Lina unexpectedly found herself pregnant with her first baby while she was a senior in high school. Although she was excited for the arrival of her bundle of joy, her pregnancy was difficult because she suffered with hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). Lina planned to have an unmedicated hospital brith, but when Lina was 36 weeks and 6 days she felt a tear in her water sack that caused her to need an induction.
Although the events of Lina’s hospital birth weren’t traumatic, the way the nurses at the hospital spoke to her and treated her caused Lina to have a great deal of anxiety and sever postpartum depression. So, when Lina found out she was pregnant with her second baby, she knew she needed to do something different. After weeks of research, speaking with her partner, and listening to her intuition she knew she needed to have a homebirth assisted by a midwife to heal the part of her that was broken during her hospital birth.
Again, Lina’s water tore when she was 36 weeks and 5 days, but this time instead of having a hospital induction she induced herself naturally using castor oil and homeopathic remedies, as instructed by her midwife. At exactly 37 weeks, her second baby was born in the home Lina grew up in and it was the most empowering, encouraging, magical and amazing experience of her life.
Lina El-Saieh’s Bio
Lina El-Saieh is a 22 year old mama of two boys, Dexter and Scott. She is currently a social science major in college looking to become a successful lawyer (and maybe even a politician) one day. Lina, her boys, and her high school sweetheart, Jack, live with her parents and little sister in New York. Lina identifies as a crunchy mama. She loves baby wearing, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, and she recently started homeschooling her eldest boy. Lina’s goal as a mom is to encourage other mamas, especially younger moms, that they are able to still chase their own dreams even though they have little ones. Balancing school and babies is hard, but it’s so, so worth it! You can find Lina on Instagram @itscrunchylina.
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Megan became pregnant with her first child unexpectedly after 4 years with an IUD. Fortunately, the pregnancy was healthy and viable and continued uneventfully until her son decided to enter the world earlier than she anticipated (37 weeks and 3 days). After being in labor almost a full day without realizing it, Megan made it to the hospital at 10 cm and delivered a healthy baby via waterbirth almost 3 hours later.
Megan Freeland Bio
Megan is a public health pharmacist by trade and a healthcare copywriter by profession. She has a husband, son, and is awaiting the arrival of her daughter.
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Tristin’s first pregnancy was not planned, but it truly changed her heart forever. She had a good pregnancy and a hospital birth experience that made her rethink using the hospital setting if she had more children. Tristin speaks about breastfeeding struggles with her first pregnancy and was thankful it wasn’t as hard with her other kids.
During her second pregnancy, Tristin was in nursing school and graduated right before her due date. She chose to use a group of midwives, had a quick birth center water birth, and discusses the difference midwife care made for her.
For her 3rd pregnancy, Tristin decided to plan for a home birth, found midwives she loved, and got her husband on board. Tristin had a tougher pregnancy this time around and struggled with varicose veins and a lot of pelvic pain.
Tristin thought her 3rd birth would be quick because her second labor lasted about 5 hours. This birth was quite long and her son was born en-caul after around 18 hours of labor.
You can connect with her on Instagram @tristintindallrnbsn
This episode features Denver mama, Alaina, who struggled to get pregnant and had two miscarriages before using Clomid for her 3rd pregnancy, and gave birth in a hospital setting. She found out she was pregnant again without any outside assistance just a year later and gave birth at a birth center, having an unexpected waterbirth.
Alaina Isbouts Bio
Alaina and her husband Philip met while living abroad in Prague, and quickly bonded over their mutual love of travel and shared view of the world around them. Though they got engaged very quickly, they enjoyed their time together traveling before they bought a house, settled down, and decided to try for a family. It unexpectedly took them a year and a half before they got pregnant with their first, a natural miscarriage at home. Eight months later, in a new home and new city, they found out they were once again pregnant. Once again, the pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. Alaina and Philip went through fertility testing and were finally able to have a healthy pregnancy with the help of Clomid. Her first birth was a 20-hour natural birth in a hospital.
Shortly after celebrating their baby’s first birthday, Alaina found out she was unexpectedly pregnant, though she was still nursing and not taking any fertility medications. This time they decided to go with a birth center, and ended up with a beautiful and unplanned waterbirth. She currently calls Denver home, along with her husband of eight years and their two boys, Julian (3) and Finley (11 months). Alaina is a freelance editor and writer, and you can find her online at alainaisbouts.com. She is on Instagram and Twitter @alainaisbouts.
For Phyllis (a once-upon-a-time doula) and Phil (born at home in England) homebirth was an easy decision to make. A trusting midwife and a lot of introspection helped them navigate an unexpected premature rupture of membranes at 41 weeks — with Phyllis GBS positive and severely allergic to most antibiotics, they waited 30 hours until mama decided she was comfortable augmenting labor. And from there, it was off to the races! After just 4 hours of active labor their daughter, Beatrice, was born at home in the water just as they had hoped.
Phyllis Brasenell Bio
Phyllis is married to a Brit-expat named Philip, which causes a lot of confusion in their house. She is an entrepreneur, toddler mom, yoga pant collector and over user of unicorn emojis. Phyllis is an obnoxiously enthusiastic morning person and secretly hates doing sidewalk drawings with her daughter, Bea, because she can’t stand the feeling of chalk on her hands. Phyllis lives near Austin and when she’s not enjoying the sunshine with her fam (including their two big rescue dogs) you can find her helping other mamas build purposeful businesses.
Three Empowering & Peaceful Births with Melissa Emler
Melissa’s children were born in Iowa under the care of midwives but in a hospital setting. In Iowa all midwives who are legally practicing are Certified Nurse Midwives and many of them are providing care within a hospital setting. The hospital that Melissa gave birth at was set up more like a birth center than the typical hospital image that you may have in your head. It had a large tub as well as other comfort measures that aided her with finding more natural methods of coping with labor than typical hospital pain medications. Melissa also practiced Hypnobirthing which really made a big difference with her births and kept her from even considering asking for an epidural.
Melissa Emler Bio
is a mom to three kids, Cooper, Addilyn and Conner and lives in Wisconsin where she works in education. She connects schools with the best and most useful tools available to them in the 21st century! Melissa also has a podcast called On the Vender Floor where she connects educators and entrepreneurs in conversations that positively impact learning.
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