Homebirth with NICU Transfer for Meconium Aspiration

Homebirth Birth Story

Cassandra always planned to have a homebirth and accidentally took her newly-conceived baby on a 1000 mile motorcycle camping trip before she knew she was pregnant. She had a rather uneventful pregnancy up until the last trimester, when her active baby girl wouldn’t stop flipping breech and back up until 39 weeks. She had to make alternate plans in the event the baby decided to stay breech (in the state of California, breech home births are unfortunately illegal); but, fortunately Cassandra was able to stick to her original dream of a birth at home with her entire family present. After 36 long hours of labor (24 of which consisted of strong contractions 2-3 mins apart), Cassandra pushed her baby out in 30 minutes and had a beautiful golden hour with her whole family in the room.

waterbrith home

NICU Transfer for Baby

A few hours after being born, the midwife noticed that the baby was not doing as well as she would like with her breathing and they were rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. The baby was diagnosed with Meconium Aspiration Syndrome, a rare (0.04% of all births) issue that can happen when newborn babies breathe meconium into their lungs before or around the time of birth, where it inhibits lung functioning. The baby was admitted in the NICCU where she received extreme intervention for 3 weeks before being released healthy and happy and ready to head home. Fortunately, the baby didn’t experience any brain damage and will have no lasting effects from this rare condition. Cassandra suffered from severe Postpartum Depression and Anxiety, likely due in no small part to this traumatic event after her birth. But with the help of her loving and supportive family, friends, and most importantly therapists, Cassandra has recovered and settled into her new normal. She is enjoying the newfound strength and power that this experience gifted her while raising her wild, happy, adventurous baby girl.

NICU baby meconium aspiration

Cassandra is forever grateful to her birth team including: her husband, Michael; her two older step-kids; her sister in law, Brenda; her Mom and Dad; her sister, Pattie; her midwives; and, her lovely doula. Cassandra hopes that in sharing her story, she gives the same insight and hope to other moms that she received hearing so many birth stories during her own pregnancy. She believes in the power of the story, the beauty of each person’s personal journey, and feels incredibly lucky to have been the portal between two worlds in her path to becoming a mother. And, yes, she’s also still riding her motorcycle.

NICU transfer for homebirth

Cassandra Barragan Bio

Cassandra grew up in a small town in the desert and lives in a rustic little pocket of Los Angeles with her husband, baby, 2 beautiful step-kids, horse, dog, chickens, and rabbit. She works in the fashion industry and as a photographer. She has been riding motorcycles since she was young and met her husband, Michael, through their shared love of vintage Harleys. Cassandra chased adventure and adrenaline her entire life and always knew she wanted to have a homebirth, in hopes of completing the ultimate physical adventure and test the limits of her body. After a beautiful empowering birth experience, an unexpected few weeks in the NICU, and an intense postpartum depression ride, Cassandra is settling into her new normal and feeling more loved, powerful, and humbled than ever. Connect with her on Instagram at @dustdiablo.

Episode Sponsor: Grove Collaborative

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Resources

Expecting Better & Crib Sheet by Emily Oster
Bringing up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman
Precious Little Sleep by Alexis Dubief
All the Ina May books (Spiritual Midwifery, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding)
More Business of Being Born- 4 part follow up to the original movie
The Birth Hour of course!
evidencebasedbirth.com
reddit.com/r/babybumps
Carriage House Birth for the doulas, classes and IG account 
Gracefull Birth Center in Los Angeles for the classes 
Jocelyn Brown my midwife in LA
Julie Matheny, amazing IBCLC who gives classes/ has a private practice/ does clinics 
postpartum.net texting hotline
The fourth Trimester by Kimberly Johnson
Legendary Milk supplements but most importantly their insanely educational instagram account (this has been my #1 breastfeeding/pumping resource!!) @legendairymilk
The movie Tully 
Down Came the Rain by Brooke Shields

Unplanned Cesarean & Healing Postpartum

Unplanned Cesarean Birth

Long before even trying to conceive, Lindsey knew she wanted an intervention-free birth. Despite her intentions, research, planning, and extensive preparation, Lindsey and her husband learned their first parenting lesson (you are no longer in control!) at seemingly every turn, from pregnancy through delivery and postpartum.  An induction lead to a 28 hour labor which ultimately ended in a cesarean section. Lindsey spent much of the fourth trimester trying to understand her birth experience and heal physically and emotionally.
ppd birth story

Lindsey Todisco Bio

Lindsey and her husband, Rob, live in Connecticut with their sweet new son, Emmett. Lindsey is a licensed architect and construction manager whose current position focuses on strategy and growth of her family’s 30 year old commercial contracting company.  She has always been an advocate for women in the industry, and her recent new role as a mother has broadened and deepened her perspective for the challenges working moms face, and fueled her desire to find better solutions. Lindsey can be found on Facebook with the handle “Lindsey Fortunato Todisco”

Resources

Aeroflow Breastpumps

Aeroflow Breastpumps has helped thousands of new and expecting moms find the perfect pump for her lifestyle. They offer all major pump brands including Medela, Spectra, Motif, Lansinoh and more. And the best part, they take care of everything – including getting all required paperwork, dealing with your insurance company and explaining your options in order to get your free pump shipped straight to your door. All you have to 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 I sent you!

Hospital Birth Story Discussing Perinatal & Postpartum Depression

Perinatal Depression, Postpartum Depression and a Hospital Birth Story

Haylie and her husband, Jeffrey, had been married for a year when they decided to try and get pregnant. With many tales from friends and family members that it could take a while to conceive (it was news to Jeffrey that you actually had to “try” to get pregnant) they were surprised when a pregnancy test came back positive only a few months later. Haylie had a history of depression but was adamant about getting off antidepressant medication while pregnant. At first she felt fine, both emotionally and physically. But right around her second trimester, serious signs of depression and anxiety began to creep in. This made for a difficult pregnancy in which Haylie sought help from a number of sources to cope with the mounting feeling that she was unprepared for motherhood. As she prepped for an unmedicated hospital birth, she also battled a constant fear that she wasn’t ready to be a mom. As you’ll hear on this episode, there were several unexpected twists and turns during Haylie’s labor and delivery that ultimately led to an epidural and a long but successful vaginal delivery. Haylie also shares how experiencing depression during pregnancy morphed into postpartum depression and talks about the lifesaving support she received after her son was born.

perinatal depression birth story

Haylie Schwartz Bio

Haylie is the founder of Chapter Goods, a clothing company that aims to redefine what people expect of postpartum wear with a collection of breastfeeding friendly tops, dresses, and jumpsuits. She lives in Austin, TX with her husband Jeffrey and her now 2-year old son Boze. You can find Haylie on instagram, working behind the scenes at @chaptergoods

Resources

Pregnancy and Postpartum Health Alliance of Texas 
Partners in Parenting
Love Child Mag
Hello My Tribe
Rebel Mama

Expectful

Expectful is the #1 guided meditation app for your fertility, pregnancy, and motherhood journey. Just like you probably take a prenatal vitamin for your body, Expectful’s meditations are like a prenatal vitamin for your mind that can help you conceive and have a happier, healthier pregnancy and baby. Their guided tracks – which were made specifically for hopeful, pregnant, and new moms – help you reduce stress, improve sleep, and connect with your little one. You can go to expectful.com/birthhourto get a special offer: an extended 14-day free trial of Expectful.

Back Labor, Breastfeeding Issues & PPA Followed by Fast 2nd Birth & Postpartum Bliss

Back Labor and Postpartum Anxiety

Morgan’s first baby was born during her 3rd year of medical school. She and her husband (then-fiance) planned a home birth with local midwives and took Hypnobirthing classes at the birth education center in San Diego. Contractions started the evening of her son’s due date and he was born two days later, at home, after an exhausting 36-hr back labor with a 9lb 3 oz posterior baby. Morgan’s postpartum was marked by multiple layers of breastfeeding complications that lead to recurrent mastitis and the development of postpartum anxiety that stuck around for the first 10 months of her son’s life. This was a Dark Night of the Soul learning experience for her, and it has shaped her life and practice with women in her practice.

postpartum anxiety

Fast Intense Birth and Postpartum Bliss

Morgan’s second baby was born three years and two days later – they had the same due date! The birth of her daughter was a wildly different experience. She had more than 24 hours of light early labor that then quickly turned into a 1.5hr active labor that totally shocked her in its intensity and speed. She felt like dancing right after birth, even though her daughter was exactly the same weight as her son, and had a nuchal hand like him! Her postpartum was characterized by pure baby bliss and she was equipped with the skills and knowledge to navigate the breastfeeding struggles that inevitably came from having another tongue tied baby.

Morgan MacDermott Bio

Dr. Morgan MacDermott is a rising leader in women’s reproductive health dedicated to transforming the struggles of the modern mother. As a licensed Naturopathic Doctor and mother of two young children, she blends medical expertise and gathered communal wisdom to help women in-person and online to navigate wellness throughout this revered metamorphosis. Although she felt very prepared for motherhood the first go-around, she felt gut punched by the universe with her postpartum issues of recurrent mastitis and postpartum anxiety. These experiences helped her immensely – not only in how she would go on to create an entirely different postpartum for her second child, but also with the women she works with as patients in her private practice. She currently lives in Encinitas, California with her husband and their 3 year old son and 4 month old daughter, as well as a good friend who has shown them the power of living communally. Morgan believes that the best way to advance the health of future generations is by revolutionizing the health and wellbeing of our current mothers, and she is a powerful voice for natural medicine in the fields of preconception, fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum. Connect with Morgan on IG: morganmacdermott or at milkmedicine.com

homebirth nuchal hand

Resources

Jack Newman breastfeeding videos
Kellymom.com
The Farm with Ina May Gaskin
The Beginning of Life series
The Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff
Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives by Deepak Chopra
Taking Charge of your Fertility by Toni Weschler
The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Childcare by Sally Fallon Morell
Unassisted Birth by Laura Shanley
The Motherly Art of Breastfeeding by Diane Wiessinger
My Mastitis E-book, coming soon!
Podcasts besides The Birth Hour: Health Births Happy BabiesNourishing the Mother; Freebirth Podcast; and, Birthful podcast

Aeroflow Breastpumps

Aeroflow Breastpumps has helped thousands of new and expecting moms find the perfect pump for her lifestyle. They offer all major pump brands including Medela, Spectra, Motif, Lansinoh and more. And the best part, they take care of everything – including getting all required paperwork, dealing with your insurance company and explaining your options in order to get your free pump shipped straight to your door. All you have to 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 I sent you!

72 Hour Hospital Birth & Postpartum Depression

Bianca was not yet a doula when she was pregnant, it was actually what sent her into this line of work immediately after the birth of her daughter, Gray.

She went into early labor in the morning of August 7, and she knew that she would have time with her early labor as a primip. She also thought it would be a good idea to ‘help labor along’ because her doctor had told her that he would not let her go passed 40 weeks. She also did not know how to advocate for going to 41 – 42 weeks. Now she knows.

The summer Gray was due, there was a bacterial breakout in the NICUs at 2 major hospitals in Toronto and it was: (a) impossible to get midwifery care, hence Bianca’s home birth dream went out the window; and, (b) people were being rerouted out of the city to have their babies.

Bianca was more than a little nervous about the climate in her city with hospitals either closed or overflowing. She was worried she would be rushed along by the hospital staff and under NO circumstances was she to have interventions… that was about the extent of her birth plan.

She labored at home for 24 hours and then went to a breakfast buffet the next morning with her partner at the time and mother-in-law because she felt like she wanted ALL the food that morning. It was there that labor picked up and she knew she needed to get to a care facility.

After hospital hopping to find one that had room for her, she spent the next 45 hours in active labor and transition. She advocated hard, and with the help of her doula (who was really green), Bianca got her unmedicated vaginal delivery. She ended up needing the vacuum for Gray’s birth and struggled with the repair to her perineum. She felt so exhausted at the end after a 72 hour labor that her bonding with Gray was impacted. It shows so much in the birth photo that was taken an hour after Gray was born. It makes Bianca so sad to look at that moment captured.

There are parts that feel really traumatic, like the vaginal repair that was done without any anesthesia, and parts that make her feel really proud, like the unmedicated labor part.

Bianca suffered in silence with her PPD and her difficulties bonding with Gray as she had no family, partner, or community support. There was a lot of grief around this and it was magnified after her hysterectomy 5 months ago, officially removing the ability to carry another baby. She is planning for her wife to carry their next baby in the next year or two.

Bianca Sprague Bio

Bianca Sprague (CEO of bebo mia inc and Baby & Me Fitness) is a badass queer entrepreneur and mom to Graydon. She lives in Toronto and co-parents with her partner, Alana. Bianca feels especially passionate about creating access to quality pre & postnatal care for marginalized communities. She is an advocate for mental wellness for the entire family, and especially for the birthing parent, after suffering from PPD in silence and losing her father to suicide in 2012. Most recently, Bianca elected to undergo a hysterectomy and has a lot of insight to share on her experiences navigating the health care system. Connect with her on Instagram @BiancaSprague, Facebook @bebomiainc or at www.BiancaSprague.com & www.bebomia.com.

Bianca Sprague Birth bebo mia

Resources

  • Because I struggled SO much with my postpartum period I made a tool to support others to ensure they make a plan in pregnancy.
  • I firmly believe that birth plans make a difference! Here is why in a video as well as a free cheat sheet to make one:
  • Support mental wellness! It is SO important. Olivia Scobie does this SO well and she had made a free guide around mood in pregnancy and the postpartum period.
  • This awesome link of TED talks for expecting and new parents is fab!

Babylist

This episode is sponsored by Babylist. Babylist believes 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.

3 Positive Epidural Births + PPD Discussion

Positive Vaginal Hospital Epidural Birth Stories & Postpartum Depression Discussion

Bert Anderson had three positive vaginal births in hospitals. She used epidurals for all three births and for the most part she had uncomplicated pregnancies. After her first birth she was diagnosed with postpartum depression when her son was four months old. Since then she has become aware of her mood and depression so she can recognize the warning signs.

Bio Bert Anderson

Bert is a Minnesota mom of three, blogger at FirstTimeMommn.com and the author of the upcoming book Me Before Mom: Putting on Your Oxygen Mask First. Her writing has been featured in Huffington Parents and TODAY Parents.