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.
Lori and Petra always knew they wanted to start a family, but when the time came in 2017, it did not go as easily as they had hoped. Lori struggled emotionally as IUI after IUI treatment failed, and even completed an unexpected full Ironman (140.6) to deal with the emotional fallout of the process. After 2 years and 6 failed IUIs to ‘prove infertility’, Lori and Petra were fortunate enough to get insurance authorization for a cycle of IVF. Although the egg retrieval process was successful, resulting in 4 viable embryos, the physical aftermath for Lori included OHSS and intermittent ovarian torsion. Despite the setbacks, the first embryo transfer was successful. The 2020 global pandemic started during Lori’s second trimester, but the pregnancy progressed smoothly. In September 2020, their son was born healthy via induction at 41 weeks. Although the delivery was relatively straightforward, Lori experienced postpartum complications that included vertigo, possible mastitis, a fissure, and stage 2 bladder prolapse.
Lori Vance Bio
Lori and her wife Petra met almost 15 years ago while studying abroad in Heidelberg, Germany. 3 years later they started dating in South Korea and got married in 2012 in Rochester, NY. They now live in New Hampshire with their son Nyle, 2 spoiled pit bulls, and a kitty-cat. As of 2020, they also live in a multigenerational home with 3 of Nyle’s grandparents. He loves it. Connect with her on IG: @doitordonot or visit her blog: https://doitordonot.wordpress.com/2020/02/28/ivf/
Arden Cartrette is a grief and bereavement doula who found her calling to help others through pregnancy loss after a long fertility journey to her son, Cameron. With two miscarriages leaving her with trauma and needed the assistance of her reproductive endocrinologist to get pregnant – she opens up about pregnancy and live childbirth after infertility and loss. Arden founded The Miscarriage Doula Co which is an online service and resource for women who are going through a miscarriage and navigating life afterward.
This episode is sponsored by Fairhaven Health, creators of Milkies and their new Vaginal Care & Comfort line. Milkies is a line of thoughtfully designed products for moms, by moms, to support you throughout your breastfeeding journey. Products include breast milk collection and storage, supplements, teas, nursing pads and much more!
Their Vaginal Care & Comfort line contains isotonic, paraben-free, glycerol-free, and oil-free products to support vaginal health. Their vaginal care line currently includes 5 products:
BabyIt, the only product specifically designed to be used with perineal massage during pregnancy.
IsoFresh, a vaginal balancing gel that supports a healthy vaginal ecosystem
IsoFresh Probiotic to help replenish bacteria and balance yeast
BabyDance Fertility Lubricant which is pH-matched to fertile cervical mucus and tested to ensure it’s safe for sperm and eggs
And Sage Personal Moisturizer and Lubricant to help provide relief from vaginal dryness.
Fairhaven Health is generously offering 15% of all of their products with the code BIRTHHOUR at www.fairhavenhealth.com. In today’s episode, our guest Arden shares a bit about her experience with products from Fairhaven Health.”
An IVF pregnancy, Brittany and Mickey worked with a team of 2 midwives who delivered at their local hospital. COVID threw a wrench in their baby plans, and she ended up needing a medically required induction. When the first two induction methods didn’t work, Brittany was started on Pitocin. Thanks to their doula (who the hospital made a one-time-COVID exception for), they were able to make it through 19 hours of labor without an epidural.
Brittany Murlas Bio
Brittany is the Founder/CEO of LittleFeminist.com. Before starting Little Feminist book club, she got a crash course in all things baby as the 2nd employee of BabyList.com. She lives in Oakland, CA with her parter, fierce chihuahua and baby.
Cord Blood Registry
We are so excited to introduce our new partnership with @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.
Brett and her husband went through two IUIs and 5 rounds of IVF. On their fourth round they had two viable embryos and both transfers eventually became her two sons. Brett says the experience of going through IVF nearly broke her but just before it did it she fought back and ending up learning things about herself that she never knew. Since then she has made it her goal to help other women suffering in silence to feel less alone in their struggles with infertility.
Brett Russo Bio
Brett was born and raised in New Jersey. She graduated with a degree in business management from Bucknell University, where she also met her future husband. After graduation, Brett found her passion working beside her twin brother and father for her family’s printing company, of which she is now the chief executive officer. She married her husband in 2015, and together they fought the hardest battle of their lives with their journey through IVF. Read her new book, The Underwear in My Shoe: My Journey Through IVF, Unfiltered and connect with her here.
This episode was sponsored by 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 lets you add any item from any store. Even add cool services and favors like prenatal yoga, doula support, home-cooked meals or dog walking. Start your registry today to be eligible for a free Hello Baby Box of goodies for baby worth up to $190 while boxes last.
To listen to this episode, and hundreds more birth stories in The Birth Hour archives, join our listener supporter Patreon here!
Getting Pregnant and Planning Hospital Birth
After 2.5 years of trying as well as a miscarriage in 2018, Susanna and Will found out they were pregnant with their rainbow baby in February 2019. They learned halfway through the pregnancy that Susanna would be induced due to high blood pressure. She went in at 39 weeks to be induced, hoping to avoid pain medications.
Things moved quite slowly and Susanna experienced very intense back labor due to her daughter being sunny side up. Thankfully, her mom and husband were both there to help support her through labor. They were invaluable! She spent a lot of time on the yoga ball and in the shower to help manage the pain. After about 24 hours of labor, her water broke and she was ready to ask for an epidural. Thankfully after a successful epidural her body was able to relax and fully dilate over the next 8 hours.
The baby turned over into a normal birthing position and after pushing for less than an hour, Will and Susanna welcomed their beautiful daughter Dahlia into the world. Following the birth, Dahlia had moderate jaundice which was carefully monitored each day with bloodwork. Within a week that cleared up and she is a healthy happy baby!
Susanna Birdwell Bio
Will and Susanna live in the Tampa Bay area of Florida with their daughter Dahlia who is almost 7 months old. Susanna is a 5th grade teacher and Will is a paramedic who is also currently in firefighter school. Susanna is passionate about education, essential oils,toxin free living, and holistic health. Will enjoys music, strategy games, and shooting sports. They love spending time with friends and family, trying local restaurants, and cooking. Connect with her on Instagram @myketoteacherlife or via email at email@example.com.
Today’s episode was sponsored by Crate and Kids. Crate and Kids is all about empowering the self-expression of families through environments that spark creativity and encourage individuality. Their versatile collection celebrates each new stage and helps you design a nursery that’s an extension of your own personal style.
Use code TheBirthHour at checkout to receive 10% off your full-price purchase of Kids furniture and more at crateandkids.com. It’s valid online only, and some exclusions apply, so see their website for details.