Neram’s Birth Story
After two completely different birth experiences in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) – the first, a birth center to hospital transfer; and, the second a home water birth – Neram planned as well to birth her third child in the comfort of her home accompanied by a traditional midwife in Bogotá (Colombia), where she had just moved with her family. According to the ultrasounds she had done during her pregnancy, her baby seemed to be measuring a bit behind, which had resulted in a recalculation of her due date for exactly two weeks later than originally indicated. So, when Neram started to feel contractions three weeks before her new due date (they didn’t feel like Braxton Hicks nor like real labour surges) , she just went ahead with arranging her home which still needed a lot of nesting after the recent move.
When contractions persisted but didn’t gain much more intensity, Neram called her midwife but didn’t feel the need yet for true assistance. Little did she know that her baby was just about to be born. After ending that phone call, Neram lived what can happen when birth is undisturbed and the body takes over with all its power and rawness, focusing on one single thing only: birthing the baby! Her waters broke, and followed by the Fetal Ejection Reflex, her body birthed her baby in such a short time that she, her husband, and their 4 year old son experienced their first unassisted birth.
When her midwife finally arrived, Neram was still where she had just birthed her baby, on the floor in the shower, on a complete birth high, holding her newborn son in her arms! When measuring her child, Neram kind of expected to hear a rather light weight – something which had been predicted by the last ultrasound just four days ago. However, when Neram learned that her baby had the weight and size of a full term baby (and same like his siblings when they were born), she understood once and for all that technology is not everything, that she could indeed trust her instincts and her body, and that her baby had been perfectly ready to be born into this world.
After the birth, Neram experienced the most amazing postpartum care provided by her team of Colombian midwives, which included 40 days resting time, emotional, physical, and nutritional support, and a full closing ceremony around rituals that truly honored her body and allowed her to close this pregnancy and birth cycle in a respectful and reflective way.
Neram is a mother of three little kiddos and a complete birth nerd who followed her heart and traded a career in Public Relations to enter the world of birthkeepers and become a doula. Originally from Germany with German-Chadish roots, she lived in France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Panama before moving to Bogotá where she gave birth to her third child and is now studying with traditional midwifes all things womb and beyond. On her page and blog, she shares her motherhood journey and all the wisdom she’s learning, hoping to inspire women around the world to claim their right and space to choose the pregnancy, birth, postpartum and overall women’s health experience they wish for! connect with her on Instagram at @thereal_littlebirdsmama or www.littlebirdsmama.com
Spiritual Midwifery by Ina – May Gaskin
HypnoBirthing – The Mongan Method by Marie Mongan
The First Forty Days by Heng Ou with Amely Green and Marisa Belger
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Hospital Birth and Homebirth in the UK
Both of Charity’s babies were born in the UK. After excitedly planing for an unmedicated hospital birth centre birth, Charity had to quickly change her expectations when she was told her baby would be delivered via cesarean section. Her body and baby disagreed with the doctor, and her son was born vaginally on the operating table as preparations were being made for surgery. For her second birth, Charity was determined to have a greater ability to advocate for herself and her baby, so she and her husband hired private midwives to help deliver the baby at home. Her second son was born in a birthing tub in the living room of her small flat in central London.
Charity Eyre Wright Bio
Charity has looked forward to having a baby since her earliest memories, and is now mom to two boys, a just-turned two year old and a five month old. Charity is an American but has lived in London for the past three years with her husband. She is a stay-at-home parent with a professional background in education, and is passionate about women educating themselves about the wonder and power of pregnancy and childbirth. Connect with her on Instagram @charityeyrewright or at drippingwithpassion.blogspot.com
The Gift of Giving Life: Rediscovering the Divine Nature of Pregnancy and Birth
Babylist believes 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. At the end of this episode I’ll be talking to Sarah, about her experience using Babylist.
First home birth
After 8 hours of back labor and a small scare with a compressed cord, Mika birthed her first child (a rainbow baby) in the comfort and serenity of her own home at 41 weeks pregnant. She was elated to discover she had delivered a healthy 8.10lb baby boy safely into the hands of his loving daddy. Aside from a 2nd degree tear and a postpartum hemorrhage that her midwife handled quickly and efficiently, Mika had a fast and easy recovery. Mika was truly beyond grateful for such a beautiful and life-changing first birth experience.
Second home birth
Mika and her husband had always hoped to have their children close in age, so when she discovered she was pregnant a few weeks after her son’s first birthday, Mika was beyond excited. Unfortunately, due to her first midwife relocating, Mika found herself under the care of a new midwifery team. She had been transferred into their care at 6 months pregnant and while she never felt 100% comfortable with them, she also didn’t have many options otherwise. At 41 weeks, labor began almost identically to her first; however, when her new birth team arrived, everything seemed to stall. Mika felt extremely uncomfortable around them and struggled to allow her body to open up. After 14+ hours of labor, Mika’s second child, an 8lb baby boy, was born safely in water. Immediately after delivering the placenta, Mika experienced another postpartum hemorrhage. Unfortunately, this time her new midwife was not proficient in her handling of the hemorrhage, which lead to Mika bleeding out for over 5 hours. After a week with no guidance from her care provider, she went in for what was an extremely necessary blood transfusion. Naturally, this made recovery difficult. Mika could hardly talk without passing out, dealt with postpartum depression, and struggled greatly to bond with her second baby simply because she was so weak. It was an unfortunate turn of events, but Mika was grateful to have birthed her babe at home despite the improper care she received. She felt she learned some valuable lessons about self-advocation and knew more than ever to always trust her intuition.
Third home birth
Loving the 20 month age gap between her first and second child, Mika was excited her second and third babe would have a similar age difference. After a military move north, she set out to find a new home birth midwife in her new location with hopes of having a healing birth after her last experience. With lots of research and interviews,Mika found someone she knew was competent and felt an instant connection. Mika’s third pregnancy was healthy and uneventful. She had fully expected to go past her estimated due date as she did with her last 2 children; so, when 40 weeks came and went she wasn’t the least bit surprised. Then came 41, then 42, then 42+5 and it seemed labor had finally begun. After almost a full day of consistent contractions and making it to 6cm, everything stopped. Feeling frustrated and concerned her husband would miss the birth due to military orders, Mika did her best to trust the process and have patience.
Together with her midwife, Mika made a plan to hold space for normal and allow baby to come when baby was ready. Naturally, Mika struggled with self doubt and questioned her body daily, but she knew that “due dates” meant nothing and this was just a variation of normal. Finally, at 43+5, only 2 days shy of her midwife wanting to send her in for a hospital induction, Mika went into labor. It was hard and fast, only an hour of active labor, and Mika was feeling the urge to push. After getting baby’s head out, it became clear that baby’s anterior shoulder was stuck. No amount of pushing was budging baby forward so Mika and her midwife quickly sprang into action. Having had an intuitive feeling about shoulder dystocia, Mika had researched the topic the last few weeks of her pregnancy. Because of this, she knew exactly what maneuvers/positions to try to help baby out and immediately tried the gaskin maneuver. That in combination with the Running Man and her midwife also doing the Woods Corkscrew maneuver, Mika pushed and got baby out quickly, and without any broken/dislocated bones, bruising or tearing! Mika was relieved and and excited to discover she’d given birth to a 10.4lbs baby girl.
Unlike her last, this birth left Mika feeling empowered. Not only did she advocate for herself when she went postdates but she was able to take immediate action with confidence during birth to get baby out safely. To top it off, Mika had minimal bleeding after birth and experienced her easiest recovery yet!
Mika Rascon Bio
Mika is the wife to her greatest love and most cherished companion who is currently serving in the US Army. Together they live an intentional life and enjoy exploring the world around them with their sweet babes in tow. Before Mika was blessed with her 3 beautiful children, she encountered a trying and emotional battle with infertility. Fortunately, after years of treatment, multiple losses, and surgery she was finally able to carry her baby to term and experience the life-changing beauty of a raw, uninhibited birth. It was this struggle with infertility that lead her to a natural lifestyle and ultimately motivated her to birth all 3 of her babes at home. She has a deep passion for holistic, gentle, and attachment parenting and strives daily to embrace the biological and physiological design for motherhood. Additionally, Mika is a business owner and photographer who focuses and draws her inspiration from capturing genuine, storytelling moments. Sharing her life with authenticity, raising awareness, and supporting other mamas in this season of life has been a great comfort to her while raising children despite not having a close tribe due to their military lifestyle. Feel free to connect with her on instagram @mygreatestwonders
Homebirth to Hospital Transfer Birth Story
Heather shares her experience laboring and pushing at home until her midwife noticed her baby’s heart tones were not recovering after contractions while Heather pushed. She was rushed to the hospital and the ER doctor on call gave her one chance to push with forceps before being taken in for a cesarean birth. Her son was born with that one push and she describes her hospital experience as being very positive. They spent one night at the hospital before heading home.
Heather Gallagher Bio
Heather Gallagher is a Doula and and internationally award-winning and published photojournalist documenting birth thru death. She is based out of Austin, TX and is available for travel nation and worldwide.
Heather took my maternity and birth photos and is documenting a year in the life of our family with periodic documentary style sessions throughout the year. It’s been such a beautiful experience so far! Heather is offering a special discount for Birth Hour listeners for anyone who books in January/February (including birth even if you aren’t due until later in the year!!). Such a great deal! Contact her via firstname.lastname@example.org or Instagram for all the details!
Lindsey Bliss shares her six births in four stories: a birth center birth with Mia (now 11); a vaginal twin birth in the hospital with surprise-twins, Birdie & Hazel (now 8); another surprise set of twins, Luke & Rocco (now 5.5) who were born at home; and finally, baby Olympia (1) who was also born via a planned homebirth. I love Lindsey’s down-to-earth approach to birth, postpartum, and parenting!
Lindsey Bliss Bio
Lindsey Bliss is the co-director of Carriage House Birth, an experienced birth doula, and the mother of seven. Lindsey is considered to be a multiples expert after giving birth to and parenting two consecutive sets of twins. Lindsey takes on her role as a birth doula and childbirth educator with serious passion and commitment. Her mission is to hold space for expectant families through education and informed decision making. Being prepared, and knowing what options are available increases the likelihood of an amazing birth. Lindsey facilitates that process, giving people the tools and inspiration to empower themselves. Her unwavering support and gentle guidance have benefited over two hundred families. Lindsey supports first time parents, multiparas, single parents, LGBT families, twins births, medicated and non medicated vaginal births, cesarean births, and VBACs.
Connect with her on Instagram at @doulabliss and @carriagehousebirth
Today’s episode is sponsored by Evenflo. Evenflo recently released the Pivot Xpand single to double stroller travel system that easily slides to convert from single to double without any tools needed. It has 22 different configurations accommodating one or two riders that can sit at various heights, reclines and be either forward or parent facing. I love that it comes WITH the infant carseat that clicks directly into the frame and a toddler seat that can recline to cradle infants as well. It also has a great extra large storage basket and easy fold!
Home Births and Struggling with Breastfeeding
Rachel shares her experiences preparing for and giving birth at home, as well as her struggles with breastfeeding and low milk supply, and using a supplemental nursing system with both of her sons. Looking back, she wishes she had gone easier on herself and wants to let other mothers know that they are doing great.
Rachel Pally Bio
Rachel Pally has been at the forefront of ethical, locally manufactured women’s clothing since 2002. Her inclusive view of women is what has set her apart from other brands. Rachel Pally celebrates all women and has set out to reach the many bodies and lifestyles and ages in her timeless collections including maternity and plus size options. A working woman herself and mother of 2 young children, Rachel’s collections are designed to go from day to night, work to play and everything in between. Connect with Rachel on Instagram @rachelpally and see her clothing like at Rachelpally.com
Supplemental Nursing System
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
Dealing with Low Milk Supply – TBH post
Listening to The Birth Hour
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.