Positive Unmedicated Hospital Birth Unexpected OR Vaginal Delivery

Melissa sometimes hears that she leads a charmed life, and the fact that her baby arrived on his due date was no surprise. She was fortunate to have what they call a “textbook pregnancy”, in which she was swimming and running until the day before the baby came. She had some minor contractions on the day before her due date – which her husband recognized as contractions before she did. She woke up to strong contractions at 2 am, and spent a few hours at home before heading to the hospital. Her doula Nicole met her there shortly, which was a good thing because Melissa was clinging to the side of the hospital bed and didn’t want to move until Nicole coaxed her away. Melissa was aiming to have an unmedicated birth experience if it was possible, and she was successful in that goal. Having her doula and her husband by her side were immensely helpful, as well as the support from the hospital’s nurses in achieving a natural birth.

After only 4.5 hours at the hospital, it was time for the baby to enter the world – though labor took an unexpected turn just as she started pushing. The baby’s heart was decelerating with each push, and the doctor thought it might be necessary to do an emergency C-section. Melissa was wheeled to the operating room, where she was greeted by bright lights, a cold sterile table, and eight clinicians in the room. There she was given one more opportunity to push, and push she did. With the help of six nurses cheering for her, she was able to deliver the baby in only a few minutes. (Melissa was very glad that she had trained for a half Ironman prior to birth).

After almost two days in the hospital, she and her husband decided to name their son Emerson. The next few days were the absolute highest that Melissa has ever been on life, as she was so thrilled to have Emerson join their family. With the help of physical therapy and gradual recovery, Melissa is back to her regular active lifestyle. Emerson is now 16 months old and continues to be her greatest joy.

birth during covid

Melissa Noel Bio

Melissa lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her husband Mark, her son Emerson, and goldendoodle named Griffey. She works at the Mayo Clinic where she partners with clinicians to bring innovative care models and new clinical services to life. Melissa holds degrees in bioengineering, mechanical engineering, and business administration from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of St. Thomas. She enjoys competing in triathlons, spending time outdoors with her family, and traveling the globe. She can be contacted on Instagram at @melissa.m.noel. 

Recommended 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

Hospital Induction, Miscarriage, and Empowering Birth Center Water Birth

Kelly’s birth journey began with her first pregnancy, which despite the long bout of nausea, was smooth and low-risk. She had a hospital induction at 40+3, and delivered her daughter after 36 exhausting hours of labor with the aid of an epidural.

A few years later and after a miscarriage at 8 weeks, she got pregnant with her second daughter. Though this pregnancy, like her first, was relatively smooth and low-risk, it was anxiety-inducing after her recent loss. However, after a lot of prayer, she felt at peace and eventual excitement for the new baby.

After the birth experience with her first daughter, which was long and not particularly empowering, Kelly knew she wanted something different this time around. After researching and listening to various birth stories, she decided she wanted a birth center birth. Her second daughter came as a result of spontaneous labor with her water breaking at 40+3. After laboring for 13 hours, though only 3 hours were active labor, Kelly got the water birth she’d dreamed of, and the empowering birth experience she’d wanted this second birth to be.

sibling at birth center

Kelly Batchelder Bio

Kelly is 37 and lives in Marietta, Georgia with her husband Steven of 11 years and their two daughters, Estella (age 4) and Pearl (1 month). She teaches English at Kennesaw State University for her professional gig, and teaches group fitness at a local gym for her personal gig. While both of those jobs bring her joy, the most fulfilling parts of her life are being a wife and mother. You can connect with Kelly via Instagram @kellybatchelder

Resources

Babylist

Part I of this 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.

Aeroflow Breastpumps

Part II of this episode is sponsored by Aeroflow Breastpumps. Aeroflow has helped thousands of new and expecting parents discover the breastfeeding and postpartum essentials covered by their insurance including breast pumps and maternity compression and postpartum recovery products, 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 Hospital Births, A Cancer Diagnosis, & Healing Homebirth Stories

After preparing for an unmedicated hospital birth, Annie and Eric were taken by surprise when Annie’s water broke and labor didn’t start on its own. They ended up with quite a few interventions they were hoping to avoid but eventually, 43 hours after her water breaking, Annie gave birth to their first son, Alexander (“Lex”). Postpartum was challenging and just as things started settling down, Annie and Eric were faced with Eric being diagnosed with leukemia and the roller coaster that sent them on. The 2+ years of treatment that followed were really difficult but thankfully Eric did really well with it all. Knowing they wanted to grow their family, they preserved their options by banking sperm before Eric’s treatment began.

Once Eric was doing well and out of the most intense treatment stages, they went through 2 rounds of IUIs and then a round of IVF to conceive their second baby. The second birth was a totally different experience than the first, beginning with a long early labor at home and a very fast active labor at the hospital where Annie went from 2cm to pushing in just over 2 hours and they welcomed their second son, Theodore (“Theo”). Even though it was a whirlwind birth, it was the unmedicated birth they had wanted and was redeeming in a lot of ways after the difficulty of their first birth.

homebirth after hospital births

When they began thinking of having a third, they debated going back to IVF but decided to try on their own first and were surprised to conceive right away. For this pregnancy they began pursuing a home birth with a midwife practice, something Annie had always wanted but which hadn’t been an option until now. Sadly, that pregnancy ended in a miscarriage at almost 11 weeks. After processing and recovering from the loss and experiencing a chemical pregnancy a few months later, they decided to go back to the fertility clinic to explore doing a frozen embryo transfer cycle. The day before their appointment to move forward with the cycle, they got a positive pregnancy test. They were cautiously optimistic that this would be their rainbow baby and began planning again for a home birth. The pregnancy went smoothly, everything was very normal, and it was a surprise when the night before 38 weeks Annie rolled over in bed and felt her water break. Despite fears that this birth might go similarly to their first, labor kicked in (with the help of a few suggestions from the midwives) and the next evening Annie gave birth to their third son, Finnian (“Finn”), in the water at home after another whirlwind active labor (the midwives only arrived about an hour and a half before Finn was born).

They decided to try for one more baby and on their wedding anniversary, March 3, they found out they were pregnant again. Although this pregnancy was challenging, it was bittersweet for Annie knowing it would likely be her last. They again planned for a home waterbirth with a nurse midwife but things didn’t go quite according to plan. After more than a week of on and off contractions Annie second guessed whether it was the real thing when contractions started on the night of her due date. Not wanting to wake anyone up in the middle of the night, she labored mostly alone and was surprised by a swift labor which resulted in the midwives arriving only minutes before baby (another boy) was born.

Annie Kerwin Bio

Annie lives in southern New Hampshire with her husband, Eric, and their 4 children – Alexander (Lex), Theodore (Theo), Finnian (Finn), and Oliver (Ollie).

Resources

Gentle Induction Twin Birth Story in the UK

All of Charity’s babies were born in the UK. Her oldest son was born vaginally on the operating table as preparations were being made for an emergency cesarean section, and her second son was born in the complete opposite atmosphere – peacefully in a birth tub in the living room of her small flat in central London. When Charity found out her third pregnancy was a twin pregnancy, she was utterly shocked. She immediately went to work preparing and advocating for an unmedicated twin birth in hospital, and the arrival of her babies after a gentle induction and through-the-night labor was powerful. 

Listen to Charity’s first two birth stories here.

twin birth in UK

Charity Eyre Wright Bio

Charity is a mom of four that recently relocated from London, England (where all her babies were born) to Provo, Utah. Her oldest had just turned four years old when her twins were born – so her stay-at-home mom life is chock full of chaos … and joy! Charity’s professional background is in education, and she is passionate about women educating themselves about the wonder and power of pregnancy and childbirth. Connect with her on IG @CharityEyreWright or via wrightnowblog.com.

Betterhelp

Today’s episode is sponsored by BetterHelp. Pregnancy and new parenthood can be extremely stressful and many struggle with their mental health. Which is why we want you to Check out BetterHelp.combirthhour.  BetterHelp will assess your needs and match you with your own licensed  professional therapist so you can Connect in a safe and private online environment and you can start within 48 hours of signing up!

BetterHelp matches you with a counselor based on questions you answer during sign up AND they  make it easy and free to change counselors if needed. BetterHelp is more affordable than traditional offline counseling and financial aid is  available. As a listener, you’ll get 10% off  your first month by visiting our sponsor at BetterHelp.com/birthhour.

Three Births: Birth Center, Hospital Birth and Homebirth Stories

GOLDIE JO

After trying to conceive for 7 months and and experiencing an early loss Sionann fell pregnant with her first child, Goldie, in May of 2019.

Her pregnancy with Goldie was mostly uneventful other than navigating a decision to change insurance providers in order to open up Birth Centers as an option. Sionann chose to have an out of hospital birth and loved the midwifery model of care. 

Going “post dates,” Sionann resorted to taking a midwives brew of castor oil to induce labor at 41+5. It worked and Sionann worked through early labor by walking laps around their property (unbeknownst to her husband who was doing yard work with huge ear protection on so he couldn’t hear her in labor).

They eventually made their way to the BC (a harrowing drive) and Sionann was 6-7cm! It was go-time! After coping well through a manageable labor through lots of position changes, nitrous oxide, tears, and long pushing phase due to an asynclitic presentation and cervical lip, Goldie Jo finally joined us in the world on 2/10/2018 after almost 15 hours of labor. 8lbs 5oz!

hospital birth

LAYLA JUNE

The choice to have a second child came easily but conceiving took some work. Sionann suffered 3 miscarriages before becoming pregnant with Layla in May of 2019.

They were excited to plan a home birth for this 2nd baby but a placenta previa diagnosis changed those plans. They decided to pursue a hospital birth due to being in limbo about whether Sionann would be cleared for a vaginal birth.

In the end she was cleared and things moved forward! Sionann finally went into labor at 40+5 (late again lol) after a rough membrane sweep. The hospital experience was much different than the birth center and Sionann wasn’t as prepared for that as she could have been. 

She was admitted at 4cm but in pretty excruciating pain the entire labor. This was just different than her previous experience, likely made Worse by her anxiety surrounding hospitals in general and unneeded intervention. She wasn’t coping well this time and needed some relief. The nitrous oxide the hospital provided wasn’t working well (it was later discovered that the tank had been empty the whole time!) 

Morphine was administered for some relief while at the same time Sionann’s bulging water bag was broken. The water bag had been preventing baby’s descent and after a few short minutes it was time to start pushing. No long pushing phase this time! Baby Layla was born after 20 hours of labor on 2/8/2020 (narrowly avoiding all the Covid insanity). 8lbs 7oz!

homebirth

AUSTRA MOON

Sionann and Cyrus had always wanted at least 3 kids and planned to start trying for #3 (their last baby) around Layla’s 1st birthday. Sionann began tracking ovulation early to get the hang of it and get a feel for her cycle. They kind of randomly conceived around Christmas of 2020 as a result. They were thrilled fit the opportunity to finally have a home birth!

The pregnancy was much harder this time due to having multiple littles to care for. Sionann’s morning sickness was awful and it was hard for those first couple months.

Things were moving along smoothly until an NIPT result flagged the baby for something called 22q Deletion Syndrome. It’s a “grey diagnosis” with a wide spectrum of things that can be affected. This was gutting news and not knowing how the baby’s quality of life would be was so hard. After a lot of testing and an amniocentesis it was determined that both Sionann AND the baby had 22q Duplication (so not the deletion). This served as a little relief because at least Sionann knew she was a living example of the duplication having minimal interference in her ability to live a happy and healthy life.

The diagnosis required more testing and scans than a usual pregnancy so they were tied to an OB practice until around 36 weeks.

Things with the midwives were so amazing and supportive the entire time. When Sionann went post dates AGAIN they helped her come up with a plan for homeopathics and castor oil that eventually put her into labor at 41+5 after a full day of walking curbs and taking herbs 

She was joined by her amazing doula Katie and team midwives in their home around 9pm and worked through the contractions using her hypnobabies techniques and watching the Office on the birth ball. After a couple of hours everyone decided to go to sleep and get some rest. Sionann tried to just meditate and breathe but needed to move around more. She decided to labor on hand and knees in the shower and quickly realized she was going to need an extra set of hands soon. The doula and midwives came and held space while Sionann mooed, spit, and growled her way through transition. At 12:47 after just 5 hours of labor Austra (Ozzy) was born into Cyrus’ hands. 9lbs 8oz!

It was a really amazing experience to get back the agency she felt had been taken in the hospital. Being able to follow her intuition and birth the way that felt right was so positive and redemptive for everyone.

Through all three postpartum experiences low-supply/ IGT in breastfeeding and postpartum OCD were common themes.

Sionann Ghahremani and her husband, Cyrus, recently relocated to the Bay Area from Los Angeles, CA. They live with their 3 young daughters (Goldie, Layla, and Ozzy), their pug Tallulah, and their cat Marcella. Sionann works as a stay at home mom and Cyrus is in creative marketing and content development. Sionann can be reached on Instagram @sionann_shreds

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.

Epidural Birth, Two Miscarriages, Bilateral Renal Agenesis Diagnosis, & Elective Induction

Lauren’s birth journey began with her first pregnancy, which was easy and uneventful. She planned on a drug-free delivery, but was pleasantly surprised with her experience of getting an epidural after being induced and laboring 8 hours without pain medication on Pitocin.  Her first birth was followed by an early miscarriage on her daughters first birthday.  She got pregnant again a few months later with her son, Jack. The pregnancy was going smoothly until the 20 week anatomy scan when she discovered he had a fatal condition called bilateral renal agenesis – when the baby’s kidneys  are completely absent.  She and her husband made the heart wrenching decision to end her pregnancy with Jack instead of having him potentially suffer. Lauren wanted to give birth to Jack naturally, but placenta previa prevented her from doing so and at 21.5 weeks gestation she needed a D&E. 

Bilateral Renal Agenesis pregnancy

Two months after Jack passed away Lauren fell pregnant again but she knew something was off from the start. After weeks of what was presumed to be an ectopic pregnancy, she miscarried naturally on the day she was to get an injection of methotrexate – a medication that would have delayed another attempt at conception for at least three months.  A month later she became pregnant with her second daughter, who was conceived on Jack’s due date.  She went on to have a healthy, yet heavily anxiety-riddled pregnancy and gave birth to a healthy baby girl at 39.5 weeks after an elective hospital induction.

Connect with Lauren on IG: @modernmontimama or via Email: Modernmontimama@gmail.com

Resource

Sneak Peek Test

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