Empowering Birth Despite Cascade of Interventions

Birth Story

Sarah got pregnant very quickly with her daughter Savannah- so quickly it ended up being a shock even though it was planned. Sarah had an easy pregnancy physically, but experienced significant challenges and upheaval in her life during her pregnancy, and did not generally enjoy being pregnant. Sarah was terrified of giving birth but still planned an intervention free hospital birth with her midwives and doula.

However at 39 weeks and 6 days, Sarah’s midwives decided she needed to be induced due to high blood pressure. All of Sarah’s plans went out the window, and what followed was a 48 hour wild ride of an induction, including almost every intervention known to man, and 4 hours of pushing, ending in the vaginal birth of her daughter.

Despite the drastic change in plans, Sarah found the entire experience empowering and felt supported and in control.

Sarah suffered significant tearing, a few challenges with breastfeeding, and even now continues to struggle with postpartum anxiety, but overall she had a very positive and supported postpartum experience, for which she gives credit to her husband, family, doula, Taking Cara Babies Newborn Sleep Class, and her placenta pills.

Sarah Deming Bio

Sarah is 32 years old and lives in Baltimore, Maryland with her husband Misha and daughter Savannah, age 13 months. She is a mixed media artist with a small business, Sarah Deming Art, and also works full time as an Administrative Assistant for a local fine art gallery. In her spare time, Sarah loves to read, garden, bake, sew, and enjoy the great outdoors. You can connect with her on Instagram @sarahdemingart or @sarahdem418 or by email: sae124@gmail.com

Resources

Taking Cara Babies
Doula Odile Penet
Expecting Better by Emily Oster
Mindful Birthing by Nancy Bardacke
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
Know your Options Childbirth Course + Back to Work Breastfeeding Module
The Birth Hour podcast!
Therapy!!!!
Kindred Bravely– hospital gown, nursing pajamas, etc. (coupon code BIRTHHOUR for 20% off)
Aeroflow Breastpumps
Solly Baby and Boba X
Earth Mama perineal spray
My Brest Friend breastfeeding pillow
Cando Kiddo + her Food Before One course
Sarah Beth Yoga
My Baby/Birth Amazon list

College Backer

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.

Three Hospital Births, PPD, & Pelvic Floor Therapy

Three Hospital Births

Annie has three children with about 2 years between each. She has had a hospital induction with epidural due to being almost 42 weeks with her first, an unmedicated vaginal hospital birth, and a hospital induction to have a specific midwife with her third. Having a male provider for her second birth brought up some unresolved sexual traumas from her past so she did everything she could to heal and find a supportive care team for her last birth. She discusses suffering postpartum depression after her second and third births and pelvic floor issues. 

Annie Davis Bio

Annie is currently a stay at home mom to three kids, a dog, and two cats. Her husband is in the military and the frequent moves and lack of childcare at her current location mean she’s taking a year off from her profession as a librarian. Previously she’s flown helicopters and worked as a birth doula/babywearing educator. You can find her on Instagram at @librarylane.

hospital birth inductionResources

Doula – A piece of mind doula, llc 

Birth photographer – unscripted imagery

Penny Simkin’s the birth partner 

The know your options class (esp the postpartum plan sheet) 

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist – NeuMe Physio

Psychologist/PCM who can help with medications and ppd/ppa 

Aeroflow breastpumps – spectra and kiinde system

Local babywearing groups

Local mom fitness groups – Stroller Strong  Moms – Leavenworth 

Sealy Baby

Today’s episode is sponsored by Sealy Baby. Visit them on Instagram to learn more about the brand new Tempur-Pedic® Baby Crib Mattress, as well as a few of America’s favorite baby mattresses from Sealy Baby. 

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

To listen to this episode, and more than 350 other birth stories in The Birth Hour archives, join our listener supporter group here!

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

To listen to this episode, and more than 350 other birth stories in The Birth Hour archives, join our listener supporter group here!

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
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; 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!