Miscarriage, Postdates Induction, & Postpartum Cyst

Victoria suffered an early, yet stressful, miscarriage with her first pregnancy, but quickly became pregnant again. Her pregnancy was relatively uneventful. She ended up being induced for postdates at the hospital after her at-home methods for induction did not work. After a night of very painful labor and close contractions, Victoria was able to get an epidural at 0 cm dilation. Following this, labor progressed rapidly. Although she had been a postpartum nurse, Victoria had a difficult experience breastfeeding and adjusting to the exhaustion of motherhood. She also ended up requiring surgery postpartum for a cyst discovered at 41 weeks.

rainbow baby after miscarraige

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), the comfy Jane pajamas, and their high waisted underwear! Listen to this episode for a special coupon code!

Giving Birth during COVID-19 with Preeclampsia, Cholestasis, & Terminal Diagnosis of One Twin

After naturally conceiving twins, Alina and her husband were told by doctors that one of their twins would pass away shortly after birth. This terminal prenatal diagnosis led to many difficult conversations and decisions. The pregnancy came to a close when at 31 weeks pregnant, Alina developed severe preeclampsia in a matter of days. This led to the early delivery of her twins, which ended up being more complicated than they could’ve imagined.

twin loss birth story

Alina Bazyler Bio

Alina and her husband have been married for eight years and have three children. You can find Alina on Facebook.

trisomy 13

Resources

  • Book: Waiting with Gabriel: A Story of Cherishing a Baby’s brief Life
  • Article: Delivering a Stillborn Baby Taught Me the Transience of Death
  • Bible verse that was helpful to Alina: 1 Peter 5:10: “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”

Crane

This episode is sponsored by Crane Humidifiers. Crane’s colorful humidifiers are a nursery necessity to help relieve your baby’s tiny congested nose, which can make feeding and sleeping a struggle for both baby and mom. A happy baby is a healthy baby. Crane is generously offering $10 OFF and free shipping on all of their full-priced, 1 gallon, adorable animal shaped humidifiers and drop humidifiers with the code BIRTH20 at www.crane-usa.com. Check out their new top fill drop humidifier here or via Wal-Mart.

Rainbow Baby Hospital Birth with Midwives After Miscarriage

After suffering a difficult pregnancy and miscarriage, Mimi planned for an unmedicated hospital birth with midwives. She shares the story of her rainbow baby and discusses how her husband prepared for and took on the role of doula.

Mimi Maitrichith Bio

Mimi is a first time mom living just north of Seattle, WA with her husband and one year old baby boy. She works in healthcare as a data analyst. Mimi can usually be found spending quality time with her family, learning new recipes, and connecting with her network of fellow moms.

Resources

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 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.

23 Week Loss Due to Incompetent Cervix and Rainbow Baby Birth Stories

After a 23-week loss due to incompetent cervix (originally a planned homebirth), Bree was ready to try for another baby. She and her husband, Adam, were successful after the first try just 3 months postpartum from their loss.

Luci’s pregnancy was pretty easy, even though Bree never loved the pregnancy part. Due to her incompetent cervix history, her pregnancy was monitored closely and a cerclage procedure was performed to ensure the cervix would remain closed. Contractions started on November 11, 2019 and lasted until 4am on November 13 when her water broke.

Since the cerclage was removed three weeks prior, and contractions increased significantly after the water broke, they went immediately to the hospital where she was told that she was only 3cm dilated. Bree was a bit discouraged since she thought this would be a quick birth. After her doctor advised on a small Pitocin dose, she felt that she needed an epidural to help with the pain. Their baby girl was born at 4:25pm, just under 5 hours after the epidural was administered.

incompetent cervix birth story

Bree Dirkmaat Bio

Bree and her husband, Adam, live in Kingwood, TX (30 mins from Houston) with their baby, Luci, and their 3 other kids (Adele, Israel & Moses).
Adam is a Firefighter and an appraiser. Bree works in Accounting and also in their appraisal business. They have been together for 4 years.
Facebook Profile: Bree Frasson or Instagram @breepreta

Resources

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 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.

Four Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) Pregnancies & COVID-19 NICU Experience

When Morgan was 17 she found out she was expecting her first baby. She chose to see a midwife and have a hospital birth. Early on in the pregnancy she was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG), which lasted the majority of her pregnancy. She was induced at 40 weeks, and ended up with an emergency cesarean birth.

During her second pregnancy she suffered from HG again, and describes having a wonderful scheduled cesarean birth. After her 2nd birth she used a copper IUD for birth control which resulted in a tubal pregnancy when she was 9 months postpartum.

Unfortunately, due to the tubal pregnancy, she lost one of her fallopian tubes. However, when she went in for her six week follow up, she found out they were expecting their 3rd baby. This pregnancy went quite smooth, but she went into labor between 34-35 weeks, and when her son was born he was rushed straight to the NICU where he was intubated.

covid19 nicu stay

She and her husband then tried off and on for years to add a 4th child to their family. They suffered many losses and were told they could possibly be facing secondary infertility. In August 2019, they found out they were expecting their rainbow baby, and it was a wild pregnancy. Morgan had the worst HG out of all of her pregnancies. She also suffered from mastitis and anemia which resulted in iron infusions.

The final twist was finding out they would be having their baby during a global pandemic. This baby was born with a true knot in his cord and rushed to the NICU before Morgan could even see him. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, her husband could not go with their son to the NICU and Morgan was not allowed to go visit the baby until the next morning either. Despite the NICU stay, they ended up being discharged from the hospital much sooner than their previous births and Morgan has found postpartum during a pandemic to be full of challenges.

Morgan Sanchez Bio

Morgan is a mama to 4 married to her husband of 10 years. 

Motif Medical

Part II of 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

Mourning the Loss of One Baby When You’re Caring for Her Twin

Surprise Twin Pregnancy

Valerie and George found out they were expecting in July 2017. After waiting 4 excruciating weeks before the first doctor’s appointment, the day finally came to see her OB. While waiting for the doctor the nurse said, “wouldn’t it be funny if you had twins?” It seemed like a funny joke at the time, but sure enough, when the doctor was doing the ultrasound, she said “I see two heartbeats – you are having twins.”  After she said the word “twins” Valerie was in shock and didn’t hear anything else the doctor said the rest of the appointment. George and Valerie left the office feeling excited yet nervous and couldn’t wait to tell their families.

For carrying twins, Valerie had an amazing pregnancy. No morning sickness, bed rest, Braxton Hicks, high blood pressure or gestational diabetes. Towards the end she did get a very uncomfortable case of carpel tunnel in her wrists and swollen ankles. Once she reached a certain stage in her pregnancy, in addition to the regular OB appointments, she also saw a maternal-fetal specialist to keep track of the growth of the twins and to make sure they were developing normally. Everything looked perfect the entire pregnancy. Not one issue of concern was ever discovered during her 36 weeks of pregnancy.   

Valerie worked up until Feb 1st and the twins’ due date was March 28th. She felt great, but with twins it was recommended she rest and put her feet up to prepare for the arrival of their baby girls – Eden (Baby A) and Chloe (Baby B).

Valerie and George took a hospital tour and attended a weekend birth preparation course at the hospital where she was scheduled to deliver. Initially, Valerie had been interested at potentially looking into a birthing center, but with the high risk of twins had decided on a hospital birth. Valerie was really hoping to deliver vaginally but understood the possibility of a c-section would be higher due to the twin birth.

valerie howell

At the routine 36 week check-up Valerie, accompanied by her mother, went to her Doctor’s appointment. As she did at every appointment, the doctor checked each baby’s heartbeat. However, Valerie realized that it was taking much longer than usual for the doctor to complete that part and move on. Suddenly, the doctor removed the stethoscope from her ears and looked at Valerie and said “ I’m having trouble finding Baby B’s heartbeat – please go to labor and delivery for an ultrasound and I will meet you there.” Shocked and stunned, Valerie and her mom had quick moment of prayer in the exam room and then headed to the hospital.  

Valerie and her mother made the quick drive across the street to the hospital and checked into Labor and Delivery. The nurses whisked her into a triage room and hooked her up to a machine to monitor contractions and continued to look for a heartbeat – they seemed optimistic and were great at keeping Valerie calm. At this point Valerie’s mother said it was time to call George and the rest of the immediate family. Valerie didn’t see the point in making everyone worry because she thought surely once the more advanced ultrasound machine arrived the heartbeat would be detected, and everything would be fine. Her mother insisted, and the calls were made.

Finally, the ultrasound technician arrived and began to conduct the ultrasound. With so much time passing by the reality of the situation began to sink in and the shock and optimism began to wear off. The ultrasound tech wouldn’t answer any questions and Valerie could tell she felt awkward so stopped pressing her; but, after going to so many appointments, when Chloe’s heart was projected on the screen it was clear that there wasn’t any activity.  

birth twins loss

George arrived after rushing to the hospital from work, and Valerie’s doctor came in to talk to the couple. (She had been finishing a scheduled surgery) It was official – Chloe’s heart had stopped beating and was no longer alive. They needed to deliver Eden right away. Since Valerie had wanted to try for a vaginal birth the doctor gave her the option to either be induced or have a c-section. Valerie and George had some moments alone to try to process what was happening and due to the circumstances, they chose a c-section. Once the decision was made everyone moved quickly to prepare Valerie for surgery.

Eden Naomi Howell was born first – she was healthy and had a strong loud cry. She received a 9 on her Apgar test! Shortly after, Chloe Estelle Howell was born. Valerie got to nuzzle both babies once they were born before they were taken away with George to wait for her in recovery as the rest of the surgery was completed. Valerie was groggy in recovery but was able to hold and nurse Eden. Once released from recovery and moved to a room filled with her parents, MIL, sister, brother-in law, and aunts and uncles she was able to spend more time with Eden and Chloe. Everyone was able to see her and hold her and spend time with her – she was a perfectly formed and beautiful baby.

twin stillbirth

It is still unclear exactly what happened to Chloe. There was meconium in her water which is what she swallowed and took her life. However, the reason that happened is unknown. The reality of walking into the hospital with two babies and walking out with one was shocking and difficult for Valerie and George to deal with. Valerie was so caught off guard – no one ever speaks about the possibility of having a still born baby. She thought that things like didn’t happen during birth in this day and age, but ironically it is more common than most people are aware of.

The physical recovery for Valerie went well. The surgery was routine with no difficulties, and she was released from the hospital on the 4th day.  Her incision healed beautifully, and she was able to recover without incident. Shortly after going home, arrangements were made for Chloe. Learning to take care of a newborn while laying another child to rest in the same week is an enormous burden to bear.  However, family and friends loved and embraced Valerie and George as they grieved and learned to navigate the life of new parents in a supportive environment. One day they will have to explain to Eden that she had a twin sister. Sweet Chloe Estelle is gone, but never forgotten.

Valerie Howell Bio

Valerie Howell resides in Southern California with her husband George and their 19-month-old daughter Eden. She has lived in California for the majority of her life but has a soft spot for Seattle, Washington where she went to high school and attended the University of Washington where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in communication. She later attended California State University and received a Master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications and is currently enjoying a career as a corporate event planner.  When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She loves to read and dance and hopes to pass along the love for both to her daughter.

You can follow Valerie on IG at @valgal217 for more adventures of event planning and being a working Mommy.

Motif Medical

Motif Medical 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