Lauren’s three children were conceived via IVF. Luckily, Lauren had a live birth with every IVF cycle she completed-this is not the typical outcome and she considers herself truly lucky and blessed. Lauren has had three totally unmedicated births. The birth of her first child Gigi was quite fast and uneventful. She felt ill all day (flu-like) and her bag of waters partially broke while lying on the couch. She felt no contractions and was not in pain at all. Lauren began feeling some pressure and her OB asked that she come to the hospital to be checked. Approximately 45 minutes later she gave birth to Gigi at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington DC with her OB (Dr. Richard Beckerman) and her amazing doula, Ursula Sabia-Sukinik.
Lauren’s second unmedicated, vaginal birth was extremely traumatic. Since Gigi’s labor was so fast, the decision was made to induce labor with Valentina in a hospital setting. Traffic in DC can be terrible and Lauren’s birth team decided it would be best to deliver in a controlled environment rather than a car in traffic! Lauren was admitted to the hospital and her bag of waters ruptured. With a little bit of Pitocin, she delivered Valentina within 90 minutes. Again, she felt no contractions and no pain! During her perineal repair, Lauren kept complaining about feeling excessive hemorrhage/blood loss as well as chills and uncontrollable twitching. The medical team assured Lauren that nothing was wrong and that it was normal hormonal fluctuations.
Marc (Lauren’s husband) left the room approximately 1 hour after birth to walk Gloria (Lauren’s mother) to the car. Ursula (Lauren’s doula) decided to stay behind with Lauren and Valentina until Marc returned. As soon as Marc left the room, Lauren felt a huge gush of blood and arrested (cardiovascular shock). She was immediately resuscitated with epinephrine, atropine, intravenous fluids and blood transfusions while the doctors attempted to find the source of the severe hemorrhage. After several unsuccessful attempts and Lauren’s critical condition, she was rushed to emergency surgery. Lauren received 5 blood transfusions and had a DNC to retrieve a retained placenta.
Lauren’s second birth experience was so traumatic, that she had a hard time deciding on a birth plan for her third child. She again decided on an in -hospital induction. Lauren had a very safe and fast delivery after a small amount of Pitocin. She was closely monitored in the hospital for 48 hours for any excessive blood-loss given her history. Luckily, history did not repeat itself.
Lauren suffered severe emotional trauma surrounding the traumatic birth of Valentina but has since healed. She thanks her body every day for birthing three healthy children and she wants women to know that birth is a beautiful process, but it should not be taken for granted. The beauty can change in an instant and it is vital for women to voice their concerns and make sure they are heard.
Dr. Lauren Talarico Bio
Lauren is a board certified veterinary neurosurgeon in the DC-metro area. She completed her veterinary training and neurology/neurosurgery residency at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals. Dr. Talarico specializes in surgical correction of cranial cervical junction malformations in dogs in addition to surgical removal of brain tumors and various spinal surgeries. She also enjoys all aspects of medical neurology including neuromuscular disorders and autoimmune brain diseases.
Dr. Talarico has two daughters (Gabriella Gloria -7/27/2016 and Valentina Lavender-6/25/2018), one son (Alain Phoenix 8/7/2020) and four dogs (Prefontaine, Phelps, Raven and Bunny). She is an avid marathon/distance runner who also enjoys indoor cycling and yoga. Dr. Talarico and her husband Marc Cohen are involved in several philanthropic efforts at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston MA as well as Children’s National Hospital in Washington DC.
March of Dimes Birth Defects Prevention Month
Today’s episode is sponsored by March of Dimes. March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. They support research, lead programs, and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. During Birth Defects Prevention month, March of Dimes is partnering with the CDC to generate awareness among women of childbearing age, families, and health care providers about things they can do to help prevent birth defects. At the end of this episode, I spoke with Dani Kilgore about her journey to motherhood as well as the main tips from March of Dimes and the CDC to help you be a healthy mom and have a strong baby. You can also find out more at marchofdimes.org/TheBirthHour.