Three Births: PROM, Prodromal Labor, Irritable Uterus, and Precipitous Birth

First Birth: Oshiolema Atogwe in 2015. Age 24. 

We used the Bradley method and really wanted a water birth but knew our birth center would only allow laboring in the water but not delivering in the water since it was attached to the hospital. Incredibly easy pregnancy. Water broke at 38 weeks to the day after a cervical check that morning and my body simply wasn’t ready. I was told at the 22 hour mark that if some progress wasn’t made soon, I’d have to start considering other options. I was devastated when the team switched over to the midwife I was least fond of since it had been 12 hours but that midwife added essential oils to my belly that finally started progression. After 24 hours of labor with a plateau (natural alignment plateau) after the water, a cervical lip and two hours of pushing, I gave birth on a birthing stool and delivered him myself. My placenta fell right onto the floor, he punched his way out and I had absolutely horrible tearing. Postpartum healing and breastfeeding were incredibly challenging and it was a traumatic experience. 

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Second Birth: Keogena Atogwe in 2016. Age 26. 

I dedicated so much time and effort to making sure I learned how to push and to better prepare my body for labor through spinning babies, six dates a day, borage oil, red raspberry leaf tea and so on. I got really painful varicose veins and had placenta previa so the pregnancy was a bit more challenging, especially since my son was 11 months old when I found out I was pregnant. We moved late in my third trimester and I quickly found a midwife team and doula. I had false labor a few times and started to get so discouraged but at 39 weeks, went into labor and it was six hours start to finish. Relaxing worship music and focus were so helpful. She was born in the water and it was the most healing birth-exactly what I had prayed for. I had the teeniest tiniest tear and recovery was so much more smooth. 

Miscarriage in 2018

Third birth: Zeameh Atogwe in 2020. Age 30. 

I found out I was pregnant less than a month after my sister’s full term stillbirth. This pregnancy was filled with physical and emotional difficulty. Pregnancy after loss (my miscarriage and my sister’s stillbirth) and my first pregnancy with autoimmune disease made me really have to battle for hope and confidence. I was diagnosed with “irritable uterus” at 9 weeks which I thought was a joke, but it set the tone for the pregnancy. I had Braxton Hicks very early and contractions that would follow a pattern from 22 weeks. I kept hearing about precipitous birth at every turn and began to think it might happen for me. The pandemic hit right as I entered my third trimester and changed everything. Added so much anxiety and sleep became almost impossible. For the final couple months, I was waking up and staying up every night with Braxton Hicks and for the final three weeks, I had prodromal labor every single night. Sometimes my contractions lasted 5 minutes which I learned was my body trying to get the baby in position— the pandemic meant no chiropractor or prenatal massage which I had previously relied on. I tore my abdomen, my varicose veins were off the charts and I was just so deeply uncomfortable that I started to feel depressed and scared I wouldn’t even be excited to have the baby. The very day I expressed that thought, my water broke at 11pm. My parents came, I labored until morning and I thought I was going to give birth in the car. I went from a 4 to a 10 in about a 15 minute period. Labor from the first hard contraction to holding her in my arms was two hours. Recovery was a dream, she was a dream and I was back home three hours later. 

Postpartum: pandemic postpartum was difficult and lonely. I felt so sorry my husband was taking care of everything and everyone. We also ended up getting COVID-19 when she was 4 weeks old and that meant we needed to be even more isolated which was devastating but I’m thankful to have walked through it. 

jill atogwe birth stories

Jill Atogwe is a wife to Oshiomogho and mother to Oshiolema, Keogena and Zeameh living in Dallas, Texas. She is an artist and lifestyle blogger behind Gold & Graphite and is always searching for the beauty in every day life. 
Connect with her via her website: goldandgraphite.com, instagram.com/jillatogwe or Email: jkatogwe@gmail.com

Resources

Expectful

This episode is sponsored by Expectful – the #1 guided meditation & sleep app for your fertility, pregnancy, and motherhood journey. Just like you probably take a prenatal vitamin for your body, Expectful’s meditations are like a prenatal vitamin for your mind and can help you have a happier, healthier journey to parenthood. Whether you are TTC, pregnant, or postpartum, everything in the Expectful app was made just for this special moment in your life and created based on interviews with hopeful, expecting, and new parents just like you. Ready to reduce stress, improve sleep, and connect with your little one? Go to expectful.com/birthhour or download Expectful in the App Store to get started with a free trial today. 

Precipitous Homebirth Birth Story with Logan Randazzo

Logan and Brian are parents to five, four girls and their newest arrival, their son Maverick Moon. This was Logan’s third homebirth and one of the goals was for the midwife to make it this time! Logan shared her previous birth stories on episode 441. You can listen to those here.

With a history of quick labors, and the fourth birth having only 40 minutes start to finish, the midwife and videographer arrived after the birth of their fourth daughter, Primrose, who was born at home unassisted. This fifth birth was a little different. It was the first time Logan went into labor without any natural induction methods, and it took a while before she believed she was actually in labor. So much so that she sent her husband to work only 90 minutes before the birth and he had to turn around on the highway to make it home only 30 minutes before Maverick was born! Unexpected, a tad chaotic, but everything turned out just as it was supposed to as their surprise Baby Moon was born only 12 hours after his Blessingway the night before.  Connect with her on IG @loganrandazzo.

Resources

Cord Blood Registry

Today’s episode was sponsored by @CordBloodRegistry, also known as CBR. CBR has helped millions of parents bank their children’s newborn stem cells. Newborn stem cells have amazing potential for treatments in the future and cord blood stem cells have already been used for thirty years in stem cell transplants. It’s kind of like investing in your baby’s future health.

For a limited time, CBR is offering The Birth Hour listeners some pretty big discounts. Go to cordblood.com and use code: HOUR to get 60% off the Newborn Stem Cell Bundle which includes both cord blood and tissue banking. Visit their website to learn more about how newborn stem cell preservation could protect your whole family and why CBR is the #1 most recommended cord blood bank by families and OB/GYNs.

Birth Center Birth Story with 4 Siblings in Attendance

A few days before Jenny was 41 weeks with her fifth baby, she came to the Midwife Center to start a natural induction – pumping and walking. After a few hours, her water broke and her labor began. Her family was planning to be present for the birth as well as her two friends who were photographer friends, and her mom and sister. Everyone arrived and Jenny’s labor continued to become more active. During the hardest parts of labor she used toning and spent some time in the tub. There were no surprises until it was time to push and it was much harder than she expected. She realized she needed to push through the pain and when she did, Norma was born surrounded by her thrilled siblings. Watch the video from Norma’s birth: https://vimeo.com/203038501

Jenny Stein Bio

Jenny Stein lives with her husband and five kids in Pittsburgh, PA. Her oldest child is finishing high school and her youngest is in preschool. She gave birth to all of her children with the midwives at The Midwife Center of Pittsburgh. She has been a support person for friends while they were giving birth and also photographed births for families. She loves taking photos of her family life and also loves talking about family photography on her podcast, The Family Photographer.  Connect with her on instagram.

Babylist

Today’s episode is sponsored by Babylist. The people at Babylist believe that you should be able to get exactly what you need for your unique and growing family. That’s why their baby registry easily lets you add any item from any store. Plus, Babylist helps you each step of the way with their customized checklist, product guides and reviews, and personal registry consultants. They’ve even got group gifting! Start your registry today to be eligible for a free Hello Baby Box of goodies for baby worth over $100 while boxes last.

Nairobi, Kenya Home Water Birth Story

Before she was even pregnant, Loi had read all there is to read about pregnancy and childbirth. She knew that she wanted an unmedicated birth, and began to prepare herself by learning all she could about labor and delivery. After a smooth pregnancy, Loi had a home water birth with a midwife attending in Nairobi, Kenya!

Loi Awat Bio

Loi Awat is a creative and business writer from Nairobi, Kenya. She has eight years’ experience as a TV writer, creative writing coach, and organizational grant writer. She’s an aspiring author with a passion for children’s books, fantasy, and Afrofuturism.

water birth kenya

Motif Medical

This episode was sponsored by Motif Medical. Motif designs insurance-eligible products for busy moms. With a focus on innovation and empowerment, Motif’s line of breast pumps and maternity compression garments are sophisticated, yet discreet, and made to support mothers as they navigate new motherhood. Discover why moms are reporting more milk in less time with the Luna breast pump, and see how you can get it covered through insurance at motifmedical.com/birthhour

Homebirth During a Pandemic and Civil Rights Movement

After a happy and straightforward birth with her first child, Priscilla, Katherine started thinking about the idea of home birth. While many mothers in 2020 chose home birth after the beginning of the pandemic Katie and her husband Seth made the decision a few months beforehand. Their location, the ease of Katie’s first birth, and desire to try it were just the push they needed. Born a day after his due date with a swift, two hour labor start to finish Langston James came barreling into this world at 9lbs 8oz caught by his daddy. He was born in his nursery, in Seth and Katie’s 150-year-old Victorian home outside of St. Paul, MN. His birth was a true joy and one Katie reflects on often. 

homebirth

Katherine DeGroot Bio

Katherine is first and foremost a wife and mom. She and her husband call quaint Stillwater, Minnesota home and are raising their family in a 150-year-old Victorian home they found on a whim after living in the city. Her days are spent running after {and photographing} two-year-old Priscilla and four-month-old Langston. Though she doesn’t consider herself particularly crunchy her high school self would be shocked to learn she’s a home birther, a chicken mom to two Brahmas named Tupac and Biggie, and a drinker of raw milk.

Katie’s hobbies include reading, studying up on history, baking, memory keeping, CrossFit, photography, and of course, having babies. Grounded by her faith, she feels a kinship with the hard working and tenacious women in her ancestral line. Natural birth, nursing, and healthy living are ways in which she feels connected to those who came before her. Each and every day she is grateful. Katie may be contacted via email: katiedegroot86@gmail.com and she posts nearly daily on Instagram: @katherinelouisedegroot/

katherine degroot

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 kindredbravely.com! 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 loungewear including the Clea Bamboo PajamasBetsy Ribbed Bamboo Nursing & Maternity Nightgown, and Bamboo Maternity & Postpartum Lounge Pants.

4th Homebirth is a Wildcard After 3 Previous Home Waterbirths

After having peaceful home waterbirths for all three of their sons, Kaitlin knew she wanted to go the same route when she found out she and her husband were expecting their fourth baby. 

With a history of three similar, slow labors, Kaitlin felt confident as she prepared for another waterbirth with her same, trusted midwife.
After an uncomfortable third trimester and a weekend of false starts, baby made entrance with a wildcard labor and birth. In a flurry of chaos, with the three big brothers in the home, Kaitlin gave birth (out-of-water) to a surprise baby girl!

Kaitlin Tolkkinen Bio

Kaitlin is a 28-year-old self-proclaimed ‘flower child’. She lives in rural Minnesota with her husband, Aaron, and their four kids, aged 5, 3, 2, and 7 months.She relishes the daily frenzy and humor of raising four young kids, balanced by minimalism and simple living. She runs a small herbal skincare shop between arts & crafts and story time, and can be found on Instagram @modernbotanicalco or occasionally talking about cloth diapers @modernbottombabies

Resources

Aeroflow Breastpumps

Aeroflow Breastpumps has helped thousands of new and expecting moms find the perfect pump for her lifestyle. They offer all major pump brands including Medela, Spectra, Motif, Lansinoh, Ameda and more. And the best part, they take care of everything – including getting all required paperwork, dealing with your insurance company, and explaining your options in order to get your free pump shipped straight to your door. 

Bonus — you may also qualify for free maternity compression garments like compression socks, maternity support band, and a postpartum recovery garment PLUS breast pump resupply products ranging from new bottles, tubing, and flanges to duck valves and pump membranes. 

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 aeroflowbreastpumps.com/birthhour so they will know I sent you!