Unexpected Birth Outcomes and Why Choice is so Important

Homebirth Transfer With Supportive Birth Team

Natasha’s first birth was much anticipated. She had been working as a birth doula while also struggling to conceive her own baby. The birth did not go as planned. She wanted her daughter to be born at home, but instead, she was born in the hospital with the use of an epidural. Does this change how she feels about her birth? Not really. She had the support of her partner, her doulas, her midwives, and felt like her choices led the way. When she looks back on this birth, she feels overwhelmed with joy and pride.

Cesarean Birth Where Choice was Removed

Most recently, Natasha gave birth via cesarean section. She found this experience particularly challenging because she felt like her choices were completely taken away from her. After these two very different birth experiences, Natasha feels like the removal of choice from birthing people has a profound impact on the postpartum experience. No one fully explains the complications of healing from a cesarean birth while trying to connect with your newborn. As a birth professional she thought she understood, but nothing prepared her for the reality.

emergency cesarean

Natasha Marchand Bio

Natasha (COO of bebo mia inc and Baby & Me Fitness) is a super talented creative genius that turned her passion for babies and fitness into a lifelong career. She lives in Toronto with her husband, Chris, and two daughters Sadie & Margo. Natasha is a pre & postnatal fitness/yoga professional, birth-doula trainer, and hypnotherapist. After a long fertility journey with her first daughter, Natasha has positioned herself as a fertility expert. She specializes in working with families with a history of try to conceive through their pregnancy and postpartum period. Connect with her in these ways: Bebo Mia Website
Instagram: @bebomiainc @babyandmefitness
Facebook: @bebomiainc @babyandmefitnessinc
Twitter: @bebomia @babyandmefit

Resources

Birth After Infertility
Resolve
Fertility Matters
Baby positions during pregnancy and birth
Plus Size Birth High Risk
Plus Size Birth Website
A video for massaging cesarean scar 

Saranoni Blankets

Today’s episode was brought to you by Saranoni. They create the absolute softest luxury blankets, quilts, and swaddles. The warmth and softness of their products is unmatched; but, they know feeling is believing, so they want to send you a free blanket to experience for yourself. Go to www.saranoni.com/thebirthhour to receive your free mini blanket!

saranoni blankets

Saranoni Luxury Blankets Giveaway!

Bringing home a new little one is such a wonderful time. Saranoni wants to help you get set up with the SOFTEST baby blankets in the world. TWO winners will take home over a $100 gift card! Go here to enter!

Unmedicated Hospital Birth, Precipitous Birth, & Homebirth Stories

Two Hospital Births with Midwives and a Home Birth

Kaitlyn’s first birth was a beautiful, empowering, unmedicated vaginal birth with a hospital midwife practice. She expected and planned for a similar birth with her second, but learned that each pregnancy really is different after going much later than she expected and ultimately having a precipitous birth (complete with mad dash to the hospital over frozen streets). Committed to avoid a birth only assisted by her two toddlers, she planned, and had, a home birth for her third.

Kaitlyn Lowery Bio

Kaitlyn is a California transplant living in RIchmond, VA with her husband, Justin, and three busy boys: Jonathan, Drew, and Ben. An attorney in a past life, she now enjoys chasing after her kids, reading “Little Blue Truck” as many times as possible in a single day, and using her Type A personality to plan ridiculously themed playdates and complete her Christmas shopping by September. Connect with her on Instagram: @kaitlyn.m.lowery or Facebook Kaitlyn Lowery (Kaitlyn Edwards).

christmas homebirth

Resources

Know Your Options Childbirth Course
YouTube: Breastfeeding Videos from Breastfeeding New Zealand
Expecting Better
Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care
Spiritual Midwifery
Pelvic Floor Piston Physical Therapy Course
Pregnant (prenatal workout program)
Doula Match

CollegeBacker

This episode is sponsored by CollegeBacker. CollegeBacker is the easiest way to save for college with help from family & friends. In just 5 minutes, you can open a tax-advantaged 529 Plan, and then invite family & friends to contribute – even before your child is born!

Sign up at CollegeBacker.com/TheBirthHour and receive a $10 match when you start saving for your child, or when you send a gift to kickoff someone else’s college fund.

Three Births from the Perspective of a Military Family

First birth: Natural hospital birth with a doula

Not knowing what to expect with her first pregnancy and birth, Carolyn took Hypnobirthing classes, hired a doula, and planned for a natural hospital birth. A “labor cocktail” got contractions started the day after her due date, leading to 9 hours of labor on the toilet and a 40-minute car ride to the hospital during transition. After an emotional rollercoaster, between her doula, the hospital staff, and three hours of pushing, Carolyn succeeded in her goal of a natural birth.

Second birth: Natural hospital birth

Her second birth experience was much smoother than the first. Labor started in the wee morning hours and was fairly smooth sailing from start to finish. Unlike during her first labor, the only way Carolyn was comfortable was walking around. This labor also included a long car ride, including a stop at daycare to drop off her oldest son. One huge contraction upon arrival at the hospital took her through transition and it was game on. The 30-minutes she spent pushing were loud enough to get the attention of the anesthesiologist, but Carolyn managed to have a second natural birth.

Third birth: “Rogue” Homebirth

Knowing this would likely be her last child, with her third birth Carolyn decided she was finally going to have the birth experience she desired. She turned down military medical care and sought out a midwife and planned for a homebirth. Contractions started late in the evening the day before her due date, which happened to be the birthday of her second son. Labor stalled a bit around sunrise, perhaps due to her mind being preoccupied with ensuring her midwife was caffeinated and fed. She went in and out of the birth pool, hoping for a tranquil water birth, but it just wasn’t in the cards. Carolyn’s midwife recognized the signs and told her to get out of the tub, which was almost immediately followed by her body’s “fetal ejection reflex” kicking in. She barely made it onto the birth stool before her daughter came rocketing out of her, completely outside of her control. In the end, Carolyn completed her family with a successful and complication free homebirth.

military birth

Carolyn Winn Bio

Carolyn and her husband are both active duty military. Being in the military has certain limitations on the choices available to you for birth, like which hospitals you can go to and when you’re allowed to move while pregnant. Carolyn tells the story of her two natural hospital births, one with a negative doula experience, as well as an empowering homebirth. She also describes the challenges of traveling internationally for work while pumping, and recovering from diastasis recti after her third birth. Connect with her on Facebook at Carolyn Louise or via email carolynwinn53@yahoo.com.

Resources

Breastfeeding in Combat Boots
Burn Boot Camp
Mutu System

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 and use the coupon code BIRTHHOUR20 for 20% off. My current Kindred Bravely favorites are these maternity undies, the sublime bra and the sleep bra!

Victorious Homebirth with an Unexpected Episiotomy

Homebirth, Over 3 Hours of Pushing, Episiotomy

Libby describes her homebirth as a “Victorious Homebirth which included an Unexpected Episiotomy; and, a surprise but necessary hospital stay for jaundice one week postpartum.” Her waters broke around10:30pm on a Saturday night; and, fully expecting to wake up to surges that night, Libby went to bed after texting her midwife and doula about potentially starting labor. Instead, she slept so soundly and snored so loudly her husband had to vacate to the guest room. The next day was spent trying to walk the baby out, a round of homeopathic medicine, and eventually the dreaded caster oil. Surges began at 5:30pm and her doula came to observe at 7pm, at which time Libby was in early active labor. Within about 2 hours, surges were about 2-3 minutes apart.

Together with the support of her amazing birth team, Libby labored in various physical positions around her home. Transition came around 11pm in the form of full body convulsions. She moved to the tub where she labored about 1.5 hours before the urge to push came. Not being able to get grounded in the tub, she moved out of the tub to try pushing in various positions. This was a very frustrating, exhausting and difficult part of her birth. Looking back, she believes her biggest deterrent to pushing was not fully understanding or being able to release the pelvic floor to push properly. She pushed for 3.5 hours, having been crowned for 1 of those hours.

Eventually, fearing a hospital transfer, she asked to consent to an episiotomy. Her husband advocated for more pushing first, and the midwives did the same. When, after about 20 minutes more of pushing there still was no progress: midwives chose to honor the episiotomy request. Baby girl catapulted into the world to the utter joy and relief of her Mama and Daddy.

homebirth with episiotomy

Libby Tedder Hugus Bio

Libby is a wife, mama, Pastor and caffeine-guzzling podcast consumer. She is married to her darling comedic husband, Jeremy, and together they are raising their wondrous daughter, Harloe. Libby is the the daughter of two continents: North America and Africa and maintains dual citizenship between the USA and South Africa. She believes there is always room for one more around the table and that generous hospitality can and will heal the world. Having moved to Casper, WY in 2011, she has fallen in love with this slice of the windy wester frontier, finding breathing room for the soul in Wyoming’s wide open skies.

Resources

https://www.mamanatural.com/ birth affirmations, week by week pregnancy guide, meditations
http://birthwithoutfearblog.com/
https://evidencebasedbirth.com/
BellyBuds®
http://www.thebabymoonretreat.com/
https://www.kindara.com/wink — I used the phone app to track my cycle without the thermometer
La leche league – Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

Crane

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.

Hypertension & 3 Day Hospital Induction + 6 Hour Home Waterbirth

Hypertension & Three Day Hospital Induction

Brie developed hypertension late in her first pregnancy and delivered her daughter on Father’s Day after an exhausting 3 day long induction at Stanford Children’s Hospital.

Six Hour Home Waterbirth

After a thankfully unremarkable second pregnancy, her son was born at home in a birth pool in their dining room after a powerful six hour labor on Valentine’s Day.

Brie Buxton Bio

Brie is a musical theatre performer and children’s theatre instructor turned stay-at-home mom of 2 in the Bay Area, California.

waterbirth at home

Photo credit: @samanthanoelphotography

Resources

Birth Hour, Birthful & Doing It At Home podcasts
Birth Hour Playlist / Spotify
– Hypnobirthing playlists on iTunes
– Book: Ina May Gaskin’s Guide To Childbirth
– Book: Birthing From Within, England & Horrowitz
– Book: Active Birth, Janet Balaskas
Childbirth/baby care refresher courses
– Birth Doulas & Photographers
– Body Work/Exercise: Pre/postnatal yoga, Acupuncture, Chiropractics & Massage
– Oasis Birth Pools – yourwaterbirth.com

Grove Collaborative

Today’s episode sponsor is Grove Collaborative. Grove makes it easy to discover amazing natural home and personal care products. Grove selects only the best non-toxic products, so you can shop with confidence knowing that everything on their site is good for you, your family, and the planet. Grove’s VIP membership provides our customers with: unlimited free shipping, a free full-sized gift every few months, price match guarantee, and amazing personal service.

Go to this link and when you sign-up you’ll get a free glass spray bottle two-piece concentrates pack to use in the spray bottle, and a 3 pack of microfiber cloths! Grove will add some suggested items to your cart to get you started and you can swap those out for whatever you need for your home.

Homebirth, Miscarriage, & Twin Birth Center Birth Stories

Costa Rican Homebirth

Having trained as a doula, Jen had a solid knowledge-base heading into her welcome, though very surprising, first pregnancy! She knew that she wanted midwifery care and a home birth and was able to find an amazing midwife early in pregnancy. The pregnancy unfolded normally, without any complications, but with some lucid (and prophetic) dreams. Her Mum and Aunty were able to fly to Costa Rica from Canada and were present for the 17 hour labor and birth into water of her beautiful son Caio on September 29th 2011 at 10:31 am.

Jen’s Experience with Loss

Jen was delighted to become pregnant in April 2013, and had a normal healthy pregnancy until almost 13 weeks, when her waters broke and labor began. She gave birth to a still baby on July 11. Jen conceived again in December of 2014, which resulted in a chemical pregnancy (sperm-egg connection but no implantation) and self-terminated at 7 weeks.

Twins Birth Center in Costa Rica Birth

In March 2015, Jen had another positive pregnancy test. She began prenatal care but chose to do minimal testing and declined an early ultrasound. She wanted to enjoy the pregnancy without any expectations, just spending time with baby even if the time together would be short. Measuring large at 16 weeks, Jen agreed to an ultrasound and was shocked and delighted to be carrying twins; She chose to change birth plans from a home birth to a birth center with her midwife and OB present. The pregnancy progressed normally, and Jen, her partner, and big brother Caio were over the moon to welcome Tobias and Elena on December 4, 2015, at 9:28 pm and 9:35 pm, respectively, after a gentle 6 hour labor.

Twin new borns

Jen McLennan Bio

Jen lives in Costa Rica with her partner Julio and their three lovely locos: Caio, Toby and Elena. She is a yoga instructor specializing in kids classes and the family also manages a small guest house and yoga center, Casa Zen (www.zencostarica.com). She has always been drawn to birth and is passionate about supporting women to make informed choices during prenatal care, labor, delivery, and postpartum. Connect with her at info@zencostarica.com or on Facebook—JenShine McKate.

Resources

Birthing From Within
Spiritual Midwifery
The Birth Partner
Stillbirthday.com

Earth Mama Organics

Today’s episode is brought to you by Earth Mama Organics. From the positive test to the big push, from the first latch to the thousandth diaper, Earth Mama makes effective organic and natural herbal products for the whole journey of motherhood: pregnancy, postpartum, breastfeeding, and baby care. They’ve been safely nurturing mamas this way since 2002 — and they wouldn’t do it any other way.