Primary Elective C-section and Spontaneous Labor Prior to Elective 2nd Cesarean

Jordy opted for an elective c-section with her first baby due to a genetic narrow birth canal and not wanting to risk an emergency situation. She was planning on doing the same with her second baby, however her daughter had other plans and she went into spontaneous labor at 39 weeks, followed by an urgent, but not emergent, c-section. Jordy will also talk about the stresses of giving birth during the peak of the pandemic as her son was born in May 2020.

elective-c-section-birth-story

Jordy Levin Bio

Jordy, originally from Sydney, Australia is a teacher and sleep consultant living in NYC. She is married to Dorron, an IT specialist, and has two young children, Zev who is 2 years old and Malka who is 7 months old.

Jordy can be found on Instagram at @contentedkoalas, where you will also find content on infant and toddler sleep and relaxation tips for young children. 

Resources

The Birth Hour Podcast

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

Unmedicated Hospital Birth with Severe Prenatal and Postpartum Anxiety and OCD During Covid Lockdown

Nicole and her husband,  Kyle,  were excited to try to start a family in 2019. Nicole had a prior medical history of anxiety and had been taking the same anti-anxiety medication for the past ten years without any issue. Prior to trying to conceive, Nicole made a family planning appointment with her OB in order to check the medication’s safety or to be prescribed an alternative that was safe to conceive on. When told by her OB that nothing was 100% safe and she should consider weaning off her medication, Nicole did so. Ultimately, this sent her into an emotional tailspin.

Upon receiving that positive pregnancy test, Nicole and Kyle were elated. Heightened anxiety after weaning off her medication coupled with first trimester hormones led Nicole to seek out a second opinion in regards to starting medication. To her relief, she found a OB who prescribed her a medication that had been used in pregnancy and had an overall good prognosis. Around 12 weeks, Nicole switched to midwifery care and focused on learning how to cope with labor pain and fulfill her dream of having a natural vaginal birth. Nicole went into labor at 40 weeks and one day and delivered Claire in what she describes as  “the perfect natural birth” that she was able to achieve with the help and support of both her husband and her midwife.

Nicole’s postpartum was extremely difficult as she was diagnosed with postpartum anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder during the height of Covid. She experienced breast-feeding issues with Claire which led her to exclusively pump. She ended up not returning to work after her maternity leave ended as she continued to battle her diagnosis during a time when the world had shut down. It was with the help of a psychiatrist and the proper medication dosage that Nicole started to feel somewhat normal. The overall anxiousness did not completely subside until she had ended breastfeeding when Claire was 11 months old.

After Claire’s first birthday, Kyle and Nicole decided to try to conceive again and to their surprise it happened quite quickly. The couple had reservations considering Nicole’s last pregnancy and postpartum but her psychiatrist assured them that relapse was highly unlikely as long as Nicole remained at her current medication dosage. Nicole’s pregnancy was uneventful until she contracted Covid at 24 weeks pregnant. Thankfully, her symptoms were mild but she contemplates that this may have been the reason she went into preterm labor at 36 weeks 6 days as Covid has been linked to preterm labor. After 7 hours of active labor and dilating to 6 cm, labor ended abruptly after an IV fluid bolus. Charlotte was born two weeks later after a four hour labor which almost ended in a car delivery.

ppa ocd

Nicole’s second postpartum was nothing short of redemption. She felt that she was able to enjoy her newborn daughter in ways she never was able to with her first. The only anxiety she felt was what she described as “normal for a new mom of two”. While redeeming and at times blissful, it brought about a sense of guilt for her experience with Claire. Nicole was able to breastfeed Charlotte who was diagnosed with a dairy and soy intolerance two weeks after birth. Nicole was able to eliminate both from her diet and Charlotte is currently thriving. 

Nicole hopes that by sharing her story it may provide a glimmer of hope for mamas with similar experiences.

Nicole Turcotte Bio

Nicole and her family reside in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. She and her husband, Kyle, share daughters Claire (2 yrs.) and Charlotte (4 mo). Nicole is a registered nurse/current stay at home mom and Kyle owns a landscaping/tree removal company.  Instagram handle – @nicole.m.turcotte

Resources

KiwiCo Panda Crate

Panda Crate subscription from KiwiCo, your baby receives a new crate filled with two-months’ worth of products and content every other month. Build a foundation for early learning this new year with Panda Crate from KiwiCo! Get 30% off your first month on ANY crate line with code BIRTHHOUR at kiwico.com.

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.

Miscarriage and Birth Stories from the Miscarriage Doula

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.

You can learn more at themiscarriagedoula.co or @themiscarriagedoula on Instagram

miscarriage doula

Fairhaven Health

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.”

Type 2 Diabetes, Unmedicated Hospital Birth & Working Postpartum as RN During COVID-19

When A’briel became pregnant with her first child, she was quite surprised as one OBGYN had previously assured her that she’d need fertility treatment in order to conceive. She immediately sought out doula support and started to build a birth team full of strong African American women.

Due to a previous diagnosis of Type II Diabetes, A’briel knew she’d be having a hospital birth at the facility where she worked; but she had always planned to deliver without many interventions and epidural- free.

pitocin birth story

She scheduled herself to work up until 40 weeks, but was in for another huge surprise when she woke up to ruptured membranes on the day she turned 37 weeks. Once at the hospital, A’briel decided to augment labor with Pitocin, and 10 hours after her water had broken, she had her first intense contraction. Contractions would remain stead for the next 4 hours until she gave birth.

At 7 weeks postpartum, A’briel returned to work in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic where she had to juggle a full-time night shift job, single parenthood, and maintaining a breastfeeding relationship, as well as the unknowns & constant changes that COVID would cause at her hospital. 

labor and delivery nurse birth story

A’briel Banks Bio

A’briel lives in Rural Arkansas with her 4 month old daughter, Alivia. She is a doula turner Labor and Delivery Nurse and is gearing up to pursue midwifery. She can be reached on Instagram @naturallybri__

Crate & Kids

This episode of The Birth Hour is 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.

Unmedicated Hospital Birth & Struggling Postpartum

To listen to this episode, and hundreds more birth stories in The Birth Hour archives, join our listener supporter Patreon here!

Naria and her husband, Luther, received unexpected news of their first pregnancy in January 2019. Though unexpected, years of being exposed to pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experiences through family and education had prepared Naria to make informed decisions about the birth experience she wanted. Alongside her husband, nurse-midwife, doula, and mother, Naria was able to experience the unmedicated vaginal birth she wanted as she welcomed her baby girl Samaria Eve Menard. During her postpartum period, Naria struggled greatly with baby blues and with her adequacy as a mother. The words of wisdom from her doula sustained her during her time of transition into motherhood: ‘Surrender to the process’.

Naria Josefina Menard Bio

Naria was born and raised in NYC to immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic. Her ethnicity as an Afro-Latina played a huge role in her upbringing and how she views the world around her. These cultural ideals shaped her decisions on her pregnancy, birthing, and postpartum experiences. She currently resides with her husband of almost four years and her beautiful 7-month-old daughter in South Florida. There, Naria serves as a teacher to 9th grade students while also working on completing her doula certification in hopes to be a voice for women of color in the birthing world and to further educate women of color on pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. You can connect with Naria on Instagram @mamanarnar30 and on Facebook at ‘Naria Josefina Menard’.

Naria Josefina Menard

Resources

Battling Over Birth- Black Women and the Maternal Health Crisis.

Find a black midwife or doula – Sista Midwife