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.

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.

So many people have chosen to forgo the hospital for childbirth because of Covid… but what happens when you’re planning an out of hospital birth and test positive for covid…at 37 weeks?  

 

That’s what happened to Kate, and it was quite a difficult time for her, as you’ll see.  But you’ll also see that Kate’s quite resourceful, and her experience certainly makes for an action-packed episode.

 

In fact, topics covered in this episode include: teen pregnancy, a forced induction, unexpected pregnancy, testing covid positive at 37 weeks, birth center births and becoming a midwife

 

Before we get into this incredible story, I’d love to take a moment to thank our reviewer of the week, KianaMichelleR. And I just have to say, that review was so deeply touching to me, Kiana.  Thank you for such a kind and specific compliment, it truly meant so much to me.  And, it’s a great opportunity for me to just stop and say thank you to all of you for listening.  I know sometimes it’s weird, and podcasts seem like a one way relationship, but I feel like I know you guys, too.  And I genuinely care about you.  So thank you for making this such a lovely space.  Kiana, if you’ll email me at katelyn@myhappyhomebirth.com I'd love to send you Happy Homebirth podcast sticker.

 

And hey, if you get a moment, would you head over to apple podcasts to leave a *hopefully* 5 star rating, and maybe even a review?  It’s a free, easy way to support the show and make sure this information gets into the ears of other mothers who would benefit from it.

 

Okay, that’s good for now.  Let’s get into the good part. 

 

Please remember the opinions of my guests may not necessarily reflect my own and vice versa, and neither one of us are medical professionals, so continue to see your doctor, midwife, or if you're like me, your chiropractor.

 

Show Notes

At 16, Kate decided to get pregnant.  The relationship disintegrated during the pregnancy, but her mother was great support.

She didn’t get great childbirth education for that birth.

 

She did her best to breastfeed her first, but she’d never seen anyone nurse before.  The breastfeeding relationship lasted 6 weeks.

 

With her second pregnancy, she waited until she was in a good relationship (5 years later) before becoming pregnant.  

 

Wanted a girl but didn’t want to know the gender, but the ultrasound tech accidentally gave away that it was a boy at 15 weeks.

 

She was in pre-nursing school at this time.

 

At 37 weeks, she had one high blood pressure reading, so they recommended induction.  She was only 1 cm dilated and baby at -3 station, yet they broke her water.  Luckily, there were no complications.

 

2 hours later she was complete.  The nurse told her to do a practice push, and the baby began crowning.  The nurse shoved her legs together and told her not to push.  She waited 10-15 minutes for the Dr to come in from a C-section.

 

She’d asked for delayed cord clamping, but the Dr. Clamped it immediately after birth.  

 

The nursing staff made the baby take formula because he had jaundice, and she was incredibly disappointed with that.

 

Went back to work at 4 weeks postpartum.

 

10 months postpartum, she jokingly took an ovulation test with a friend— it was such a strong positive, that she worried that the HCG was high meaning she was actually pregnant.  She took 3 pregnancy tests.

 

Her husband had just told her that he didn’t want more kids— so she was terrified when she found out that she was actually pregnant.

 

One month later she found out that she’d been accepted into nursing school.

 

Kate used podcasts, especially Happy Homebirth, to prepare for her pregnancy.  She couldn’t go to a childbirth education program in person because of covid, so this was her form of preparation and even almost “hypnosis”

 

With all that was going on, and her inability to start nursing school in August, she began looking into schooling to become a Certified Professional Midwife.  

 

At 37 weeks, they found out that her husband was positive for covid.  Kate tested negative at that time.  She was absolutely crushed and frustrated.  She knew she wouldn’t be able to go to the birth center for 10 days.

 

Her midwife advised her that if she were to go into labor within the next 10 days that she go to the hospital— which Kate was not willing to do.

 

She searched high and low, and finally found a midwife who agreed that she would attend her birth at home if she went into labor within the next 10 days.  That night she started having contractions and was concerned that it was time.  The midwife told her to take a shower and see how things went-  Luckily the contractions calmed down and she stayed pregnant.

 

On Oct 8th she had some minor contractions, but she didn’t think much of them because of the previous false alarm.

 

Decided to go to the birth center that evening to get checked.  When she arrived, another mother was there having a decently long labor.  She was in the birth room Kate had wanted!

 

Kate laid on the peanut ball for several contractions, and suddenly she was in very active labor.

 

Kate got in the birth pool at 9 cm, and she soon began to push.  She only pushed 3 times, 

 

She remembers that her husband said something to the baby, and the baby looked up at him directly.

 

Kate loved the fact that her birth team completely respected her wishes.  

 

She did a cord burning, which she loved so that all could be involved.

 

She loved the fact that while she was settling down, she could hear a mother in the next room beginning to push.

 

Instagram: Katedecker99

 

School is going great for her, and she now works at the birth center where she had her baby.

 

Episode Roundup:

 

  1. Stress has a physiological effect, as Kate discussed when she went through her covid scare at 37 weeks.  She began having contractions and the like.  This is just a small example of why it’s so important for us to mitigate that stress whenever possible.  Obviously, Kate couldn’t control the situation around her… but sometimes, a hot shower will do just the thing!
  2. Isn’t it so neat to hear stories that have such an unexpected twist?  The fact that Kate went to the birth center assuming she’d head home soon… hops on a peanut ball, and suddenly she’s ready to push out a baby!  Our bodies are just amazing.
  3. And finally, we need more midwives.  I’m so excited that Kate is working towards joining the ranks, and if you’re out there wondering if birth work might be right for you… this is me saying, hey!  If you’re feeling called, try it out.  We need you!

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

How do we prepare for the unknowns of birth and postpartum in a holistic, positive way, even when we know that we can’t control every aspect of our experience?

 

This week we’re speaking with Jenny and Wendy, sisters and owners of Pure Motherhood Co.  Jenny and Wendy have experienced their fair share of birth plan pivots, and they’re teamed up to provide resources for mothers from pregnancy through postpartum regarding the process.  I know you’ll enjoy this conversation.  Stick around until the end—so many amazing nuggets are shared!

 

Before we dive into this episode, let me take a quick moment to thank our reviewer of the week, Aloha Zo.  Thanks so much, Zoe, and if you’ll send me an e-mail at katelyn@myhappyhomebirth.com, I’ll be sure to send you a Happy Homebirth Podcast sticker!

 

Okay friends, let’s jump into our chat with the founders of Pure Motherhood Co, Wendy and Jenny!

 

Show Notes

Jenny Gallard and Wendy Davis both live in Florida

 

Jenny has three children, and Wendy has one sone

 

These sisters own Pure Motherhood Co.:  They launched January 2020, and it came from a need that they felt was missing in the motherhood/birth industry.

Both sisters were in business separately in the motherhood world, and they decided to join forces.

Both sisters had somewhat traumatic childbirth events, and they wanted to help others prevent that experience, but also recover.

Puremotherhood Co is a one-stop shop for products and services from pregnancy through toddler age

They want to give a space for mothers “in the middle”.  They’re holistic, yet they want a place for mothers to be able to come and say “I’m struggling”

 

“Yes we use essential oils, but also sometimes our kids eat cheetos!”

 

Jenny’s first birth was a c-section.  In order to have a supportive VBAC, she realized she would have to have a homebirth.

 

She planned and prepared for her homebirth.  During the birth she ended up needing to transport to the hospital.  After 57 hours, she ended up needing another cesarean section.

 

She wants women to know that it’s incredibly important to plan for birth, but that you also have to be open to pivoting 

 

Wendy knew that she was going to plan for a homebirth after seeing the experience Jenny had at home

 

Just like Jenny, at exactly 27 hours of laboring at home, Wendy’s midwife recommended her going to the hospital because her water had been broken for 24 hours.

 

After some time in the hospital, Wendy was labeled with “Failure to Progress” and ended up with a c section.

 

Even more traumatic for Wendy was her postpartum experience.  She dealt with postpartum anxiety and depression, and it was a terrible struggle.

 

 

It’s important to balance the idea that we can do so much to prepare for birth, but we also have to remember that birth is unexpected and untamable.  

 

In regards to postpartum, it’s once again so important to prepare for postpartum.

 

Jenny and Wendy recommend a “code word” for postpartum to use when moms are ready to have visitors leave— such a great idea!

It’s important to educate the partner on signs and symptoms of anxiety or depression

 

They also highly recommend having a plan already set in place:  Who will do the dishes and clean up the house?  Who will we call if we have breastfeeding issues or postpartum depression issues?

 

puremotherhood.co

 

instagram: puremotherhoodco

 

Pure Motherhood University

 

 

Episode Roundup:

 

Woooah, some good points were brought up in this week’s episode!  As we head into our episode roundup, let’s do a quick recap of a few:

 

  1. It’s important to realize that we can do plenty to positively influence our birthing experience.  Preparation, mindfulness and education can highly impact our experience… HOWEVER… we’ve got to balance this with the understanding that birth is not something for us to control, it’s something for us to surrender to.  So sometimes our plans may change, and that’s okay.  When we’re coming from a place of empowerment and a place of authority over our experience, rolling with the changes is much easier.
  2. We’ve got to continue planning… not only for birth, but throughout the postpartum period.  Creating a list of resources beforehand is massive, as Jenny and Wendy shared, and as I mentioned my students do inside of Happy Homebirth Academy.  Getting ready before you’re in the throes of newborn life is a great way to help out future you.  
  3. Surround yourself with community.  It makes a world of difference to know that you aren’t going through any of these life changes alone.  

Thank you so much Jenny and Wendy for coming on the show and sharing your experiences and useful resources, and thank you all for tuning in.  That’s all I’ve got for you for now.  I’ll see you back here next week.

 

Sponsor Message:

Hey Mamas, let me take 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!  

For those of you who have given birth before—when did you KNOW you were in labor?  Was it a slow, gradual realization, or did you only know for sure when you started feeling your body pushing?!  

For Megan, who dealt with prodromal labor for weeks…. well, it wasn’t until she felt herself pushing that she finally realized “Okay yep, this is definitely happening”.  Her second homebirth was vastly different from her first, as we’ll soon hear. 
But before we jump into the episode, I’d love to thank our reviewer of the week, Alexa J B.  Thanks so much, Alexa! 

And if you get just a moment today, would you mind hopping over to apple podcasts and leaving a rating… perhaps even a review?  It’s such a great, free way to support the show, and I’m so appreciative.

 

Show Notes

 

Megan’s first baby—was lost to a miscarriage, but she feels like this baby saved her in a way.  She has Graves disease, and the doctors wanted to take out her thyroid.  They checked to see if she was pregnant, and she was.

Megan then decided to heal her thyroid with herbs

She became pregnant the next month, and began seeing the midwife who is the “family midwife”— This midwife has caught babies for her mother in law and sister in law!

Her first pregnancy went well

With the first labor, she was in transition for 3 hours, then also had to push for 3 hours— She had cervical lip, which was highly uncomfortable.

She planned to have a water birth, but once she got in, it started sagging.  They realized the cat had put a hole in the birth pool, so Megan’s husband and midwife had to bail the pool as fast as possible while Megan sat on the couch.  

She moved to the birth stool, the cervical lip finally released

Megan became pregnant 6 months postpartum with her second baby.  Her milk supply began dropping before she realized she was pregnant, and was so concerned and confused— until she realized she was pregnant.

She felt she didn’t “experience” pregnancy as much with her second baby, as she was trying to  keep up with her first babe. 

She did the raw milk formula from Nourishing Traditions, which was very labor intensive.

Megan had prodromal labor for 3 weeks.

Because of the prodromal labor, she wasn’t certain she was actually labor until she was in transition.
That night: she began have contractions, but that was common.  She made some tea, tried to relax, and then was suddenly DEEP into labor. 

She’d been in labor for only half an hour when her contractions were lasting 60 seconds with only 60 seconds in between.  

Even though her body began to push on its own, she was still in a bit of denial— she thought that she might still only be 2 cm.

As his head is coming out, Megan’s husband still has absolutely no idea what’s going on.  She lunges, and he says, “What are you doing!?” 

Her midwife barely missed the birth.  

Megan began shaking rather violently after the birth because of all the adrenaline

She worried that having two children so close in age would be nearly impossible, and that she wouldn’t be able to function well.  This has not been the case at all!  She’s still been able to work her homestead, run an online business, and even can an entire year’s worth of food for her family.

 

Episode Roundup:

What a fun conversation.  As we head into this week’s episode roundup, I’m thinking of how different everyone’s experience of not only labor, but also early motherhood can be with each baby.  I’m specifically thinking of how Megan was so concerned that her life would be incredibly difficult with two babies so close together— that she wouldn’t be able to get anything done— and then, it wasn’t that way at all!  I think of how if someone asks, “Which was the hardest transition— going from no children to one, or one to two, two to three…” when you ask 3 different mothers, you’ll likely get three different answers.  It’s an important reminder that each story and experience is different, and the best option is to go into the journey with an open mind, and a willingness to ask for help when we need it.  And hey, maybe we’ll need it, maybe we won’t! Maybe we’ll be able to be the one offering the help to someone else.  And Megan, I’ll still take you up on that offer to come can food at my house!

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