Vasectomy Reversal, IVF Twins, & Planned Cesarean under General Anesthesia

Katie and her husband, Dave, conceived twins through IVF after four years of intensive fertility treatments.  Katie’s conception story includes a vasectomy reversal, two rounds of embryo generation, miscarriage, embryo loss, genetic studies, and seemingly endless trans-vaginal ultrasounds. 

Katie’s pregnancy was uneventful. She enjoyed the joint care of midwives and an OBGYN. Living rurally meant a three hour one-way drive to see her care providers monthly, but thankfully doctors and hospital staff in her home community bent several rules and provided regular non-stress tests in the ER, as well as weekly monitoring as Katie and the babies neared full term. 

twins planned cesarean

The babies were born full term, at the Penticton hospital in British Columbia. Three days prior to delivery Katie agreed to scheduling a C-section because baby A was a Frank Breech presentation, and baby B was transverse.  The delivery happened under un-planned general anesthetic, but thanks to amazing midwife and doula support, Katie, Dave and the babies came through safe, happy (mostly) and thriving.

skin to skin dad twins

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 BIRTH19 at www.crane-usa.com.

Hospital Induction, Homebirth Transfer & Two Very Different Postpartum Experiences

First Birth: Val became pregnant when she and her husband were living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, while she pursued a PhD at the age of 25. They got pregnant the first month they tried, which was a bit of a surprise! As a highly sensitive person Val quickly realized she needed to work with care providers who would listen to her and respect her body and wishes. After watching The Business of Being Born, Val and her husband decided to seek the care of a midwife/obstetrician group because they wanted to work with midwives, but also wanted to have an obstetrician available if something were to happen. Val had an uneventful pregnancy and loved working with the midwife group who were very focused on her well being emotionally and physically. Val and her husband hired a doula who was also a huge part of their pregnancy and birth. At 41+5 days, after an uneventful stress test, Val’s favorite midwife coerced her to come in later that night for induction, as she said she would drop her from care if she refused. Val’s labor lasted 31 hours, had many ups and downs, and resulted in a forceps delivery and a very difficult and emotional postpartum experience. 

Second Birth: Due to Val’s difficult birth and transition to motherhood she decided to wait until she finished her PhD and had instrumental support from friends and extended family near by to try for another baby. During her second pregnancy, Val was a lot less anxious and again found a midwife/obstetrician group within a hospital. Unfortunately, the midwife group they chose only had one midwife. While Val connected quickly with the midwife, she soon realized she was overworked and under supported. She forgot to call regarding test results and made errors with appointments and scheduling. After a hurtful discussion with the scheduler, Val hung up the phone and felt like she couldn’t breathe. At that moment, Val’s husband brought up the idea of homebirth, and they decided to meet with some homebirth midwives to see if it would be a good fit.

After getting a low risk anatomy scan Val and her husband made the switch to homebirth care. Val was empowered by her midwife and they made a lifelong bond. Her midwife helped her process a lot of her birth trauma from the first time around, and provided care that was above-and-beyond. At 38 weeks and 40 weeks Val’s family caught the flu and then a bad cold which hit their family hard.

At 41+1 day, Val started having contractions after receiving acupuncture. She experienced contractions every 15 minutes for the next two days which made her feel very uncomfortable and made it hard to rest. After two days of prodromal labor, Val’s water broke. The midwife, birth assistant, doula, and Val’s sister and mom arrived shortly after her water broke, and contractions sped up to 7 minutes apart. At this time, Val and her husband got in the groove of managing contractions.

After 3 days of labor, 24 hours after her water broke, Val decided to transfer to the hospital when she was still only 6.5 centimeters and they realized baby’s presentation was asynclitic. In tears, Val hugged her midwife as she headed off to the hospital. Val was met with extreme love and respect from all of the nurses at the hospital. They quickly got her admitted and gave her pain management and an epidural. Val took a nap, and when she woke up it was time to push. The hospital doctor was absolutely terrible, but the nurses had their back and they had a smooth vaginal birth. Val recovered quickly, and because of the flu risk Val and her husband bonded with baby for two uninterrupted days. At 6 months postpartum, Val is not experiencing anxiety and depression thanks to the help of family, friends, a counselor she sees regularly. 

Valerie Cronin-Fisher Bio

Valerie has been married for 7 years, and is a mom of two sons living in the south suburbs of Chicago. Val is a Professor of Interpersonal Communication focusing on the underrepresented areas of family communication, birth, and motherhood. She has a passion for close relational communication and helping (herself) and others learn names for behaviors/experiences in order to understand themselves and their close others better. 

Val became pregnant during the first year of her PhD program and quickly became engrossed in birth and motherhood culture. After a difficult first birth, and feeling like the rug was pulled out from under her during her transition to motherhood, Val found her passion. Over the last 4 years, Val’s research has focused on understanding the complexity of birth and dissatisfaction with the transition to motherhood from a cultural and relational perspective. She has published research examining dissatisfaction during the transition to motherhood. Val also used The Birth Hour podcast interviews for her dissertation data focusing on traumatic birth and communication during pregnancy, birth, and the transition to motherhood. Recently, she started facebook and instagram account to share her research and connect with other mothers who are “in the thick of it”. You can find her at @life.after.birth.phd on instagram and facebook. 

Resources

Episode Sponsor: Grove Collaborative

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College Mama’s Empowering Homebirth after Traumatic Hospital Birth


Lina unexpectedly found herself pregnant with her first baby while she was a senior in high school. Although she was excited for the arrival of her bundle of joy, her pregnancy was difficult because she suffered with hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). Lina planned to have an unmedicated hospital brith, but when Lina was 36 weeks and 6 days she felt a tear in her water sack that caused her to need an induction.

Although the events of Lina’s hospital birth weren’t traumatic, the way the nurses at the hospital spoke to her and treated her caused Lina to have a great deal of anxiety and sever postpartum depression. So, when Lina found out she was pregnant with her second baby, she knew she needed to do something different. After weeks of research, speaking with her partner, and listening to her intuition she knew she needed to have a homebirth assisted by a midwife to heal the part of her that was broken during her hospital birth.

Again, Lina’s water tore when she was 36 weeks and 5 days, but this time instead of having a hospital induction she induced herself naturally using castor oil and homeopathic remedies, as instructed by her midwife. At exactly 37 weeks, her second baby was born in the home Lina grew up in and it was the most empowering, encouraging, magical and amazing experience of her life. 


Lina El-Saieh’s Bio

Lina El-Saieh is a 22 year old mama of two boys, Dexter and Scott. She is currently a social science major in college looking to become a successful lawyer (and maybe even a politician) one day. Lina, her boys, and her high school sweetheart, Jack, live with her parents and little sister in New York. Lina identifies as a crunchy mama. She loves baby wearing, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, and she recently started homeschooling her eldest boy. Lina’s goal as a mom is to encourage other mamas, especially younger moms, that they are able to still chase their own dreams even though they have little ones. Balancing school and babies is hard, but it’s so, so worth it! You can find Lina on Instagram @itscrunchylina.

Babylist

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Hyperemesis Gravidarum & Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex (D-MER)

Rachel Haseley Birth Story Summary


Rachel and Jonathan were married in July of 2017. That December, they decided to move for Jonathan’s job the following June. They began trying to grow their family in January and Rachel used the Ava bracelet to help track her cycles. She credits the Ava bracelet with helping her become pregnant by April 2018. Rachel’s due date was December 12, 2018; but, she began feeling very ill at the end of April and was later diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Rachel and Jonathan found out they were having a boy in early June. Rachel was teaching second grade and finished up the school year before moving 1,000 miles away from their hometown to the middle of the country. Thankfully the HG slowed down so they were able to settle into their new location. 

Since this was their first child, Jonathan and Rachel went to the local hospital to learn as much as they could about pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care. Rachel spent a lot of time on social media researching and learning about birth plans, listening to birth stories (thanks The Birth Hour!) and preparing for this next big adventure. At the end of November, Rachel started feeling sick again and was looking forward to labor and delivery. Her OB didn’t think Rachel would make it to her due date because she started dilating and effacing early. But the appointments came and went and Rachel’s due date passed. Four days post-date, Rachel thought her water was leaking and called the doctor’s office. She came in on Sunday, December 16th at 2pm. She was checked and told it wasn’t her waters but if she was ready they could get things moving instead of waiting 2 more days for her induction date.

Rachel’s OB had an accident the week prior and was not able to work, so Rachel was working with a new doctor whom she had never met before. Through walking and Pitocin contractions, Rachel dilated quickly. She hoped to have a natural, med-free delivery but things weren’t going according to her birth plan. She went to the tub and was in transition without realizing what was actually happening! In 20 minutes, she went from a stalled 6cm to 9 cm! She was able to get an epidural (after the anesthesiologist was out of surgery) and she was able to deliver her baby boy at 10:06pm. He had the cord wrapped around his neck three times and had meconium in utero but never ingested it and was perfectly healthy! Rachel and Jonathan soaked up the time as a new family of three! 

Rachel went home and began adjusting to a new body, a new role, and a new life. She later found she had Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex (D-MER) and had to transition from breastfeeding and pumping to formula. Rachel and Jonathan became pregnant in May of 2019 and are looking forward to welcoming a baby girl in February of 2020.

Avawomen

This episode is sponsored by Ava Women. Wear the Ava bracelet while you sleep for effortless insight about your fertility, your cycle, and your health. Ava monitors nine physiological parameters and is clinically proven to detect the beginning of the fertile window in real time. You can find out more at avawomen.com!


Miscarriages, Placenta Previa and Postpartum hemorrhage Birth Story

After experiencing two early miscarriages, Sierra had a hard time connecting to her pregnancy. Pregnancy did not seem to agree with her body with morning sickness throughout and pelvic separation at 20 weeks. With the help of a wonderful chiropractor and lots of self care the journey wasn’t all too difficult.

Sierra’s plan for birth was a medication-free hospital birth with the help of her doula, but through lots of ups and downs with her care providers she was diagnosed with full placenta previa, requiring a cesarean birth at 37 1/2 weeks. Due to the previa, Sierra suffered a hemorrhage during surgery and had to have a balloon filled with saline placed in her uterus for 12 hours along with being on a high dose Pitocin drip.

Her son Oliver had trouble breathing at first and had to be stationed in the nursery. The small hospital in her town does not have a NICU, so he was going to be transferred to a hospital 30 minutes away if there was no improvement. Luckily, just 15 minutes before the time they called the transfer, he made a complete turnaround and was able to be reunited with Sierra.

Sierra had a great hospital stay following Oliver’s birth and a good recovery. Oliver had some nursing issues, and after consulting with multiple lactation consultants, Sierra decided to exclusively pump which turned out great for both of them. Sierra credits her calmness when issues arose to information she learned on The Birth Hour episodes, her doula, and The Mama Natural’s Guide to Pregnancy Book.

Sierra Palmer Bio

Sierra is 26 years old and is married to her her high school sweetheart Justin. They live in Northern California along with their 7 month old son Oliver, three cats, and wiener dog. Sierra is completing a degree in accounting to become a bookkeeper, working as a photo editor for a photography business, and running her lifestyle blog. For fun she and her family love to see new movies, go to the river, and try to find the best food wherever they go. You can connect with her on Instagram @sierrahopepalmer , on her blog themountainandme.blog, or email at sierrahcameron@gmail.com

Resources

Kindred Bravely

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Group B Strep Positive – NICU Stay for Bacterial Meningitis

After an easy pregnancy with few complications, Melissa endured prolonged labor with Group-B Strep, leading to her son contracting bacterial meningitis after birth. After a three week stay in the hospital, he is now 18 months old and happy and healthy! Melissa dealt with Postpartum Depression and anxiety stemming from her experience, and hopes to shed light on GBS and its possible complications at birth. She hopes to encourage women to be their own advocate and take charge of their own health research as they prepare for pregnancy and birth.

Melissa Korver Bio

Melissa and her husband live with their 18 month old son, Konrad, in Richardson, TX, just outside of Dallas. She is a stay at home mom but has a side gig as an ambassador with Noonday Collection. She enjoys reading, photography, and taking walks with her son and their dog, Orso. She can be contacted on Instagram on her personal account, @melissakorver, or her business account, @stylebeautypurpose.

group b strep baby


Resources

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 BIRTH19 at www.crane-usa.com.