Stage 4 Cancer Diagnosis Postpartum and Going on to have Another Baby

Undiagnosed Cancer During Pregnancy 

Michelle and Dan were so excited when they found out they were expecting for the first time in 2015. Soon after conceiving, Michelle starting feeling off and was experiencing a lot of pain. She chalked it up to “just one of those weird pregnancy problems”.

After 9 long months Michelle was not in the mindset for trying a natural delivery. Michelle’s water broke on her due date and 16 hours later they welcomed their daughter via a medicated hospital birth in June 2016.

stage 4 cancer pregnant

Stage 4 Cancer Diagnosis 2 Months Postpartum

2 months later Michelle was diagnosed with cancer and then came months of chemotherapy, radiation, and recovery.

Once all cleared from treatment and recovery, Michelle was given the go ahead to start trying for baby #2 by her oncologist in January 2018. She had no expectations and just wanted to go with the flow- and if she got pregnant it would just be a bonus. 9 months of trying later she got the positive pregnancy test she was secretly hoping for. The second time around Michelle wanted to be more present in her pregnancy and delivery. She was in the care of midwives and got to experience an educated and natural hospital childbirth with her second baby.

Michelle Martyniuk Bio

Michelle lives in Ontario Canada with her husband Dan and their 2 children; Amelia 3, and Brody 3 months. Shortly after Amelia was born, Michelle received a phone call from her doctor that would change everything. She was diagnosed with cancer only 2 months after the birth of their daughter. She went from becoming a new mother into the world of being a cancer patient within the span of one phone call. Her postpartum and first go at motherhood was not anything like she could have had imagined. Connect with her via email at michelle.martyniuk@gmail.com

Resources

Kelly Mom

Book: Ina May Gaskin: Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

Aeroflow Breastpumps

Aeroflow Breastpumps has helped thousands of new and expecting moms find the perfect pump for her lifestyle. They offer all major pump brands including Medela, Spectra, Motif, Lansinoh and more. And the best part, they take care of everything – including getting all required paperwork, dealing with your insurance company, and explaining your options in order to get your free pump shipped straight to your door. All you have to do is go to the Aeroflow Breastpumps website and fill out their free and easy Qualify Through Insurance form. Be sure to go to aeroflowbreastpumps.com/birthhour so they will know I sent you!

Uneventful Pregnancy, Marathon Labor, and Hard Postpartum

Birth Story Summary

Megan and her husband, David, began trying for their first baby in the Spring of 2018. In April Megan learned she was pregnant with a due date of early January.  She established care with a local Birth Center and had a fairly uneventful pregnancy. 40 weeks came and went and at 42 weeks, she was induced at the birth center as they would  not be able to keep her in their care past 42 weeks. 30 hours later at 42 weeks 2 days and a transfer to the local hospital, their son, Caden, was born on January 20th at 9 lbs 2 oz and 22in long. 

An uneventful pregnancy, marathon labor, and difficult postpartum opened Megan’s eyes to the various resources within her local birth community and sparked a fire in her to help inform new and expecting moms about what their options truly are when it comes to pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. 

hospital transfer birth story

Megan Taylor Bio

Megan was born, raised, and currently resides in McKinney, Texas with her husband (David), 7 month old Son (Caden) and 2 dogs (Kali and Piper). Megan works for a local nonprofit as a Grant Writer and teaches dance classes for low income youth within the community. Megan is a retired dancer and enjoys all things fitness related. Current hobbies include yoga and weight lifting. She also loves spending time with her family outdoors (except for those Texas summers), cooking with her husband, and traveling. Connect with her on Facebook- Megan Taylor (Morgan) or Instagram @megantaylor6813.

Resources

Megan’s Lactation Consultant

Expecting Better The Birth Partner

Best Birth Prep- Know Your Options Childbirth Course

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! I especially love their Simply Sublime nursing tank, their high waisted leggings (for pregnancy AND postpartum), the comfy Jane pajamas, and their high waisted underwear!


Empowering Birth Despite Cascade of Interventions

Birth Story

Sarah got pregnant very quickly with her daughter Savannah- so quickly it ended up being a shock even though it was planned. Sarah had an easy pregnancy physically, but experienced significant challenges and upheaval in her life during her pregnancy, and did not generally enjoy being pregnant. Sarah was terrified of giving birth but still planned an intervention free hospital birth with her midwives and doula.

However at 39 weeks and 6 days, Sarah’s midwives decided she needed to be induced due to high blood pressure. All of Sarah’s plans went out the window, and what followed was a 48 hour wild ride of an induction, including almost every intervention known to man, and 4 hours of pushing, ending in the vaginal birth of her daughter.

Despite the drastic change in plans, Sarah found the entire experience empowering and felt supported and in control.

Sarah suffered significant tearing, a few challenges with breastfeeding, and even now continues to struggle with postpartum anxiety, but overall she had a very positive and supported postpartum experience, for which she gives credit to her husband, family, doula, Taking Cara Babies Newborn Sleep Class, and her placenta pills.

Sarah Deming Bio

Sarah is 32 years old and lives in Baltimore, Maryland with her husband Misha and daughter Savannah, age 13 months. She is a mixed media artist with a small business, Sarah Deming Art, and also works full time as an Administrative Assistant for a local fine art gallery. In her spare time, Sarah loves to read, garden, bake, sew, and enjoy the great outdoors. You can connect with her on Instagram @sarahdemingart or @sarahdem418 or by email: sae124@gmail.com

Resources

Taking Cara Babies
Doula Odile Penet
Expecting Better by Emily Oster
Mindful Birthing by Nancy Bardacke
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
Know your Options Childbirth Course + Back to Work Breastfeeding Module
The Birth Hour podcast!
Therapy!!!!
Kindred Bravely– hospital gown, nursing pajamas, etc. (coupon code BIRTHHOUR for 20% off)
Aeroflow Breastpumps
Solly Baby and Boba X
Earth Mama perineal spray
My Brest Friend breastfeeding pillow
Cando Kiddo + her Food Before One course
Sarah Beth Yoga
My Baby/Birth Amazon list

College Backer

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 Hospital Births, PPD, & Pelvic Floor Therapy

Three Hospital Births

Annie has three children with about 2 years between each. She has had a hospital induction with epidural due to being almost 42 weeks with her first, an unmedicated vaginal hospital birth, and a hospital induction to have a specific midwife with her third. Having a male provider for her second birth brought up some unresolved sexual traumas from her past so she did everything she could to heal and find a supportive care team for her last birth. She discusses suffering postpartum depression after her second and third births and pelvic floor issues. 

Annie Davis Bio

Annie is currently a stay at home mom to three kids, a dog, and two cats. Her husband is in the military and the frequent moves and lack of childcare at her current location mean she’s taking a year off from her profession as a librarian. Previously she’s flown helicopters and worked as a birth doula/babywearing educator. You can find her on Instagram at @librarylane.

hospital birth inductionResources

Doula – A piece of mind doula, llc 

Birth photographer – unscripted imagery

Penny Simkin’s the birth partner 

The know your options class (esp the postpartum plan sheet) 

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist – NeuMe Physio

Psychologist/PCM who can help with medications and ppd/ppa 

Aeroflow breastpumps – spectra and kiinde system

Local babywearing groups

Local mom fitness groups – Stroller Strong  Moms – Leavenworth 

Sealy Baby

Today’s episode is sponsored by Sealy Baby. Visit them on Instagram to learn more about the brand new Tempur-Pedic® Baby Crib Mattress, as well as a few of America’s favorite baby mattresses from Sealy Baby. 

Neurological Restoration in Pregnancy

Alicia Eastes is a screenwriter/writer, documentary filmmaker, and founding co-President of an emerging chapter of Women in Film and Television International in Austin, Texas. She lives with her husband and 3½ year old daughter in the South Austin community, where she’ll be welcoming their second child in December 2019. After her amazing experience of neurological restoration through her first pregnancy, Alicia is passionate about connecting with other mothers whose pregnancies or birthing experiences somehow healed them from previous trauma – especially head injuries. Please share your stories of restoration through pregnancy!

To reach Alicia, email her at achoina@gmail.com, connect with her on Facebook, or Twitter. To read about Alicia’s restoration through pregnancy and amazing recovery experience, follow her on her Medium blog.

Birth Story

Alicia went into her first birth experience intending an un-medicated hospital birth, with very little self education and preparation, beyond a hospital birthing class, acupressure techniques, and prenatal yoga. Her mother having successfully vaginally delivered four babies un-medicated, she wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but didn’t anticipate the outcome she had. Alicia awoke to her water breaking prematurely at 7am on April 21st, 2019, and after walking as much as possible and waiting for her slow, minor contractions to pick up, she checked into the hospital around 2/3 that afternoon, at the recommendation of her OBGYN Practice. With no mention of the possibility of premature membrane rupture being her condition, she was pressured and rushed by the staff in the hospital to get the baby out within 24 hours, to prevent the risk of infection for her and the baby.

The anxiety was intense, and she wanted to do everything possible to protect her baby, so she took Cytotec ‘augmentation’ at the recommendation of the nurses, around 10pm that evening, when she was dilated 1.5 cm. Her labor went from 0-60 instantly after Cytotec, and there was no mention or warning of the frequency of Cesarean Section after Cytotec, or the risk of uterine rupture. Prince died on April 21, 2016, and when she was offered Fentanyl, she took it, in honor of Prince, but it just made her loopy and did nothing for the pain. She struggled through 5-6 intense hours of labor, when acupressure was absolutely useless, before she begged for an epidural at 7.5 cm, which was incredible relief. She rested before beginning to push at 10am that morning. At noon on Earth Day, April 22, she successfully delivered her baby girl into the world, who came out hungry and ready to nurse, after practicing the last month in utero. It was adorable.

Resources

https://wiftaustin.org/
https://www.facebook.com/wiftaustin/

Episode Sponsor: 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 $30 value five piece cleaning set! 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.

IUD Pregnancy and Hypnobabies Hospital Waterbirth

Megan became pregnant with her first child unexpectedly after 4 years with an IUD. Fortunately, the pregnancy was healthy and viable and continued uneventfully until her son decided to enter the world earlier than she anticipated (37 weeks and 3 days). After being in labor almost a full day without realizing it, Megan made it to the hospital at 10 cm and delivered a healthy baby via waterbirth almost 3 hours later.

hospital waterbirth

Megan Freeland Bio

Megan is a public health pharmacist by trade and a healthcare copywriter by profession. She has a husband, son, and is awaiting the arrival of her daughter.

Resources

Hypnobabies Self-Study Course

DoulaMatch

Motif Medical

Motif Medical 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