Male Factor Infertility, IVF, Twins and Homebirth
After receiving devastating news about their chances of conceiving due to a severe case of male factor infertility, Ashley and her husband Andrew were thrown into the unknown world of infertility. Ashley of @ashleyizsak found out she was pregnant on her 28th birthday from their first round of IVF with ICSI. Two weeks later, on new years eve, they found out she was expecting mono di twins.
From the start, Ashley struggled with her desire to do things as naturally as possible while being told delivery would take place in an OR with a team of about twenty people. At 20 weeks, they discovered her cervix was shortening and at 24 weeks, they gave her steroid injections to help mature the babies’ lungs. Surprising everyone, she went on to carry the twins past her due date and successfully delivered her twins vaginally at the hospital in an OR.
For five years, they were a happy family of four; yet, every December a bill arrived reminding them of their frozen embryo that remained at the fertility clinic. Ashley struggled with first wanting another baby, then feeling done, and then finally wanting to try for that third baby. In a crazy coincidence, the third embryo would be transferred into Ashley exactly six years later, to the day. At 20 weeks, she and her husband made the decision to switch to midwifery care and pursue a homebirth. Hours shy of the twins sixth birthday, Ashley gave birth at home, in a birth pool, to a beautiful baby boy.
Ashley Izsak Bio
Ashley has been blogging and writing for close to a decade. She is the author of a series of essays including heartfelt glimpses into motherhood and normalizing infertility. Nestled in a small village outside of Ottawa, Ashley, her husband, their twin daughters and baby son, strive for simplicity, joy, and lots of glamping. You can connect with her on Instagram at @ashleyizsak and on her blog Calmly Chaotic.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
Birthing From Within
Navigating the Land of IF
How to Make Love to a Plastic Cup: A Guy’s Guide to the World of Infertility (Wonderful book to support men during infertility and amazingly helpful as it guides them to deal with the hormone rollercoaster that is IVF and their female partners.)
Mothering Multiples: Breastfeeding & Caring for Twins or More!
One and the Same: My Life as an Identical Twin and What I’ve Learned About Everyone’s Struggle to Be Singular
Forum for Infertility Support in Canada
Products I love: Snuggle Me Organic, Earth Mama Organics Perineal Spray & Balm, Kindred Bravely Postpartum Underwear
This podcast episode was supported 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. TheraNatal preconception vitamins contain all the nutrients you need to prepare your body for pregnancy, including folate and vitamin D. For women 35 and over, TherNatal OvaVite also contains CoQ10. All TheraNatal vitamins are dye-free, gluten-free, and cost less than the typical insurance co-pay. Use this link at theranatal.com to get 15% off and be sure to enter the giveaway below!
Hypnobabies Birth Center Birth with Doula
Tori had a peaceful, unmedicated birth at Mountain Midwifery in a birthing pool. After laboring at home, she and her husband made the drive to the center to meet her doula. Spending a majority of the time in the water, Tori drew on her Hypnobabies wisdom, physical support of her husband, and emotional support of her doula. After a few hours of labor and transition, she pushed 3 times and her son was in arms. Hours after that, the family of 3 returned home for post-partum bonding.
Tori Rerick Bio
Tori is a mother of 2 (1 human, 1 chocolate lab), pharmacist, wife, and life coach living near Boulder, CO. Connect with her on Instagram or at tidytor.com.
Take courses on childbirth, newborn care and breast feeding
This episode is sponsored by Babylist. Babylist believes that you should be able to get exactly what you need for your unique and growing family. That’s why their baby registry lets you add any item from any store. Even add cool services and favors like prenatal yoga, doula support, home-cooked meals or dog walking. Start your registry today to be eligible for a free Hello Baby Box of goodies for baby worth up to $190 while boxes last. Check out The Birth Hour’s sample registry here!
Stillbirth, Waterbirth and Accidental Unassisted Homebirth
After losing her first daughter to stillbirth, Heidi had a complicated pregnancy journey to her second birth. But the storm clouds lifted when she heard her rainbow baby’s first cries after a long and difficult, but empowering, waterbirth that led her down the path of becoming a birth doula. Despite having been to many births by the time she had her 3rd, Heidi was completely shocked when she didn’t recognize her own labor signs and ended up having a surprise, accidental, unassisted homebirth on her toilet with nobody around but her 3 year old. But things got complicated when the ambulance showed up.
Heidi Kim Bio
After the heartbreaking loss of her first daughter, Heidi turned to her YouTube channel HeidikimTV as a way of journaling. She never expected people to watch, but so many parents connected with her experience as she went on to become pregnant again. Later, when Heidi was working as a birth doula in Tucson, AZ, she and her husband, Ken, realized how little moments you never expect can have an impact on the person you will become. So they set out to capture these moments on their family’s daily YouTube vlog, Sudden Kimpact, which follows their lives as a stay-home mom and teacher-dad. You can find Heidi on YouTube as well as in her Facebook breastfeeding support group More Than Milk.
This episode is sponsored by BabyDoppler.com. Baby Doppler specializes in pregnancy monitors that give parents peace of mind. Their fun and modern products are clinically proven and tested, and provide parents an increased bonding experience by allowing them to listen to their baby’s heart beat in the comfort of their own home.
Two Very Different Hospital Birth Experiences
Kelly’s first birth was unexpectedly long and difficult. She planned to have a natural water birth, but the birth took a different path. Her experience made her very fearful of a second pregnancy and birth, but a short 19 months later she was back at the hospital in labor. The two births turned out to be very different and she was able to have an experience with her second birth that made her feel truly empowered.
Kelly Oriard Bio
Kelly is a Family Therapist and School Counselor who has made the jump to entrepreneurship with her best friend Callie Christensen as co-founders of Slumberkins. She grew up in the Pacific Northwest and has settled there with her husband and two children. She is passionate about promoting social emotional intelligence in the next generation through empowering parents and caregivers to connect with children. Connect with her on Instagram @Slumberkins or on Facebook.
Today’s sponsor, Aeroflow Breastpumps, helps new and expecting moms qualify for a free, top-brand breast pump through insurance. They offer all major pump brands including Medela, Spectra, Lansinoh and more. Visit Aeroflow’s website today to get started on receiving your free breast pump through insurance! From dealing with insurance, getting a prescription, and handling all paperwork – your dedicated Breastpump Specialist will take care of everything for you. Go to aeroflowbreastpumps.com/birthhour and they will know I sent you!
Sharing a story of miscarriage and subsequent homebirth
After having miscarried in 2016, Karsyn became pregnant early 2017 with her first baby. She didn’t plan a homebirth from the beginning, but changed plans midway through her pregnancy and never looked back. After an uncomplicated pregnancy, Karsyn went into labor in her home eleven days after her due date. Five hours of early labor and five hours of active labor throughout her home and an intense fetal ejection reflex waterbirth brought her Phoenix. Though her pregnancy and labor were pretty ideal, she struggled with breastfeeding and getting Phoenix to gain weight. She’s currently feeding her son exclusively breastmilk and has worked hard to make that possible despite odds stacked against them.
Karsyn DuPree Bio
Karsyn is a blogger, integrative health coach and podcast host in Nashville, TN. She lives with her 3-month old baby boy, Phoenix, husband Collin and two dogs.
The Birth Hour
This episode was sponsored by Ergobaby. Ergobaby creates innovative solutions to meet the needs of today’s parents. With over 30 baby carriers in five different categories, Ergobaby is dedicated to building a global community of confident parents with smart, ergonomic solutions that enable and encourage bonding between parents and babies.
Unmedicated Hospital Birth Coping Strategies
After initially planning on receiving an epidural (due to fear of pain), L’America researched and decided to prepare for a natural, water birth instead. Her fear of pain was overshadowed by her fear of needles, delivery interventions, and the potential lingering effects on mother and child. By using alternative pain management options (nitrous oxide, hydrotherapy, birthing ball, counter-pressure, and aromatherapy) and having a very supportive birthing team, L’America had a 17-hour natural labor and delivery (which included only 28 minutes of pushing) without any complications!
L’America Brown Bio
L’America is the mother of 2 children; a 1.5 year old daughter and a 7 year old ‘bonus’ stepson. She has been married for 5.5 years to her husband. Instagram – @1merbelle Facebook – L’America Brown
The Birth Hour
Anthem—Future Moms program—Check with your insurance company
What to Expect Pregnancy phone App
Nurture Pregnancy phone App
Baby Nursing phone App
Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy: From Doctors Who Are Parents, Too!
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.