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.

Congratulations to the newest members of Happy Homebirth Academy!

Check out myhappyhomebirth.com to access the interview application.  It's open this week!

 

Show Notes:

In her first pregnancy, Katie felt excited about her birth, but did not think there was anything for her to learn.  She knew that God had made her to give birth and she would.  She thought that any education she found, like What to Expect When You’re Expecting would be negative and unhelpful.  Looking back, Katie says this was well-meaning, but very naive.

 

With her first labor, she was in Mass and noticed that she was having “stomach pains” almost every 6 minutes.

 

Once she went to the hospital, she labored all night without any coping mechanisms.  She just knew that she wanted to have an unmedicated birth.

 

She called her mom and asked her to make her way there- a 5 hour drive.  Katie’s labor stalled the entire 5 hours her mom was making the drive.  As soon as she arrived, her labor began progressing immediately.  

 

Once her baby was born, they were taken to a recovery room with an amazing queen-sized bed.  

 

With her second birth, her husband was deployed.  Her mother came to support her.

 

Once she went to the hospital, she met up with her doula, who was an amazing support.  

 

They walked the hospital halls, then went to their room.  Once Katie’s water broke, her baby was born about 4 minutes later.  

Because she had declined antibiotics for GBS, Katie had to stay for 3 days.

 

Katie learned so much about birth between her 2nd and 3rd birth.  Because she didn’t want another experience like her previous hospital one, she began looking into birthing centers.  Her doula asked if she’d be interested in homebirth, to which she replied “no way”. 

Later that very week, Katie decided she did in fact want a homebirth!

 

Her doula accompanied her into the bathroom, then yelled for the midwife to get in there.  Katie was adamant that she didn’t want to have her baby in the bathroom,, so she walked over to the tub, where her water broke and Fetal Ejection Reflex kicked in.  She flipped over onto her back and then pushed her baby out.  She found out that her baby had a nuchal hand.

 

Katie loved the experience of her third pregnancy and adores homebirth.

Happy Homebirth Academy is open for enrollment through Sat, Sept 19th!  Head over to: https://www.myhappyhomebirth.com/hha to sign up!

 

Joelle and her husband did not choose to have a homebirth until only a few weeks before giving birth. 

 

She and her husband watched The Business of Being Born early on in the pregnancy, but decided their hospital would be just fine, as it was considered Baby Friendly.

 

However, as Covid-19 hit and Joelle was forced home to work (virtual school), she spent more time looking into her options.  She decided to meet with a local midwife, and it was decided that homebirth was the best option for her family.

 

 

 

Happy 100,000+ Downloads, Happy Homebirthers!

We're celebrating today with a replay of the episode that played when we hit 10,000 downloads (only a little over a year ago... we're growing fast!).  
This episode is also the story of my own birth... the inspiration for all of the childbirth education I've begun creating since.  
The 3 Pillars of a Happy Homebirth live event is this week, September 8th-10th at 8pm EST.

Make sure you join!
www.myhappyhomebirth.com/3pillars

*IMPORTANT*: Don't forget to sign up for the FREE 3 Day Event: 3 Pillars of a Happy Homebirth!  www.myhappyhomebirth.com/3pillars

Happening Sept 8-10th (replay will be available)

 

Show Notes:

Jocelyne noticed that pregnancy was listed as a “condition”, which felt incredibly wrong for her.  She did a google search and found a birth center located only 5 minutes away from her home.  Jocelyne and Eddie were so excited for their lovely birth center experience.

Unfortunately, as the date approached, Jocelyne and Eddie found out some devastating news…

The birth center would be closing down before their due date.  They were going out of business, and the midwives sent an e-mail discussing local hospitals to choose from.

Jocelyne drove up to the birth center to ask what was going on.
She spoke with one of the midwives, who told her she could consider homebirth with another local midwife. 
“Is that even safe?” Jocelyne remembers asking.  

After much research and consideration, Jocelyne and Eddie were sold on their homebirth experience.  They were even able to find a doula who spoke Spanish— perfect for their situation!

Jocelyne’s labor was long and arduous, but when she looks back, she says the experience was perfect for herself and her husband.  She relied on Eddie, as she says she always has in their relationship.  He was her perfect comfort and support.

 

A while after their daughter was born, Eddie realized that the domain homebirth.com was for sale.  They chose to purchase it, not knowing exactly what they would do with it at the time, but they knew they wanted to help pregnant women.

 

Jocelyne and Eddie have begun with plans to use homebirth.com as a way to educate mothers about this birthing option, and to create an online midwifery matching service.  Families will be able to search their location and add in specific credentials and preferences about their midwife in order to find their perfect match.

 

To learn more about this amazing growing resource, go to homebirth.com or check them out on instagram: instagram.com/homebirthdotcom

Join the Happy Homebirth Live event!  Sept 8th-10th:

 

3 Pillars of a Happy Homebirth <---Click here!

 

 

Show Notes

Lindsey and her husband were living in Denver, Colorado while her husband finished his master’s degree.  As the program was ending, they knew their next step was pregnancy.  Lindsey thought it would likely take some time, but her husband thought they’d become pregnant quickly.  He was right, and they were pregnant within the first month.

 

They knew that they would be moving back home to Boston before the baby’s arrival, but Lindsey of course needed prenatal care in the meantime.  She went to a low-cost clinic for her first appointment, but this “low cost” appointment actually turned out to have a $1000 price tag.  She left before the end of the appointment and began searching for another option.

 

Lindsey found a homebirth practice in her area that was willing to take her on solely for prenatal care.  She loved her appointments and enjoyed going to the cozy old home, sitting on the couch and sipping tea with midwives dressed in comfortable yoga attire.  The entire process was holistic.  They asked questions about her husband’s job, her life, her emotional well-being.  

 

When it was time to pack up and move home (right at 30 weeks), she was sad to leave the practice, but excited to meet her new providers at a hospital-based midwifery birth center. Two days after moving home, she had her first appointment.

 

The meeting was more sterile, less cozy, but she knew this would be the case going into it, and was fine with her birthing situation.

 

And then… at her second appointment, everything changed.  Covid-19 fear struck the United States, and everything was shutting down.  Appointments were now awkward and hurried, the receptionist showing clear distress at people even being in the office.

 

At this point, she and her husband began wondering if perhaps homebirth would be a good backup option for their birth.  They decided to reach out and interview two midwifery groups and see what they thought.

Upon interview, they learned two things: The “birth center” through the hospital was really just a glorified Labor and Delivery unit… not a separate entity.  Her midwives could be overruled by an OB at any point.  And… if they wanted to have a homebirth, they had to commit.  There was no backup retainer, as the midwives were filling quickly due to so many people switching into their care.

 

Lindsey and her husband chose homebirth and fully committed.  

 

During the last five weeks, Lindsey was isolated.  This was sad, as she had just moved home and was looking forward to spending time with her family.  The positive side of this was that she was able to spend time focusing on her upcoming birth.  She practiced yoga daily and re-read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth.  She also listened to positive birth stories and podcasts constantly.

 

Whenever any negative thoughts entered Lindsey’s mind, she followed the thought to it’s conclusion. 

“What if the baby has a shoulder dystocia?  Well, I’ll flip onto hands and knees.  What if the baby isn’t breathing?  Well, my midwives are trained in neonatal resuscitation.  This practice showed Lindesy that she needn’t be fearful of the birthing process.”

Lindsey also practiced “keep ups”— lifting her arms up over her head for a minute at a time and coping with the discomfort.  She knew this would serve her in labor.

 

At 39 weeks, Lindsey’s labor began.  She thought that she would be using all kinds of movement and coping mechanisms, perhaps even assuming asanas during her birth.  None of this happened, as Lindsey realized that she needed to go completely inward.  The majority of her labor was spent on her side in bed: closing her eyes between contractions, then relaxing completely and focusing on her breathing during them.

 

Her midwife listened to her through a contraction on the phone, but there was only silence.   Lindsey hoped she wouldn’t take that for thinking nothing was happening.

 

Lindsey was completely silent through her labor until she announced to her husband, “I’m having rectal pressure.  Can you please call the midwife?”

 

The midwife rushed over, and as soon as she got there, Lindsey got into the birth pool.  As soon as she hit this point, she felt like her entire body was rippling with contractions, and she now recognizes this as the fetal ejection reflex.  Even at this point, she was not pushing.    She felt that her uterus was saying, “We are going to get this baby out now.”

 

Lindsey reached her hand down, and unexpectedly felt her baby’s head.  In that moment, she felt fear.  She had an impulse to hold him in and tighten up, but instead she knew she needed to relax.  As she relaxed her body, her baby’s head “popped” out.  One contraction later, and his body “slurped” behind.  

 

She felt a massive surge of relief.

 

The tricky part of Lindsey’s labor?  After her baby was born, her placenta did not come out.  Her midwives told her to “give it a push,” but Lindsey had no idea how- she had not pushed at all with her baby’s birth.

 

Because of this, the placenta took 2 hours to be born.  Her midwives were at the ready with pitocin if needed, but they were willing to give Lindsey’s body the space it needed to release the placenta on its own, and it finally did. 

 

Now, she still struggles with the isolation of Covid.  She hurts knowing that her family members still are unable to enjoy her son in the way that she had always imagined.  At the same time, she recognizes that the bond she has grown with her baby is unbelievably deep, and the bond she will share with mothers who also went through birthing in a pandemic will last a lifetime.

 

Episode Roundup

Can you believe that?  As we head into the episode roundup, I want to leave you with this:

Lindsey didn’t push her baby out, she released it.  I love this podcast, because it shows the entire gamut of birth.  The difficult and the serene.  No, not every birth will end with you releasing your baby and having no clue how to to push out your placenta, but this is a variation of birth.  This is possible for you.  When I think of how Lindsey prepared for this birth, how in tune she was with her breathing, how seriously she took clearing her fears… it makes sense to me that she was able to experience this unusual, beautiful birth.  I love her approach, as it’s so similar to what I teach my students.  Spending time learning to relax, exploring and releasing your fears… it’s all part of a beautiful process of preparation.  If you’re curious about learning more, make sure you join the 3 Pillars of a Happy Homebirth Event, or jump into our Facebook group by searching Happy Homebirth Podcast Community into the Facebook search bar.  Okay, friends.  That’s all I’ve got for you this week.  I look forward to seeing you back here next week.

What happens when your baby flips to breech when you’re 6 cm dilated and planning for a homebirth?

 

Hey there happy homebirthers, and welcome to episode 87 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast.  I’m your host, Katelyn Fusco, and I’m excited to dive into this week’s episode.  Would you take a quick screenshot of you listening to this episode and upload it to your instagram stories?  Tag happyhomebirthpodcast and I’ll be sure to share in my stories as well.

 

I’m so excited to share Cesia’s two homebirth stories with you, so let’s jump on into the interview.

 

Please remember that the opinions of my guest may not necessarily reflect my own and vice versa, and we are not acting as medical professionals, so continue to see your Dr., midwife, or if you’re like me, your chiropractor.

 

 

Show Notes

 

Cesia hosts a podcast called Parenting in Queens, where she shares stories and helpful information about her beautiful borough.

 

When she became pregnant with her first, she and her husband watched The Business of Being Born, though she still intended to have a hospital birth.  She just wanted to be informed.  As the weeks went on, however.  She began feeling that something was missing.  She did not feel connected to her care providers, as she rotated between them.

 

As she left one appointment, Cesia asked her husband what he thought about the idea of a homebirth.  He responded, “Weren’t you going to have one anyway?”  With his support and encouragement, they went on to hire a midwife team!

With her first baby, she went to 41 weeks and decided to have an acupuncture appointment.  The next day, contractions began.  Cesia labored throughout the day, and at midnight her midwife came to check her.  Cesia was a 7, and her midwife stretched her cervix.  

 

3 hours later, her midwife was back at her house, as the stretch had pushed Cesia deep into active labor.  One hour later and her baby was born.

 

With her second birth, Cesia was having cramps that she thought were due to the beans she’d eaten the night before!

 

Her midwife decided to come check on her since she was in the area anyway.  Her doula came as well.  The 3 women sat together knitting while Cesia bounced on a birth ball.  

 

When the midwife checked Cesia, she found something interesting:  The baby was breech!

 

The midwife told Cesia that she could try to turn the baby if Cesia wanted, and she did want her to try.  The midwife began massaging Cesia’s belly using rose hip oil.  After a few minutes, Cesia asked when she was going to flip the baby.  Her response was, “I already did.”

 

Cesia’s second labor was only 3 hours long.  She pushed her baby out on the birthing stool, and he arrived en caul.

 

@queensknits was Cesia’s doula, and she felt she was an amazing asset.

 

Cesia’s midwifery group is now planning to open an nonprofit birthing center in 2020.

 

Episode Roundup:

As we jump into the episode roundup, I’m struck by the ability of midwives.  How amazing, that hands off and yet still hands on balance they have as care providers.  And the gentleness with which they are able to manage situations.  I find it so incredible that Cesia’s midwife was able to gently massage her baby into the correct position, where in her previous pregnancy, Cesia dealt with a stressful and painful doctor’s palpation.  

 

I also want to mention how beautiful I find it that Cesia was so willing to allow others new to the birth work world to witness such a gorgeous birth.  Her care team was so loving and supportive, and she clearly returned that love for them.

 

Alright, my friends.  Go check out Cesia’s work and follow along.  That’s all I’ve got for you this week.  I’ll see you back here next week.

 

You're listening to episode 86 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast.

 

Pain-free childbirth is a myth.... right?

 

Show Notes:

Laura is a mother of 3, and she and her husband were newly married when they became unexpectedly pregnant.  They had recently moved, and found themselves moving back into Laura's parents' house as they got their finances in order. 

 

Because she had never spent time around babies, Laura took a nannying job for a newborn during her pregnancy.  When he napped, she would read books.  A family member gave her Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, and at 35 weeks her entire outlook on birth shifted.  She even considered a homebirth, but soon realized this would not be possible in her family's house.

 

Laura switched to midwifery care within the hospital and had a beautiful natural birth.  She wanted to give birth in the water, which she did.

 

When she became pregnant again 11 months later, she prayed for a shorter birthing time.  That's exactly what she got-- though the experience left her reeling and feeling out of control, even slightly scared of birth.  She did have a natural birth, and it was short, but it was quite stressful for her.

 

During this postpartum experience, Laura struggled immensely.  She had an incredibly emotional time and leaned on her faith like never before.  She learned about grace on a personal level, and worked through many problems and emotions that had previously never seen the light of day.  Finally, she felt like she could see the light at the end of the tunnel....

 

And then Laura found out that she was pregnant again.  This came as a massive shock to her, as she and her husband were not planning for this.  While the realization that she was carrying new life initially thrilled her, once the thought set in, Laura began to panic with fear that she would have to go through all of this postpartum pain and suffering again.  She worried that she was nutritionally depleted, and that this third pregnancy would cause more depletion.

Laura continued to rely on her faith and her husband, and she prayed about her upcoming birth.  She was finally going to be able to have a homebirth, and she wanted this experience to be not only spiritual, but also pain free.  She dedicated time and prayer to this end, and she created space for this to happen.

 

When Laura had her third baby, all were shocked to see her raising her hands in worship during her contractions.  When her baby crowned, and then the head was born, Laura truly did not realize it had happened.  Her birth was 100% pain-free.

 

Laura emphasized the fact that this can be the case for anyone-- creating space for this type of positive outcome is so important.

 

Episode Roundup:
I wanted to touch once again on this idea on creating space for the positive experiences.  I love that Laura cleared her fears when necessary and focused on the notion that she could indeed have a beautiful, pain-free experience.  It's a great reminder for us all: Clear fears and create space for the beautiful experience that birth can be!

 

A midwife's homebirth... it should be easy, right?  I mean, come on... you're a pro at this!

 

Madeline, like so many other midwives, shares just how incorrect that assumption can be with the birth story of her second baby.  

 

Show Notes:

After experiencing a LONG, arduous labor with her first child, Madeline decided to prepare differently for the birth of her second child.

 

She saw a new chiropractor

 

She focused on visualizations

 

She took Happy Homebirth Academy

 

She learned to release her pelvic floor (accounts to follow will be linked at the end)

 

Madeline did all that she could to prepare herself for a faster, calmer, more peaceful birthing experience.

 

However, "peace" is not the description Madeline would use for her second birth.  Peaceful as a tornado, maybe!

 

Madeline's fast and furious birth left both her midwife and mother brains reeling.  Her mind couldn't keep up with her body, as her body forcefully produced her new daughter.

 

Episode Roundup:

 

Although I love the idea of having a peaceful homebirth, and I think it's an important desire to discuss, Madeline's experience has taught me just how important it is to emphasize the empowerment of birth, not only it's potential peacefulness.  

No matter how you do it: fast, slow, loud, quiet.... bring a baby from inside of you, out... that's incredible.  

 

 

Resources:
https://www.instagram.com/pelvicpotential/

https://www.instagram.com/thepelvicperspective/

https://www.instagram.com/pregnant.postpartum.athlete/

https://www.instagram.com/the.preconception.pt/

 

 

You are listening to episode 84 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast.

Today, our guest is Dr. Brad Bootstaylor, author of the book Shared Decision Making.

  • Dr. B Bootstaylor helps expecting parents to get an enlightening birth experience without being fearful of having their voices heard by using Shared Decision Making. Drawing on over 30 years of academic and clinical experience, Dr. Brad Bootstaylor provides you with a resource guide to having an “empowered” pregnancy and birth experience. Through a series of defined principles, birth stories, and real-world clinical scenarios, the model of Shared Decision Making is readily accessible, extremely practical, and can be applied to the many different scenarios that occur during pregnancy and birth. Shared Decision Making: Bring Birth Back Into The Hands Of Mothers Vol1 is outlined in a clear, concise fashion. Six information-packed chapters build upon each other, guiding the reader to adopt a new way of viewing themselves and the power derived from this model of care. THE QUEST - Shared Decision MakingGUIDED DISCOVERY - Planning Your Birth JourneyTHE JOURNEY - Understanding DatesTHE DETOUR - UltrasoundsTHE DELIVERY - BirthplacesBring Birth Back - FAQsBonus insight into the “B Score,” as described, provides you with the foundation to make safe, healthy choices in pregnancy and childbirth. By the end of “Shared Decision Making; Bring Birth Back Into The Hands Of Mothers,” you will understand that this process is intuitive, and the tools provided will enable you to practice it in an empowering and meaningful way.

Buy a copy of the book! https://amzn.to/3gZkNjf

Join the Happy Homebirth Facebook group: Facebook.com/groups/happyhomebirth

Can you really do it all?  

Okay, let’s talk about today’s guest.  Our interview is with Megan, a mother of 4 and a jack of all trades.  You’re going to love hearing all of the activities this woman did throughout her pregnancies, and how she continued to make stronger and stronger empowered decisions each time.  Unfortunately we weren’t able to cover all of her birth stories, so she’s going to definitely have to come back to share.  You’re going to love her bubbly personality!

Show Notes
During her undergraduate studies, Megan and her husband became pregnant with their first child at 22. 

She had vocalized that she wanted to have a natural birth, but Megan didn’t know that there were really any ways to prepare for this.  2 hours into labor, she received an epidural.  Once her baby arrived, family and friends descended upon the young couple and their new baby.  Looking back, she recognized that this situation was not ideal, and she decided that she would not handle postpartum in the same way going forward.

For her second birth, Megan began doing more research and learning more about natural childbirth.  She learned about a birth center 2 hours away, but felt unsure that she could actually go through with a natural birth.

After they toured the birth center, Megan immediately felt calm.  She decided to go for it!  On the day of labor, Megan rode the 2 hours to the birth center in the backseat of the car facing the opposite direction.  The 2 hour drive turned into a 3-hour drive due to road construction.

She spent the short amount of time at the birth center in the tub, until her midwife required that she move to the bed.  Megan had her baby on hands and knees, and later recognized that her baby had somewhat of a shoulder dystocia.

Once they were discharged from the hospital, she and her husband and newborn stayed in a hotel for the night, as they knew the baby would need a 24 hour checkup the next day at the birth center.

Because of the driving and discomfort of staying in a hotel, when Megan was unexpectedly pregnant with her next child, she began looking into other options.  She found a midwife and connected with her immediately and deeply.  So much so, that on the front porch of her midwife’s house, she called the birth center and told them she was transferring care.  

Megan’s third pregnancy came when she was in graduate school.  In fact, her labor began on the day of her graduation.  She was having rather intense contractions through the ceremony, and when the president of the college found out, he had the camera pointed on her and told the entire crowd that she was in labor.  

Immediately after walking across the stage, Megan and her husband went home.  They filled up the tub, her doula and birth photographer arrived, and her midwife was on her way.  Megan hopped in the water and immediately felt the urge to push.  Her husband put the midwife on speaker phone and helped Megan catch their baby.

Episode Roundup

I seriously love Megan’s style.  Maybe because she reminds me of myself?  There’s always something going on!   There’s always something that’s got to be cooked up!  As we head into the episode roundup, I just want to call attention to how incredible the modern mother is.

Megan went through school, worked, cared and nurtured her babies, began running, and researched the heck out of birth.  Mothers are amazing, and the things we do for our families and the world… wow.  It truly is overwhelming. 

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