kiwico.com.
Part II of this episode is sponsored by Ergobaby. Founded in 2003, Ergobaby has pioneered the gold standard for comfortable, ergonomic soft structured carriers. Their commitment to providing parents with the foundation to thrive has launched the company into creating a broad range of award-winning products that fit into families’ daily lives seamlessly, comfortably, and safely – where function and quality are not compromised. In 2020, they launched Everlove by Ergobaby, a first of its kind baby carrier buy back and resale program, a sustainability effort to support families and the planet. Check out Ergobaby’s Embrace in Soft Air Mesh that we discussed on the podcast!
Clarké embarked on the journey of pregnancy and birth with a specific vision in mind – a peaceful, undisturbed home birth. She was interested in home birth since she was young, knowing internally that she could trust her body and wanting to bring a child into the world in a ceremonious environment.
After years of birth work, being the daughter of a midwife, and seeing first hand the health disparities and treatment of younger and women of color in the healthcare system, she had her visions for herself confirmed – home was the right place to be especially as a black mother.
Making the decision to add people into her birth space was taken with great care, tossing up between choosing an unassisted birth and a midwife-attended birth. After numerous interviews, she found a midwife that was the perfect fit for her family and had the joyful, peaceful, and undisturbed birth she dreamed up for herself all those years ago.
Clarké Lunara Bio
Clarké is a birth worker (or doula) & childbirth educator who focuses on the spectrum of health from conception to postpartum (or life forever after). She is a wife, mother, daughter, community herbalist, & teacher at a forest school as well. She lives in the Shenandoah Valley with her husband and son-shine and loves cooking new recipes, learning new crafts and skills, and gardening.
Today’s episode is sponsored by Aeroflow Breastpumps. Aeroflow has helped millions of new and expecting parents discover the breastfeeding and postpartum essentials covered by their insurance including breast pumps, maternity compression, and lactation education & support.
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All you have to do is go to the Aeroflow Breastpumps website and fill out their free and easy Qualify Through Insurance form. Be sure to go to aeroflowbreastpumps.com/birthhour so they will know we sent you! Bonus — use the promo code “TBH15” in their online shop for 15% off all supplies and accessories.
Amia went into labor around dinner time on March 2nd. Contractions were light, she was able to cook dinner and progress through the night. Her husband was working late that night but her mom lived with them so she was able to care for Amia’s son. There had been so many Braxton Hicks that she wasn’t sure this was really “it”. After a few hours of consistent contractions she called her midwife Nikki, doula Sarah, and her husband Ricardo.
Her Midwife told her to head to the birth center when her contractions were 5 minutes apart and lasting 90 seconds with increasing intensity. One of the biggest things she regrets is telling her husband not to rush home, saying “it’ll be fine.” She also regrets not telling her Doula to come to her house. As the night went on, the contractions got worse. Amia’s husband got home around 9pm or 10pm. He was really tired so he laid down to rest after Amia told him it was fine and they weren’t leaving soon.
With Amia’s first pregnancy she got a lot of relief sitting in a warm bath. So her mom helped her get her bathtub filled. However, her mom was worried since with Amia’s first pregnancy she had progressed really quickly after sitting in the tub. Amia insisted she needed to sit in warm water because at this point the contractions were getting more intense and unbearable. She was glad to get the relief she needed and after about an hour she felt like she was dilating more.
This is the point where things moved very quickly. Amia decided to get out of the tub as she knew it was time to head to the birth center. She told her mom to wake up her husband and went and laid down on the couch to wait for him to get up. By this time it was close to midnight and she waited what seemed like an hour for her husband to get up. She lost her temper and started yelling for him to hurry feeling it was really time for them to go! By the time they both got dressed Amia was probably 9 cm dilated. She was laying on the couch moaning and coaching herself through contractions. At this point she knew she wasn’t going anywhere and told her husband she couldn’t get up to go to the car.
Ricardo called the midwife, Nikki and told her what was going on. Nikki decided to come to them. They video called the entire 45 minute drive. Amia’s mom prepped for an impromptu home delivery. Ricardo was so nervous and unsure. He asked Amia if she was sure she couldn’t get in the car. It was a funny moment thinking back on it.
Nikki was so close to being at Amia’s house in time to catch the baby but she got pulled over right down the road from Amia’s house and pulled up 10 minutes after the baby was born. Aniya was caught by her grandmother on March 3rd in the early morning.
Amia is a wife and mom of 2 kids Jace (3 year old boy) and Anoya (1 year old girl). They live in the country outside of San Antonio. She and her husband got married in 2013. They waited several years before having kids and are glad they did! Currently Amia is at home with her kids full-time. Connect with Amia on Instagram @making.paulemons.out.of.lemons.
Panda Crate subscription from KiwiCo, your baby receives a new crate filled with two-months’ worth of products and content every other month. Build a foundation for early learning this new year with Panda Crate from KiwiCo! Get 30% off your first month on ANY crate line with code BIRTHHOUR at kiwico.com.
With her first pregnancy, Grace was lucky enough to get pregnant when ‘trying, but not trying’. She had a straightforward pregnancy and was planning to have a homebirth under the care of an excellent midwife with a lot of experience. At 38 weeks Grace’s water broke on a Monday afternoon, contractions started, they quickly became regular with 3-4 decent contractions every 10 minutes that she had to work through. Grace labored at home through the night with her husband, sister and midwife supporting her. By Tuesday morning labor was stalling and was stop and start all day. On Wednesday Grace spent the day doing the Miles circuit and having acupuncture to try and get things moving.
On Thursday, Grace opted to go into the hospital to get induced and was only 2cm. She was given Cervidil midday, progressed to 3cm and then was put on a Pitocin drip and given antibiotics since it had now been 3 days since her waters had broken. By 2am on Friday there was still no progress and it was decided that the best course of action was a C-section. At 4am on Friday (nearly 4 days after labor first began) Ezra was delivered and much to everyone’s surprise he was Breech.
As it turns out Grace has a partial bicornuate uterus which hadn’t been picked up in any scans – this results in your uterus being a heart shape with two pockets. Ezra’s head was lodged in one of the pockets so it didn’t present as a typical breech and in all vaginal examinations and palpations of baby nobody had realized.
Despite labor being the opposite to what Grace imagined, it was a very positive birth. Grace had an amazing team around her who made sure she got to make decisions and have a voice during her time at the hospital.
Grace went on to have a beautiful postpartum period. Ezra was an excellent feeder and she was cared for well by her midwife, friends, family and church.
Grace’s journey to her second pregnancy was longer than expected. After a year of trying Grace was diagnosed with secondary infertility with no obvious answers as to why. It was thought the uterus shape may have been contributing. 2.5 years in to trying Grace was booked in for an investigative surgery to see if they could snip the septum and the uterus could resume a more normal shape. A week before surgery Grace found out she was pregnant.
Grace felt anxious in the first 12 weeks as there is a high chance of miscarriage with partial bicornuate uterus as the embryo can implant into the septum and not get enough nutrients. Thankfully there were no issues and Grace had an uneventful pregnancy up until 31 weeks when she developed an “irritable uterus”. This meant hours of sore tightening’s every few days until she gave birth at 39 weeks.
This time it was obvious by 28 weeks this baby was also breech so the decision was made to have an elective C-section, however Grace was hoping to go into spontaneous labor and then have the C-section. When Grace was 38 weeks pregnant, New Zealand was put into a strict lockdown for 8 weeks. Everyone was to remain at home and not see anybody outside of their homes. It also meant Grace’s husband was not allowed to stay once she was in recovery and would not be able to see her again until she came home. At 39 weeks, Grace woke at 1am to her waters breaking, within 10 minutes she was having regular strong contractions. She went in to the hospital with her midwife and husband and by 4am Micah was delivered via C-section. Grace spent one night in the hospital and was able to go home to be with her family the next day. Grace had another great recovery and felt well supported even if it was more from afar this time around.
Grace Sheat Bio
Grace lives in Christchurch, New Zealand with her husband James and two energetic boys, Ezra and Micah. She is a Speech and Language Therapist who loves getting to work closely with families in the community. In her spare time she can be found exploring all the beautiful places NZ has to offer with her family. Connect with Grace via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Podcasts: The Birth Hour/ Kiwi Birth Tales/ Australian Birth stories
BabyIt from Fairhaven Health
This episode is sponsored by Fairhaven Health. Fairhaven Health offers a wide range of products for fertility, pregnancy, breastfeeding and women’s health. Today, we’re highlighting a product from their vaginal care line – BabyIt Perineal Massage and Postpartum Gel. BabyIt is a water-based, isotonic and paraben-free gel designed specifically for perineal massage during pregnancy, and to soothe sore tissues postpartum. Fairhaven Health is generously offering 15% off of all products with the code BirthHour15 at www.fairhavenhealth.com
Being a queer couple, Katherine & Silas always knew they would need to seek a reproductive endocrinologist to help with pregnancy. They were surprised to find out Katherine also had a diagnosis of PCOS, which was found at their initial appointment. They were very fortunate and got pregnant on their second IUI cycle. Being a medical professional, Katherine had planned for a traditional hospital birth. Her midwife’s office was right down the hall from hers, and she would give birth at the same hospital where she was employed. Around 20 weeks gestation, Katherine started listening to the Birth Hour and became enthralled with the idea of a birth center birth. After watching the Business of Being Born with Silas, they were sold. Unfortunately, the closest birth center was two hours away. They met with homebirth midwives and felt an instant connection and completely switched their birth plan at 24 weeks. The pregnancy was unremarkable, some chest pain in the second trimester and a lot of swelling.
Katherine started to panic at 41 weeks gestation with no sign of labor in sight. Her midwives quelled her anxiety and assured her she would be just fine but being the worse-case scenario overthinking Virgo she is, she worried. The midwives recommended acupuncture with a specialist, some herbs, and to chill out. After stopping work and 41 weeks and two acupuncture rounds Katherine woke up to her bloody show in the early hours of Halloween! She labored at home for 26 hours on a spooky, windy Halloween night, and with only 15 minutes of pushing Arlo Abraham was born on 11/1/2019.
Katherine Oberwager Bio
Katherine is a Pediatric Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner who lives in the Berkshires with her husband Silas, son Arlo, dog Chestnut and cat Clementine. She spends her free time hiking, baking, reading, watching trashy TV and chasing her little one. Katherine is passionate about perinatal & hormonal mental health, all things wellness, astrology and tarot. Connect with her on IG @keopeno.
Panda Crate subscription from KiwiCo, your baby receives a new crate filled with two-months’ worth of products and content every other month. Build a foundation for early learning this new year with Panda Crate from KiwiCo! Get 50% off your first month on ANY crate line with code BIRTHHOUR at kiwico.com.