Fallopian Tube Cyst

In March 2018, Hannah found out she had a large cyst on one of her fallopian tubes that required surgical removal of both. This began a conversation between Hannah and her husband about when they should begin their conception journey. They were very lucky and ended up conceiving on their first try. In January 2019, Hannah took a pregnancy test and was ecstatic as she watched the two blue lines form into a plus sign. Hannah enjoyed being pregnant and spent much of her time researching and planning to have an unmedicated birth. But Hannah also spent much of her time a little stressed and uncertain as she worked as a nurse in the Emergency Department of a major hospital during the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

At her 37 week appointment, Hannah’s OBGYN discovered that her baby was in the breech position and had also developed a heart arrhythmia. She was sent to Labor and Delivery for further follow up and an ultrasound. Her baby was measuring in the 96th percentile for weight and her amniotic fluid levels were low. The doctors recommended an urgent Cesarean section that evening. Of course, Hannah’s Husband was on the ocean fishing during this time. Luckily, he was able to make it back with an hour and twenty-six minutes before baby was born. Hannah loves her birth story, but it is vastly different from what she had ever imagined and she is still trying to process through what happened and why. She and her husband feel blessed and are happy to have their healthy daughter here!

er-nurse-giving-birth-in-pandemic

Hannah Wildhaber Bio

Hannah Wildhaber lives in Dayton, Oregon, and is married to her high-school sweetheart, Luke. They share their home with a dog named Harold, a cat named Howard, and their new baby girl, Rosemary Jude, welcomed on August 24, 2020. Hannah is an Emergency Department nurse while her husband, Luke, is an agricultural financial loan analyst. In their free time, they are avid outdoors people, spending most of their off days on the water fishing. Connect with her on Instagram: @hannah_wildhaber or on Facebook: Hannah Wildhaber. You can also email her via harder.hannah@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

Positive Epidural Birth But Husband Missed it Due to Positive Covid-19 Test

JoAnne and Adam decided to start trying for a baby over the summer of 2019 and were lucky enough to get pregnant on their first try.  Despite having gestational diabetes, JoAnne’s pregnancy was a breeze and she absolutely loved being pregnant.  When JoAnne was almost 9 months pregnant, Adam contracted the coronavirus and tested positive on two separate occasions several weeks apart.  JoAnne and Adam had to spend the last six weeks of her pregnancy completely separated. 

Due to the hospital’s ever changing policies, Adam was not allowed to be JoAnne’s support person.  He had to miss the birth of his daughter. 

Labor and delivery was a great experience for JoAnne – the epidural made it pain free and the doctor said she was “born to have babies.”  The first couple of days postpartum were a struggle for JoAnne and her mom (who was her support person) due to covid related policies and complications getting discharged from the hospital

baby born during covid-19

JoAnne Sines Bio

JoAnne lives in Massachusetts with her husband Adam and 5 month old daughter Elsie.  She was a classroom teacher for four years and has her masters degree in education.  She is now a stay at home mom who enjoys doing a variety of activities with her daughter each day.  You can find JoAnne on Instagram @stayathometeacher2020

Peanut

Peanut is an app that helps you make meaningful connections throughout all stages of motherhood. Peanut provides a safe space for mothers, expectant mothers and those trying to conceive to build friendships, ask questions and find support by introducing you to others nearby who are at a similar stage in life, Peanut provides access to a community who is there to listen, share information and offer valuable advice: Whether it’s understanding IVF, adoption, pregnancy, baby’s first years or beyond, Peanut is a place to connect with other moms in the thick of it.

Download the app for free today!


Prenatal Down Syndrome Diagnosis & Unplanned Cesarean Birth

Megan and her husband, Matt, waited one year after their wedding to start their family. After four months of trying, Megan was ecstatic to learn she was pregnant!

While her husband was out-of-state for work, Megan attended her first-trimester screening, where she learned her baby had soft markers for Trisomy 21 or other genetic anomalies.  Megan called her husband from her car in a McDonald’s parking lot, where through her sobs, she told him she felt like she finally had a higher sense of purpose. After meeting with a genetic counselor, Megan and Matt decided to pursue a cell-free DNA test instead of an amniocentesis. While they waited for the results, Megan and Matt treated themselves to a weekend away as a means of distraction. Megan convinced her husband to stay an extra night, arguing that if their baby had Down Syndrome, they wouldn’t be able to afford weekend getaways anymore. (She has a flair for the dramatic ;). Within an hour of returning home, they got the call: their baby had Down syndrome, and they were having a boy!

Megan and Matt embraced their son’s diagnosis and quickly found a home in the Down syndrome community.

Megan struggled with anxiety about the prospect of something going wrong during her labor, or the need for a NICU stay. After many discussions with her midwives and husband, Megan decided to have an epidural assisted birth to ensure that she had the mental and emotional clarity available to make any big decisions.

Six days before her due date, around 1:30 am, Megan woke up to a contraction. They kept coming, and around 5:00 am she could no longer stay in bed to work through the contractions. When she went to use the bathroom, her water broke, so she called her midwife, who gave her the go-ahead to labor at home. About 5 hours later, she headed to the hospital to learn that she was 5cm dilated, fully effaced, and baby was at zero station. Shortly after arriving at the hospital, she received her epidural and by 10:00 pm was fully dilated. Her epidural wore off on one side of her body, but this allowed her to labor and push in different positions with the help of her doula and husband. She learned baby was posterior, and she agreed to Pitocin to see if it would help him turn. Baby did turn, but did not descend and was still at zero station. Megan spent a few hours pushing in different positions to try to help baby descend, but he wouldn’t budge. After an unsuccessful vacuum-assisted birth, the only option was a cesarean section. Because her epidural had worn off hours before, Megan was put under general anesthesia for the surgery.

down syndrome baby

After 29 hours of labor, Robert Ignatius was born at 6:22am weighing 8lbs 12oz.

Bert latched right away and Megan was able to nurse him for one month. It then became clear that she needed to pump exclusively, which she kept up for 13 months. At two months old, Bert had surgery to have a gastrostomy tube placed. At four months old he had open-heart surgery. When he was six months old he accompanied his parents to the same place they had gone while waiting on the results from the cell-free DNA test, because, you know, they can still afford the occasional weekend getaway. 😉 He is now a thriving two-year-old and has never lived a day where Megan hasn’t felt lucky beyond belief that he is hers. He continues to amaze, teach, and inspire anyone who meets him.

Megan’s Bio

Megan lives in Baltimore City, Maryland with her husband, Matt and their two year old son, Robert, whom they call Bert. In her free time she enjoys cross-stitching, reading, (ahem, listening to audiobooks, because reading makes her sleepy) touring historical homes, drinking wine, and just basking in the glory of her chromosomally enhanced boy. She’s an active member of the Chesapeake Down Syndrome Parent Group (CDSPG) and loves to share Bert’s light. She would like to shout out the city moms of CDSPG for keeping her laughing and sane. Feel free to connect with her on Instagram, @robertignites.

Resources

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). Listen to this episode for a special coupon code and to hear about my new favorites in their loungewear including the Clea Bamboo Pajamas, Betsy Ribbed Bamboo Nursing & Maternity Nightgown, and Bamboo Maternity & Postpartum Lounge Pants.

Unmedicated Hospital, Birth Center & Homebirth Births

Christina labored for two days before her first un-medicated birth in a hospital. Despite having an incredibly supportive partner and doula, the birth was a stressful experience followed by a long 3 month recovery.

She carefully chose her midwife for her second birth at the local birth center, which ended up being a much more positive and redemptive birth. For her third birth, she had originally planned to use the birth center again, but her plans changed half way through her pregnancy and she found herself planning her dream homebirth in the midst of a pandemic.

Her third birth was as peaceful and beautiful as she had imagined it, but when her daughter stopped breastfeeding after routine lip and tongue tie revisions at 5 days old, she struggled with an unexpectedly difficult and emotional immediate postpartum period.  

homebirth waterbirth
All photos by Brittney Hogue of Peoria Births

Christina Reynolds Bio

Christina (or Tina) lives in central Illinois and currently works in investment services, though she still isn’t sure what she wants to do “when she grows up”. She and her husband Chris have been married for 7 years and they have 3 children. She loves everything relating to pregnancy and birth and hopes to become a natural childbirth educator when her own children are older. She also enjoys caring for her collection of houseplants, listening to podcasts and baking. Message her on FB or Instagram @tina.rey3

Resources

Ergobaby

Today’s episode is sponsored by Ergobaby. Founded in 2003, Ergobaby has pioneered the gold standard for comfortable, ergonomic soft structured carriers. Ergobaby is dedicated to helping families bond, grow, and thrive by creating premium baby products where function and quality are not compromised. Ergobaby has created a broad range of award-winning baby carriers, strollers, swaddlers, nursing pillows, and related products that fit into families’ daily lives seamlessly, comfortably and safely. 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.

3 Pregnancies & Births with Severe Papillary Nephrocalcinosis

Morgan’s 1st Pregnancy & Birth

Morgan has struggled with Early ovarian failure since she was 16. Her doctor was not even sure that she would be able to have babies, but Morgan prayed for it because being a Mom was the only thing she has always wanted to do. After Morgan and Doug got married in June 2015, they started trying to conceive. Thankfully, they were able to get pregnant on the first try, not even a month after they were married. 

Morgan’s pregnancy was pretty easy in the beginning, aside from morning sickness. At 26 weeks, Morgan woke up in horrible pain in the middle of the night. Doug was working as a diesel mechanic over an hour away, so she had her mom take her the the hospital which was about 45 minutes away. Morgan found out she was passing a lot of kidney stones (she has struggled with a kidney disease since high school- it is a rare genetic condition). Throughout the rest of her pregnancy, Morgan passed kidney stones every couple of days. During this time, Morgan was a Senior in college, finishing up her Education degree. 

Morgan was due the Tuesday of Spring Break, and told her doctor that the baby HAD to come during spring break so she could finish student-teaching. Monday morning of her spring break, Morgan and Doug drove to the doctor’s office (45 minutes away). When she got checked, Morgan was dilated to 2cm and 100% effaced so she was able to get her membranes stripped to help things get started. She and Doug drove home and labored most of the day. Side note – Morgan passed a giant kidney stone 10 minutes before they left for the hospital.

After contractions started to get about 8 minutes apart, they headed to the hospital and settled into the OB unit. Baby looked good and so did Morgan’s blood pressure so they let her labor in the tub and on the ball. Morgan had been very committed to having an unmedicated birth because she didn’t want to be the first person in her family to have an epidural. Unfortunately, Morgan’s body was not able to relax enough after being in active labor from 10 am to 11:45pm. Morgan hadn’t progressed past a 4 and the doctor who was going to be delivering the baby told her she was either going to get an epidural or he would take her in for a c-section. After a half-hour of crying and feeling devastated, Morgan got the epidural. After the epidural was placed, Morgan was finally able to take a short nap. At about 4am, the nurse came into the room to check the baby, catheter, etc., and as she started to leave Morgan felt a giant pop/gush. It was definitely her water. At 6:30 am, Morgan was finally ready to push. The doctor came back in and Morgan was able to push the baby out in less than 30 minutes. Baby was a surprise gender, and Morgan and Doug met their baby GIRL, Emerson Lee, on her due date after 29 hours of labor.

After they got home, Morgan became really sick. She had a high fever and her skin hurt so badly she would cry every time she nursed. Morgan thought she had mastitis so she went in to see a lactation specialist and was able to rule out mastitis. Morgan was then sent over to her OB  where she was checked out and found out that she had a very bad uterine infection. After a round of IV and at home antibiotics, she was feeling so much better and was able to settle into the journey of motherhood. 

Papillary Nephrocalcinosis babies

Morgan’s 2nd Pregnancy & Birth

In April 2018, Morgan ended up having a ministroke that was completely random and not really understood why. She spent 3 weeks in the ICU and Hospital learning how to reuse her left side. Shortly after she recovered, Morgan found out that she was pregnant again. She was completely shocked because she had just been through a huge medical issue and was not mentally or physically very healthy. Still, Morgan and her husband were very excited. Morgan was sick during the entire pregnancy with baby no. 2. She ended up losing almost 50 pounds at the beginning of the pregnancy just from being so sick, and getting off a lot of the stroke related meds. 

At 28 weeks, Morgan ended up back in the hospital with horrible kidney pain, fever, sick, dehydrated, etc. They did an ultrasound and found 4 stones that were backed up and infected. She ended up going into emergency surgery at 28 weeks pregnant to remove the infected stones. She and the baby came out of it great and the rest of the pregnancy was mostly normal. 

At 36 weeks, Morgan’s blood pressure was high at her appointment so she was monitored at the hospital. They were able to get her blood pressure under control and she was able to go home. Morgan was scheduled to come back into the office two days later on the day she was 37 weeks along. At that appointment, she had a bad headache, her blood pressure read very high continually for an hour, so the doctor that she was seeing at the time decided that they were going to have to admit her and deliver the baby because of preeclampsia. The doctor stripped her membranes, and then Morgan was immediately sent to the hospital and hooked up to magnesium and started her on the cytotec pill. At 8am the next morning, she was only dilated to a 3 but they broke her water and started a very high dose of pitocin. After 26 hours in labor and not a lot of progress she decided to get an epidural that ended up being very ineffective. After the epidural was placed, Morgan’s blood pressure ended up dropping as low as it could without being dead, and they lost the baby’s heartbeat. Once they had everything back under control, she had to labor without medication or epidural. After 37 hours, she ended up delivering their surprise baby boy. 

After delivery the baby did great in the hospital other than losing a lot of weight to start with. On the day that they were supposed to leave the hospital, Morgan woke up with a 107 degree fever, body aches, etc. Turns out she had another uterine infection and they were kept in the hospital an extra 2 days to be on IV antibiotics. 

three-births-Papillary Nephrocalcinosis

Morgan’s 3rd Pregnancy & Birth

Morgan and Doug knew that they wanted another baby and figured it would take a while, so they started “trying but not really” when their son was about 7 months old. Morgan ended up having another mini stroke , was life flighted to a bigger hospital, and while they were in the hospital, they ended up sharing with them that they were pregnant. Morgan and Doug were very shocked but excited. 

Morgan ended up hiring a doula for this pregnancy to help her get through this pregnancy and birth since the first two were so long and somewhat traumatic. 

Morgan also struggles with a bad genetic Kidney disease that causes her to grow hundreds of Kidney stones in the tissue/lining of her kidneys that is not curable and not caused by diet, medications, etc. It is genetic and very painful. Because of this disease, the beginning of Morgan’s third pregnancy was very difficult. She spent the first almost 5 months in and out of the hospital for hydration issues, pain control, etc. She ended up having to have kidney surgery at 10 weeks and again at 28 weeks. Her stones at 28 weeks made her almost septic and they were scared they were going to lose the baby. 

After the surgeries Morgan and the baby were doing fine, but they had to go in for non-stress tests and ultrasounds once a week. 

At Morgans 34, 35, and 36 week appointments, the baby had been head down and very engaged, but when she went in for her 38 week appointment, (they were supposed to get membranes stripped and get labor going) the baby had turned its head up into Morgan’s hip. She had to do spinning babies, lay upside-down on an ironing board. She went back on that Friday (3 days later) and had an ultrasound and non stress test. They found out that the baby was engaged again, she was 3 cm dilated and 70% effaced. They ended up stripping her membranes and sending her home. Morgan then labored at home for the rest of the day, and ended up going into the hospital that night. 

This pregnancy and labor were happening during the biggest flare up of the Covid-19, so the entire pregnancy had been very stressful for them, but they were also told that the Doula that Morgan had been so excited about, was not going to be allowed in the hospital with them. When they showed up at the hospital they spent almost an hour going through the check in process with the Covid Restrictions, all while Morgan was in active labor. 

Once they finally got upstairs, Morgan was admitted because she was contracting a heavy amount and showed signs of early preeclampsia again. 

Morgan labored all night with just her and her husband. At 5am she was hooked up to pitocin and the contractions started coming very hard and strong every 45 seconds. She decided to get an epidural, but they had to do it three different times and it ended up not even working. After she had a dose of Fentanyl, Morgan was able to take a little nap and woke up feeling huge pressure. Morgan ended up pushing their 3 surprise baby out in three pushes and met their new baby girl. She ended up having a little bit of postpartum hemorrhaging and then her baby girl was taken away to the nursery because her stats were not exactly where they wanted them.

Finally the baby was brought back to her. The baby (Willa Ruth) struggled to start nursing, but once they got started, they did a great job nursing together. Morgan was started on preemptive antibiotics for the uterine infection. The day that they were supposed to go home, Willa Ruth failed her bilirubin levels test and had to be placed under the lamp. Doug ended up being kicked out of the hospital because of Covid regulations and Morgan and Willa were stuck there by themselves for another three days. 

They were finally released and sent home, where they all settled in great to a family of five. 

Doug and Morgan are doing great. Emerson is now 4 years old, Sawyer will be 2 in January, and Willa Ruth is 5 months old. Morgan really wants another baby, but they have decided they will wait until Willa is almost 2 before they make their decision. They are loving life as a family of 5!

Morgan Watson Bio

Morgan is 26 years old, a middle school teacher in her home town of Athena, Oregon. Her and her husband have been together for 10 years and married this last June for 5 years. They have three kiddos, Emerson who is 4, Sawyer who is 1 (20 months), and Willa who is 4 months! Morgan’s husband is a farmer and works/owns part of their family farm which they live on, actually the same property as her Grandparents. 

Peanut

Peanut is an app that helps you make meaningful connections throughout all stages of motherhood. Peanut provides a safe space for mothers, expectant mothers and those trying to conceive to build friendships, ask questions and find support by introducing you to others nearby who are at a similar stage in life, Peanut provides access to a community who is there to listen, share information and offer valuable advice: Whether it’s understanding IVF, adoption, pregnancy, baby’s first years or beyond, Peanut is a place to connect with other moms in the thick of it.

Download the app for free today!

Infertility & IVF Journey + How it Impacts Pregnancy, Birth, & Postpartum

Brett and her husband went through two IUIs and 5 rounds of IVF. On their fourth round they had two viable embryos and both transfers eventually became her two sons. Brett says the experience of going through IVF nearly broke her but just before it did it she fought back and ending up learning things about herself that she never knew. Since then she has made it her goal to help other women suffering in silence to feel less alone in their struggles with infertility.

ivf fourth round

Brett Russo Bio

Brett was born and raised in New Jersey. She graduated with a degree in business management from Bucknell University, where she also met her future husband. After graduation, Brett found her passion working beside her twin brother and father for her family’s printing company, of which she is now the chief executive officer. She married her husband in 2015, and together they fought the hardest battle of their lives with their journey through IVF. Read her new book, The Underwear in My Shoe: My Journey Through IVF, Unfiltered and connect with her here.

Babylist

This episode was sponsored by the people at Babylist believe that you should be able to get exactly what you need for your unique and growing family. That’s why their baby registry lets you add any item from any store. Even add cool services and favors like prenatal yoga, doula support, home-cooked meals or dog walking. Start your registry today to be eligible for a free Hello Baby Box of goodies for baby worth up to $190 while boxes last.