Happy Homebirth

The Happy Homebirth podcast is your source for positive natural childbirth stories, and your community of support, education and encouragement in all things homebirth and motherhood.


Did you feel ready, or prepared when becoming pregnant for the first time?  What about the second, or third? This week we’re speaking with Leslie and Kevin, in what’s become lovingly referred to as the mammoth episode… yeah, it’s a long one, but it’s so full of beauty.  We cover so many topics— birthing abroad, prenatal depression, postpartum psychosis, and then… that deep knowing that there’s another baby you’re meant to have.


She and Kevin got married, later decided Kevin would attend seminary in the Netherlands.  They moved there, planning to wait to have children until finished with school.


Leslie experienced culture shock depression, and surprisingly became pregnant 6 months into their move.


Kevin had a feeling this was happening— He had been reading Psalms and felt the Lord conveying to him that Leslie might be pregnant.  At the very least, that children were a reward, which is not how he’d been viewing the idea.


The labor was exhausting, and she ended up at the hospital with an episiotomy.


After such an exhausting, grueling labor, Leslie didn’t feel like she bonded with her baby for weeks.  She felt maternal instinct, but didn’t feel a bond until at least 4 weeks.  She thinks that’s related to the vast amount of trauma involved with the birth. 


Leslie broke her tailbone during the birth, which took 7-8 months to recover to where she could even sit comfortably.



Looking back, Kevin realizes he wasn’t well prepared, even though he thought that he was.  The sight of her being in pain was very upsetting to him, and at one point he remembers strongly telling they doctors they needed to do something about it.



Leslie wanted to have a fully medical birth with her next child after the trauma of her first attempted natural birth.


She had a silent miscarriage at 9 weeks during her second pregnancy, which was heartbreaking.


Moved back  to the US and used midwives in a hospital.  They planned to have an early epidural, so when she got into the hospital, she got an epidural and a bit of pitocin.


They went to sleep, and Leslie woke up and said, “Hey, I’m feeling a lot of pressure.” 


Grey was born quickly and was healthy, as was everyone.  It was a much more comfortable birth for her. 


The frustrating part of the birth was simply the postpartum aspect, both in the hospital at the interventions, and then the early months. 


The baby had many food allergies, was unable to sleep at night and Leslie struggled with postpartum psychosis.


Because the postpartum experience was so difficult, Leslie and Kevin decided they were done with babies.  They got rid of all of their things.


When Grey was around 3, suddenly Leslie and Kevin began feeling individually that they had another child.


Leslie went into this birth knowing much more about the birth community in Greenville.  She reached out to myself (Katelyn), her midwife friend, and a wonderful local doula before she was even pregnant letting them know she wanted them as her team.


Once Leslie told her friend she was pregnant, her friend told her she’d be praying Psalm 65 over her.


Leslie has struggled with prenatal depression during all of her pregnancies.


This birth was incredibly spiritual for her.  She felt completely ready to have her baby, but it kept… not happening.  On the night of the blood moon, Leslie woke up with contractions.  She woke up in the middle of the night and walked around her street.  She decided at that point that if she had her baby tonight she’d be thankful, and if her baby waited 2 more weeks, she’d be thankful for that, too.


Once she went into labor, things happened quickly.  Before she knew it, she was in Captain Morgan trying to help maneuver her baby out.  About 4 minutes later, his head was born, and then her midwife needed to help a little bit with his very large shoulders.


He ended up being 10lbs, 13 oz. 


From start to finish, her labor was about 2.5 hours. 


Leslie has not experienced the severe ups and downs this postpartum as she did before. 


Did you feel ready, or prepared when becoming pregnant for the first time?  What about the second, or third? 


Hey there Happy Homebirthers episode 145. And this week we’re speaking with Leslie and Kevin, in what’s become lovingly referred to as the mammoth episode… yeah, it’s a long one, but it’s so full of beauty.  We cover so many topics— birthing abroad, prenatal depression, postpartum psychosis, and then… that deep knowing that there’s another baby you’re meant to have.



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How do you know if you’re making the best decision for yourself and your family— and what does it look like to have true informed consent?


This week we’re speaking with Dr. Sarah Leahy of Birth Uprising.  We’ll hear about how she slipped into the medical birth model, how she was burned, and then, not to sound too cheesy because seriously it’s true… how she took matters into her own hands and rose from the metaphorical ashes. 



Episode Roundup

  I can’t tell you how thoroughly I enjoyed this conversation with Dr. Sarah.  She is such a wealth of knowledge.  As we head into this week’s episode, I’ve picked a couple of the amazing aspects that she discussed to revisit.


  1. Dr. Sarah’s first full term birth experience, her second pregnancy, left her feeling like a shell of herself.  I wish this were uncommon, but how many times have we heard such a similar sentiment?  What’s just another day at work to the care providers at the hospital is a defining, life-altering event for the mother, and to treat it as anything less than such is not justice.  Which leads me to my second point.
  2. The system isn’t even set up to recognize birth as a life-altering rite of passage.  It has no idea.  And as Sarah mentioned, it really has no idea how poorly it’s failing anyway due to the lack of postpartum care and lack of attachment to its clients. 
  3. And finally, picking just one last point even though there are a solid 10 I’d like to cover, you cannot have informed consent without understanding your options.  Without asking questions.  Without doing your own research.  I love the fact that Dr. Sarah not only encourages mothers to do this, but that she’s one of the women out there providing resources to help them along the way.  I can so deeply resonate with this idea that, heck, I don’t care what you choose for your birth, I just care that you are informed and confident when doing it. 

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Does your baby need an adjustment after experiencing the birthing process? 

This week we’re speaking with the Boyhans, Dr. Christopher and Heather, who are a dynamic duo as both a chiropractor and Cranialsacral therapist.  They’ll be sharing their experiences with homebirth, as well as their expertise in bodywork and neural work for newborns.


It’s no secret that I love these forms of care, and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to share with you exactly how and why they can be of such help for your family.



Episode Roundup


Birth isn’t intense only for us as the mothers— it’s important to remember that there’s a second life involved in this, and he or she is doing quite a bit of maneuvering with you to meet you on the outside world.  Let’s honor the fact that this sweet little soul has worked hard, and let’s remember this when considering what we can do to help their bodies recover


Which leads me to my next point: Bodywork isn’t just for adults.  I am constantly reminding mothers of the importance of chiropractic care and fascial release, and we discuss it thoroughly inside of Happy Homebirth Academy.  But it’s important to remember that it doesn’t stop with us.  We can assess our infants and use our God-given intuitions to seek support when our babies are showing signs of tension, discomfort, disregulation… It’s so wonderful to have so many options.


One of my biggest recommendations is to find these care providers in your area before giving birth so that they’re at the tips of your fingers postpartum should you realize you need them. 


And finally before we head out, if you’re local to the Asheville North Carolina area, make sure you get connected with The Boyhans at Align Life East Asheville— they host birth- related gatherings and do their best to inform the community of their options.


Is there really any benefit in preparing for a birth when you’ve already had two previous births? 

This week we’re speaking with Kelsey Rose, 2x birth center and newly homebirth mother.  We’ll learn all about the differences in Kelsey’s experiences, as well as how she prepared for her change of birth location.


Episode Roundup


What an episode.  As we head into this week’s roundup, I have a few discussion points that really stood out to me.


  1. Kelsey discussed how the membrane strips performed by her midwife with her first baby caused quite a bit of confusion and discomfort, and she wasn’t expecting them.  There were several events that occurred without consent, and this is an important piece of information for moms to hear, as well as midwives.  Mothers, remember that you have the right to decline.  Midwives, remember that in order for a mother to be able to decline, she has to know what the intentions are.  It’s vitally important for midwives and mothers to be on the same page as to what’s going on and to feel comfortable with the decisions being made.
  2. When it comes to creating your birth team, listen to your intuition.  Kelsey felt like she “needed” a doula because duh, everyone says doulas a great, but when it came down to it, she really didn’t feel that that’s what this labor was asking of her.  She honored that, and she’s grateful that she did.  Listen, I love doulas, but it’s also important to remember that every situation is different, and leaning into prayer and your own intuition are the best ways to decide.
  3. Kelsey said several times just how loved she felt throughout the entire experience with her third baby.  She was surrounded by a team who truly cared for her, and was there to support her.  And THAT makes all the difference.


Okay, my friends.  That’s all I’ve got for you today.  I’ll see you back her next week

What does it look like to have true informed consent?  What does it mean to be trusted by your birth team?


This week we’re speaking with Zo’e Cole, a mama to two who just had her first Happy Homebirth.


I’m looking forward to this episode, because Zo’e brings up some aspects of both of her births that truly paint a picture between obstetric abuse and informed consent.  Let’s jump in.


Episode Roundup

Wasn’t that the picture of a Happy Homebirth?  I’m so thrilled for Zo’e and the fact that she was able to experience such a peaceful event after having such a traumatic first birth.


As we dive into this week’s episode roundup, a few discussion points come to mind.


  1. Zo’e discussed how she really felt she was on auto pilot with her first pregnancy.  I feel like this happens to so many women, and I really think this is a societal issue— not recognizing birth for the totally transformative, life-altering rite of passage that it is.  And what’s so sad is that when we don’t realize this, we can’t prepare for it with the honor that it deserves.  So… make sure you’re shouting this message from the mountain tops, whether someone wants to give birth at home or in hospital, preparation for this event is of course paramount.
  2. Holy obstetric abuse, batman.  Listening to Zo’e’s experience, although it’s common, still brings a blood boiling feeling.  I know that there are some amazing OBs out there, but dang, the ones who do things like break your water and then call it discharge or fuss at you to be induced at 39 weeks…. They’re all too common.  And of course, there are midwives like that, too.  We’ve got to be so selective when it comes to our care providers ,for our own protection and the protection of our babies.
  3. Finally, what a difference between her first and second babies.  Zo’e truly took her pregnancy and birth into her own hands with her second baby, and boy was she blessed by the experience.  Zo’e took Happy Homebirth Academy, went to the chiropractor, did acupuncture, nourished herself… everything she could to honor this birth and this baby.  As she said, her first birth experience taught her so much, and with her second, she was able to step into motherhood for a second time totally transformed.

Okay my friends, that’s all I’ve got for you today.  I’ll see you back here next week.

Do you remember episode 134 with Kelli Ingram? Where she was suuuuuper reluctant to be planning her first homebirth after 5 lovely hospital epidural births? We’ve got an update for you, baby!

\This week we’re catching back up with Kelli to hear exactly how her homebirth story went down, and I can’t wait for you to hear it.  I’m SO proud of Kelli. 


Before we jump into her story, I would love to thank our reviewer of the week, SamiNeblett, who wrote “A treasure in the sea of fear based content”

Sami, thank you so much for your review!


If you’re enjoying this show, would you help me spread the word?  Leave a review, share on your instagram stories, tell your neighbor… all of it is so helpful and so meaningful.  I’ve noticed a few people lately sharing what they’re doing as they listen, and I’m loving it!  Thank you all so much for your support.


Episode Roundup:


How cool is it that we were able to take that journey with Kelli?  She was nervous, even when she entered labor, but she was triumphant.


As we jump into this week’s episode roundup, there are a few things that really caught my attention:


  1. Kelli mentioned how this pregnancy felt very similar in manageability to her second pregnancy.  She shared how even though that was a decade ago, she was able to take care of herself, and especially appreciated the care she received from her chiropractor.
  2. Kelli said, “I really wanted to see what my body would do naturally…”. I love that she allowed her body to go into labor on its own this time.  It can be such a mind game to just relax and allow our babies to come on their own terms, but how incredible is it when the process does go perfectly according to its own plan.  I pushed myself into labor with my first and didn’t with my second.  And I’ll never push myself into labor again. 
  3. I could cry at what Kelli said, “I’d do it again 1000 times, and it exceeded all expectations.  Remember!  This is coming from someone who was so nervous about the pain of her experience. 
  4. And that leads me to our final point for this week.  Kelli said, “If I can do it, you can do it, too.”  I hear that from mothers all the time, and I love it.  Listen, that’s what this community is all about.  To bolster one another up and let each other know that we’re here for support.  If I can do it, you can do it too.


Okay, my friends.  That’s all I’ve got for you today.  I’ll see you back here next week. 

Have you ever been disqualified from something?  Maybe you were in a swim meet and your feet touched the bottom of the pool.  Maybe your scholarship essay was too short and you were taken out of the running…. But have you ever been considered disqualified in your birthing location?


This week we’re speaking with an incredible woman, Ginny Yurtich, founder of 1000 hours outside, and mother of 5 children with very different birth stories.  In her first birth, Ginny’s pre-eclampsia “disqualified” her from her birth center experience, and we’ll see just how she handled this in subsequent births. 


>>>I want to celebrate!  Happy Homebirth Podcast just hit 10k followers on instagram!  In order to thank you for your incredible support, keep your eyes peeled for an amazing giveaway this week. Be sure you’re following @happyhomebirthpodcast for all of the details.<<<


Please remember that the opinions of my guest may not necessarily reflect my own and vice versa, and this show is not meant to prescribe or treat- it’s an educational tool, so continue to take empowered responsibility for your health and your family.


Episode Roundup:

I don’t think I could enjoy a conversation more if I tried.  Ginny’s bubbly personality radiates warmth— maybe it’s from all that time she’s spending outside!  What an amazing episode.  As we head into the episode roundup, a few thoughts have really stuck with me.

  1. The people who surround us can play such a huge role in our decisions.  When we look back at Ginny’s first birth, she was considering an elective c section, as her friend very much enjoyed hers.  But then, her brother’s roommate introduced her to the work of Ina May Gaskin, and her whole story was changed.  Though the first two births did not work out nearly how she had desired, the seed was planted, and Ginny’s perception on birth was forever changed. 
  2. Small changes can add up to massive results.  Ginny discussed how after simply “getting through” her third pregnancy/first homebirth, she was ready to start making changes during her next pregnancy.  She was able to head off her pre-eclampsia symptoms with liver support and appropriate nutrition, and her labor was dramatically shortened.
  3. And then… Ginny learned that birth was her responsibility.  She took complete control in her final homebirth, and that 95 minute experience taught her so many lessons.  We are always responsible for our birth, but when we recognize that and actually capitalize on it— what an incredible difference it can make in the lives of our entire family.
  4. And finally, simplicity is so beautiful.  Ginny simplified her birth through unmedicalizing it, and she simplified her life by putting the focus on spending time in nature.  The real nectar comes from the basics, and Ginny’s life is a glorious testimony to it. 

Okay my friends, that’s all I’ve got for you for today.  Be sure to check out @happyhomebirthpodcast on instagram for the giveaway this week, and I’ll see you back here next week. 


Follow Ginny: @1000hoursoutside

Ginny's website: www.1000hoursoutside.com








You’ve hired a midwife, so you’re fine, right?  I mean, all midwives are totally amazing, totally wonderful, and totally good at honoring you…. Right?

This week we’re speaking with Bethany, who has given birth to all of her babies at home.  However, her first birth experience was not the beautiful, gloriously supported homebirth that we talk about so often on this podcast.  No, it was marked with negligence and abuse, and it’s an important conversation for us to have.  Luckily we’ll then get to hear the beautiful difference to this experience with her subsequent births.


Before we jump in, let’s take a quick moment to think our reviewer of the week, K Riord who writes

Love this motivational podcast!  I am currently pregnant and have enjoyed this podcast so much!  I have learned so much about birth.


And if you’re gaining value from this show, would you hop over to apple podcasts and leave us a review?  They’re basically Christmas presents to me, and they help tremendously with this show’s reach.


Okay, let’s jump in. Please remember the opinions of my guest many not necessarily reflect my own vice versa; and this show is not meant to prescribe or treat- it’s an educational tool, so continue to take empowered responsibility for your health and your family.



Episode Roundup


So… I think we’ve learned some things in this episode, eh?  As we head into this week’s episode roundup, here’s what I’m mulling over…


  1. Red flags.  Little oddities.  Gut feelings.  Don’t push these to the side, as much as you may want to explain them away.  If you’re feeling uncertain about your care provider, that’s a good sign that more interviews with other care providers is a great next step.  There’s nothing wrong with a second opinion or four.  Speak with other midwives, notice how they engage with you, and really consider your situation.  My heart breaks with how Bethany was left feeling, and I know she’s not the only one who has ever had an experience like this.
  2. Obviously as this story demonstrates, using a midwife isn’t enough. Just as there are some truly incredible, amazing obstetricians, there are some downright bad midwives, and we can’t just turn our eyes from that and pretend like it isn’t true. 
  3. If you have a negative experience with a midwife, as hard as it may be to do so, don’t be silent.  Whether it means speaking to your midwife individually and discussing what happened and sharing how you feel about it, or whether it means warning others in your community so that they don’t go into a relationship blind, speak up. 
  4. And finally, look at the difference between Bethany’s stories.  So much of our well-being and comfort and peace in labor can be wrapped up in our care provider.  Bethany mentions how scared she was to go into labor with her second baby because of her first experience.  But by the time she was entering labor with baby number 3, she was excited.  Yes, she knew there would be discomfort, but she also knew she was supported and she could do it.


What was your expectation of birth as a young girl?  Did you feel nervous about the experience?  Did you give the thought of childbirth any thought?  What did you know? 


This week we have the amazing privilege of speaking with Laurisa Paul, a mother of 5 and the creator of a new, powerful organization called Girls Who Know, where she teaches girls all about what their bodies do and what their bodies are capable of.  We’ll be learning how this organization was created after hearing Laurisa’s own journey and realizations through her 5 births.  If you’re listening to this episode as it airs, I’m so excited to let you know that this organization has enrollment open THIS WEEK for their next class of girls, aged 14-17, and classes will begin on August 14th 2021 for this group!


Before we jump in, I’d love to take a moment to thank our reviewer of the week, Cdehan who writes: Yes, there IS diversity in homebirth!


Thanks so much cdehan.  And if you’re listening and loving the show, would you mind hopping over to apple podcasts and leaving a *hopefully* 5 star rating and review? You’re helping other mothers find this show when you do that.  Thank you so much.



Episode Roundup

I am just blown away by Laurisa, her story of growth and her journey to where she is now, along with what she has been able to create for girls who need to hear that they are capable.  What a life-changing program.  As we head into this week’s episode roundup, I feel like I could touch on so many different aspects, so let me try to narrow it down:



  1. Although it took Laurisa two births to begin to tap into it, I love hearing how her intuition told her something was off about her experiences—how something told her to dig deeper.  We as mothers do have access to the “mama gut”, and what a gift it can be when we choose to listen, even if it’s saying something we aren’t expecting.
  2. This differentiation between being strong-willed and tough versus having confidence in who we are and what we’re doing:  So often we as mothers think “I CAN do it… I’ll just will myself through it and make it happen” I KNOW I’m a major offender on that front, but… is that where we really want to be? There’s so much more empowerment when we can step into the confidence of our motherhood, where we’re mothering from a place of rest, from the perspective that the end goal isn’t to do it all and hustle for the sake of hustling. 
  3. And finally, Laurisa mentions how with her first two births, she just didn’t know.  She had no idea what her body was capable of, what it could do….and isn’t that where so many women and girls are today?  It’s exactly WHY Girls Who Know is such a powerful concept.  Laurisa is now able to be just like the nurse who stood up in class and told the room that mothers CAN give birth unmedicated and without intervention, and it can be life-changing.  Laurisa is able to impact the trajectory of so many young women, simply by exposing them to the fact that their bodies were innately designed to WORK.  What a gift.


If you’ve got a girl and you want her to know, or if you’d like to sponsor the education of girls, be sure to check out Laurisa’s website girlswhoknow.com. It’s linked in the show notes. Okay, my friends.  That’s all I’ve got for you today.  I’ll see you back here next week.



What lessons have you learned through your pregnancy, labor and birth?  Did you learn to surrender?  Did you learn that you’re more powerful than you thought?….. Did you learn that your baby may be born on Valentine’s Day even if you really didn’t want that?


This week we’re speaking with Erin Wilkins, who you may know on Instagram as @essentiallyerin__. Erin has had all of her biological babies at home, jumping on the homebirth train 8 years ago during her first pregnancy… even though she was working as an RN!  I know you’re going to love this episode.


I was also blessed to have my best friend and fellow homebirth mama Emily join the conversation, my co-host this show, and it was so fun to get her perspective on a number of questions and topics.  She’s growing a beautiful community over at @emily_authentically if you want to follow along


Before we jump in, let’s take a quick moment to think our reviewer of the week, Lexi Fab.


And if you’re gaining value from this show, would you hop over to apple podcasts and leave us a review?  They’re basically Christmas presents to me, and they help tremendously with this show’s reach.


What an incredible discussion!  As we head into this week’s episode roundup, I want to go over a few points that stuck out.


  1. Every mother experiences labor in her own way.  For Erin, there’s a sense of solitude that she walks, and I certainly remember that feeling.  Yes, we’re surrounded with love and support, but nevertheless we’re the only one who can bring this baby forth into the world.  This task is daunting, but it leads me to my second point
  2. As Erin discussed, she also knew that she wasn’t alone.  She likened her experience to that of her savior, and she felt the holiness of his presence in her labor, even during the solitude.  There’s such a spiritual, connective aspect to birth, and I love how Erin tapped into that during her labors.
  3. And finally, every birth brings with it new lessons to learn, to internalize, to add to our motherhood.  With her most recent birth, the recognition that Erin truly had no control over the outcome— when her baby would arrive, whether or not she’d experience another cervical lip— it all brought the difficult, but important, and somehow freeing realization that we’re not in control of our outcomes, but we are in control of how we apply those lessons to our life.  And that’s where the beauty is.

What a fun conversation that was.  Before you hop off, would you take a screenshot or picture of you listening and share it to your stories?  Tag @happyhomebirthpodcast, @essentiallyerin__ and @emilyauthentically and let us know your favorite takeway.  Okay my friends that’s all I’ve got for you today.  I’ll see you back here next week. 

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