Two Positive Post-dates Induction Birth Stories

Teddy’s Birth

Whitney got married in 2015 and spent the first 4 years of marriage completing her education and settling into her career. She was overjoyed to discover she was pregnant in October 2019. She planned for an unmedicated hospital birth with a family medicine doctor. Despite some first trimester food aversions and exhaustion, her pregnancy was smooth and free of complications. The COVID-19 pandemic hit the US at the beginning of Whitney’s third trimester, leading to a furlough from her job and a lot of uncertainty regarding her birth and post-partum experience. She made the most of her time at home, listening to every episode of The Birth Hour, walking miles per day, and reading every birth book she could get her hands on. Despite her desire to go into labor on her own, Whitney ended up with a long post-dates induction at 41+3. Even though she did not achieve her goal of an undmedicated birth, the birth of Whitney’s son Teddy was one of the most beautiful, empowering days of her life. 

Harvey’s Birth

After a chaotic post-partum after Teddy’s birth (selling and buying a house, a new job, and a big move all in his first year), Whitney and her husband were excited to add a second child to their family. Whitney became pregnant in October 2021 and her pregnancy quickly followed the pattern of her first – food aversions, nausea, exhaustion – but thankfully remained complication-free. Whitney established care with a midwife and planned again for an unmedicated hospital birth with the goal of going into labor on her own. Despite trying everything (except castor oil) to start labor at home, Whitney had the medication-free post-dates induction of her dreams. Baby Harvey entered the world with the fetal ejection reflex in one of the coolest experiences Whitney has ever had. Postpartum with Harvey was joyful and relaxing!

Whitney Stock Bio

Whitney is an optometrist who lives in the Minneapolis suburbs with her husband, Ben, her two sons, Teddy and Harvey, and her labradoodle, Violet. She is an avid reader, and loves to bake, hike, and plan intricate travel itineraries. You can usually find Whitney hanging out at the lake, chasing her toddler around, or cozied up with a good book. Connect with her on IG @whit.stock or on Facebook Whitney Stock

Resources

Simply Magnetic Me

This episode is sponsored by Simply Magnetic Me. Simply Magnetic Me is the new sister brand to Magnetic Me, beloved for its smart magnetic fasteners that make changing baby practically effortless. We love that they make shopping for baby clothes easy by offering curated multi-packs with built in savings – with outfits as low as $15 each. Create your own bundle by mixing and matching prints, styles, and sizes – the more outfits in your cart, the more you save. Made from certified, 100% organic cotton, Simply Magnetic Me fabrics are as soft as they are sustainable. So head over to simplymagneticme.com/birthhour and use Promo code: BIRTHHOUR

Reel Paper

Reel Paper makes a sustainable toilet paper that uses 100% bamboo with no inks, dyes, or BPAs so it’s safe for even the littlest members of your family. The great thing about Bamboo is that it’s a fast-growing grass. Some species of bamboo can grow up to 3 feet per day and because it’s a grass they’re able to harvest the same stalk over and over without disrupting the plant or soil. Reel paper is available in easy, hassle-free subscriptions or for one-time purchases on their website. All orders are conveniently delivered to your door with free shipping in 100% recyclable, plastic-free packaging. If you head to reelpaper.com/birthhour and sign up for a subscription using code BIRTHHOUR at checkout, you’ll automatically get 30% off your first order and FREE SHIPPING!


Postpartum Story: High Blood Pressure, Hemangiomas, and Blood in Baby’s Stool

Jenny’s pregnancies were considered high risk due to pre-existing hypertension and a history of cancer. She was induced at 40 weeks with a long labor and eventual C-section for her first baby. For her second baby, she strongly desired to avoid induction and go into labor spontaneously so she hired a doula to help advocate for a VBAC. After a roller coaster of medical interventions at the end of her second pregnancy, she had a scheduled C-section at 41 weeks. During her postpartum period she experienced several challenges including postpartum high blood pressure, blood in baby’s stool, hemangiomas, and breastfeeding challenges.

Hemangiomas-birth-story

Jenny Novak Bio

Jenny is an emergency manager and writer residing in Long Beach, California with her husband, J.B. and two daughters. Scarlett was born in July 2019 and Sasha was born in August 2021. Connect with her on Instagram @jennynovakbrown Facebook Jenny Novak Brown or via her website http://jennynovak.com 

Resources

  • The Birth Hour
  • Nest Collaborative
  • Kindred Bravely
  • Facebook Groups – Respectful Sleep Training/Learning, Due Date Groups, Local Childcare Groups, Local Buy Nothing, Dairy and Soy free Breastfeeding Support
  • Instagram – @hemangioma.momma @mommy.labornurse @feedinglittles @free.to.feed @thebirthtrauma_mama @legendairymilk @happyasamother
  • Care.com
  • Apps – What to Expect, Baby Tracker App, The Bump, Mamava

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 and new Evolve 3-in-1 Bouncer that we discussed on the podcast!

Unmedicated 18 Hour Active Labor in South African Hospital

At 36,5 weeks Alice had a not consented stretch and sweep performed by her doctor which fractured the trust between them. Her doctor started to push for an induction and with the high c-section rates in SA’s private hospitals (76,8%) she had a tough decision to make. Over 2 and a half weeks she researched moving her birth home, and also to another hospital. In the last few weeks of pregnancy, shifting care providers was an immensely difficult decision. 

At 38,5 weeks she was seen by another doctor that she connected with immediately- who took on her birth in another practice at the 11th hour. It was the toughest and in the end most important decision she made to ensure her birth wish of a vaginal, unmedicated birth was supported because in the end, she had a mammoth labour of 4 days in latent labour and 18 hours active labour, which her previous care provider would certainly not have made space for. 

As mentioned, Alice went into latent labour 4 days before baby arrived . Which looked like contractions every night from 9pm that would stop by the morning. It was a bit disheartening each morning when they would end. But her Doula kept reassuring her it was all very normal. And shared stories of similarities with other moms’ labour that sometimes had this for a week leading to D day. 

After a big Christmas lunch the contractions started that evening and didn’t stop. At the time she was staying out of town with her husband and family in Stellenbosch so we left quietly at 11PM to drive through to Mowbray to be closer to the hospital. 

He went back to bed and Alice dealt with the contractions – timing them on an app- and woke him up at 3:40am to tell him they were getting closer together. Then they decided to go to the hospital. So they packed the bags and left, calling their doula to meet them there. 

They arrived at the hospital at around 4am and settled into the labour room. The rooms were wonderful and big and had a bath- which Alice used a lot! The doula prepared the room with essential oils, Enya and a pink salt lamp. 

alice toich portrait

The nurse checked Alice and she was 4 cm … 

6 hours later she had only progressed to 5 cm and it was tough because she hadn’t slept for 38 hours -so was exhausted, 

By 2pm the doctor came a second time and was concerned as to why the labour was taking so long. She didn’t know what was normal but it was very tough- contractions were between 10 and 5 minutes for hours on end. She did an ultrasound and discovered Nova’s head was flexed, she said they deliver babies like this via c-section. Which was a huge blow to hear because Alice’s dream was to have unmedicated vaginal delivery. The doctor asked if I wanted to go to theatre or if Alice had 2 more hours in her. Alice said:” I have two more hours”, so she broke my

waters and offered Alice an internal head manipulation to try get the baby’s head in a better position to descend. Alice says this was the most painful part of labour: 

After that, things ramped up and for the next 40 minutes she progressed into “transition”. “Wow!” She was shaking all over and couldn’t control her breathing any longer. 

The doula and Julz were indispensable ( as were their poor crushed hands) and Alice suddenly (finally) felt the urge to “push”. Alice told her doula who called the nurse. When she checked Alice, she was 10 cm and ready to push the baby out! She could not believe it – it worked ! They felt elated! 

She pushed hard for a short 15 mins. They allowed her to feel baby crowning which was massively motivating. Dr said she’d like to do a small cut as Alice would have torn badly due to a very strong and tight wall. Alice pushed through a contraction, made the decision to okay an episiotomy and agreed to it. She administered some local and Alice didn’t feel it at all! 

One push later a head popped out! She was so happy! They asked Alice if she wanted to put her baby girl on her chest and she said yes! She grabbed her and hugged her warm tony body against her. It was the wildest, most love-filled moment of her life! Julz and her were both in tears. So was their doula. Nova Magnolia was born the day after Christmas.

Alice Toich Bio

Alice grew up in South Africa, studied classical painting abroad in Italy, France and New York and is now based in Cape Town where she is raising her first born, Nova, and her fur-born, Luna, with her husband Julz. She is a full time artist who enjoys being in nature, hiking the beautiful Cape area, baking, gardening, cooking and writing. If she doesn’t have a paint brush in her hand – or a baby on her hip- she can be found with a rolled up yoga mat heading to a hot yoga class or an outdoor session. Alice’s paintings can be found on her Instagram @alice_toich in gallery shows or art fairs throughout South Africa as well as abroad. She is passionate about painting “from life” in the traditional genres of portraiture, landscape, still life and floral painting. Alice’s favourite medium is oil paint on line canvas or wooden panel and also creates tiled murals, watercolors and textiles.

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 Depression and Struggling to Bond with Baby

After a pregnancy whose physical hardship she found surprising, Alena was further blindsided by the postpartum period. We don’t talk about all the ways postpartum depression can manifest. The media focuses on the more extreme cases, and since the experience is so often cast in shame, individuals tend not to be transparent with their stories. Alena felt sad for a long time and had trouble bonding with her baby. She wants to be more open so that others can recognize PPD if it happens to them. That was one impetus behind publishing a memoir.

Alena Dillon is the author of the novels Mercy House, The Happiest Girl in the World, and Eyes Turned Skyward, and the pregnancy and motherhood memoir My Body Is A Big Fat Temple. She lives north of Boston with her husband, two children, and dog. You can follow her on IG at @alena.dillon or Twitter at TheAlenaDillon or visit her website at alenadillon.com.

Resources

Aeroflow Breastpumps

Today’s episode is sponsored by Aeroflow Breastpumps. Aeroflow has helped millions of new and expecting parents discover the breastfeeding and postpartum essentials covered by their insurance including breast pumps, maternity compression, and lactation education & support.

They take care of everything – including all paperwork, working with your insurance company, and explaining your options to get these free essentials shipped straight to your door. Aeroflow offers all major breast pump brands including Medela, Spectra, Motif, Lansinoh, Ameda, Elvie, Willow and more.

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 we sent you! Bonus — use the promo code “TBH15” in their online shop for 15% off all supplies and accessories.

Two Positive Hospital Births (with and without Epidurals) Followed by Challenging Postpartums

Liz Maughan Bio

Liz lives with her husband Tom and their two kids, Sophie (10 months) and Hunter (2 years old) in Boston Massachusetts. Connect with her on Instagram @Lizmaughan.

covid birth with mask

Resources

Kindred Bravely

This 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 summer line of clothing and loungewear!

Miscarriage During Covid, Positive Hospital Birth with Failed Epidural and Episiotomy


Angela and TJ dated for 14 years before getting married in 2019. Angela was happily surprised when she got pregnant immediately after removing her IUD in April 2020. However, at her first prenatal appointment, the doctor couldn’t find a heartbeat. Angela started miscarrying at home the morning of her D&C which was excruciatingly painful. Because of COVID, her husband could not help her into her D&C appointment. 

A few months later,  Angela discovered she was pregnant again and due right after the 4th of July. She was anxious about miscarrying again but reading statistics about likelihood of a repeat miscarriage reassured her. 
The pregnancy continued uneventfully and Angela was able to continue to exercise. By 39 weeks, Angela was convinced she was going to go past her due date. On Friday July 2, Angela had a slightly upset stomach when she went to her noon spinning class. That afternoon she continued to feel sharp gas pains which she attributed to end of pregnancy  gastrointestinal problems. It didn’t feel like contractions had been explained to her. That evening, she attended an outdoor movie with her husband and her pains got worse as she laid on a blanket on the ground. After the movie, Angela’s husband convinced her to get out the contraction timer and they realized she was indeed in labor with contractions every 2-4 minutes lasting a minute. 

Because her mom’s labor was precipitous, they went to the hospital on the sooner side. Upon arrival, she was 4 cm dilated. After a few hours, back labor began and the only position that provided relief was sitting upright in bed with TJ applying pressure. After the nurses forgot to take her COVID swab to the lab, she was unable to access the nitrous oxide and decided to get an epidural which she had wanted to avoid because she was not progressing past 4 cm. 

The epidural insertion was painful and difficult. Angela soon realized it was only working on one side. She was also no longer allowed to sit up in bed to deal with the contractions. Throughout the day,  the anesthesiologist was able to do something to temporarily make the epidural work on both sides but it only lasted 30 minutes at a time. Angela and TJ used the Bradley methods they practiced for dealing with the pain. 

By 9 pm Angela was fully dilated and ready to push. A new anesthesiologist came on duty and was able to fix the epidural. The environment in the room was very calming during this phase but progress was slow. After more than 4 hours of pushing, the OB on duty said that an episiotomy was necessary which Angela consented to. Arthur was born immediately after that, early on the morning of the 4th of July, and they enjoyed a perfect golden hour.

The remainder of the hospital stay was very positive despite Angela being in a lot of pain from pushing for so long and the episiotomy. They were able to watch the Washington DC fireworks from the hospital window. 
Postpartum, Angela dealt with excess scar tissue where she had an internal 2nd degree tear that eventually needed to be surgically removed 6 months postpartum.

Angela Gentile Bio

Angela is an attorney living in Maryland outside of Washington, DC with her husband TJ, hound mix Shackleton, and 14 month old Arthur. She can be contacted via instagram at Iselldonuts. 

Resources

Simply Magnetic Me

This episode is sponsored by Simply Magnetic Me. Simply Magnetic Me is the new sister brand to Magnetic Me, beloved for its smart magnetic fasteners that make changing baby practically effortless. We love that they make shopping for baby clothes easy by offering curated multi-packs with built in savings – with outfits as low as $15 each. Create your own bundle by mixing and matching prints, styles, and sizes – the more outfits in your cart, the more you save. Made from certified, 100% organic cotton, Simply Magnetic Me fabrics are as soft as they are sustainable. So head over to simplymagneticme.com/birthhour and use Promo code: BIRTHHOUR