Unexplained Infertility, Twin Pregnancy, ICP, & Cesarean Birth + PPD Discussion

After over 4 years of dealing with infertility Gisselle and her husband Lynneric found out they were pregnant due to an IUI. A few weeks later they found out they were having twins! After a mostly uneventful pregnancy to that point, Gisselle was diagnosed with cholestasis at 30 weeks. At 32 weeks they found out both babies were breech and began to plan to have a cesarean. She delivered at 36 weeks and the babies never had to go the NICU. Postpartum she dealt with some postpartum depression and sought help from her doctor for medication and also attended therapy on a regular basis. 

twin-pregnancy-after-infertility

Gisselle Topham Bio

Gisselle and her husband Lynneric live in Ogden, Utah with their 4 yr. old boy girl twins. Her husband works for the government and she is a trained doula and childbirth educator working on her certification. She became involved in the infertility world while trying to get pregnant and has since also joined her local twin moms club. She enjoys watching movies and reading books. With her family she likes to have dance parties. Her kids keep her busy and she loves laughing at the crazy things they say and do. Connect with her via Facebook (gisselletopham) or by email gisselle.topham@gmail.com. Gisselle is also an active member of The Birth Hour Patreon group!

twins cholestasis

Resources

  • Gisselle’s husband’s Partner Podcast episode
  • UIRC- Utah Infertility Resource Center
  • Resolve 
  • The Birth Hour
  • Dr Berlins Informed Pregnancy Podcast
  • Evidence Based Birth (website and podcast)
  • Plus mommy (website, facebook, and podcast)
  • Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
  • The Birth Partner
  • When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads by Barbara Luke
  • What to do when you’re having two – Natalie Diaz
  • Searched twins in podcast app and google
  • PSI International
  • Facebook groups for infertility and twins
  • Asking about a therapist and psychiatrist
  • Local Twins club
  • Other twin moms

Wumblekin

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!


IUI, Plus Size Pregnancy, & Epidural Hospital Birth

After being diagnosed with PCOS in 2019 and trying to conceive for over a year, Makayla and her husband took the next step by meeting with fertility specialists in January 2020. After the pandemic hit and they overcame some obstacles, they finally began the process in September 2020. Much to their surprise, they found out they were pregnant after their third IUI in November. 

Makayla braced herself to navigate pregnancy as a plus-sized woman and prepared to be an advocate for what she wanted. She was greeted with a mixture of many supportive providers and a few that made her feel a lot of negative emotions. There were several small obstacles she faced, but overall she enjoyed her pregnancy. Due to anxiety surrounding the baby’s position and feeling a need for some control, Makayla elected to be induced at 39 weeks. After a long and intense labor that didn’t go as planned, Bronx arrived on July 22, 2021. 

Connect with Makayla via email makaylafield1@gmail.com, on Instagram @makaylafield_, or on Facebook.

iui pregnancy

Resources

Aeroflow Breastpumps

Aeroflow Breastpumps 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.

Infertility, IVF, Two Hospital Births & PPD Discussion

Leo’s Birth

After over one year of trying to get pregnant, Chloe Melas got the three words she had been praying for: You are pregnant! The journey was not an easy one. Chloe underwent IVF after several failed rounds of fertility treatments. She was diagnosed with low ovarian egg reserve and her husband, low sperm count. But it was well worth the wait and Chloe went on to have a healthy and uneventful pregnancy. Unless you count the nights being awake due to heartburn — the worst! Her son Leo, who is now 4, decided to grace the world with an earlier-than-expected debut and mommy couldn’t sit after delivery without a doughnut pillow. 

Luke’s Birth

When Chloe’s first son, Leo, was one year old, they decided to embark on their fertility journey once more to try and give him a sibling. Brian and Chloe went straight to IVF since it worked with Leo a few years prior. Luckily, it worked again and the couple ended up giving birth almost exactly two years to the day after Leo was born. The boys are now two days apart born on Fourth of July weekend. Another uneventful pregnancy but yet another early debut. Hear Chloe as she talks about being sent home from the hospital when she went into labor and the joys of her epidural not working as expected. She also opens up about the postpartum depression she experienced for several months after birth. 

chloe melas pregnancy

Chloe Melas Bio

Chloe is an entertainment reporter for CNN covering all things Hollywood for the network across all platforms. She and her husband, Brian, are also the proud parents to two boys and they currently reside in Westchester, New York. They have both been vocal about their journey to start a family, undergoing IVF for each of their pregnancies. Chloe is now an outspoken advocate when it comes to destigmatizing infertility and was last year’s recipient of Resolve’s Hope Award for Advocacy. Connect with her on IG @chloemelas.

Resources

Seven Starling

Seven Starling is a new kind of digital membership that guides you through pregnancy and postpartum with expert-led small groups. Get paired with an expert Doula and a handpicked small group of 5-10 people with a similar due date and goals. From childbirth education, to newborn care, to postpartum recovery, learn it all with your group. Ditch the hours of Googling and message your Doula anytime for support.Head to www.sevenstarling.com to get your personalized program. Use code BIRTHHOUR to get 15% off a membership. 💫

Loss, Failed IVF Cycles, & then Getting Pregnant Naturally During Covid

Angela and her husband got married in 2015. They always knew they wanted 2 children. She got pregnant easily on the first try in 2016. They felt so extremely lucky. Unfortunately, at 23 weeks they lost their sweet baby girl. They did genetic testing to find some answers on why there were such major abnormalities. Their baby had a rare heart defect, where the heart did not form properly. They also found out the baby had a rare chromosome deletion. After finding out Angela’s husband carries that gene, they decided to do IVF with PGD genetic testing. They wanted to avoid passing on the gene, as it was a 50/50 chance each pregnancy.

Angela had major complications from the D&E/D&C, which led to hemorrhaging. They started IVF in May 2017, and after 5 stim cycles, 4 egg retrievals and 4 failed transfers, they did not have any luck. They went to two doctors in two different states. Angela also underwent two hysteroscopies and many other minor procedures to see what was going on and why she wasn’t having any success. Her first doctor recommended surrogacy after her 3rd failed transfer because everything “looked good on paper”.

After her 5th IVF transfer with her new doctor was cancelled in March 2020 due to COVID, they decided to leave it up to chance and try again naturally. Shockingly, it worked the first try and she was pregnant. She had not seen a positive pregnancy test in 4 years. After undergoing a CVS (for genetics) and a fetal echo with an MFM following her whole pregnancy, all came back normal and they started to relax a bit more. Getting the phone call from the genetic counselor that the baby did not inherit the genetic condition was the best news of their lives. The rest of their pregnancy was “uneventful”, as they say…which is a good thing! The silver lining to being pregnant during the pandemic was getting to take more time off than she would normally have.

ttc story

Angela was due on December 28, 2020. On Christmas Eve, she started having contractions but they were irregular and far apart. They did not think the baby was coming soon since she had an appointment a few days earlier where her doctor said baby had not dropped and she wasn’t dilated at all.

Angela’s one wish was for the baby not to come on Christmas Day. But of course…her water broke at 1am in bed and water went everywhere! It was just like in the movies! She labored all night at the hospital and got an epidural at 10:30am on Christmas morning. Her doctor saw that baby was in distress and her heart rate was dropping so they recommend an emergency cesarean right away.

At 12:38pm, Aria was born. Angela didn’t get to meet her right away as Aria’s cord was wrapped around her neck and she wasn’t crying. Shortly after the team took her away, they heard Aria scream loud and clear. It was a huge sigh of relief. The rest of the 3 night hospital stay was a blur and then all of a sudden, they were clear to go home and start their new adventure. Life has been so busy for the new family of three but has been the best year of their lives. Aria has been the biggest blessing and joy in their lives. She is so smart, alert and is absolutely adorable. She is a constant reminder that miracles DO happen!

Angela Fong Bio 

Angela is a first time mom in Los Angeles. She is originally from Vancouver, BC, Canada. She has lived in the US for 12 years. She works in marketing. Once upon a time, she was a professional wrestler and traveled the world performing in front of thousands (but that is a whole different story for another time!) You can connect with Angela on Instagram: @missangelafong1

Owlet

Today’s episode is sponsored by Owlet. Meet the Owlet Pregnancy Band, an at-home pregnancy monitor using innovative, passive technology to give you daily insights into your pregnancy. You can track Mom’s sleep position, get manual kick count prompts, hear heartbeat recordings and see Baby’s trends through the night and over several days, plus read weekly pregnancy milestones all in the Owlet Pregnancy App. Right now get exclusive access to the Owlet Band in its beta program at owletcare.com/band.

Pregnancy and Childbirth After Breast Cancer Diagnosis

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.”

pregnancy after breast cancer

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.

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.

TTC+ Induction for Gestational Hypertension turned Unplanned Cesarean Birth

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

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 chaeray7@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

Read more from lactation consultant, Ashley Georgakopoulos here.