Faith and Infant Loss + Pregnancy After Loss

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 ashley@ashleygilbreath.com.

Resources

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

Stitch Fix

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!

Twin Homebirth Birth Story

Giving Birth to Twins at Home

Rebekah’s third pregnancy (twins!) came as a surprise to her and her husband, Adam; but, it was welcomed, though with some hesitation. The hesitation initially being that they lived in a very small home built by Rebekah’s grandfather. Their hesitation was eased quickly with some 2×4’s and shiplap that split their bedroom in half to create a third bedroom. Prior to the twins’ birth, Rebekah gave birth to her second child, her daughter, at the local midwife-birthing center, and she desired to replicate that experience by using the birthing center and water to relieve her labor pains, so she could again enjoy a natural birth where she felt safe and respected. So Rebekah established care with the same local midwives and attended her regular routine appointments. During those appointments, one heart beat was heard and Rebekah wasn’t measuring unusually large, so there weren’t any signs of twins, though she joked about it at each appointment.

On Christmas eve at 18 weeks, Rebekah, her husband, and their 2 kids went to her anatomy ultra sound. The moment the ultrasound tech placed the wand on her belly she immediately explained that they were her second set of surprise twins today. Rebekah was speechless, Adam attempted to hold back his nausea from the shock. They weren’t aware of any twins in their family and felt this was a joke and completely impossible. Through the ultrasound they found they were expecting fraternal boy girl twins!

Rebekah struggled with the thought of twins. Questions raced through her mind: How was she going to breast feed twins? Could she still have a natural birth-center birth? And could she handle four kids??? She was beyond upset about risking out of the local midwife birthing center and felt abandoned with trying to find new and natural care.

In an attempt to still have an epidural-free birth, she found another local midwife center affiliated with a very large hospital. She did not agree with the ethics of that hospital but felt that this midwife group was her only chance at a natural birth. She assumed “midwife” meant they would be a good fit for her holistic approach to her care and birth. Boy was she wrong. Every appointment she wore her imaginary brass knuckles and fought for freedom of birthing position, birth in a birthing suite not an OR, no epidural or IV fluids, and most importantly, to keep the intimate atmosphere without an audience of students, nurses, and doctors. But every time she brought it up she was knocked back down with their responses. She felt disrespected, belittled, and unsafe. She felt that God was calling her to look into home birth, and that particular midwife group scared her and Adam enough to make this decision very difficult. After a couple appointments and verbal beatings from the midwifes group, she finally made the decision to look hard into home birthing.

At 27 weeks, Rebekah established care with home birth midwives and the weight of the world was taken off her shoulders. She felt respected, celebrated and safe. After describing her anxiety and stress of the pregnancy fueled by the hospital affiliated midwives, one of the midwifes knocked her out of her pity-party and reminded her of how blessed she was to be carrying two healthy babies. From that point on she could actually breath and began enjoying her pregnancy. Her birth team was assembled and thanks to a generous baby shower thrown by her friends, the funds were not a burden!

Labor came on at 36 weeks and 6 days. During her 12 hour labor, Rebekah and Adam took advantage of birthing at home and together baked a birthday cake for the twins between contractions. Their home was filled with songs of praise and worship from Rebekah and her birth team. She birthed both babies in a birthing pool, in the house that her grandfather built, in the very room that the twins lay their heads every night.

Rebekah Tarbert Bio

Rebekah is the coordinator of chaos in her south-of-Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania home. She and her husband, along with 4 children and two dogs live together in her late grandfathers home. Before she became a mom, she received her Masters Degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology and worked at a local hospital as an exercise specialist in the cardiac rehab unit. Rebekah has taken that passion for exercise, holistic health and faith, and transformed it into something she is able to do in conjunction with being a stay-at-home mom. She uses her passion to fuel others through her personal training and fitness ministry. In her spare time, if she gets any, she enjoys weight training, attending bible studies, and being creative. You can read her entire birth story on her Facebook page under the name: Rebekah Ashley and also on Instagram: @rebekahashley

Resources

Ina May Gaskin Books

Birthing from Within

Tea to Prepare for Postpartum

Find supportive like-minded Facebook groups.

Brentwood Home

Go natural in the nursery with Brentwood Home! This family-owned company has been crafting mattresses and bedding essentials in Los Angeles for decades, using natural, ethically sourced materials that are safe for your family and the environment. Outfit your nursery with their top-rated crib mattresses, changing pads, and nursing pillows, made with healthy fibers like organic cotton and organic coconut husk. Visit brentwoodhome.com/birthhour and use the code birthhour for 15% off your purchase!

Infertility Treatments, Preemie Twins & NICU Stay

After 3 IUI’s and on her 3rd round of IVF Jenica became pregnant! She will never forget the incredible happiness when the blood test came back positive! At 10 weeks, she found out she was having twins! Along with pregnancy came morning sickness, discomfort, cankles, and long nights! But gratitude overwhelmed every emotion for Jenica as her dream of becoming a mother had finally become a reality. Her boy and girl twins had to be delivered at 32 weeks because of Preeclampsia! Harris came first and then Goldie! Her first weeks as a mother included her and her husband Tyler visiting their sweet little ones in the NICU every day. After 5 weeks in the NICU the family of four was able to all go home together! Learn more about her journey here and you can connect with her on Instagram.

Jenica Parcell Bio

Jenica Parcell started her blog titled, “A Slice of Style” in 2014. She wanted to share the best deals on the nicest things for a slice of the price. After struggling with infertility for several years, her blog evolved and she shared her struggle to grow her family by documenting each needle, doctor’s visit and wish for her future child during her 3rd round of IVF. That “child” turned into “children”! Her twins Harris and Goldie were born after 3 IUI’s and 3 rounds of IVF. She now shares tidbits about her life as a mama to twins along with deals, fashion, and lifestyle!

ivf twins

Resources

Fertility IQ
Taking Charge of Your Fertility 
Fertility Supplements

Theralogix

This episode is sponsored by Theralogix, makers of the TheraNatal line of nutritional supplements. TheraNatal supplements are specifically formulated to meet a woman’s unique nutrient needs before, during, and after pregnancy. All TheraNatal vitamins are dye-free, gluten-free, and cost less than the typical insurance co-pay. Use this link to get a discount of approximately 15% off your purchase and enter our $250 giveaway below!

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Double Rainbow Babies: Lesbian Couple Delivers 3 Days Apart

Same-sex couple Mariel and Viviana knew they always wanted a baby; so, a year into their marriage they began trying to conceive by the traditional route of IUI’s with frozen sperm via a sperm bank. After nearly a dozen failed tries, they switched gears to a known-donor and were quickly pregnant. Early on in Viviana’s pregnancy she began having complications, and on the same day of her anatomy scan at 20 weeks and 6 days, Viviana’s water bag prolapsed and broke. Tune in to hear the details of their devastating infant loss due to incompetent cervix and the redemption story of their boy/girl rainbow babies conceived within 7 days of each other and born only three days apart. Follow their journey on Instagram at @moderndaytwins.

Viviana Bio

I don’t have a hometown, but if I had to claim one, it would be Dallas, TX. I met Mariel in college at UNT and quickly fell in love. A few years into our dating, and after moving to Austin, she asked me to marry her; so, we had a ceremony in TX and made it legal in NYC when I was 29 and she was 22. I’ve always wanted to be a mother and never could have guessed the road to realizing it would be so hard. Now the Mama to my “modern day twins” and my little angel baby in heaven, I’m at peace. My loss and the birth world has been truly inspirational to me so I share as much as I can on social media and hope to give back somehow. Connect with me on Instagram at @vivianarchy.

gentle cesarean

Mariel Bio

I grew up in Brownsville, TX, which is on the Texas/Mexico border and never lived anywhere else until I left for college where I met Viviana and instantly fell in love. Up until meeting her, my life was pretty vanilla: I had a set goal, and was meeting every expectation my very traditional Mexican family set out for me. Then, all of a sudden, I threw all of that out of the window and started taking risks I’d never imagine were possible – I graduated college in three years and moved to the most expensive city in Texas without a job just so I could finally live passionately. It’s been a roller coaster ride with many ups and downs, but despite the uncertainties, we’ve always managed to land on our feet and have been blessed beyond measure. I love to tell our story to anybody that will listen so that people see that there is hope so long as you don’t give up and are willing to take as many detours as life throws your way. Connect with me on Instagram at @cafesitamami.

Sarah Wells Bags


This episode is sponsored by Sarah Wells Bags. With thoughtful functionality and chic styling, Sarah Wells offers breast pump bags and accessories to help you reach your breastfeeding goals. An all-in-one bag for your breast pump, pumping accessories, laptop, phone and more, Sarah Wells Bags also transition to a diaper bag or purse when you’re done pumping. See the full collection, including the Pumparoo—a wet/dry bag and staging mat for pump parts at sarahwellsbags.com.

We are giving away a $150 shop credit and there is also a promo code: BIRTHHOUR15, good for 15% off all orders at sarahwellsbags.com.

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Lindsey Bliss Shares Her Birth Stories

Lindsey Bliss shares her six births in four stories: a birth center birth with Mia (now 11); a vaginal twin birth in the hospital with surprise-twins, Birdie & Hazel (now 8); another surprise set of twins, Luke & Rocco (now 5.5) who were born at home; and finally, baby Olympia (1) who was also born via a planned homebirth. I love Lindsey’s down-to-earth approach to birth, postpartum, and parenting!

 

lindsey bliss

Lindsey Bliss Bio

Lindsey Bliss is the co-director of Carriage House Birth, an experienced birth doula, and the mother of seven. Lindsey is considered to be a multiples expert after giving birth to and parenting two consecutive sets of twins. Lindsey takes on her role as a birth doula and childbirth educator with serious passion and commitment. Her mission is to hold space for expectant families through education and informed decision making. Being prepared, and knowing what options are available increases the likelihood of an amazing birth. Lindsey facilitates that process, giving people the tools and inspiration to empower themselves. Her unwavering support and gentle guidance have benefited over two hundred families. Lindsey supports first time parents, multiparas, single parents, LGBT families, twins births, medicated and non medicated vaginal births, cesarean births, and VBACs.

Connect with her on Instagram at @doulabliss and @carriagehousebirth

Brentwood Home

Go natural in the nursery with Brentwood Home! This family-owned company has been crafting mattresses and bedding essentials in Los Angeles for decades, using natural, ethically sourced materials that are safe for your family and the environment. Outfit your nursery with their top-rated crib mattresses, changing pads, and nursing pillows, made with healthy fibers like organic cotton and organic coconut husk. Visit brentwoodhome.com/birthhour and use the code birthhour for 15% off your purchase! We are also giving away a Wildfern mattress to one lucky winner. Enter below!

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Vaginal Twin Birth UK to U.S.


the birth houron itunes

the birth hour on stitcher

Twin Birth Summary

Planned for a hospital vaginal birth (under OB care with an in-house midwife), both boys were head down at 26 weeks; last appointment before induction, both were still head down. Morning of my induction, one last ultrasound was ordered to check positioning, and baby B had flipped and was now breech, and my BP was high (for the first time in my entire pregnancy, but no other signs of pre eclampsia). Several options were presented, but I chose to go forward with induction since there was no true risk to the babies.

I had plans to labor as long as possible with no drugs and was using breathing techniques learned through our birth class and some brief Hypnobirthing reading I had done. Decided on an epidural about 8 hours in to rule out the chance of needing GA if I needed an emergency C section. After 12+ hours of labor, 10 minutes of pushing delivered the boys, both vaginally, in the OR (most twin hospital births happen in the OR) 6 minutes apart; baby B flipped to head down in the labor process, no help needed.

Jillian Mahan Bio

Part time working mom with 17 month old fraternal twin boys living in Texas. Whole fam includes hubby, Ryan; boys Rhett & Rylan, and chocolate lab, Angus. Lived overseas for 5.5 years (Singapore then Scotland) before moving back to Texas about 1/2 way through my pregnancy with the boys.

Resources

Jillian’s Absolute Favorite Twin Product: TwinZ Nursing Pillow

Sarah Wells Bags

This episode is sponsored by Sarah Wells Bags. With thoughtful functionality and chic styling, Sarah Wells offers breast pump bags and accessories to help you reach your breastfeeding goals. An all-in-one bag for your breast pump, pumping accessories, laptop, phone and more, Sarah Wells Bags also transition to a diaper bag or purse when you’re done pumping. See the full collection, including the Pumparoo—a wet/dry bag and staging mat for pump parts at sarahwellsbags.com.

We are giving away a nautical Abby bag of the winner’s choice (navy striped or solid navy) over on Instagram, and there is also a promo code: BIRTHHOUR15, good for 15% off all orders at sarahwellsbags.com.

breastfeedingandpumpingmom

@breastfeedingandpumpingmom