Prenatal Critical Heart Defect (CCHD) Diagnosis and Medically Assisted Birth

Amy Porter describes her fertility and pregnancy journey with her second child as “a delicate balance of luck and chaos.” From the accidental thawing of their donor sperm units before her IUI treatment to the routine ultrasound that discovered their son’s fatal heart defect amidst the global pandemic, Amy’s second journey to parenthood definitely was not what she and her wife imagined it would be.

With the help of a team of medical professionals, the Porter family was able to prepare themselves mentally and emotionally for the birth of a critically ill newborn who would require open-heart surgery within his first few days of life to survive. Listen and learn about just how common of a birth experience this is and what parents can do at their 20-week anatomy scan to advocate for the heart health of their children.

Nicu heart defect

Amy Porter Bio

Amy Porter is an educator, receiving Bachelor’s degrees in Education and Music. Amy is a passionate Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) advocate and public speaker. Conventionally unconventional, she and her wife built their own family and are mothers to two young children.

Amy is a self-proclaimed “research nerd.” Her curiosity about the world, her passion for knowledge, and the lived experience of her son’s critical heart defect diagnosis have led her to educate sonographers and parents about the importance of early detection. More information and resources can be found on her website www.1in100.org and her son’s medical journey can be viewed on her Instagram @amye_porter. You can also email her at amy@1in100.org.

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

Two Positive, Unmedicated Birth Stories after Previous Pregnancy Loss

Despite some severe nausea and vomiting during the first twenty weeks of her pregnancies, Kelsey was lucky to have two healthy, uncomplicated pregnancies after a miscarriage in late 2018.

During her first pregnancy after the miscarriage, Kelsey and her husband spent nine months preparing for labor, birth, and postpartum. Kelsey was open to medical interventions if needed, but ultimately desired to have an unmedicated hospital birth. Aside from being GBS+ and requiring antibiotics, Kelsey got her “plan A” for her first birth experience. It was a beautiful, empowering, unmedicated birth.

Kelsey became pregnant again in 2021 and was due just after her daughter’s second birthday. This pregnancy was harder due to even worse nausea and vomiting, as well as pelvic pain for a few months. However, she had another very positive unmedicated birth with her son; this labor was similar in many ways to her first, yet still unique. 

Overall, Kelsey believes her empowering birth and postpartum experiences were due to an incredible amount of physical and mental preparation, as well as unwavering support from her husband, family, coworkers, and friends. 

Kelsey Norris Bio

Kelsey, her husband (Nick), their two children, and their dog, live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Kelsey is a full-time pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Certified Lactation Counselor. Her own breastfeeding journey with her daughter inspired her to become certified as a Lactation Counselor, which compliments her job as a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist perfectly. In her free time, she enjoys water sports, traveling, and good food. Connect with her on Instagram @kelseynorris.

Resources

Aeroflow Breastpumps

Today’s episode is sponsored by Aeroflow Breastpumps. Aeroflow has helped millions of new and expecting parents discover the breastfeeding and postpartum essentials covered by their insurance including breast pumps, maternity compression, and lactation education & support.

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.

Decision to Become a Mom, Miscarriage, Shared Care, and Very Positive Rainbow Baby Birth

After years of deliberation and a several miscarriages, Chantale found herself pregnant in the middle of a pandemic. Anxious about childbirth, inspired by a history of hypertension and a healthy imagination, she knew she wanted to deliver in a hospital with the support of midwives. Chantale received shared-care throughout her pregnancy and her beautiful daughter was born in February 2021. She feels incredibly empowered by her positive birth experience.

Chantale Renee Bio

Chantale is a bilingual voice-over artist, prop stylist and entrepreneur based in Toronto, Canada. You can connect with her at www.chantalerenee.com.

shared care birth story

Resources

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.

Hospital Induction, Miscarriage, and Empowering Birth Center Water Birth

Kelly shares her birth stories in episodes 639 and 640. 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

Postpartum Story

Kelly came back on the podcast to share her postpartum journey in episode 671 and had some great tips for listeners on how to incorporate your partner and the big sibling in bonding with a new baby.

Kelly’s baby’s eye shortly after birth. It ended up being a clogged tear duct.
Big sister “diaper bag” full of supplies for the baby!

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

Ergobaby

Today’s episode is sponsored by Ergobaby. Founded in 2003, Ergobaby has pioneered the gold standard for comfortable, ergonomic soft structured carriers. Their commitment to providing parents with the foundation to thrive has launched the company into creating a broad range of award-winning products that fit into families’ daily lives seamlessly, comfortably, and safely – where function and quality are not compromised. 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. Check out Ergobaby’s Embrace in Soft Air Mesh that we discussed on the podcast!

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

Stillbirth, Pregnancy After Loss & Supporting Other Loss Parents

Lindsey Henke is the founder and Executive Director of Pregnancy After Loss Support, a writer, clinical social worker, wife, and most importantly a mother of two beautiful daughters and one sweet-smiling little boy. Tragically, her oldest daughter, Nora was stillborn after a healthy full-term pregnancy in December of 2012.

After the safe arrival of her second child, Zoe, in March of 2014, Lindsey was inspired to create a sacred place for other bereaved moms like herself to find support during their pregnancies that followed a loss, and Pregnancy After Loss Support, an online magazine and peer-to-peer support organization, was born. Knowing the journey to and through motherhood is not easy, Lindsey also provides professional support to other mothers struggling with loss, pregnancy after loss, and parenting after loss as a maternal mental health therapist in her private practice in Minneapolis. Lindsey’s writing about life after loss has been featured on Scary Mommy, Healthline, Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine, and The New York Times. She is currently working on her first book. Connect with her via PALS or on lindseymhenke.com.

cesarean after loss

Resources

Kindred Bravely

Today’s episode is brought to you by Kindred Bravely. From adorable maternity wear to comfortable nursing bras, this mom-owned company has you covered.  See all of their comfy clothing at kindredbravely.com! I especially love their Simply Sublime nursing tank, their high waisted leggings (for pregnancy AND postpartum). Listen to this episode for a special coupon code and to hear about my new favorites in their summer line of clothing and loungewear!