At the 35 week mark, Joelle, her husband, and her birth team made the mutual decision to transfer her care away from a home birth practice to a midwife-led OB/GYN practice that her midwife also practiced through due to concerns about mental health & preparation for home birth. From that point on, she experienced some regular episodes of prodromal labor. At 38 weeks and two days on January 19th, Joelle unexpectedly went into spontaneous labor. She tried some lower pain interventions including hydrotherapy, partner support, counter pressure, and IV pain medication. In the end, due to exhaustion, Joelle opted for an epidural and went on to deliver her daughter shortly after noon on Inauguration Day.
Joelle Hamilton Bio
Joelle Hamilton lives with her husband Ben and daughter Iris in Grand Rapids, Michigan. When she’s not studying or making sure Iris gets her daily conversations with the mirror in, she loves playing video games, journaling, crafting, writing, and experimenting with tarot, astrology, and all sorts of other weird stuff. Connect with her at @hamilton.joelle on Instagram.
Mom’s Bloom Postpartum Support Program in Grand Rapids Michigan
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.
Sara became pregnant with her first child at the very beginning of the pandemic. Her pregnancy was smooth until the end of her second trimester, when her doctor recommended a growth scan since her fundal height was measuring quite low. The scan showed that the baby was measuring very small – under the third percentile for weight. However, weekly scans showed consistent growth and that the baby was healthy and active. At a routine MFM appointment at 35 weeks, it seemed that growth had drastically slowed down, and she was sent to be induced immediately.
Sara’s induction began with a foley bulb, inserted overnight, and then Pitocin for the next 24 hours. 36.5 hours after being admitted (but after only 20 minutes of pushing!), Liora was born. Her husband announced the sex, and it was the most beautiful moment of Sara’s life. They were also shocked by the baby’s weight – 4 lbs, 5 oz, about half a pound larger than predicted by ultrasound. Sara and her baby got a few minutes of skin to skin before the baby was taken to the NICU.
Sara and her husband were able to stay overnight in the NICU in a “couplet” room until Sara was discharged. They were blown away by the care and compassion of their entire care team. Liora stayed in the NICU for a total of 17 days to put on weight and regulate her temperature and is now a healthy and chunky 6-month-old.
Sara Gottlieb-Cohen Bio
Sara lives in New Haven, CT with her husband (Andrew), daughter (Liora), and their mini goldendoodle (Moose). Sara and Andrew both work at Yale University. Andrew is a clinical social worker at the Yale Child Study Center, and Sara works in the library providing data and statistical support to scientists across the university. Sara can be reached on Instagram @sara.gottlieb or on Facebook (Sara Gottlieb-Cohen).
Today’s episode is sponsored by Brightside. Forty percent of Americans report symptoms of anxiety or depression and it’s definitely something that comes up on the podcast regularly. You don’t have to face these feelings alone. Get fast, personalized help from Brightside. Getting help when you need it can be exhausting, so Brightside makes it easy. Connect with your expert provider online and get a personalized treatment plan of medication, therapy, or both, within forty-eight hours. With Brightside, all it takes to get started is filling out a quick, free health assessment to get matched with your expert provider for a personalized treatment plan. I took the assessment myself and was so happy to see one of the first options to choose from was postpartum depression, something many new moms struggle with.
Eighty-five percent of Brightside members feel better within twelve weeks and if you aren’t satisfied, Brightside’s Better Care Guarantee offers a full refund within thirty days, no questions asked. Take your free mental health assessment and get up to ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS credit on your first month of treatment at Brightside.com/birthhour.
Angela and her husband Rich had to put their plans to start a family on hold when Angela was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in 2016 at age 27. They underwent IVF prior to treatment in hopes of being able to have a baby later, if everything went well. After a mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation, and 3.5 years out from diagnosis, Angela was able to conceive naturally in January 2020.
After her experience with cancer, Angela wanted to have an unmedicated birth without many of the medical procedures she associated with treatment. She even thought that maybe birth would be the experience that healed her relationship with her body. Angela and Rich planned a hospital birth with midwives. In the couple of weeks before the birth, they learned that the baby was in the posterior or “sunny side up” position, but that these babies would usually turn during labor. Angela’s labor lasted 40 hours, 30 hours of which were unmedicated and the last 10 hours with pitocin and an epidural. The baby got stuck in the posterior position with her head turned to the side, and eventually Angela, Rich, and their midwife agreed that a cesarean would be the best option. Their daughter came into the world at 7:20 p.m. on October 24th via a “belly birth.”
In the days after birth, both Angela and Rich had a hard time recovering. Angela struggled with her posterior labor and cesarean birth being so different from what she had imagined, and wondered if she could have done more to make things go differently. Angela also faced challenges breastfeeding, since she was feeding on just one side after her mastectomy. They ultimately did “triple feedings” with donor breastmilk until Angela’s milk came in and the baby was steadily gaining weight, about two weeks after birth. She has since had a positive breastfeeding journey with her daughter.
Angela Hronek Bio
Angela, a five-year breast cancer survivor, spends her days working in historic preservation consulting. She and her husband Rich live in Madison, Wisconsin, in a 112-year-old house with their busy and smiley baby girl. You can reach her on Instagram @angelahronek.
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.
At 39 years old, Christi was happy to find out she was pregnant for the second time. This pregnancy was more challenging than her first in terms of routine discomforts, but thankfully there were no serious complications. She received a big surprise, however, when, in her third trimester, she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. She decided to use the diagnosis as a wake up call to be more intentional about healthy eating and daily exercise. She was a little over a month into working on her diabetes plan when she got an even bigger surprise—her water broke at 36 weeks and 5 days!
She had planned for a medicated hospital birth, just like her first, so it was very exciting when, a few hours later, she and her husband found themselves in labor and delivery discussing her options with the midwife. She advocated for waiting to see if contractions would intensify on their own, but after ten hours without any progression, she agreed to augmentation with IV medication as well as her first cervical exam which showed she was 3 cm dilated. Shortly after starting the medication her contractions began to intensify and gradually got stronger as the medication was increased.
After about seven hours, she received an epidural right around the time the contractions started coming very quickly. Once the nurse did a second cervical check, the midwife was immediately called back to the hospital. At 5am—24 hours and 30 minutes—after her water broke, she delivered a healthy late preterm baby girl weighing 6 lb 10 oz at 36 weeks, 6 days gestation. In the first 72 hours of life, her baby struggled with weight loss, rising bilirubin levels and insufficient intake, along with a diagnosis of ABO incompatibility so they returned to the hospital for phototherapy to treat the jaundice. The therapy worked wonderfully and she was able to take her baby home for good after less than 24 hours in the hospital.
Christi Silano Bio
Christi has been married to Anthony Silano for fourteen years. They spent the first ten years of their marriage living in Hawaii and happily working, studying and traveling. In 2017 they landed in California and began their new adventure: raising a family. They have two daughters, Naomi, age three and Leona, two months. They live with their adopted dog, Dez, in Santa Rosa, California where Christi works as a nurse practitioner specializing in geriatrics. In her spare time she relaxes by baking, Bible study and jogging. She can be reached at email@example.com.
This episode is sponsored by Wumblekin. Life’s busy and there’s a lot of noise out there, that can be especially true during pregnancy. Wumblekin breaks down pregnancy, labor and birth with evidence-based education and expert-curated products for mom and baby. Easily buy or gift single boxes, or subscribe to receive them throughout pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Be informed and prepared by ordering Wumblekin pregnancy, birth and postpartum essentials, today! Get 15% off your first box by using promo code BIRTHHOUR at checkout. Visit wumblekin.com to order or subscribe, today!
Chae gave birth at 37+2 weeks via unplanned c-section. Chae planned on having an unmedicated birth, but gestational hypertension caused a hospital stay and an induction. After 2 days in labor and a few interventions (Cytotec, Cervadil, water broken, Pitocin) only helping to progress to 2 centimeters dilated, it was decided a c-section would be best. Postpartum was emotionally taxing with issues breastfeeding and her daughter not initially gaining weight. After lots of work with a trusted lactation consultant, breastfeeding and weight gain became issues of the past. Carter is now a healthy 6-month old!
Chae Ray, 33, is an Assistant Principal living in Richmond, Texas. She lives with her husband, Cameron, her 6 month old daughter, Carter, and their two German Shepherds, Zeus and Hera. Chae and Cameron have been married for 9 years, and have been so excited to start their own family. Email her to connect at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Read more from lactation consultant, Ashley Georgakopoulos here.
Hadar started her pregnancy hoping for a birth center birth for her first born, but midway through her pregnancy a partial placenta previa was discovered. She continued to receive midwifery care through her pregnancy but ultimately required a scheduled c-section because her placenta never corrected itself. Her gentle cesarean ended up being very positive thanks to a wonderful birth team!
Hadar Spector Bio
Hadar Spector is currently a stay-at-home mom who previously spent her career in the hospitality industry. In her free time she enjoys being in nature, spending time hiking or at the beach, listening to documentary style podcasts, and spending time with family. You can connect with Hadar on Instagram at H8er18 or through email at .
Safe Kids for car seat check both before and after baby arrives
Cord Blood Registry
Today’s episode was sponsored by @CordBloodRegistry, also known as CBR. CBR has helped millions of parents bank their children’s newborn stem cells. Newborn stem cells have amazing potential for treatments in the future and cord blood stem cells have already been used for thirty years in stem cell transplants. It’s kind of like investing in your baby’s future health.
For a limited time, CBR is offering The Birth Hour listeners some pretty big discounts. Go to cordblood.com and use code: HOUR to get 60% off the Newborn Stem Cell Bundle which includes both cord blood and tissue banking. Visit their website to learn more about how newborn stem cell preservation could protect your whole family and why CBR is the #1 most recommended cord blood bank by families and OB/GYNs.