Early Labor at 34 Weeks & NICU Stay
Gioia (Joya) had all intensions of giving birth to her first child unmedicated at the local birth center she and her husband selected; but their baby had other plans. After arriving at work “feeling off” one rainy Friday morning, Gioia’s water spontaneously broke at 34 weeks. Her husband immediately picked her up from work and they headed to the birth center to be checked. To everyone’s shock she was 9 centimeters dilated at arrival.
Quickly, Gioia, her husband, and her midwife piled back in their 2-door car to head to hospital because she could not deliver at the birth center before 37 weeks. Within 4 hours of her water breaking, Gioia’s midwife delivered her late term preemie at the nearby hospital. Gioia had experienced Braxton Hicks contractions during most of her third trimester, so when active labor actually began, she felt no pain or difference between the two.
This birth story is not only that of a first-time mom’s natural fast delivery but also her advocating for her new baby in the NICU. After being met with a not-so-receptive NICU staff and procedures, Gioia credits her courage to stand her ground during baby’s hospital stay to mother’s intuition.
Gioia Hackett Bio
Gioia Hackett is a graphic designer living in North Carolina with her husband of two years and their one year old daughter, Yara. Getting pregnant was the surprise of 2016 for Gioia and her husband. They were always committed to traveling in the early years of their marriage, before having children. But their, “I can’t wait to meet you”, daughter has been a great addition to all their international adventures. Gioia is an advocate for doing it your own way, whether that is through lifestyle, parenting, nursing, or any other choices that help you live your best life. You can connect with her on Instagram @gioia.leigh and keep an eye out for her revamped travel/lifestyle blog gioialeigh.com in 2018.
Today’s episode was sponsored by Ergobaby. Founded in 2003, Ergobaby is dedicated to building a global community of confident parents with smart, ergonomic solutions that enable and encourage bonding between parents and babies. Ergobaby offers a broad range of award-winning baby carriers, strollers, swaddlers, nursing pillows, and related products that fit into families’ daily lives seamlessly, comfortably and safely. At the end of today’s episode I spoke to Rebecca about what makes them unique and the features of their newest sleeping bag. Use the coupon code “thebirthhour” to get 20% off any sleep product Ergobaby.com or ergobaby.ca for our Canadian listeners.
Jenna-Lee’s Infertility Journey
31 year old Jenna-Lee is a residential child care specialist from Florida and has wanted nothing more in life than to be a mother. After marrying the love of her life back in 2010, she and her husband, Patrick, have been trying to conceive. They were told by doctors they didn’t even need birth control because it wasn’t going to happen due to Jenna’s health issues but they never stopped trying. They tried many different methods to track her cycle and used products to try to increase their chances. All of these things were very stressful and exhausting. It took them 5 years to get pregnant and then they suffered a loss.
When Jenna found out about Ava bracelet she was thrilled to become pregnant again after a year of use! The bracelet helped her and her husband understand her cycle and body better. It taught her what her most optimum days were and, took a lot of the stress out of trying to conceive. She loved that it was very easy to use and see the data daily. Her pregnancy was anything but easy but this she expected.
Preeclampsia and Preterm Labor
She ended up having to be hospitalized the last month of her pregnancy due to severe preeclampsia. On the day of her baby shower, Jenna was rushed into an emergency cesarean section at 30 weeks and gave birth to her tiny 3.5 pound rainbow baby boy Wesley Arlo. Jenna and Patrick feel completely blessed to have him and can’t wait until he can come home from the NICU. Jenna wanted to share her story to give hope to those who have gone thru similar circumstances. If you would like to reach out to Jenna or have any questions for her you can email her at Jleelan@outlook.com.
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: BIRTHHOUR for $20 off each order at avawomen.com.
Induced Birth for Pre-eclampsia
After Kara and her husband got the surprise of a positive pregnancy test, they immediately began planning for a medication free hospital birth to follow in the footsteps of Kara’s mother and sisters-in-law. After receiving the diagnosis of fetal hydronephrosis at their anatomy scan, things seemed to go down hill. Kara began having trouble with weight gain and high blood pressure, although her doctor seemed unconcerned. At 36 weeks Kara was admitted to the hospital for a 24 hour urine screening. After the screening was completed, her protein levels were more elevated than expected and she was heading towards an emergency induction. Multiple interventions followed, and Dorsey Commander was born at 36 weeks weighing 6lb 7oz.
Kara Lewis Bio
Kara is a 22 year old mother of a precious 6 month old baby boy, Dorsey Commander. She and her husband, Randall, live in Mobile, AL. As a family, they enjoy traveling, being outside, and playing with their three dogs. Kara works as an executive assistant for a gym owner and personal trainer. You can connect with her on Instagram @karaflewis96, and on Facebook.
This episode is sponsored by Crane Humidifiers. Crane’s colorful humidifiers are a nursery necessity to help relieve your baby’s tiny congested nose, which can make feeding and sleeping a struggle for both baby and mom. A happy baby is a healthy baby. Crane is generously offering $10 OFF and free shipping on all of their 1 gallon adorable animal shaped humidifiers and drop humidifiers with the code BIRTH17 at www.crane-usa.com.
Natalie Diaz Bio
Natalie is the Pied Piper of twin families around the globe. Founding Twiniversity — the world’s leading support network for multiple birth families — in 2009, she’s become the global influencer for this small niche community. Reaching over a million families a week through Twiniversity’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube channels, moms and dads of twins flock to Twiniversity to find resources, ask questions, explore new products, and find community and support from other twin parents. Natalie is a true connector, bringing parents from all walks of life together, breaking past cultural differences, to share in the highs and lows of parenting twins. Natalie’s book, “What To Do When You’re Having Two” is a global bestseller in Twins & Multiples Parenting.
Parent-to-Parent Mentorship Program
What To Do When You’re Having Two
This episode is sponsored by Solly Baby, the makers of Solly Baby wrap carriers, Solly swaddles and Solly Dolly wraps. At Solly Baby, closeness is what matters. The power of touch, the strength in being together, and that the most enduring relationships are not only in love but in experiencing life together. Solly Baby is generously offering $5 off your order with the code BIRTHHOUR at www.sollybaby.com.
Twin to Twin Transfusion Loss, Miscarriage and Rainbow Babies
Ashley shares the story of the loss of her twins, followed by a miscarriage, and then the birth of her rainbow babies. Her daughter Cates was born early and spent 33 days in the NICU; and, her son Rett and daughter Liza were both born full-term by scheduled cesarean. She shares how her faith affected the way she processed her losses, and how it all impacted her subsequent pregnancies and births.
Ashley Gilbreath Bio
Ashley Gilbreath is the founder of Ashley Gilbreath Interior Design and Parish Shoppe in Montgomery, AL. In addition to running her business and being featured in the HGTV show, Sweet Home Renovation, Ashley juggles life with three littles and a supportive husband. Connect with her on Instagram or email@example.com.
How to be a supportive friend after pregnancy loss
Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back
This episode is sponsored by Stitch Fix, a personal styling service for men & women that sends clothing to your door. Stitch Fix is dedicated to styling women through all phase of their lives. If you’re expecting a baby – they’ve got you covered with their maternity styling option. From the first trimester to your post-baby bump, Stitch Fix Stylists will help you look and feel your best every step of the way. They have free shipping both ways and no subscription needed. Go to Stitchfix.com to get started!
Preterm Labor, Incompetent Cervix Birth Stories
Allyson experienced preterm labor with both of her children (as the doctors like to call it: “incompetent cervix”); so, the months and weeks leading up to her due dates were harrowing. But both children made it to 37 weeks and 6 days — and her labor was relatively uneventful for both, thanks in part to an epidural. She actually slept through much of her labor with her first baby, waking a couple hours before it was time to push. With her second, she Ubered over to the hospital without her husband, expecting to be sent home for a false alarm — but was instead told she was more than 5cm dilated. It was a busy night, and she kept getting bumped behind other patients in the line for epidurals because she was calmly reading People magazine and not terribly bothered by the contractions.
The relative ease of labor is where the similarities stopped. With her first, the placenta didn’t fully detach, which led to a brutal manual removal — and enough blood loss to keep her on one-to-one nurse watch in the L&D room for 6+ hours. By the time she got to the maternity ward, she’d bloated up like a balloon and could only sit down if there was a soft pillow and an ice pack underneath her. At home two days later, it wasn’t much better — and soon turned far worse. Late at night when her son was four days old, she thought she might be experiencing a psychotic break: lightning bolts of pain were shooting up her spine, and she couldn’t stop sobbing. Her doctor only agreed to let her wait until morning to be checked out because Allyson was certain she wouldn’t do anything to harm herself or the baby.
The next morning, Allyson met her OB/GYN at her office — which was technically closed, but the doctor had come in so she could check Allyson. When she checked Allyson’s blood pressure a second time, the doctor looked alarmed and said, “We need to get you to the ER right away. This looks like preeclampsia.”
At the hospital, staff did an ultrasound, and saw that Allyson’s bladder was extraordinarily distended. They catheterized her, and immediately her blood pressure went to normal. She was so swollen from the birth that her bladder wasn’t emptying when she went to the bathroom.
Over the coming weeks, there were return trips to the ER and thrice weekly trips to a urologist. The issue persisted for weeks, and the residual symptoms lasted for months.
So with her second pregnancy, she was desperate to avoid similar complications — and terrified her problem would recur. She experienced similar pre-term contractions, needing to go on bedrest from 31 weeks, and she expected the worst from her recovery.
But it was radically different. The day after her daughter was born, her OB/GYN stopped by her room and said, “You’re doing great. If you’d like to go home today instead of staying a second night, you’re welcome to.”
At home, she was astonished to find she could walk and move comfortably — and she could even sit on a regular chair without needing a cushion. She and her husband took the baby and her toddler out to dinner the day after she got home from the hospital, and the following evening, they walked down to a cafe along the Hudson River for burgers. And every day, she felt better and better, until she was a fully-functioning-but-still-exhausted human being at four weeks postpartum, able to work on her start-up for 4 to 6 hours each day from home. She’d baby-wear her daughter to her midtown office with one day a week, and the other four days she’d work from home.
Ally Downey Bio
Allyson Downey is an entrepreneur, MBA, writer, and parent who has built a career on the power of trusted advice. In 2013, she launched weeSpring, a Techstars-backed startup that helps new and expecting parents collect advice from their friends about what they need for their baby. weeSpring has received accolades from TechCrunch, Mashable, CNBC, and the Daily Mail, and it was heralded as “Yelp for baby products” by InStyle magazine.
She is also the author of Here’s the Plan: Your Practical, Tactical Guide to Advancing Your Career During Pregnancy and Parenthood, the pregnancy-and-parenting guide to your professional life. Her writing has been featured in The Atlantic, Time, Fortune, Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal, and others; and, she has appeared on ABC World News Now, Power Pitch on CNBC, and other outlets. Allyson has an MBA from Columbia Business School, an MFA from Columbia University’s School of the Arts, and a BA from Colby College. She serves on the board of Democracy Prep Public Schools, one of the country’s top charter management organizations, and lives in Boulder with her husband and two children. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram as @allysondowney.
Here’s the Plan: Your Practical, Tactical Guide to Advancing Your Career During Pregnancy and Parenthood
Expecting Better by Emily Oster
Work Pump Repeat by Jessica Shortall
Work It class on Motherly