PCOS, Two Vessel Cord & Hospital Induction Birth Story

Kaitlyn was worried that her PCOS and irregular cycles would be a problem when she and her husband Brett started trying to conceive their first child. The day before she planned to start her first round of fertility drugs, they found out they were expecting. The pregnancy was largely uneventful, except that at the anatomy scan the couple found out that Kaitlyn had a two-vessel cord with marginal placenta insertion.

Because growth restriction was a concern, Kaitlyn’s OB scheduled her for an induction just before her due date. Kaitlyn was scheduled to begin her induction by having Dilapan rods inserted, go home to rest and pack, and come back to the hospital the next morning to continue the induction. Due to high blood pressure, though, she was sent straight to labor and delivery. She was given three rounds of oral Cytotec, and eight hours later the on-call doctor took out the Dilapan and broke her water. An hour later she was fully dilated and ready to push, and after only 30 minutes of pushing Juliet was born! Kaitlyn and Brett decided to keep the baby’s sex a surprise until delivery, so Brett was the one to announce “it’s a girl!”

 Kaitlyn Johnson Bio

Kaitlyn grew up just outside of Richmond, Virginia and got a degree in Public Policy and Spanish at The College of William and Mary. After college she moved to Minneapolis to study law at the University of Minnesota. She met her husband Brett after her first year of law school and they got married three years later. Their daughter, Juliet, was born in June 2020. They also have a dog, Molly, and a cat, Lily. In her (now quite limited) free time, Kaitlyn likes to run, do crossword puzzles, and listen to true crime podcasts. Reach out to Kaitlyn by leaving a comment on this page.



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!

39 Hour Labor for Planned Unmedicated Hospital Birth

Rachel had a textbook pregnancy and planned an unmedicated hospital birth with the support of her husband, midwife, and doula. Her labor began in the intimacy of her home as desired, but after arriving at the hospital, it was determined that scar tissue on her cervix was stalling progress. After 39 hours of labor, she was able to deliver her son, Hugo Jones, on Christmas Day. Post-delivery was scary due to a hemorrhage that they were ultimately able to get under control. Rachel’s labor was much more difficult and intense than she ever imagined, but her amazing support system and the birth of her beautiful son made it a positive memory and empowering experience!

unmedicated hospital birth

Rachel Jones Bio

Rachel lives in Blythewood, SC with her husband, Sam, and son, Hugo, who is nearly 11 months old. They have one greyhound named Dixie! Sam is in the construction business, and Rachel works in planning and financial controls for Idaho National Laboratory. You can reach out to her on Instagram @__mamajones__


Today’s episode is sponsored by Babylist. 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 easily lets you add any item from any store. Plus, Babylist helps you each step of the way with their customized checklist, product guides and reviews, and personal registry consultants. They’ve even got group gifting! Start your registry today to be eligible for a free Hello Baby Box of goodies for baby worth over $100 while boxes last.

Switching Care Providers During Pregnancy + Birth Center Birth Story

After a bad experience with a small town OBGYN and switching care providers at 35 weeks pregnant with her first pregnancy, Amanda knew the importance of finding the perfect care provider during her second pregnancy. Amanda chose a team of CNMs who had delivery privileges at a local hospital. However, her labor and delivery plan was thrown out the window when COVID hit, and she and her husband made the decision to deliver their son at the only freestanding birth center in the Louisville metro area. 

Amanda went from planning a traditional hospital birth with midwives and pain medication to preparing for a drug-free labor and delivery outside of the hospital. She prepared for the birth by learning hypnobirthing techniques, and utilized the techniques throughout her entire labor. 

coping in labor

When labor started on her due date, Amanda accidentally slept through the first 6 hours of labor, and finally arrived at the birth center almost ready to push. After trying nitrous oxide (and hating it), Amanda pushed for 2.5 hours in the birth tub, where her son was born en-caul. Amanda lovingly refers to him as her “double water” baby because he was born both in the tub and in his bag of waters. 

Amanda struggled with undiagnosed postpartum depression and anxiety after her first pregnancy, but did not realize that what she had experienced was not normal until talking to the midwives during her second pregnancy. She experienced the onset of postpartum depression at seven weeks postpartum with her second baby, and recognized what she was experiencing right away. Amanda received help via prescription medication and a licensed therapist whose specialty was postpartum mood disorders. Amanda is now an advocate for helping women recognize the signs of postpartum mood disorders and pushing to end the stigma behind receiving professional help.

laboring in bathtub

Amanda Dant Bio

Amanda is lives in Louisville, KY with her husband and two kids, Henrietta (2) and Harrison (4 months). She and her husband met while working together at the Louisville Zoo, and they have a goal to visit every accredited zoo in the nation. Amanda now works as an environmental engineer in the chemical manufacturing industry, and loves working as a woman in STEM. Amanda enjoys traveling, playing video games with her husband, reading, and early morning workouts. You can find her on Instagram @raisinghattie or via email at amandadant2017@gmail.com



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

IVF, Hospital Inductions, Post-birth Hemorrhage, & Doula Support

Lauren’s three children were conceived via IVF. Luckily, Lauren had a live birth with every IVF cycle she completed-this is not the typical outcome and she considers herself truly lucky and blessed.  Lauren has had three totally unmedicated births.  The birth of her first child Gigi was quite fast and uneventful.  She felt ill all day (flu-like) and her bag of waters partially broke while lying on the couch.  She felt no contractions and was not in pain at all.  Lauren began feeling some pressure and her OB asked that she come to the hospital to be checked.  Approximately 45 minutes later she gave birth to Gigi at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington DC with her OB (Dr. Richard Beckerman) and her amazing doula, Ursula Sabia-Sukinik.  

Lauren’s second unmedicated, vaginal birth was extremely traumatic.  Since Gigi’s labor was so fast, the decision was made to induce labor with Valentina in a hospital setting.  Traffic in DC can be terrible and Lauren’s birth team decided it would be best to deliver in a controlled environment rather than a car in traffic!  Lauren was admitted to the hospital and her bag of waters ruptured.  With a little bit of Pitocin, she delivered Valentina within 90 minutes.  Again, she felt no contractions and no pain!  During her perineal repair, Lauren kept complaining about feeling excessive hemorrhage/blood loss as well as chills and uncontrollable twitching.  The medical team assured Lauren that nothing was wrong and that it was normal hormonal fluctuations. 

Marc (Lauren’s husband) left the room approximately 1 hour after birth to walk Gloria (Lauren’s mother) to the car.  Ursula (Lauren’s doula) decided to stay behind with Lauren and Valentina until Marc returned.  As soon as Marc left the room, Lauren felt a huge gush of blood and arrested (cardiovascular shock).  She was immediately resuscitated with epinephrine, atropine, intravenous fluids and blood transfusions while the doctors attempted to find the source of the severe hemorrhage.  After several unsuccessful attempts and Lauren’s critical condition, she was rushed to emergency surgery.  Lauren received 5 blood transfusions and had a DNC to retrieve a retained placenta.  

retained placenta birth story

Lauren’s second birth experience was so traumatic, that she had a hard time deciding on a birth plan for her third child.  She again decided on an in -hospital induction.  Lauren had a very safe  and fast delivery after a small amount of Pitocin.  She was closely monitored in the hospital for 48 hours for any excessive blood-loss given her history.  Luckily, history did not repeat itself. 

Lauren suffered severe emotional trauma surrounding the traumatic birth of Valentina but has since healed.   She thanks her body every day for birthing three healthy children and she wants women to know that birth is a beautiful process, but it should not be taken for granted.  The beauty can change in an instant and it is vital for women to voice their concerns and make sure they are heard. 

Dr. Lauren Talarico Bio

Lauren is a board certified veterinary neurosurgeon in the DC-metro area. She completed her veterinary training and neurology/neurosurgery residency at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals. Dr. Talarico specializes in surgical correction of cranial cervical junction malformations in dogs in addition to surgical removal of brain tumors and various spinal surgeries.  She also enjoys all aspects of medical neurology including neuromuscular disorders and autoimmune brain diseases.  

Dr. Talarico has two daughters (Gabriella Gloria -7/27/2016 and Valentina Lavender-6/25/2018), one son (Alain Phoenix 8/7/2020) and four dogs (Prefontaine, Phelps, Raven and Bunny).  She is an avid marathon/distance runner who also enjoys indoor cycling and yoga.  Dr. Talarico and her husband Marc Cohen are involved in several philanthropic efforts at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston MA as well as Children’s National Hospital in Washington DC. 

March of Dimes Birth Defects Prevention Month

Today’s episode is sponsored by March of Dimes. March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. They support research, lead programs, and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. During Birth Defects Prevention month, March of Dimes is partnering with the CDC to generate awareness among women of childbearing age, families, and health care providers about things they can do to help prevent birth defects. At the end of this episode, I spoke with Dani Kilgore about her journey to motherhood as well as the main tips from March of Dimes and the CDC to help you be a healthy mom and have a strong baby. You can also find out more at marchofdimes.org/TheBirthHour.

Positive Hospital Vaginal Birth with Unplanned Interventions

After conceiving quickly, Jeni had an easy pregnancy apart from fear and changing plans due to COVID-19. She planned a unmedicated childbirth at the birthing center in the University Hospital System where she worked. 2 days before her due date, she went for 2 2-mile walks and did some prenatal yoga, only to start to have some irregular contractions that evening.

She went through early labor throughout the night, and went to the hospital the next morning, and learned she was 3 cm dilated and 70% effaced (only 1 cm more than at her last antenatal appointment). She continued to labor through the day both outside the hospital and then at home again, and things intensified further that evening. She returned to the hospital at midnight, only to find out she was still 3 cm. Jeni’s lack of progress resulted in her birth-plan changing to include 2 walking epidurals, a spinal block, an epidural (which was delayed for almost 5 hours for multiple reasons), and Pitocin. After an epidural, she had a peaceful, mindful, and quick second stage labor and her beautiful daughter Teagan was born on her due date, after 36 hours of labor. Despite things not going to plan, she had a very positive experience and wouldn’t have changed a thing. Her knowledge as a pelvic health physical therapist, combined with a good breastfeeding experience, has resulted in a wonderful postnatal experience despite her fears about this time period. 

positive hospital birth

Jeni Thornton-Jones Bio

Jeni Thornton-Jones lives with her husband, daughter Teagan, and dog Bowie in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is a board-certified specialist physical therapist in Women’s and Pelvic Health, registered yoga instructor, and certified pregnancy yoga instructor. She is the creator of Mama’s First Steps, a blog for pregnant, birthing, and postnatal persons, designed to provide evidence-based education and improve holistic physical and emotional health. Connect with her via Email at www.mamasfirststeps.com or on Instagram, @jenimjones.



This episode is sponsored by Crane Humidifiers. Crane’s colorful humidifiers are a nursery necessity to help relieve your baby’s tiny congested nose, which can make feeding and sleeping a struggle for both baby and mom. A happy baby is a healthy baby. Crane is generously offering $10 OFF and free shipping on all of their full-priced, 1 gallon, adorable animal shaped humidifiers and drop humidifiers with the code BIRTH20 at www.crane-usa.com. Check out their new top fill drop humidifier here or via Wal-Mart.

Pregnancy & Childbirth at 25 vs 40+ years old

Having her first baby at 25 years old as a single mom, Michelle Johnson thought she was done having children until she got married and gave birth to  her second child at 41 and her third child at 43 years old. Delivering her daughter naturally in a hospital by a midwife, Michelle knew that she absolutely wanted an epidural when she became pregnant again at 40. However, an impromptu induction, as a result of her son having IUGR, her second labor was longer and more painful than the first.

Michelle had a planned induction for her 3rd son as well as a very clear birth plan – making it as pain-free as possible. Her last labor was perfect until the last hour when she had too much of an epidural to the point that she couldn’t push because she couldn’t feel anything. Tune in to hear all of Michelle’s very different birth stories and her experiences of miscarrying, having a subchorionic hemorrhage, acid reflux, gestational diabetes, swelling, fetal growth restriction (IUGR), being induced and the experience of having multiple babies in her 40’s.

Michelle Johnson Bio

When Michelle, an attorney in Atlanta, became pregnant at the age of 40, she immediately scoured the internet for pregnancy information for women her age, only to be inundated with daunting statistics and risks from medical professionals, individuals and articles.

Not succumbing to all of the negative information, Michelle began a private Facebook Group to both give and receive encouragement to other women in the same situation. The “Pregnancy After Forty Private Group” now has over 5,000 members and has been the catalyst to creating a website and the “Pregnancy After 40” Podcast, which she now hosts.

Michelle is also a Speaker who shares her “Pregnancy After 40”  story and journey and encourages other women that it’s possible to have a healthy baby or babies after 40 years despite having pregnancy issues. 
Connect with her at http://www.PregnancyAfterForty.com
or via her Private Facebook Group: @PregnancyAfterFortyPrivateGroup
She also hosts a Facebook Page: @PregnancyAfterForty
and Instagram: @PregnancyAfterForty. Finally check out her Podcast!


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!