Emergency Cesareans and Navigating Breastfeeding and NICU Stay

Despite feeling prepared, Amanda’s first birth experience ended in a cesarean birth when her baby started struggling with heart decelerations. Before the doctor even made the cut, she already knew she wanted a VBAC experience with her next birth. The postpartum experience with her first was challenging, but things settled after a few months.

When Amanda became pregnant over a year later, she did everything she could to prepare for a VBAC. She went into labor at 41 weeks and had an amazing labor but experienced a complete uterine rupture after one hour of pushing. She was rushed into emergency surgery. Once delivered, her baby was rushed to the NICU and remained there for 9 days. While recovering in the hospital Amanda experienced chest pain, and a CT scan revealed a pulmonary embolism. Postpartum had other challenges related to low breastmilk supply and she had a physically and emotionally painful recovery. 

ruptured-uterus-birth-story

Amanda Jamison Bio

Amanda lives near Denver, CO with her husband Jonathan and two kids: Rowan (2.5 years old) and Aria (8 months). She can be found on Instagram at @amanda_moves or on Facebook under Amanda Jamison. 

Resources

Ergobaby

Today’s 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!

Two Positive Unmedicated Birth Stories – Birthing Center and Unexpected Car Birth

Ashley shares two unmedicated birth stories. The first story of her son’s birth was drastically different from her daughter’s birth. Her son was born at a birth center after being in labor for over 26 hours (and pushing for two hours). Her daughter was born in the backseat of her car, after 15 hours of mild contractions and 5 hours of more intense contractions. She appreciates both of her experiences and is grateful to her husband, her main birthing partner in both births. She is also grateful for the Hypnobabies training that she and her husband completed in preparation for childbirth. 

hot yoga pregnancy

Ashley Boone Bio

Ashley is an excited full-time mommy of two. She lives in Orlando, FL with her husband, three year old son, and one year old daughter. She was a Personal Fitness Trainer and a Sales Engineer before she decided to dedicate all her time to her young children. She loves almost all forms of exercise, especially running and hot yoga. She wants to encourage every pregnant Momma to have faith and trust in your body’s abilities!
Contact IG: a_marie_fit

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

Empowering Hospital Birth with Midwives After Infertility

After Liz and her husband Eric experienced a miscarriage in Fall 2018, they thought a few adjustments like addressing slight hypothyroidism would mean another pregnancy within months. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and they ended up undergoing fertility treatment during 2020 and early 2021. Following a failed IVF embryo transfer in February 2021, they conceived their baby girl naturally while waiting for their next embryo transfer. 

Liz sought care during her pregnancy from a group of midwives associated with a large hospital in Chicago. Because of a neuromuscular disease Liz was diagnosed with as a child (Charcot Marie Tooth), Liz also saw a neurologist and Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor, to ensure she and Eric were fully aware of possible complications associated with CMT (those included possible fetal growth restriction, malpresentation, postpartum hemorrhaging, and need for assisted delivery using forceps or vacuum). During pregnancy, Liz aimed to do all she could to prepare her mind and body for birth, including visits with a Webster-certified chiropractor, pelvic floor physical therapist, acupuncturist, and a therapist focusing on pregnancy and early motherhood. Liz also stayed active, keeping up with regular workouts through her 38th week of pregnancy. 

Liz went into labor during the late evening two days before her due date. After laboring all night at home and having contractions 3-4 minutes apart for a couple hours, she, Eric, and their doula Becca headed to the hospital the following morning. Liz was very discouraged to find out she had only dilated to three centimeters, after being at two centimeters at her midwife appointment earlier that week. Because of elevated blood pressure and the midwife’s request to do some labs to check for preeclampsia, Liz was admitted to the hospital. Upon admission, they also determined via manual exam and a quick ultrasound that baby was sunnyside up.

Liz labored into the afternoon with the support of Eric and Becca, but only progressed to four centimeters during that time. She worked with her midwife and team to decide that interventions would be helpful to allow for some rest and progress for her body. An epidural was placed and Pitocin was administered an hour later. After an additional cervical check showed Liz was still at four centimeters dilated, her midwife suggested breaking her waters. That did the trick and between 6 and 9 p.m., Liz’s cervix dilated from four to ten centimeters and baby turned to an ideal position for pushing! 

Pushing was Liz’s favorite part of labor, supported by her amazing team, with Eric holding one leg and their doula Becca holding the other. After just 45 minutes of pushing, their baby was born, healthy but quite calm and quiet. After a couple minutes, baby’s cord was cut by daddy and they realized no one had checked the baby’s sex. Liz was convinced throughout pregnancy it was a boy, so it was a complete surprise when Eric announced it was a baby girl! The team spent a few minutes clearing her airways and checking her vitals before Liz and Eric enjoyed a magical golden hour with baby Emmeline Mae. 

Liz and Emmeline’s postpartum journey so far has included significant sacroiliac joint pain and treatment for Liz and a milk protein intolerance for Emmeline. Liz is extremely grateful for a long period of parental leave, by US standards, and is looking forward to springtime adventures at home with Emmeline! 

Liz Parker birth story

Liz Parker Bio

Liz Parker and her husband Eric live in Chicago with their first baby Bug the Pug and their newest addition, Emmeline Mae, who arrived in December 2021. Liz and Eric both work for a large accounting and consulting firm, where they met while recruiting at their shared alma mater. They love exploring different neighborhoods, parks, and restaurants in their city, and traveling to new places together. They can’t wait to take Emmeline on future adventures, especially to visit family and friends all over the US! Connect with her on Instagram at @lizzyleigh17 or on Facebook under Liz Byrum Parker.

Resources

Premama Wellness

Today’s episode is sponsored by Premama Wellness. Premama creates doctor-backed supplements that support every stage of your maternity wellness journey. From balancing hormones, to trying to conceive, pregnancy, postpartum recovery, and breastfeeding nutritional support. All Premama supplements are gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan or vegetarian, with no additives and no synthetic flavors. Discover why moms (and dads-to-be!) trust Premama wellness for their nutritional support by visiting Premamawellness.comYou can use the code BirthHour25 for 25% off your purchase!

Managing Anxiety and Depression, Using SNS Nursing System, and Finding Support

Sophie Croen McMinimee Bio

Sophie is a lifelong planner, managing nonprofit events for a living. When it came to birthing and then raising her now 2.5 year old Claire, Sophie faced many unknowns, causing her a lot of anxiety. Prodromal labor and sleepless nights didn’t set Sophie up for success in her early postpartum days. The pandemic, nursing challenges, and postpartum depression ultimately made for a tough first eight months of bonding with Claire. After various means of support, Sophie’s mental health improved, along with her confidence as a mom and her bond with Claire. Connect with Sophie on Instagram @sophchroem.

sns nursing system

Ergobaby

Today’s 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!

Unmedicated Hospital Birth with Severe Prenatal and Postpartum Anxiety and OCD During Covid Lockdown

Nicole and her husband,  Kyle,  were excited to try to start a family in 2019. Nicole had a prior medical history of anxiety and had been taking the same anti-anxiety medication for the past ten years without any issue. Prior to trying to conceive, Nicole made a family planning appointment with her OB in order to check the medication’s safety or to be prescribed an alternative that was safe to conceive on. When told by her OB that nothing was 100% safe and she should consider weaning off her medication, Nicole did so. Ultimately, this sent her into an emotional tailspin.

Upon receiving that positive pregnancy test, Nicole and Kyle were elated. Heightened anxiety after weaning off her medication coupled with first trimester hormones led Nicole to seek out a second opinion in regards to starting medication. To her relief, she found a OB who prescribed her a medication that had been used in pregnancy and had an overall good prognosis. Around 12 weeks, Nicole switched to midwifery care and focused on learning how to cope with labor pain and fulfill her dream of having a natural vaginal birth. Nicole went into labor at 40 weeks and one day and delivered Claire in what she describes as  “the perfect natural birth” that she was able to achieve with the help and support of both her husband and her midwife.

Nicole’s postpartum was extremely difficult as she was diagnosed with postpartum anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder during the height of Covid. She experienced breast-feeding issues with Claire which led her to exclusively pump. She ended up not returning to work after her maternity leave ended as she continued to battle her diagnosis during a time when the world had shut down. It was with the help of a psychiatrist and the proper medication dosage that Nicole started to feel somewhat normal. The overall anxiousness did not completely subside until she had ended breastfeeding when Claire was 11 months old.

After Claire’s first birthday, Kyle and Nicole decided to try to conceive again and to their surprise it happened quite quickly. The couple had reservations considering Nicole’s last pregnancy and postpartum but her psychiatrist assured them that relapse was highly unlikely as long as Nicole remained at her current medication dosage. Nicole’s pregnancy was uneventful until she contracted Covid at 24 weeks pregnant. Thankfully, her symptoms were mild but she contemplates that this may have been the reason she went into preterm labor at 36 weeks 6 days as Covid has been linked to preterm labor. After 7 hours of active labor and dilating to 6 cm, labor ended abruptly after an IV fluid bolus. Charlotte was born two weeks later after a four hour labor which almost ended in a car delivery.

ppa ocd

Nicole’s second postpartum was nothing short of redemption. She felt that she was able to enjoy her newborn daughter in ways she never was able to with her first. The only anxiety she felt was what she described as “normal for a new mom of two”. While redeeming and at times blissful, it brought about a sense of guilt for her experience with Claire. Nicole was able to breastfeed Charlotte who was diagnosed with a dairy and soy intolerance two weeks after birth. Nicole was able to eliminate both from her diet and Charlotte is currently thriving. 

Nicole hopes that by sharing her story it may provide a glimmer of hope for mamas with similar experiences.

Nicole Turcotte Bio

Nicole and her family reside in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. She and her husband, Kyle, share daughters Claire (2 yrs.) and Charlotte (4 mo). Nicole is a registered nurse/current stay at home mom and Kyle owns a landscaping/tree removal company.  Instagram handle – @nicole.m.turcotte

Resources

KiwiCo Panda Crate

Panda Crate subscription from KiwiCo, your baby receives a new crate filled with two-months’ worth of products and content every other month. Build a foundation for early learning this new year with Panda Crate from KiwiCo! Get 30% off your first month on ANY crate line with code BIRTHHOUR at kiwico.com.

Difficult Induction Followed by Fast Almost Car Birth Story

Kash (2017) 

After finding out she was pregnant with her first child, Destiny did a lot of  research on birth. After watching The Business of Being Born, she desired to  have an unmedicated vaginal birth if she was able. Her pregnancy went smoothly,  but after her due date came and went, it was suggested that she schedule an induction due to low amniotic fluid. Destiny labored for 13 hours and reached 7cms before getting an epidural. She was given an episiotomy and forceps were used to deliver her son.  

Kendyll (2021) 

For her second pregnancy, Destiny was determined that she didn’t want to be induced. She really wanted to avoid any interventions this go around. She hired a  doula and just like her first pregnancy, her due date came and went. Although her non-stress test results came back normal, she scheduled an induction. The day before her induction, labor started naturally in the early hours of the morning.  After calling her doula, and family members who would be driving an hour to watch her son, she began timing the contractions. The time between contractions quickly started decreasing, and her husband feared that they wouldn’t make it to the hospital (which was a half hour away) in time. Deciding to meet their family at  the hospital, they packed up and made their way to the hospital. Experiencing  transition in the car, Destiny feared she waited too long and would have the baby  in the car. Thankfully, they made it to the hospital, and 9 minutes after arriving Kendyll was born. 

destiny-barr
Both photos by Heart Love Photography

Destiny Barr Bio

Bio: Destiny lives in Mt. Wolf, PA with her husband Keon and their two kids, Kash  (age 4) and Kendyll (7 months). She is a government employee and does family  portrait photography occasionally. She is a birth nerd, and can listen to birth  stories for hours. She enjoys spending time with her family and watching her kids  experience new things. You can connect with Destiny via Instagram  @destiny_byrd_  

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!