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.

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!

 

When you imagine your homebirth, what do you picture?  Where are you?  Maybe you’re laboring in your bedroom, your kitchen or living room….  But… do you picture yourself giving birth in a home other than your own?  Sometimes it happens, my friends, and we’ll learn today with Kadie’s birth story.  

 

Kadie and Sarah, two sisters and two of my favorite gals, are going to share the very interesting, sometimes very difficult journey Kadie had to face throughout her pregnancy, and even labor.  But… as you’ll learn, a plan came together and Kadie was able to have her homebirth… even if it wasn’t in her own home.

 

Now before we jump into this super amazing interview, I want to remind you that Happy Homebirth Academy is back on the market for the general public!  New material has been added, and new bonuses are available.  We even mention one inside of the interview.  And… did you miss the free class Homebirth Mythbusters last week?  It was a PARTY.  I received so much positive, encouraging feedback from it, so I’m not done.  There will be ONE MORE opportunity to join this free masterclass this coming Thursday, February 18th.  Seriously you don’t want to miss this.  And there’s a live Q&A at the end, that has been fulllll of great information both times.  Ask me your burning questions!  So myhappyhomebirth.com/mythbusters is the place to go to reserve that seat.

 

Now let me thank our reviewer of the week, KaylinBattiste.  

Thanks so much, Kaylin.  If you’ll email me at katelyn@myhappyhomebirth.com, I’ll send you a happy homebirth podcast sticker!

 

Speaking of that, if you have a free minute, would you head over to apple podcasts and leave a (hopefully) 5 star rating and review?  You guys are seriously the best at helping the show grow its reach, and this is just one way of doing it.  If you’re getting benefit from listening to the stories of these incredible mothers, would you spread the word?  I so appreciate it.

 

Alrighty, friends!  That’s enough jabbering on my end.  Let’s bring in my lovely friends.  Please remember.

 

 

Kadie and her husband had to “work” to get pregnant- she and Jeff decided to try chiropractic care, and they became pregnant within 2 months.

 

She had to move across country at the END of her pregnancy- From Las Vegas to Georgia

 

She struggled while being pregnant during Covid because of zoom appointments and the lack of ability to hug and be close.

 

She planned to give birth in Georgia, but the relationship with that midwife fell through.  She realized she would have to change her plans

 

Sarah said, “Let me put something in place for you up here.”  Sarah called her midwife and asked if she’d be willing to attend Kadie’s birth if she came to town.  She said “yes!”  Everything fell together within 2 hours, and Kadie just went into her husband’s arms and collapsed with happiness.

 

Kadie came to visit on Thanksgiving, went back home to Valdosta, then 2 days after having gotten home.

 

On the way from Valdosta, Kadie booked an Airbnb (at 3 am!).  She slept as much as she could. 

 

Sarah and her daughter went to a Dollar Tree to grab supplies to make birth affirmations to decorate the room.

 

It was important for Kadie to go into active labor— she was GBS+ plus her water had broken beforehand…. This put everyone on a bit more of a clock than normal

 

It was important to Kadie to allow her body to do whatever it needed to do.  With everything around her changing, she wanted a few pieces to be stable.

 

The one thing she envisioned was bringing her baby up to her chest.

 

Kadie did rest, but when she woke up, she threw up.  Because of Happy Homebirth Academy, she knew this was a “good sign”!

 

When Katelyn arrived, she was in the dark bedroom with her husband, Jeff.  

 

Kadie moved to the living room, swayed with Jeff, kneeled on the floor, then sank to the floor.  She wanted to lay on the cold hard floor and wanted as much counter pressure as possible.  She laid on her side, and Sarah and Katelyn pressed her body into the floor.  The cold floor and the blue from the tv were very comforting in that moment.

 

Katelyn and Sarah took turns setting up the birthing space.  Kadie suddenly felt her body beginning to push without her trying.  Sarah asked her to go to the bathroom to pee.  She felt her moan changing and her body beginning to push on its own.

 

Kadie went to the bedroom as she pushed.  She leaned over the bed, then somewhat “jellyfished” to the floor.  She lifted one leg into a runner’s stance.  

 

Another moment that was very important to Kadie was feeling her baby’s head as she was pushing.

 

Kadie mentions how knowing what was going on with her body allowed her to feel comfortable… it also helps her remember very specific moments of her birth, where she connected what she had learned to what she was experiencing.

 

Kadie’s first words to her baby were, “Are you going to be a Mama’s Boy?!”

 

Katelyn remembers seeing Kadie lean back with a look of both exhaustion and complete peace.  A mixture of, “I just gave my everything, and now I have my Everything.”  

 

Kadie’s husband then shouted out the baby’s name, which they hadn’t 100% decided upon.  He felt certain that the name Kadie wanted was the exact name that he was supposed to be named.

 

Happy Homebirth Academy- Homebirth Dad Panel is a bonus available right now

 

 

Kadie and Jeff did HHA together.  She loved the fact that she could go through the program, then as she got closer review many of the modules.

 

Kadie mentions how HHA discusses the importance of understanding the postpartum experience, which she needed desperately.  She was so happy to feel comfortable with what was going on in the postpartum experience and felt like she totally understood everything was happening to her.

 

Kadie had to move to a new Airnbnb.  It had tons of massive stairs, so the men made a sling chair and hoisted Kadie up into the house (she was healing from a tear).

 

Kadie did have to deal with a great number of disappointments- having to move, having to switch to a birth in an airbnb instead of her new home.  

 

The fact that she was able to hold onto her mindset in the midst 

 

 

Episode Roundup

 

  1. Situations can change.  This can happen in so many different ways for so many different reasons.  But even when we can’t control the situation, we can control our mindset.  Kadie knew she’d have to give a little, but she held dear the aspects that were most important to her, and she focused on those.  Allowing her body to do what it needed to do, touching her baby’s head when pushing, and being the one to reach down and bring him to her chest. 
  2. Sisters are the best, aren’t they?  Sarah and Kadie’s relationship is such a beautiful example of family coming together and helping in every possible way they can.  I sure love ‘em, I know you do too after this interview.  
  3. Understanding what is going on in your body is not only a wonderful way to remain calm and relaxed during labor as different events begin unfolding, but it’s also a great way to remember very specific aspects of your labor, as Kadie mentioned.  How incredible that you’ll have these mental snapshots to hold dear and remember simply because you knew the landmarks of labor.  And though I may be slightly bias, I do believe that Happy Homebirth Academy truly prepares you for the variances of labor and what it may hold for you.  I do believe that it gives you the information you need to be an active participant in your birthing experience.  SO.  If that’s what you want, make sure you join us.  Go to myhappyhomebirth.com/enroll

When your first homebirth turns into a transport, what do you do with baby #2?  Do you plan for the hospital, or attempt another homebirth?

 

Today we’ll be speaking with Nicole, who had to decide just that— should I try again at home? 

Now before we jump into the episode, I want to remind you of some super exciting news.  This week I’m hosting a free learning event— Homebirth Mythbusters: The 5 myths you need to bust to have a happy homebirth.  This masterclass is perfect for you, whether you’ve already chosen to give birth at home, or if you’d just like to have some questions answered before you make a decision. 

 

Head to myhappyhomebirth.com/mythbusters and reserve your seat.  A replay will be available, should you not be able to make it live.  But… attending live is perfect so that you can have all of your questions answered! 

 

I’d also like to thank our reviewer of the week, Jersey Girl 1223455667

 

Thanks so much, Jersey Girl!  Please send me an email at katelyn@myhappyhomebirth.com and I’ll send you a happy homebirth sticker

 

Okay, my friends.  Let’s head on over to the interview.  Please remember

 

Show Notes

Took Nicole and  her husband a year to conceive her first— struggled with hormonal imbalances

She delved into homebirth stories at that time— she didn’t think it was something that she would do with her first, but they watched The Business of Being Born and decided to look into it

 At 41.3, Nicole’s midwife did cervical acupressure, which dilated her from 2 cm to 3 cm

She was desperate to have her baby— she was doing everything she could to get labor started.

She had a large birth team and felt like she needed everyone there

After 36 hours of labor, they transported for pitocin

 

With the second baby, there was no doubt that they’d attempt a homebirth.  However, Nicole did have concern that her body might not “work”.

However, the transport was so successful, she wasn’t worried about being under the care of a midwife again anyway.

 

Nicole learned about Happy Homebirth Podcast and began listening.  When she realized that Happy Homebirth Academy was available, she immediately purchased it and immersed herself in the program.

She and her husband bonded through preparing with one another again.  

 

 On her due date, Nicole and her family decided to go camping.  They camped, then in the morning they went on a 3-hour hike.  She was exhausted, so she took a nap, which was irregular for her.

 

Later on in the day she noticed that her Braxton hicks contractions seemed a bit crampier. 

 

That evening, Nicole’s parents suggest that they go home just to be safe.  Nicole agreed, but not because she thought she was in labor—only because she wanted to sleep in her comfortable bed!

 

35 minutes into the ride, she had her first “very real” contraction.  Suddenly they were coming consistently.  

 

The second midwife came to check her when she got home and let her know that she was at 2 cm, so likely in early labor, but it could be a long time.

 

Nicole rested through the night, even though she was experiencing contractions throughout

 

She noticed that at this labor she was able to cope much better this labor.  Where last time she NEEDED people to hold and help her, this time she only needed her husband to remind her to breathe during contractions.  

 

Suddenly, Nicole’s labor went from 0 to 100.  Her husband texted the midwives, and one headed over.  Once she arrived, she checked Nicole and told her she was complete with her bag of waters bulging

 

Nicole was in shock that not only did her body “work”, but it worked so quickly!

She wasn’t ready to push, though, but finally realized that it was her bladder was completely full, but she wasn’t able to pee.  

 

Her midwife realized that he baby was asynclitic, and his head was untucked.  Because of this position, Nicole had to lie down on her bed with her knees to her chest.  Her midwife helped maneuver his head with each contraction to help him exit the birth canal.

 

The end of the labor was a lot and very difficult.  In fact, the labors were complete opposites.  With the first, the labor itself was long and difficult, but pushing was fast and easy.  With the second, it was fast and easy, but pushing was long and difficult.

 

Once her placenta was removed, they realized that it was bi-lobed, which means it looked almost like two placentas.  It was anterior, so between these two issues, that’s probably why her baby was having a difficult time exiting in the right position.  

 

Episode Roundup:

 

What a lovely episode.  As we head into this weeks episode roundup, I’ve got a few thoughts I’d love to cover.

 

  1. A hospital transport is not a failure.  Nicole was able to get the additional support she needed, and she ended up having a successful vaginal birth.  That’s a huge win.
  2. Just because Nicole’s first birth ended up in a hospital transport, this did not deter her from homebirth midwifery with her second pregnancy.  She loved the care that she received and knew that she likely would have a successful homebirth this time and even if she ended up needing to transport again, the care she would receive prenatally was completely worth working with her midwife again.
  3. Nicole and her husband rededicated themselves to preparation in their second pregnancy.  They took Happy Homebirth Academy together, and Nicole felt far more mentally prepared for her second labor with this style of preparation.  If you’re curious to learn more about Happy Homebirth Academy, make sure you’re signed up for homebirth mythbusters masterclass: Go to myhappyhomebirth.com/mythbusters to sign up
  4. Every birth is different—and sometimes they’re completely OPPOSITE!  Nicole went from a long labor with a fast pushing phase to a fast labor and a long pushing phase.  Each birth is its own story, so go into it with an open mind.  

Okay my friends, that’s all I’ve got for you this week… I’m looking forward to seeing you at our homebirth mythbusters masterclass!  

 Let’s say you struggle with anxiety.  Does that automatically count you out as a candidate for homebirth?

 

Welcome to BONUS Episode 100!

  

Because of all of the exciting things going on around Happy Homebirth, I felt a bonus episode was warranted for this week.  What exciting things? 

Well if you haven’t heard, I’m hosting a totally free, totally awesome masterclass next week.  It’s called Homebirth Mythbusters: The 5 Myths You Need to Bust to Have a Happy Homebirth. 

So…. Are you pregnant and considering homebirth?  Curious, perhaps, but you’ve got some reservations?  Or maybe you already know that you’re FOR SURE having a homebirth… either way, this free learning opportunity is for you!

 

I wanted to share Franchesca’s story in celebration of this event. Why?  Well, I’ll give you a two-fold reason.  First, Franchesca’s concern with homebirth was very anxiety-based.  However, as you’ll soon hear, she took steps to work through the anxiety, and decided to give birth at home.

 

Second, Franchesca is a successful graduate of my childbirth education program, Happy Homebirth Academy.  She used my course to prepare herself physically, mentally and emotionally to give birth at home.  Because I’m now hosting a FREE learning opportunity, I wanted to share a story from someone who entrusted me with their education and had a great experience with it.  So, what are you waiting for, and what do you have to lose?  Go sign up for Homebirth Mythbusters -- right now!  There are several times and days available, and there will be a replay sent to everyone who signs up if the times don’t work for you.  But of course, try to show up live—so that I can answer your burning questions on the spot!

Go to myhappyhomebirth.com/mythbusters to reserve your seat now!

 

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

 

Show Notes

Franchesca and her husband grew up across the street together.  He was 3 years older than her.  They lost touch for 10 years, then reconnected.  They dated for a year and got married exactly a year later.

 

She “definitely didn’t want kids”, and her husband said he could go either way.

They got married in 2018.  About 4 weeks later, Franchesca began balling because she realized she wanted kids. 
Her husband laughed and said that’s totally okay.

They waited until spring of 2020 to begin trying

They became pregnant on their first attempt

 

Franchesca wanted to use a private OB so that she would know who would deliver her baby.  She expected to use pain medication to avoid anxiety

Unfortunately, she did not mesh with her OB very well.  The OB was very nice, but did not understand Franchesca’s anxiety.  She seemed rather dismissive and would tell her, “You don’t want to rub anxiety off on your child…”

 

Decided to meet with a midwife to see if she could hire her to watch her at home only for labor

 

The midwife came over the same day and chatted with Franchesca.  Eventually, she asked— Have you considered homebirth?

Franchesca mentioned that she had big fears about emergencies, particularly related to bleeding.  Her midwife shared how she carries Pitocin and other medications should bleeding occur.

 

She decided to tell her OB her plans of laboring at home, especially when she found out that her OB was friends with the midwife.

 

One issue she had with the OB was that she was wishy-washy.  She said she supported Franchesca working with the midwife, then she suddenly began pushing the idea that she shouldn’t work with a midwife.

 

She began considering homebirth more, though she always allowed herself the feeling that if she needed to go into the hospital or wanted pain medication, she would easily go in.

 

 

Franchesca decided to purchase Happy Homebirth Academy.  She mentions the thoroughness of the course, and how knowing each step that your body is going through during labor is incredibly important.  

 

At 37 weeks she was checked by her OB…. She said that she assumed she would be in labor within the week (She was only 1 cm dilated).  

Towards the end of pregnancy, Franchesca began attempting to help her baby out: sex, nipple stimulation, red raspberry tea

 

On the day before her baby was born, she and her husband went on a walk, had sex, went on another walk, went to the mall and had a massage: Perfect recipe for labor!

 

Towards the end of the day, she felt like she was getting lots of downward pressure, and maybe even contractions.  She was trying to continue on with normal life, but it was very difficult for her to stay distracted.

 

She texted her midwife to let her know that she was having contractions, though they weren’t painful.  She told her to take a bath to see if they’d go away.  They intensified somewhat.

 

Her midwife told her to take a Benadryl and try to get some sleep if she could.  

 

At 5:30 or 6 she woke up and knew that she was truly in labor.  

 

Her midwife came over and checked on her, then said she would give her the IV antibiotics for Group B Strep, though her veins are very small and difficult.  Her midwife allowed her to have an intramuscular shot instead.

 

She got in the birth pool at 3pm and stayed in until 8pm—when she was in transition.  At that point, she asked her midwife if it was too late to go to the hospital.  She said, “I can prep you, but if you want an epidural I’ll have to give you 2 bags of fluids first… by the time you get to the hospital and actually get the epidural, you’ll be ready to push a baby out.”

 

Finally her mom and husband asked if the midwife could break her water.  The midwife said, “let me check her first…” she went to check Franchesca, and her water burst on its own…. Suddenly Franchesca felt the deep urge to push.

 

Her baby began crowning, and she felt it was intense, but not her least favorite part of labor.  The head emerged, so her husband caught the baby and handed it to her.  

 

Her midwife said, “At one point, I asked God to give you this experience so that you’d know that you are healthy and strong.”  Franchesca says that it did change the way she believes in her body.

 

 

Episode Roundup:

 

  1. Anxiety does not have to opt you out of a homebirth.  You CAN take steps to conquer your fears, learn about your body, and learn your strengths as a woman through the process of midwifery care and homebirth.
  2. I found it so interesting, and such a neat perspective that Franchesca was in no way dogmatic about her choices.  She allowed herself the grace to choose where she would finally give birth all the way up and through her labor.  Though this may not be the way others view their home birthing decision, I certainly appreciate Franchescha mentioning this, and I do believe it could be a very helpful approach for some.
  3. Finally, as Franchesca mentioned, knowing what is happening during the labor is over half the battle!  When you know that what you’re experiencing is normal, you can relax, let go, and allow your body and baby to work together.  To learn more about this process, make sure that you’re signed up for my free upcoming masterclass, Homebirth Mythbusters- the 5 myths you need to bust to have a happy homebirth.  Remember, head to myhappyhomebirth.com/mythbusters to reserve your seat.  Spaces are limited, so don’t wait!  Okay, my friends, that’s all I’ve got for you for today.  I’ll see you back here next week.

 

Did your spouse have any quality resources to help him prepare for homebirth?  

 

Today, we have the privilege of speaking to the man behind the coolest YouTube find ever, The Paternal Partner.  Sam Evans, a homebirth dad of two has taken the guesswork out of the dad birth prep.  This episode is full of insight when it comes to partner preparation, and Sam gives us some incredible tips and resources along the way.

 

This episode is so perfectly aligned with some crazy exciting news I have for you all.  There’s a new *totally free* learning opportunity for all of you, and it’s perfect for everyone considering homebirth and for those who have already made the decision. 

It’s called Homebirth Mythbusters, and registration is available now! 

To reserve your seat and learn the 5 myths you need to bust to have a happy homebirth, head over to myhappyhomebirth.com/mythbusters. 

And tell ALLLLL of your friends, because this event is going to be a party!  GO NOW!

 

Thanks so much, Ellie!  If you’ll send me an email at katelyn@myhappyhomebirth.com, I’ll be sure to send you a happy homebirth podcast sticker.  And if *you* have a moment to head over to apple podcasts and leave a hopefully 5-star rating and review, I will be forever grateful.

 

Show Notes

Sam's wife, Sarah, knew she wanted to have children, and she knew she wanted a homebirth.  When she met Sam, she let him know this from the beginning.

Sam was totally on board, and when they became pregnant with their first babe, they knew they'd be hiring a midwife.

The experience went wonderfully, though Sam realized there were some aspects of preparation that he'd overlooked.  He didn't realize how much there was to know-- what the heck is Vitamin K?!!

He also learned that his feelings of tension and stress could impact both his wife and the baby.

Second time around, he and his wife were once again on the homebirth train.  

Their daughter was born on the later side of the spectrum, which can increase the possibility of meconium aspiration.

She was born safely and was a beautiful pink.  However, as she rested on her mother's chest, she suddenly became limp and was struggling to breathe.  

Sarah and Sam's midwife took confident control of the situation and performed neonatal resuscitation until the paramedics arrived.  The family was transported to the hospital, where their daughter Maggie was able to receive more help.  

 

This experience, although not what they would have hoped, was still what they would have chosen over the hospital.

 

Since that time, Sam has created and founded The Paternal Partner-- a YouTube channel and website designed for dads.  He's teaching dads what they need to know about pregnancy, labor, birth and parenting in fun, quick videos.  

 

This is such a fantastic resource, and I'm so grateful to be able to share it with you all!

 

Sam gives his top 10 tips for dads in the episode, so click to listen!

 

 

Show Links:

https://www.thepaternalpartner.com

Home Births Demystified for Dads

Castor Oil Video 

Home Birth: How to Talk to Your Worried Loved Ones (R&B Jam)

The Price of Labor & Delivery

 

Episode Roundup:

 

What a solid episode!  I’m thrilled to have had Sam on the podcast, and I look forward to seeing his channel take off— it’s such a needed resource!

 

As we head into the episode roundup, I want to linger on two important points we made today.

  1. A homebirth doesn’t have to be perfect to be safe.  The story of Sam’s second baby’s birth is a perfect example of emergencies are handled at home.  Yes, emergencies still happen at home.  Albeit, rarely, but they do happen!  Luckily, Sam and Sarah had a midwife who was experienced and fully trustworthy.  She took confident control of the situation and kept everyone safe as they transported to the hospital for more support.
  2. We can use birth to capitalize on our relationships.  When we come together as partners and spend time considering how we’ll work together, both in labor and in parenthood, we truly set ourselves and each other up for success

Does homebirth affect your partner’s involvement?  I’m excited to share Julia’s stories, as we see quite a difference in how she and her family were able to work together in the hospital versus the home.  This isn’t an aspect we’ve covered much on the podcast, and Julia’s story brings up some amazing points.  Let’s dive in!

 

Show Notes

Julia and her husband became pregnant earlier in their marriage than they had expected, though they immediately became very excited.  When they lost their first pregnancy, Julia and her husband realized they were ready to begin their family and decided to try to become pregnant again.

 

Once pregnant again, they prepared for birth with a Bradley class.  They found the information to be incredibly helpful, and they looked forward to a natural birth in the hospital.  However, once they arrived at the hospital, Julia struggled with the intensity, especially because her husband had to continuously be pulled away from her do paperwork, etc. 

 

She was checked and realized she was only at a 4.  Because of the intensity and the expectation that labor would go on for hours, she agreed to an epidural.  Only 45 minutes later, she pushed her baby out.  She did have a terrible tear that shaped her postpartum experience.  It was very difficult to recover.

Julia had another miscarriage, and then shortly after became pregnant again.  With this pregnancy, she chose to go back to the same OB practice, as it had now added midwives (though the OB would still deliver the baby).  

She still wanted a natural delivery, but her confidence was shaken.  She decided to hire a doula and assumed this would keep her from a medicated delivery.  However, once in the hospital, the story happened similarly to the first.  Things felt intense, but she was checked and found only to be at 4cm.  She tried to continue on laboring, but eventually said to her doula, “I can’t do this anymore- I want the epidural.” The doula agreed and went to fetch the Dr.  Julia remembers thinking, “Wait, I thought you’d talk me out of it!”

After receiving the epidural, she was checked 30 minutes later and found to be complete.  She did decide to wait longer until she felt an actual urge to push, so she waited 45 minutes.

Her baby was born soon after with minimal tearing.  She was able to use a hand mirror to see him come out, and the Dr. Helped her reach down and put the baby to her chest.  This postpartum was much easier without the severe tearing.

 

3 years later, Julia became pregnant again.  She decided to work with a CPM in NC, where midwives are unable to obtain licensure.  Julia lost this baby at 12 weeks, which has become even more devastating each time.  Especially this time, as they had shared the news with friends and family.

 

With her next cycle, Julia became pregnant with her most recent baby.  She chose to work with the midwives again, but decided to stay on care with her current OB/Midwife office throughout the 20 week anatomy scan so that she could have insurance coverage through that time.

 

The reasons she particularly wanted a homebirth: she wanted her kids and family involved, and she didn’t feel that she could have an unmedicated birth in the hospital.

 

On July 30th, Julia slept in until 10:30.  She stood up, and her water broke.  She went much of the day without contractions, so she spent time with her kids and prepared some snacks.

Around 6:30 she began feeling contractions.

At 8, she called the midwife.

Her husband and 6 year old were amazing supporters, both helping her through contractions.  Her son was so excited for a baby sister, and he was very happy to be involved with the birth.

At 10, Julia’s midwife checked her and found that she was at 6cm and baby was at -1 station.  

The midwife told her it may helpful to get out of the pool, as contractions were so far apart.  Perhaps she should eat and walk around.  She had her husband go downstairs to get a snack, and at that moment, she suddenly felt her baby shift all the way down to crowning.  The midwives called for her husband and son, they came back, and she pushed her baby out in one contraction.

 

Julia felt so overwhelmingly loved and supported during her homebirth.  She felt like her husband was able to take on the perfect birth partner role now that he didn’t have to worry about all of the logistical issues of hospital birth. It was an incredibly redemptive birth.

 

 

Episode Roundup:
1. Children can be amazing to have at the birth, and they generally handle it very well.  Especially when they have a job!  I loved having my daughter present for my second baby’s birth.  We had my sister here to help keep her entertained when necessary, but it was beautiful having her involvement as her baby sister was born.

2. Where you give birth can have an impact on how your partner is able to care for you.  This is huge, and such a great point to consider!  When you’re leaving the home, there will be more logistical issues, more tasks… simply put, more things for him to do and consider.  When staying home, he can be focused on caring for you.  This gives such a sense of empowerment to both parents, and allows for a family birthing experience.

What unpopular child birthing or childrearing practice do you partake in?  Homebirth?  Cloth diapering?  Bed sharing?  I find myself checking many of these boxes… and truth be told, these “unpopular” choices are actually gaining popularity!  

I’m so excited for today’s interview with Tori, who is a homebirth mother to two, and author of the new book Ready to Unpop.  She dives into the “unpopular” practices in her book, and sheds light on the benefits and why mothers may choose to make those decisions.  She’ll be sharing her two birth stories with us, and then explaining how this led to her writing this exciting and helpful new book.

 

Before we jump in, would you take a moment to head to apple podcasts and leave a 5 star rating for us?  Maybe even a nice review?  You’re helping the podcast beyond measure when you do this.  I’d love to thank Rachel Clare, who left this sweet review:
Rachel, if you’ll email me at katelyn@myhappyhomebirth.com, I’d love to send you a Happy Homebirth Podcast sticker!

 

And— exciting news!  Happy Homebirth has joined the Pinterest world!  If you’re on pinterest, come follow along! 

 

www.pinterest.com/myhappyhomebirth

 

Show Notes:

Tori Smith

 

Her first birthing experience went unaccording to plan.  She was initially seeing an OB because she thought that her pre-existing condition of arthritis would risk her out of homebirth.  When her OB told her that was not the case, she decided to switch.  He was willing to serve as her backup. She knew that she wanted a natural birth, but her partner and family were uncomfortable with the idea of a homebirth.  Instead, they planned to give birth in a freestanding birth center.

As her labor began, she called her doula.  She was feeling intense contractions, but was confused, as everyone expected her first labor to be very long.  After conversing with her midwife, the midwife decided to come to her home and check up on her.  Once she arrived and performed an exam, she asked, “Would you be okay with having the baby at home? I don’t think you’ll make it to the birth center.”

Tori’s midiwife went to grab her equipment, her partner grabbed extra towels, and they readied themselves for an unexpected homebirth. 

The birth went beautifully, and Tori knew that if she had another baby, it would most certainly be a PLANNED homebirth.

Her birth team was preparing for a super fast birth, so when she went into labor, Tori was nervous that she wouldn’t call everyone in time.  She had her doula come over, and contractions seemed to slow a bit.  They all decided to sit down and watch Titanic.  Later, Tori found out that her daughter was born on the day the Titanic set sail, and her due date was for the day it sank.  She had no idea of this when she picked out the movie!

Soon, contractions started back.  Her midwife came over, and helped her with suggestions to have her water naturally break.  Once it did, the intensity greatly increased.

Tori hopped into the birth pool and gave one push, and the head of her baby was out.  Once she was fully out, the midwives recognized that the baby was not yet responsive.  They performed resuscitative measures for 3 minutes, and her baby took her first breath.  

Tori’s experiences have led her to write a book, “Ready to Unpop,” which she hopes will bridge the gap between the mainstream and more holistic models of care.  Her goal is to show mothers that these holistic practices aren’t just for hippies— and that no matter where you choose to give birth, you deserve to be supported!

 

Ready to Unpop on Facebook

Ready to Unpop on Instagram

readytounpop.com

 

Episode roundup:

  1. Reminder that freestanding birth centers and homebirths are incredibly similar.  The main difference is who gets in the car.
  2. This episode is another amazing example of how things don’t have to go perfectly and there is still safety and amazing outcomes.  Although Tori’s baby took several minutes to come around, the midwifery team was ready and trained on exactly how to proceed.
  3. Go check out Tori’s book, Ready to Unpop!

Prenatal appointments? Check.  Childbirth education program?  Check. And I’m sure it’s Happy Homebirth Academy.  You’re feeling prepared for your birth… but have you considered your relationship in the postpartum phase and how you can prepare it for the certain shifts that will take place?  Hey there….. Today we’ll be speaking with my friend Laura Spencer, a postpartum coach who has been in the trenches, experienced the difficult postpartum season with her relationship, and now so generously comes to share what she’s learned with us.  I know you will love this conversation and take away some incredible ideas.

 

Show Notes-- Laura Spencer

With her first pregnancy, she had expectations of how she wanted her birth to go, but felt completely blindsided by postpartum.

She hadn’t considered what becoming a mother would be, and what parenting together with her husband would be like.

Laura found herself in a place feeling like she had to perform.  She wanted to quit her job.  She wanted to be with her baby.  However, her expectations, values and desires were not being expressed easily, and her husband did not understand.  This led to great conflict.

 

Fortunately, Laura realized that she had the power to change much about the situation.  She began reading “The Power of a Praying Wife,” and she went to counseling and worked with a marriage coach.

 

After her own difficult experience, Laura now has so much to share with others:

Prepare Your Relationship for Postpartum (Prepare Your Communication)

  1. Make sure you are in the right place when you prepare for conversation: Spend time with yourself and know what you want so that you can convey it to your partner.
  2. Communicate with curiosity.  Consider, “Am I trying to defend, or am I trying to learn more?”
  3. Make a plan for post-conflict communication
  4. Questions to ask one another:
    1. What does compromise look like in our relationship?
    2. What will our relationship look like after baby?
    3. How can we support each other through change?
    4. What does it look like for you to be vulnerable with me?
    5. How can I find the courage to be vulnerable?
    6. How will we split up responsibilities?
  5. Focus together on how you can play on the same team
  6. Let go, have grace— for both yourself and your partner
  7. Consider how you are nurturing yourself.  Without self-love and care, you cannot truly give love and care to your partner.

To learn more about Laura, find her on Facebook and join her group: Motherhood Mentoring

 

Episode Roundup:

  1. Remember that the birth of your baby is not the finish line!  We spend so much time preparing for this, and very necessarily.  But building up the foundation of your relationship with your partner is so critical in this time.  In fact, there’s a whole module on this inside of Happy Homebirth Academy.  It’s crucial.
  2. Remember that you and your partner made (or are making) this beautiful child together.  You can make a great team, but it’s so important to remember just that— you’re a team.  The goal is to work together, even when it’s hard and even when you’re functioning on like 2 hours of sleep.  Preparation beforehand helps so much with these expectations.

 

« Newer Episodes Older Episodes »

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App