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.

Do words really matter?  I mean, you’ve got to give birth one way or another— so is the language that’s used around your experience actually important?

This week we’ll be speaking to Frankie Sena, a mama of two and graduate of Happy Homebirth Academy.  She had two very different perceptions of feeling during her experiences of giving birth, and we’re going to hear what influenced that.

 

This episode was is sponsored by Baby Trend andThe Cover Me 4-in-1 Convertible car seat

I opted to skip the newborn carseat with my second daughter, and this carseat is so unique in that it addresses the number one complaint by experienced mothers: Sun in your baby's eyes. The Cover Me seat is able to do this with its integrated canopy that offers height adjustability, ratcheting coverage, and side sun protection.  The cover me has a usage rating from 4-100 lbs, so you can install it for your infant and adjust it as your child grows from rear facing to forward facing all the way up to belt positioning booster.  It’s got a recline system that allows your child to find a comfortable position and it’s designed to take up a limited amount of space even in the rear-facing position.  And it’s got some super cool features that help make life easier for mom and kiddo, including a no-twist harness indicator, a no-rethread harness, and a comfort cabin, which is its multi-layered padding system, letting your baby or child feel snug and secure.  So go to https://babytrend.com/ossa and use the code CoverMe20 for your new convertible carseat.

 

 

 

Episode Roundup:

What an amazing story.  I love getting to follow back up with graduates of Happy Homebirth Academy, so this was such a special interview for me.  As we head into this week’s episode roundup, a few points really caught my eye.

 

  1. I loved Frankie’s discussion of placenta encapsulation.  I feel like it’s such a perfect example of the “crunchy” lifestyle, and even the homebirth experience.  When you hear about it for the first time, you can have a knee-jerk reaction of, “oh my gosh, no!”  And then… it grows on you.  And suddenly you’re asking for the placenta girl’s info, or asking for that midwife’s number….  Sometimes it can be hard to release the mainstream point of view, but then… oh man, the other side can be so enjoyable and helpful. 
  2. Let’s talk about labor thoughts.  Frankie shared with us some of the very specific thoughts that she had that turned out not to be true:  I’m 7 cm which means I’m going to have to walk the parking lot, I definitely have a cervical lip…. I imagine that so many of you can relate to this!  You feel something certainly in your bones in labor that is… come to find out, pretty off base.  I was confident that I had a shoulder dystocia with my first daughter and that my midwife had to reach her arm up inside to pull her out…. That was decidedly not true.  Remember to approach these things gently and with a sense of humor later— our brains are in a whole different place in labor, and they’re doing their best!  It can be somewhat amusing to look back and think of the interesting jumps they made while navigating labor
  3. I want to bring up how well Frankie and her husband worked together.  They took the time to prepare with one another inside of Happy Homebirth Academy— which is certainly my recommendation— to have your husband involved with childbirth education— and the pregnancy was “theirs” together.  What a beautiful, critical outlook that can magnetize you to one another.
  4. Finally, let’s end where we began.  WORDS.  MATTER.  And even more, mindset is so important.  Frankie had endured a fear-mongering hospital birth class that ensured her of the deep pain she would experience during labor, and her midwife discussed the pain of the ring of fire right before she experienced it— because Frankie hadn’t yet tapped into the power of her mindset, these words were highly influential on her experience.  Now, I do believe the good news is that once your mindset is fixed and prepared, those words can bounce off you much easier.  But, still, the preference is certainly positive words combined with a fortified positive mindset.  If this sounds good to you, make sure you check out Happy Homebirth Academy.

 

Before you hop off, would you take a screenshot of this episode and share it on your instagram stories?  Tag happyhomebirthpodcast and tell me your favorite takeaway from this episode!  Okay my friends, that’s all I’ve got for you today.  I’ll see you back here next week.

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What happens when you’ve desired and planned for a homebirth for a decade… but then you’re faced with a long, intense exhausting labor?  How do you cope with what you’ve wanted, yet what you’re experiencing? 

 

This week we’re speaking with Caitlin Ackermann, who met her midwife in her high school health class.  She’s experienced two vastly different births, and she’s going to share them both with us today.  Caitlin’s stories show the two extremes of labor, so you know there will be so much to glean from this one.

Let’s take a moment to thank our reviewer of the week, ilovepodcastsrrkkrr, who writes “Great for all expecting parents!”

This is a fantastic podcast and goes through lots of different pregnancy and labor/birth stories.  Very empowering and educational at the same time.  Thanks so much ilovepodcastsrrkkrr, I’d love to send you a happy homebirth podcast sticker, so email me at katelyn@myhappyhomebirth.com

 

And of course, if you are loving this show, would you go show some love on apple podcasts?  It’s a free, relatively easy way to support the mission behind Happy Homebirth and get this show into the ears of the mothers who need it. 

 

And finally, before we head in, here’s something really exciting: This episode was is sponsored by Baby Trend andThe Cover Me 4-in-1 Convertible car seat

 

I opted to skip the newborn carseat with my second daughter, and this carseat is so unique in that it addresses the number one complaint by experienced mothers: Sun in your baby's eyes. The Cover Me seat is able to do this with its integrated canopy that offers height adjustability, ratcheting coverage, and side sun protection.  The cover me has a usage rating from 4-100 lbs, so you can install it for your infant and adjust it as your child grows from rear facing to forward facing all the way up to belt positioning booster.  It’s got a recline system that allows your child to find a comfortable position and it’s designed to take up a limited amount of space even in the rear-facing position.  And it’s got some super cool features that help make life easier for mom and kiddo, including a no-twist harness indicator, a no-rethread harness, and a comfort cabin, which is its multi-layered padding system, letting your baby or child feel snug and secure.  So go to https://babytrend.com/ossa and use the code CoverMe20 for your new convertible carseat.

 

Alright, let’s jump in.  Please remember the opinions of my guest,  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.

 

Show Notes

  • Growing up, she loved the book “A Child is Born” and wanted to be a “baby doctor.”
  • In high school, her best friend’s mom had homebirths
  • In health class growing up, her health teacher had a midwife come speak.  She felt the midwife was incredibly calm and nurturing— She knew immediately she wanted her to be her midwife one day.
  • In college she watched The Business of Being Born and was completely on board
  • Her husband, whom she met at 17, was always on board as well.
  • They became pregnant immediately after beginning to try, which was unexpected for Caitlin. 
  • She was so excited to finally call her midwife, Bonnie!
  • She loved the flexibility of her midwives.  She doesn’t eat white sugar, so her midwives allowed her to do gestational diabetes testing by eating a pancake breakfast with the correct amount of maple syrup
  • When she was 6 months pregnant, she had severe back pain for 6 weeks that made her think she’d never want to have children again. Luckily it did go away.
  • She was due 10 days before her best friend’s wedding- she made it to the wedding! 
  • The next morning, she had a membrane sweep, which she felt was the culmination of midwifery care: It was done comfortably and gently at her midwife’s.
  • The night she went into labor, she was awake until 2 am— she decided to take a Tylenol PM to get some sleep… and then at 3am labor began
  • “I wanted to be prepared for everything but not set on anything”
  • She began throwing up at 5am (after 2 hours of labor)
  • Caitlin labored in the tub for 8 hours- her body stopped regulating temperature, so she got out.
  • At 1 pm, her midwives came and she was 6 cm
  • At 5pm she was feeling very tired
  • By 7 pm the midwives mentioned the baby having a heart arrhythmia.  They chose to wait 15 minutes to see if it went away or to transport
  • She honestly wanted to transport— she was exhausted by that point.  But her husband reminded her that she wanted this homebirth, and he asked her to take it hour by hour.  She needed the reminder that she wanted it and could do it. 
  • At midnight she was 10 centimeters, she got in the shower, squatted and gently pushed, but he wouldn’t budge
  • Suddenly, everything changed, his head came down, and he was out within 2 pushes
  • This baby was born with a tongue tie, and breastfeeding was very painful.  Her midwife caught it immediately and clipped it, but it was still very difficult
  •  

 

 

 

 

Episode Roundup

If you’re in Vermont, you’re definitely going to want to hire Caitlin to be your doula, right?  She’s experienced so much, and she is so insightful.  In today’s episode roundup I’d love to discuss a few of the aspects that she so brilliantly brought up.

 

  1. It was so much fun hearing how Caitlin and her midwives chose to replace the traditional glucose test with a maple syrup test.  Talk about individuality of care.  And that’s what I love, and what I bet you love too, about the midwives model.  This is your pregnancy, your birth and your baby.  In the ideal midwife client relationship, You make the decisions, and your midwives support you.  They tailor their care to you.  I love that Caitlin felt empowered in her second pregnancy to do even less testing and be more lowkey.  Not because there’s anything wrong with wanting tests— if you do, that’s great!— But because she clearly felt the confidence and power to choose for herself.  And that’s what I want for all of you.
  2. Favorite quote award goes to:  I wanted to be prepared for everything, but not set on anything.  And this…. This is why Caitlin is going to make such an incredible birth worker.  This is wisdom, my friends.  Take note of it.  Rigidity in birth can be cause for dashed dreams and sadness, even when everything goes right to the outside world.  This concept— of being prepared for it all, but being accepting of what’s to come— this is it.  This is what it’s all about.  If you can adopt this frame of mind, you can give your birth the credit it is due, no matter how it unfolds.  That’s not to say that you have to think it was perfect when it was hard— obviously, Caitlin is a great example of that.  But I feel strongly that this attitude can greatly cut down on the feelings of “my birth wasn’t good enough because…”. Thank you, Caitlin, for putting it so eloquently.
  3. I also want to bring up what Caitlin mentioned about her postpartum.  It was hard having visitors.  Gosh, it can be so tough turning people away, especially with your first baby.  You’re proud, and you know your well-meaning friends and family want to see this sweet new life.  But when you’re in the throes of learning your newborn and learning the skill of breastfeeding, it can be all too much.  Inside of Happy Homebirth Academy we talk about this in depth— setting those boundaries prenatally so that you already have a plan to stick to postpartum.  I was the same as Caitlin— It took me learning through experience the importance of being alone as a family in those first special days and weeks.  I pray you can learn through our experiences, those of you who are preparing for your first— and set the boundaries the first time.  You won’t regret it!
  4. And finally, let’s end on the reminder that sometimes things go “wrong”, even at home.  Caitlin’s second son took 7 minutes to really perk up and come around after birth.  But Caitlin, when sharing this part of the story, was calm.  She was calm in the moment and felt confident in her team.  This speaks to two things: 1. The fact that midwives are skilled workers and have the necessary techniques to handle these types of situations and 2. Caitlin did a wonderful job at selecting her midwives.  Women she trusted and had great confidence in.  This is so important.  Not every midwife is for you, and it’s important to feel confident in both your midwife’s skills and demeanor.

Okay, my friends.  What a beautiful episode.  I’m going to go finish my coffee with maple syrup… and that’s all I’ve got for you today.  I’ll see you back here next week. 

When I say metabolism you say….what? Really, what comes to mind?  Skinny teenagers and being able to gorge on whatever you want with no consequences to your pant size? Or… that thing that just totally quits on you once you have a baby?

 

Hey there, episode 126

 

Today we are speaking with two women who I stumbled across recently (shout out to my bff Emily), and who in the span of just a few months have absolutely changed my health for the better.  Kori Meloy and Fallon Lee are the two metabolism-loving women behind the new podcast, Freely Rooted.  They’re incredible resources on Instagram as well, so I know you’ll be excited to follow along.  Even better?  Fallon and Kori both have experience in the homebirth, with Fallon having a successful HBAC during her third birth, and Kori currently planning for her HBAC.  This episode is basically a 2-Act performance, with birth in the front and metabolism in the back.  I can’t wait to share all of this incredible inform BUT… I do want to warn you— some of what we discuss regarding your metabolism may feel… uncomfortable… even counter-intuitive if you’ve been running in some of the same health circles I have.  All I ask is that you bring an open, curious mind.  Either way, this episode is sure to be a blast.

 

Before we get started   though, I’d love to take a moment to thank our reviewer of the week, EllieAustin.  And Ellie’s review was actually specific to our most recent HBAC episode, episode 123 with Julie.  Ellie says, I relate!

 

Thank you so much for this review, EllieAustin.  If you’ll e-mail me at I’d love to send you a happy homebirth podcast sticker

And hey, If you’re loving the show, would you hop on over to apple podcasts to leave a quick *hopefully* 5 star rating, and even a review?  I can’t tell you how helpful it is in getting this show into the ears of new listeners who will benefit.

 

Okay, let’s waste no more time.  Please remember,,, 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.

 

With this acute focus of our imbalances, we are missing the bigger picture-  Our imbalances and our symptoms showing up in the first place, are just a result of a broken metabolism.

 

Thriving metabolsim:

Warm hands and feet

Waking temp near 97.8

Resting pulse around 75-95

Regular, comfortable BMs

Shiny, strong hair and nails

Strong, healthy sex drive

Symptomless period

Morning hunger

Good energy throughout the day (no 2-3pm crashes)

Stable mood

Fast wound healing

Sleeping through the night (excluding children waking you up!)

Seamless transition into menopause

 

Trashed Metabolism:

Freezing

Resting pulse is slow

Irregular BMs

Miserable PMS & period

Mood dysregulation

Losing hair

Waking up to pee in the night

Lack of hunger

 

Pregnancy and Postpartum are a state of stress.  When stress elevates, it decreases thyroid function and metabolism.  So what do we do to mitigate this stress?

 

Simple nutrition and lifestyle changes that will support the metabolism to reduce the stress hormones.

 

Metabolic eating is looking at the cell function of the body and asking our bodies what they need in order to thrive— and then eating that way.

 

We can force our bodies to live off of whatever… but it comes at a cost.  Often times, the cost is living off stress hormones.

 

When I nourish myself, I nourish my family with love.

 

Tips:

  1. Eat Early (within 30-60 minutes of waking)
  2. Mitigate Stressors of all kinds
  3. Eat often
  4. Eat Enough

 

Find Kori and Fallon at:

 

The Freely Rooted Podcast

 

Kori’s Instagram

Kori’s Course

 

Fallon’s Instagram

Fallon’s Website

 

Episode Roundup

I’m still so blown away by this episode, I don’t know HOW I’m supposed to do an episode roundup.  I’m almost feeling like a slow clap and fade to music would be better, but I’m going to give it a shot!

Let’s cover some of the topics that truly stuck out:

  1. Fallon mentions how her homebirth was not picture perfect.  It required an episiotomy, which is indeed such a rare necessity, but very clearly a true one in this case, and thank goodness for a skilled and competent midwife who could perform this conservatively and without requiring any type of transport.  It’s so important to remember that we can control how we prepare for birth, but we cannot control how it unfolds.  Balancing our ability to prepare with our ability to surrender is so important.
  2. When considering Kori’s story, I think what sticks out to me most is the concept of responsibility.  Kori recognized that during her first birth, she gave her midwife the responsibility and power of… being in charge of the birth.  But now?  She’s had such a massive mindset shift, and she recognizes that she’s driving the bus— If you’re inside of happy homebirth academy, you know that’s basically my running mantra.  This is your birth, my friend.  Nobody else’s. Embrace that beautiful responsibility for the God-given gift that it is.
  3. Trauma— it can influence so many aspects of our life: Our health, our births, our relationships.  Learning to unpack our baggage and accessing the tools necessary to do so is of so much importance, and it’s a gift to not only ourselves, but our entire families, including the babies we’re growing and raising… especially them.
  4. And finally, the metabolism.  It’s not just some thing that allows kids to eat whatever they want.  It’s how our body is functioning on a cellular level.  I’m going to be honest, I was so uncomfortable with the idea that maybe my body wasn’t thriving off of starvation, and maybe I DID need to add some previously off-limits foods to my diet.  But as mothers and mothers to be, our bodies are doing and will do amazing things.  They deserve to be nourished and nurtured.  And if it takes stepping out of my comfort zone to do it, so be it. 

 

So there you have it, my friends.  I know this was a lot, and I imagine some of you are probably thinking this is all crazy talk.  I promise, I get it.  Go check out the Freely Rooted Podcast and Fallon and Kori’s work and just see what you find. 

 

 

Before you hop off, would you take a screenshot of this episode and share it on your instagram stories?  Tag happyhomebirthpodcast and tell me your favorite takeaway from this episode!  Okay my friends, that’s all I’ve got for you today.  I’ll see you back here next week.

Which leads to better outcomes do you think, high amounts of unpersonalized intervention… or… space? Space to allow a mother’s body to do what it was designed to do?

 

This week we’re speaking with Miss Brittany Pride, a mother of 4 daughters and new member of the homebirth community.  Through Brittany’s stories, we’ll learn what style of care worked best for her and her family.

 

Before we jump in, let me take a moment to welcome all of the new students who took advantage of the Mother’s Day sale and joined Happy Homebirth Academy last week.  I’m so thrilled to have you!  If you didn’t join last week, don’t worry! You can still access Happy Homebirth Academy any time— just go to myhappyhomebirth.com and click on Happy Homebirth Academy in the upper righthand corner.

 

And let me thank our reviewer of the week, Can I get more to like? Thank you so much can I get more to like?  Can I get you to email me at katelyn@myhappyhomebirth.com so I can send you a happy Homebirth podcast sticker?

 

And of course, if you are loving this show, would you go show some love on apple podcasts?  It’s a free, relatively easy way to support the mission behind Happy Homebirth and get this show into the ears of the mothers who need it. 

 

Show Notes

 

Brittany is a mother of 4 girls: 8, 5.5, 3 and 8 months

 

She lives outside of Nashville TN

 

Stay at home mom/ social media influencer/content creator

 

Brittany is a proud crunchy mom who loves to empower mothers to take charge of their families health

 

Her 4th daughter was her first homebirth

 

First pregnancy- it was amazing.  She was a stay-at-home mom, so she was able to rest and nap whenever she was tired or sick.

She went into labor on her due date, she did not have a doula, which she learned was really important for her next time.

 

Her first labor was incredibly difficult, as her baby was malpositioned.  She didn’t know how to get her baby repositioned without help.  When she went to the hospital (using midwives), she was only 1 cm dilated after 20hrs.  Her cervix was behind her baby’s head— baby was low, but not putting pressure on the cervix.  On top of that, he water broke during triage, so there was no cushion beyond that point.

 

She ended up receiving an epidural as she was unable to relax. 

 

Brittany feels that she learned so much from that birth— she did deal with PTSD after that birth. 

 

“If you’re feeling bad about your birth, remember that it’s not your fault, you did your best, you’re still a rockstar, and you can have a better birth next time.”

 

Brittany notes that each baby and placenta and story is different— it can be different next time!

 

For the second birth, she found a doula who knew how to manage malpositioned babies and who knew how to use essential oils.  She brought over a birth pool

 

Having a doula does not negate a husband’s role, it enhances it.  Brittany’s husband says they’re so worth the price because it takes the pressure off the husband.  Long labors, malpositioned babies… so many things can happen that are unexpected. 

 

Hiring a doula is a great way to capitalize on the experience and to allow your husband to focus on the aspects on birth that he wants to focus on.

 

With their third birth, they chose a freestanding birth center.  Brittany thought it may be her last birth, so they thought this would make the experience even better.

 

She enjoyed her experience, except for the fact that she was encouraged to push (even after she told them she didn’t want to yet— she already had a history of swollen cervices), and when her baby came out shockingly quickly, she had a difficult time breathing (said the midwives) and had to be transported to the hospital.  The midwives were frantic when this happened, and it was an incredibly chaotic experience.  By the time they got to the hospital, baby was screaming and crying just fine.

 

After this experience, Brittany knew that she would have a homebirth if she had any additional children. 

 

 

With baby 4, they became pregnant in Oct of 2019.  Again, her husband said “this is the last baby!”  As soon as he learned more about homebirth’s safety, he was sold.

 

They decided to have a homebirth around 11 weeks.  Several of Brittany’s friends had used the midwife that she chose.  She has 40 years of experience and has basically delivered babies in the middle of the woods.  Brittany met with her and felt incredibly comfortable with her skills and experience.

 

Brittany’s due date was July 24th, and she’s always gone past her due date.  She loves being pregnant, and the end of pregnancy especially, so she wasn’t in a rush at all.

 

The week after her due date, she began encouraging good positioning and opening with walks, sex, prenatal massage and clary sage.

 

She had zero signs of labor over the weekend of her due date, but she woke up with leaking water. 

 

She told her oldest to wear her “big sister” shirt to bed because you never know when you’re going to wake up with a new sibling!

 

Around dinner time, contractions began coming closer and closer.  They began doing pressure points around midnight, and her husband said he was going to go clean out the garage.   She said okay, and then texted him 3 minutes later asking him to fill up the birth pool! 

“What happened in 3 minutes?!”

 

Brittany’s doula headed over around 3am and had called her midwife to come as well.  Her doula had her lie down on her side, and they did slow down a little bit, but not too much.  The midwife came around 4:45 am and her midwife checked her. 

 

Brittany’s baby was 4 cm, but her baby was low (which was important to her).  Her midwife told everyone to rest until she just couldn’t rest any longer.

About an hour and a half later, she was already 7 cm.  They began blowing up the birth pool, which took about an hour—at that point Brittany was desperate to be in the birth pool!

 

In the meantime she was using a TENS unit, which was incredibly helpful for her. 

 

For Brittany, the most important aspect of relaxation for her was breathing.  Breathing in for 4, out for 8, which brought her back to center each time.  She said she couldn’t focus on the discomfort of the contractions because she was focusing on that.

 

 

Her doula kept reminding her “that’s one step closer to meeting your baby” with each ending contraction.

 

By 8am Brittany was getting in the birth pool. 

 

She loved being in her own home, knowing where everything is, and not having to worry about when to leave the house.

 

She was born at 8:59 am, so it wasn’t much longer from that point.

 

Brittany had her midwife check her again at 8:30 to make sure that she was genuinely ready to push— she was so concerned about swelling.  Her midwife said, “Everything’s perfect Brittany, you don’t have any swelling.” Brittany’s midwife knew that’s exactly what she needed to hear, even without saying it.

 

Her husband had found an aquarium hookup for $4 that would allow for the water to be let out from the same hose, then put new water back in. 

 

 

She pushed/her body pushed for 3/4 pushes

 

Her husband wanted to catch, because he’s caught all of the other babies. 

He hopped in at the last minute and caught her.  The baby was behind Brittany, so they maneuvered the baby under her legs and to her chest. 

 

Her oldest daughter came in right after the baby was born to watch the cord be cut.  The fact that everything was done right beside her on the bed and that her family got to be a part of it was amazing.

 

 

“In my head I kept thinking, ‘this is what birth should be like.’”

 

The least invasive birth ended up being the safest, most comfortable birth.

Episode Roundup

 

So many incredible aspects of birth came up in this episode.  Let’s go over a few together in this week’s episode roundup.

 

  1. First of all let’s talk about dads and doulas.  I love how Brittany and her husband recognized the fact that having a doula didn’t take away from her husband’s role, it added flexibility and an ability for him to focus on the aspects that he wanted to focus on.  We discuss this throughly inside of HHA and even have several worksheets for you to go through as partners to figure out exactly how you want to work together
  2. As you’re going through your contractions, it can be so beneficial to have certain elements to focus on.  Brittany used counted breaths as a way to relax, and her. Doula spoke an encouraging phrase “that’s one step closer to meeting your baby” to her.  These may seem like small aspects, but we don’t need that much to hold onto, truthfully.  Just a few simple elements to cling to through birth can make a vast difference.  Love, support and relaxation can take you so far.
  3. And finally, let’s end where we began.  What tends to work best— high amounts of unpersonalized intervention… or… space to allow a mother’s body to do what it was designed to do?  In Brittany’s experience, and in the countless births of my guests, my students and clients, wow… it sure seems like letting a mother’s body work while providing reassuring support and love almost always leads to the very best outcomes.

When your birth plans change, what do you do?  Do you jump to a place of self-loathing and frustration, or do you take it in stride and choose to love your experience?  Hey there…

 

And although my first question is easier said than done, Jasmine and her husband Julian have some lessons to share with us today all about this subject and many more.  From a hospital birth that turned out differently than expected to a homebirth abroad in Tokyo, get ready.  This story is incredible.

 

And… Happy Mother’s Day!  Whether you are preparing to conceive, mourning a loss, planning your first homebirth or driving around in your 12-passenger van full of offspring, I want you to know that you are so important.  Mothers, no matter what stage, are just incredible.  You have done and will do amazing things.  And I want to celebrate you this week.  So to all of the mamas who want to prepare like Jasmine does in this episode, with Happy Homebirth Academy, use the code MOM20 at checkout and get 20% off.  This deal expires Friday 5/14 at midnight, so be sure to jump on it early!

Okay, before we get into Jasmine’s beautiful story, let’s take a quick moment to thank our reviewer of the week, Girl_Mom, who wrote: So encouraging!  My sister just told me about this podcast and I’m so happy!  I love that there’s a podcast d directly dedicated to home birth stories.  I’m going to attempt my 3rd home birth in a few months after having my first baby at home with a transfer for the baby, second was a hospital transfer during pushing with vacuum delivery and now I’m hoping for my healing 3rd home birth.  These stories are giving me hope and I even had a dream last night after listening to this about having a pain-free birth.  It was so lovely and I love this resource as I’m preparing for another homebirth!

 

Girl mom, what a beautiful review.  I’m praying that pain-free birth over you and hoping you continue to feel confident and empowered as you listen to this story, as well as all of the others.  If you’ll send me an email at I’ll be sure to send you a happy homebirth podcast sticker.

 

And of course, if you are loving this show, would you go show some love on apple podcasts?  It’s a free, relatively easy way to support the mission behind Happy Homebirth and get this show into the ears of the mothers who need it. 

 

Alright, let’s jump in.  Please remember the opinions of my guest,  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.

 

 

Lives in Tokyo— moved right before Covid hit, as her husband works for the government.  Jasmine now says she will definitely have all of her kids in Tokyo!

 

With her first child, she gave birth in the US in a hospital with midwives.  They pressured her through fear tactics to have an induction at 41.3 days.

 

During the induction, she was at peace, but it was difficult.  The contractions were back to back, and Jasmine says “It felt like an attack on my body.”

 

The way that a woman is supported in her decisions in her birth, and the way that we speak over a woman in her birthing situation makes all of the difference.  Jasmine told her husband she wanted an epidural and that she was sorry.  He said, “Don’t be sorry!  This is a game time decision, and it’s amazing that you know what you need.”

 

As soon as she got the epidural and was able to relax, her body opened up.  Just a couple of hours later she was pushing!

 

Because of the perspective Jasmine and Julian took, Jasmine never looked back on her birth experience feeling any amount of shame.  Savannah’s birth taught her the importance of support.

 

“the way we frame our births has such an impact on us postpartum, how we connect with out babies, and the start we give our little ones when they enter the world.”

 

Sometime in the early summer Jasmine and her husband had a discussion that they wanted to start trying for another baby in the fall.  Jasmine says it was a wink, wink that they were both ready—they made their baby the very next day!

 

She was grateful that she was planning a homebirth, because even if she had to transfer care during, she would be able to have her midwife with her in the hospital—which wasn’t allowed for anyone else in Japan at the time.  Mothers were giving birth on their own.

 

Jasmine discusses how her midwife Sosan would have all of these rules like “don’t eat ice cream, don’t expose your joints etc…” and they would know when she didn’t follow the rules!

Her midwife also recommended “bone therapy” which Jasmine says is like chiropractic, only more gentle.  She was required to nap after the adjustment, and she would feel almost out of it afterwards.  She felt she was in fantastic alignment for this birth.

 

The morning of birth Jasmine dropped off her daughter, went to bone therapy, went to the birth house and had a full day of treatments, reflexology, checking on the baby etc.  Jasmine asked her midwife about castor oil, and Sosan told her she didn’t think she needed it, but she could give her some to try that night with milk.

 

 

That evening, Jasmine began really feeling her surges, and realized that they were coming rhythmically.  She texted Sosan, who texted back, “Don’t take the castor oil!”

 

Sosan told her to rest— Jasmine realized this was because Sosan was probably at another birth (she knew there was another mom who was about to give birth).

 

Jasmine was using Hybnobabies and created a beautiful “safe space”… the private beach where she and Julian got married.  Savvy was there, and Nile was there already.  Even when Julian went to take a nap, Jasmine said it was like he was with her. 

 

Jasmine mentions how different the surges were this time compared to her induction.  She was actually able to sleep between them, and then she would slowly wake up, experience the contraction, then relax again. 

 

Sosan came to check her and she said, “you’re only a 3”. Jasmine let go of the number and went right back to her safe space. 

 

All of the positions she got into during her birth felt primal and innate. She felt like her baby was guiding her positions.

 

One of Jasmine’s contractions woke Savvy up, which Jasmine loved.  She got to have her come in the bed and snuggle with her.  She felt in her heart that it was a moment where Savvy was ready

 

Jasmine’s midwife was down low ready to check heart tones, and Jasmine’s water broke in a massive gush— her midwife was soaked!

 

Once her water broke, the surges felt different. 

 

Jasmine thought she had to poop, and while she was sitting on the toilet, she started feeling her body push on its own. 

 

She went into the water, and absolutely loved it.  She felt released and relaxed.

 

Jasmine wanted Julian to get in the pool, and Sosan said he just needed to go rinse off upstairs first.  Julian didn’t understand that it needed to be a quick rinse— he was taking a full shower!  So while he’s showering, baby’s head begins to crown.  Sosan began screaming for Julian to come downstairs.

 

Jasmine and Julian laugh because since he had just taken a shower and hadn’t dried off, he is soaking wet in the pictures— looking like he took a swim in the birth pool!

Sosan told Jasmine to get her baby, but Jasmine is still somewhat out of it— so Sosan got the baby!

 

Sosan told her to turn the baby over and stand up slowly—

 

“So we have these pictures where he’s turned  over and he’s facing down towards the pool, and we’re standing up— and it looks like something from a National Geographic, like some type of, like some animal just gave birth to her baby and it’s just… Wow.  That’s how I felt, too, in the moment.  That’s how I felt.  So powerful.” 

 

Episode Roundup:

  1. Your change of plans does not have to feel like a failure, it can feel like a party.  Can we please talk about how amazing Jasmine’s hospital experience turned out?  What I love about this is that it’s not what she had planned, but she and her husband made the decision in the moment to be positive, work together, and make the most out of their birth.  They chose to make a game time decision after laboring for hours upon hours with pitocin contractions to get an epidural.  And was it a failure?  No.  Jasmine and Julian accepted their change of plans gracefully and enjoyed their journey.
  2. A change of plans in one birth does not mean a change of plans in every birth following.  Remember that each story is different, each baby is different, each labor is different.  Jasmine was confident in her ability to give birth at home without pain medication, even though she opted to use it during her first birth.  She knew this was absolutely not something that would hold her back in her homebirth.  And here we see it again, pitocin contractions and natural oxytocin-induced contractions are two very different things.  Jasmine kept wondering when the feeling from her first birth would arrive, and it never did.
  3. And finally, I love what Jasmine said about her preparation for her second birth.  It felt like a full-time job.  There’s no denying it, preparing our bodies and minds and spirits for birth does take some amount of work— fun work?  Sure… but it’s directed attention.  Just like an athlete prepares for the upcoming event, so we too as mothers can set aside time to connect to ourselves and our babies, prepare our hearts and bodies, and truly acknowledge the intensity and power that is birthing a new human. 

Okay, my friends.  Happy Mother’s Day!  Don’t forget that Happy Homebirth Academy is on sale this week only with the coupon code MOM20 at checkout.  Click the show notes for the link to the sales page, or go to myhappyhomebirth.com and click on Happy Homebirth Academy in the upper right hand corner.  That’s all I’ve got for you this week.  I’ll see you back here next week. 

What do you do when your doctors don’t believe in your body, but you do?  What happens when hospital policy is so counter to your own beliefs that you have to be constantly on guard and fighting for your rights?  Where do you turn?

 

This week we’re speaking with Julie, who was faced with a number of situations and circumstances that required intense decision-making for herself and her family.  I know there are so many mothers out there who are hoping and planning to have successful homebirths after cesarean sections… I know this episode is going to be an inspiring and encouraging one for you.  Julie is such a strong mother, and her drive to do what’s best for her family is so obvious.  

 

I want to give a quick heads up— the sound quality of this episode is definitely sub-par.  I’m not sure what’s going on with my mic while I record in zoom, but the quality lately has been driving me crazy. Just know that I know it’s a thing, and there were some feedback issues, too… so not the best quality, BUT I guarantee you’ll barely notice because Julie’s story is absolutely riveting.

 

And before we jump in I’d love to give a big thank you to our reviewer of the week, JandRFarmsTN.

 

Thank you so much, JandRFarmsTN, if you’ll e-mail me your address at katelyn@myhappyhomebirth.com, I’ll be sure to send you a happy homebirth podcast sticker.

 

Alright, my friends. Let’s dive in.  Please remember 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. 

Show Notes

Julie had 3 miscarriages before having a full-term baby:

The first two were from a luteal phase defect, which she finished.  The second occurred immediately after a flu shot that her doctor counseled her to take.  She realized then that she had to take research into her own hands.

 

Julie wanted a midwife- her husband wasn’t comfortable with the idea of a homebirth, so they chose midwives at the hospital.  Julie said they were basically doctors with other letters beside their names.  

 

She had diet-controlled Gestational Diabetes, though they pushed her to be induced.  Her body was not ready, she ended up with a c section.

 

Julie went back to the same midwife with her second, and they said she could only have a vbac if she went into labor naturally before 39 weeks.  When she didn’t, they scheduled her for a c section.  It was a traumatic experience— the room was loud, the doctors found a uterine “window” where, the scar opened up just upon touching it.  The doctors then began chastising Julie’s husband to “wear a rubber.”

 

Although Julie practices ecological breastfeeding, her fertility returns very quickly.

 

During the pregnancy of her third baby, they knew they would need to flee from New York because the vaccination laws were removing religious freedom.

 

Julie was pregnant in NY, but researching hospitals in CT to see who would let her attempt a VBAC.  All of the hospitals were saying “no”.

 

Finally, she called Yale, and she happened to reach one of two doctors who are VBAC-supportive.

 

Julie drove 2-2.5 hours each prenatal for the rest of the pregnancy. They moved around 30 weeks, and when she reached 40 weeks, she began to realize that 2 of the providers would support her, but the 6 others were barely going to tolerate her attempting a vbac.

 

After weighing their options, Julie decided to go in at 41 weeks when she knew the OB would be a supportive one and have them do a gentle induction, rather than waiting for labor to begin on its own and have to deal with a care provider who was unsupportive of her plans.

 

Julie successfully had her VBAC with a 9lb baby, which was 2 pounds heavier than her others!

 

For a hospital birth, Julie says it was the best she ever could have expected in terms of care and support.  

 

She did want students present so that they’d know that women can have a successful VBA2C, and she had practically every Yale student in her room by the time she delivered!  She hoped she could provide them with a positive image, and she did.

 

When she became pregnant with her 4th baby in April of 2020, the hospital policy was that she couldn’t bring her nursing infant with her to her prenatals, which was going to be practically impossible at that time.  She decided to go to another hospital who would allow her to bring her baby.  This was fine, until she found out the procedures for COVID… testing upon entrance, laboring in a mask, possible removal from her husband and her baby…

 

She came home and told her husband she wasn’t doing it.  She went back and forth between going to the hospital and simply refusing the test or doing something else.  She knew this would be creating a combative experience at the hospital, which would make things more stressful, possibly leading to a c section, or at least leading to a difficult time bonding with her baby postpartum under stress.

 

Julie decided to find a midwife who would take her, and she found a CPM who would.  She loved the care.  She mentions that her shoulders relaxed and she felt like she didn’t have to be on guard— they were on her side. 

 

She decided not to share with her family that they were planning a homebirth, as she knew they’d be concerned.  After the birth, they said it all made sense that she wasn’t calling them complaining about her appointments with her doctor!

 

Her family said they were happy that she didn’t tell them because they would have been a nervous wreck!

 

The night she went into labor, she felt an urge to really clean her house.  Later when she went to the bathroom, she thought she’d dribbled some pee— but then she realized it was her water!  The water was not clear, there was meconium in it.  She called her midwives and shared a photo of the water, which they said was not of concern—it was just a light staining.

 

She called her mom and had her come from Long Island to pick up the kids— her mom arrives and gets comfy on the couch, thinking she’s going to be sleeping there (obviously, thinking they’re heading to the hospital).  When they start waking the kids up and putting them in the car, she’s completely puzzled!

 

After being in the pool for a bit, Julie’s midwife told her, “You’re a little too comfortable in the pool, I think we need to get out for a bit.”  Though she didn’t want to, she knew it would be best.  Instantly after getting out, Julie was practically in transition.

 

 

After her baby arrived, Julie was able to soak into the experience and the love instead of freaking out over what was going on around her.

 

Julie discusses how her midwives were adamant for her to rest postpartum, which none of her previous doctors ever discussed or pushed.

 

 

Okay, isn’t Julie incredible?  As we head into this week’s episode roundup, I want to cover a few topics a little deeper.  

 

  1. Julie’s family’s response to the news of her homebirth was very illuminating, don’t you think?  It shows that sometimes withholding your plans to anxious family members is the kindest thing you can do not only for yourself, which of course is the most important aspect, but also for them!  So if you’re feeling guilty for not sharing your news, maybe this will serve as a little feather in your cap.
  2. After her two cesarean experiences, Julie was ready to make a change.  She had to fight an uphill battle, yes.  But Julie wasn’t going to let a uniformed, disconnected medical entity make her biggest decisions for her.  She decided to take birth into her own hands.  At first in the hospital, and then at home.  My friends, it doesn’t get any more empowering than that, does it?  She knew the risks, she knew the benefits, and she chose what was best for her.  Now maybe that decision wouldn’t feel the best for you, and that’s okay!  The point is that birth is our responsibility, whether we acknowledge it or not.  And we’ve got to make the decisions that we feel will serve our families best.  Julie was willing to take on the responsibility, and it paid off greatly.

What the heck is a rite of passage… and why does this matter in regards to birth? 

 

This week we are speaking with Rachael Jean, a homebirth midwife and birth rite enthusiast.  In this episode we delve into the meaning of rites of passage, why they’re important, how to reclaim birth as a rite of passage, and… how to prepare for birth through healing.  Immediately I can tell you this will be an episode you’re going to want to save and listen to a couple of times.  I’m so excited for the wisdom that Rachael brought to this conversation. 

Before we jump in, I’d love to take a moment to thank our reviewer of the week, DannyWannyzzz.

If you get a moment, would you stop on over to apple podcasts and leave a hopefully 5 star rating, and perhaps even a review?

 

Show Notes

 

Rachael Jean is a midwife practicing in Maine

 

She’s been working in ceremonial work, and feels that midwifery is her mission.

 

Rites of passage: a normal social and cultural event that brings societies together:  It brings honor and celebration.

 

birth, puberty, marriage, eldership, death

 

There is not a very strong entrance into adulthood in our current society

 

How do we begin to prepare ourselves for this rite of passage?

 

-It’s about healing: Birth was robbed from women with “twilight sleep” and midwives having to go underground

 

-Rachael’s main goal is to go back through childhood and heal generational traumas: relationship to mother, to father, to child, and wounding patterns related to the elements

 

-Rachael strongly feels that babies are master teachers— they come down and know exactly what lessons you need to learn

 

“Birth is the utmost of the feminine….”  

 

The goal is to gain awareness and presence so that we can create space to make choices.

 

Women deserve to love their birth story, no matter what. 

 

It’s about honoring the mother, the father and the child.  In presence, we get a chance to bring honor back to daily life.

 

 

Rachael’s recommendation: Unpack the baggage while you’re pregnant!

 

elementalbirthrites.com

 

Reclaiming pregnancy and birth as a rite of passage (facebook)

 

elementalmidwifery.com

 

Elemental Birthrites IG

 

 

Wasn’t that powerful?  I just love speaking with someone who has both intense passion and insight, and that’s exactly what Rachael brought to this conversation.  As we head into the episode roundup, let’s go over a few of these incredible topics

Episode Roundup:

  1. I promise I didn’t pay Rachael to talk about this— But the topic just keeps coming up, and I know it’s vitally important.  The concept that we can choose not to feel like victims of our birthing experiences.  We can ready ourselves for the balancing act of both birth preparation and feminine wildness, and we can positively claim our birth stories, no matter the specifics of how they unfold.
  2. I love the concept of honoring these rites of passage in order to more deeply appreciate the beauty in our day to day being. The element of presence in each moment— wow, it just adds such depth to every experience, both big and small.
  3. Finally… unpack your baggage.  I love the emphasis Rachael puts on finding a way that works for you to heal yourself in pregnancy.  You know, gestation is such a time of transformation already, adding this highly important work of healing only makes sense in such a time, and it seems to reason that our minds are already in a place of willingness to take on such a task.  As she mentioned, there are so many ways we can approach healing, so find what works for you.  Counseling, Rachael’s course, self-directed.  During my second pregnancy I found such great healing and fear release through reading the Psalms.  But whatever you choose, set the intention to heal those wounds and I know the results will overwhelm you.

 

So there you have it, my friends.  What a lovely and helpful conversation. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.  Be sure to go check out Rachael’s website and course, and get to healing! That’s all I’ve got for you today, and I look forward to seeing you back here next week. 

 

Hey Mamas, I have a free class waiting for you!  Homebirth Mythbusters, The 5 myths you need to bust to have a happy homebirth is my free gift to all of you who are considering homebirth, planning your fifteenth homebirth, or are just curious to know more about what this is all about.  Head to myhappyhomebirth.com/mythbusters to select a time that works for you, and get started!  You’ll gain access to not only this incredible free masterclass, but you’ll also be given access to sign up for Happy Homebirth Academy AND an incredible BONUS Stack of resources.  So wait no longer!  Head to myhappyhomebirth.com/mythbusters and reserve your seat today!  Okay, back to the show!

Midwives… have you ever experienced that moment in labor with a client where you know it’s a fork in the road?  What do you do and say?  What… if that client is also your daughter?.

 

And this week’s interview is special indeed.  We’re speaking with Tori Justesen and her mama and midwife Stacey Bufkin all about what it was like to hold both a mother and daughter and midwife/client relationship.  

 

This interview is phenomenal, and Stacey and Tori bring up aspects of birth that are going to be so valuable, so make sure you’re hanging onto every word— don’t worry, it’s impossible not to.  

 

 

And hey, if you get a moment, would you stop over to apple podcasts and leave a hopefully 5 star rating and review? It’s..

 

Okay my friends, I can’t leave you hanging any longer.  Let’s hop into this interview with Stacey and Tori.  Please remember

 

Show Notes

Stacey has been working in the birth world for 2 decades now. She is a licensed midwife in Alabama, and she has been very involved in the political aspect of midwifery on a state level for many years.  She has fought for the decriminalization and licensure of midwifery in that state.

 

Tori, Stacey’s daughter became pregnant with her first child/Stacey’s first grandchild in 2019, due April 2020.  

 

She knew she would have a homebirth, and she knew exactly who would be on her birth team.

 

She became pregnant easily, telling her mother of the pregnancy by dumping a pile of supplements on her mother’s bed and asking “which of these should I stop taking?  I’m pregnant.”

 

Tori’s chiropractor helped her both with adjustments and supplementation, which she attributes to her easy pregnancy.

 

She and her husband did the Bradley Method

 

She exercised throughout pregnancy, and went in healthy and low risk.

 

 In April of 2020, of course Covid fear had set in, and the implication on birth and the hospital setting was massive.  

 

Stacey and Torie decided together that she would take on a few additional clients.  Stacey made out a list of the types of clients she would be willing to take: She wanted to make sure her clients weren’t merely running away from the hospital, but who were running towards homebirth.

Stacey also has a lung condition, which concerned Torie and her son.  

 

Tori says, “Well, I was a typical first time mom, so I did way too much trying to get my baby to come.”

 

At 41.6, Tori realized her water had broken, and she noticed that there was some meconium (baby’s first poop).  This threw her off a bit for a moment.   

 

90% of her labor was in the shower or tub.  

 

Tori was experiencing back labor, so her mother did an exam to see if there was a positional issue, or if this is just how Tori was going to labor.  It turned out to be both position and sensation.  Stacey helped Tori’s baby renavigate and reposition through 6 hours of positions, one of which being Walcher’s (very intense)

 

When Stacey was ready to have her midwife support person come, both of the women she had on call for her were at other births.  Stacey thought to call her friend Luicelli, who she and Tori both refer to as Mother Teresa.  She came to their aid, and she was the perfect person.  They consider this divine intervention.

 

Tori realizes now that when she was at the brink of “I can’t do this,” it was much because she was still trying to hold onto the reins of control in her labor instead of surrendering.

 

Luicelli took Stacey out of the room and asked her, “What needs to happen now?”  Stacey knew Tori was at a fork in the road, and she knew exactly what she needed to go say to her— she just didn’t want to be the one to say it (though she knew she had to be).

 

Stacey went to her and said, “I don’t care what you do— but this about you owning your birth and stepping into your power.  You are not a victim of your labor or birth, this is what you were given.  And your decisions moving forward need to come from a place of power.”  

 

Soon after, Tori gave birth to her baby.  She loved pushing and feeling the progress.  The funniest part of her labor was after the head was born, Tori said to Stacey, “pull him out!” Stacey replied, “I can’t do that for you!”

 

Stacey was very intentional with caring for Tori postpartum.  Her parents made certain to make all of the meals, had champagne brunches and herbal baths every evening.  Gatekeeping was highly important, too.   They always had fresh sheets, room spray, snacks, laundry etc.  Her mom gifted her with an IBCLC and placenta encapsulation.

 

Stacey shares how deeply important it is for families to care for mothers postpartum.  

 

Episode Roundup

 

WOAH.  I’m blown away with all that I gained from this interview.  I believe it’s one I’ll need to go over several times to really glean all of those golden bits of useful advice.  As we head into the episode roundup, I want to pull out the three that I found to be deeply invaluable.  

 

  1. You are not a victim of your birth.  Now, as Stacey and Tori alluded, this may not ALWAYS be the best way to speak to someone in labor- relationship and an understanding of what is needed is key.  But assuming we are NOT currently in labor as we listen to this, I want you to really begin to contemplate this concept.  Listen, whatever is going to happen is going to happen.  When it comes to preparation, we can do it all.  We can check every single box, prepare 100%, and the wildness of birth can take us to a situation we did not expect at all.  There are no guarantees in birth and there’s no way to will a specific outcome.  Of course I believe preparation is massively important, but we can only control so much.  But… our perspective?  Our outlook?  Our FRAME through which we view our birth and situation?  That’s really up to you, friend.  And hard as it may be, choosing step into empowerment about your birth, beforehand if possible, but it’s never too late to reframe after… it can make all of the difference.
  2. I love the discussion that came up regarding transition and the flip that switched for Tori.  I’ll say it again, I believe that that switch is never turned off, and it’s what propels us so strongly into motherhood.  It’s so fascinating, this exact conversation was brought up inside of the Happy Homebirth Podcast Community just the other day.  If you aren’t in there, you’re missing out on some incredible conversation!
  3. And finally… POST. PARTUM.  You know, I think this episode, whether the whole thing or even just the end on postpartum, would be great to share with friends and family who may be around to help you postpartum.  Mamas, we need help postpartum.  We need support.  We need a community.  Because of the medical industrial complex and the way it’s pulled mamas and babies apart for generations now, we can’t expect our parents to know how important postpartum is.  Many of our own mothers didn’t receive the care that they needed postpartum— it’s foreign.  So sharing this information could be a great way to open up conversation about how you could receive help in the days and weeks following birth.  Taking time to heal is a gift so much deeper than anything else on the baby register.

 

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

 

Have you always known that you wanted to have biological children, or is that something that came with time?

 

Nikki’s decision to have biological children wasn’t one that she and her husband had in mind for the majority of their 13 years of marriage. Her decision took time and much consideration, as you’ll soon hear.

 

Before we get started, can I ask you a favor?  If this podcast has been of help to you, could you hop over to apple podcasts and leave a 5 star rating, and hopefully even a review?  It’s an easy, free way to support the show, and it truly means the world to me.

 

Okay, let’s waste no time and jump into Nikki’s incredible story!

 

Show Notes:

 

Nikki listened to to every single podcast episode leading up to her pregnancy, and she felt it truly helped her prepare for what was to come.

 

She originally thought she and her husband would only foster/adopt their children.  She explains how that changed in this Youtube Video: Why I Changed My Mind About Having  Babies

 

Nikki’s dealt with chronic pain since she was 13 years old, so the though of being pregnant terrified her.

Now that she’s experienced the miracle of creating life,

Nikki would love to have lots of biological children, though they may also still adopt, too

Therapist said, “You think you can’t do it, you don’t KNOW you can’t do it.”

Nikki’s pregnancy: It was half horrible, half perfectly fine!

She was sick the entire time— throwing up until days before she gave birth

She aimed for a very low-key stress-free pregnancy.  She ate well through the book Real Food for Pregnancy by Lily Nichols

As soon as she became pregnant she began researching

She went to a birth center and met with a midwife there.  When she left, she thought, “This is like a fake version of what I actually want.”  She then did a vlog in a Kroger’s parking lot sharing about how if she weren’t pseudo internet famous, she thinks she’d have a homebirth, because it’s what feels right for her pregnancy.

So many people messaged her saying “don’t let that stop you!”

At the original appointment, the midwife bothered her in two big ways:

  1. She didn’t interact with her husband Dan at all, and they thought of the pregnancy as “their” pregnancy
  2. She didn’t get the feeling that the birth center would actually support informed consent

 

She reached out to one more midwife, Jen, and she immediately realized she was the one for her.

 

Nikki’s opinion: If you’re not going to prepare, you’re going to end up with something you don’t want.

 

She dove down and read books and consumed 70% positive birth content with some bits of “what if” transport stories to feel prepared no matter what.

 

The end of the pregnancy was hard for her, but she doesn’t feel confident that she felt any worse than any other woman

 

Nikki thinks she was in prodromal labor for a few weeks before labor began

 

She mentions that she didn’t have many checks or tests during her pregnancy, and for the next she’ll do even less.  She did the glucola test, which didn’t give accurate results because she never has sugar.  She learned that next time she’ll decline or test her blood sugar at home instead.

 

The night she went into labor, at 12:30am her husband was feeling sick, so he took some Nyquil.  Not long after, Nikki had to go pee.  When she wiped, she realized there was blood.  She tried to wake Dan up, but he couldn’t get up— He’d just taken Nyquil!

 

Nikki labors by herself for a few hours, then wakes Dan up.  He goes to fill up the birthing pool, and she suddenly feels something “stuck”….He looks to see that her bag of waters is bulging out of her vagina.  Dan snaps a picture and sends it to their midwife, Jen.

Jen heads out and lets Dan know that he may be catching the baby without her there.  He’s excited!

 

Nikki remembers her mom saying, “Oh, you’ll love your baby so much that you’ll forget the pain.”  She says that she didn’t forget the pain— it was painful to her—but because she was so loved and supported during it, she has nothing but love and positive feelings around it.

 

She feels like it’s important to note that there are people who come out of the birthing experience and into postpartum unscathed.  Her recovery was relatively easy, and she feels that much of that is related to the fact that she had such a wonderful birthing experience.

 

 

Nikki Phillippi on Youtube and Instagram!

 

Nikki's Birth Video

 

Episode Roundup:

Isn’t Nikki so personable AND insightful?  Honestly, choosing the clip to play at the beginning of the episode was so hard, because she had so many great points!  As we head into the episode roundup, let me cover a few:

  1. “if you don’t prepare, you’re going to end up with something that you don’t want.”  I think this is such an important point.  Culturally, we often times put so much emphasis on things like weddings and baby showers and nursery decorations… but the reality is that the decisions made regarding your pregnancy, labor and postpartum… they have the ability to stay with you and impact you indefinitely.  Doing your best to prepare, no matter the actual outcome, whether things go completely according to plan or completely off track…. The actual energy that you put forth into preparation provides so much empowerment in your experience.
  2. Which leads to my next point: Our need to balance the concept of control and…. Lack of control.  You know, I’ve noticed lately a number of mothers who are unhappy with their birthing experiences, even those who have “successful” homebirths.  I think somehow the idea that if birth doesn’t look exactly a certain way, sometimes moms may feel as though it’s a failure.  To me, it seem so important to appreciate your individual experience for what it is.  To appreciate what was given to you, and to recognize that we only have control over our own small sphere.  There’s a massive amount of unknown to our stories, and we have to be willing to hold it all with an open hand.  You can still have an empowered experience even when things don’t go quite as planned, or don’t look quite how you’d imagined.  I loved hearing how Nikki recognized that from the very beginning.
  3. And finally, I love hearing how Dan and Nikki worked together so wonderfully in labor.  Truthfully, I imagine much of this comes from the way they approached their pregnancy and labor as “theirs”.  Both took ownership, both felt connected and responsible.  Dan’s comfort level with potentially catching their baby alone showed how connected he was to the experience.  What a beautiful story.

Okay my friends,  make sure you go check Nikki out on Youtube and Instagram.  Like I said at the beginning, she’s such a lovely balance of personality and insight.  It was a blast having her on the show.  Alrighty, that’s all I’ve got for you today.  I’ll see you back here next week.

 

 

If you had your baby at your due date or after… how did you feel?  Tired?  Ready? Frustrated that it was taking so long? 

Taylor?  Well, she was thrilled to carry her baby as long as she did.  After experiencing several preterm births, she loved every moment of her longer, seventh pregnancy.  This birth story is so lovely, I can’t wait to share it!

 

Before we jump in, may I ask you a favor? If you’re on facebook, can you run check and see if you’re following Happy Homebirth Podcast?  We’re growing and excited to get our resources in front of more and more mothers.  So help us out by clicking ‘like’, and maybe even sharing with your friends!

 

Okay, let’s get to the good stuff!

 

Show Notes

7 Kids- Decided to leave the number of children up to the Lord

With their third child, they began following Mama Natural, and Taylor began becoming interested in homebirth

Taylor experiences Hypremesis Gravidum during her pregnancies, which occurred again during her seventh pregnancy.

During that time, her husband would help when he could homeschool after work, and she would do educational videos and audiobooks 

After she got through the first weeks of sickness, she actually felt amazing.  

Her midwife very much encouraged nutrition during pregnancies, so she feels she’s improved her nutrition more with each pregnancy

As someone who has gone into labor prematurely several times before, she was concerned that she’d begin having prodromal labor.  However, this last pregnancy, she didn’t even have any noticeable contractions in the last month.

She felt great, went on plenty of hikes, and went to the chiropractor

Magnesium supplementation was highly important in this pregnancy, and she felt it was of great help at keeping pain away

Taylor took Gentle Birth tincture and ate dates at the end of her pregnancy

Her midwife came and checked her and she was 7 cm.  Everyone expected a quick labor from that point.  Little did they know, they were in it for the long haul.

Typically with Taylor’s births, as soon as her water breaks, she has her babies very quickly

However, because her baby’s head was never in a good position, her midwife did not feel comfortable going that route.

Taylor finally had a moment where she cried out to God, then said she felt like he wasn’t answering.  It was around this time where she realized that she was still holding onto quite a bit of fears from earlier in the pregnancy:  they initially thought the pregnancy may be ectopic, then they received scary news from an anatomy scan when the baby’s stomach couldn’t be visualized.  Though another scan revealed the baby was healthy, the fears still lingered. Taylor realized during birth that she was holding onto the fear that she may not get to meet this baby still.

Once she released these fears, suddenly her baby moved position and came down the birth canal.  Her midwife was able to break her water, and Taylor got into the birth pool.

At one point in the water,  Taylor was trying to read the scripture cards that she and her children had created together.  Her doula and assistant midwife came over and read the scriptures over her during labor.

The song that meant so much to her during pregnancy, Peace Be Still, was actually what was playing when her son was born.

 

 

Episode Roundup

 

What a lovely story!  Let’s head into this week’s episode roundup:

  1. I first want to point out how deeply the events of our pregnancies can impact our births.  Taylor realized in the throes of labor that she was still holding onto fears that had been with her from the early days of her pregnancy, as well as the middle.  These stressful experiences and certainties reared their heads as she fought to bring her baby forth in labor.  It took the release of these events to truly help her baby get into position for birth.
  2. How wonderful to hear of Taylor’s midwife’s wisdom.  Though they felt confident that breaking Taylor’s water would speed up labor, her midwife knew that doing this before baby was in a quality position was not at all a good idea and did not recommend it, instead attempting positions to help baby shift into a better place.
  3. And finally, how wonderful to be surrounded by a birth team who truly knows you and and recognizes what you need.  The picture of Taylor’s doula and birth assistant coming over to read scripture over her was just such a gorgeous vision.  Choosing the right people to be with you in labor makes such an important impact.

Alrighty, Before we head out, can I ask you to head to apple podcasts?  If you’re loving this show, could you support us by leaving a 5-star rating and review?  It’s an easy, free way to support the mission of Happy Homebirth.  Okay my friends.  That’s all I’ve got for you today.  I’ll see you back here next week!

 

 

Mythbusters Info:

Hey Mamas, let me interrupt for a few quick moments to share some great news!  I have a free class waiting for you!  Homebirth Mythbusters, The 5 myths you need to bust to have a happy homebirth is my free gift to all of you who are considering homebirth, planning your fifteenth homebirth, or are just curious to know more about what this is all about.  Head to myhappyhomebirth.com/mythbusters to select a time that works for you, and get started!  You’ll gain access to not only this incredible free masterclass, but you’ll also be given access to sign up for Happy Homebirth Academy AND an incredible BONUS Stack of resources.  So wait no longer!  Head to myhappyhomebirth.com/mythbusters and reserve your seat today!  Okay, back to the show!

 

 

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