May 16th, 2022 by Happy Homebirth
When you have a child with special needs, does that mean you’re automatically risked out of homebirth care for your future pregnancies?
Today we’ll be speaking with Bekah, a 30 years old mom of 3 living in upstate SC. Bekah is a licensed cosmetologist turned stay at home mom, whose oldest child was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome when she was 2.5. This has played a huge part in she and her husband’s journey as parents. Bekah lives for birth stories and she’s incredibly excited to be able to share my 3 home birth experiences.
- You can’t judge a book, or a laboring mother, by the cover. And this goes both ways. A mother may be presenting as totally zen, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t truly having to reach down deep within herself to work through her birthing experience. And likewise, we certainly cannot assume that a loud, vocal mother is feeling out of control. Heck, it can be so cathartic to ROAR a baby out, and sometimes that’s just the noise our body chooses to make– it having nothing to do with how perfectly calm we’re feeling on the inside.
- Next, I want to remind you that giving birth at home is not for a small handful of mothers. Bekah knew that she wanted to give birth at home not only with her first, but continuing on. Despite Alice’s genetic condition, Bekah recognized that had no bearing on her ability to give birth at home, and it didn’t make her feel uncomfortable in the slightest.
- And finally, I’m just so humbled by birth and by motherhood. Just like birth, we can prepare spectacularly, yet no outcome can be guaranteed. It’s the same with motherhood, and every aspect of life. Bekah did not expect for her daughter and her family to be faced with the hurdle of Rett disease, but that is the reality that they face as a family together. This life- our expectations- we must constantly remind ourselves to hold it all with an open hand, as we realize that so much is outside of our control. And just like with labor, we can fight against it, or we can release into it and find the beauty. It’s one of the things that I love about Bekah– the way that she is finding beauty even in the midst of difficulty. I’m so grateful to know and learn from her.
May 9th, 2022 by Happy Homebirth
Have you heard horror stories about The Ring of Fire?
So what is "the ring of fire?" More accurately, it's the sensation of crowning: when the pressure of your baby's head, or crown, is applied fully to your perineum as his head begins to actually exit your body.
Take a few minutes to work through concerns related to the ring of fire and
Give you a few practical tips, and ready ourselves with a more open and excited mindset.
May 1st, 2022 by Happy Homebirth
How do we go about decision-making in pregnancy and parenthood? Do we float along on the wave of current culture, or is there possibly another way?
This week we’re speaking with Caitlyn Doerksen, a wife of almost seven years, a mom of 3 kids, who is passionate about all things surrounding the home. Home schooling, home birth, and a dream to one day soon home stead. She has such a beautiful way of looking at and interacting with her family, and I know you’re going to gain so much insight from this incredible episode.
- It’s okay to do things differently from other families and to focus on works in your family’s culture. Just because your aunt or mother in law or neighbor did things one way doesn’t mean you have to follow suit. It’s not disrespectful to choose your own path. I’m sure many of you resonate with that already– I mean, we’ve probably all had the experience of a little backlash to our birthing decisions, am I right?
- Next, I loved the way Caitlyn truly tuned into her intuition. She didn’t push the voice away, she leaned in and listened harder. She had her husband pray over her and encourage her, and together they worked on honing in on their God-given parental intuitions. We were designed to disciple our babies, and when we tune out the noise and tune into what is working for our family, I think we often times do know how to do that so beautifully well.
- And finally, let’s discuss the beautiful balance of Caitlyn’s births. What did we learn? Well, we learned that birth CAN be exactly what you want, pray for, ask for, envision, meditate upon… It can be. There is so much power and excitement and thrill in that! It happened for Caitlyn three times, despite difficult external circumstances with her most recent birth. And now… on to the flip side. Not everyone is going to experience this, and if your mind is SET on having a very specific experience that does not pan out that way, it can sometimes lead to disappointment or a fear that maybe you didn’t do something right, or you didn’t deserve a good birth or, or, or. And just like Caitlyn so beautifully affirmed, that is straight up false. I like to remind myself that every birth has a lesson for us. Sometimes those lessons go down easy like a spoonful of honey, and others feel a bit more abrasive. But, no matter the specific events our birth holds, please remember… we are the one who chooses how we get to integrate the experience. We can choose what our birth means to us, and we can choose to approach birth with the knowledge that however it unfolds, there is beauty in it. I hope that makes sense. Every mother, every baby, every labor are different. But whatever our labor brings us, we can take those lessons and apply them to our lives, to our motherhood, to grow and stretch us in the most beautiful ways.
Apr 25th, 2022 by Happy Homebirth
When you’re unable to have a homebirth in your area, what happens? Are you totally out of luck…. Or are there other ways to get creative?
This week we’re speaking with my friend Shanies Pearcey- a stay at home mother to 8 children and minister’s wife in Northwest NJ. Shanise enjoys cooking, sewing, and spending time with her precious kids, and I can tell you right now you are going to gain SO MUCH from this interview, as we unpack her journey to a homebirth… across the country from her own home. Get ready for a beautiful, uplifting story.
- Question everything, unfortunately. Shanise was told with her twins that her hips were “too small” for a 5 pound baby– and yet, she was able to give birth to an 8 pound baby just fine later on. Another example of this could be seen when her OB told her that if she wanted to give birth without an epidural, they should totally break her water. It’s so unfortunate when we hear these examples of care providers looking out for themselves and not for their patients.
- If you find yourself in a situation that seems unfavorable, like Shanise did with her 8th pregnancy and upcoming labor, keep your mind open to other ideas. It could have been so easy for Shanise and her husband to dismiss the idea of traveling to Texas for a homebirth, but look at what they would have missed if they’d ignored the idea– and consider the hostility that so many women were facing in hospitals in that area at the time. What a beautiful experience Shanise’s family had– all because they were open to ideas outside of the norm.
- And finally, how incredible are our bodies. The way that Shanise’s body gave her an opportunity to process her fears and anxieties by stopping labor– that was so beautiful to me. She was able to reach out to a friend, who, by the way owns a beautiful merino wool shop called Truly Charis, for all of the cloth diapering mamas out there, be sure to look her up– and process the feelings and emotions that were welling up inside of her. And once she did that– her body knew that it was now safe to give birth. What a blessing that entire experience was. As we wrap up this amazing episode, I can’t help but share Philippians 4: 4-9
Apr 18th, 2022 by Happy Homebirth
When you’re pregnant and not feeling well, what’s your first line of defense? Have you ever felt the need to turn to pharmaceutical medications quickly, feeling like there aren’t any other good options?
This week, we’re speaking with Jenna Dodge. Jenna Dodge is a Mother of four children ages 3-11. She lives in Bozeman, Montana with her children, husband, and two dogs. She owns a homeopathy practice serving clients anywhere in the world via Telehealth (www.ProjectHomeopathy.com) and teaches Homeopathy online courses at www.jennadodge.com. When she's not working with clients or teaching homeopathy, you can find her spending time with her family, lifting weights in her home gym, baking sourdough bread, or playing the piano.
Jenna is actually my homeopath, and I was so excited to find out that she was a homebirth mother herself. So today we’ll be taking our time going through her birth stories, as well as a thorough rundown of homeopathy and how you can use it as an empowering tool for your family.
- It just hit me as I was speaking to Jenna about the way that… when we tense our body up during labor by putting pressure on ourselves to look a certain way, or to not gain a certain amount of weight, or whatever the case may be… it’s just like the action of tensing and tightening during contractions. No, pregnancy isn’t an excuse to overindulge, but it’s a perfectly good reason to relax and release the preconceived notions of what your body SHOULD be like and SHOULD do. Relax into this process and be gentle and graceful with yourself.
- And lastly, I just want to encourage you to look into homeopathy. It’s been a huge blessing to my family over the years, but especially now that I’m actually working with a certified homeopath. Jenna’s been able to help me unwind so much disease and distress that’s been going on in my body for years, so I highly recommend checking out all of her information, which is linked below in the show notes. Alright, my friends, I hope you’re feeling excited and empowered! That’s all I’ve got for you for today. I’ll see you back here next week!
Apr 11th, 2022 by Happy Homebirth
What's the most surprising birth location you can think of?
For many, the idea of giving birth at home is totally shocking and surprising. For Vicki, the most "normal" location that she gave birth was FINALLY in her own home on her own bed. Vicki's personality and her extremely unique birth stories made this discussion absolutely riveting. I can't wait for you to hear it.
- I find it worth noting that Vicki and her husband were very attuned to the personalities of the potential midwives they were working with-- despite the often times quick opportunities that they had to talk to them beforehand--It seems there was an understanding that for them, having a care provider who didn't fit what they needed could actually be more uncomfortable or dangerous than birthing unassisted
- Vicki is a testimony to the fact that the body will give birth when it's ready to give birth, but it also does sometimes seem to hold off for just enough time. In both of her first two births, she at some point recognized that it was TIME to settle down, and luckily she had JUST enough time to do just that. Was she cutting it that close, or was her body actually waiting for her to get settled, darn it? Either way, she was able to get settled just in time on both occasions!
- And finally, and I think you will all agree with me on this one, I hereby give Vicki the Happy Homebirth superlative of most unusual string of birth stories. What a truly impressive honor that is in this incredible group of interesting birthers, isn't it?
Apr 4th, 2022 by Happy Homebirth
I want to give birth physiologically and at home… but what if it’s painful?
Today we’re going to take a few minutes to discuss the very common, very understandable fear of pain when it comes to giving birth at home….without medication.
We'll be discussing this from several perspectives today/using several guiding questions:
1. What makes you think it will be painful?
2. What can we do to mitigate the potential for pain?
3. So what? What if it is painful?
And throughout we'll include a number of tips for coping with discomfort during labor.
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Mar 28th, 2022 by Happy Homebirth
When you describe your labor and birth, what words come to mind? Difficult? Intense? Powerful? What about…. Euphoric?
Today we’re going to be talking to my friend Rose, of Rose Uncharted– Rose is a wife and mother of 3 children born at home. She began cultivating an online presence on instagram by sharing her unconventional lifestyle choices and ideas, and by pushing back against the societal norms of how we should live and raise our babies in this modern age. Her signature message has been to encourage women to tune back into their simple innate God given intuition and to take their bodies and their health into their own hands. She’ll be sharing her 3 homebirth stories, and I can pretty much guarantee that there will be chills or tears by the time we finish this episode, specifically around that very idea of a euphoric birth.
- We’ve got to start asking midwives the right questions from the very beginning. Every midwife deserves to operate her practice how she sees fit, just like every mother deserves to find a care provider who is comfortable with her desires. Not every mother and midwife are going to make a perfect pair, and that’s not a bad thing. Not every man and every woman make a perfect pair either– it’s all about having discernment, asking the right questions before signing any paperwork, and then working together as a team from there on out. Yes I just compared midwifery and marriage and I’m just going to keep rolling. Listen, like Rose said, we’ve got to find alignment. If at all possible, we’ve got to find that midwife who you trust and who trusts you right back. It makes a world of difference. So many mothers ask me, “what questions do I need to ask?” And before giving out any specifics, I always like to say– you’ve got to figure out what you want first. I may want very different things from my care provider than you do. What do you want, what’s non-negotiable? Figure it out for yourself before you even begin formulating a list of questions.
- Next, I loved Rose’s explanation of labor waves. Sometimes you may find yourself riding the crest, and other times you’ve got to go limp in the undertow for a bit. Relaxation is the way through, as Rose described having her husband Isaac hold her body weight as she went completely limp through the heavy surges.
- And finally, labor can be euphoric. Not just the moment that our baby enters the world, though that certainly is part of it– but the entire experience can be exactly what we’ve prayed for, just like it was for Rose. It’s one of the reasons that we talk about envisioning your birth so much throughout happy homebirth academy– it’s so wonderful to spend our time thinking of good, beautiful things, and that is absolutely what our labor can be.
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Mar 21st, 2022 by Happy Homebirth
Midwives are great, but OB’s are definitely better when it comes to diagnostics and testing, right?
This week we’re speaking to Hannah White, a sweet, sentimental mama who switched to midwifery care later on in her second pregnancy. And she was shocked to find out that her midwife was more thorough in keeping up with her health than even her obstetrician.
- I just love the historicity of Hannah’s story. She was able to give birth on family land, in the home that she grew up in, and the same land where her Grandfather was born. What a full-circle experience.
- Where we are and who we’re with during labor matters. Just ask Hannah’s bag of waters— This little tidbit Hannah gave shows just how much our subconscious mind can impact labor. Her body was quite literally holding on until her midwife arrived. And as soon as her midwife got there, as soon as Hannah felt safe, she released and so did her waters.
- Finally, let’s end at the beginning. Midwives are great, but OB’s are definitely better when it comes to diagnostics and testing, right? It comes as a surprise to many that midwives do indeed perform the same routine testing that one would receive with an OB… though sometimes even more effectively. When her midwife put together that Hannah had PCOS, she realized that her blood sugar could be affected, so she had her check her blood sugar directly instead of relying on the GD glucola results alone. And what a wonderful difference that made for Hannah’s health and pregnancy.
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Mar 14th, 2022 by Happy Homebirth
Let’s say you’ve decided that you want a homebirth…but….you’re feeling some uncertainty.
Maybe you’ve heard stories from other moms who wanted the very same, but then their births took another direction, and they didn’t end up with the intimate birth at home that they’d envisioned. How do we come to terms with this possibility, yet not expect negative outcomes? Several weeks ago, one of our community members, Danielle, shared her story of planning a homebirth, but having to make the difficult decision to transport to the hospital during labor, and eventually making the even more difficult decision to have a cesarean section. After such a moving, emotional, and deeply connecting episode – one that truly seemed to touch something in the mothers who experienced similar stories, and the ones who have not alike….I wanted to continue exploring this idea of the hospital transport. I want to take a look at another side of transporting, in a way– another angle to view it from. How can we hear a story like Danielle’s or any other mom who planned for homebirth and ended up needing or wanting to transport— how can we listen to that, but not fear our birth or fear the possibility of transport? I love that we’re able to look at birth through so many contexts and lenses. That we can take personal experiences, mindset exercises and pure old statistics and blend them into a comprehensive, comforting inspection of homebirth and the likelihood of transporting.
So with that in mind, today I want to go through some practical thoughts, tips and reminders regarding homebirth and hospital transport, and the relationship between the two. As always, this is not medical advice, this show is an educational tool, so continue to make empowered decisions for yourself and your family.
Discuss the most common reasons for transport, and several ways to help discourage their necessity
Share some internal and external pain relief techniques
Discuss how we control the narrative and the perspective-- no matter where we give birth
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