After a traumatic c-section, Allison knew she wanted to try for a VBAC. During her pregnancy she did everything she could to stay healthy, both mentally and physically She found the online birth community and learned everything she could about birth. After 42 weeks, she was induced at the hospital and had the most empowering and healing VBAC while surrounded by her incredible birth team of women and her supportive husband.
Long before even trying to conceive, Lindsey knew she wanted an intervention-free birth. Despite her intentions, research, planning, and extensive preparation, Lindsey and her husband learned their first parenting lesson (you are no longer in control!) at seemingly every turn, from pregnancy through delivery and postpartum. An induction lead to a 28 hour labor which ultimately ended in a cesarean section. Lindsey spent much of the fourth trimester trying to understand her birth experience and heal physically and emotionally.
After the OB she loved left the office a month before her due date, Felicia was left having to advocate for her birth plan when the new doctor attempted to scare her into an early induction. She was finally induced at almost 42 weeks. After Cervidil didn’t change anything overnight, Felicia received a small amount of pitocin, which jumpstarted what ended up being her ideal birth without an epidural.
Kate and Andy live in Portland, Oregon, and were delighted to become parents after meeting in college. They were in no rush, after being together nearly 13 years before the birth of their daughter, Caroline, but were thrilled when their pregnancy-journey began so swiftly. Both recognized that is often not the case and felt so grateful because of this! Kate knew she wanted to prepare for an unmedicated birth. She felt good and remained super active throughout her pregnancy. However, at 34 weeks, her pregnancy took a turn when Kate learned her baby was in the breech position. On top of this, Kate had developed gestational thrombocytopenia, which can cause a greater risk of postpartum hemorrhage. With the pending arrival of their breech baby, Kate was fearful this would mean she would have to be put under and have a c-section to deliver. At week 37, in an effort to preserve her wish to have an unmedicated birth, Kate and Andy made the decision to undergo an external cephalic version (ECV) to turn their breech baby and were thrilled when it was successful.
Kate's labor began just shy of 39 weeks, and after a fast journey to transition, Kate stalled at 9 cm for several hours because the baby was posterior. In the end, Kate was proud of her dedication to an unmedicated birth, the preparation she did to be successful, and the choices she made to get to that point. Even so, Kate suffered from a retained placenta that was not discovered until 5 weeks postpartum. She describes the pain and symptoms to watch for so you can advocate for yourself during the postpartum period.
Haylie and her husband, Jeffrey, had been married for a year when they decided to try and get pregnant. With many tales from friends and family members that it could take a while to conceive (it was news to Jeffrey that you actually had to "try" to get pregnant) they were surprised when a pregnancy test came back positive only a few months later. Haylie had a history of depression but was adamant about getting off antidepressant medication while pregnant. At first she felt fine, both emotionally and physically. But right around her second trimester, serious signs of depression and anxiety began to creep in. This made for a difficult pregnancy in which Haylie sought help from a number of sources to cope with the mounting feeling that she was unprepared for motherhood. As she prepped for an unmedicated hospital birth, she also battled a constant fear that she wasn't ready to be a mom. As you'll hear on this episode, there were several unexpected twists and turns during Haylie's labor and delivery that ultimately led to an epidural and a long but successful vaginal delivery. Haylie also shares how experiencing depression during pregnancy morphed into postpartum depression and talks about the lifesaving support she received after her son was born.
My mom was in town for Memorial Day, and I thought it would be fun to have her record her birth stories. She actually has four birth stories, but only shared her first two: my older brother and me. We were both born in the hospital unmedicated with episiotomies. I remember when she first told me her birth stories, the main thing that stuck out was that they were fast! Imagine my surprise when my first labor was over 34 hours! Hear my mom share her experience having hospital births in the 1980s in this episode of The Birth Hour.
Linda Williams is the best-selling author of over two dozen books on science & technology including: Chemistry Demystified; Careers in Forensics; and, 5 Steps to a 5: AP Environmental Science and Nanotechnology Demystified. A former biomedical researcher at NASA-Johnson Space Center and Rice University, Linda now works at the University of Arkansas Medical School in the Research department. She is the mother of Bryn Huntpalmer, founder of this podcast!
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Brooke gave birth to baby Shiloh Lane on March 30th, 2018 at 4:12am. Her pregnancy was fairly textbook with the normal aches and pains towards the end. At 40 weeks Brooke and her Husband, Zack decided to allow the doctor to strip her membranes in hopes that that would give the extra bump she needed to get the birth going. Sure enough, 24 hours later labor started at 3:00pm. By 11pm things had really picked up, Zack called the doulas and they agreed that they should head to the hospital. Zack and Brooke arrived at the hospital at midnight where Brooke was checked and was 4cm with contractions 3 minutes apart. At 2:30am Brooke began to feel the urge to push but did not want to inform the nurses because she knew it could be a while of pushing and she wanted to stand as long as possible. At 3:15am the nurses heard she had been pushing and immediately checked her and made it very clear she was NOT to push until she was fully dilated to a 10 (she was only 7cm at this time). Lots of prayers were said during this time and 5 minutes after only being 7cm she was checked again and had fully dilated to 10cm. There was about 20 mins of active pushing and Shiloh was born. She was 9lbs 1oz and mama was left with a pretty significant 3rd degree tear.
Postpartum was a wild ride for Brooke who was not expecting the emotions and physically recovery that was needing to happen. Breastfeeding went well, with the occasional latch issue and fear that baby wasn’t getting enough but going to a lactation consultant set all of their fears aside. Brooke's biggest hurdle was that she had postpartum bleeding for 9 weeks PP which everyone told her was “not normal” after many OB appointments and an extra ultrasound to make sure nothing was retained inside Brooke finally stopped bleeding and soon learned about the importance of seeing a Pelvic floor therapist postpartum.
Sarah approached birth wanting whatever type of birth her baby needed to arrive safely; but, she did want to start her labor naturally and hired a doula to help her cope with labor. She ended up having a 33-hour unmedicated hospital birth with a midwife! I loved hearing how despite very little birth-preparation, Sarah completely trusted her doula to guide her through her labor and benefited so much from her doula’s knowledge and guidance. She shares some of the positions and tools that were most helpful to her during her long labor at the hospital.