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.

Doctor Advocates for Patient in Hospital Birth and Multicystic Dysplastic Kidney (MCDK) Diagnosis

Kellie’s first labor lasted 32.5 hours from labor to birth. She had a hospital birth with an epidural and had an amazing and supportive doctor who advocated for her. Baby #2 was a planned induction because baby was initially diagnosed with severe Hydronephrosis. That diagnosis was changed to Multicystic Dysplastic Kidney (MCDK) after birth. She discusses her birth and postpartum with both babies.

Kellie Brandt birth story

Kellie Brandt Bio

Kellie is married to her husband Austin. They’ve been married for 3 years and together for 9. They have a 19 month old and a 3 month old! Connect with her on Instagram @Kellieannfreels or kelliefreels@gmail.com.

Resources

Motif Medical

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

Postpartum Experience After Unmedicated Induction Birth

After an unplanned cesarean with her first baby and a successful VBAC with her twins, Kalen she describes her third birth and postpartum experience as her easiest and most rewarding. Her third induction resulted in a precipitous unplanned unmedicated birth which made for an uncomplicated recovery and a wonderful end to her pregnancies and births. She describes healing from this birth compared to her other three and things she’s learned and done differently the third time around. 

newborn with lots of hair

Kalen Andelin Bio

Kalen lives in Wisconsin with her husband of 6 years Ian and their four children Maverick age 5, twin daughters Indy and Bowie age 3, and daugther Briggs 6 months old. She’s currently a stay at home mom and enjoys listening to podcasts, having a glass of wine, exercising on her Peloton, and the occasional date night.

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!

Postpartum Depression and Anxiety During Covid-19 Pandemic

Clarice has had two very different births – one was a long hospital induction and one was a fast homebirth. You can listen to her first birth story on Episode 345, and on this episode she will talk about her postpartum experience following that birth as well as her second birth and postpartum. Both times she experienced postpartum mood disorders (depression and anxiety) in some pretty significant ways. She has learned many lessons about how to deal with the mood disorders and what she can do to keep things from getting out of hand in the future.

tandem babywearing

Clarice Amorim Freitas Bio

Clarice is a mom of two young boys, she is originally from Brazil but now lives in Alaska with her kids and her husband. She is currently staying at home but she dreams of being a doula once her littles are a bit older – with the goal of helping other families achieve their ideal birth and postpartum experiences. In the meantime, she is enjoying traveling and exploring nature with her boys. You can follow their adventures on Instagram under the handle @onebarefamily. You can also find out more about her at https://wanderingrootsdoula.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!

Mom of 5 Journey to Unmedicated Childbirth

Meg discusses her five hospital births and her progression from a naïve and unprepared first-time-mom, to empowering and healing unmedicated births. Meg’s episode includes the topics of PPA and miscarriage, but also the big and hard lessons she learned about advocating for herself and setting boundaries during labor and delivery. Her story includes navigating pregnancy, birth, and loss with a partner in surgical training and multiple moves for her growing family. 

meg holt family

Meg Holt Bio

Meg is a mom to five kids 8 and under. She and her husband spent the first ten years of their marriage moving around the upper Midwest for his medical training before ultimately landing back home in Pittsburgh. She’s a devoted Pittsburgh sports fan, a women’s group leader, a enthusiastic reader, and loves nothing more than playing sports with her kids. Connect with her on Instagram: @mmhavern

Resources

Betterhelp

Today’s episode is 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.

Two Unmedicated Hospital Births and Getting Help with PPA & PPD

Sarah Matlock Bio

Sarah is a mother of 2, Amelia (3 years old) and Malcolm (2 months at the time of recording).Sarah had two unmedicated hospital births, the first included a bit of trauma followed by PPA/PPD. The second was a redemptive, quick, and easy birth.  Connect with her on IG @weareinfourthgrade

Resources

Backer

While you’re planning for the arrival of your baby, now is a great time to think about saving for their future learning opportunities. Backer is a smart way to save together for your kid’s college education, starting from birth all the way to graduation. You can create a college savings account at any time, and invite family & friends to contribute. When you’re ready, invest your savings and watch it grow as fast as your little one does!

And, with Backer 529 you can upgrade to a gold-rated 529 Plan, and invest your savings tax-free. So when your child is ready, they’ll be able to achieve the career of their dreams. Over time, your savings could grow four times as big as you could manage alone. Don’t wait until the baby is here when you probably won’t have time to think about it. Open your first fund today, share the link, and ask family and friends to pitch in from day one. Go to backer.com to get started and as an added bonus, click this link for a $10 voucher to get you started saving today!