Mary tried to conceive for almost 2 years, then became pregnant within two months of changing her diet. She wanted an unmedicated birth but went into the process uneducated and thought she could just do it. At 38 and 1 weeks, her waters broke around 10:30am. She went to the hospital where mild contractions started around 12pm. She was checked in triage and was 2cm and waters were confirmed to have broken. She was put in a room and by 2pm contractions had progressed, were one on top of another, and were very painful. Around 5:30pm she was checked and was told she was 6cm, to which she promptly asked for an epidural. They placed it quickly but before the bed was all the way lowered, she started feeling her legs convulsing and told the nurse. The nurse said she was 10cm and was ready to push. Mary pushed for about 40 minutes and Eloise was born at 6:31pm. Post-partum was hard, with a combo of postpartum depression, feeling like she failed because she got an epidural, learning how to be a mom, and her husband returning to work. But she muscled through it.

A month after Eloise’s 1st birthday, Mary knew she and her husband had slipped up and she might be pregnant but she thought it not likely because it took 2 years to conceive the first time. Sure enough, she was pregnant and this time, she was bound and determined to be educated and have an unmedicated birth, possibly her dream homebirth. Unfortunately, a homebirth was out of her budget so she was determined to have an unmedicated hospital birth and was focused on health and diet and had become totally enthralled with all things pregnancy and labor related.

About halfway through this pregnancy is when she found The Birth Hour and couldn’t get enough of it. At 39 and 5 weeks, she had her bloody show at her husband’s Christmas, work dinner. They went home to get their stuff, headed to the hospital, and she was admitted at midnight and contractions were coming steadily. At around 3:20am she asked the nurse to check her and Mary was complete. The fetal ejection reflex took over and Oliver was born at 3:30am. postpartum was hard again but this time was filled with more postpartum rage and trying to figure out how to be a mom to two, under two.

In May of 2020, Mary found out she was pregnant, with another surprise pregnancy. This time, she got to have a midwife and was planning for a homebirth, her dream. Covid was still very new so she was nervous about how it could affect her or the baby, but she managed to dodge the virus and had no close calls, up until she was 38 weeks. The friend who lived with Mary, said she had tested positive for covid. It was the scariest and most stressful part of the whole pregnancy, wondering if the home birth would happen, if her husband would get covid and not be able to attend the birth. Planning for every possible route this could go, all while trying to hold the baby in.

Quarantine ended on Mary’s guess date (Due Date) and then it was on to get the baby out. She tried everything to get the baby out and nothing worked. At 41 and 5 (42 and 1 based on her original guess date) Mary felt contractions start as she was putting her babes to bed around 7:30pm. They quickly intensified and the birth team was called. By 11:30pm, all but the second midwife were there. Mary felt pushy for about an hour and did what her body told her to do. And Primrose was born into her mama’s arms at 12:51am. It was the labor and birth experience she had dreamed of for many years, and it all worked out perfectly. Postpartum was again difficult and had more depression with a little bit of rage sprinkled in, but overall better than the two previous postpartum’s because Mary was honest about her struggles.

Mary Johnson Bio

Mary Johnson is 32 years old, married to her husband David, who is 33 years old. They have been married for 9 years (known each other for 26 years) and have three children, Eloise who is 5, Oliver (Bear) who is 3, and Primrose (Jones) who is 1 year old. She lives in Bakersfield California and is a stay-at-home mom with a side hustle of making custom cakes from her home. She homeschools Eloise and is busy chasing the other two around and trying to stay connected with her friends who help her along this mom journey. She is also currently waiting to be matched with intended parent/s to be a gestational carrier.

Mary can be found mostly on Instagram. She is only on Facebook for the birth hour patron group. Instagram handles are: private account @call_me_murry or her public cake account @cakes_by_maryelizabeth

Resources

  • Birth hour podcast
  • @birthbecomesyou
  • @badassmotherbirther
  • @biglittlefeelings
  • @feedinglittles
  • @safeintheseat
  • @dr.siggie
  • @mrchazz
  • @joyful.parents
  • @drbeckyatgoodinside
  • @lamonica_the_midwife
  • @simplemidwifery
  • @thebirdspapaya
  • @mypelvicfloormuscles
  • @the.vagina.whisperer

Caraway

This episode is sponsored by Caraway Home. Caraway Home has a Cookware and bakeware set that all come in the most beautiful colors and all Caraway Home sets come equipped with easy-access storage solutions so that no stacking is required. It’s a modern & chemical-free version of the traditional 16-piece set, pared down to just four essentials: A Fry Pan, Sauté Pan, SaucePan, and a Dutch Oven with lids for everything plus a pretty and functional storage setup comes included with the set! Visit Carawayhome.com/BIRTHHOUR to take advantage of a limited-time offer for 10% off your next purchase.

Betterhelp

Today’s episode is also sponsored by Betterhelp. BetterHelp is online therapy that offers video, phone, and even live chat-only therapy sessions. I love that Betterhelp is so much more affordable AND convenient than in-person therapy. For many people the barrier to getting therapy is finding a therapist but with Betterhelp, you can be matched with a therapist in under 48 hour! Our listeners get 10% off their first month at BetterHelp.com/birthhour.