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.

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!

 

 

When did you decide to have a homebirth?  Was it at 6 weeks pregnant? 12? 29? ….Were you in labor and 9.5 centimeters?  Not to give it all away, but Ren’s decision to give birth at home wasn’t an early one by any stretch of the imagination.  I know you’re going to love how it all unfolded.  

 

Now, before we dive in, I always want to be very careful and upfront about particularly difficult content.  You have the right to know if an upcoming topic could be traumatic for you for any reason.  In between Ren’s two lovely birth stories, she shares her heartbreaking experience of loss and medical termination.  This is very heavy subject matter, and Ren’s story is so important, and she shares her heart in the situation.  But if you are at a place in pregnancy, or simply life in general where you feel that particular topic could cause trauma, please know that it will be between the two stories. We’ll begin that part of the discussion after the homebirth mythbusters ad, for anyone wanting a marker.

And because the situation was so heartbreaking for everyone, and because it was quite similar to a situation that happened to someone I love very deeply, I have spent some time searching for resources to add to the show notes for anyone who has experienced, or is currently experiencing, a situation like Ren’s.  Please be sure to check out the episode roundup, as well as the show notes. 

 

As we prepare to jump in, if you’re loving this podcast and you’d like to support it, an amazing free way to do that is by heading to apple podcasts and leaving a *hopefully* 5 star rating, and a review, if you’re willing and feeling extra loving!  It’s truly a fantastic way to help other mothers find this information.

 

Okay, my friends.  With all of that being said, let’s dive in.  As always, please remember that the opinions of my guest may not necessarily reflect my own and vice versa, and neither one of us are medical professionals, so continue to see your doctor, your midwife, or if you’re like me, your chiropractor.

 

Show Notes

Ren and her husband Got married at 29, and although she loved children, she didn’t want to get pregnant.  Mostly because she feared the discomfort of pregnancy.

 

Eventually, at age 36, she and her husband decided they’d try for one year for a baby.  If it happened, that would be the answer.  If it didn’t, they were comfortable with that being their answer as well.

On month 2, Ren got a positive pregnancy test. She was shocked!

 

She had nausea for her first pregnancy, the second trimester was golden, and she was simply tired.

 

She decided to use midwives, and though she knew that midwives did homebirths, she had no plans to do that.  She joked with them that she wanted her epidural placed a week before labor.

 

Ren and her husband did choose to hire a doula, especially because they don’t have any close family living in their vicinity.  

 

As labor approached, Ren experienced prodromal labor.  She went for a Non-Stress Test at 41 weeks, and the doctor shared with her that she’d only had one contraction the whole time.  She thought she might be pregnant for quite a bit longer.

 

That night, she was struggling with prodromal symptoms again, but her doula was firm that she wanted to come over.  Ren said no, that it could go on like this for days, but her doula was adamant.

 

The doula arrived at 2… her baby was born at 5.

 

Ren’s doula told her later that when she arrived, she had a suspicion that she was already in active labor, though she didn’t want to get her hopes up.

 

That night, the hospital Ren wanted to go to was not accepting new pregnant patients, as one of their 2 doctors had a medical emergency.  She was now going to have to go to another hospital further away.

 

 Her doula encouraged her to go to the hospital to get some pain medication.  She said that even if she wasn’t in active labor, she hadn’t slept in several nights and it would be good to get some relief.  So the doula called the ambulance to come transport her, and she also called the midwife on call, because she knew she lived close to Ren.  She asked her to come check before the ambulance got there. 

 

The midwife arrived right as the ambulance did, and realized Ren was already 9.5 centimeters.

 

The team informed her that she could of course get in the ambulance, but that there was a good chance that the baby would be born en route, which could be difficult. It was at that moment that Renee decided she’d have a homebirth!

 

She did have to push for a few hours, but Ren ended up giving birth on her yoga mat in her living room.

 

Renee did have a third degree tear, so she actually ended up having to transport to the hospital after the birth.

 

 

After this birth, Renee thought that she’d be a “one and done” parent.  She’s an attachment parent, and wanted to make sure that she could give her daughter the emotional resources she needed.

 

However, as her daughter edged closer to 3 and a half, she started thinking about how she wanted her child to grow up with a sibling, and how being an only child could be difficult as an adult, especially in regards to navigating the death of parents.

 

At 39, Ren and her husband decided to “give it another year” as they had the first time.

 

In Dec 2019 Ren got a positive pregnancy test.  

 

Her first trimester was very difficult with sickness.  She didn’t want to share with her daughter why she was sick or why she was so sure she would get better, so navigating was quite hard!

 

After her first ultrasound, Ren got a call that said there was an anomaly detected with the baby, and she would be referred to another specialist for further ultrasounds.

 

With further check, it was found that Ren’s baby had anencephaly, where a portion of his skull was missing, and that there was brain tissue floating around the fluid-filled sack of the hole.  

 

More testing revealed that this baby was a girl, which is what she and her husband had hoped for- two little girls.

 

She learned that there was a high chance that she would miscarry in the upcoming weeks, that if the baby were carried to term it would likely not survive birth, and if she did, she would likely not live long after.  If she were to beat all odds, she would have significant genetic impariment.

 

Ren and her husband made the agonizing decision to terminate the pregnancy, as she felt the odds were too stacked against her.

 

She spent 3 months processing what had happened and taking a prescribed prenatal pill.  

 

After the first month of trying, Ren got a positive pregnancy test— which she didn’t believe!  

 

Ren decided to wait until she was a bit further along to reach out to her midwives, as she didn’t want to make the appointments and then have to cancel them.

 

That first trimester was even worse than the previous, as she was so incredibly sick.  

 

She knew she wanted to have a homebirth, but especially with covid, they were very glad to be planning a homebirth.

 

MFM recommended that she be induced at 39 weeks, so then Ren had to grapple with the idea of “is this unsafe to have a homebirth” even though her midwives did share that this was not backed by great research.

 

Ren began doing acupuncture at the beginning of the 3rd trimester.  Her acupuncturist knew that she wanted to give birth before before 39 weeks in hopes of avoiding even the concern of choosing between an induction or homebirth.  She began trying to help things along once they were further into the 3rd trimester.

 

At 38 weeks Ren realized that she was leaking fluid in the middle of the night.  Labor progressed very slowly, and babe wasn’t born until 48 hours after she began leaking fluid.

 

During those 48 hours, she bounced on the birth ball, she went to a last minute chiropractor appointment, and her doulas came over to “shake the apple tree”.  

 

Ren encourages women to make sure that they’re preparing mentally for birth— more time focusing on mindset.

 

In the evening, her doula came over to give support.  Ren’s husband went upstairs to try to comfort their daughter back to sleep, but she wanted her mom.  She ended up coming downstairs to snuggle, which Ren believes was the oxytocin boost she needed to really encourage labor.

 

She noticed that this labor felt more painful because of her mindset.  She felt like it hurt much more, she was far more noisy and felt like she was having more breakdowns.  

 

She was trying to avoid urges to push, as the second midwife was not yet there.  But finally, a shift was made and there was no holding back the push.  Ren was pushing and apologizing at the same time (her midwives assured her that it was okay!). 

 

Ren’s daughter was able to cut the cord, which was a beautiful experience for everyone.

 

 

 

Episode Roundup

 

Wow, what a story.  It’s filled with love, loss, heartache and beauty. As we head into this week’s episode roundup, my heart is heavy. I know that Ren is not the only mother out there who has experienced or is experiencing a painful diagnosis for their baby and all of the fear and sorrow that accompanies such an event.  In preparing for this episode, I did reach out to a group of midwives and doulas and even a bereavement doula, who provided me with some resources that their clients have used in the past. Those recommendations have been put in the show notes for you.  If you’re unsure of how to check show notes, usually you can just swipe up on your podcasting app, or go to myhappyhomebirth.com/episode118. Ren also sent me an organization that she found very helpful, and that will be included as well.  

You know, I so deeply value the sanctity and sacredness of life, and I so greatly mourn with the mothers and families who are faced with these situations and all of the aftermath that comes with such painful diagnoses.  More than anything, if this pertains to you, I want you to know that you’re not walking this alone.  And if you need support, encouragement or hope, please reach out to me.  I will gladly help you navigate in any way that I can.  Thank you Ren for for feeling safe to share your heartache with us.  And not only your heartache, but your triumphs.

To decide at 9.5 centimeters in your kitchen that it’s time for a homebirth… when you previously declared that you wanted an epidural a week before labor… that’s incredible.  My friends, it goes to show you… it’s never too late to change plans!

Next, the oxytocin boost of her last labor… this truly caught my attention.  I love that Ren’s daughter’s presence was the catalyst for the increase of intensity in her second birth.  Our hormones are so important when it comes to the physiology of childbirth, as Ren’s snuggly daughter so perfectly showcases.

 

Okay, my friends.  That’s all I’ve got for you this week.  Thank you, thank you for listening, and I look forward to seeing you back here next week.

Ren's Recommended Resource:

https://www.sayinggoodbye.org

 

More Resources:

https://pulse.seattlechildrens.org/how-to-handle-a-difficult-prenatal-diagnosis/

https://www.stillbirthday.com

https://www.umbrellaministries.com

https://www.benotafraid.net

https://www.carryingtoterm.org

https://www.care-net.org

 

 

All about Homebirth Mythbusters and Happy Homebirth Academy:

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!

Alright ladies, let’s talk about your period.  If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, think back to before you were pregnant or breastfeeding and let’s be honest:  How was your period?  Hey there Happy Homebirthers, and welcome to episode 117 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast.

 

And today we’re delving into the wild wild world of our hormones and how they relate to our cycle and overall health. I know that many of you are currently not having a period as you’re pregnant or early postpartum, but isn’t this a perfect time to stop and reflect on your cycle and plan for its eventual return?  

We’re speaking with two of my very favorite women, Kelly and Tiffany of Beautiful One Midwifery.  They’re licensed midwives and period experts, and they’re going to be sharing the importance of healing your cycle if it is indeed out of balance.

 

Get ready, because this episode is a gold mine for considering what may be going on with your hormones. 

 

Before we jump in, I want to take a moment to thank our reviewer of the week, jmccormack1315.

 

Show Notes

Tiffany and Kelly’s goal when opening their practice:
To remind families that midwives do more than just help catch babies

Well women care is a huge part of their practice

Their goal is to help women take control and ownership of their health journey

They created a podcast to reach more people with this information

They want to help more people more easily, and decided to create a course to help mothers: Fixing Your Period

The attitudes around normal, healthy cycles in our bodies is totally off

They wanted to create a program that was actually accessible and doable

90% of women who come in for well women care come in with health issues that they can’t quite put their finger on— and it almost always comes down to hormones

We have a new opportunity each cycle to try again and see what gains we can improve

Many mothers notice their cycles and periods get progressively worse after babies and postpartum

 

@beautifulonemidwifery

beautifulonemidwifery.com/shop

Podcast: Lady Stuff with Kelly and Tiffany

 

 

Episode Roundup:

  1. Just because something is common does not mean it’s normal. Just because most women are struggling with their cycles in some way does not mean that we SHOULD be struggling with our cycles indefinitely.  Which leads me to my co-point,
  2. Being a woman does not mean we have to be mood-swingy emotional heaps with acne and migraines.  There are small steps that we can take that can make a massive impact on our hormonal health, which not only helps us, but it helps our families, our relationships, and darn it, our overall enjoyment of life.  

 

So if you’re struggling with your period, or if you’re ready to start preparing BEFORE your cycle comes back— because you KNOW this type of care is going to benefit you whether you’re cycling or pregnant—then I highly encourage you to go check out Tiffany and Kelly at Beautiful One Midwifery and get to Fixing Your Period!

 

Okay my friends, that’s all I’ve got for you today.  I look forward to seeing you back here next week.  

 

What do you do when you become pregnant unexpectedly…and your husband is scheduled to deploy…and you have two littles at home to take care of? For Holly, this was her reality.  You’ll hear how Holly managed her last pregnancy and birth, along with her learning process related to hormone health.  It’s a fascinating episode! 

And before we jump in, I want to take just a moment to thank our reviewer of the week, mama bookworm.

Mama book worm, thank you SO much for taking the time.  It means so much to me.  If you’ll reach out to me at katelyn@myhappyhomebirth.com I’ll be sure to send you a Happy Homebirth Podcast sticker.

 

If you’re loving these incredible stories and you have a few free moments, would you scoot over to apple podcasts and leave the show a *hopefully* 5 star rating, and maybe even a review?  It’s a wonderful, free way to support the happy homebirth mission and to get this information into the ears of mothers everywhere!

 

Okay, let’s get to the fun stuff! 

 

Show Notes:

Holly and her husband Will have 3 kiddos- first homebirth was her most recent birth.

 

Last semester of nursing school, Holly and her husband decided to start trying for their first baby.  They weren’t sure how long it would take them to get pregnant due to some hormone imbalances Holly had.

She went to visit her husband on spring break, happened to be ovulating, and got pregnant the first time!

They moved to Ohio to finish up the pregnant, and Holly ended up having a midwife at the hospital for her care.  She enjoyed her experience.

She found out that her baby was posterior towards the end of pregnancy

Labor started in the late evening, and Holly looks back and remembers that she didn’t rest- instead she decided she needed to shave her legs and fix her hair

She went to the hospital at 3am and was sent back home

She came back to the hospital and was still not “far enough along” to be admitted

Soon after, Holly’s water broke, and once that happened, it wasn’t long before baby was born.

Holly had one high blood pressure reading—when they were placing the epidural… so they required her to stay an extra day in the hospital

At 18months postpartum, Holly and her husband decided to try to get pregnant again.  This was when her hormonal issues began to truly show.  

She had several chemical pregnancies and went see an endocrinologist.  They requested that she’d try one round of Clomid + a “trigger” shot to force ovulation, and they got pregnant

At 22 weeks, They moved to GA, and they got on with a local OB.

Another posterior baby

Holly experienced a good bit of prodromal labor with this baby

Holly asked to be induced at 41 weeks.  

They had to arrive at 4:30, but couldn’t go back until 9— apparently there were a number of emergencies on the floor earlier that day (not what you want to hear!)

She does feel that she and her husband were far more prepared for coping during this labor

Once again, within an hour of receiving her epidural, Holly was ready to push

Another easy-going hospital birth!

The transition from one to two children for them was super easy.

Between her last two children, Holly began really considering what she was putting “in, on and around” her body

She knew that if she wanted to have the experience of the natural birth, she would either have to accidentally get to the hospital too late, or she’d have to have a homebirth.  The epidural was like dangling a carrot in front of a horse!

They knew they wanted to have a baby, but they were going to wait until after her husband was deployed in the spring of 2020.

He left for training, and Holly wasn’t feeling well.  When he came home, she decided to take a test—- and they were pregnant!  They were excited, but worried since he was deploying.

She was excited, though, because she’d been working so hard to rebalance her hormones.

They realized that her husband was scheduled to still be deployed when baby was born—by a month and a half

She told her husband she wanted a homebirth, and he was uncertain.  They watched The Business of Being Born and Why Not Home, and he was completely on board after that.

Even though she was excited for her homebirth, she was feeling anxiety throughout the pregnancy because she knew her husband wouldn’t be there

Holly did decide to see an OB first, as she wanted to have the anatomy scan, and to have that covered by insurance.

She was not concerned with emergencies, but she was worried about being able to cope with the pain, especially since her husband wouldn’t be there.  That’s where Happy Homebirth (Podcast and Academy) came to the rescue!

Even though Holly is a nurse, she realized that there was quite a bit that she didn’t know or had forgotten that was covered inside of HHA.  It was incredibly helpful in here preparation!

Holly struggled to take care of herself during her third pregnancy.  Some days she would get to the end of the day and realize she hadn’t yet eaten.  

There was quite a bit of emotional up and down, as they realized that Will might make it back in time for the birth.  He arrived home 2 weeks before the baby’s birth.

Holly decided to have chiropractic care throughout her pregnancy.  She ended up with an optimally positioned baby!

The evening of labor, Holly woke up and went to take a bath.  She listened to Happy Homebirth and relaxed!

Holly points out that birth does not always go the way you expect— she untangled her baby’s umbilical cord, and exhaustedly leaned back against the birth pool.  She says she can even see it in pictures— how she looked blank, when she expected to be crying and excited about her baby.  The joy came minutes, later but she was surprised by the wait.  

When processing this with her doula and mentioning how it made her feel, her doula shared a quote “it is said that during labor, women travel to the stars to collect their babies and bring them back down to Earth” This completely reframed the way she felt about her exhausting and pause after labor—in the best way.

Holly’s birth team became some of her best support while her husband was gone.  Once her care ended postpartum, it felt like quite a loss for her.  

 

Episode roundup:

  1. Having someone there to process your birth with you is so encouraging
  2. Closing the relationship postpartum can feel like a loss for both parties, and that’s okay. 
  3. In the realm of hormones, they make such a massive difference.  If you’re interested in learning more about what Holly did, check out the show notes.  She sent me some resources to share with you.  If you don’t know how to access the show notes, by the way, usually you can do it straight on your podcast episode by scrolling down.  You can also go to myhappyhomebirth.com/episode116 to check them out on the website.  AND… be SURE to tune back in to next week’s podcast episode, where we’ll be learning all about hormones and how they impact your cycle with the incredible midwives of Beautiful One Midwifery.  Don’t miss it!  But that’s all I’ve got for you for now.  I’ll see you back here next week.

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