Peaceful Epidural Birth, Difficult 2nd Birth & Redemptive Surrogate Birth
Nicole’s first birth was a positive, peaceful experience. She gave birth in a hospital with an OB she trusted, and felt that having an epidural helped her to relax and be present as she brought her daughter into the world.
Nicole’s second birth was only 16 months after the first. Her plan going into the birth was to do things about the same as the first time… which ended up with a-less-than-magical birth experience. Nicole was in love with her son, but also knew that she hoped she could get a chance to have a different kind of birth experience.
Nicole decided to be a gestational surrogate, and carried twins for two international dads. She was able advocate for herself and to have the unmedicated twin birth she hoped for at the hospital where she works, and had a great birth and surrogacy experience.
Nicole Gricius Bio
Nicole is a happy working mom who lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband, two children ages 3 and 4, two dogs, a cat, and three chickens. She works in Inpatient Behavioral Health and is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She loves running, skiing, hiking, and spending time with her family. Connect with her on instagram: @nikkigricius.
Site to find a therapist if needed. Also, call your health insurance to inquire about coverage
The surrogacy agency I used—The most important thing is to find a good fit for you.
This episode is sponsored by CollegeBacker. CollegeBacker is the easiest way to save for college with help from family & friends. In just 5 minutes, you can open a tax-advantaged 529 Plan, and then invite family & friends to contribute – even before your child is born!
Sign up at CollegeBacker.com/TheBirthHour and receive a $10 match when you start saving for your child, or when you send a gift to kickoff someone else’s college fund.
Hospital Birth in Germany
Ana gave birth like a champ in a hospital in Germany after being assured that it was baby-friendly. That didn’t end up being her experience and although everything ended up ok, she shares how it felt to be treated in a way that wasn’t respectful of her wishes.
Ana Maria Guardia Bio
Ana is a graphic designer and a yoga teacher. She lives in Germany with her husband Ralph and 21 month old Anton. She’s originally from Panama, a country that made it to the World Cup for the first time this year. Connect with her on Twitter @anagrama, Facebook, Instagram and check out her writing on Elephant Journal.
One Bad Mother podcast for honest talk, laughs and judgment-free motivation. And their book: You’re Doing a Great Job!: 100 Ways You’re Winning at Parenting
La Leche League local groups and The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding book.
The mantra: «Divine mother flows through me»
Earth Mama Organics
From the positive test to the big push, from the first latch to the thousandth diaper, Earth Mamamakes effective organic and natural herbal products for the whole journey of motherhood: pregnancy, postpartum, breastfeeding, and baby care. They’ve been safely nurturing mamas this way since 2002 — and they wouldn’t do it any other way. Be sure to check out some of their latest products like the organic deodorant (that really works!) that Megan and I discussed at the end of today’s episode!
Giving Birth in Puerto Rico
Anjelica gave birth to her first daughter while living abroad
on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. Though she originally wanted to deliver with a midwife, she had to make adjustments based on her location’s cultural norms and her Spanish language barrier. Anjelica’s story takes some crazy turns that involve driving two-hours to the hospital
, her husband paying for a private labor room while she was in labor, and her doula almost delivering their baby. As she shares what birth is like for many women on the island we get an idea of what it takes for some women outside the continental U.S. to achieve a low-intervention vaginal birth.
Giving Birth in Guam
Anjelica gave birth to her second daughter on another lush island, Guam. This time around she was able to have a midwife provider like she’d hoped for the first time, but experienced other hurdles that came along with being a military spouse and mother of a busy toddler. Anjelica’s story quickly gets interesting as she realizes she’s in labor while her husband is in the middle of running a half-marathon.
Anjelica Malone Bio
Anjelica Malone lives in Santa Rita, Guam and is the mother of two little island girls, the wife of a U.S. Coast Guard service member, a Lactation Educator Counselor, and the author of book Milk Boss 101. She enjoys traveling with her family and blogging about motherhood, culture, and sustainable living. You can find out more about Anjelica and her global life at www.AnjelicaMalone.com
and follow her adventures on Instagram at @AnjelicaMalone.
Birth Becomes Her
Today’s episode was brought to you by Birth Becomes Her, which seeks to inspire both expectant parents and birth professionals. On birthbecomesher.com they share new birth photo stories each week from some of the greatest birth photographers across the world. Birth Becomes Her’s mission is to inspire you as an artist, and encourage you as a parent. Birth is a process of strength, of determination, and of beauty. And through the sharing of birth photography, Birth Becomes Her shows every part of the journey. Use coupon code BIRTHHOUR to get 20% off anything in the Birth Becomes Her shop including birth photography presets, contracts, toolkits, and more!
Giving Birth in the Netherlands then the U.S.
Stephanie was living in the Netherlands when she found out she was pregnant and went to what she thought was a birth at home OB office like everyone else she knew had done. Turned out that in the Netherlands if you were a low-risk pregnant mama you automatically saw midwives and you had the option to have your birth at home attended by midwives or at the hospital attended by midwives. Stephanie initially made plans to have a hospital birth but eventually changed courses towards the end of her pregnancy.
Her first labor was a precipitous birth and baby arrived in less than 3 hours, she describes it as a very intense experience that she wasn’t at all expecting. After her initiation into midwifery care and homebirth, she knew she would give birth at home with her next baby even though she was living in the U.S. by then. Both of her births contributed to her desire to become a doula and childbirth educator.
Stephanie Spitzer-Hanks Bio
Stephanie is a mom to two energetic kids, wife to a supportive doula-husband (which is a special breed of husband, for sure), and owner of revdoula, a business focused on supporting new parents in birth and early postpartum. She is also an ordained minister who likes to geek out about theology and birth on her blog. I met Stephanie through the Babymoon Retreat and fell in love with her approach to childbirth education. Connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.
This episode was sponsored by Heart2Heart Store. Heart2Heart is a mama owned shop that provides Birth Affirmation and birth support products for expecting women and the doulas, midwives, and birth workers that care for them. Visit www.heart2heartstore.com and use coupon code THEBIRTHHOUR to save 20% on your order over $20!
Vaginal Breech in Bermuda and “Walking Epidural” in Luxembourg
Rachelle O’Neil was living in Bermuda when she was pregnant with her son. She went to the hospital to be induced 7 days after her due date, and 20 min before her son arrived the doctor realized it was his hip coming out rather than his head! Everything went smoothly and she was so happy that she delivered a breech baby vaginally rather than by csection. Rachelle also shares her second birth for which she was living in Luxembourg. She had planned to have a natural birth and although she ended up with a “walking epidural”, she describes it as an amazing euphoric experience. Connect with her on Instagram @roinlux.
Ina May Gaskin
Birth Story Film
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Three Hospital Births living in Rural Area of Australia
Today’s birth story guest shares all three of her birth stories, which took place in hospitals. She talks about her baby’s shoulders getting stuck with her second birth, and of how her doctor gave her the option of being induced a week early or having a cesarean with her third baby, which really scared her. She chose induction and ended up stalling out during labor, and she was prepped for a c section but as they were wheeling her into the operating room, she felt the urge to push and her baby was born!
Felicity Taylor Bio
Felicity lives with her husband and three little children, in a country town called Forbes, in NSW Australia where they moved three years ago to help plant a church. Their hearts are very much for extending a hand where needed in their community. She and her husband run their own mechanics business from home and also have a little candle business where Felicity makes and sells beeswax candles. She loves writing, especially about their crazy lives as parents and all the adventures that involves, which led her to begin a blog two years ago called the The Taylor Tale.
Listen to my discussion with the co-founder of Afton Socks as well as Dr. Sandra Lee (aka Dr. Pimple Popper!) at the end of this episode. Afton Socks is a doctor-owned brand dedicated to making fun, patterned compression socks to help mothers keep their circulation in good health. Afton socks are ethically crafted in Italy, certified to be free of harmful chemicals, and come in a range of fun designs that don’t look anything like traditional compression socks! We are doing a giveaway over on Instagram and Facebook where 3 people will win a pair of Afton Socks! Afton is also offering a 15% off code + free shipping with the code BIRTHHOUR.