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.

34 Week Delivery + Challenging Postpartum Physically & Emotionally

Natalia was camping when her water broke in the middle of the night at 34 weeks pregnant. She’d planned to birth at a birth center but instead had to go straight to the hospital, a place she’d avoided since the onset of Covid early in her pregnancy. She initially felt empowered & positive about the unmedicated birth that followed. After a challenging two-week NICU stay, her postpartum recovery seemed to stall. The physical results of birth — including pelvic congestion, hypertonic PF, urethral hypermobility & prolapse — have led to a slow journey of healing from birth’s physical & emotional tolls. 

Natalia Hurt Bio

Natalia met her husband a decade ago while backpacking in Nepal. He’s from Luxembourg & she’s half German, so they’ve lived in Europe for most of their relationship. They now live in Portland, Oregon, with their son Tristan & are excited to share the beauty of the Pacific Northwest with him. She’s not very active on social media but can be reached via her instagram account: @afarcorner. 



This episode is sponsored by Wumblekin. Life’s busy and there’s a lot of noise out there, that can be especially true during pregnancy. Wumblekin breaks down pregnancy, labor and birth with evidence-based education and expert-curated products for mom and baby. Easily buy or gift single boxes, or subscribe to receive them throughout pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Be informed and prepared by ordering Wumblekin pregnancy, birth and postpartum essentials, today! Get 15% off your first box by using promo code BIRTHHOUR at checkout. Visit to order or subscribe, today!

PPROM Medevac Birth and NICU Story in Alaska

After two years of no periods, countless doctors’ appointments and testing, Monica was told she and her husband, Alex, would need to pursue fertility treatments in order to have a biological child. Despite having always wanted to be parents, Monica and Alex decided to wait on fertility treatments and focus on other areas of their lives. It was devastating. Imagine their shock when a routine monthly pregnancy test came back positive only a few months later!

Monica’s pregnancy progressed normally at first, despite a rough bout of morning sickness. Their son, whom they would name Otis, was healthy. Monica finally wasn’t throwing up anymore. She dove headfirst into researching every type of birth possible, ultimately settling on a hospital birth at a regional hospital only 7 minutes away from their house. She found a midwife and OB-GYN she got on with and trusted. But something changed towards the beginning of her third trimester. She began to feel generally unwell, was gaining weight rapidly and swelling up. Her labs were normal, she had low blood pressure, and there was no protein in her urine. Fundal height measurements consistently 5-6 weeks ahead of where her baby was in growth and development didn’t seem to alarm her doctors.

Monica trudged on into the 30th, 31st, and 32nd weeks of her pregnancy feeling anxious, overwhelmed, and ill. At a friend’s wedding the last week of July, people were shocked to learn that despite looking like she was due any day with twins, Monica wasn’t due until the end of September. None of the books she had read, or research she had so meticulously done, had prepared her for how sick and self-conscious she was feeling in the moment.

preeclampsia life flight

On August 6th, a Tuesday, Monica’s membranes ruptured at 33 weeks and 1 day. The regional hospital wasn’t equipped to delivery preterm babies, so she was medevaced by helicopter to a larger hospital an hour away. After three days on strict bedrest, she delivered a healthy baby who spent two weeks in the NICU. 

Despite her original birth plan (which included going into spontaneous labor and laboring at home as long as possible before heading to the hospital) being completely throw out the window (in this case, taken away in a helicopter), she felt safe in the care of her new doctors and nurses and found a network of support in the NICU that she would lean on for months to come. 

Monica Giannulis birth story

Monica Giannulis Bio

Monica lives in Palmer, Alaska with her husband Alex and their rambunctious almost two-year-old son, Otis. Both she and her husband were born and raised in Alaska and are thrilled they get to raise their son in such an incredible place. When Monica’s not cleaning up the aftermath of Otis’s latest adventure or discovery, you can find her family taking walks along the Matanuska River, riding their bikes around town, or hanging out at their favorite brewery. You can follow her on Instagram at @monicagiannulis. 


  • The Postpartum Circle Podcast by Maranda Bower (@postpartummaranda *Instagram*)
  • HM4HB (Human Milk for Human Babies) network (facebook  groups by region, for breastmilk donations)

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.

Emergency Cesarean after Reduction in Fetal Movement + NICU Stay

Lottie found out she was pregnant in May of 2020. She originally established care with an OB but after listening to so many birth stories where moms mentioned the importance of trusting your care providers, she transferred care to a midwife group at 24 weeks. Pregnancy was pretty easy and uneventful (Lottie LOVED being pregnant) until she noticed some brown spotting at 33 weeks. An ultrasound revealed asymmetrical intrauterine growth restriction—her baby’s head was measuring consistently with 33 weeks, but her abdomen was measuring abnormally small. To be safe, the midwives decided to do NSTs twice a week to monitor the baby. 

A few days later Lottie listened to episode #512 of The Birth Hour where Grace Green shared one of her birth stories and discussed the importance of monitoring fetal movement, the stillbirth rates in America, and the Count the Kicks app. She was particularly struck by this episode and downloaded the app and started counting her baby’s kicks right away. Five days later, on December 8th, Lottie noticed her baby hadn’t been moving all morning. She spent the next hour actively trying to get baby to move while her husband packed the hospital bag. When there was still no movement, she went into the midwives for an NST. 

count the kicks story

The NST was non-responsive so they did a biophysical profile (BPP) which showed no breathing movements, fetal movements, or tone. At this point Lottie was sent to the hospital where she had an emergency c-section. Their baby girl, Clementine, was born not breathing but miraculously was alive. They found out later that Clementine had hemorrhaged in the womb and the decreased blood levels caused her brain to be deprived of oxygen (HIE). As a result, she had a grade III/IV intraventricular hemorrhage (brain bleed) that led to seizures and hydrocephalus. This led to a 50-day NICU stay but by the grace of God she is home now and thriving. Lottie and Kelly are loving their new life as a family of three. 

Lottie O’Sullivan Bio

Lottie lives just outside of Winston Salem, NC with her husband, Kelly, and four-month-old daughter, Clementine. When she is not busy working as a credit analyst or snuggling Clementine, she enjoys making pottery, cooking, sewing, reading, visiting vineyards, being involved at her church, and hanging out with her “flossy posse.”


Kindred Bravely

Today’s 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!

Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) and Preterm Induction Birth Story

Sara became pregnant with her first child at the very beginning of the pandemic. Her pregnancy was smooth until the end of her second trimester, when her doctor recommended a growth scan since her fundal height was measuring quite low. The scan showed that the baby was measuring very small – under the third percentile for weight. However, weekly scans showed consistent growth and that the baby was healthy and active. At a routine MFM appointment at 35 weeks, it seemed that growth had drastically slowed down, and she was sent to be induced immediately.

Sara’s induction began with a foley bulb, inserted overnight, and then Pitocin for the next 24 hours. 36.5 hours after being admitted (but after only 20 minutes of pushing!), Liora was born. Her husband announced the sex, and it was the most beautiful moment of Sara’s life. They were also shocked by the baby’s weight – 4 lbs, 5 oz, about half a pound larger than predicted by ultrasound. Sara and her baby got a few minutes of skin to skin before the baby was taken to the NICU.

Sara and her husband were able to stay overnight in the NICU in a “couplet” room until Sara was discharged. They were blown away by the care and compassion of their entire care team. Liora stayed in the NICU for a total of 17 days to put on weight and regulate her temperature and is now a healthy and chunky 6-month-old.

35 week preemie

Sara Gottlieb-Cohen Bio

Sara lives in New Haven, CT with her husband (Andrew), daughter (Liora), and their mini goldendoodle (Moose). Sara and Andrew both work at Yale University. Andrew is a clinical social worker at the Yale Child Study Center, and Sara works in the library providing data and statistical support to scientists across the university. Sara can be reached on Instagram @sara.gottlieb or on Facebook (Sara Gottlieb-Cohen).



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