Switching from Homebirth to Hospital Induction for Preeclampsia

After experiencing several early miscarriages, Danielle was excited to finally have a sticky pregnancy and was planning a home birth. At 33 weeks, Danielle noticed excessive swelling and asked her midwife to check her blood pressure.  It was uncharacteristically high and she unfortunately developed preeclampsia. She quickly had to switch her plans from a home birth to a hospital induction.

After a nearly 3 day induction, including 24 hours of Pitocin and back labor the whole time, she was able to birth her daughter vaginally. Her daughter was born just in time, because her placenta showed clear signs of deterioration and was no longer providing sufficient nutrients to her baby. Danielle discusses her daughter’s subsequent NICU stay and dealing with postpartum anxiety. She also discusses the depression and anxiety she experienced during her miscarriages and trying to conceive journey as well as issues she faced as a black pregnant woman in New York City. 

doula support hospital

Danielle Thompson Bio

Danielle is an attorney, doula, and childbirth educator. After a 7-year stint in Manhattan, she currently lives back in her hometown of Berkeley, California with her husband, Brian, 2 year old daughter, Gemma, and dog, Azula. Danielle, a biracial, black woman, has also published in the area of black maternal health and justice (link to her work below) and hopes to continue that work in the future. Connect with her on Instagram: @danielleohello or via Email: Danielle.thompson512@gmail.com 

Resources

Peanut

Peanut is an app that helps you make meaningful connections throughout all stages of motherhood. Peanut provides a safe space for mothers, expectant mothers and those trying to conceive to build friendships, ask questions and find support by introducing you to others nearby who are at a similar stage in life, Peanut provides access to a community who is there to listen, share information and offer valuable advice: Whether it’s understanding IVF, adoption, pregnancy, baby’s first years or beyond, Peanut is a place to connect with other moms in the thick of it.

Download the app for free today!

Preeclampsia and HELLP Syndrome Induction Birth Story

Sara was able to get pregnant pretty quickly and had a routine pregnancy up until 35 weeks. At her 35 week appointment she had high blood pressure and had to go to the hospital for monitoring. After a couple of days her blood pressure began to climb higher and she was diagnosed with preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome. Sara was induced and after a fairly quick labor gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Patrick. She had to stay in the hospital a little longer than usual while the doctors got her blood pressure under control and found the right mix of medications. By 12 weeks postpartum she was back to somewhat normal and they have all been settling in as a family of three.

35 week preemie

Sara Ryan Bio

Sara Ryan is originally from Sacramento, California but currently lives with her family in Charlotte, North Carolina. After graduating from University of California – Davis, she moved to Washington, DC where she met her husband, Chris. After a few years working in DC, Sara decided to move to North Carolina to get her MBA from UNC Kenan-Flagler (Go Tarheels!) and settled in Charlotte after graduation in order to start her career in banking. After a couple years in Charlotte, Sara and Chris decided they were ready to expand their family and welcomed a baby boy, Patrick, in the fall of 2019. Sara enjoys yoga, gardening, knitting, and convincing her husband to take on increasingly ambitious house projects.

Resources

Peanut

Peanut is an app that helps you make meaningful connections throughout all stages of motherhood. Peanut provides a safe space for mothers, expectant mothers and those trying to conceive to build friendships, ask questions and find support by introducing you to others nearby who are at a similar stage in life, Peanut provides access to a community who is there to listen, share information and offer valuable advice: Whether it’s understanding IVF, adoption, pregnancy, baby’s first years or beyond, Peanut is a place to connect with other moms in the thick of it.

Download the app for free today!

Two Birth Center Births & PPROM Baby with Congenital Heart Defects

Valerie’s journey to motherhood started with a surprise pregnancy in college that unexpectedly catapulted her into the world of midwifery, natural birth, and was a huge time of transformation in her life. Mosely was born at 40w5d in a birth center, surrounded by his dad, grandpa, grandma, aunt and midwife.

birth center birth

Three and a half years later her second pregnancy and birth center birth had a few hiccups along the way in the form of a subchorionic hemorrhage. Despite the minor complication, she delivered Rocco at 40w2d after only 1.5hr of active labor in the same birth center suite and surrounded by the exact same people plus a big brother and doula.

PPROM congenital heart defect

Five and a half years later, nothing could have prepared Valerie for the devastating complications she had to face with her third pregnancy.  Complications started around 9 weeks with a subchorionic hemorrhage.  Shortly after the bleeding stopped, her baby boy was diagnosed with congenital heart defects via ultrasound and fetal echo.  Then, her water broke at 22 weeks.  They were given less a 1% chance of him surviving the pregnancy after the rupture.  She managed to miraculously stay pregnant after her PPROM (preterm premature rupture of membranes) for 9 very tumultuous weeks (one of which included a hospital stay for a suspected placenta abruption).  At 31w3d Rex was born after his parents arrived at the hospital just in time for Valerie to push him out into the hands of his NICU and CICU teams.  

Rex spent over 3 months in the hospital and had 4 open heart surgeries before he was 8 months old. Valerie is still amazed by the miracles that have taken place in her body and is excited to share the story of her miraculous boy that beat all the odds.

Valerie Rowekamp Bio

Valerie is a 37 year old mom of Mosely (12), Rocco (9) and Rex (3).  She’s a Texan living in Denver, Colorado since 2013.  Valerie is extremely passionate about style, beauty, personal growth, spirituality and women’s empowerment. She co-hosts Facing 40 podcast which celebrates the evolution that happens to women as they “level-up”.  You can find her on instagram @charmedvalerie and @facing40podcast or her blog www.charmedvalerie.com

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

OB/GYN has a Preemie by C-section with Inadequate Anesthesia

During Nicole’s first pregnancy, her baby was diagnosed with a rare intestinal malformation called duodenal atresia. She went into labor at 32 weeks and went on to have a c-section with inadequate anesthesia. Her baby had surgery 3 days after birth and spent a month in the NICU. This experience has helped Nicole better serve her patients as an OB/GYN.

32 week preemie baby

Nicole Rankins Bio

Dr. Nicole Calloway Rankins is a board-certified, practicing OB/GYN and mom of 2 who empowers first time moms to feel supported and prepared for pregnancy and birth. Over the last 15 years she’s helped more than 1,000 babies come into this world and has demystified pregnancy and childbirth for thousands more women through her 5-star rated All About Pregnancy & Birth podcast, her free online birth plan class, and her signature online program – The Birth Preparation Course. Visit her website www.drnicolerankins.com and follow her on Instagram @drnicolerankins.

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, Ameda 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. 

Bonus — you may also qualify for free maternity compression garments like compression socks, maternity support band, and a postpartum recovery garment PLUS breast pump resupply products ranging from new bottles, tubing, and flanges to duck valves and pump membranes. 

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 I sent you!  

Twin Birth at 34 Weeks + NICU Stay

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

Laura and her husband got pregnant the first month they tried, then were shocked to discover that it was twins! Her pregnancy was pretty easy aside from a subchorionic hematoma in the first trimester. Laura was able to continue with midwife-led care and was planning to give birth at a local hospital without a NICU as long as she reached 35 weeks gestation before giving birth. That went out the window when her water broke at 33 weeks. She was transferred to an academic medical center with a NICU, and spent a week in the hospital receiving antibiotics; at 34 weeks, she had her labor induced. The induction was long and difficult, and she ended up delivering both babies vaginally but with forceps. 

Lola and Phoebe spent 2 weeks in the NICU/Continuing Care Nursery until they could maintain their body temperature and take feedings from bottles. Laura had really wanted to breastfeed, although knew that with twins there were many possible challenges. She pumped exclusively for the first several weeks, then worked on getting the babies to latch. Lola transitioned to breastfeeding at 2.5 months, but Phoebe didn’t start breastfeeding until 5 months!  Laura is really glad that breastfeeding worked out, but also realizes that it was only possible because of the many supports she had, including a long parental leave.

Laura Attanasio Bio

Laura is a faculty member in public health whose research focuses on quality and equity in maternity care. She and her husband, Adam, have fraternal twin girls, a dog, and two cats. They live in Western Massachusetts.

FamilyAlbum Photo Sharing App

Today’s episode is sponsored by FamilyAlbum. FamilyAlbum is a family-focused photo sharing app with over 5 million users worldwide. FamilyAlbum helps you save, share, and remember the special moments in your baby’s life. You can even get started before baby is born and document your pregnancy. 

FamilyAlbum app offers unlimited free storage, is completely ad-free, and provides smart, automatic organization. But my absolute favorite thing is that you can invite friends and family to view your photos privately and securely.  You can even specify which family members see which photos. Your family will be notified when new photos are added and they can leave comments creating a fun conversation! You can also use suggested ideas for monthly photobooks, or create your own and then have them shipped straight to your door. The app keeps your memories safe, allowing you to recover them even if your phone is lost or damaged. To download this fun app head to the apple or google play app store and search for FamilyAlbum, or go to family-album.com!

Preeclampsia, HELLP & NICU Stay

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

Preeclampsia & HELLP Syndrome at 28 Weeks Birth Story

Danielle’s birth is not what she expected. Danielle knew she would have a c-section because of a trauma to her hip in the past but she did not expect it to be at 29 weeks. Danielle went in for her 28 week check up only to find her blood pressure dangerously high and traces of protein in her urine. Upon being admitted to the hospital it became increasingly hard to control her blood pressure.

Along with preeclampsia, Danielle was developing HELLP syndrome, causing her platelets to plummet and her alt levels to rise. Eventually it became too dangerous for Danielle to remain pregnant. At 8am on 10/24 the doctor decided it was time to have a baby. Danielle was wheeled into the OR with tears in her eyes. She feared it was too early for her baby.

preeclampsia HELLP birth story

66 Day NICU Stay

Sean William was born at 8:35am weighing 3 pounds exactly and 15 3/4 inches. Danielle saw Sean briefly before he was brought to the NICU. That would be the last time she saw him until the next day. Danielle spent every day in that NICU even though it was the hardest place to be. Sean is a strong boy. He spent 66 days in the NICU and is now a sturdy 14 pound boy.

Danielle Foster Bio

NICU baby

Danielle lives in Hanson, Massachusetts and works as a quality assurance coordinator for an insurance tracking company. Danielle and Brian have known each other since high school but never spoke in high school. The magic of the Bruins playoffs in 2011 brought them together and it’s been love ever since. Danielle and Brian began their journey to start a family in October 2016 and she finally got her big fat positive in April of 2018. Connect with her on Facebook.

Resources

Nicu moms Facebook
Ava Communities on Facebook

Avawomen

This episode is sponsored by Ava Women. Wear the Ava bracelet while you sleep for effortless insight about your fertility, your cycle, and your health. Ava monitors nine physiological parameters and is clinically proven to detect the beginning of the fertile window in real time. You can use the promo code: BIRTH for $20 off each order at avawomen.com