Traumatic Hospital Birth, Well Supported Home Birth Transfer and Breastfeeding Challenges to Triumph

Kelsey’s first pregnancy, although physically uneventful, was riddled with severe anxiety and worry she would not bond with her baby. Kelsey planned for an unmedicated hospital birth but at 41 weeks was induced due to climbing blood pressure. Although proud of herself for avoiding an epidural, Kelsey left the hospital feeling completely traumatized and ill prepared to feed her baby. Breastfeeding challenges were numerous and became the sole focus of that first year of postpartum. Like so many women, this sparked a fire in Kelsey to learn as much as she could about birth and breastfeeding, in part to process her own trauma but also in the hopes she may support other women in their experience from maiden to mother. Kelsey, courageously, left her abusive marriage when her first born was around 2 years old. And while still in the process of a very tumultuous divorce, Kelsey became unexpectedly pregnant in October of 2020. After wading through many different emotions and logistics, Kelsey and her new partner started the process of blending their families and planning for a homebirth. Kelsey had a blissful pregnancy, full of love and support. Followed by a well-supported hospital transfer and redemptive breastfeeding experience.  

hospital-induction 41 weeks birth story

Kelsey Contreras Bio

is a mother of two sweet boys and one awesome bonus boy. Kelsey is married to her best friend, Luccas, and together with their blended family, live in a little town about thirty minutes south of Madison, Wisconsin. Kelsey is a psychotherapist with a specialty in Perinatal Mental Health and is also active in her local birth community. Kelsey enjoys spending time outdoors with her brood of boys, doing yoga, and cooking for her family and friends. Connect with her on Instagram @kelsanns87

Resources

Aeroflow Breastpumps

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.

They take care of everything – including all paperwork, working with your insurance company, and explaining your options to get these free essentials shipped straight to your door. Aeroflow offers all major breast pump brands including Medela, Spectra, Motif, Lansinoh, Ameda, Elvie, Willow and more.

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.

Hospital Induction for Hypertension & Empowering Homebirth followed by NICU Stay

Jess shares the stories of her two births, a hospital induction and an empowering homebirth. Jess was induced for her daughter’s birth for gestational hypertension after dealing with unmanaged anxiety throughout her pregnancy. She enjoyed the hospital’s volunteer doula support but eventually decided to get an epidural after hours of back labor and minimal progress. She pushed for over 3 hours and delivered her daughter vaginally, which was followed by a postpartum hemorrhage, manual placenta removal, and second degree tear and repair. 

hospital induction with epidural

After struggling to process her first birth, she decided to have a homebirth for her second baby. During pregnancy, she dealt with a few issues that could potentially change her birth plans, including a low-lying placenta, gestational diabetes, and a breech presentation. She focused on preparing for a peaceful and healing postpartum experience regardless of the labor and birth experience, and was eventually given the news that she could continue with her plans for a homebirth. 

She birthed her son at home surrounded by family and a supportive birth team, and had the joyful and empowering birth experience she had dreamed of. Twelve hours after her son was born, he was transferred to the hospital for respiratory distress and spent about two weeks total in the NICU. Jess shares how she navigated that experience with the support of her family and birth team.   

homebirth

Jess Nadeau Bio

Jess is a wife, mother, and school librarian. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband, their two children, Nora (age 3) and Calvin (age 7 months), and dog Juniper. She enjoys reading, writing, and spending time outside with her family. She can be found on Instagram @jess.nadeau.

Resources

Kindred Bravely

This 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 summer line of clothing and loungewear!

Two Fast Labors – Hospital and Homebirth Birth Stories

Jill felt prepared and ready as she entered her final days of pregnancy in 2018. Hospital bag packed, labor plan ready, she had an unexpected 3 hour labor that brought her daughter into the world. 

fast labor hospital birth

After a rough postpartum, difficulty conceiving and one missed miscarriage during the pandemic, baby number two was on the way in 2021. Her plans were different this time around which led her to another fast labor and home birth. 

Jill Clapper Bio

Jill lives in Minnesota with her husband Michael and two kids- Adeline who is 4.5 and Forrest who is 9 months! Connect with her via IG @_jillclapper_

Resources

Grove Collaborative

Head to Grove.com/BIRTHHOUR to get a free starter set worth up to $50 with your first order.


Unmedicated Hospital Birth, Peaceful & Healing Homebirth, and Loss Following a Pallister-Killian Syndrome Diagnoses


For Katie’s first birth, she had an uncomplicated pregnancy and went into labor spontaneously at 38 weeks, 3 days. She labored at home for as long as possible before delivering her baby in a hospital following a non-consensual episiotomy by an OBGYN. Although she had the unmedicated birth she had hoped for, she had a difficult time recovering both physically and emotionally from the experience.

unmedicated hospital birth story

After receiving sage advice from her doula team, Katie opted for a home birth with a midwife for her second baby. She was amazed by the difference in prenatal and postpartum care and was fortunate to have another uncomplicated pregnancy. At 41 +1, Katie had a peaceful and healing birth at home after laboring for 11 hours.

Katie’s most recent pregnancy ended in loss, after she and her husband made the devastating decision to terminate at 16 weeks following two related diagnoses: a congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) and Pallister-Killian mosaic syndrome. While her experience was traumatic, it only further deepened her passion for protecting reproductive rights for birthing people, for any and all reasons or circumstances.

Katie Kirk Bio

Katie lives in the New York City Metro Area with her husband and two children. Along with her career in transportation planning, she is incredibly passionate about birth and supporting new moms and birthing people as result of her experiences with birth and pregnancy loss. Feel free to connect with Katie via Instagram 

Resources

Ergobaby

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!

Challenging Postpartum and Breastfeeding after Long but Supportive Homebirth

Krista had always wanted to be a mother but had an unexpected pregnancy at a time in her life when she was still recovering from grad school burnout. Krista experienced intense nausea for the first 17 weeks of her pregnancy as well as anxiety and depression as a result of feeling isolated in the height of COVID lockdowns of 2020. After a move to a new city at 6 months pregnant to be closer to friends and family, she established care with a team of home birth midwives and was able to enjoy the remainder of her pregnancy. She had a successful but very long 40 hour home birth, and looks back on the experience as feeling very safe and supported by her team despite it being a very hard lesson in surrender.

Although she thought she was very prepared for postpartum, Krista’s experience was very difficult and she struggled with postpartum depression and anxiety. She didn’t immediately bond with her daughter, and struggled with the sleep deprivation and the high demands and changes of new motherhood. Breastfeeding was incredibly painful at first and though she saw many lactation consultants she didn’t receive the support she needed to make feeding her daughter more comfortable. Being the first of her close friends to have children she felt alone in motherhood, and experienced a lot of grief in processing her the loss of old identity and the feeling of obligation that comes with having a nursing baby. As she began sleeping better her mood stabilized again and she now loves motherhood and enjoys working with women and mothers to support them through the challenges that come along with the transition from maiden to mother.

Krista Ehrenfried

Krista Ehrenfried Bio 

Krista Ehrenfried is married to her grad-school sweetheart, Frank, and they live with their daughter, Willow, and Golden-doodle, in Santa Cruz, CA. She is a licensed MFT and Holistic Psychotherapist working with women and mothers experiencing anxiety, depression, stress/burnout and attachment issues with a special focus and passion in supporting women and couples during the perinatal and postpartum phase. She has a virtual and in person private practice and recently launched a podcast called Conversations on Well-being about all things holistic health. 
Connect with her on Instagram @therapywithkrista or via her Website www.therapywithkrista.com.

Resources

Ergobaby

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!

Two Hospital Births and a Homebirth: all Beautiful and Healing

Mary tried to conceive for almost 2 years, then became pregnant within two months of changing her diet. She wanted an unmedicated birth but went into the process uneducated and thought she could just do it. At 38 and 1 weeks, her waters broke around 10:30am. She went to the hospital where mild contractions started around 12pm. She was checked in triage and was 2cm and waters were confirmed to have broken. She was put in a room and by 2pm contractions had progressed, were one on top of another, and were very painful. Around 5:30pm she was checked and was told she was 6cm, to which she promptly asked for an epidural. They placed it quickly but before the bed was all the way lowered, she started feeling her legs convulsing and told the nurse. The nurse said she was 10cm and was ready to push. Mary pushed for about 40 minutes and Eloise was born at 6:31pm. Post-partum was hard, with a combo of postpartum depression, feeling like she failed because she got an epidural, learning how to be a mom, and her husband returning to work. But she muscled through it.

A month after Eloise’s 1st birthday, Mary knew she and her husband had slipped up and she might be pregnant but she thought it not likely because it took 2 years to conceive the first time. Sure enough, she was pregnant and this time, she was bound and determined to be educated and have an unmedicated birth, possibly her dream homebirth. Unfortunately, a homebirth was out of her budget so she was determined to have an unmedicated hospital birth and was focused on health and diet and had become totally enthralled with all things pregnancy and labor related.

About halfway through this pregnancy is when she found The Birth Hour and couldn’t get enough of it. At 39 and 5 weeks, she had her bloody show at her husband’s Christmas, work dinner. They went home to get their stuff, headed to the hospital, and she was admitted at midnight and contractions were coming steadily. At around 3:20am she asked the nurse to check her and Mary was complete. The fetal ejection reflex took over and Oliver was born at 3:30am. postpartum was hard again but this time was filled with more postpartum rage and trying to figure out how to be a mom to two, under two.

In May of 2020, Mary found out she was pregnant, with another surprise pregnancy. This time, she got to have a midwife and was planning for a homebirth, her dream. Covid was still very new so she was nervous about how it could affect her or the baby, but she managed to dodge the virus and had no close calls, up until she was 38 weeks. The friend who lived with Mary, said she had tested positive for covid. It was the scariest and most stressful part of the whole pregnancy, wondering if the home birth would happen, if her husband would get covid and not be able to attend the birth. Planning for every possible route this could go, all while trying to hold the baby in.

Quarantine ended on Mary’s guess date (Due Date) and then it was on to get the baby out. She tried everything to get the baby out and nothing worked. At 41 and 5 (42 and 1 based on her original guess date) Mary felt contractions start as she was putting her babes to bed around 7:30pm. They quickly intensified and the birth team was called. By 11:30pm, all but the second midwife were there. Mary felt pushy for about an hour and did what her body told her to do. And Primrose was born into her mama’s arms at 12:51am. It was the labor and birth experience she had dreamed of for many years, and it all worked out perfectly. Postpartum was again difficult and had more depression with a little bit of rage sprinkled in, but overall better than the two previous postpartum’s because Mary was honest about her struggles.

Mary Johnson Bio

Mary Johnson is 32 years old, married to her husband David, who is 33 years old. They have been married for 9 years (known each other for 26 years) and have three children, Eloise who is 5, Oliver (Bear) who is 3, and Primrose (Jones) who is 1 year old. She lives in Bakersfield California and is a stay-at-home mom with a side hustle of making custom cakes from her home. She homeschools Eloise and is busy chasing the other two around and trying to stay connected with her friends who help her along this mom journey. She is also currently waiting to be matched with intended parent/s to be a gestational carrier.

Mary can be found mostly on Instagram. She is only on Facebook for the birth hour patron group. Instagram handles are: private account @call_me_murry or her public cake account @cakes_by_maryelizabeth

Resources

  • Birth hour podcast
  • @birthbecomesyou
  • @badassmotherbirther
  • @biglittlefeelings
  • @feedinglittles
  • @safeintheseat
  • @dr.siggie
  • @mrchazz
  • @joyful.parents
  • @drbeckyatgoodinside
  • @lamonica_the_midwife
  • @simplemidwifery
  • @thebirdspapaya
  • @mypelvicfloormuscles
  • @the.vagina.whisperer

Caraway

This episode is sponsored by Caraway Home. Caraway Home has a Cookware and bakeware set that all come in the most beautiful colors and all Caraway Home sets come equipped with easy-access storage solutions so that no stacking is required. It’s a modern & chemical-free version of the traditional 16-piece set, pared down to just four essentials: A Fry Pan, Sauté Pan, SaucePan, and a Dutch Oven with lids for everything plus a pretty and functional storage setup comes included with the set! Visit Carawayhome.com/BIRTHHOUR to take advantage of a limited-time offer for 10% off your next purchase.

Betterhelp

Today’s episode is also sponsored by Betterhelp. BetterHelp is online therapy that offers video, phone, and even live chat-only therapy sessions. I love that Betterhelp is so much more affordable AND convenient than in-person therapy. For many people the barrier to getting therapy is finding a therapist but with Betterhelp, you can be matched with a therapist in under 48 hour! Our listeners get 10% off their first month at BetterHelp.com/birthhour.