Using a Sperm Donor as a Queer Couple and Hospital Birth Story at 35 Weeks with Preeclampsia

Mariah planed to give birth at a Birth Center,  but she started showing signs of preeclampsia at 31 weeks. At 35 weeks she went into labor unexpectedly and had to go to the hospital. After laboring through the night and somehow even getting some sleep she delivered a healthy but small baby girl who weighed 4 lbs. 6 oz. The baby spent the second day after birth in the NICU due to low blood sugar but responded well to the treatment and was able to go home the next day.

Once home Mariah was on a strict schedule of nursing, pumping and supplementing for 3 weeks. Their supplemental journey included using an SNS, syringe feeding, finger feeding, as well as a bottle.

35 weeks birth story

Mariah Albanstoft

I am a wife and mother of 2 loving, silly, kind, and rascally children. Our house is a 2 mom queer household. We used a known donor to conceive both our babies. It has been a wonderful and hart opening experience. I am a career nanny and a doula who loves babies.


Kindred Bravely

This 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! I especially love their Simply Sublime nursing tank, their high waisted leggings (for pregnancy AND postpartum). Listen to this episode for a special coupon code and to hear about my new favorites in their summer line of clothing and loungewear!

2 Hospital Birth Stories with 1 NICU Stay and 1 Induction

Sidrah became pregnant with her daughter in 2018, after trying to conceive for 10 months. Her daughter was born at 39 weeks, but due to fluid remaining in her lungs, she had to be taken to the NICU where she stayed for 6 days to ensure there was no risk of infection or pneumonia. Because of this difficult start, Sidrah experienced challenges with breastfeeding and struggled with low milk supply.

Despite becoming pregnant unexpectedly just 7 months after giving birth, Sidrah was determined to have a successful breastfeeding journey with her son. However, he was born a little early at 37.5 weeks and didn’t develop the sucking reflex, which made breastfeeding a challenge. Compounding the issue was the pandemic, which made it difficult to find a lactation consultant who offered on-site visits. Sidrah eventually found a consultant who could meet with her in person, but had to do her own research to determine the correct flange size. Despite these challenges, she was ultimately successful in breastfeeding her son for a whole year.

Sidrah Tahir Bio

Sidrah resides in Austin, TX along with her husband of 6 years and their two children. Her daughter Zarina who is almost 4, and her son Zayden who is 2. Contact info: Instagram – @Sidrah515


  • IG – Badassmotherbirther
  • Legendairymilk
  • Labor.nurse.mama

SNP Therapeutics

Today’s episode is sponsored by SNP Therapeutics, makers of the Genate Test. Based on over 16 million dollars in NIH grants, and more than 30 years of nutrition and genetic research, SNP Therapeutics is leading the charge in the field of prenatal, precision-nutrition genetic testing.

SNP Therapeutics is committed to providing accurate and usable information to help mothers provide the best possible nutrition to their babies through The Genate Test: a prenatal, precision-nutrition, genetic test that offers personalized dietary adjustments and supplement recommendations based on your DNA. 

You can rest easy knowing that your prenatal nutrition has been optimized by tailoring it to your genetic code. Find peace of mind about your prenatal nutrition with the Genate Test by SNP Therapeutics. Learn more at and Use code BIRTHHOUR15 for 15% off your order.

Premature Birth & Feeding Challenges: NICU, Triple-feeding, and Oral Ties

In May of 2021 Haley and her husband got a positive pregnancy test and so began the journey of parenthood. At 23 weeks Haley was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia and put on bedrest to try and get her as far along as possible before delivering their baby. After 11 weeks of bedrest Haley was induced 3 days after Christmas and delivered their son on New Year’s Eve. He arrived at 34w+4d and was immediately taken to the NICU due to lung immaturity.

34 week preemie birth story

Their son was in the NICU for 23 days and Haley and her husband lived at the hospital instead of going back and forth from home for fear that the COVID surge in Winter of 2022 would endanger their son’s life if they were exposed. The biggest battle was breastfeeding, and Haley spent the first 3 months of her son’s life trying to get him to transfer a full feeding. After 10 lactation appointments, numerous chiropractic adjustments, sacral cranial therapy, 4 oral tie revisions and a month of recovery, extended triple feeding, and battling low supply her son finally transferred a full feeding and never looked back. They have been happily breastfeeding ever since and Haley considers it her greatest triumph in parenting thus far.

breastfeeding after oral ties

Haley Tuggle Bio

Haley is 23 years old and married to her best friend and husband, Asher. They live in Colorado Springs with their 9-month-old son Peter. Haley is very passionate about giving voice to the voiceless, especially at-risk kids and families. She has volunteered with numerous organizations supporting at-risk kids and most recently began fostering teen girls. She and her husband currently have one child living with them. You can contact her on Facebook (search Haley Tuggle), Instagram private account @haleymtuggle, or email



This episode is sponsored by Woolino. Woolino’s innovative sleep sacks help babies sleep better and longer. More sleep for baby means more sleep for you! Woolino’s super-soft, temperature-regulating merino wool sleep sacks use 100% natural fibers that are safe for babies, environmentally friendly, and easy to care for. Discover why thousands of babies and parents are sleeping better at and use the coupon code BIRTHHOUR for 15% off.

Grove Collaborative

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Navigating the NICU and Infant Loss Inspired Jackson Chance Foundation

Carrie Meghie spent nearly 10 months, all day and every day, with her firstborn son Jackson in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). During these 10 months, Carrie and her husband Terry were shocked at the cost of parking for families. They were so blessed and fortunate to have the resources to be there with him each and every day but it didn’t take long for them to see that the cost of parking was a truly an obstacle for so many families, which left many babies alone far too often. Having a parent at a baby’s bedside is something that is so easily taken for granted when you have a healthy baby at home but is truly a luxury in the NICU. 

After Jackson passed away just shy of 10 months, Carrie and her husband started the Jackson Chance Foundation in their son’s honor to celebrate his life and to give other babies the same opportunity that he had – to have a loved one with them, each and every day. The Jackson Chance Foundation enriches the lives of families with babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) by allowing them to spend more time with their critically ill baby. 

Jackson Chance Foundation’s NICU Transportation Program provides every baby the opportunity to have a loved one beside with them 24/7. Via their program, every baby receives a monthly pass that gives any family member unlimited in/out parking privileges. This not only saves the family significant dollars but it also increases the visits and time spent with their baby which has been medically proven to improve a baby’s health.

Carrie Meghie Birth Story

Carrie Meghie Bio

Carrie Meghie is a seasoned entrepreneur with more than 25 years’ experience crossing multiple industries. Carrie’s newest endeavor capitalizes on her creative & entrepreneurial background, hospitality expertise, brand creation knowledge, and her design experience via her newest company Neon Fringey.  Neon Fringey is a creative house exploring the outer boundaries and intersection of design, fashion & travel and includes carefully selected & designed villa properties,  vintage finds, and one of a kind, limited edition bags.

In addition, Carrie and her husband founded the Jackson Chance Foundation in 2013, a non-profit that supports critically ill babies by removing the financial burden of parking fees, giving every family the opportunity to be with their child in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). In 2016 she was honored for her philanthropic work and was named a CNN Hero and chosen as one of Chicago Magazine’s Chicagoan’s of the Year. In 2020, the foundation will provide over 90,000 days of parking to families at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Northwestern Medicine Prentice Women’s Hospital and Rush Children’s Hospital. The nonprofit has raised over 5.4 to date.


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 so they will know we sent you! Bonus — use the promo code “TBH15” in their online shop for 15% off all supplies and accessories.

Precipitous Birth at 36 weeks, with Challenging Postpartum + Food Allergies

Bonnie found out she was pregnant in May 2020 and had a low risk and uncomplicated pregnancy. She was expecting to go past her due date, as most first time moms do (and family history supported), but she and her husband were eagerly preparing for the arrival of their baby as the third trimester progressed. At 36 weeks, Bonnie’s water spontaneously broke (PPROM) at 8:30 pm, with contractions starting about 2 hours later on the way to the hospital. Precipitous labor ensued, and her son was born at 1:57 am.

Bonnie’s son faced a number of challenges upon being born as a late-preterm (LPT) baby. Thankfully he avoided a NICU stay, but still had a busy hospital stay full of glucose testing, a car seat fit test, jaundice, and triple feeding with a feeding schedule on top of the typical hospital monitoring and checks. Bonnie continued with triple feeding for 2 weeks, and timed feeding with supplementing as-needed until 4 weeks. At 5 weeks postpartum , Bonnie discovered that her son has cow’s milk protein intolerance (CMPI) when he started suffering from GERD reflux and a host of other symptoms. Bonnie proceeded to cut all dairy from her diet so she could continue breastfeeding, but it still took until her son was 3 months old for her son’s reflux to be under control and for the other symptoms of her son’s CMPI to be resolved. Bonnie also learned that her son had a peanut allergy at 8 months old, and even though his reactions to-date have been minor, allergy testing indicates that he is at high risk for anaphylaxis and he is unlikely to outgrow the allergy which adds another diet limitation and stressor to the family.

Bonnie Anderson birth story

These challenges were especially difficult for Bonnie and her husband to handle because of a lack of local support, which was exacerbated by COVID risks and having an immunocompromised LPT baby since COVID vaccines were not widely available at this time. Because Bonnie gave birth at 36 weeks, she and her husband lost a month of planning time. This means they never had the chance to establish COVID boundaries before the baby arrived, figure out which family would be called on to help and explain to them what precautions would be expected of them, or line up professional help for support. And with the risk of COVID and other winter illness, the typical pre-COVID “just come over and help however” arrangement for her husband’s local family felt risky. Bonnie and her husband were grateful to have a meal train provide a month of food, which felt like safe and effortless help to accept. But besides a 2 week visit from Bonnie’s parents, Bonnie and her husband didn’t have any in-house help for the first few months. With the challenges piling up, they just didn’t have the energy or bandwidth to orchestrate and coordinate help and ended up stuck in survival mode. Even after her son got stronger and COVID vaccines became widely available, Bonnie and her family opened up more but still found that they were getting far less local support than expected or needed, and it is so difficult to catch up without a support system to help. Bonnie and her husband realized that they were still in survival mode while celebrating their son’s first birthday, which prompted the decision to make a change and move to be closer to Bonnie’s family (currently in progress).

Bonnie’s birth and postpartum experience was traumatic, but she was so preoccupied dealing with one challenge after another that she didn’t realize this until months later. Even after this realization, Bonnie had had a hard time finding time to prioritize herself and her need to work through the trauma. At 15 months postpartum, she still feels that this is still a work in progress, and credits listening to other Birth Hour podcast episodes and joining the KYO zoom calls as two of the big pieces of her healing process. She hopes sharing her story will help others either avoid some of the challenges she faced, or at least feel better prepared to face them.

baby carrier at the zoo

Bonnie Anderson Bio

Bonnie is a 32 year old who has been married for 3 years to her husband, Blake, and is a mom to 15 month old Franklin. She works as a geotechnical engineer. She absolutely loves being a mom to Franklin and watching him learn about the world with endless curiosity and a contagious sense of humor. Bonnie and Blake met, married, and started raising Franklin in Minnesota, but are in the midst of a move to southeast Pennsylvania to be closer to Bonnie’s family.



Today’s episode is sponsored by Ergobaby. Founded in 2003, Ergobaby has pioneered the gold standard for comfortable, ergonomic soft structured carriers. Their commitment to providing parents with the foundation to thrive has launched the company into creating a broad range of award-winning products that fit into families’ daily lives seamlessly, comfortably, and safely – where function and quality are not compromised. In 2020, they launched Everlove by Ergobaby, a first of its kind baby carrier buy back and resale program, a sustainability effort to support families and the planet. Check out Ergobaby’s Embrace in Soft Air Mesh that we discussed on the podcast!

Precipitous Unmedicated Hospital Birth at 36 Weeks

Daniela got pregnant very quickly after removing her IUD. She had a fairly easy pregnancy with the usual symptoms of waddling, weight gain, and a small bladder! She says that the silver lining of being pregnant during COVID was being able to work from home the whole time and in fact most of her coworkers had no idea she was pregnant.

Daniela was 36 weeks along when her water broke so it was a bit of a shock. Contractions began worsening as they ran around packing bags. They arrived at the hospital at 8:45 (just two hours after her water broke) and they admitted her into the triage room.

She felt that the nurses didn’t believe her level of pain and tried to test if her water actually broke but there was not enough fluid coming out.

They finally checked her again 45 minutes later and realized she was 6cm dilated. She was then rushed to the delivery room where she quickly got naked and on all fours and was roaring like a beast & began speaking in only Spanish for reasons unknown to her!

36 week preemie

Daniela felt the ring of fire and every single contraction and credits practicing diaphragmatic breathing during pregnancy with helping her cope. The nurses still didn’t take her seriously and her body started pushing by itself. No one had any idea she was pushing (of course that was the exact moment her husband went to go use the bathroom so he missed the birth!

The baby fell out onto the bed with no one was there to catch the baby right away. Everyone was in shock! They found out they had a baby boy, born at 10:25, just under 4 hours after water broke. Lots of tests were done since their baby was early and and he had jaundice but nothing super serious and they were able to go home after 3 days in the hospital.

Daniela’s doula told her after the birth that this was the first time in her hundreds of births that nurses had treated a couple the way they had been treated which led them to send in a complaint.

preemie at 18 months

Daniela Hoag Bio

Daniela is 29 years old and has been married for two years to her husband. They both work in the tech industry and live in downtown Seattle. They have a 7 month old baby boy and a husky fur baby. @swaggy__dannyb


  • Atlas Birth in Seattle – Louis Perez doula
  • Diaphragmatic Breathing – Hannah Bower course on breathing
  • The Birth Hour podcast

Aeroflow Breastpumps

Aeroflow Breastpumps has helped thousands of new and expecting parents discover the breastfeeding and postpartum essentials covered by their insurance including breast pumps and maternity compression and postpartum recovery products, 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 so they will know we sent you! Bonus — use the promo code “TBH15” in their online shop for 15% off all supplies and accessories.

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