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Show Notes:

  • Sarah is the co-host of the Doing it at Home Podcast
  • She is a balance lifestyle coach who works with mothers in integrating their identities, purpose, confidence and sexuality
  • She is wife to her husband Matthew and Mom to her daughter Mya
  • Orgasmic Mama is the name of Sarah’s online membership program that she’s recently launched for moms to have a place to explore conversations regarding sexuality
  • Daily life before having a homebirth: “What the hell were we doing? We didn’t know how much time we had, really!” They were both working for a small marketing agency in Atlanta and had very flexible schedules.  Sarah shifted out of the agency and began working as a personal trainer.  She was then working with clients remotely related to lifestyle and balance
  • They found out they were pregnant the same week that Matthew decided he was also going to be leaving his job and starting his own consulting business. So much life change at once!
  • Getting pregnant: “We decided we wanted to conceive, and we got pregnant two seconds later.”
  • When she first found out she was pregnant, Sarah and Matthew went to see her OB. She’d only seen him for yearly exams since moving to Atlanta, so truly they’d only met twice. 
  • She was keen on having birth with as little intervention as possible: not being attached to anything, access to water and ice, to eat and drink etc. As they began establishing a relationship with her OB, they realized that her desires were not going to be met by this care provider and hospital
  • Sarah was watching the DVD series: Happy, Healthy Child and it began opening and expanding her mind about birth and parenting.
  • She was connected with a homebirth group that was about 15 minutes from her house. Matthew was a big part of the process, which was a big differentiator between the midwives and the hospital experience- it was an experience they were having together.  They were both pregnant together.
  • Sarah and Matthew both like sharing the fact that they did not immediately click into place that they would 100% have a homebirth. At first, Sarah was the one encouraging the idea while Matthew was more uncertain, and at one point, the tables turned and Matthew was for the homebirth while Sarah was unsure.  Finally, around 18-19 weeks, the two synced in opinion and decided they were going to go for it!
  • At that time, Sarah was looking for resources to connect with mothers who were deciding to have a similar birthing situation. As she and Matthew looked around, they really couldn’t find many resources.  In comes the entrepreneurial spirit: They decided to launch the Doing it at Home Podcast.
  • Several weeks after launching the show (after Mya was born), women began coming out of the woodwork wanting to share their own birth stories.
  • Sarah acknowledges that her pregnancy was beautiful and she thoroughly enjoyed it.
  • “Those midwife appointments were just amazing—Matthew came to every single one.”
  • Sarah and Matthew stacked up quite a large birth team, which worked for them. There were a total of 10 people in her bedroom when Mya was born—Mya not included!
  • Sarah wanted to make sure that Matthew had someone available for him during labor. She wanted to make sure that he was supported and cared for just as she was.  
  • Sarah’s Birth:
  • They were a day shy of 41 weeks
  • “Is this the last day that I’m going to be pregnant? The last shower that I’m going to take pregnant?” 
  • Sarah was doing all kinds of lunges and movements to try to get Mya to move down, as she was not yet engaged.
  • They went to an outside concert in September in Atlanta: The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performing John Williams music (Jurassic Park, Harry Potter, Star Wars)
  • As they walked back to the car from the concert, Sarah noticed that she was feeling very uncomfortable. When they got home between 10-11, Sarah couldn’t get comfortable in bed, so she went to the bath tub. 
  • By 1am-2am, they called Sarah’s midwife. That period of time was incredibly beautiful and magical for Sarah and Matthew. 
  • Matthew reminded her, “Be grateful for this experience.” That affirmation really resonated with Sarah and was something that she carried with her through the labor.
  • Matthew was so fascinated with all of the gear that the midwife brought to the birth: the oxygen tank, the medications for too much bleeding postpartum, etc..
  • The birth pool was blown up and Sarah got in, spending about 90% of active labor in the water.
  • Sarah discusses how the feelings of labor have such a unique quality: the intensity and the perhaps pain are with such purpose
  • Sarah’s total labor was about 12 hours
  • Her midwives encouraged Sarah to use the restroom- while she was sitting on the toilet, she remembers looking up into Matthew’s eyes and saying, “This really hurts.” Which to her, was more of a feeling of “what if I can’t do this” and because she was so emotionally, physically, and spiritually exhausted.
  • She felt like pushing was an amazing experience for her because up until that point, she felt like she had been tossed around in the waves- Once she was able to push, she felt like she was able to lock in physically.
  • Matthew held her and supported her physically throughout the entire 45 minutes of pushing.
  • Once Mya was born, Sarah’s midwife noticed that Sarah was losing too much blood. She helped Sarah to the bed and gave her Pitocin
  • Matthew put himself between Sarah and the midwife- he shielded her from the rest of the room, and even from what the midwife was doing to keep her focused on the baby and calm
  • Sarah discusses how she certainly did not expect to have a homebirth podcast, but loves how the fact that it has opened up so much possibility.
  • Doing it at Home Podcast
  • Parents on Demand
  • diahpodcast.com
  • sarahbivens.com

www.Instagram.com/sarahmbivens

 

 

Episode Roundup:

 

  1. Your partner can play such a critical role in the birthing experience. Of course this doesn’t match everyone’s situation or preference, but I love the idea of going into pregnancy as a couple and being “pregnant together.”  It certainly made me consider ways that I can include my husband in the experience more and make sure that his needs are met along with mine.
  2. The second point is just a thank you- thank you to the Doing it at Home Podcast and all of the other platforms that help normalize the birthing process. So much time, effort and energy is clearly put forth from their end, and yet they continue to show up every week.  What a blessing to have so many beautiful souls in the birthing community providing not only resources, but also community to birthing moms. 

 

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