Aaron’s first full-term pregnancy and birth followed two first-trimester miscarriages. Aaron was referred to a hematologist to rule out any blood clotting issues and was encouraged to be on a blood thinner for the subsequent pregnancy. Due to a spinal surgery that prevented spinal pain control, Aaron planned for an unmedicated, out-of-hospital birth at a birth center. After a first trimester of being on blood thinners, her OB and MFM agreed that the blood thinners were unnecessary and that she could plan for the unmedicated, out-of-hospital birth she wanted. After an uneventful final two trimesters, she went into labor spontaneously in the 39th week. After 21 hours of challenging active labor and 2.5 hours of pushing, Oliver entered the world. Aaron was challenged by severe nausea from early labor through delivery, inconsistent but intense contractions, and scar tissue on the cervix, which prevented typical progression and had to be manually extracted. Aaron struggled with feeling well-resourced during the long labor.
Almost three years later, Aaron found herself in a similar situation: pregnant after another two miscarriages. This time Aaron was put on a progesterone regime for the first trimester. For this birth, Aaron planned for a home birth with midwives. The only thing getting in the way of this plan was a stubbornly breech baby. After unsuccessful attempts to turn the baby at home, Aaron and her spouse decided to do an ECV in the 38th week. While nerve-wracking, the procedure was successful and ultimately an empowering experience of using evidence-based resources to make the best decision for their family. Aaron went on to go slightly over her due date and began feeling contractions at 40 + 5. Expecting a prolonged dilation, Aaron didn’t feel ready to call the midwives, but luckily, her husband insisted, and they arrived just in time to help deliver their baby girl in the tub after 4 hours of active labor. During this labor, Aaron worked on moving, eating, drinking, and taking Zofran to maintain her strength.
Aaron Brame Bio
lives in Gainesville, FL, with her spouse, Jason, children Oliver, 3, Lula, seven months old, and pup Penny. Aaron works at an educational non-profit, and her spouse owns a fine woodworking business. Oliver and Lula specialize in making each other laugh and generally being really great kids. Aaron can be reached on Instagram at aaron_brame and also by email at email@example.com
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 learn about the new wearable Aura pump, plus see how you can get it covered through insurance at motifmedical.com/birthhour.
This birth story includes a lot of first. Sarah shares her first homebirth which was also her first unmedicated birth all while in a lockdown. Sarah experienced irregular contractions, following 1.5 days of prodromal labour into only about 2.45 hours of active labor. This homebirth birth was a healing experience for Sarah, especially after experiencing prenatal depression and complications and it being nearly 11 years since her last birth.
Sarah Landry Bio
Sarah is a mom of 4 kids aged 1-16, divorced and remarried and now blended perfectly together. After getting exhausted by social media and body perfecting habits along the way, Sarah decided to change the way she showed up in the world. Healing through her perfectionism, disordered eating, body shame and so much more, she now loves having powerful social media conversations around life and our experiences in it. Sarah is a body confidence advocate, speaker, writer, occasional model, and weekly podcast host and an ongoing student of life. Connect with her via her website,Instagram, or The Papaya Podcast.
Today’s episode is sponsored by Needed. Needed is the leading women’s health supplement brand recommended by nutritionally-trained practitioners. While most perinatal supplements include the bare minimum of the nutrients needed during pregnancy, Needed’s products are based on the latest clinical research and in-practice experience of nearly 4000 practitioners. Needed has all your needs covered, from your prenatal vitamin to pregnancy-specific Pre/ and Probiotics, to egg quality support, sleep, stress, immune and hydration support, as well as your protein needs for blood sugar balance and postpartum healing. Needed’s Complete Plan delivers unparalleled nourishment for every phase — whether you’re trying to conceive, pregnant, or postpartum! Instead of having to pair 6 different products together to meet your needs, I love that Needed has simplified things by bundling together four core products you need, in an easy and flexible monthly plan.
Needed’s 4-part Complete Plan includes their Prenatal Multi, their vegan Omega-3, their pregnancy-specific Pre and Probiotic with targeted strains to support you and your baby’s microbiome, and their ethically and sustainably-sourced Collagen Protein that mixes easily into just about everything. Needed’s Complete Plan truly meets all of your micronutrient, microbiome, and protein needs. Save 20% off your first order of Needed’s Complete Plan or any of their other perinatal nutrition products at thisisneeded.com with code BIRTHHOUR.
In 2022 Amadea and Matthew added a baby girl to their family which includes three children from his previous marriage and a menagerie of farm animals. Amadea originally planned to birth at a center, but transferred to a home birth midwife after experiencing depression and anxiety in the first trimester. Her journey includes navigating family dynamics, reversing a GBS status, turning a consistently transverse baby, symphysis pubis dysfunction causing limited mobility in the third trimester, gestating until 42 weeks 3 days, contracting Covid the day before birth, and ultimately transferring into hospital at the height of labor due to a combination of potential red flags. Despite the many complexities and curveballs, Amadea had a positive, healthy pregnancy and unmedicated birth and cites her privileges for the fortunate outcomes; including a great support system and the time and ability to aggressively self-inform before and during pregnancy. As each decision arose, she and her partner strove to untangle a myriad of factors and using all the data at their disposal, hone in on the best possible option for their family, but found the urgency and messiness of the process a lot to contend with regardless of their cool-headed-ness! In the end, acceptance of the unknown proved the most useful tool in their kit.
Amadea Cesari Bio
Amadea is wife to Matthew, mother to baby Sylvia and stepmom to William (10), Elias (13), and Lily (15). She and her family operate a small farm in the hills of Pennsylvania and live a life full of plants, old cars, animal management, kid extracurriculars and the best kind of chaos.
My own handwritten birth mantras shown or read to me
The Birth Hour was the best, and every story left me wiser, stronger and more ready for birth.
The Peanut app helped fight feelings of isolation, and introduced me to a couple of dear friends
Tubby Todd Bath Co.
Today’s episode was sponsored by Tubby Todd Bath Co. Created with sensitive skin in mind, Tubby Todd’s line of bodycare basics are gentle, effective and fun for the whole family. You might have heard of their eczema miracle worker All Over Ointment (fondly referred to as AOO), but this family-owned brand offers a full line of sensitive skincare solutions that you’ll love to reach for every single day. Start with The Regulars or Baby Bundle to get your little one set up with their very first skincare routine. Join the TT fam and get 15% off your first purchase with code BIRTHHOUR15 at tubbytodd.com.
Today’s episode is sponsored by Needed, the leading women’s health supplement brand recommended by nutritionally-trained practitioners. While most perinatal supplements include the bare minimum of the nutrients women and babies need, Needed’s products are based on the latest clinical research and in-practice experience of over 3000 practitioners. Needed has all your needs covered, from your prenatal vitamin, to pregnancy-specific Pre/Probiotics, to egg quality support, sleep, stress, and hydration support, as well as your protein needs for blood sugar balance and postpartum healing. They continue to create innovative products based on what women and families need to thrive. One of the hardest parts of Needed co-founder Julie’s second postpartum was juggling a sick toddler and a newborn, while trying to avoid getting sick herself. And she’s not alone. We’re all sick of sick days — especially if we have little ones in school or on the way. That’s why Needed teamed up with perinatal and pediatric practitioners to formulate ONE simple Immune Support product for the whole family — it’s safe for kids, and pregnant and nursing mothers. Save 20% off your first order at thisisneeded.com with code BIRTHHOUR.
Jenny became pregnant quickly with her first baby in 2018 and had him after a smooth hospital induction with an epidural, but a prolonged pushing phase due to baby’s position. Postpartum was marked by significant issues nursing, which triggered post partum depression and anxiety. Then, at 6 weeks post partum she woke up with abdominal pain that turned out to be appendicitis and led to emergency surgery, further complicating post partum recovery.
Jenny went on to have two smooth homebirths. The postpartum experience after her second birth was much smoother with a baby who nursed super well, but Jenny felt like she rushed through the fourth trimester to “get it over with” and didn’t let herself enjoy it. Her third baby was born only weeks ago but this has been the smoothest transition so far despite baby having tongue and lip ties. Jenny has allowed herself to fully enjoy having a newborn and is the most emotionally healthy she’s ever been.
Jenny Burns Bio:
Jenny lives in Dayton Ohio with her husband, who is a travel nurse, and their three boys. She is a former social worker turned stay at home mom. She and her husband are in the process of renovating an old farmhouse on 6.5 acres and can’t wait to raise their boys there.
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 and new Evolve 3-in-1 Bouncer that we discussed on the podcast!
Past guest, Von Lane, is back with her funny storytelling style to share her second homebirth birth story! Listen to her past episodes (698 and 699) to hear her first birth story.
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.
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.
Akua’s first pregnancy in 2020, evolved alongside the emerging-pandemic and was marked by a cross-country move, a 6 hour drive for an ultrasound, switching birth teams and finding creative ways to cultivate trust in herself and the process of birth.
Amidst a backdrop of demoralizing black maternal health statistics, Akua devoted her pregnancy to immersing herself in birth literature, workshops, childbirth education, podcasts, journaling and speaking with friends who had given birth. She interviewed over a dozen doulas and sought out affirming midwifery care – which would allow space for all of her questions, curiosities and concerns.
At the end of a very long pregnancy, an unassuming yoga session would spark the start of a very fast first labor. Guided by metaphor and visualizations, Akua labored mainly alone in the dark; listening to playlists, a self-recorded affirmation track and holding on to a bathroom radiator for dear life. After their hot water heater spontaneously died, her partner spent most of active labor frantically heating-up water on the stove in hopes of filling the birth tub. Akua birthed her baby standing up in the living room; roaring from the depths of her belly and held by the loving support of her doula, partner and midwife.
Postpartum involved watching the entire Sopranos series, pelvic floor therapy, a baby who would never take a bottle and a temporary bout of depression that dissipated as the world slowly opened back up to new beginnings.
Akua Carson Bio
Akua is an artist, Full Spectrum Doula and Childbirth Educator.
She founded ‘Caring In Color’ with the intention of providing creative, compassionate and affirming support to people navigating pregnancy, birth, postpartum and loss. Akua is also a part-time facilitator at the Urban Perinatal Education Center (UPEC) founded by Quatia Osorio in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The center is a safe space for Black, Indigenous and people of color to source education and build community throughout their perinatal health journeys.
Outside of birth work, Akua enjoys bumping music around the home, reading, singing and recording, great wine, ceramics and finding ways to entertain the tornado that is her toddler . She might get into gardening this year. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island with her partner and their child near the ocean. Connect with her via www.caringincolor.com or on Instagram: @caring.in.color.
This episode is sponsored by Oath Care – a welcoming community to connect with fellow moms, find judgement-free support, and get personalized expert advice from pediatricians, marriage and family therapists, lactation and sleep consultants, pelvic floor therapists and more. Download the free to use Oath Care app from oathcare.com or in the App Store or Google Play.