Happy Homebirth

By Katelyn Fusco

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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.

Episode Date
A Reluctant Homebirth?!

When you think about your upcoming homebirth, how do you feel?  Excited about meeting your baby?  Prepared to embrace the experience of labor?  What about…. Scared out of your mind of the pain?



This week we are speaking with Kelli Ingram, a mama who has decided that after having 4 lovely epidural births in the hospital, she’s bringing it home…. Though she’s the first to tell you that she’s terrified of the pain.  This week’s episode is a little different, as Kelli won’t be sharing her homebirth story— because she hasn’t had her baby yet!  She’s sharing her experience as a hospital-loving mother who turned to homebirth so that her family could be involved even amidst the pandemic restrictions.  So Kelli and I go through some discussion of mindset, some options and plans for her preparation…. And then we wait.  We’ll be doing a follow-up episode with Kelli after her baby is born in August.  I’m so excited to hear how this all plays out in real time.


This show is not meant to prescribe or treat- it’s an educational tool, so continue to take empowered responsibility for your health and your family.


Episode Roundup:

I am so excited for this super unique opportunity! I can’t wait for Kelli to come back on the podcast after diving into HHA, and after giving birth to her precious new babe.  It will be such a blast to learn how her preparations went, how she felt as birth arrived, and how she feels after the experience.

As we head into this week’s episode roundup, one point sticks out to me the most, and it’s what I want to focus on now.  Kelli loved her hospital births.  She enjoyed receiving an epidural, and she didn’t feel traumatized by any of her experiences.  In fact, it seems that the choice to switch to homebirth care was the most difficult of all, because she had no complaints about the hospital!  This is just a reminder that the simple hospital=bad narrative isn’t the whole story.  Mothers can enjoy that experience and find great empowerment in it.  It’s refreshing to hear a perspective like Kelli, who has no qualms with her previous births, even though she’s doing something different this time.

Like I said before, I’m excited that she’s taking us all on this journey with her, and I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds.


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

Jul 19, 2021
Elizabeth's Peaceful Surprise Twin Homebirth

What surprised you most about your homebirth?  Was it… the way you vocalized during your surges?  Or maybe it was how incredibly accomplished you felt afterward?  Or… was it the number of babies that you gave birth to?


This week we’re speaking to Elizabeth Parsons, who really brought the surprise factor to her fourth birth and first homebirth. 


Episode Roundup:

Can you imagine that experience?  The shock of thinking you’re pushing out a placenta, but then being handed a second baby?  Absolutely incredible.  As we head into this week’s episode roundup, I wanted to focus on a few things that came up.

  1. I love that Elizabeth brought up the ridiculousness of due dates.  Number one, they’re not even a good average of first time labors.  Number two, why?  Why must we assign this additional stress to our bodies and our babies when they’re simply just trying to grow and work together? 
  2. Elizabeth brought up some great points regarding the immediate postpartum, and just how… not conducive the hospital can be to bonding, and not even conducive to healing or establishing our milk supply— nutrition is so important, and jello just doesn’t really cut it…. You know, unless it’s grass-fed gelatin made at home, which is actually my favorite.
  3. One of my favorite aspects of Elizabeth’s final labor was when her midwife so tenderly read her affirmation and scripture cards to her.  I’m sure it was such an encouraging moment in her labor.
  4. And finally, my friends…birth is a mystery.  Sometimes it unfolds similarly to what we expect, and other times we birth a surprise second breech baby.  No matter how it presents  itself (pun intended), birth is so beautiful, and so transformative.  And mamas, we can do amazing things.
  5. Okay my friends, that’s all I’ve got for you for today.  Before you hop off, would you take a screenshot of this episode and share it on your instagram stories?  Tag happyhomebirthpodcast and purqelyparsons and tell me your favorite takeaway from this episode!  And I’ll see you back here next week.

Episode Sponsor: Baby Trend andThe Cover Me 4-in-1 Convertible car seat

ttps://babytrend.com/ossa and use the code CoverMe20 for your new convertible carseat.

Jul 12, 2021
Influencing Your Own Hormonal Responses in Birth and Breastfeeding

How much influence do we really have on our hormones?  And… how much do our hormones really influence our experience of labor, anyway?


And this week we’re speaking with Heather, a mother of two who decided to experiment on herself regarding her ability to influence her hormonal responses.  It’s… fascinating and honestly so exciting.  I can’t wait to jump into her two birth stories.  Before we do— I’d love to thank this week’s reviewer of the week, militarybigfamily.


If you’re finding value in this show, would you take a moment to head over to apple podcasts and leave us a *hopefuly* 5 star rating and review?  It’s an easy, free way to help support the show!  And of course, share it with your friends!


Also— if you’re finding value in this show, would you take a moment to head over to apple podcasts and leave us a *hopefuly* 5 star rating and review?  It’s an easy, free way to help support the show!  And of course, share it with your friends!



Episode Roundup:

Wow, I got some gold from this episode and I can only imagine that you did, too!  Let’s head into this week’s episode roundup and let me bring up some of my favorite little nuggets.

  1. 10 centimeters does not always equate to time to push.  It sounded like Heather even had a bit of a feeling that it wasn’t time as she experienced her first labor, but when someone with experience lets you know that “it’s time”…. well, that’s pretty impactful.  I love how Heather expressed that this was a great learning experience for her, and how she entered her second birth feeling more confident when it came to listening to her body and doing things in her own timing.
  2. Related to my first point, Heather was at home for her second birth.  She was able to #givebirthonyourturf, which truly puts you in the power position. This is your space, and the confidence of doing things your way just comes naturally.
  3. I also want to bring up Heather’s need for nobody, as we could put it.  Her uterus, much like my own, doesn’t want the spotlight.  She realized that having an additional student and a birth photographer was just not right for her body in her first labor, and it was causing a bit of stalling, perhaps even anxiety.  Once she cleared the people away, she was able to let her body focus.
  4. Next, heather mentioned one of my favorite concepts.  The balance between control and surrender.  There are so many aspects of preparation that we can control: Where we are, who we’re with, what we learn before entering labor (shout out to happy homebirth academy)…. But at the same time, we’ve got to let go of the outcome.  We’ve got to let go of our desire to control and know exactly how it will play out, because we can’t.  And, honestly, that’s above our pay grade anyway, right?  At some point we must come to the moment of surrender and release, and what a beautiful place that can be.
  5. And finally, let’s end where we began, and with my favorite golden nugget of all.  YOU CAN IMPACT YOUR HORMONES!  Holy moly, this was so insightful.  Heather took it upon herself to begin practicing relaxation and seeing how it influenced her milk letdown.  Isn’t she the coolest scientist in the world?  I’m just overwhelmed at how cool that was.  And… it came in handy, didn’t it?  She entered her second labor knowing how to relax on a deep level, and knowing just how much that relaxation could encourage her body and baby to progress in labor.  I just… wow.  I’m still overwhelmed at how amazing this is.  And how much it makes sense.  Thank you, Heather!  You really blew my mind with that one.

Before you hop off, would you take a screenshot of this episode and share it on your instagram stories?  Tag happyhomebirthpodcast and tell me your favorite takeaway from this episode!  



Baby Trend andThe Cover Me 4-in-1 Convertible car seat

 https://babytrend.com/ossa and use the code CoverMe20

Jul 05, 2021
Fertility and Freebirth with Noelle Kowalski

Who do you picture surrounding you when you give birth?  Or….do you picture anyone else besides your spouse?


Today we’re speaking with Noelle Kowalski, whom you may know as Noelle Kovary on instagram.  She’s a functional therapy nutritional practitioner, Ayurvedic practitioner holistic health coach, business owner, and… she gave birth to her first baby with her husband and no one else. 

This episode is so amazing and covers some incredible topics like healing from medical injuries, working on your fertility, and of course, giving birth at home.  Take a screenshot of you listening into this episode and tag @happyhomebirthpodcast and @noellekovary and let us know your favorite takeway.




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


Please remember the opinions of my guest,  and this show is not meant to prescribe or treat- it’s an educational tool, so continue to take empowered responsibility for your health and your family.


Noelle is a Functional Therapy Nutritional Practitioner, an Ayurvedic Practitoner, Holistic Health Coach, and she and her husband own an organic, non-toxic beauty company called Forever Healthy Hair.

They also have created online courses that teach people how to heal the metabolism and digestion, and they are currently working on their fertility course.

Her background: Noelle became very sick around 13/14- diagnosed with a rare kidney disorder and harmed by the HPV vaccine

She had PCOS, Hashimoto’s, Basal Cell skin cancer, and more.  She knew that nutrition needed to be addressed. 

Noelle began working with chiropractors, and then went to school for holistic nutrition and bioenergetic healing. 

She ultimately healed her body to the point where she felt she was in a higher percentage of health than most people.

Lifestyle and herbal allies were used.

This is where her passion comes from: she was mistreated, misdiagnosed and abused within the medical system, and she wanted to give people another route to heal.


Specific to healing from HPV Vax:

It took her roughly 10 years to fully recover

The bulk of healing happened within the first couple of years

-Reduced her endotoxin load through diet

-Activated coconut charcoal

-Reduced heavy metals in her body by supporting natural detox pathways

-Supporting thyroid by eating regularly

-Consuming nutrient-dense foods

-Reishi mushroom, ksm-66 ashwaganda, pine pollen

-Adequate minerals through diet and supplementation (magnesium bicarbonate)

-Mitigate Stress Master Mineral Drink


-Epsom salt baths, vitamin C, and borax

-Red light therapy

-Infrared sauna

-Aviyanga Massage

-Dry brushing


Noelle’s pregnancy:

Pretty easy and smooth

Increased her topical dose of progesterone and added B6 and it went away

She’s always wanted to do a homebirth, and having gone through so much difficulty in the medical system throughout her life, she knew the hospital would not be the place for her.

They did interview one midwife, but Noelle felt like she did not have the type of knowledge regarding physiology and nourishing mother/baby

Noelle felt best when she thought about doing her birth alone with just her husband

She and Nick discussed what they would do in each situation and how they would handle each aspect

She was completely unafraid of any “pain” women experience when giving birth, as she’s been through so many unnatural procedures.

What she needed to learn was “what do we do when baby’s born?”  What does a midwife do?  What does the doctor do?

If something went wrong, she knew she would go to the hospital. 

Throughout labor, she was extremely happy that nobody was there because she was so deeply relaxed.

They weighed the pros and cons, and Noelle intuitively knew that doing it on their own would be the most peaceful way to bring their baby into the world— just the two of them.

At one point their son was transverse, and Nick was able to help flip him head down (around 28 weeks)

They did get one ultrasound at 18 weeks

Noelle didn’t tell anyone that she was having a freebirth- she didn’t want anyone else’s worries projected onto her, so she kept it a complete secret.

She woke up one morning and felt that her contractions were not Braxton hicks anymore.  She felt intuitively that the baby was coming soon.

She got the house ready: cleaned the bathroom, set up the bedroom, and got her postpartum kit together.

She ate a lot of nutrient-dense foods, and made some labor-aid.

They did a partial lotus birth, so they got all of the supplies ready for that as well.

By 10pm the contractions got a bit stronger and she felt she’d be entering active labor soon.

At midnight Nick filled up the bath tub and Noelle had a contraction that brought her to her knees.

The contractions were erratic 10 minutes, then 1 minute, all over the place.

1 am- Full on active labor

She had 5 very strong contractions, then said, “I think I don’t want to labor in the tub… I think I want to get out.”  She got out, had a contraction, and said, “Oh no, tub is good!”

She reached down and was able to feel her baby’s head.  She took a deep breath, relaxed her whole body and her body just pushed her baby out.

Her baby was born at 1:23 am- in the amniotic sac!

His eyes were open, looking at her.  She did a quick sweep of his mouth and gave him a breath, then brought him to her chest.  He latched within the first 10 minutes.

She then told Nick she wanted to birth the placenta.  She did that, then he checked to make sure it was intact, which it was.

Noelle washed off her body, and they moved to the bed.  He didn’t cry at all until they tried to weigh him!

They chose to keep the placenta attached for almost 48 hours, and then they burned it off with a candle. 

Noelle’s postpartum was great- her baby was born in the summer, so they spent every day outside in the back yard in the sun.

Nick cooked and cleaned and was a full support to Noelle.  All she had to do was feed Olek and nourish him.

She ate very nutrient-dense foods as she healed

Her body stopped bleeding after a week, and her uterus shrunk back in only a couple of weeks

She breastfeeds on demand, and they co-sleep, which made for an easier time during the evening.

She increased her calories: Anywhere between 3,000-4,000 for a nursing mother

Noelle discusses how important it is NOT to add exercise early on in postpartum. Both physically and energetically.

Smoked or fresh oysters, beef liver, bone broth, raw milk, raw honey, fresh fruits are all extremely nourishing.  Most are higher in calories, which helps meet the calorie requirements.


Postpartum hair loss, postpartum acne: high estrogen, low progesterone.  The way to heal it is to feed your body nutrient-dense foods and heal your thyroid.


Fertility tips:

  1. Reduce your toxic load: get rid of toxins in skin care, bedding, makeup and clothing.
  2. Reduce your estrogen load: support your thyroid and liver with adequate protein and carbs (shellfish, beef, beef liver)
  3. Increase your mineral intake: through food and supplementation (our soil is depleted)— magnesium bicarb or glycinate, as well as shilajit resin
  4. Get yourself set up emotionally: The transition from maiden to mother is a shift from the inward to the outward.  Lots of the anxiety and depression can come from the lack of preparation and lack of support
  5. Iron- reducing the iron overload and getting more bioavailable copper
  6. Working on your relationship with your partner.  Fertility can be an emotional blockage as well.


She’s working on a fertility course now that will happen in the future, but in the meantime she recommends checking out their “Perfect Thyroid” course, as it will give you a good understanding of the body and metabolism, and much of the information will overlap with fertility.


Follow Noelle:



Jun 28, 2021
Home is Where the Birth is with Talise Homebirth Queen

What does it look like to have full confidence in yourself, your body and your baby?  How does this look in the birth setting?


This week we’re speaking with Talise Homebirth Queen, who lives up to her name in every way.  She gave birth to all 6 of her babies at home, without pain or fear.  She’s given birth to twins, she’s gone unassisted, and she’s written a book about it: Home is Where the Birth is

Talise brings so much insight and wisdom to today’s conversation, I can’t wait to get started. 


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

https://babytrend.com/ossa and use the code CoverMe20 

Okay, let’s dive into Talise’s story. Please remember the opinions of my guest,  and this show is not meant to prescribe or treat- it’s an educational tool, so continue to take empowered responsibility for your health and your family.


Show Notes

Talise was raised in a homebirth family- she was a breech c-section, but her mother did more research and realized that it wasn’t necessary to have a c-section just because it was a breech baby.

Keep your children and yourself away from the false narrative that birth MUST be painful

“You put in what you get out” when it comes to birth and preparation- She halfway prepared for her first birth, because she didn’t fully understand that you “should” prepare. 

There was lots of screaming, cussing, and it was very dramatic.  She realized that she wanted to have a different experience.

With her second birth, her midwife helped her heal from her first birth— this is highly important, learning to heal from previous birth traumas.

With the second birth, she exercised more and read more affirmations.  The birth went much smoother.


With her third birth (twin birth), she did hypnobirthing and visualizations every day. 

She changed her wording

Pain —> Pressure

Contractions —> Waves

She exercised daily, visualized daily, ate well and focused on mental preparation.

Talise encourages women to use their voices to help their babies come down (low tones)

She only had a doula for this birth (not a midwife)

Her doula came in and Talise had her leg up.  Her doula said “Stop!  That’s the baby’s booty!”


Baby was born, an hour later, she realized she was still pushing. And suddenly another baby booty came out with two little “chicken legs”


Talise always reminds women how important it is to really interview and meet with your doula and midwives and find someone you’re comfortable with.  They hoped to have a specific midwife, but she wasn’t going to be available because her own daughter was going to be giving birth.

They decided to have an unassisted birth.


All of her children were there until the very end— she gave a massive roar and all of the kids left! 


Once again with this birth, she was incredibly consistent with preparation.


For her next birth, she had another unassisted birth again.


Talise prepared the MOST for her postpartum to make it easier for everyone.


She woke up her husband- he filled the pool


She was talking and laughing until her baby was born.


Talise said her baby’s name just came to her. 


Home is Where the Birth Is Book : https://www.amazon.com/Home-Where-Birth-Stories-Homebirths/dp/1704081637/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=home+is+where+the+birth+is&qid=1624035215&sr=8-2


Website: https://www.talisehomebirthqueen.com


Episode Roundup:

Isn’t Talise such an encouragement? Her energy and confidence just radiate, and they’ve got me feeling like a homebirth queen, too.  As we head into this week’s episode roundup, here are a few topics that came to mind for me.

  1. What a blessing that Talise’s mom took the initiative to learn and research about birth.  Even though she had a c-section, she raised her daughter to know that she could give birth to her babies safely, vaginally and at home.  I’m so impressed by that, and it’s what I wish for the upcoming generation.
  2. Maybe my favorite quote and concept, Talise said when it comes to birth, “You put in what you get out.”  Doing minimal preparation and just leaving it up to chance may leave you feeling out of control and lost during labor.  But when you take the time to prepare, and Talise is such a great example of this, beautiful things can happen.
  3. Finally, with that preparation… comes confidence.  The ability to know your body, to trust yourself and to take charge of your own experience.  Talise was comfortable giving birth unassisted, understanding the risks and benefits and choosing what was best for her family.  And that’s what I ask of everyone— to make informed decisions for their own family.   What an incredible woman and an incredible story.  Be sure to check out all that Talise has to offer at her website, and go buy that book!  Alright my friends. Before you hop off, would you take a screenshot of this episode and share it on your instagram stories?  Tag happyhomebirthpodcast and talisethehomebirthqueen and let us know what takeaway or strength you drew from this episode!  Okay my friends, that’s all I’ve got for you today.  I’ll see you back here next week.
Jun 21, 2021
Healing Trauma Mamas: How Trauma Can Impact Pregnancy and Birth and Why We Must Heal

Trauma— how does trauma of all types impact or influence your pregnancy, labor and postpartum?


Today’s episode is beautiful, but very serious.  We’re speaking with Midon, who has experienced a long journey of learning about early childhood traumas, and how they greatly impacted her most recent birth.  We’re going to share about the importance of talking about these traumas, not leaving them unattended to fester, which can feel like the easier path.  Now, I always do my best to be up front regarding difficult content so that you can make the choice to listen now, or perhaps save it for later when you feel more prepared or in a safer mental place.  This is very likely an episode that you’ll want to listen to with ear buds if you’ve got young ears around. Starting now, because I’m going to tell you what’s coming.  We will bring up some very triggering topics including growing up in a cult, sexual assault and mention of rape, birth assault and trauma, and alienation from family members.  I know it sounds heavy, and it is, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, and Midon is an absolute joy to speak with.  You’re going to gain so much from what she shares about herself and several clients who agreed to let her share bits of their stories, and even if you don’t relate directly to her experiences, this story has given me a whole new compassionate lens for the experiences of others. 


Let’s thank our reviewer of the week, Blessed Momma 0525


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


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


Show Notes

Midon was born into a cult in 1983 in Missour- her great grandfather was the Patriarch

Had barely any memories before the age of 10

She lived in 2 cults, lived there until 18- met her husband and was married 4 months later

Midon became pregnant 1.5 years later

She’d been told her whole life she’d never have children- because of a bicycle accident (that she had no memory of)

She wanted a midwife, but ended up with an OB in the hospital- it was an incredibly traumatic birth- forceps, couldn’t stand up for 9 weeks, broke her tailbone

The nurse forced her to keep her eyes open

6 months later she became pregnant and husband ok’d homebirth

When she left the cult, she was shunned by her family

Her family left the cult, her mom contacted her and wanted to be there- her body held baby in until her mother left

It was a quick, 6 hour birth- her midwife was very compassionate

She had a great third birth

4th- longer labor- it was a stressful time of life- she wonders how much that impacted her

In her 4th pregnancy she began having pelvic issues

Her husband then had a vasectomy

Midon was legally adopted as an adult

They had the vasectomy reversed- Midon became pregnant immediately after

She had to find a new midwife- it was the fastest birth yet, 4 hours

She became pregnant again- lost the baby @ 12 weeks

Finally called her biological brother and he confirmed a lot of her “dreams”— that they were real events

-7th pregnancy: Lots of pelvic pain began to come up- couldn’t sleep

Had preterm labor @ 35 weeks, but they were able to stop the labor and he stayed in until 40.6

It was the roughest labor she had ever had

She was in so much pain, but she didn’t say anything- she thought she was screaming out loud, but she never did.  It made her wonder, “why does this happen?”

People with trauma don’t know how to speak

-3m pp- broke down to her adopted mom

-Interview with pelvic floor specialist- asked lots of questions that made Midon begin to question her childhood “bicycle” accident.

Healing Trauma Mamas


Episode Roundup:

Wasn’t that such an amazing story?  Midon’s still on her journey to healing, and I highly encourage anyone who recognizes a need to heal trauma to join her in the new community she’s created.

As we head into this week’s episode roundup, I have a few thoughts I’d like to discuss


  1. We need to keep our eyes out for obstetric abuse and report it when we see it.  Midon experienced deep birth trauma at the hands of an abusive nurse and OB team, and this my friends is why we have such abysmal outcomes compared to other countries.  When situations like this are allowed to unfold in the hospital setting, when there is no care for the people you’re supposed to be serving…. This leads to nothing good.  If you hear stories like this from your friends, perhaps you can encourage them to reach out and report it.  We have to be the ones demanding change.
  2. It was very eye-opening to hear how Midon became aware of her trauma over time.  As care providers, you may assume that your clients know if they’ve experienced some sort of deep trauma, but these may be the ones who know the least, as their minds do their best to protect them.  This was a great reminder for me.  I also appreciate the way that Midon expressed her inability to express— she couldn’t speak, and even when she thought she was speaking, screaming even in labor, she wasn’t.  This being the case, we must be vigilant, as so many midwives are, to continue the deep observational skills that midwives are so good at.
  3. Finally, I want to end on the positive note— that there is help.  There are others who have walked this road, if you’re walking through past traumas, and there are so many who would love to walk it with you.  You don’t have to be alone, and you don’t have to be silent.  Finding a counselor or therapist who understands trauma, and even just finding the strength over time to open up to those that you love will hopefully not only work on your own healing process, but also give others the courage to heal, too.  Be sure to look into Midon’s group Healing Trauma Mamas for additional community.


Thank you Midon for your willingness to share and expose the difficulty through which you’ve walked.  It was such a blessing to have you on the podcast.


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


Take Your Homebirth Education to the Next Level:

Top 8 Essential Homebirth Resources

Homebirth Mythbusters Masterclass

Happy Homebirth Academy

Jun 14, 2021
The Importance of Mindset and Language in Birth

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

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


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

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




Episode Roundup:

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


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


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

Jun 07, 2021
Maple Syrup and Two Sweet Homebirths


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


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

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

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


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


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


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


Alright, let’s jump in.  Please remember the opinions of my guest,  and this show is not meant to prescribe or treat- it’s an educational tool, so continue to take empowered responsibility for your health and your family.


Show Notes

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





Episode Roundup

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


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

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

May 31, 2021
HBACS and Healing Your Metabolism

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


Hey there, episode 126


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


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


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

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


Okay, let’s waste no more time.  Please remember,,, and this show is not meant to prescribe or treat- it’s an educational tool, so continue to take empowered responsibility for your health and your family.


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


Thriving metabolsim:

Warm hands and feet

Waking temp near 97.8

Resting pulse around 75-95

Regular, comfortable BMs

Shiny, strong hair and nails

Strong, healthy sex drive

Symptomless period

Morning hunger

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

Stable mood

Fast wound healing

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

Seamless transition into menopause


Trashed Metabolism:


Resting pulse is slow

Irregular BMs

Miserable PMS & period

Mood dysregulation

Losing hair

Waking up to pee in the night

Lack of hunger


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


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


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


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


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



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


Find Kori and Fallon at:


The Freely Rooted Podcast


Kori’s Instagram

Kori’s Course


Fallon’s Instagram

Fallon’s Website


Episode Roundup

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

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

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


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



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

May 24, 2021
Brittany's Untouched Birth Works Best

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


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


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


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


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


Show Notes


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


She lives outside of Nashville TN


Stay at home mom/ social media influencer/content creator


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


Her 4th daughter was her first homebirth


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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



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


By 8am Brittany was getting in the birth pool. 


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


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


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


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



She pushed/her body pushed for 3/4 pushes


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

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


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



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


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

Episode Roundup


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


  1. First of all let’s talk about dads and doulas.  I love how Brittany and her husband recognized the fact that having a doula didn’t take away from her husband’s role, it added flexibility and an ability for him to focus on the aspects that he wanted to focus on.  We discuss this throughly inside of HHA and even have several worksheets for you to go through as partners to figure out exactly how you want to work together
  2. As you’re going through your contractions, it can be so beneficial to have certain elements to focus on.  Brittany used counted breaths as a way to relax, and her. Doula spoke an encouraging phrase “that’s one step closer to meeting your baby” to her.  These may seem like small aspects, but we don’t need that much to hold onto, truthfully.  Just a few simple elements to cling to through birth can make a vast difference.  Love, support and relaxation can take you so far.
  3. And finally, let’s end where we began.  What tends to work best— high amounts of unpersonalized intervention… or… space to allow a mother’s body to do what it was designed to do?  In Brittany’s experience, and in the countless births of my guests, my students and clients, wow… it sure seems like letting a mother’s body work while providing reassuring support and love almost always leads to the very best outcomes.
May 17, 2021
A Tokyo Homebirth

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


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


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

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


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


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


Alright, let’s jump in.  Please remember the opinions of my guest,  and this show is not meant to prescribe or treat- it’s an educational tool, so continue to take empowered responsibility for your health and your family.



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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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



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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Once her water broke, the surges felt different. 


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


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


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


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

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


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


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


Episode Roundup:

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

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

May 10, 2021
A Secret Homebirth After 2 Cesareans

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


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


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


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


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


Alright, my friends. Let’s dive in.  Please remember the opinions of my guest may not necessarily reflect my own and vice versa, and this show is not meant to prescribe or treat- it’s an educational tool, so continue to take empowered responsibility for your health and your family. 

Show Notes

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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


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



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


  1. Julie’s family’s response to the news of her homebirth was very illuminating, don’t you think?  It shows that sometimes withholding your plans to anxious family members is the kindest thing you can do not only for yourself, which of course is the most important aspect, but also for them!  So if you’re feeling guilty for not sharing your news, maybe this will serve as a little feather in your cap.
  2. After her two cesarean experiences, Julie was ready to make a change.  She had to fight an uphill battle, yes.  But Julie wasn’t going to let a uniformed, disconnected medical entity make her biggest decisions for her.  She decided to take birth into her own hands.  At first in the hospital, and then at home.  My friends, it doesn’t get any more empowering than that, does it?  She knew the risks, she knew the benefits, and she chose what was best for her.  Now maybe that decision wouldn’t feel the best for you, and that’s okay!  The point is that birth is our responsibility, whether we acknowledge it or not.  And we’ve got to make the decisions that we feel will serve our families best.  Julie was willing to take on the responsibility, and it paid off greatly.
May 03, 2021
Appreciating Rites of Passage, Releasing Fear and Healing During Pregnancy

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!




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




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!

Apr 26, 2021
Mama Midwife: When Your Midwife is Your Mother

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.  


Apr 19, 2021
Ep 120: Navigating Homebirth While Being Youtube Famous

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.

Apr 12, 2021
Ep 119: A Homeschooling Mama's Seventh Pregnancy and Supported Homebirth



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!



Apr 05, 2021
Ep 118: A Last Minute Homebirth, A Heartbreaking Loss, and a Rainbow Baby

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:



More Resources:









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!

Mar 29, 2021
Ep 117: Fixing Your Period

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




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.  


Mar 22, 2021
Ep 116: Unexpected Pregnancy, A Husband's Deployment, and Reframing Birth

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.
Mar 15, 2021
Ep 115:Covid Positive at 37 Weeks... Where Will Kate Give Birth?

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.

Mar 08, 2021
Ep 114: Pivoting in Birth and Preparing for Postpartum with Pure Motherhood Co.

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?




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!  

Mar 01, 2021
Ep 113: Homestead Homebirths: A Long Labor and A Precipitous Birth

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!

Feb 22, 2021
Ep 112: A Homebirth Not in Your Home: Kadie's Airbnb Birth


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
Feb 15, 2021
Ep 111: Nicole Attempts a Homebirth After a Previous Hospital Transport

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!  

Feb 08, 2021
Ep 110: From Fearful to Fearless: Franchesca Overcomes Anxiety and Gives Birth at Home

 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.


Feb 04, 2021
Ep 109: Prepare Your Partner for Homebirth with The Paternal Partner

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:


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
Feb 01, 2021
Ep 108: Labor logistics in the Home vs. the Hospital with Julia Pelly

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.

Jan 25, 2021
Ep 107: Ready to Unpop! Two Homebirth Stories and An "Unpopular" Book with Tori Smith

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! 




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



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!
Jan 18, 2021
Ep 106: Preparing Your Relationship for Postpartum

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.


Jan 04, 2021
Ep 105: Teen Pregnancy, Threats from the Hospital, Home Miscarriage and a Rainbow Homebirth with Alissa Otto

You're listening to episode 105 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast.

How long did you wait to tell your friends and family about your pregnancy?  No time? 8 weeks? 12 weeks?  What about 6 months?  Today’s episode with Alissa covers an incredible array of stories, and she bears her soul with her experience.  I feel so honored that she shared her stories, and I know you’ll feel the same when you hear them.  I do of course like to mention when stories contain especially difficult situations, and I will aware you that she did have some very traumatic events occur at the hospital, and we will discuss a miscarriage.  These topics are so important to discuss, but of course I want to be sensitive to those who are approaching birth or who are in a place where they would prefer to wait until a later time to listen.  Otherwise, enjoy this amazing woman’s stories.


Show Notes:


Alissa’s first experience of pregnancy came at the age of seventeen.  She herself did not realize she was pregnant for quite a bit.  In fact, she ran an entire season of Cross Country and began the basketball season before anyone knew.  The realization of her pregnancy, however, came in a very public way, as she danced during a half-time show with her dance team.  Her shirt came up, and all saw that she was pregnant.  She hadn’t even told her family at this point, and she was 6 months pregnant.


Alissa says that no one gave her a hard time about her pregnancy, and everyone stood by her.   


Once everyone found out, she and her child’s father went to planned parenthood to receive care and figure out where to got an OB.  They measured her belly and told Alissa there was nothing they could do to support her.


Her first labor was incredibly fast, and she was actually only at the hospital for about 15 minutes before her baby arrived.  However, in that time she received both an episiotomy and had a vacuum delivery. Immediately following, she was simply proud of herself for having an unmedicated birth and knew she would do so again in the future (she’s highly afraid of needles—no way she’d have an epidural!)


13 years later, after marrying her husband, she became pregnant again.  They were in Texas for the majority of the pregnancy, and were planning a birth center birth with a midwife. 


Their anatomy scan showed bilateral choroid cysts, which had her very stressed.  Apparently it usually self-resolves, but when it doesn’t it can be fatal.  There’s nothing to be done for it, so they decided to remain calm and not do any additional testing. 


Around 28 weeks pregnant, they moved back home at the end, and decided that they would give birth in the hospital with a community OB who was greatly recommended.  She seemed to be comfortable with natural options.


She went into labor at 41 weeks, when her water broke, though there was no fluid.  She had another traumatic birth experience where no one listened to her requests— even the ones the doctor had signed off on.  She was only in the hospital an hour before baby was born, but her rights were trampled on constantly.  The next morning, they planned to leave, but the doctors told her that her Hep B results came back as positive, and they couldn’t leave the hospital without giving the baby the Hep B injection.  She refused, and knew that the results were incorrect.  She told them again and again to recheck, and they wouldn’t budge.  Finally they signed papers “allowing” them to leave, although legal action was threatened.  A week later, her doctor called to tell her the original results were wrong—they’d given her someone else’s results.  During that phone call, Alissa’s milk finally came in.


Alissa’s 3rd birth was a heartbreaking miscarriage at 10 weeks.  They learned that the baby had stopped growing at 6 weeks, and she wanted to miscarry naturally at home.  This happened over the span of a week, which she was very surprised about.  After losing a large amount of blood, they went to the hospital and found out that a small piece of placenta was adhered to the cervix.  Once the piece was removed, she stopped bleeding.  Alissa wants to shed light on the fact that miscarriages are labor and birth, and they should be treated and understood as such.  


She became pregnant with her rainbow baby two months later, and her family was thrilled.  She finally had the beautiful, peaceful homebirth that she deserved.


Episode Roundup: 

  1. Birth trauma is real, and it can impact our postpartum, our bond, and our mental and physical health.  This is a reminder that if you experience trauma or abuse with your care provider or nurses, you can report it.  There can be serious consequences for these types of situations for mother and baby, and those responsible should be held responsible.  
  2. Miscarriages are labor and miscarriages are birth.  I’m so grateful for Alissa sharing how her natural miscarriage happened, how she experienced it, and how it impacted her.  I know so many of you have been in her shoes, and my heart goes out to you.  Your baby matters, and your experience matters.
  3. And finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel.  After several incredibly difficult experiences, Alissa went on to have a glorious, triumphant homebirth.  A birth that was a huge step in the direction of healing, and that is what I wish for us all.
Dec 28, 2020
Ep 104: Birth as a Rite of Passage with Dr. Rachel Reed

You're listening to the Happy Homebirth Podcast, Episode 104


Today's guest: Dr Rachel Reed is a midwife, academic, author, and international speaker who focuses on childbirth physiology, midwifery practice, and women's rights (and rites). She has provided midwifery care for many women and has attended births in a wide range of settings and circumstances. Rachel is the author of the award-winning blog MidwifeThinking and the co-host of The Midwives' Cauldron podcast. She has published widely in journals and magazines, and her first book Why Induction Matters is a popular resource for women and care providers. Her most recent book Reclaiming Childbirth as a Rite of Passage: weaving ancient wisdom with modern knowledge will be published early 2021. Further information about Rachel and her work is available at www.rachel-reed.website. and….she’s just delightful. 


I find myself getting sucked into her blog archives for hours at a time, and for today’s episode I decided to ask her about several topics that she covers quite wonderfully there.  I know you’re going to deeply enjoy this episode.  With that, let’s jump in! 

Show Notes:

Big Babies

Most women having homebirth in Australia have “big” babies, and they’re not scary. 

In hospital, however, it can be a different story.  If a doctor diagnoses a mother with a “big baby” on ultrasound, it can begin to cause stress and fear for her.

Dr. Reed mentions that the research does not separate healthy, normal big babies from those whose mothers have gestational diabetes.  These babies tend to have bigger shoulders and can have more difficulty coming out (though most of them come out just fine, too).

“Big babies don’t scare me, but what people do about big babies does scare me.”

Women who are told they have a big baby: C sections, tearing, poorer outcomes are more likely— so it’s the outside causing the problem.

A care provider’s fear of the big baby can cause many of the interventions


Gestational Diabetes as a label— fairly nonsensical

If there are abnormally high blood glucose levels circulating, that does impact the baby and potentially the birth.  However, the blood glucose levels being used are not evidence-based

In Australia, around 17% of women are now labeled as a gestational diabetic.

When Dr. Reed was training, we only tested those who had risk factors.

The issues with challenge tests: it’s an abnormal test— many pregnant women are not drinking sugary drinks, so the tests results can be very off.


VBAC- Mountain or Molehill? 

Is this as dangerous as the medical community seems to happen?

Research related to this is mixed with those who are having inductions and those who are not— when we remove those who are having inductions, we see the already small number of issues become all the smaller.

Statistically a

Dec 21, 2020
Ep 103:Emotional Midwifery Support, Homebirth Childbirth Education, and a More Intense Second Labor

You're listening to Episode 103 of the Happy Homebirth podcast!


Today's episode features Elena, who was interviewed previously in episode 46: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/happy-homebirth/id1446934537?i=1000453404935


After having a hospital birth with her first daughter, Elena knew with her second pregnancy that she would be giving birth at home.  It took her several years to feel ready to have another child, but in the meantime she continued to prepare and educate herself even further regarding birth.


Once she became pregnant, Elena committed herself even further to her traditional diet and the practices of the Weston A. Price foundation.   Elena heard about Happy Homebirth through the Wise Traditions podcast (Katelyn was interviewed):


Elena followed along with the show, and when she found out that Happy Homebirth Academy was in the making, she decided to jump into the founding member's group.


Other noteworthy aspects of Elena's story:


Felt like she was in transition for several hours— later realized that she had a cervical lip.  Elena's midwife eventually pushed the lip back during a contraction.

Soon after, Elena felt she needed to get out of the tub.  Instinctively she got into a squat and began to push.


Postpartum Elena had mastitis: Used phytolacca, belladonna homeopathic and steeped herbs to put on her breast, took sunflower lecithin 

Dec 14, 2020
Ep 102: A Thoughtful Approach to Conception, Pregnancy and Homebirth

You're listening to the Happy Homebirth Podcast- Episode 102!

In today's episode we're speaking with Robyn Riley all about her journey to having her first baby at home.


She decided that homebirth was the appropriate path for her well before she was pregnant-- in fact, 10+ years before!  


Robyn and her husband met in their early 30's, and they were both eager to settle down and start a family.  They decided to court for one year, and then if they were the right fit, they would get married and start a family immediately.


Robyn began preparing her body for conception well ahead of time.  She cleaned up her diet and supplemented with important nutrients like Iodine.

As soon as they were married, Robyn and her husband began attempting to conceive.  During the second month, Robyn became pregnant!


Her husband was away on a job interview trip (they were hoping to move from Brussels to Canada) when she found out, and she decided to wait until he was home to tell him-- it was incredibly difficult not to tell him on the phone!


Once they moved to Canada, Robyn found a midwife.  She shared with her midwife that she was a Christian, and she was shocked and comforted to find out that her midwife shared her faith.  Robyn discusses how incredible this was-- especially because this was the only midwife anywhere near her area!


Her pregnancy went very smoothly, and at the end, she began seeing a chiropractor and pelvic floor physiotherapist.


Robyn practiced pushing and stretching using a device called the Epi-No: https://www.epino.de/en/epi-no.html


During labor, Robyn found herself lying completely still- something she did not picture!  Once her baby was born, she learned that he had a nuchal hand (a fist up next to his head), which she feels is the reason she needed to remain still.  Fortunately, Robyn did not tear.

She chose to use a protocol for the third stage of labor (pushing out the placenta) that requires the mother to stand up at 3 minutes after birth, cut the cord, and push out the placenta.  The belief is that this helps prevent postpartum hemorrhage: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344429308_Expedient_Squatting_Third_Stage_technique_to_prevent_bleeding_at_birth


Robyn mentions how amazing her midwife was in the postpartum period.  Right as her son was born, the world went into Covid lockdown.  Her midwife visited daily, bringing soups and nourishing foods from Robyn's church community.  She cared for Robyn and helped her immensely in what is such a critical phase.  


If you'd like to learn more about Robyn and her Youtube channel, follow along here: https://www.instagram.com/realrobynriley/

Youtube Channel: Motherland


Dec 07, 2020
Ep 101:The Importance of Community Birth and Creating More Birth Workers

You're listening to episode 101 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast.


In this week's podcast episode we'll be hearing from Jessica Johnston, CPM and co-founder of the Pacific Birth Institute.


Jessica and her co-founders are bent on bringing birth back into the community, which requires more hands and feet on the ground-- more birth attendants, more midwives.  But how, when becoming a birth worker is fraught with barriers? Not everyone can give up their life to be constantly on call, sacrifice everything to attend school, and work as an unpaid apprentice for years on end.


Pacific Birth Institute is on a mission to help break some of the barriers.  They've released an online pre-requisite birth assistant program (available for all), and they've created an incredible training program in Alaska-- one that I hope will pick up steam across the country.


This is so important, as we recognize that bringing birth back into the community is the best way to begin decreasing our national maternal mortality rate.  


If you're considering working in the birth world, be sure to go to pacificbirthinstitute.com and check out the program!

Nov 30, 2020
Ep 100: Homebirth is a Team Sport

You're listening to episode 100 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast!

In celebration of this milestone, Happy Homebirth Academy will be available for this week only (until the new year).

Join here: www.myhappyhomebirth.com/HHA


Show Notes:

Christine and Andrew started their pregnancy journey traditionally with OB care.  However, as the pregnancy progressed, they began feeling more and more frustrated about the fact that appointments were fast and shallow.  There was not in-depth preparation for childbirth, and they felt there must be something missing.

The couple decided to begin their own research, which led them to switch to midwifery care and homebirth.

Their commitment to giving birth at home grew as they became closer with their midwife, and as she answered their questions and prepared them deeply on what to expect during the entire process.  Both Christine and Andrew recognized the added layers of safety in their homebirth experience because they did know their midwife so well.

Whenever there were questions about what happens if something goes wrong, their midwife always had a quality answer on what to expect and the protocol.

Christine expected to go beyond 40 weeks, for at 38 weeks she and Andrew decided to go camping.  On the trip, her water began leaking.  They went home the next morning and prepared for the onset of labor.

Throughout the process of labor, Christine and Andrew worked together.  He kept up with what she needed and encouraged her through contractions— reminding her to breathe and relax.  This was incredibly helpful during Christine’s long and arduous pushing phase. 

Andrew recalled how amazing it was that the midwife was able to recognize when to step in and provide feedback and when to stay back and remain an observer.

He truly understood that it was his duty to be Christine’s support person.

After baby was born, he needed resuscitative breaths.  Christine and Andrew were calm and confident during this experience.

Once he was breathing and stable, the midwives began tended to Christine, as she was bleeding a good bit.

After a while, the midwives had to perform an internal examination of the uterus to see what was causing the bleeding.

Though uncomfortable, Christine and Andrew both felt completely calm during what could have otherwise been a traumatic experience, as the felt heard, understood, and like the most important people on the birth team.


Episode Roundup:

I am so appreciative of this episode and the perspective it brings.  It’s so important to focus on mothers and their experience of birth, yes, but what a disservice we are doing if we’re not showing up for dads and helping them see how they fit into the equation.  Christine and Andrew worked together so beautifully before, during and after their birthing experience, and Andrew’s understanding of his responsibilities as the birth partner certainly added massive value to their homebirth.  I hope this episode acts as inspiration and as a roadmap for other fathers who are looking for ways to be involved in the birthing experience.  You’re part of this team, and you’re incredibly important. 

Nov 16, 2020
Ep 99: From Obstetrical Bullying to Compassionate Care

Your care provider.  When you think of the person who will be attending your birth, what adjectives come to mind?  Do you feel at peace, comforted and cared for, or do you feel bullied, manipulated and belittled?  Hannah has experienced both ends of the spectrum, and I’m so happy to have her on today’s episode to share with you just how difficult, and then how beautiful birth can be. 


Happy Homebirth Academy has an affiliate program for care providers.  To enter yourself in a monthly drawing for a Happy Homebirth T Shirt (or Amazon gift card), tell your care provider about it!  Take a screenshot of the text or email sending them to www.myhappyhomebirth.com/affiliate , and send it to katelyn@myhappyhomebirth.com with the subject line: Midwife Message


Hannah thought her hospital birth would be totally covered, as she was actually on two insurance plans.  As it turned out, she was not, and her hospital birth was more expensive than her later homebirth.

One big red flag Hannah experienced with her OB, that she now wishes would have made her turn and run, was that when she gave the OB her birth plan, the response was “Oh, you’ll get the epidural.  Don’t be a hero.”

Hannah urges mothers— if you’re experiencing obstetrical bullying, FIND ANOTHER PROVIDER!

She actually experienced her first labor contractions while camping at 40 weeks.  The labor was long—beyond 48 hours, and she finally received pitocin, an epidural, and “purple pushed” for 2 hours.

When she became pregnant with her second child, she still felt somewhat traumatized by the first experience.  Even though she knew she wanted a different experience, she wondered, “Can I do it?”

She chose a midwife, and the difference she notes is that she felt completely secure and completely safe at home

She felt her care provider was perfectly aligned with her.

During her second pregnancy, she and her husband communicated more effectively about what she would want during labor.  This paid off, and he was able to support her perfectly.

Hannah also hired a doula, which she recommends to everyone.

She loved the book “Childbirth Without Fear,” and one of the biggest takeaways she found was this:  In Genesis, we’ve translated the discussion of the fall as Adam toiling the land and Eve experiencing great pain with childbirth.  However, the same Hebrew word is used in both: Toil.  She discusses the idea that labor is an experience of toil, not necessarily an experience of pain. Once her baby arrived, Hannah experienced “the birth pause” where all felt right in the world.  She was overwhelmed with thankfulness and connection, where she recalls feeling completely out of it after her first hospital birth.

Her biggest takeaway from birth is that when you have the right care provider, you feel in charge, not managed.


Episode Roundup:

1.If your care provider is bullying you, FIRE THEM AND RUN.  Remember, they work for you.  Remember, you are your own and your child’s advocate

2. I want to bring back this discussion of pain vs. toil.  I love this concept, and as I’ve said many times… I just don’t consider childbirth painful. I know this isn’t the case for everyone, and I love to hear all of the ways that others experience it.  But toil… great work?  Certainly.  Remember that so much of our experience is often unknowingly wrapped up in our own expectations.  If we’re expecting pain, well, pain we shall likely have.  Coming into childbirth with an open mind and an arsenal of tools to provide comfort gives such a great chance at truly appreciating, if not downright enjoying, the experience.

Nov 09, 2020
Ep 98: Kyleigh's Out-of-the-Box Homebirth Preparation

You're listening to episode 98 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast!

Has Happy Homebirth influenced you in a positive way?  As we come up on episode 100, would you take a few minutes to go to speakpipe.com/happyhomebirth and leave a message telling us how it's impacted your life and pregnancy?  We'd love to share your message on episode 100! 


What does preparing for a homebirth look like to you?  Do you prefer a done-for-you checklist, or do you enjoy putting the puzzle together yourself?  Although I am, of course, a huge proponent for childbirth education, particularly childbirth education FOR homebirth mothers, I love hearing how mothers choose to prepare for homebirth.  There’s no one right way, and in today’s episode, we’ll hear how amazingly Kyleigh did with her preparation.  From creating a birth labyrinth to practicing pain management techniques, there is so much to learn from this episode.  


Show Notes

Kylie decided she wanted a homebirth before she became pregnant by listening to birth podcasts and realizing she didn’t like the sense of lack of control many seemed to experience in the hospital.  Once pregnant, she read the book Mama Zen, which she credits for her comfortable, mindful attitude during pregnancy and birth.  She feels it truly set her up for success.

At 37 weeks her baby was transverse, so she began going to the chiropractor 3x/week, which helped baby into a good position.

Before labor, she spent lots of time on her birth ball doing puzzles.  She also practiced pain management techniques by holding ice.

Kyleigh’s labor was 9 hours: 5 hours of active labor, then 4 hours of pushing.

Favorite books: Spiritual Midwifery, She Births, Unassisted Childbirth

She created a “labor labyrinth” for herself


Episode Roundup:

  1. Preparing for birth doesn’t have to look any specific way. When I spoke to Kyleigh before the interview, she was like, “Yeah, I really didn’t prepare.  I just went with the flow.” And she’s definitely not giving herself enough credit.  Kyleigh thoroughly prepared for her birthing experience, she just didn’t attach any unnecessary expectations.  She was there for it, whatever it would be.  I love the sense of mindfulness she brought, and this is absolutely something we harp on inside of Happy Homebirth Academy.
  2. Chiropractic care!  Whew, I can’t recommend it enough, and now I know Kyleigh is on board with it, too!  How incredible that she was able to create space for her baby to get in the correct position.
  3. Finally, I loved Kyleigh’s discussion of her ability to relax and be exactly as she needed to be to get her baby out of womb and into arms.  She was surrounded by a loving team, and she knew that she could make the noises, move in the ways she needed to move and be completely uninhibited.  THAT. Is what we need more of.  The understanding that we can do exactly what our body is telling us to do.  Whether it seems serene and quiet, or it sounds like a freight train coming at you, it matters not.  Birth is incredible, and allowing yourself to experience it fully— the way your body needs it to happen- is amazing.
Nov 02, 2020
Ep 97: A Generational Baby Catch at Home

You're listening to Episode 97 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast! 


When you have a perfectly lovely hospital birth, why on earth would you change things up with your next?  I’m excited to share Imogen’s story with you today, as she and her husband did just that.  Of course, we know that many mothers seek out a “better way” after having a traumatic and emotional birthing experience in the hospital.  But of course, that’s not always how it happens!  And I can’t wait for you to hear about the generational baby catch.  Let’s jump in!


Imogen lives in England, and is the mother of two children.  Her mother has worked as a midwife for over 30 years, so she grew up with somewhat of an understanding of childbirth.  However, she wouldn’t consider herself completely educated on the subject prior to her own births, and she decided in her first pregnancy that she wanted to keep it that way!  

She was, however, hoping for a natural birth, as she does not typically like to take medications of any sort.

Imogen’s midwife had a hunch that she would go quickly once she was in labor, so she warned her that she should head to the hospital soon after contractions began.

9 days after her due date, she was sitting in the nursery on her ball.  She decided to try out her breast pump, and her water dramatically broke!  She and her husband headed to the hospital with her mom.  Upon arrival into the birthing center, she was checked and only at a 4.  They told her they wouldn’t officially write down that she was in labor, but that she could go to the early labor room to see how she progressed.

She was, however, very much in labor!  After a while of laboring on the floor, her mother gave her some gas and told her she’d be back.  She went to the midwives and asked them to check her.

Imogen was beyond 9cm dilated, so they walked/wheeled her to one of the delivery suites.  She hopped in the tub, and soon began to push.  She had to push for over an hour, turning her baby from posterior into an anterior position.  

Baby was born, and her husband asked if they could just go home.  The midwives agree, and only a few hours after giving birth, they were tucked into their beds at home.


Soon after becoming pregnant again, Imogen told her husband she was interested in a homebirth.  He was very excited and supportive of the idea, as he mentioned that going to the hospital had felt somewhat traumatic with the first— hospitals generally being a place of sickness and sadness.


She began searching for podcasts and found Happy Homebirth, which she listened to throughout her pregnancy. Imogen said that it made a huge difference feeling that she had a community of support, and that the stories helped her feel confident in her decision.  She also reached out and found local homebirth mothers to connect with.


Though her pregnancy was healthy, the pandemic added a cloud of stress and exhaustion.  She wasn’t able to have help with her toddler, and she was still working full time—but from home.  This caused more aches and pains than with her first.


3 days after her due date, Imogen woke up at 6:20 with a pain in her belly.  She flipped over, and a few minutes later felt it again.  After a few minutes, she realized she could be in labor!  The contractions were 3 minutes apart.  She told her husband, but had him stay in bed with their daughter.


She called her mother and had her come over.  They worked through some contractions together, and eventually discussed with each other that the midwife should be called. 


Imogen wanted to get her birthing space set up with the pool, so her mother went to do that.  Suddenly, though, she knew birth was imminent.  Her mom ran upstairs to find Imogen’s husband preparing to get in the shower.  She told him to head downstairs or he’d miss the baby’s birth.  He came downstairs, sat their toddler in his lap, and Imogen’s mother ended up catching her grandson before the midwives arrived.  


Although it wasn’t the water birth Imogen had imagined, the empowerment and wonder of her mother being able to catch her grandson was amazing.


Episode Roundup:

  1. You don’t have to have a negative hospital experience to choose to do something differently the next time around.  If you feel empowered, go for the homebirth!
  2. Community makes a difference.  Imogen listened to happy homebirth, she was active inside of our Facebook community, and she connected with other local homebirth mothers.  This was incredibly helpful for her as she prepared, especially with all of the pandemic lockdowns of her pregnancy.
Oct 26, 2020
Ep 96: Twin Sisters Experience Pregnancy and Homebirth Together

You're listening to the Happy Homebirth Podcast, episode 96!


What would it be like to go through pregnancy and birth with someone you loved dearly?  Whether it's a friend or family member, experiencing pregnancy with someone close can be amazing.  But... when it's your twin?!  From in the womb to full-wombs together... what an incredible story today's episode entails!


Join me as Sharina and Latrina share their most recent (perhaps final) pregnancies with us-- and how they shared the experience together!



Oct 19, 2020
Ep 95: From Postpartum Psychosis to Postpartum Bliss

You're listening to episode 95 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast!


Show Notes:

Although Angelique looked forward to her first birth (she planned a homebirth from the beginning) her labor experience did not go as planned.  Both her midwife and her backup midwife were attending other births at the time she went into labor.  Her labor was intense and felt fast-- she never felt like she could catch up with the contractions.  A third midwife arrived before her son was born, but not long before.


Angelique's postpartum was devastatingly hard.  She and her husband were functioning on almost zero sleep, and although she tried to explain the situation to others, people were not realizing just how serious the issues they were experiencing were.  This lack of sleep turned into hallucinations and terrifying thoughts for Angelique.  Eventually she and her husband came up with a way for Angelique to get more sleep, and although she didn't fully recover until about a year after, things did begin to get better.


Everything was different with her second baby!  Angelique had a beautiful experience, and went into labor right after a tornado came through--knocking out the power.  It was a gorgeous day, though, and a birth surrounded by all of the people she wanted there.  Her second baby was born peacefully, and she had a blissful postpartum experience the second time around.

Oct 12, 2020
Ep 94: The Social Influencer's Happy Homebirth

You're listening to episode #94 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast!


Join me as we do a mash-up episode.  I interviewed Julie Solomon of The Influencer Podcast on her own show.  We discussed the details of why and how she gave birth at home.   This was such a joyous show.  Make sure you check out her podcast, especially if you're of the female entrepreneurial spirit!

Oct 06, 2020
Ep 93: The Fertility Awareness Method and Understanding Your Cycle

You're listening to the Happy Homebirth Podcast, episode 93!


I’m excited to switch things up today.  This podcast episode is going to be all about fertility awareness, and why understanding our menstrual cycle can be hugely empowering.  We’ll be discussing this with my good friend Sophia Zafares, who is a Fertility Awareness Method Educator.  So… basically the perfect person to get the low down on what this all means.


And exciting news!  Check out the happy-Homebirth podcast on nstagram this week, as Sophia and I will be holding a giveaway together.  You don’t want to miss it.  Literature and a useful tool!


Show Notes:


Sophia is a fertility awareness method educator.


FAM- understanding the biomarkers of your fertility to avoid pregnancy, achieve pregnancy, or keep up with your general hormonal cycles.


Training through FEMM: Fertility Education and Medical Management


Pills, IUD, Shot, Implant: It’s important to know that they have basically the same forms of synthetic hormones.

These hormones do not interact with our bodies in the same ways that our natural hormones do. 


These hormones are administered at consistent levels, whereas during our natural cycles, the hormones go through rhythms instead of a steady-state. 


Hormonal bc: steady state, masculine stability

FAM: tuning into the body and noticing what it’s doing, feminine rhythm



Hormonal bc (side effects/ EFFECTS): Remember that hormones are involved in every part of our bodies and all of our systems

Prevent ovulation - without ovulation, certain hormones cannot be created.  Depleted nutrients, lower ability to absorb and use the nutrients

Affects attraction and mate selection- choose someone they wouldn’t typically choose, come off of bc and are very unhappy

Depletion of bone density



It takes several years for a girl’s cycle to fully mature.  If a young girl is put on bc, her maturity stops, and her cervix will be aged. 



Lisa Hendrickson-Jack: The Fifth Vital Sign, Fertility Friday



Follow Sophia: @sage.fertility on Instagram

Website: www.sagefertility.co


Sep 28, 2020
Ep 92: Learning That There's Something To Learn About Birth

Congratulations to the newest members of Happy Homebirth Academy!

Check out myhappyhomebirth.com to access the interview application.  It's open this week!


Show Notes:

In her first pregnancy, Katie felt excited about her birth, but did not think there was anything for her to learn.  She knew that God had made her to give birth and she would.  She thought that any education she found, like What to Expect When You’re Expecting would be negative and unhelpful.  Looking back, Katie says this was well-meaning, but very naive.


With her first labor, she was in Mass and noticed that she was having “stomach pains” almost every 6 minutes.


Once she went to the hospital, she labored all night without any coping mechanisms.  She just knew that she wanted to have an unmedicated birth.


She called her mom and asked her to make her way there- a 5 hour drive.  Katie’s labor stalled the entire 5 hours her mom was making the drive.  As soon as she arrived, her labor began progressing immediately.  


Once her baby was born, they were taken to a recovery room with an amazing queen-sized bed.  


With her second birth, her husband was deployed.  Her mother came to support her.


Once she went to the hospital, she met up with her doula, who was an amazing support.  


They walked the hospital halls, then went to their room.  Once Katie’s water broke, her baby was born about 4 minutes later.  

Because she had declined antibiotics for GBS, Katie had to stay for 3 days.


Katie learned so much about birth between her 2nd and 3rd birth.  Because she didn’t want another experience like her previous hospital one, she began looking into birthing centers.  Her doula asked if she’d be interested in homebirth, to which she replied “no way”. 

Later that very week, Katie decided she did in fact want a homebirth!


Her doula accompanied her into the bathroom, then yelled for the midwife to get in there.  Katie was adamant that she didn’t want to have her baby in the bathroom,, so she walked over to the tub, where her water broke and Fetal Ejection Reflex kicked in.  She flipped over onto her back and then pushed her baby out.  She found out that her baby had a nuchal hand.


Katie loved the experience of her third pregnancy and adores homebirth.

Sep 21, 2020
Ep 91: Preparing for a Homebirth in a Time Crunch!

Happy Homebirth Academy is open for enrollment through Sat, Sept 19th!  Head over to: https://www.myhappyhomebirth.com/hha to sign up!


Joelle and her husband did not choose to have a homebirth until only a few weeks before giving birth. 


She and her husband watched The Business of Being Born early on in the pregnancy, but decided their hospital would be just fine, as it was considered Baby Friendly.


However, as Covid-19 hit and Joelle was forced home to work (virtual school), she spent more time looking into her options.  She decided to meet with a local midwife, and it was decided that homebirth was the best option for her family.




Sep 14, 2020
Ep 90: The Story Behind The 3 Pillars of a Happy Homebirth

Happy 100,000+ Downloads, Happy Homebirthers! We're celebrating today with a replay of the episode that played when we hit 10,000 downloads (only a little over a year ago... we're growing fast!).   This episode is also the story of my own birth... the inspiration for all of the childbirth education I've begun creating since.   The 3 Pillars of a Happy Homebirth live event is this week, September 8th-10th at 8pm EST.

Make sure you join! www.myhappyhomebirth.com/3pillars

Sep 07, 2020
Ep 89: Homebirth.com and a Homebirth Story!

*IMPORTANT*: Don't forget to sign up for the FREE 3 Day Event: 3 Pillars of a Happy Homebirth!  www.myhappyhomebirth.com/3pillars

Happening Sept 8-10th (replay will be available)


Show Notes:

Jocelyne noticed that pregnancy was listed as a “condition”, which felt incredibly wrong for her.  She did a google search and found a birth center located only 5 minutes away from her home.  Jocelyne and Eddie were so excited for their lovely birth center experience.

Unfortunately, as the date approached, Jocelyne and Eddie found out some devastating news…

The birth center would be closing down before their due date.  They were going out of business, and the midwives sent an e-mail discussing local hospitals to choose from.

Jocelyne drove up to the birth center to ask what was going on. She spoke with one of the midwives, who told her she could consider homebirth with another local midwife.  “Is that even safe?” Jocelyne remembers asking.  

After much research and consideration, Jocelyne and Eddie were sold on their homebirth experience.  They were even able to find a doula who spoke Spanish— perfect for their situation! Jocelyne’s labor was long and arduous, but when she looks back, she says the experience was perfect for herself and her husband.  She relied on Eddie, as she says she always has in their relationship.  He was her perfect comfort and support.


A while after their daughter was born, Eddie realized that the domain homebirth.com was for sale.  They chose to purchase it, not knowing exactly what they would do with it at the time, but they knew they wanted to help pregnant women.


Jocelyne and Eddie have begun with plans to use homebirth.com as a way to educate mothers about this birthing option, and to create an online midwifery matching service.  Families will be able to search their location and add in specific credentials and preferences about their midwife in order to find their perfect match.


To learn more about this amazing growing resource, go to homebirth.com or check them out on instagram: instagram.com/homebirthdotcom

Aug 31, 2020
Ep 88: Lindsey's Thoughtful, Meditative Birth

Join the Happy Homebirth Live event!  Sept 8th-10th:


3 Pillars of a Happy Homebirth

Aug 24, 2020
Ep 87: Gentle Hands Get the Job Done

What happens when your baby flips to breech when you’re 6 cm dilated and planning for a homebirth?


Hey there happy homebirthers, and welcome to episode 87 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast.  I’m your host, Katelyn Fusco, and I’m excited to dive into this week’s episode.  Would you take a quick screenshot of you listening to this episode and upload it to your instagram stories?  Tag happyhomebirthpodcast and I’ll be sure to share in my stories as well.


I’m so excited to share Cesia’s two homebirth stories with you, so let’s jump on into the interview.


Please remember that the opinions of my guest may not necessarily reflect my own and vice versa, and we are not acting as medical professionals, so continue to see your Dr., midwife, or if you’re like me, your chiropractor.



Show Notes


Cesia hosts a podcast called Parenting in Queens, where she shares stories and helpful information about her beautiful borough.


When she became pregnant with her first, she and her husband watched The Business of Being Born, though she still intended to have a hospital birth.  She just wanted to be informed.  As the weeks went on, however.  She began feeling that something was missing.  She did not feel connected to her care providers, as she rotated between them.


As she left one appointment, Cesia asked her husband what he thought about the idea of a homebirth.  He responded, “Weren’t you going to have one anyway?”  With his support and encouragement, they went on to hire a midwife team!

With her first baby, she went to 41 weeks and decided to have an acupuncture appointment.  The next day, contractions began.  Cesia labored throughout the day, and at midnight her midwife came to check her.  Cesia was a 7, and her midwife stretched her cervix.  


3 hours later, her midwife was back at her house, as the stretch had pushed Cesia deep into active labor.  One hour later and her baby was born.


With her second birth, Cesia was having cramps that she thought were due to the beans she’d eaten the night before!


Her midwife decided to come check on her since she was in the area anyway.  Her doula came as well.  The 3 women sat together knitting while Cesia bounced on a birth ball.  


When the midwife checked Cesia, she found something interesting:  The baby was breech!


The midwife told Cesia that she could try to turn the baby if Cesia wanted, and she did want her to try.  The midwife began massaging Cesia’s belly using rose hip oil.  After a few minutes, Cesia asked when she was going to flip the baby.  Her response was, “I already did.”


Cesia’s second labor was only 3 hours long.  She pushed her baby out on the birthing stool, and he arrived en caul.


@queensknits was Cesia’s doula, and she felt she was an amazing asset.


Cesia’s midwifery group is now planning to open an nonprofit birthing center in 2020.


Episode Roundup:

As we jump into the episode roundup, I’m struck by the ability of midwives.  How amazing, that hands off and yet still hands on balance they have as care providers.  And the gentleness with which they are able to manage situations.  I find it so incredible that Cesia’s midwife was able to gently massage her baby into the correct position, where in her previous pregnancy, Cesia dealt with a stressful and painful doctor’s palpation.  


I also want to mention how beautiful I find it that Cesia was so willing to allow others new to the birth work world to witness such a gorgeous birth.  Her care team was so loving and supportive, and she clearly returned that love for them.


Alright, my friends.  Go check out Cesia’s work and follow along.  That’s all I’ve got for you this week.  I’ll see you back here next week.


Aug 17, 2020
Ep 86: From Valley to Mountain: Laura's Spiritual, Pain-Free Birth

You're listening to episode 86 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast.


Pain-free childbirth is a myth.... right?


Show Notes: Laura is a mother of 3, and she and her husband were newly married when they became unexpectedly pregnant.  They had recently moved, and found themselves moving back into Laura's parents' house as they got their finances in order. 


Because she had never spent time around babies, Laura took a nannying job for a newborn during her pregnancy.  When he napped, she would read books.  A family member gave her Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, and at 35 weeks her entire outlook on birth shifted.  She even considered a homebirth, but soon realized this would not be possible in her family's house.


Laura switched to midwifery care within the hospital and had a beautiful natural birth.  She wanted to give birth in the water, which she did.


When she became pregnant again 11 months later, she prayed for a shorter birthing time.  That's exactly what she got-- though the experience left her reeling and feeling out of control, even slightly scared of birth.  She did have a natural birth, and it was short, but it was quite stressful for her.


During this postpartum experience, Laura struggled immensely.  She had an incredibly emotional time and leaned on her faith like never before.  She learned about grace on a personal level, and worked through many problems and emotions that had previously never seen the light of day.  Finally, she felt like she could see the light at the end of the tunnel....


And then Laura found out that she was pregnant again.  This came as a massive shock to her, as she and her husband were not planning for this.  While the realization that she was carrying new life initially thrilled her, once the thought set in, Laura began to panic with fear that she would have to go through all of this postpartum pain and suffering again.  She worried that she was nutritionally depleted, and that this third pregnancy would cause more depletion.

Laura continued to rely on her faith and her husband, and she prayed about her upcoming birth.  She was finally going to be able to have a homebirth, and she wanted this experience to be not only spiritual, but also pain free.  She dedicated time and prayer to this end, and she created space for this to happen.


When Laura had her third baby, all were shocked to see her raising her hands in worship during her contractions.  When her baby crowned, and then the head was born, Laura truly did not realize it had happened.  Her birth was 100% pain-free.


Laura emphasized the fact that this can be the case for anyone-- creating space for this type of positive outcome is so important.


Episode Roundup: I wanted to touch once again on this idea on creating space for the positive experiences.  I love that Laura cleared her fears when necessary and focused on the notion that she could indeed have a beautiful, pain-free experience.  It's a great reminder for us all: Clear fears and create space for the beautiful experience that birth can be!


Aug 10, 2020
Ep 85: A Midwife's Homebirth

A midwife's homebirth... it should be easy, right?  I mean, come on... you're a pro at this!


Madeline, like so many other midwives, shares just how incorrect that assumption can be with the birth story of her second baby.  


Show Notes:

After experiencing a LONG, arduous labor with her first child, Madeline decided to prepare differently for the birth of her second child.


She saw a new chiropractor


She focused on visualizations


She took Happy Homebirth Academy


She learned to release her pelvic floor (accounts to follow will be linked at the end)


Madeline did all that she could to prepare herself for a faster, calmer, more peaceful birthing experience.


However, "peace" is not the description Madeline would use for her second birth.  Peaceful as a tornado, maybe!


Madeline's fast and furious birth left both her midwife and mother brains reeling.  Her mind couldn't keep up with her body, as her body forcefully produced her new daughter.


Episode Roundup:


Although I love the idea of having a peaceful homebirth, and I think it's an important desire to discuss, Madeline's experience has taught me just how important it is to emphasize the empowerment of birth, not only it's potential peacefulness.   No matter how you do it: fast, slow, loud, quiet.... bring a baby from inside of you, out... that's incredible.  



Resources: https://www.instagram.com/pelvicpotential/






Aug 03, 2020
Ep 84: Shared Decision Making With Dr. Brad Bootstaylor

You are listening to episode 84 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast.

Today, our guest is Dr. Brad Bootstaylor, author of the book Shared Decision Making.

  • Dr. B Bootstaylor helps expecting parents to get an enlightening birth experience without being fearful of having their voices heard by using Shared Decision Making. Drawing on over 30 years of academic and clinical experience, Dr. Brad Bootstaylor provides you with a resource guide to having an “empowered” pregnancy and birth experience. Through a series of defined principles, birth stories, and real-world clinical scenarios, the model of Shared Decision Making is readily accessible, extremely practical, and can be applied to the many different scenarios that occur during pregnancy and birth. Shared Decision Making: Bring Birth Back Into The Hands Of Mothers Vol1 is outlined in a clear, concise fashion. Six information-packed chapters build upon each other, guiding the reader to adopt a new way of viewing themselves and the power derived from this model of care. THE QUEST - Shared Decision MakingGUIDED DISCOVERY - Planning Your Birth JourneyTHE JOURNEY - Understanding DatesTHE DETOUR - UltrasoundsTHE DELIVERY - BirthplacesBring Birth Back - FAQsBonus insight into the “B Score,” as described, provides you with the foundation to make safe, healthy choices in pregnancy and childbirth. By the end of “Shared Decision Making; Bring Birth Back Into The Hands Of Mothers,” you will understand that this process is intuitive, and the tools provided will enable you to practice it in an empowering and meaningful way.

Buy a copy of the book! https://amzn.to/3gZkNjf

Join the Happy Homebirth Facebook group: Facebook.com/groups/happyhomebirth

Jul 27, 2020
Ep 83: Graduation and a Baby!

Can you really do it all?  

Okay, let’s talk about today’s guest.  Our interview is with Megan, a mother of 4 and a jack of all trades.  You’re going to love hearing all of the activities this woman did throughout her pregnancies, and how she continued to make stronger and stronger empowered decisions each time.  Unfortunately we weren’t able to cover all of her birth stories, so she’s going to definitely have to come back to share.  You’re going to love her bubbly personality!

Show Notes During her undergraduate studies, Megan and her husband became pregnant with their first child at 22. 

She had vocalized that she wanted to have a natural birth, but Megan didn’t know that there were really any ways to prepare for this.  2 hours into labor, she received an epidural.  Once her baby arrived, family and friends descended upon the young couple and their new baby.  Looking back, she recognized that this situation was not ideal, and she decided that she would not handle postpartum in the same way going forward.

For her second birth, Megan began doing more research and learning more about natural childbirth.  She learned about a birth center 2 hours away, but felt unsure that she could actually go through with a natural birth.

After they toured the birth center, Megan immediately felt calm.  She decided to go for it!  On the day of labor, Megan rode the 2 hours to the birth center in the backseat of the car facing the opposite direction.  The 2 hour drive turned into a 3-hour drive due to road construction.

She spent the short amount of time at the birth center in the tub, until her midwife required that she move to the bed.  Megan had her baby on hands and knees, and later recognized that her baby had somewhat of a shoulder dystocia.

Once they were discharged from the hospital, she and her husband and newborn stayed in a hotel for the night, as they knew the baby would need a 24 hour checkup the next day at the birth center.

Because of the driving and discomfort of staying in a hotel, when Megan was unexpectedly pregnant with her next child, she began looking into other options.  She found a midwife and connected with her immediately and deeply.  So much so, that on the front porch of her midwife’s house, she called the birth center and told them she was transferring care.  

Megan’s third pregnancy came when she was in graduate school.  In fact, her labor began on the day of her graduation.  She was having rather intense contractions through the ceremony, and when the president of the college found out, he had the camera pointed on her and told the entire crowd that she was in labor.  

Immediately after walking across the stage, Megan and her husband went home.  They filled up the tub, her doula and birth photographer arrived, and her midwife was on her way.  Megan hopped in the water and immediately felt the urge to push.  Her husband put the midwife on speaker phone and helped Megan catch their baby.

Episode Roundup

I seriously love Megan’s style.  Maybe because she reminds me of myself?  There’s always something going on!   There’s always something that’s got to be cooked up!  As we head into the episode roundup, I just want to call attention to how incredible the modern mother is.

Megan went through school, worked, cared and nurtured her babies, began running, and researched the heck out of birth.  Mothers are amazing, and the things we do for our families and the world… wow.  It truly is overwhelming. 

Jul 20, 2020
Ep 82: The Business of Midwifery

You're listening to Episode 82 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast.

Midwives, are you set up to be in practice for a long, long time, or are you feeling the sensations of burnout taking hold?

Today’s episode is going to be of great benefit to midwives and mothers alike. So mamas, if you love your midwife, make sure you share this podcast episode with her. Why? Today’s guest, Leslie Cornwell, is a midwifery business consultant, and she has a passion of helping midwives grow and run thriving, brilliant practices that stick around for 30+ years by preventing burnout. 
She’s a midwife herself, and she’s struggled with the same burnout issues as many of my listening midwives will surely have experienced themselves.

I’d love for you to take a quick screenshot of you listening in and post it to your Instagram stories. Tag Happy Homebirth Podcast, and I’ll be sure to feature you in my stories as well.

All right, let's hop on over to the interview with Leslie. Please remember that the opinions of my guests may not necessarily reflect my own and vice versa, and neither one of us are acting as your medical professional, so continue to see your doctor, midwife, or if you’re like me, your chiropractor.

Show Notes / About Leslie's Services:

"Becoming a midwife has been a lifelong dream. I didn't realize that this wonderful profession would lead me down the path of business. I have found over the years that midwives need to understand business, accounting, financing, marketing, negotiating, and so much more to be successful in today's health care system. I love supporting women. By being able to participate in leadership roles and create amazing private practices, I can support midwives just as much as the pregnant women they care for! I am passionate about women's empowerment and women business ownership. We can serve families best with independent successful midwifery practices.

I have had over 16 years experience in health care. I have worked in hospitals, birth centers, and home settings. I have worked for large non-profit hospitals, small community hospitals, privately run birth centers, hospital owned birth centers, and my own homebirth / birth center practice. Being able to understand the business and financial side of midwifery has really shown me how much easier a midwife practice can be profitable and successful in today's health care ever-changing climate.

Let me help you start your own practice or improve the current midwifery business you are struggling with. I have years of billing, accounting, contracting, business plan writing, and midwifery clinical expertise to make your midwifery practice thrive no matter what stage it is in! Whether you want a small homebirth practice, large birth center practice, or booming hospital midwifery practice, I can provide guidance, support, and resources to make your midwifery practice dreams a reality!"


I'm so grateful for the business professionals who have a heart for mothers and midwives. Thank you, Leslie, for supporting mothers by supporting midwives. When we work together, we can make sure that more and more women are able to receive the intimate, loving care they deserve through thriving midwifery practices.

All right, friends, that is it for this episode! I look forward to seeing you back here next week.

Don't forget to join our thriving community at Facebook.com/groups/happyhomebirthpodcastcommunity

Jul 13, 2020
Ep 81: Bonding Interrupted: A Mother’s Persevering Love

Homebirth… despite the podcast name, Happy isn’t the only adjective that can be used to describe it. No, my friends. Birth experiences vary so widely, and things do not always go perfectly easily.

Today’s story is one of those tough births, but wow. Our guest, Sophia sheds so much insight and through her struggle brings so much encouragement to us all. There’s such a balance. Of course we want to be positive about childbirth and understand that it can be beautiful and peaceful. But we also need to recognize that birth is untame and raw. It is such a thin-veiled experience. Today’s interview leans into the raw experience of Sophia’s homebirth and postpartum experience. I encourage you to embrace the intensity, but you know that I also like to be up front about these episodes so that if you are nearing your birthing time and concerned about hearing any difficult stories, you can save this one for a later date.

Okay, let’s jump into our interview. Please remember that the opinions of my guest may not necessarily reflect my own and vice versa, and neither one of us are acting as medical professionals, so continue to see your doctor, midwife, or if you’re like me your Chiropractor.

Show Notes

Sophia has always found herself on the more natural side of things, so she knew that when she became pregnant, she would prefer to have her baby at home.

Her husband grew up in a more medically minded household, so before they even became pregnant, she and her husband went to interview local midwives. This put him at ease and was a great way to remove the pressure around the situation.

Once they began the process of trying to conceive, they became pregnant immediately.

Sophia was seeing a naturopath before her pregnancy to make sure that her hormones were balanced, and she continued this through the first four months.

She was very in tune with her body, and felt her baby’s first movements at 11.5 weeks.

At 37 weeks Sophia fell forward on ice. Luckily all was fine, but she hoped she’d stay pregnant for a bit longer for her bruises to heal.

After 8 days of contractions, right at her due date Sophia felt stronger contractions. She felt a wave of grief that her pregnancy would soon be over, but joy at the same time of it being over and time to meet her baby.

As contractions began, while her husband was still asleep, Sophia went to their prayer corner and prayed for this to truly be labor. And truly, it was!

Soon, her contractions were one on top of the other, and she was so engrossed in them that she was not remembering to hydrate or eat.

During her labor, Sophia experienced a sense of hyper awareness, but a haze at the same time. She could hear everything, even her midwife and husband talking in the other room.

Sophia was so prepared for labor that she thought she’d handle it easily and comfortably. Instead, she had moments where she truly felt fear.

Once Sophia had been feeling the urge to push for a while, her midwives noted that she had an anterior (front) cervical lip. 

She moved to the bed where they asked her to lie on her back. After a while she moved to the birthing stool, where she thought so deeply about her mother and her mother’s strength.

After having felt out of body for so long, Sophia felt she returned to normal for a bit as her husband began praying for her. She began praying with him, and she could tell this was incredibly meaningful for him.

Sophia moved back to the bed for a bit, and finally when she went to the toilet, she begged her baby to come out. At that point, Sophia began crowning. She moved to the birth stool.

Once her baby arrived, it was determined that she had a nuchal hand (very likely causing the 4 hour pushing difficulty and overall strange labor pattern).

Her baby was white and not breathing, so her midwives began rescue breaths. After 5 breaths, her baby had still not come around, so her midwife began trying to help Sophia remove her placenta so that they could move the baby to do more resuscitative measures. They did give some cord traction, and the placenta plopped out. Sophia then lost 4+ cups of blood, and almost immediately passed out.

Sophia finally came to a while later, having no understanding of what had happened. She didn’t know where she was or that she’d had her baby. She then saw that her husband looked terrified, which is very out of character for him. He later told Sophia that he was terrified that he was about to lose his wife and baby.

Sophia and her baby both eventually did come around. Sophia’s midwife put a piece of placenta in her mouth to help stop the bleeding.

Unfortunately, this all led to a very difficult postpartum experience. She was weak and exhausted, and did not feel the overwhelming oxytocin rush due to the circumstances. But she knew that she loved her baby. She knew that she would do anything, endure anything for her. When nursing troubles began, Sophia sought help and learned that her baby had tongue and lip ties. Once again, Sophia endured and continued to fight for a bond with her daughter.

Now, Sophia feels the bond that she hoped she would experience immediately. In fact, she feels that her bond with her daughter is even stronger because of the difficult experiences they faced together in the beginning.


Jul 06, 2020
Ep 80: A Sister's Virtual Birth Support During Covid-19

Babies wait for no one or no thing.  No matter what’s going on in the world, they will still be born, and we as mothers have to figure out how to cope. 

I know that so many of your births were and are being affected by Covid-19.  My heart goes out to you, as this has changed the landscape of birth on many levels.  Of course mothers who planned to give birth in the hospital have been affected, but this is also true of mothers in the homebirth setting.  Today we will hear from Yosefa, who gave birth at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.  

This interview was incredibly special, because we were able to be joined by Yosefa’s sister Yakova, who currently resides in Israel.  Yakova is a midwife with several credentials, I might add, and although she was not able to physically be at Yosefa’s birth, she was able to support her virtually.  It’s such an amazing story!

Show Notes:


Yakova went to a friend’s birth and ended up acting as support person.  With this one experience, she realized she was called to some type of birth work.  She began working as a doula, then became a midwife.  She gained the Certified Midwife credential, then went back to nursing school and became a Certified Nurse Midwife.


She and Yosefa were pregnant with their first children at the same time, giving birth only 10 days apart.  


Yosefa’s first two children were born in a hospital birth center run by midwives in Australia.  When she became pregnant with her third child back in America, she realized that having a homebirth would be the most similar experience for her in this country, given our more medicalized approach to birth in the hospital.


Once deciding on a midwife, she mentioned her choice to her sister.  It turned out that Yosefa’s midwife was the exact same midwife Yakova had used for her third birth, and the assistant was one of Yakova’s former roommmates.



Yosefa went into labor only one week after schools closed.  This was an extremely fear-based time of the pandemic.  She had concerns around bringing in any support personnel, and even family.


Yakova was planning to travel with her children to the US to be at Yosefa’s birth, but Israel was very quick to shut down travel through infected European countries.  Because Yakuza’s flights were to go through either Italy or France, she was unable to travel.


Because Yosefa’s labor began with the rupturing of her membranes, she decided to try some activities to stimulate labor.  Acupuncture and nipple stimulation were very helpful in this and brought on intense contractions.  


As labor progressed, Yosefa relied on her sister Yakova for support.  She kept her AirPods in and Yakova monitored her labor in that way.


Yakova was even the one who called the midwife for Yosefa!  She also spoke to Yosefa’s husband about tasks that needed to be done.  Yosefa’s birth was happening right around the beginning of their Sabbath day.  Because of their religious practice, Yosefa’s husband was uncertain about whether he would be able to clean the birth pool and set it up for Yosefa, as when they opened it up, it was moldy.  Yakova spoke to him about how in one of their Holy Books, it says that a laboring mother supersedes all else.  So much so that if a blind woman laboring asks for a candle (typically not lit on the Sabbath), a candle should be lit for her. 


Yosefa’s third labor was far more intense than she expected.  She felt that this labor truly showed how different each birth is.  


Episode Roundup:


What a beautiful story.  I’m so delighted we were able to make this 3-way interview work!  As we head into the episode roundup, I have a few thoughts I’d love to share:


  1. The power of the feminine in the birthing situation:  How incredible that Yakova and Yosefa both had stories of feminine connection regarding their births.  Yakova experienced a beautiful blessingway, and Yosefa was able to rely on her sister even from afar and in the midst of a pandemic.
  2. It’s so fascinating just how different regulations and laws are not only from country to country, but from state to state.  Fascinating, and frustrating, honestly.  Of course, it’s my prayer and hope that homebirth becomes more and more accepted and considered the norm, as we know the great benefits of physiological birth when possible.
  3. Finally, let’s end where we began.  Birth happens, whether there’s a global pandemic or not.  I know this has changed the plans of so many, and in a number of ways it’s caused great isolation.  I hope that this podcast has brought some sense of community to you wonderful mothers, and that it will continue to do so in the future.  If you’re looking for more connection, I’d love to have you in our Happy Homebirth Facebook group.  Just go to facebook.com/groups/happyhomebirth to join. Or type in Happy Homebirth Podcast Community
Jun 29, 2020
Episode 79: Plus Size Does Not Equal High Risk

Is weight alone a pregnancy risk factor requiring intervention?  


Brylee is a mom to 3 precious babes, and she’s experienced both negative and positive birthing experiences.  Today we’ll jump into the reasons behind both.


Show Notes

Brylee had been told for many years that pregnancy would be very difficult, as she was diagnosed with PCOS as a teenager.  She and her husband became pregnant as soon as she stopped taking birth control.

Her OB was so convinced that she wouldn’t be able to become pregnant, that she said she’d give her 6 months to try for a baby before exploring other options.

Little did her OB know, she was already pregnant at that appointment!


Brylee had terrible implantation cramps with her first daughter.  They were so bad that she was scared it was a miscarriage (the day after her positive pregnancy test). 


Her interest in birth began early, as her mother had Brylee’s brother in a birth center unmedicated.


After watching The Business of Being Born, Brylee let her OB know that she wanted a natural birth.  The OB always dodged the questions and said “we’ll see”.


Brylee woke up with (what she now knows was typical bloody show) and called the on-call doctor.  The doctor acted as if the bleeding was an emergency, and had her come in.  The OB did everything she could to pin pre-eclampsia on Brylee, which she feels was because Brylee is a plus-size mother.


She had one high blood pressure reading, which she feels confident was related to the stress of the situation… she had had zero high readings throughout the pregnancy.  Brylee refused induction, finally was released the next morning, and went home for the weekend. 


On the following Monday, Brylee saw the same OB again, and had another high reading.  She told her mom, “I am TERRIFIED of that woman.”  She felt it was a case of White Coat Syndrome, just as her dad has.


The OB sent her straight to the hospital to be induced:


Cytotec 4 times


Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth gives an informative review of why Cytotec can be dangerous


They then started Pitocin.  After laboring for a long time, Brylee received an epidural.  


After 30 minutes of pushing, Brylee had her baby.


There was absolutely no continuity of care for Brylee: Her Doctor was on vacation, another OB sent her in for the induction, another started the induction, and another delivered her baby.


With her second birth, Brylee knew she wanted to have a different experience.  Her friend had a birth with them that was wonderful, so Brylee was excited to use the practice of 8.  


Brylee had one high blood pressure reading, and so her midwives sent her Maternal Fetal Medicine.  They put her on medication, and the medication constantly made her pass out, as it was bottoming out.

At her 3rd midwife’s appointment, the midwives used a blood pressure cuff for a plus-size woman, and low and behold… she had a normal reading.


Because of Maternal Fetal Medicine’s diagnosis (Chronic Hypertension— which she knew was not the case), the recommendation was for Brylee to be induced at 38weeks.


She failed the first Gestational Diabetes test, so she was required to take it again, which she passed.


One doctor at MFM told her that if she’d been in any other state, her blood pressure would not be an issue.  For whatever, in the south, particularly in Tennessee, this doctor said that other doctors hold very strongly to very specific numbers.


Brylee convinced her doctors to let her wait to be induced until 39 weeks.  After a long day of waiting for a room, and laboring, Brylee’s doctor told her they needed to break her bag of waters.  The baby was high, and they did not tell Brylee the risks associated with this.


Fortunately, the baby was fine, and once she began pushing, the baby was out in two pushes.


Unfortunately… soon after she gave birth, a nurse came into her room and switched her blood pressure cuff from the larger size to the standard size.  Brylee’s blood pressure numbers then spiked with the new cuff.


Because of her terrible experience, Brylee decided she was NOT going back to the hospital.  Her third baby was a huge surprise!  


Brylee began searching for a homebirth midwife in her area that would take her.  In a local birthing center, her BMI was too high to deliver.  


 She found a midwife who serviced her area, and set up a meeting.  After deciding to work with her, several appointments in, Brylee had a high blood pressure reading.  Her midwife mentioned that she thought this was likely due to the blood pressure cuff being the wrong size, not her actual blood pressure.  Her midwife ordered a new cuff, and Brylee never had a high reading again.


Brylee’s midwife referred her to a CNM just to have check her out as a backup, and the CNM was incredibly encouraging.  She said Brylee was a perfect candidate for homebirth.


During her anatomy scan, the tech that saw her ended up ripping her skin.  It was a horribly painful experience for Brylee.


As she entered labor… Brylee’s water broke at her parents’ house on their couch.  She tried to get contractions going by walking, dancing, and using a breast pump.


Her midwife had come over in the morning to see what her dilation was (she was a 2).


Brylee decided to try the Miles Circuit 


When Brylee called her midwife to let her know it was time for her to come, her midwife responded that she had a fever, so she was going to have to send her partner.


Brylee went from 4cm to pushing in a matter of minutes.  



Episode Roundup Wow, what a difference in care.  As we head into the episode roundup, that’s the topic I want to discuss.  What I love about midwifery, particularly the homebirth variety, is the level of individual care.  The midwifery model of care lends itself to truly learning about the mother, gaining a full understanding of her health, and then proceeding with the intention of keeping her risk factors low and in check. Conditions were never pushed on Brylee based off of the fact that there “just must be something,” and she was given the opportunity to absolutely rock her birth, which she did.  


Individualized care, my friends.  That’s what it’s all about.  Okay, that’s all I’ve got for you this week.  I look forward to seeing you back here next week.


Links From today's Show:


Miles Circuit

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

The Business of Being Born



Join the Facebook Group!

Jun 22, 2020
Ep 78: Why Healing Your Pelvic Floor Matters!

Show Sponsor: Happy Homebirth Academy


Postpartum recovery is important for some people, but not everyone, right?  Not for athletes, right?

Show Notes

Chelsea, a triathlete, thought that postpartum recovery would be simple for her body after her first.  She assumed that she could push through the pain, having no idea that postpartum rest is critical. 


Unfortunately, Chelsea’s body struggled for 12 weeks with on and off bleeding.


She resumed normal activities, including crunches and jumping jacks.


During Chelsea’s second pregnancy, her mother was diagnosed with a uterine prolapse. 


She went into labor at the same time as she did with her first baby, so she assumed it would go similarly. It did not!  In fact, Chelsea had her baby before the midwife’s arrival. 


Once again, Chelsea resumed strenuous physical activity early, and this led to a bladder prolapse.


She sought help from a pelvic floor physical therapist, but her first experience with this was not ideal.  Kegals were strongly recommended, which were not helping Chelsea’s situation.


Chelsea then found another PF PT who taught Chelsea to relax her pelvic floor.  This made all of the difference and helped her recover.


Recovery postpartum is critical.  If you are struggling with heaviness in your pelvic region, seek help! 


Mentioned in This Episode:

Birth Fit

Happy Homebirth Episode 9 

Jun 15, 2020
Ep 77: Accepting the Realities of Birth

Did your birth live up to your expectations?


Now, you all know by now that I’m all for the happiest, most rewarding childbirth experiences ever.  I mean, come on.  Pretty clear by the Show Title.  But in today’s episode with Anna, we’ll discuss the reality that sometimes birth isn’t a fairy tale.  Even if it goes relatively well each time, it might not be your “dream birth”  I’m really looking forward to unpacking this through Anna’s stories, and I’ll share more of my thoughts, as always, in the episode roundup.



There’s a giveaway going on over on Instagram this week.  My good friend Helen is an artist, and one of her specialties are birth related!  She paints custom baby in utero designs on pebbles.  Check out the details at @happyhomebirthpodcast, and go ahead and give @rosiebluebirdart a like


Take a screenshot of you listening to this episode and post it in your stories tagging @happyhomebirthpodcast so I can share it in my stories!


Similarly, if you’ve ordered a shirt from myhappyhomebirth.com/merch, please send  me a picture or tag me in your stories!  I would LOVE to see the apparel out and about, and you know I’ll feature you in my stories!


Show Notes:

  • Anna is the mother of 3 babies.
  • Her first 2 births were unmedicated at the hospital with midwives.  At the time, she was too nervous to give birth at home.
  • She feels that her first birth was the perfect amount of time for labor.
  • Second birth, family decided to use the hospital again.  Her husband was a resident at the time, so their birth in the hospital would be free
  • Anna spent most of her second labor in triage.  Once she got to her L&D room, she jumped into the birth tub and had a baby 7 minutes later
  • Her second birth taught her that she might be able to do things easier at home without all of the transitions of going to the hospital, waiting in triage, etc.
  • Her 3rd birth: Her husband agreed to having a homebirth, provided they could find a CNM
  • There was a CNM 30 minutes away, and she even scheduled all of the prenatal for when he would be home
  • Labor began at 9pm on her due date.  Anna went from feeling uncertain that she was in labor to deep, deep labor within just a moment
  • Her husband called everyone to the house while Anna roared through contractions in the shower
  • Because everything happened so quickly, the midwife did’t have time to grab gloves, so Anna’s husband was able to catch the baby.  He narrated the whole thing. 
  • “I wasn’t sure I was in labor until she was basically born”
  • “I never got that YouTube perfect birth, and that’s okay”


Episode Roundup

As we head into the episode roundup, I really want to discuss this quote from Anna: “I never got that YouTube perfect birth, and that’s okay.”


As I mentioned in the episode, and as is abundantly clear in my childbirth education program, the goal is an empowered birthing experience.  And truth be told, I believe there is SO MUCH we can do to move the needle in the direction of this outcome.  Taking preparation seriously, working with our mindset, learning the tools and techniques that can encourage presence… it can all do so much. In fact, the results my founding members have experienced through Happy Homebirth Academy really make me feel this is possible for so may.  But at the same time, we’ve got to remember that birth isn’t a fairy tale or a pinterest pin.  It varies vastly, and your perception of the events can be just as varied.  I say this as a reminder to be kind to yourself.  Even if on the outside you had a birth that was “good” or “positive”, remember that your feelings of the situation are valid and worth discussing.


And this brings me to another point, which is NOT related to Anna’s experience, but a tangent I arrived at later:  Remember that not everything is as it seems.  Social media is flooded with the most gorgeous birth photos, and perhaps it leaves you feeling like your experience was somehow less.  Please remember that the beautiful photo of the mother glowing with twinkle lights behind her might have been taken mere minutes after that mother barfed her entire lunch on her midwife’s shoes.  Birth.  It’s messy and unpredictable and beautiful and everything in between.

Jun 08, 2020
Ep 76: When Braxton Hicks Visits Too Early

When did you begin experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions? And… What did they feel like?



This episode is sponsored by Happy Homebirth Academy!  The premier childbirth education program for homebirth mothers seeking a peaceful, empowering, mindful homebirth.  www.myhappyhomebirth.com/hha is where you can find all of the details. 


Today’s guest, Meagan Brown had quite an intense go with BH contractions  So much so, that I hate to even call them that.  But we’ll learn exactly what she did to cope, and we’ll see how that served her in her two labors. 




There are new shirts in the store! With…matching onesies for your babe and shirts for your child!  Adult shirts read “homebirther” and onesies/kid shirts say homebirthed.  I can’t wait to get my matching shirts.  Just head to myhappyhomebirth.com/merch to check out all of the cuteness.


Take a screenshot when you’re listening to podcast episodes and upload them to your insta stories.  Tag @happyhomebirthpodcast and I’ll share in my stories!


Would you mind leaving a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts?  This helps the show get found!


Please remember that the opinions of my guest might nit 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

Meaghan Brown is a wife and mother of two living in Ontario. She and her husband became pregnant with their son just weeks after getting married… not their plan, but they jumped into parenthood excitedly!  Unfortunately, Meaghan experienced painful Braxton Hicks contractions begging at 20 weeks.  So uncomfortable in fact that she was constantly worried she was heading into labor. 


In her 36th week, while out to dinner with her friends, Meaghan experienced contractions that she of course assumed were her constant Braxton Hicks contractions.  Only this time… her water broke.  She sprinted to the bathroom, where her waters fully released.  And then… the mucous plug followed.


Her friend drove her home, where she met her husband and doula and headed to the hospital (in transition)!  She arrived to the hospital, had a team of doctors descend upon her room (because baby was not term), and because Meaghan struggles slightly with Claustrophobia, her husband Jonathan announced to have everyone step back (which they did!).

Meaghan’s baby was safely born and did not need a NICU stay.


With her second pregnancy (this one was planned!), the contractions started even earlier… at 16 weeks.  Luckily, her daughter decided to stay put until term. 


Meaghan was able to have her desired homebirth this time around, with her midwife making it just in time. 


Once her baby arrived, Meaghan was excited for her contractions to finally stop.  Unfortunately, they did not.  For 8 days, she continued to experience the contractions of her uterus shrinking.  Terrified that something was wrong, she finally went to her doctor.  Upon examination, he found all to be well.  He proposed that Meaghan may be acutely aware of her uterus, which would explain why she was feeling contractions all along.


If you have a sensitive uterus, check out this podcast episode about Vaginal Steaming by Wine & Gyn! 


Episode Roundup



  1. Pregnancy, like birth, is wild!  It can be experienced differently from person to person ad pregnancy to pregnacy.  And let’s be honest.  Sometimes it just does not feel good.  Meagans constant experience of brat nhicks contractions during her two regencies is a great example of things just kind of stinking sometimes.  This is why it’s so important to listen to your body… when it says rest, rest.  Meagan did this when needed, and it’s so important to remember, even if your experience isn’t as intense as hers
  2. This is just me taking a moment to celebrate those loving, in-tune partners.  When at the hospital, Meagan’s husband jonathan realized she was struggling with having so many people descend upon her room.  He was not afraid to speak out and let everyone know that they needed to back up.  I’m sure Meagan will never forget that kind act.  Working on your relationship with your partner during pregnancy and connecting as much as possible is such a good reminder for all of us. 
Jun 01, 2020
Ep 75: Recovering After a Careless Care Provider

The Podcast Application is Live (through June 7th)!  Click Here to Apply!

This episode is sponsored by Happy Homebirth Academy, the premier childbirth education program for homebirth mothers looking to have a peaceful, empowering birthing experience.

Take a screenshot of you listening to this episode and share it on your instagram stories! Ta @happyhomebirthpodcast and use the hashtags #givebirthonyourturf or #homebirther


Show Notes:

  • Shante is the mother to 4 children ranging from 11 years to just a few months old.
  • Shante’s became pregnant with her first child at 16, so she was working two jobs and in school.  She recognizes that she didn’t have much time to relax and enjoy the pregnancy, but she remembers
  • Her first baby’s labor was only 3.5 hours from start to finish!  The experience with the hospital was not terrible, but she thinks because she was young, people told her what to do instead of giving true informed consent.
  • Her second pregnancy, 6.5 years later, was not so easy.  She was very sick for the first 17 weeks. 
  • Even more interestingly, her second labor was 25 hours long (with a posterior baby boy)!
  • As Shante began pushing, her midwife noticed that Shante was bleeding.  She had her get on her back on the bed, as she was worried about the amount of blood.  Her baby had a bit of a shoulder dystocia that shante didn’t realize she had until afterward.
  • Because she was expecting a repeat of her first birth, Shante felt her second birth was traumatic. 
  • “You cannot decide not to prepare simply because a previous birth was easy— because each birth is different.”
  • With her third pregnancy, Shante felt active and energized and ready to do anything.
  • Shante did more childbirth preparation for this birth.  She mentally prepared herself for a longer labor.
  • “Good Births Don’t Just Happen-  I need to prepare mentally and I need to prepare physically and be ready for whatever may come”
  • Shante’s way to get things going: 2nd trimester- Red Raspberry Leaf tea
  • 2 date bars per day at 37 weeks on and 1 full quart of red raspberry leaf tea
  • Lots of walking and light hiking
  • This labor was only 1 hour and 20 minutes!
  • The midwife had not yet arrived, so it was just Shante and her husband.
  • At the end of Shante’s care, her main midwife had to have surgery, leaving Shante in the care of another midwife that she never felt very comfortable with.
  • The midwife was clearly irritated with Shante for having her baby without her.
  • Shante had a piece of retained membrane that was obvious to see.  She is extreme in her belief of not intervening at all- So she did not remove the membrane, even though Shante was continuously bleeding.
  • The midwife told her to go to the bathroom, but as Shante stood up, she began to black out. 
  • She forced her to crawl to the bathroom.  Shante continued to pass out and felt completely humiliated.  Finally, the attending midwife catheterized Shante
  • A year later, Shante found out from her main midwife that her charts were incomplete and the midwife had lied about a number of issues.
  • Another client had a similar experience, the midwife left the practice and started her own practice. 
  • Shante struggled with deep postpartum anxiety and depression.  She was able to manage this through homeopathy. 
  • During her most recent pregnancy, Shante worked with a homeopath and worked with a therapist who specialized in prenatal and perinatal mood disorders.  She was able to heal and process through these two modalities.
  • Shante developed food sensitivities during her most recent pregnancy so she had to avoid many carbs and sugars.
  • She did a homeopathy pregnancy protocol, which helped a lot.  Cell Salts.
  • Shante prepared a homeopathy chart with the symptom, the remedy and the frequency of the dose. She felt incredibly prepared.
  • Shante’s contractions never got incredibly close together, and she did not experience transition.  Her baby was born after only 2.5 hours of labor!
  • Her most recent birth was incredibly healing and helped her recover from her previous birth.


What an amazing set of stories.  As we head into the episode roundup, I have a few topics I’d love to discuss.


  1. The first thing I want to mention is just the quick little reminder that each and every pregnancy and labor (and heck, baby) is different.  Shante learned this when she went from a 3.5 hour first time labor to a 25 hour long labor with a posterior baby the second time around.  I loved when she said “Good Births Don’t Just Happen-  I need to prepare mentally and I need to prepare physically and be ready for whatever may come.”  Such sound advice.
  2. I love how Shante added to her preparation routine as she continued having babies.  From red raspberry leaf tea, to dates, to delving fully into the world of homeopathy… Shante continued to learn and add methods of preparation to her routine.
  3. And even more significant, Shante spent time truly coming to terms with a traumatic birth situation and postpartum.  She saw a therapist who specialized in postpartum mood disorders and worked with a homeopath.  She was serious about healing herself, which we all know goes a long way for the health of your entire family, even the littlest of babes.  I am so encouraged to hear mothers taking those kinds of steps.
  4. And finally, this is where we need to discuss care providers.  Although in Shante’s situation she did not choose the care provider who caused such trauma, it’s important to remember that just like in every profession, there will be some midwives who either do not jive with you, or perhaps who really are just… not great midwives.  I don’t want to sell you a false narrative that every single midwife is perfect and beautiful and a unicorn, though I do think that’s often the case.  No, midwives are people and people can range the spectrum from incredibly helpful to harmfully abusive, as we saw in Shante’s experience.  Do remember this and remember that in choosing homebirth you’re making an awesome decision— but that’s not the ONLY decision.  It’s the first in a long line of decisions.  If ever you feel your care provider is not in it for you, find someone who is.  There are plenty of wonderful ones out there who would love to take you on.  And…. we need to #makemoremidwives

Learn More About Homeopathy!

May 25, 2020
Ep 74: The Power of Preparing for Birth

This Episode was Brought to you by: Happy Homebirth Academy   The Premier Childbirth Education Program for Homebirth Mothers


Do you really need to prepare for birth?


Show Notes:

  • Amanda's plan with her first child was a beautiful birth center birth
  • The first 20 weeks of her pregnancy were full of sickness—  She even partially dislocated her shoulder after throwing up once.
  • After laboring for quite a while, her midwife came over to check her and see if she could go to the birth center.  She was checked and was only 2 cm, so she said they could not go to the birth center yet.
  • She began saying to herself during contractions, “Open, open, open.  Everything open.”  Her attention was specifically on opening and relaxing.
  • Suddenly, soon after getting out of the tub, she feels the fetal ejection reflex.  “Breathe this baby down?! I’m going to eject this baby across the state!”
  • The midwives made it just in time, and Amanda found out that what she thought were her insides coming out was actually just her baby’s head!
  • Once he came out, she was in a state of confusion.  He looked different than she’d expected, and she had clearly been through a shocking experience.  When her midwife said, “Do you want to hold him?” Amanda’s immediate response was, “No, who is that?!”
  • During her second pregnancy, she had Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction
May 18, 2020
Ep 73: Emily Catches Her Own Baby

Did you know that you could be so intimately aware of what's going on in your labor that you could be the one to reach down and catch your own baby?


I sure didn't with my first daughter, and there's absolutely no way I would have been able to take the death grip off of my husband to do any such thing.


But Emily... Emily planned and prepared for a mindful homebirth, and her goal was to catch her own baby (her first birth!).  She was a founding member of Happy Homebirth Academy, and I'm so excited to say that darn it, she did it!  Listen in to hear just how she achieved her goal.


Show Notes:


Emily's start to motherhood was different from the traditional route: She and her husband were called to foster-to-adopt immediately after Emily met her son at work.  She knew he was hers, and she would do anything for him.


After a long and stressful road, their son finally legally became a part of the family.  At this point, he was 3 years old.  Emily was suddenly hit with baby fever!


Emily began looking into homebirth.  She had had a traumatic time in the hospital at 19 and did not feel that it would be a healing place to have a baby.


After watching Katelyn's birth video of her second baby, Lillian, Emily decided she wanted to have the same type of empowering birth.  She joined Happy Homebirth Academy and put in all of the effort required to achieve her goal.


Emily woke up at 2:30 am in active labor.  She labored on her side for several hours, knowing that this was the position she was comfortable in. 

Once she moved to the tub, she stayed in the same kneeling position for the remainder of her labor... except when she did her best to switch positions for just a moment.  Although she decided to return back to her previous spot, this movement was enough to dislodge her baby's head (turns out she way asynclitic!) and begin the process of crowning.

Emily reached down and caught her own baby--triumphantly!


If you're interested in having a similar birthing experience, make sure you join Happy Homebirth Academy for your childbirth education program.  This program is the first of its kind- geared specifically towards homebirth mothers!  

May 11, 2020
Ep 72: Student Success Story- Amy's Mindful Birth

How do you picture your birth?


I this weeks episode, we learn how Amy Lutz, a founding member of Happy Homebirth Academy prepared for her first homebirth.  


With a combination of books, positive stories, and Happy Homebirth Academy, Amy went into her birthing time feeling confident and at ease (even with her husband having a virus at the very same time)!


If you are interested in having a mindful, peaceful homebirth, get ready for Happy Homebirth Academy-- The premier childbirth education program for homebirth mothers.  HHA launches May 11th, 2020.  

May 04, 2020
Ep 71: From 3 Inductions to a Beautiful Homebirth

By your fourth birth, there’s no way you’re trying anything new, right?


Hey there Happy Homebirthers, and welcome to episode 71 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast, where we’ll be speaking with Kerrie, who went from a string of 3 inducted hospital births to an intervention-free homebirth.


Before we jump in, I’ve got news!  Happy Homebirth Academy is set to launch in just a few short weeks!  Tell all of your friends!  And if you’re a birth worker interested in checking out the program, give me a holler at katelyn@myhappyhomebirth.com or DM me on instagram.  I’m hopeful to let some fellow birth workers take a look before launch day… provided I have it ready.


I am so excited about the content of this course.  It’s perfect for your first, fifth or tenth birth, whether you’ve had them all at home or all in hospital, and it gives you the tools have an empowered, mindful, peaceful homebirth.  It’s my third baby.  SO.  To keep updated with the launch, be sure to join the Happy Homebirth Pop Up group on facebook, or check out my free homebirth essentials mini course! It’s a quick little guide to some of the most important aspects of having a peaceful homebirth.  Just go to myhappyhomebirth.com/essentails for your download. 

 Show Notes: 

Kerrie used a traditional obstetrician practice for her first baby.

At the end of her pregnancy, she was diagnosed with Cholestasis of pregnancy, which is when the liver stops filtering out bile acids, which can be dangerous for the baby.

She was induced at 38 weeks pregnant

Looking back, there were several aspects of the labor she was unhappy about.  They did internal fetal monitoring, so her baby had a probe stuck in her head, and Kerrie wasn’t able to move around because of this. 

The doctor threatened to wheel her to have a c section, and then said she was going to cut an episiotomy, which she also was very unhappy about.

At that point Kerrie roared the baby out!

For her next pregnancy, she thought that she had Cholestasis again.  She felt uncomfortable, so she went in at 37 weeks to have an induction.

Her second labor took a very long time. 

Once her water was broken, her son came 15 minutes later. She had been asking them to break her water for a long time!

Her third pregnancy, she had no symptoms of Cholestasis.

At 39 weeks, she was given the option to have an elective induction, and she said, “Yes, please!”

With her third baby, she elected to get an epidural.  Once she finally got it, she laid back and his head emerged.

Her third birth was the first time that she had requests that went against the typical routines of the hospital.  She didn’t want the baby bathed or vaccinated, and she felt that she had to fight and wasn’t being heard

When she found out she was pregnant again, she was confident that she was having a homebirth.

When she began telling people she was going to have a homebirth, people told her she was crazy.

Her midwife connected Kerrie with a neighbor who had also had a homebirth.  This neighbor introduced Kerrie to an entirely new, crunchy tribe, who accepted her family with open arms.

With her 4th baby, she was convinced she wasn’t in labor because she was so used to pitocin contractions.

Kerrie’s water broke, and she got in the tub. Her neighbor called the midwife, and the midwife told her not to let her get in the tub.  She knew Kerrie’s baby was big, and she knew that getting in the tub would likely let her relax, and she worried she’d have the baby without her.

Her labor was only an hour and a half in length.

Kerrie’s community gets together with all 40 children for dinners weekly.  This was so special for her postpartum.  Everyone was checking in on her and taking care of her— never expecting to hold the baby, only doting on her.


Episode roundup:

  1. Just because you’ve had 2, 3,4 or 10 babies one way doesn’t mean you automatically have to do it the same way next time.  Kerrie went from 3 inductions to an unmedicated, untouched homebirth.  You can change your situation!
  2. Wasn’t it beautiful to hear how Kerrie gained such a supportive community?  This is so important postpartum, and it sounds like she was truly cared for and doted upon postpartum.  I loved hearing how she was cared for so well as her baby struggled with breastfeeding.  What a difference our community can make.  I encourage you to reach out to the other mothers around you.  Even having one or two friends or family members who can walk through the postpartum journey with you can make a world of difference.

Okay my friends, that’s all I have for you this week.  Go download that free mini-course, and I’ll see you next week!

Apr 27, 2020
Ep 70: Homebirth on the School Bus

Homebirth… on a school bus? 

If you think that’s the wildest part of this upcoming episode, buckle up, baby. 

My guest, Caroline Campbell is a homebirth mother of two, and both of her experiences were intense to say the least. 

I always like to be up front when episodes contain difficult topics, and this one contains quite an emergent situation during her first birth.  Be prepared for that, but know that she and her midwife do an absolutely bangin’ job of handling the situation.  It’s truly powerful.  However, if you’re close to giving birth and are concerned that hearing a story of an emergent situation might upset you, you might want to come back to this episode. 


Before we jump in, just giving another quick update on Happy Homebirth Academy.  I’m in the home stretch!  Just a bit more work to go, and it will be ready for all of you lovely women seeking a homebirth-centered childbirth education course.


Secondly, I’m a few weeks behind on sending out stickers for reviewers of the week.  You’d think that being at home all of the time would give more opportunity to keep me on track, but I feel like it totally doesn’t.  So if you’re waiting on a sticker… sorry!  I’ll get it in the mail!  To add to my list of mail, I’d like to thank this week’s reviewer: Bailadora Del Mundo


And if you would, go ahead and take a screenshot of you listening to this episode, upload it to your instagram stories and tag @happyhomebirthpodcast.  Don’t forget to use the hashtag #givebirthonyourturf! 


Finally.. if you aren’t in the Happy homebirth pop up group on facebook, you’ve got to get over there.  So many stories, so much amazing, supportive homebirth goodness.


Show Notes

  • Caroline is the mother of a 2.5 year old daughter and 4.5 month old son.
  • Her husband was born at home (freebirth!), so she was familiar with the idea of homebirth once she became married.
  • In high school, her friend became pregnant and the father was not in the picture—she stepped in and took birthing classes/witnessed her friend’s birth.  Though her friend had a healthy pregnancy, Caroline was uncomfortable with the hospital birth.
  • During her first pregnancy, Caroline glowed.  It was easy and beautiful—she did prenatal yoga, she focused on her diet, and had a wonderful time. 
  • She and her husband were living in Virginia, but knew they were going to move to Ohio.  They traveled 6.5 hours to their midwifery appointments.
  • They planned to have a structure prepared to live in before the birth—that didn’t happen.  They ended up moving into a school bus conversion!
  • Caroline went from living in her childhood home in Virginia to living in a school bus… without running water (they had a spring on the property)
  • She and her husband nested in their school bus- they spent time with the dogs outside, with their new chickens.  They worked on the property and enjoyed their time.
  • Little known fact: 2015- I bought a school bus!
  • Caroline went through early labor during the night.  She woke up in labor with contractions that were 5 minutes apart.
  • She didn’t have cell phone service where the bus was parked, so she would walk up and down a big hill to text and call her midwife.
  • Caroline’s birth team arrived around 11.  Her midwife checked her, and found out that she was 8 cm dilated. 
  • With her first baby, Caroline didn’t feel an urge to push, which frustrated her. 
  • After her baby was born, her first words were, “That was so easy!”
  • Caroline experienced a legitimate emergency during her first homebirth. 
  • Postpartum was also difficult, as her child had severe tongue and lip ties.
  • Caroline decided to wait a bit before getting pregnant again.  She wasn’t ready to commit to a homebirth again quite yet.
  • They waited a year and a half to become pregnant again, and her second pregnancy was not a fun one.  She was very sick, and her pregnancy lasted 42 weeks.
  • Once she finally went into labor, she felt everything in her back and was unable to find relief.
  • Once her son was born, she had him nurse so that contractions would continue and she could deliver the baby.
  • The placenta was born 20 minutes labor.
  • Caroline’s pregnancies and labors were total opposites of each other.
  • Breastfeeding went much better with her son than with her first baby.  She jumped quickly into action, and she had her mom visiting for the first few weeks postpartum, which was of great help.
  • Because Caroline was so concerned about breastfeeding, her baby developed a “breast aversion,” which was very difficult for her because of her strong desire to achieve, especially in relation to breastfeeding.  After 36 hours of pumping and using a bottle, he accepted the breast again.



Episode Roundup


  1. Emergencies DO happen at home.  Luckily, midwives are highly trained professionals who are prepared to do what they must.  I love the fact that Caroline was still involved in the decision-making process, even during an emergency. 
  2. When it comes to breastfeeding, it’s an amazing idea to know the resources at your disposal.  There are certainly hiccups that can be had, and as Caroline shared, it was much easier for her to navigate the second time around when she already had a plan.  Even if this is your first baby, it’s a great idea to learn of the different care providers in your area, should you need them postpartum.
Apr 20, 2020
Ep 69: Oxytocin Changes Everything

Oxytocin- it’s a powerful drug!


In this episode, listen to hear how Bess, a mother of 3, experienced more and more oxytocin and bonding with each birth.  From a medicated hospital birth, to an unmedicated hospital birth (where the baby was still whisked away quickly), to an intimate birth center setting… it becomes quite clear that the less we intervene with physiological birth, the more room we give to oxytocin.  This allows mothers the ability to connect deeply with their babies from the beginning- forming that unbreakable love bond. 

Be sure to check out the new Facebook group.  It's so empowering!  www.facebook.com/groups/happyhomebirthpopup

Happy Homebirth Academy... it's coming to you soon! 

Show Notes

1st pregnancy- Bess says she was young, and even though she knew about homebirth (her mom had 4), she opted for a hospital birth for financial reasons

  • Bess had a low-lying placenta. Fun fact!  The placenta can move as the uterus grows (it also can move on its own!)
  • Bess went into labor on the night before her due date
  • Bess had a horrific first birth. She had a terrible nurse who bullied her and coerced her into receiving fentanyl.  She then had an epidural.  As baby emerged (with both her hands by her face), Bess received a 4th degree tear.
  • She did not have a loving feeling towards her daughter when they first handed her over. They pushed her to breastfeed immediately, though she could barely even comprehend what had just happened.
  • Bess was living in Korea during her second pregnancy. She began prenatals at a local Korean hospital.
  • In this hospital, Bess was made to wear a gown each time in public, and she had to have an ultrasound at each appointment.
  • At 20 weeks, after her doctor told her that he was concerned with how big her baby was, Bess switched to an army hospital.
  • She asked far more questions this time around and had a successful unmedicated birth. Her husband was a huge support.
  • She and her husband decided they didn’t want more children… until one day, suddenly, she knew she wanted one more baby. She bought her husband some beer, they discussed the matter, and they conceived that night!
  • With her 3rd pregnancy, Bess started back at Ft. Hood hospital.
  • At 16 weeks she decided to look into other options and found a birth center.
  • Her final birth was redemptive of her previous experiences. She was able to experience the full effect of oxytocin.


Episode round up:

What a redemptive story.  Bess was able to improve her birthing experiences each time, ending with a beautiful water birth at a birth center that allowed for physiological birth to take place.  As we head into the episode round-up, I want to focus on just that:  The importance of staying out of the way. 

The ability to bond with your baby is critical—it sets the two of you up for success in the days, weeks, months and years to come.  When babies are unnecessarily removed from their mothers, as so often happens in the hospital setting, a new hurdle is added to the mother/baby team.  I love how Bess’s joy over her third birth was so palpable.  It is the true proof that the ability to give birth on your own terms, without unnecessary intervention, and of course—to actually hold your baby immediately after—allows oxytocin to do its magical work.  What a joy to hear so much love in a mother’s voice.

Apr 13, 2020
Ep 68: The Mysteriously Missed Birth

There's a first time for everything.  Sometimes midwives miss births, sometimes they *almost* miss births, and sometimes....  Well, you'll have to listen in to hear the odd in-between!  

Important Updates:


Happy Homebirth Academy is almost ready to launch!  In the meantime, check out my free mini-course, and join the facebook pop-up group!





Resources Mentioned in this episode:

Coming Alongside A Friend Who Has Experienced Loss


Show Notes:

  • Cierra is a Le Leche League Leader who love supporting parents in breastfeeding.
  • Cierra’s first pregnancy ended in miscarriage weeks after she thought she was in the “safe zone”
  • Cierra never forgets the compassion of the OB that was on call when she learned that her baby had passed. She gave her a massive hug and support in a time of need.
  • The “at least” comments are so painful to the grieving parent
  • stillbirthday.com
  • Second pregnancy was several months later—this time there was less jubilation, more “survival mode”
  • Cierra opted for an epidural, which she says began the “cascade of interventions”.
  • The delivery was very difficult, requiring forceps.
  • The next birth was much faster, and she had a baby at a hospital-based birth center.
  • On the way to the birth center, as Cierra was very far along, she said, “THIS IS WHY PEOPLE HAVE HOMEBIRTHS”
  • Their baby was born only 30 minutes after arriving
  • With their third baby, it was easy to decide to have a homebirth
  • Cierra’s midwife helped her as she decided to stop tandem nurse during the pregnancy of her most recent baby.
  • Cierra experienced prodromal labor with this pregnancy
  • Cierra is laboring on the tub. She stood up to walk to the birth pool, but as she stood, she felt that her baby was coming immediately.
  • Her third baby “birthed herself”—fetal ejection reflex!
  • The bathroom was dark, and nobody could see. Everyone thought the baby was about to be born…..
  • The baby had already been born! She caught herself on the toilet seat.
  • There was a true knot in the cord
  • Cierra’s midwife said, “I’ve missed some births, and I’ve almost missed some births. I’ve not missed a birth right in front of me before.”
Apr 06, 2020
Ep 67: Real Food for Pregnancy (And Postpartum!) with Lily Nichols

Pregnancy and postpartum.  Many of us strive to maintain a healthy diet during these pivotal times, but what does a healthy diet look like?  Should we stick to the guidelines?


Enter Lily Nichols, RDN, CDE.  Lily is an expert on all things nutrition pertaining to the pregnant mother.  She is the author of two books: Real Food for Gestational Diabetes, and Real Food for Pregnancy.  


Lily sheds light on what it looks like to eat nutrient dense foods, how our food choices affect ourselves and our babies, and how real food can set us up for real success in the postpartum period.


Check out these links from the show!

  https://lilynicholsrdn.com/real-food-postpartum-recovery-meals/ https://lilynicholsrdn.com/prenatal-guidelines-updated/ https://lilynicholsrdn.com/choline-pregnancy-folates-cousin/ https://lilynicholsrdn.com/postpartum-iron-deficiency-anemia-rethinking-low-iron-requirements/
Mar 30, 2020
Ep 66: Drawing Strength From a Community of Women

Birth is an intertwining of souls, and the community a mother surrounds herself with can make all the difference. 


Show Notes: 

  • Mandy didn’t know about homebirth, but she did know that she wanted a doula. Her doula introduced her to the childbirth method.
  • Mandy’s water broke dramatically in bed with her first child. Even after 10 hours, she was only about 2 cm.  She went on Pitocin for about 2 hours.
  • Contractions stopped after several hours because baby was posterior. They thought he flipped, but he did not—not until the very end, after pushing for several hours.
  • Mandy’s doula was amazing at recognizing that her getting an epidural was quite possibly the best way to save the vaginal birth.
  • Between births, Mandy and her husband saw The Business of Being Born.
  • At the time, she felt almost ashamed to tell people that she wanted to have a homebirth.
  • “You don’t get a gold star for going natural”- No, I’m liking for an oxytocin high!
  • With her second birth, after choosing midwives, Mandy’s appointments were typically 1.5-2 hours long. This was perfect for her, as she had many questions about how birth would go compared to her previous experience.
  • During the birth, at one point, she was in the water and felt the urge to push. Her water broke, and there was lots of meconium.  With a quick check, her midwife determined that the baby was breech. 
  • Mandy was asked to get out of the water—the midwives informed her that the protocol is to transport to the hospital—likely to have a c section.
  • The second midwife checked to confirm, and Mandy was 10 cm—birth was imminent, and Mandy felt unsafe and scared. She didn’t even know that you could deliver a breech vaginally.
  • A panic attack was coming on for Mandy—and her doula came and got right in her face and told her that she could do it. It was everything she needed to say to help Mandy get the baby out.
  • Mandy remember shouting, “My vagina!” as the baby came out.
  • She discussed how women can go through something so traumatic, yet the first question still be, “is the baby okay?”
  • The birth team who came were both backups—and they happened to have been to a breech birth previously to this.
  • 6 months postpartum, Mandy found out she was pregnant again (a bit surprised!)
  • At the anatomy scan, Mandy had a slight placenta previa, but the doctor felt it would move before the birth- She would just get checked again towards the end of pregnancy.
  • At the recheck, Mandy found out that her placenta was completely covering her cervix. Even more so, where the umbilical cord was attached was right above her son’s head, which could have caused a lack of oxygen.
  • She got a second opinion ultrasound with the same results.
  • The doctors kept referring to her as “the homebirth transfer”
  • For the last few days, Mandy had to be on bedrest.
  • Her midwives continued prenatal care with her and remained as a support system.
  • At the home visit, the midwives and doula came and surrounded her when she needed it.
  • The day of the birth was very hard- Mandy had to walk into the OR by herself. Her husband and doula weren’t allowed to be there until she was completely prepped.
  • Mandy was able to do vaginal seeding for her son, thanks to the help of her doula.
  • She was able to lean into her doula very heavily as the doctors were sewing her back up after her son was born. This 45 minutes were the hardest for her, and she was so grateful for her doula’s presence.
  • Mandy’s midwives host a C-Section support group that meets monthly.
  • “Birth is this intertwining of souls”


Episode Roundup




  1. “You don’t get a gold star for going natural.”   It’s important to keep in mind that those who say these kinds of statements are uneducated about the benefits of experiencing physiological birth.  Of course, this isn’t a conversation you can have in the throes of labor, or ever, but it might be worth educating these people on why you’re making the choices you’re making.  Feel free to direct them to this podcast!  Of  course, if medication is relied upon during birth, this doesn’t make your experience any less valid or important!  But to speak down to women who are attempting to give birth without intervention is so unnecessary.
  2. I also want to acknowledge just how divinely Mandy’s second birth occurred. Praise God for putting exactly the right people at her birth who could knowledgeably and confidently support her through such a shocking turn of events when her baby was found to be breech.
  3. Finally, let’s end where we began. Mandy said it so beautifully, “Birth is an intertwining of souls.”  Mandy was surrounded not only by her husband, but also by a community of women who could comfort and encourage her.  These relationships are so intimate, so deep.  They can carry you through both the highs and the lows.  I want to encourage everyone to foster those relationships in your own community.  If you can be the shoulder for another mother to lean on, be it.  And if you need that shoulder, ask for it.  We need each other. 


Mar 09, 2020
Ep 65: Birth After Loss: Coping with Grief, Hormones and Helping Other Mothers

Loss.  A painful subject, but a subject so near to so many women.  With statistics showing that 1 in 4 women experience miscarriage, I feel it’s incredibly important to process these types of events. 

I want to be completely transparent about the content of this episode, as I understand that even the mere mention of miscarriage and infant loss can bring a mother and father to their knees with a wave of grief.  This episode goes into detail about Ashley’s experience with loss, how it affected her life, how it affected her subsequent pregnancy, and how it has changed her as a woman today.  I am so grateful for her willingness to share, and to those who need to hear it, I pray this episode serves as a glimmer of hope, or a message that you are not alone. 


Show Notes:

  • Ashley’s first pregnancy was under the supervision of a traditional OB group.
  • She spent her time considering how she would care for her baby
  • Unfortunately, at 19 weeks, Ashley experienced the pain and grief of miscarrying her little baby.
  • She was taken by complete shock and surprise, as she assumed she was already in the “safe zone”
  • At her follow up appointment after her miscarriage, her OB prescribed her antidepressants without so much as a talk with Ashley about her mental state.
  • What’s worse, the subject of her loss was taboo—she was young, so many of her peers had not experienced such a situation, and though surely well-meaning, she was consoled with many “Well, at least you’re young” and other demeaning phrases.
  • She struggled for 6 years with her grief, with anxiety and depression until she finally found a therapist who helped her through meditation and relaxation practice.
  • She then met her husband, Kevin
  • They became pregnant the first month of trying to conceive
  • Ashley was surprised at the amount of anxiety she experienced during pregnancy
  • She took Hypnobabies and treated it as though it was a college course- using her 3rd trimester to prepare herself for pregnancy and postpartum
  • Ashley felt she could doula herself
  • Unfortunately, she neglected to prepare for early labor and felt lost during this time.
  • After a long early labor and being admitted to the birth center earlier than active labor, she found herself stuck in the fear-pain-tension cycle
  • After a midwife shift change, she felt even more off-kilter
  • Eventually, her midwife broke her water, which provider relief
  • Her labor stalled, and she could see that her family could feel her pain
  • At one point, her midwife, whom she had never met before, bent down to her face and said “Remember—this is not something that is happening to you—this is something that you’re doing.”
  • Ashley began to push immediately after, and baby was born within 20 minutes.
  • Her postpartum experience was incredibly hard, as her husband had to travel to Germany 3 weeks after her baby was born. She moved in with her parents for help.
  • Physically she feels it took about 5 months to return to baseline
  • Psychologically, however, she felt it took more like a year, and even then she still felt misunderstood and uncomfortable
  • Finally, once she weaned her daughter, she noticed one day that she felt back to normal.
  • She waited two years and began to pursue doula work.
  • Now Ashley is certifying as a doula through DONA and Still Birthday, and pursuing a certification in childbirth education, too.



Episode Roundup:

Such a powerful story.  Ashley’s heart for mothers is so apparent, and I’m so grateful for the work that she is doing.


Episode Roundup:

As we roundup this episode, I want to focus on one key aspect:  When we experience loss, it is okay, normal, and right to grieve.  I beg you not to bottle up your feelings.  I beg you to seek help and comfort.  Ashley mentions that it took her six years to finally start to truly work through her grief.  I also want to acknowledge the fact that…. Gosh, people just don’t know what to say, and that can cut so deeply.  Phrases that start with “at least…” are typically not going to end well.  I hope that this can serve as an educating point to those who have not experienced such a situation.  Putting ourselves in the shoes of others can be difficult work, but it’s always worthwhile.

Thank you for tuning into such a powerful episode, my friends.  I’ll see you back here next week.

Mar 02, 2020
Ep 64: How Did We Get Here?! The History of U.S. Maternity Care

Have you ever been on a drive and say 15 minutes in you think to yourself, “Woah, how did I get here?  You realize you’ve lost your way and you need to turn it around and go back to the start. 


In this week’s episode, we’ll be taking a look at the past, the history of midwifery and women’s care as it pertains specifically to the United States, and delving into some of the reasons that compared to many other westernized countries, women and babies in the US have abysmal outcomes. We’ll be sharing just how lost we’ve become when it comes to maternity care, and how we should really turn this car around.


Janelle Alier is a Certified nurse midwife local to me, and one of the coolest women around.  As she’ll explain momentarily, she’s worked with moms and babies in a number of capacities, and she recently opened her own homebirth practice, Paris Mountain Midwifery.


Show Notes:


Anciently (ex. Ancient Greece), women were held in high regard and valued as healers.  When the mindset began to change, in a way this was the beginning of the end.  This change corresponded more with religious and theological changes, not the dawn of medicine.

Protestants burning “witches”—women healers

Much of the knowledge gained over time began was lost with these women


Colonial America- childbirth attendants were women/midwives/family matriarchs


1800s- medical schools are popping up.  Physicians were around, but not trying to be involved at all


19th century—we could charge a fee! Began being interested in birth.  Obstetrics


Midwifery predates medicine: Rachel’s midwife is mentioned in Genesis


Varney’s Midwifery includes transcripts from Doctors meetings talking about the “midwife problem”


One doctor said the answer was to “educate the ignorants”.  This started a campaign to portray midwives as dirty and uneducated.


Laws began to change—it became illegal for midwives to practice the way they had.  They now had to obtain licensure by the state, which was almost impossible to do. 


What’s happening to birth at this time?  Physicians recognize that the midwives are more skilled and have better outcomes, but they did not try to work with or learn from the midwives.


Obstetrics in its infancy—it’s not going great!  Many deaths in the early years are now attributed to anesthesia


They were giving morphine and narcotics, which we now know doesn’t lessen the pain, it just makes you care less… and forget.


Culturally there was not a lot of accountability.  Family members were told that the women didn’t survive because “birth is dangerous.”


Late 50’s, early 60’s- nearly all birth occurred in the hospital


In the late 60’s and 70’s, there was a small subset of the population who revived the natural childbirth movement, but by that point, the medical model was so mainstream that this movement was considered radical


80’s and 90’s- c section rates soared


In the last few years, we’ve realized we’ve lost our way.  The profession of midwifery is becoming more organized, though there’s not tons of money for research, scholarships etc. as there are for medical students.


In South Carolina, Black Grand Midwives were the women delivering babies and taking care of the communities.


What do we do?


More midwives,  more midwives of color, better integration of midwives and the hospital setting  (if a mother needs to transport to the hospital, that should be easy).


In other areas of the Westernized world (Europe, Scandanavia, the UK, Australia, New Zealand etc.) midwifery wasn’t wiped out the same way it was in the United States. And their outcomes are much better than ours. 


In the UK—there are 5-6 times more midwives than OBs.  Everyone starts with a midwife, and if you need a physician, you get referred by your midwife.  The OBs manage higher risk care while midwives manage low risk birth.


In the US, only 10% of births are attended by midwives.  In Alaska, it’s up to 30%, whereas in Arkansas, it’s more like 1-2%. 


If you overlay a map of birth out comes by state and the integration of midwives… you see that where there are more midwives practicing, there are better birth outcomes.


In the US, we have 1% of planned homebirths in the home.  Most American midwives work in the hospital.  Globally, not only do they have more midwives, but they also have more options.  You can have a midwife at home, or she can follow you into the hospital and continue care (this is not the case in the US). 


Episode Roundup 

  1. The first thing I want to emphasize is the idea of encouraging the little ladies in our lives to embrace their healing and intuitive natures. What a spiritual gift—And truly, the best way to encourage this is to embrace it ourselves.
  2. Isn’t it amazing how in a matter of just a few generations our country lost so much birth wisdom? I’m grateful for the resurgence of midwifery, but how heartbreaking to think of where we could be now if circumstances had played out differently.  Perhaps our outcomes wouldn’t be so abysmal.
  3. And finally, looking towards the future, we have a chance to make things better.  We have the ability to speak out about the inexcusable rates of maternal and infant mortality.  We have the ability to inform other moms of their options, so that they’re willing to speak out, too.  On a local level, this can be as small as sharing your birth choices and experiences with others.   This is a perfect moment for me to give a huge thank you to all of the mothers who have so willingly shared their stories on this podcast.  Thank you for inspiring other mothers and showing how 






Feb 24, 2020
Ep 63: A Medical Professional Couple Chooses Homebirth

If you were a medical professional, do you think you’d be more comfortable giving birth in the hospital?


Meagan and her husband, both medical professionals had their first baby outside of the hospital, and their second baby at home.  Unlike many moms who decide to give birth outside of the hospital before or between hospitals, Meagan was actually introduced to the idea during her pregnancy—and it completely changed her trajectory!  Listen in to this incredible episode to hear her journey.


Show Notes:

  • Before her first pregnancy, Meagan had not considered anything besides having a hospital birth
  • A nurse she worked with asked her if she’d seen The Business of Being Born
  • Meagan watched the documentary, and immediately went home and watched it again with her husband
  • They both were immediately on board with having an out-of-hospital birth!
  • Meagan self-studied through the Hypnobirthing program.
  • She stayed incredibly active and had a great pregnancy
  • At 39.4 Meagan began to lose her mucous plug
  • Once labor began, she spent the majority of her time in the tub, which she found fascinating, as she doesn’t typically enjoy water
  • Around 6pm after laboring all day, the midwife on call (not the midwife she had expected or seen during prenatal care) came to her house to check her—she was 7.5 cm and the midwife was getting frantic that they needed to head to the birth center.
  • When they arrived, Meagan got in the tub with her husband. Soon she found herself on all 4’s as her baby began to crown.
  • Meagan mentions that the midwife was moaning with her—which although she couldn’t talk or say anything about, she hated it.
  • At the end, her hypnobirthing music turned off. She wanted her mom to turn it back on, but her mom did not have the password to her phone—her mom calmly asked her for the password, but unfortunately Meagan’s baby began crowning at that very moment.  She yelled at her mom to “F-Off”!
  • Her midwife gave her Pitocin without discussing it prior, and she cut the cord, though Meagan’s husband had wanted to.
  • She didn’t get her cycle back until after she stopped nursing completely
  • She struggled with insomnia beginning at 9 months postpartum
  • She became pregnant as soon as she stopped nursing
  • For this baby, Meagan had a wonderful midwife that she felt deeply connected with.
  • When the midwife arrived at 3am when Meagan was in labor, she immediately called the backup midwife.
  • Meagan was in the tub, but could not get comfortable. Finally she asked her husband to get in with her, and he did.  This changed everything.  Almost immediately she got the urge to push, yelling “I FEEL LIKE I HAVE TO SHIT…”
  • 3 minutes later, baby was born! She didn’t have to push at all!

Episode Roundup:


You know what’s fascinating?  From my perspective, at least, there have been a number of common themes throughout the last weeks of birth stories. I’ll begin with this.

  1. Although it could not be helped on Meagan’s part, she did not jive with the backup midwife who attended her birth. Luckily, she was at a place in her labor where it did not throw her completely off track, but it certainly did bother her.  This shows just how important the birth team can be.  Energy can be palpable, especially in such vulnerable a time as birth.
  2. And this is a funny one- I love how moms have certain tells of approaching the end of the birthing process. For example, Meagan mentions letting expliatives fly right before baby arrives both times.  This is so cute to me—I pray that doesn’t sound belittling—but some of my favorite moments at births have been when a sweet, angelic mom lets out a string of words that would make a sailor blush.   Truly, it’s such an amazing glimpse into the primal state of the birthing mother—and the openness that the birthing process demands.
  3. I also love hearing how the birthing process so often brings out the best in the partner team. Meagan’s husband was such a strong support for her.  The fact that him just getting in the water with her during their second birth allowed her that final piece of relaxation—that’s just so special.
  4. Finally Meagan took childbirth education seriously. You all know this is a passion for me, but I just love seeing mothers take their education and choices seriously, and Meagan absolutely did.


Feb 17, 2020
Ep 62: From Not Wanting Children to Having Homebirths

How did you know you were ready to become a parent?


 Desirea did not want children—until the moment she held her first baby in her arms.


When she and her husband got married, she told him that she did not want children.  He did not want children any time soon, but he did state that he always had seen himself as a dad.  They decided they would wait 5 years and reevaluate.


5 years came quickly!  She was still not ready.


Years down the road, Desirea’s husband came to her and said, “I’m not trying to pressure, but I wouldn’t be upset if we became pregnant.”


This sent Desirea into a tailspin because she was still not ready. 


She considered her life and realized that when she visualized herself in the future, she saw herself as a mother… to college age children.  (She would joke that if she could give birth to college-age kids, she would.)


She and her husband decided to stop using protection and she immediately became pregnant.  She was so shocked, she initially thought the test must be wrong!


She was scared, but when she told her husband, he said, “I know you’re scared, but I’m really happy.”  She no longer felt alone, even with the fear.


Desirea contacted two birth centers: one attached to a local hospital, and one other.  The hospital-based birth center was cold and unkind on the phone, while the freestanding birth center midwife was welcoming and loving. 


During the pregnancy, Desirea was confronted with a terribly difficult decision:  The birth center was closing.  She would now have to choose between having a homebirth or a hospital birth. 


Desirea and her husband decided to give birth at home.  She felt good, but nervous.  Several weeks later, she went back and found out that her midwife had decided not to renew her license—and she would not be available at Desirea’s birth.  The other female midwife was full, so she would now need to choose between a male midwife and a hospital birth.


Desirea decided to use the male midwife and have her former midwife as her emotional support.


She told herself, “your part-time job is to eradicate fear.” 


At 40 weeks and 6 days, Desirea went into labor.  She was careful to stay completely hydrated to prevent exhaustion. 


At one point, she wanted to be on hands and knees with her bum in the air.  She wondered if it was counter-intuitive, but she later figured out it was exactly what her body needed to reposition her baby.


After getting in the birth pool, a wave came and her body suddenly pushed. 


At one point, the midwives could not find her baby’s heartbeat.  At that point, the midwives encouraged her to push as hard as she could.  She got the baby out quickly, but she did tear.


Desirea greeted her baby- first with wonder, and then wonder turned to deep love.  When she realized it was a daughter, after thinking it was a daughter throughout her pregnancy, she was overcome: “I knew you, she said.”


After her first daughter, Desirea had a heartbreaking miscarriage. 


Two months later, she became pregnant again.  She had an anterior placenta, which gave her anxiety—the difficulty finding a heartbeat and the inability to feel movements.


Her second birth was much shorter.  Her midwife had a feeling that it was going to be a short labor, so she got in the car before Desirea even asked her to come.


Her doula arrived 45 minutes before the birth, and her midwife 20 minutes before.


Suddenly she felt she needed to poop, so her midwife rushed to get everything ready.


While the midwife was rushing to grab everything, Desirea pushed her baby out!


Episode Round-Up:

  1. The journey to parenthood is different for everyone.  Some people know from a young age they’ll want many children… for others, like Desirea, perhaps the desire sneaks up and surprises you.  I love hearing the many variations that we experience as mothers, and how the love we have for our children comes in so many different forms.
  2. Desirea’s discussion of fear-clearing throughout her pregnancy was such a wonderful reminder. With negative attitudes surrounding birth being the norm, it can take quite a bit of work to overcome fear.  Treating it as homework, or a part-time job, showed the commitment Desirea had to eradicating any negative feelings or anxieties she had about her upcoming birth. 
  3. What a gorgeous story. I hope this touched your heart as it did mine.  That’s all I have for you today, friends.  I look forward to seeing you back here next week.


Feb 10, 2020
Ep 61: Wild Pregnancy, Wild Freebirth

How do you make strong, powerful decisions…and stand by them?


Dr. Kayla and her husband Anthony, before even beginning to try to conceive, felt they had been called to have a freebirth or unassisted childbirth.  Of course, this group is a tiny percent within the tiny percent of moms who give birth at home within the tiny percent of moms who give birth out of hospital.  So… about as niche as you can get. 

Yet even though it was their first birth, they felt strongly about their decision and knew it was what they were meant to do.  Listen in to hear how they approached both their wild pregnancy and wild birth.


Show Notes

  • After having a vision of a spirit baby, Dr. Kayla felt called to look into unassisted birth, which she’d never even heard of before.
  • She decided to have an unassisted pregnancy and birth, or wild birth.
  • She and her husband were very strong in their decision and made clear boundaries for those around them
  • She enjoyed speaking to several peers about her decision to have a freebirth. She felt that she was able to learn from them, and they were able to understand the importance of connection from her.
  • Her labor was rather short, though she was very active through it (squatting and walking around the entire time)
  • She timed her contractions originally by singing a song and seeing how long they took—I love this idea!
  • Although they had no care providers, they did hire a birth photographer.
  • Her husband was an incredible support- he always seemed to know what she needed right before she needed it
  • At one point she went into the bathroom alone to cry and pray. She came out feeling a surge of adrenaline.
  • Soon she realized she had a cervical lip, so after asking a friend what to do, he husband pulled her belly towards her chin for one contraction. This did the trick.
  • She then went into the bathroom again with her husband this time. They cried, he prayed over her, then they laughed together.  When she came out, another surge of adrenaline.
  • She tried pushing once, but it felt wrong. She decided to wait…. But immediately she felt the fetal ejection reflex and baby’s head emerged while she was in a deep squat.  Her husband caught the baby as he was falling back somewhat into the fireplace. 
  • Kayla was in such a euphoric state that she had an out of body experience.
  • She mentions that she’s never felt so incredible in all of her life.


Connect with Dr. Kayla!





Episode Roundup:

So many takeways from this episode.  It was such a deep, sweet story, and I love hearing Kayla share her heart.  She gave me chills with her sweet connection to her husband and baby.

The biggest takeaway from this episode for me? 


Dr. Kayla took her decision to have a wild pregnancy and wild birth seriously.  She wasn’t just leaving things up to chance—she did much preparation both mentally, physically and spiritually.  She was involved with a group of other women who had chosen the same style of birth as her, and she continued her education and connection with these women as well.


I love women who take full responsibility of their birthing decisions.  No matter what those decisions are—be it a hospital, a home, with a room full of people or all alone… stepping into motherhood in an empowered way will change our world. 



Give Birth on Your Turf Tee

Homebirth Candles

The Dope Doula

Feb 03, 2020
Ep 60: Crazy Labor Patterns With Two Homebirth Babies

I’ve got a secret for you.  Your uterus is unaware of the 5-1-1 rule.   


This week’s episode features the birth stories of Heather, who has given birth to both of her babies at home.  Her first experience of labor was with a posterior baby, and posterior babies are notorious for funky labor patterns.


Her second baby, though not posterior, also gave quite a different pattern. 


I love these stories because they show the reality of labor:  It’s different for everyone, and it’s different for every birth.  So while tips and rules are great to keep in mind, we must remember that our uterus doesn’t know these tips, and it may very well do its own thing.  We’ve just got to follow its lead.


Also.  For inquiring minds—the 5-1-1 rule is a common one given to first time moms:  Call the midwife when contractions are five minutes apart, lasting a minute for one hour.  And generally, this can be handy!  But let’s not forget—we’ve got to be in tune with our bodies.

Show Notes:

  • Heather knew she wanted to have her babies at home after several of her church friends had homebirths
  • Financially, she and her husband realized homebirth would be the cheaper option, and Heather has never been comfortable with the hospital seting
  • She mentions that her first pregnancy was easy, though she did go past her due date. Fortunately, her midwife had drilled in her head that most first time moms go to 41.1 weeks.
  • Her first baby was posterior, which made for quite a wonky labor pattern. At one point, Heather’s midwife put her in a position she called the “Texas Roll” or exaggerated sims position.  One leg straight, the other leg up at a 90 degree angle and belly diagonally on the bed.  This helped her finish dilating.
  • Heather pushed for 2 hours with her first baby and did have a 2nd degree tear. However, after measuring baby’s head, her midwife informed her that she had a 15inch head… pretty big! 
  • Between her first and second birth, Heather’s midwife retired. Instead of hiring her midwife’s apprentice (who was now a working midwife), she decided to go with another midwife in town, who was also a naturopath.  This was difficult for Heather, as she liked the other midwife, but she felt she’d be more comfortable with her new care provider.
  • The night before giving birth, Heather was having contractions every 30 minutes apart. She found this amount of time to be quite annoying—as soon as she’d start to fall asleep, the contractions would wake her back up.
  • This continued all day the next day. Even the next evening, they were still 30 minutes apart, but suddenly they were very strong when she had them. 
  • Heather’s midwife told her this had happened to her before, and not to worry. Her body would flip a switch and labor would likely go quickly.
  • She was right! All in all, Heather’s labor (from the time of the strong contraction) was 3.5 hours.


Episode Roundup

  1. I found it fascinating that Heather mentioned at the beginning of the episode that truly, when they prepared to give birth to their first baby, they recognized that homebirth was a less expensive option for them. People are often shocked to find out just how affordable this option is.
  2. Heather’s first midwife’s reminder is one of my very favorites: Most first time moms usually make it to 41.1.  We psyche ourselves up for the “due date” and can often feel frustrated when it comes and goes.  It’s so important to remember just how arbitrary that day really is.
  3. Finally, in my opinion, the most important piece to draw from Heather’s story: You’ve got to select a midwife that you jive well with.  Not every person is going to be comfortable with every midwife—this in no way means the midwife is not a good midwife.  It just means you’ve got to find the personality that aligns best with you and your family.  Be sure to check around and see what options you have in your area.  Of course, some areas truly don’t have many options.  But when it’s possible, interview a number of practices.


Jan 27, 2020
Ep 59: "But What if Something Goes Wrong?"- How Midwives Handle Emergencies at Home

Beautiful One Midwifery


“But what if something goes wrong?” Perhaps the most often question asked when a homebirth mother reveals her plans to her loved ones.  Sure, having a homebirth sounds like a good idea if everything goes right—but when it doesn’t?  What then?

Today’s episode is going to cover this topic and several more with two incredible midwives.  Tiffany and Kelly are the midwifery partners behind Beautiful One Midwifery, and their perspective is so useful.  I am so happy to offer this episode as a resource for you, mama who is considering homebirth, and for your loved ones who would like to know more about what happens when things “go sideways”.  Such an amazing listen. 


Please remember that the opinions of my guest may not necessarily reflect my own and vice versa, and although Kelly and Tiffany are midwives, none of us are acting as your overseeing medical provider, so please be sure to continue to see your doctor, midwife, or if you’re like me, your chiropractor.



Show Notes:

  • Tiffany and Kelly were both doulas before becoming midwives. They knew of each other for quite a while before realizing how similar their styles were.
  • Both decided to go to midwifery school. Upon completion of their programs, they decided to open a practice together.  Both were interested in a sustainable practice.
  • Today’s topic: What if something goes wrong?
  • Acknowledge that there are risks when having a baby- no matter where you give birth.
  • 3 major complications: shoulder dystocia, hemorrhage, and need for neonatal resuscitation
  • Kelly mentions that in truth, midwives are actually there for these specific events, not so much the easy peasy labors. Midwives are for when things “go a little sideways”
  • They discuss how baby is always telling us a story, we just have to pay attention to what is being said. Typically if something is off, little issues here and there will begin to “ping”
  • Tiffany and Kelly always prepare their clients for the 3 common complications prenatally. In fact, they bring their supplies (oxygen masks, tanks, etc) to the home visit to let parents see what is involved so that they are not taken by surprise if it’s needed during birth
  • Neonatal resuscitation:
    • About 1 in 10 babies will require at least a little extra help
    • A few helpful breaths


  • Postpartum Hemorrhage:
    • They emphasize nutrition prenatally (calcium supplement)
    • Discuss how there are a number of reasons for too much bleeding, but there are many ways to help stop it
    • Hands outside, hands inside, herbs, and Pitocin/other prescribed medications
    • A great way to prevent pph is a hands-off delivery of the placenta. Allowing mom to do this on her own.


  • Shoulder Dystocia:
    • A great idea is to ask your midwife what she typically does in the event of a shoulder dystocia
  • Beautiful One Midwifery puts a strong emphasis on postpartum care. They have extended postpartum care packages that they offer not only their clients, but their community as a whole.  I hope to see this become the norm!


Learn about midwifery in your state: https://mana.org/about-midwives/state-by-state 


Episode Roundup:

  1. We often forget that no matter where we give birth, risk is involved. There’s no guarantee that any birth will have a specific outcome—whether at home or in the hospital
  2. The midwives model of care is amazing for catching red flags and signs of concern because care is so hands-on prenatally. This allows a true understanding of both mother and baby, so when it’s time to make a change, a change can be made safely
  3. Neonatal Resuscitation, Postpartum Hemorhhage and Shoulder Dystocia are the most common concerns, yet for all 3, midwives take specific measures to bring the situation back into the realm of normal and safe. As Tiffany said, “Everybody doesn’t just die”
  4. I want this episode to serve as a reminder- talk to your care provider! Ask them what it is that they do when complications arise so that you can feel confident.  Ask them if they will show you the equipment so you’re comfortable with it beforehand.  I love this idea.
  5. Finally, extending postpartum care is such an amazing idea. I love that this is so front and center in their practice and care… I pray it catches on everywhere!


Keep up with Tiffany and Kelly!


Instagram: instagram.com/beautifuleonemidwifery

E-mail: hello@beautifulonemidwifery.com


Jan 20, 2020
Ep 58: Homebirth after Hospital Trauma


In a culture where we are taught to trust our doctors, what happens when that trust comes into question?  Where do you turn, and what do you do? 

In this week’s episode, we’ll be hearing from Casey, a mother of 4.  8 years ago when she had her first baby, her faith was comfortable in the typical medical model.  After a physically traumatic first birth and a highly encouraged scheduled c-section with her second, Casey began wondering if there was a better way.

Join me as we hear the way that Casey, who’s experienced 4 very different types of births, navigated her decision-making and eventually succeeded in having a triumphant birthing experience at home.


Show Notes:

  • Casey’s 1st birth (8 years ago) was a 20 hour labor. She hoped for a natural birth, but did not research or prepare before birth.  Once she arrived to the hospital, she quickly received an epidural
  • She pushed for 2.5 hours with her first baby and the doctor eventually used forceps, which led to a 4th degree tear.
  • Because of her previous tear, with her second child, her OB recommended a scheduled cesarean.
  • Trusting her doctor, Casey agreed. Her baby’s heart was not quite finished developing, so a NICU stay was required.  She did experience some postpartum depression after this birth.
  • For her 3rd birth, Casey wanted to take control. She prayed and asked her husband if they could interview midwives at a birth center.  Although he might have initially been uncertain with the idea, by the time they left the birth center, he was on board and excited for their care.
  • She kept her 20 week appoint with her OB. He checked her scar and said it looked good.  She asked if she could try for a VBAC, he was not on board- this convinced them that the birth center was 100% the correct choice
  • Casey pushed for 3 hours with her 3rd The baby was not in an ideal position, which caused a struggle.  Eventually they recommended IV fluids, which helped tremendously.
  • At one point, when she was struggling, her husband turned to her and said, “There are so many people praying for you.” This helped motivate Casey to continue.
  • Finally, her baby emerged, half en caul, which her midwives believe helped prevent tearing. She had a slight skid, but the midwives assured her she did not need any stitches.  To think- her OB recommended abdominal surgery, yet she didn’t even tear!
  • Their 4th baby was a surprise. When she contacted the midwives to let them know of her pregnancy, they were so excited.  Casey was, too.  She discussed how going to midwifery appointments was like going to talk to a friend.
  • She decided to have a homebirth with her midwives this time.
  • At 38 weeks, Casey went to see a chiropractor. She got two adjustments between that time and her baby’s birth, and she feels it helped tremendously.
  • She also hired a doula, which she felt would have been very helpful during her long pushing phase of her 3rd
  • The night of her baby’s birth, she had her husband getting the house set up: birth pool, water, oils, music. She decided to get in the water.  As soon as she did, she had back to back intense contractions.  The midwives were on the way, but lived an hour away.
  • She felt far more in control during this time. Suddenly she had 2 more contractions, and then a break.  She began to wonder if this was the lull before pushing….. it was.
  • She suddenly started pushing. After the contraction, her husband left the room to find service in the house and call the midwife. 
  • Baby’s head began to emerge, so Casey called him back in. He reached down, supported baby’s head, then caught the rest of the body as it came out and placed him on Casey’s chest.
  • Her midwives arrived about 20 minutes after.
  • She mentioned the sweetness of her children getting to meet their sibling the next morning and how lovely the intimacy of homebirth can be.


Episode Roundup:

  1. We cannot trust others to provide us with education. Unfortunately, this is the lesson that so many of us learn through negative experiences.  You don’t know what you don’t know until you know it.  This is exactly why sharing our stories and experiences is so powerful.  Giving other mothers the tools and education they need before having to endure a preventable traumatic birth is the goal.  And of course, even more, giving mothers the tools to have an empowering, peaceful birth is the ultimate goal.
  2. Chiropractic care- what a useful practice! Even with only 2 adjustments under her belt, Casey attributes much of the success and ease of her 4th experience to being adjusted by a webster-certified chiropractor.  This can be so useful to so many.  When we compare the pushing phase of Casey’s 3rd birth to her 4th, it’s pretty clear that something was different and baby was in a better position.  Chiropractic care is a great way to help that process.
  3. Finally, there is something so magical and intimate about homebirth. The fact that Casey and her husband were the only two present for the birth of their 4th baby, the day before their anniversary, was such a magical experience.  Knowing that help was on the way was reassuring, too.  What a beautiful way to become parents again.  With strength and closeness—the two whose relationship is the foundation of the family—got to be the two privliged to witness the newest addition.

Homebirth is so special, my friends.  Although I never enjoy hearing the traumas and difficulties that lead moms to it, I am always so encourage when these same mothers get to experience the brilliance of at-home midwifery care.  And I’m so grateful for the mothers who are willing to share it all—from the difficult to the beautiful to act as a beacon for all of the other mothers and mothers-to-be.

Jan 13, 2020
Ep 57: A Recovering Superwoman's Experience with 3 Under 3

When it comes to finding your way to your homebirth midwife, was this an easy or difficult path for you?

After 2 hospital births, Krista knew she was ready to take birth home.  The issue, however, was finding a care provider.  In Western PA, midwives are publicly prosecuted for attending homebirths.  CPMs and traditional midwives alike are underground.  Krista mentions she felt like she was calling a “black market midwife.” 

In this episode, we discuss it all.  From birth trauma to faulty legislation…but we end the way I pray all births do… victoriously.  Join me as we learn about Krista’s experience with 3 under 3.


Show Notes:

  • Krista is a corporate lawyer and mother to 3 children, ages 3 and under.
  • She discussed how ridiculous it is that these practices and hospitals expect mothers to sign away all of their rights and consent weeks before even being in labor, or even upon entrance to the hospital. How can you give informed consent when you don’t even know the situation yet?
  • This is why she decided to switch to the care of midwives at 28 weeks.
  • After her first birthing experience, which was quite traumatic (they threatened to vacuum baby out simply because she pushed for 2 hours, they whisked him away immediately to NICU and she didn’t see him for 4 hours), she knew she wanted to take back birth.
  • Though Krista experienced birth trauma, she has managed to use it for good.
  • With her second birth, her midwives switched hospitals (it would now be 70 minutes away)—much because the hospital they were at before’s poilcies were not good for midwifery clients.
  • For this birth, her doula was at another labor, so her backup was called. However, after speaking with the backup and telling her all that was going, the backup ended up calling HER backup….
  • Krista was so upset. Suddenly her mindset changed and she was now feeling the sensations as pain, where they had not seemed painful before.  This shows just how much our situation and mindset can influence our perception of what we are feeling.
  • She arrived at the hospital at 8:30 am, and baby was born at 9:17.
  • She left the hospital knowing that she would not be coming back.
  • In PA, it’s incredibly difficult to find a midwife because there are no midwifery regulations. She discusses how she felt like she had to find a “black market midwife”
  • Although she was going through a difficult divorce during her third pregnancy, her experience was amazing because of her care. The midwives cared about her mental health, her life experiences, etc.  This was all taken into consideration during her care.
  • She did use traditional midwives, who did not have access to medications, testing or scans. She discusses how although she felt comfortable with this for this birth, it’s unfair that other mothers, who might not, must make these kinds of choices simply because of the state’s choices.

Krista’s mother was able to make it for the birth of her third baby.

  • She didn’t even realize the midwives and doula had arrived for quite some time, as they were quietly waiting in the corner.
  • She had made such a gorgeous atmosphere in her room- an are where she could truly relax into labor and be present. Twinkle lights, birth pool, worship music all set the mood.
  • She was able to have her 3 year old in the room as her daughter was born.
  • “I felt so victorious”

Keep up with Krista:

  • recoveringsuperwoman.com
  • Instagram.com/recoveringsuperwoman



Episode Roundup:

  1. At the beginning of this episode we discussed the importance of not only learning to ask for help, but also learning to accept help. This is vital.
  2. Liability drives hospital decision-making. The best interest of the mother is not.  This means that when facing the hospital setting, we have to be very aware of what is going on and PUSH for informed consent.
  3. Having a homebirth can be overwhelmingly healing. Midwives can be so phenomenal in supporting mothers in their birthing journey, no matter the emotional backdrop to the pregnancy.  Care is so individual.  Even during a difficult personal experience, Krista was able to find strength and victory in her homebirth experience.
Jan 06, 2020
Ep 56: My Mother's Births
Dec 30, 2019
Ep 55: Dad Chats with Thomas: A Look Back on Janie's First 3 years

Gather round, mama and papa bears.  This week's episode is in celebration of our adorable, precocious 3-year-old, Janie.  We'll be listening to Thomas's perspective of our pregnancy, birth and postpartum, and some of his favorite Janie-isms.  


Special thank you to Thomas for being willing to come back on the podcast.  I love doing shows (and life in general) with you!

Dec 09, 2019
Ep 54: The Woke RN's Journey to Homebirth

For those of you who have had more than one birth, I’m curious to know…. How have you changed between experiences?  Have you experienced small, subtle changes over time, or has your world view vastly pivoted? 


Today’s guest, Kameren Moore, also goes by The Woke RN.  Kameren had her first baby 14 years ago, and at that time was very comfortable with the medical establishment and felt that she was in good hands. 


As the years have progressed, however, Kameren’s opinions on western medicine and traditional health care have drastically shifted, and these realizations/opinions greatly influenced how she decided to give birth, especially with her most recent baby.


From Pitocin and epidurals to a CBD unassisted birth, routine vaccines to ex-vaxxer, Kameren has, as she describes it, woken up to a different, more empowering way of life.  I can’t wait for you to listen in.


Now, I want to make something clear.  This show is not only for hippies, it’s not only for non-vaxxers and the like.  I know we have a diversity of listeners, and I appreciate that.  You certainly do not have to agree with every aspect and choice that Kameren makes to appreciate the fact that she is one powerful, thoughtful woman who cares deeply about her family and their health.  However, I personally would like for you to be open-minded about the information Kameren is sharing, and if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me, or I’m sure she’d be happy for you to contact her as well. 


Please remember that the opinions of my guests might not necessarily reflect my own and vice versa, and neither one of us are acting as medical providers on this podcast, so be sure to continue to see your doctor, midwife, or if you’re like me, your chiropractor.  Sit back and enjoy my discussion with Kameren, the Woke RN.


Episode roundup:


Here’s the biggie I took away from this episode, and it can be all boiled down into one amazing word.  Any guesses? 

Ownership.  Own. Your.  Birth.  I don’t care where or how you’re giving birth, this is YOUR birth.  You decide what happens and how it happens.  I loved hearing how Kameren gained this understanding of ownership throughout her birthing experience and even ended up having and owning her unassisted freebirth.  Ownership doesn’t mean that everything goes right.  I mean, we’re humans living in a broken world.  Things don’t always go perfectly, whether you’re in the hospital or at home.  So ownership is understanding that—and still doing all that you can to educate and prepare yourself for whatever birthing setting you choose. 


And the last point I want to make, which is somewhat of a bonus point, is Kameren’s discussion of fear-clearing.  Another huge aspect of the mindful homebirth formula.  We’ve got to clear our fears (through education) to allow space for all of the good emotions.  If you’re excited to dive into this more, be sure you have downloaded my free Mini Course, The Happy Homebirth Essentials Mini Course.  

Dec 02, 2019
Ep 53: Bring a Beginner's Mind to Birth

Do you bring a beginner’s mind to your births?  What do I even mean by that? I look forward to Amber’s stories today specifically for this reason.  Even with 5 births, Amber learned that each baby will be born in his or her own unique way. 

Learning to let go of all of the assumptions of what birth is or is not is a great way to enter labor.  Recognizing that this is a new birth, a new baby, a new experience can help us let go of expectations and become intuitive with what we need and want each time. 

Before we get started, I want to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving!  This year, I am thankful for you.  I’m so thankful for the mothers I’ve met, the stories I’ve heard, and the listeners I’ve connected with.  You’ve all been such a blessing to me, and I pray each day that this podcast will be a blessing to you, wherever you are in your journey.  I hope this brings you comfort, encouragement, and the understanding that you are so powerful and so incredible.  I’m honored to be able to play a small part in your birthing or motherhood journey. 

If you’re feeling a little loving, I’d be so grateful for you to take a moment to leave a review on iTunes.  This is such a helpful way for the podcast to grow.  If you’re selected as the reviewer of the week, I’ll be sending you a Happy Homebirth Podcast Sticker.  You can also take a quick screenshot of you listening to this episode and upload it to your Instagram stories.  Tag @happyhomebirthpodcast and I”ll be sure to share it in my stories, too! 

Finally- looking for a great gift for your midwife, homebirth mama friend, or yourself?  Happy homebirth t shirts are available again!  You can score yours through the website or the link in my Instagram bio!  3 different styles to choose from, and several colors in each!  I personally love the baseball tee.   

Okay, let’s waste no time.  Amber has such goodness to share with us!

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, midwife, or if  you’re like me, your chiropractor. 


  • Amber is a British born mom who has had babies both in the US and abroad
  • She’s a doula of 10 years
  • Her first 2 babies were hospital births because she lived in Missouri, where midwifery was practically illegal at the time
  • After her first 2 births, she and her family moved to Scotland, where she had her third baby, a surprise breech birth
  • They moved back to the States when she was heavily pregnant with her fourth baby
  • Moved bac to Missouri and had a homebirth
  • Her first baby was rather textbook, with contractions getting longer, stronger and closer together. However, her hospital experience was upsetting when after her baby was born, they would not allow her to bond immediately, taking the baby off for they routine procedures.  All the while, Amber was saying, “My baby! My baby!”
  • Her second baby was born basically unassisted with the doctor and nurse missing the birth!
  • One great thing about the UK is that there is a duty to provide care, so even if you’re “high risk”
  • Her third pregnancy was hard because she had Symphisis Pubic Disorder
  • She spoke to a midwife on the phone and realized one she liked was about to be on call—she immediately began having contractions
  • When the midwives got there, she wanted to get in the pool. They didn’t discourage her, but it was obvious they thought it was too soon.
  • Within 45 minutes she was pushing
  • As baby was “crowning”, she put her hand down and realized a bottom was coming out
  • Her head was still inside, but she can feel the baby swimming in the water with her legs!
  • Luckily, the relaxed midwife was there, and she said, “It’s fine, just wait for your next contraction and everything is fine and her head will come out.
  • Amber is so grateful she didn’t have a vaginal exam
  • She mentions how her third birth felt quite different- she didn’t want pressure on her back like she had before, but appreciated pressure on her sides.  She also had a desire to lean forward.  Later, she learned that this is often how moms feel and respond to breech babies
  • The midwives didn’t touch the baby at all as she emerged, though she did keep her hand on Amber’s back to remind her to keep her body in the water.
  • Once baby was born, she was alert, but not breathing. The midwives cut the cord a few minutes after being born and gave her a few breaths.  Amber says in hindsight she would have asked them to wait.
  • Amber made certain that her midwife with her next baby would be comfortable catching a breech birth just in case the next was breech as well.
  • Her next birth was incredibly uncomfortable—the opposite of her breech birth

The Miles Circuit eventually helped baby get into a good position.  http://www.milescircuit.com/

  • Once again with this midwife, she was discouraged from getting into the pool—she decided not to get in because the “expert” didn’t think it was a good idea. The baby was born 30 minutes later in the pool with an inch of water
  • With her most recent birth she decided to hire a doula, even with two midwives there.
  • She came up with a fantastic idea: She did not want her midwife to ask her anything. She wanted all questions to come through her husband or doula—because Amber knew she could say no to them, but would not necessarily feel comfortable saying no to her midwife.
  • Her 5th baby came way out of Amber’s normal range (40+2- 40+5) This baby came at 41+3!
  • This birth was magical- she had an accidental unassisted birth with just her husband present (midwives were on the way)
  • Because this was so fast, the photographer did not make it.


Episode Roundup: 

My two favorite takeaways from this episode?

  1. If you ever think you’ve got this birth thing down and know exactly how it goes, watch out! Amber’s stories show us that each baby has his or her own special story and way of entering the world.  Be it time, position or labor pattern, there’s always something new to experience as we bring our babies Earthside, so remember to bring a beginner’s mind and a sense of humor to each birthing experience
  2. And now I want to mention my very favorite takeaway: Amber discussed how she realized after her fourth birth that her decisions in labor could be very heavily swayed by her perception of what her midwives, the professionals, thought.  Because of this, she decided to have her doula and husband work as gatekeepers.  All questions were to go through them so that Amber could respond in the way that she felt most comfortable.  Although this ended up not even being a necessity since the birth ultimately happened before anyone could arrive, this approach is just mind-blowingly amazing to me, and I love it.  I love the sense of true consent this brings to the birthing situation. If you feel you might be swayed by your care provider’s opinions, even when they mean the very best, which of course the typically do, consider using this approach.  Let them know beforehand that you’d like to approach your birth this way—and give them this episode as a resource!  I’m sure they’ll be grateful for the new idea. 
Nov 25, 2019
Ep 52: How to Have a Liberated Birth

Liberated birth.  What a powerful phrase.  What does it bring to mind to you?  For me, I think of a woman who has decided to take full ownership of her birthing experience.  A woman who is completely in—no matter where or how she’s decided to give birth.  A woman who has taken the time to educate herself on the intricacies of birth.  I’d love for you to ponder this idea of liberated birth as we speak to today’s guest, Ilka Bee, the founder and creator of Liberated Birth Movement.  You’ll hear all about what that is, along with Ilka’s own liberated birth experience as we dive into this episode. 

And this perspective is so useful- I know I’ve mentioned it before, but my birthing comfort zone is at home with a certified professional midwife.  However, this is, of course, not the case for everyone!  Some moms prefer more, some less.  This episode will focus more on “less” variety, and I love it for that.  And what’s more, we’ve got two episodes coming up at the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020 that will delve into the freebirth stories of two moms.  And if you’re looking for another episode on the topic, be sure to check out episode 40, Shayla Has an Empowered Freebirth.  I’ll link it in the show notes!


Okay, switching gears quickly.  I want to take a minute or two here to be super open and honest with you guys.  If you caught last Friday’s Facebook live, you heard a bit of this already.  I want to acknowledge something: I haven’t been practicing what I preach lately.  When it comes to postpartum care and sustainability as a whole, I have really dropped the ball in the last two or three months, and I’ll tell you why.

After having Lillian, I was hit with this amazing, wonderful surge of creativity and clarity.  If you’ve been listening to my podcast for a while, you know I take my faith seriously, and I knew the holy spirit was urging me to create a childbirth education program.  This happened to me before—in fact, it’s exactly how this podcast was created in the first place.  It’s how I decided to launch this podcast on January first of this past year. 

So… when I was hit with the realization that I was to create a childbirth education program for homebirth mamas, I went full steam ahead.  I never asked for guidance on the timeline, I just decided—Let’s do January 1st of 2020.  Plenty of time, right? 


Well, turns out wrong.  And now, a few months in, I’m so burnt out and overwhelmed.  I’ve been staying up well past midnight most nights, I work through my girls’ nap time, and when I’m not able to be working on the course, I’m stressing about the course.  I’ve allowed it to consume my life—all because of this arbitrary date I created before recognizing how much work this course would entail and without acknowledging the fact that the season I am in requires slowness and rest. 

So.  All that to say—I’m not going to launch the course on January first.  I’ve got most of the content created, as I am nearing the end of the live version with my founding members… but there is just so much more to do, to create, to clean up.  I want this course to be perfect and I want it to be made in a manner of glorification, not desperation.

After the holidays I’ll have a much better idea of when an appropriate/healthy launch date is, and I’ll certainly let you know.  In the meantime, if you were really looking forward to the January launch, just shoot me an email.  I’m sure there’s a way we can still work together to prepare you, it just won’t be in the form of my beautiful, complete digital childbirth education course.

So thank you guys for my quick little… admittance.  I’ve definitely blown off course and it’s time to get back on.  If you’re in a similar season as me and you’re overworking, consider this your reminder to cool your jets, mama.  We’ve got to take care of ourselves so we can continue take care of our sweet families. 


Alright, sidebar closed.  Let’s get on with the show.  Take a screenshot now!  Upload it to Instagram stories and tag happyhomebirthpodcast so I can share it in my stories, too!  Leave me a review on iTunes so I can send you a happy homebirth sticker and read it on air! 


Show Notes:


  • Ilka is a liberated birth coach- educating women about how to have a pregnancy and birth outside of the medical system
  • Moved from Germany to India to California and became a prenatal yoga teacher
  • Studied massage therapy and prenatal massage
  • Began being asked to attend births- got kicked out of several hospitals because she was adamant about protecting her clients
  • Started apprenticing with a midwife- 4 years of schooling, was about to take her NARM exam to license and suddenly her intuition began telling her not to
  • Attended the Indie Birth Conference in Sedona and felt very connected to the movement.  Decided she did not want to work for the State, and only for her clients.
  • Works as an online birth coach to teach women how to get through all the pitfalls of birth and pregnancy
  •  Ilka discusses the trauma of watching obstetric violence occur in the hospital
  • In a freebirth with a “witness”- Ilka feels it’s important for the communication between the two parties to be deeply in tune.  She feels that often the problem is that women don’t even know what they want and do not know what is possible
  • Ilka says the most important aspect of birth is the mother taking full responsibility.  Often times, women do not take that responsibility because they’re scared
  • She states that prenatal care is not the 15 minutes at the Dr.’s office or even the 1 hour appointment with the midwife—prenatal care is what you’re doing 24/7: Mindset techniques, nutrition, exercises, emotional stability tools,
  • Liberated birth: discuss all of the previously mentioned techniques, and then how to get your partner on board, as well as what type of birth attendants you want, physiological/natural/mammalian birth, what does labor actually feel like, and how to bond after birth
  • Traveled the world while she was pregnant
  • At 38 weeks they road tripped back home from California to Montreal.  At 39 weeks they traveled 10 hours to her husband’s brother’s wedding.  Danced all night
  • Began having surges so drove the 10 hours home
  • Ate scrambled eggs and canned oysters
  • Set up the birth space beautifully
  • Spent about 8 hours  in the tub- fears of not being an adequate mom
  • “Either our son has a very tiny penis, or we’ve got a daughter”
  • The cord was wrapped around her neck twice and once around her shoulders.  She was born en caul
  • The placenta was born 5 minutes later
  • She left the placenta attached for several hours and then cut the cord
  • She didn’t see anyone for the first 40 days of her life except for her mother and father.


Get in touch with Ilka! 

Listen to Shayla's Freebirth Story

Nov 18, 2019
Ep 51: 7 Mistakes Many Mamas Make When Planning Their Natural Birth… and How to Avoid Them!




Do you feel clear on the reasons you've chosen the path of homebirth.... or natural childbirth in general?  


Join me today as we speak with Brooke Collier of Sister Birth and discuss her amazing guide "7 Mistakes Many Mamas Make When Planning Their Natural Birth...And How to Avoid Them". 


Show Notes:

  • Brooke is a mother to 4 children, all of whom were born at home
  • She has worn many hats over the last 10 years: photographer, birth photographer, student midwife, and doula.  
  • She's always been more on the "crunchy" side, so even before marriage she knew she wanted to have a homebirth.  She discussed this with her to-be husband very early on.
  • First baby: 48 hours of pretty active labor at home in 90 degree weather – emerging 5 hours after pushing felt amazing
  • She had a narrative in her mind that she'd "performed badly," which she worked through with her midwife team postpartum
  • After a 48 hour marathon birth, Brook next gave birth to her biggest baby... within 5 hours.  She attributes this to feeling very connected with her baby during labor
  • After first child, part of her barter with her midwife was to photograph a birth.  This was her first experience at a homebirth that wasn't hers.
  • After 4th child began working as a student midwife- attended 43 births in 9 months…. Was not sustainable
  • As a holistic health coach and Master’s in psychology (counselor), she began working as a doula
  • She then created a class that infused her Christian faith with both all of her other offerings and created SisterBirth, an online class


Mentioned in this episode:

Embrace: A Sisterly Guide to Having Babies Beautifully

7 Mistakes Many Mamas Make When Planning Their Natural Birth… and How to Avoid Them!


Believe in Midwifery Interview 1 

Believe in Midwifery Interview 2

Believe in Midwifery Interview 3








Nov 11, 2019
Ep 50: Juliana Takes Charge of Her Birth Choices

Hey.  You.  You reading this.  You pregnant mama.  Guess who is charge of your birth.


Go on, guess.


If you answered with anything besides "me," I want you to rethink your answer.


Today's episode with Juliana discusses so many important aspects of pregnancy, birth and postpartum.  One of the biggest takeaways comes in the form of the discussion Juliana had with her midwife about what decisions she was comfortable with for her birth and postpartum.  I know you're going to want to listen in for this amazing wisdom!


Show Notes:


-Had a planned, assisted homebirth

-Has never been a fan of medical intervention, so knew she would want to avoid that in her birth experience

-Juliana’s neighbor had a homebirth right next door, and she encouraged Juliana to have a homebirth

-She recognized the importance of understanding what was happening in her body as she was in labor

-Learned about the process of induction and realized she did not want to be induced.

-Her partner was very on board with the idea of having a homebirth

“We’re in this together—we’re having a homebirth”

-Juliana continued to work out and eat healthy.  The big difference was that she couldn’t go hours and hours without eating—she was ravenous!

-Drank lots of red raspberry leaf towards the end of pregnancy

-Katelyn’s favorite pregnancy tea



-Juliana recognized that she was truly the one in charge of her birthing decisions: she knew it was her midwife’s job to convey the information, but her job to ultimately decide


-B.R.A.I.N. acronym


-Juliana was crampy on and off throughout her pregnancy.  She felt lots of uterine sensations

-On a Tuesday afternoon she felt her cramps beginning to intensify and get consistent

-Her midwife insisted that she sleep between contractions, and she did.

-She knew how important it was for Juliana to give birth at home, so she stressed how important it was for her to rest during her early labor

-Early labor Tuesday night and all of Wednesday.  Thursday early morning things got intense.  She called her midwife over around 3:30

-Was worried she wouldn’t enjoy the birth pool, but once she got in she admitted it was amazing.

-Wanted to labor in the pool, but to give birth on land.  But by the time she was ready to push the baby out, she was staying in the water.

-Juliana was in active labor for 6 hours, and her baby was born at 8:30 in the morning.

-She says that the end of her labor was intense, but not unbearable- she feels that much of that is related to her mindset. 

-Her midwife said, “I want you to grunt.”  This seemed to help her control her breathing.

-We discuss how birth is so ordinary and extraordinary

-Juliana acknowledges that you can prepare both physically and mentally for birth.  If you go in feeling petrified, you’re probably not going to open up, and it will probably be difficult.

-She took lots of care to help position her baby properly.  She used Spinning Babies positions to align her baby optimally.

-Juliana was determined to work at pregnancy and do all she could to put the odds in her favor.

-Her immediate postpartum experience was difficult, though she did read Dr. Aviva Romm’s book Natural Health After Birth

- He was possibly jaundiced, so sleepy, which made the initial nursing a struggle

-She mentions how the stress of that situation, she feels caused her milk supply to tank…which caused more stress, and it became somewhat cyclical.

-She admits that getting breastfeeding down took probably two solid months.

-Juliana discusses how, yes, nursing is hard for the mother, but wow, it’s hard work for the baby!



Mentioned in this Episode:


Pregnancy Tea

Nov 04, 2019
Ep 49: Believe in Midwifery's Guide to Sustainable Practice

Show Notes:

Madeline Murray, CPM and wonderwoman behind Believe in Midwifery has put her heart and soul into her new course, Believe in Midwifery's Guide to Sustainable Practice.

This episode discusses:

  • how the course came about
  • who the course is for
  • what it entails
  • what it isn't
  • and more information on where you'll be seeing Madeline in the upcoming months

Here is the link to go purchase your course today!


For more podcasts with Madeline:

Believe in Midwifery with Madeline Murray

A Midwife's Long Labor

For more information on Madeline:




Oct 30, 2019
Ep 48: A Midwife's Long Labor

I want to start out with a phrase I hear from a lot of mothers.  “Oh, I had a really long labor.” 

And in my experience, a “really long labor can be anything from 9-48 hours, depending on the mother.”  I consider my first birth to have been obnoxiously long.  I went into early labor on a Thursday night and didn’t have my daughter until 2am on Saturday morning.  Whew.  Long one.  Madeline, however takes the cake when it comes to long labors, as you’ll hear in her birth story.

Today’s guest is no stranger to the podcast.  I interviewed Midwife Madeline Murray on episode 23, and we discussed her brand, passion, life’s work, Believe in Midwifery.  If you haven’t listened to that episode yet, I highly recommend you scoot on over right after you finish this one.  I’ll make it easy for you and put the link in the show notes.  Even more excitingly, this is not the only episode you’ll be hearing from Madeline this week.  Nope!  Be sure to tune back in this Wednesday, as we celebrate the launch of Madeline’s new course, Believe in Midwifery’s Guide to Sustainable Practice.  It’s an amazing episode for both midwives and mothers, so don’t forget to subscribe to the show on your favorite platform so you don’t miss it.

Speaking of your favorite platform, if you wouldn’t mind, I would be so grateful for you to head over to iTunes and leave a review for the show.  Reviews are so helpful for reaching more mothers, and I know you want to get the homebirth message out as much as I do!  Remember that if you leave a review, you have the opportunity to be selected as the reviewer of the week, and I’ll give you a podcast shout-out and e-mail you a happy homebirth sticker.  So….worth the 3 minutes.

Okay, on with the show!  Please remember that the opinions of my guest may not necessarily reflect my own and vice versa, and although Madeline is a care provider, neither one of us are functioning in that role during this episode, so continue to see your doctor, midwife, or if you’re like me, your chiropractor.  Let’s jump in!


 Show Notes

  • As a midwife, Madeline says she was a terrible pregnant woman. She thought her clients told her everything, so when little things would be different, she would always wonder, “Wait, is this normal!?”  She would go to her friends, who always asked her the questions!  “Yep, you just sound pregnant.”
  • “It was humbling to ask for help.”
  • Her plan was to have as much of an “unassisted” birth as possible. She wanted her friend Jen, who is a midwife, to come to Atlanta from Oregon when she was in labor and be there with her, but wanted a hands-off situation.
  • She knew that “anything” could happen. The only thing she wasn’t expecting—was her water breaking before
  • Went to Scollini’s for dinner—wanted to have an eggplant baby (the restaurant is known for sending moms into labor)
  • Water broke that night (Sunday night)
  • Had a full day of no contractions.
  • Early morning, around 8, she got out of bed because she was having somewhat significant contractions
  • “Classic first time mom”: tells her friend she can come over and have coffee, calls her mom, calls her sister-in-law
  • After an hour or so she noticed she wasn’t progressing, so she kicked everyone out.
  • Around dinner time, finally her contractions started picking up somewhat.
  • Madeline and her family members played Settlers of Catan that evening
  • By 3 in the morning, she was definitely in active labor.
  • Got in the birth tub around 5 am and started feeling some pressure (Wednesday morning)
  • Madeline decides to check herself, and can only feel baby’s head and the pubic bone. She got into a deep squat for a few contractions and pushed hard.
  • She then decided to have her friend check her. She was 7 cm… #classicfirsttimemom
  • Had her sister-in-law text all of their friends and family asking for prayers and energy.
  • Her mom sent a text to all of the ladies at church asking for prayer
  • She needed her tribe to be there with her—every time she had a contraction, everyone would moan and sway with her.
  • “I needed help, and I had people there to help me”-Madeline on her tribe
  • Jen finally checked her again, and realized the baby was “asynclitic” or cattywompus
  • 5 or 6 pm on Wednesday night.
  • Decided to lay flat on the couch--- suddenly had an insane seizing spasm on the left side of her body. It made her throw up
  • Happened every 30 minutes, and thinks it was causing adrenaline which prevented oxytocin—slowed her contractions, so none of the positions they were trying moved the baby
  • Had her brother come over to help massage her back
  • Had one more of the spasms and said, “I’m done- this has to stop”
  • Decided to head to the hospital. No bag packed, no car seat installed”
  • Her brother and husband installed the seat and they left
  • The first nurse was uncomfortable with Madeline’s refusal of tests, so they brought in another nurse, who was wonderful
  • Madeline declined things, crossed things out, and refused to sign away consent
  • Got an epidural, the spasms finally stopped
  • Hated the lights, the beeping, the stress
  • She feels that the angel nurse she had made a huge difference in the fact that her labor picked up on its own.
  • At 6:45 am she began feeling immense pressure. Midwife checked her, and she was complete.
  • Madeline decided to “labor down”—wait until her body was forcing to push… which happened with the next contraction
  • Madeline began shooting out all of these demands, “Delayed cord clamping! Let the baby restitute on his own!” 
  • Even with the epidural she was mobile enough to get into hands and knees
  • “This is so hard!”
  • All she could think was that every woman she’d ever known must have been stronger than her
  • Her Dr. said at one point, “Madeline, you know what this is. You’re just openin’!” and “If you’re talkin’ you ain’t pushin’!
  • She pushed him out with lots of meconium behind him
  • He was great—crying when he was halfway out
  • “Like Oprah”--“You’re the best! You’re the best!”
  • She had her baby on her chest the entire time. 4 hours later they left the hospital
  • Ped nurse came in saying they weren’t going to discharge the baby
  • Madeline discusses how the way they word things makes you feel like you don’t have choices, but you do.
  • The importance of kind straightforwardness
  • @believeinmidwifery
  • rebranded
  • com



Episode Roundup:

  1. A Sunday Night-Thursday morning labor…. Now that, my friends, qualifies as a long labor. I want to take this moment to discuss just how incredible the female body is.  To endure intensity for such a long time, and then come out on the other side just fine… that’s amazing. 
  2. I love the fact that Madeline expressed to everyone exactly how she wanted to be treated during her birthing time. Hands off, allowing her body to do its own thing.  However, when she got to a point where she needed reassurance and backup, she had her best friend and midwife right there to help her through the uncertainties.
  3. Shout out to all of the amazing brothers everywhere. I adore my brother, and I just love hearing stories of other siblings who are close.
  4. And finally. Most importantly.  Madeline hit on a point so vital for us all to understand:  For whatever reason, should you find yourself in the hospital, you are still the decision-maker.  You do not have to hand over your power and your autonomy.  You can kindly, but firmly explain your choices (not wishes).  You can use the word decline.  It’s not a dirty word, despite the looks you may receive.  Of course, when help is needed and the situation calls for emergency intervention, it’s not a bad idea to accept.  BUT…. You have the right to be treated like a cognizant human, and you have the right to say, “oh, yeah, don’t think I’m gonna do that.” 


Okay, friends.  I know this episode got to you.  I know it because it got to me.  Thank you, Madeline, for all of your wisdom. 

Remember that if you’ve made the decision to have a homebirth, I have a free mini-training just for you.  Think of it as the teeniest, tiniest taste of what’s to come from Happy Homebirth Academy when it launches in January.  Just go to myhappyhomebirth.com/essentials to pick it up!  That’s all for today.  Come back Wednesday for our bonus episode with Madeline!


Mentioned in this Episode:

Believe in Midwifery Episode 23

Happy Homebirth Essentials Mini-Course

Oct 28, 2019
Ep 47: Switching Care Providers Later in Pregnancy

Episode 47: Elizabeth Wolfrey


What do you do when you realize you’re unhappy with the care you’re receiving prenatally?


Elizabeth found herself in this position, for the second time, during her second pregnancy.  Fortunately, she had learned much since her first experience, and she was unwilling to stand by as the positive birth she desired slipped away. 


Elizabeth, like so many other courageous moms, made a change later in the game—but certainly in time.


Before we dive into this episode, I have to give a big thank you to the founding members of Happy Homebirth Academy.  Our group begins Tuesday, October 22nd, and I am so excited for the feedback they’ll be providing me as I refine this childbirth education program specifically with you, the homebirth mother, in mind.  I can’t wait to share the tools to a mindful, peaceful homebirth with you in January.  If you’re interested in a small taste of what’s to come, be sure to check out the Happy Homebirth Essentials Mini-Course, which includes 5 tips to having a successful homebirth.  You can pick that up at myhappyhomebirth.com/essentials.


Go ahead and take a screenshot of this episode and upload it to your Instagram stories.  As always, you know I’ll share it on my stories, too!


And hooray!  New stickers are officially in!  If you’re loving this show, I’d be so grateful if you’d take a moment to head to itunes and leave a review.  If you’re selected as the reviewer of the week, I’ll be sending you one of these sweet new stickers.


Short and sweet.  That’s all I have for you right now, so as we enter into this interview, please remember that the opinions of my guest might not reflect my own and vice versa, and neither my guest or myself are acting as medical providers, so please continue to see your doctor, midwife, or if you’re like me, you’re chiropractor.


Show Notes:


  • Elizabeth Has PCOS, so did have a bit of a difficult time becoming pregnant in the first place


  • Had a hospital birth with her son (first birth).


  • Induced at 39 weeks- not a reason that they induced her. She wanted to be induced, so they did. 


  • Short labor, only 12 hours


  • Showed her Dr a picture of mucous, to which the Dr. said, “Ugh, I don’t want to see that!”


  • Didn’t switch to a midwife with her second birth until 25 weeks. At first, her husband was uncertain that Elizabeth would be able to cope at home.


  • Discussed the fact the appointments were always 1hour +


  • Husband’s big question: “Well, what if something happens?” -It’s birth. Things do happen sometimes and you deal with it as it comes.  But typically everything goes okay
  • -Once they had a successful experience, he was so happy


  • -Got to a point where she decided they weren’t going to tell anyone unless they knew they’d be supportive because they weren’t interested in negativity during such an important time as pregnancy


  • Tractor-tractions


  • Stopped at WENDY’S ON THE WAY


  • Felt like she needed to poop…. Actually did need to poop.


  • Labored in the water, then really enjoyed laboring on hands and knees, then was laboring facing the back of the toilet, which helped open things up. Her water broke.


  • Contractions were very strong


  • Mentions that one of her midwives reminded her of a mom figure, and she really loved that.


  • Felt the fetal ejection reflex—enjoyed pushing


  • Discusses the calmness of her baby—the way that you’re brought into the world can make such a difference



Episode Roundup:


There’s so much we can glean from this episode.

  1. One of my favorite parts is the work that both Elizabeth and her husband did to prepare for their second birth.  She read Ina May books, they watched The Business of Being Born, and they even took a childbirth education class together to understand what her body would be doing during labor… this was all after having given birth before!  There’s always so much to learn.
  2. I love how Elizabeth compares the way her baby was born to the calmness of her personality now. Perhaps this isn’t always the case, but I do feel that the overwhelming, undisturbed love her daughter must have felt during those first moments on Earth certainly cause healthy, positive hormones that can ground us all beautifully.
  3. Finally, I want to tie things up the way we began. Elizabeth didn’t switch to the care of out-of-hospital midwives until 25 weeks pregnant with her second.  But you know what?  It wasn’t too late in the game.  In fact, as long as there’s time left on the clock, even if it’s down to the very end, there’s still time for a change.  Please remember that you’re the one in charge- I beg that you don’t let anyone take that power away from you.

Okay, my friends.  I hope you loved this interview like I did, and I look forward to seeing you back here, next week.




Oct 21, 2019
Ep 46: Should You Have a Hospital Birth With Your First Baby?

“I want to have a homebirth with my second, but I’d feel safer giving birth in the hospital with my first baby.”


I hear this from so many moms.  And I get it!  With so much propaganda and misinformation regarding the safety of homebirth, I certainly see why so many moms feel this is the best option.


And for many, it really is!  They’ll feel more comfortable and just as empowered at the hospital.  But for others, they expect that having a natural birth in the hospital will be easier than giving birth at home, and once they experience the deep-rooted disempowerment that may occur at the hospital, they long to have considered homebirth more and swear to give birth at home the next time.  I mean, listen back to just a few interviews and you’ll hear this theme again and again.


In today’s episode, we’ll be speaking with Elena, who decided to do just that: give birth naturally at the hospital first.  We’ll hear her experience- both the good and not-so-good, and we’ll learn how to prepare ourselves in advance should we decide to give birth there, or perhaps we’ll skip it all together and just stay home.


Episode Roundup:

Wow, there’s so much to say about this brilliant episode.  I’m so grateful that Elena came prepared to discuss both the pros and cons of her birthing experience in such detail.

The main point I want to bring up as we wrap things up is this:  if you’re more comfortable giving birth in the hospital, own that.  The point of this episode is not to make you feel concerned. Rather, it’s to inform you before you get there what you may expect and come into contact with, and be prepared.

I want to mention Elena’s sage advice of having a dedicated birth team to shoo away those care providers who just aren’t understanding the word “no.”  This is critical in my opinion.

And of course, coming from someone who clearly loves homebirth, I want to remind you that many of the struggles you could face in the hospital are not struggles you’ll likely face in the homebirth setting.

As always, do your own research.  And if you decide homebirth is right for you, check out my free homebirth mini course… a teeny smidge of a taste of what to expect when the full course launches in January.


Mentioned in this Episode:


Evidence Based Birth- Group B Strep

Happy Homebirth Academy

Happy Homebirth Essentials Mini Course

T Shirts! 

Oct 14, 2019
Ep 45: This is The Birth I Wanted

Show Notes:


Preparation for childbirth:  Did you take it seriously?  Now, don’t get me wrong.  This certainly does not look the same for everyone.  For many, it’s a formal class.  For others, however, it can be as simple as a grounding mantra.


“This is the birth that I wanted.”  Alla remembers reciting these 7 words to herself each time she would feel any sense of nervousness over her upcoming homebirth.  She knew she could do it—after all, she had given birth before in the hospital, and quickly at that.


But this phrase helped her maintain a mindset of both gratitude and positivity.


Alla was grateful to have a homebirth.  In fact, when she mentioned the idea to her husband for the first time, he thought the idea was ridiculous.  Giving birth at home?  When there’s a perfectly good hospital down the road?  No thank you.


But Alla persisted.


After bringing up this whole “homebirth thing” several times, Alla’s husband decided it’d be worth discussing with their midwives (these midwives work in both the hospital and home setting).  After the meeting, he was on board.  They were doing it—they were having a homebirth.


In the end, their second daughter entered the world beautifully.  And now?  Her husband is the first to exclaim the benefits of homebirth! 



Alla mentioned several amazing benefits of homebirth:  The peacefulness of giving birth in your own home, the beauty of having a small and loving support team to help you settle in (and even troubleshoot) postpartum, and the cleanliness compared to the massive amounts of bacteria and infection that can be found at the hospital.  All incredibly valid reasons to just stay home!


Homebirth.  It has a way of drawing us back in.  Alla admits that because of their beautiful birthing experience, the idea of another baby isn’t such a bad idea…


Oct 07, 2019
Ep 44: Jessica's Snowflake Births


Show Notes:

Births are like snowflakes.  Individual, unique, and often wet.  But we’ll focus on the first two.  Jessica’s 3 birth stories are hyper-unique and unexpected… and you’re going to love them!

From a game time decision to have a homebirth with her first (seriously-she was in labor) to a shocking position of baby number two, to a much heavier baby #3… Jessica’s birth stories vary dramatically.


And most beautifully, after all of these experiences, Jessica’s message to pregnant women everywhere is this: don’t be fearful!  She notes how much fear is infused in our culture regarding birth, but how unnecessary this truly is.


Listen in to the end to hear Jessica’s advice on how to care for yourself and your emotions when it comes to the naysayers. 


Episode Roundup:


  1. How amazing is it that there will never be a birth just like yours?  AND you will never give birth exactly the same way twice.  What an amazing opportunity for growth and experience, and what a privilege.
  2. I just love Jessica’s discussion of fearfulness and how it serves no purpose in birth. It’s so encouraging to hear women cheering each other on and reminding one another of their strength and power.  The fact that our culture is just steeped in fear, especially regarding childbirth—which should be so beautiful—is a tragedy.  Often times this fear seems to be surrounding the idea that birth is either dangerous or painful or both.  This podcast exists to show that those are not the only options!  Birth is safe, and there’s PLENTY that can be done in the realm of comfort.  If you’re curious about that, be sure to check out the cute little pain relief cheat sheet I made for you at myhappyhomebirth.com/painrelief This little infographic cheat sheet syncs up beautifully with the series of Facebook live videos I’m currently in the middle of.  Be sure to check ‘em out!


Help out the show:

Leave a review on iTunes for a chance to be the reviewer of the week– you’ll be sent a Happy Homebirth sticker if selected!

Take a screenshot listening to this episode and add it to your Instagram stories tagging @happyhomebirthpodcast.  We’ll add you to ours and give you a shout out!

Support through joining the Patreon community.  Receive tons of exclusive offers as a show contributor!


Ready to have a Happy Homebirth?  Click here for my free audio mini-course!


Pain Relief Cheat Sheet

Sep 30, 2019
Ep 43: Fertile Minds, Fertile Bodies


Show Notes:


Hillary Talbott Roland is the co-creator of the Art of Acupuncture in St. Petersburg, FL and the author of Fertile Minds Radio. She is a wholistic fertility specialist, board certified in Traditional Chinese Medicine and reproductive medicine. She utilizes the modalities of Traditional Chinese Medicine; acupuncture, herbalism & meditation as well as coaching and functional medicine to help her clients realize their fullest capacity of health before, during and after conception in person as well as virtually. Her main goal is to elevate the health of the planet two generations at a time.          Fertile Minds Radio Work With Hillary Instagram Hillary's Clinic   Also Discussed in This Episode: Believe in Midwifery Dr. Viva Romm Podcast Taking Charge of Your Fertility Ava Bracelet
Sep 23, 2019
Ep 42: Elizabeth Achieves a Mindful Birth

Show Notes: 


Picture this:  You’re pregnant for the second, third, or maybe fifth time.  What do you do?  I mean, you’ve done this before.  You certainly know all there is to know, right?


This week’s guest, Elizabeth Bauer, takes education seriously, and just because she’s done something once doesn’t mean she isn’t going to learn and prepare even more for the next go ‘round.


Elizabeth takes us on a journey of her birthing experiences.  From a frenzied birth center birth to a birth without the midwife present, to finally a mindful and peaceful third birth—Elizabeth was bent in improving her experience every time. 


We’ll hear how:

- the clothing choices of her midwife at her first birth subconsciously threw off her game

-she learned that she knows her body better than anyone else, even professionals

- love and laughter can bring on a baby in a hurry

-and how mindfulness gave her the most beautiful, present birth yet.


I’m so excited to share this story, as it is a beautiful example of why I find childbirth education so important.  This episode is exactly why I am creating my own childbirth education program.  Mindful, present homebirths are what I want for all of you, and I’m making the perfect program to help you achieve that goal. 


Elizabeth’s journey is incredible.  I’m so grateful she was able to impart both beautiful storytelling and wisdom with us!



Sep 16, 2019
Ep 41: Giving Birth to Twins... at Home

Show Notes:


Under what circumstances would you decide to give birth at home?  In the hospital?


Today’s episode explores this idea, as we delve into Rhiannon’s birth stories.  Rhiannon experienced two lackluster hospital births, one of which was very aggressive in nature. 


It was at this point that she decided to learn more about birth.  After finding out she was pregnant with her third, Rhiannon reached out to a midwife.  She was so excited to begin care… until she found out she was pregnant with twins.  What would she do now?


Listen in to hear how Rhiannon handled this interesting situation.


After Rhiannon’s twin birth, she became pregnant one more time.  With this baby, surely she’d have a homebirth.  Unfortunately, as labor approached, Rhiannon began bleeding and realized quite quickly that she was in an emergent situation.  She headed to the hospital to receive the care she needed.


Today’s episode is full of ups and downs.  Rhiannon’s positivity and encouragement are a light through it all!


Help out the show:

Leave a review on iTunes for a chance to be the reviewer of the week– you’ll be sent a Happy Homebirth sticker if selected!

Take a screenshot listening to this episode and add it to your Instagram stories tagging @happyhomebirthpodcast.  We’ll add you to ours and give you a shout out!

Support through joining the Patreon community.  Receive tons of exclusive offers as a show contributor!

Sep 09, 2019
Ep 40: Shayla Has an Empowered Freebirth

Have you ever considered what it would be like to give birth as intimately as possible?  This certainly may look different for different people.  For example—for me, giving birth as intimately as possible meant having just my husband and best friend/apprentice in the room with me for the majority of my labor, with the rest of my birth team filing in at the very end.  For Shayla and others, this means giving birth completely alone—with just their family at home.  Many people call this unassisted childbirth, or freebirth.  Although I personally love and respect midwifery and the comfort of having a Certified Professional Midwife attend my births, it’s important to acknowledge and recognize that that’s not the only way people choose to give birth at home.  I also find it important to not that unassisted childbirth is legal in all 50 states—whereas the legality for CPMs to attend homebirths varies from state to state.  Annoying? Yes.  But true.

Today we speak with Shayla, who has experienced a vast array when it comes to childbirth.  From giving birth at her mother-in-law’s house (a feat in and of itself) to a hospital, to home alone, she’s done it all (and with grace, I might add!). 


In the beginning (you’ll get this pun later), Shayla decided to have a homebirth with her first child.  She did this because she didn’t want to deal with the pressures and protocols of the hospital.  Shayla knew she wanted to give birth naturally, and she felt that hospital staff would make her labor more difficult.  She found a student midwife to act as her care provider. 


At that time, Shayla knew no one who was giving birth at home.  She’d become more natural in many ways—from learning how to cure a toothache, to fertility support, and now in relation to homebirth.


She went on to have her second baby at home, too, though home had moved from Mississippi to Phoenix, Arizona. 


With her third baby, Shayla ended up using a Certified Nurse Midwife in the hospital.  She discusses the lack of African American midwives, and how finding one can be very difficult.  We discussed the fact that Sistamidwife has a directory for these providers.


Although she was able to give birth naturally in the hospital, Shayla acknowledges the difficulty she experienced.  With so many people coming in and out, it was difficult for her to get into the groove of labor.  She found it frustrating that she’d have to have “tiny arguments” with the staff about what she knew she needed for her body.


With her fourth child, she maintained relationship with her CNM.  She went to prenatals regularly, though all the while she planned to give birth to her baby alone with her family at home, assuming she remained healthy. Fortunately, Shayla did remain healthy and confident. 


She gave birth to baby #4 on the floor in her front room after her children had gone to bed.  She said that once she began pushing, baby came so fast that her husband almost missed catching him!  Speaking of her husband, Shayla discusses how supportive he was, and how he has always thought she’d be a great candidate for a “freebirth”.


Mentions In this Episode:


Spinning Babies

Sista Midwife

Sista Girl Midwifery (North Charleston, SC

Liberated Birth Movement 


Keep up with Shayla:







Help out the show:

Leave a review on iTunes for a chance to be the reviewer of the week– you’ll be sent a Happy Homebirth sticker if selected!

Take a screenshot listening to this episode and add it to your Instagram stories tagging @happyhomebirthpodcast.  We’ll add you to ours and give you a shout out!

Support through joining the Patreon community.  Receive tons of exclusive offers as a show contributor!

Sep 01, 2019
Ep 39: The Heart of Postpartum Together



Show Notes:


For those of you who have experienced it—was postpartum anything like you thought it would be?  In fact—did you even spend much time considering it before your first birth?


I’ll be the first to say that with my first child, I didn’t pay nearly enough attention to postpartum. Sure, I considered breastfeeding… but I expected this to be the one potentially difficult aspect of new motherhood.  I didn’t expect the anxiety, and I certainly didn’t expect rage.  But postpartum hormones can be…intense.


Chelsea shares this experience.  As a mother who gave birth at home with her first, she felt she’d set herself up for success.  And she had!  However, that’s not the end of the work for any new mom (or at least, it shouldn’t be!).  She discusses how after a gorgeous first birth, Chelsea struggled with deep postpartum anxiety and rage. 


Having this experience pushed Chelsea to create Postpartum Together—an online coaching group dedicatied to the postpartum mother. She’s created a 5-month curriculum that helps mothers navigate postpartum… together.


This deep understanding of the postpartum experience certainly came in handy for Chelsea after her second daughter was born.  At the 20-week ultrasound, Chelsea and her husband were informed that their daughter had a congenital heart defect.  She was able to give birth naturally (and very quickly!) at the hospital, but her daughter had to undergo heart surgery at 5 months of age—another deep stress and anxiety. 


Chelsea’s realness and positive outlook are an amazing encouragement for all of us, and she is doing a phenomenal job of bringing women together at such a transformative time.


Keep up with Chelsea!





Deepest Thank You to Our Sponsor!

Hatched at Home- Midwife Carrie LaChapelle:




Help out the show:

Leave a review on iTunes for a chance to be the reviewer of the week– you’ll be sent a Happy Homebirth sticker if selected!

Take a screenshot listening to this episode and add it to your Instagram stories tagging @happyhomebirthpodcast.  We’ll add you to ours and give you a shout out!

Support through joining the Patreon community.  Receive tons of exclusive offers as a show contributor!

Aug 26, 2019
Ep 38: A Look at Irish Prenatal Care and Homebirth with Emer

Do you ever consider the similarities and differences of homebirth, and birth in general, around the globe?  Episode 37 gives a glimpse into the maternity care of women in Ireland by following Emer’s journey from hospital to homebirth. 


Emer is a fitness-loving mother of 3 located on the western coast of Ireland.  She owns a women’s gym where she works with women in all stages of life, with a specific love of helping women pre and postnatally. 


She and her business partner run an online blog called Food Fitness Fertility.  They are dedicated to teaching women how to care for themselves, track their cycles, and learn about fertility options other than the traditional route of IVF.


Emer’s first two births took place in the hospital, but because of her uncomplicated pregnancies and the swiftness of her second labor, she decided to give birth at home with her third baby. 


After a beautiful, uncomplicated pregnancy, life became hard at 34 weeks when her husband sustained a leg injury from a sports complication.  The injury required surgery and 6 weeks in a brace at 90 degrees.  Emer’s last bit of pregnancy was spent caring for her 2 young children and her husband.  Though exhausted, she is grateful for all of the preparation she did beforehand.


Luckily, her baby waited to be born until her husband was out of the brace and available to help.  Unfortunately, on the day that early labor began, her children were feverish and sick.  Labor took place overnight, however, and her children slept through the main event (though one did wake soon after with a fever—and woke the second child up, too!  Oh, parenthood.) 


Emer’s last birth was quick and uncomplicated, and her baby came out both crying and peeing! 


She discusses the importance of taking care of ourselves and understanding our cycles when it comes to pregnancy.  Emer discusses how much emphasis is put on not getting pregnant when we are teens, but there is no information on HOW to get pregnant, which she finds just as important. 


Deepest Thank You to Our Sponsor!

Hatched at Home- Midwife Carrie LaChapelle:




Help out the show:

Leave a review on iTunes for a chance to be the reviewer of the week– you’ll be sent a Happy Homebirth sticker if selected!

Take a screenshot listening to this episode and add it to your Instagram stories tagging @happyhomebirthpodcast.  We’ll add you to ours and give you a shout out!

Support through joining the Patreon community.  Receive tons of exclusive offers as a show contributor!

Aug 19, 2019
Ep 37: Alexa Chooses Homebirth With Her First Baby


Did you decide to have a homebirth with your first baby, or did this decision take place later down the line?  For mamas pregnant with your first, do you ever find yourself thinking, "Perhaps I'll have a homebirth... with my second..."? 

As a doula, Alexa experienced a number of births before becoming pregnant.  This experience pushed her towards the open arms of her homebirth midwives.  She knew that she wanted to give birth naturally... and she felt certain that that goal would be more difficult to achieve in the hospital setting, where the type and attitude of whatever care providers happened to be working that day could truly color her birth experience.

And so... with the support of her husband, midwives and doula, Alexa had an amazing homebirth.


Mentioned in this Episode:

Believe in Midwifery  Discount Code: HAPPY20

Lactation Cookies

Alexa's Written Birth Story


Keep Up With Alexa



Deepest Thank You to Our Sponsor!

Hatched at Home- Midwife Carrie LaChapelle:




  Help out the show:

Leave a review on iTunes for a chance to be the reviewer of the week– you’ll be sent a Happy Homebirth sticker if selected!

Take a screenshot listening to this episode and add it to your Instagram stories tagging @happyhomebirthpodcast.  We’ll add you to ours and give you a shout out!

Support through joining the Patreon community.  Receive tons of exclusive offers as a show contributor!

Aug 12, 2019
Ep 36: The Transformative Nature of Birth

Is there anything more transformative than birth?  Than being reborn as a mother for the first, second, or sixth time?  For so many, birth is a catalyst into the next phase of life- not only on the maternal front, but also on the passion and career front.

This is exactly what happened to Stefanie.  After experiencing her own birth with midwives, she was set on fire with a passion for women and babies.  She became a Lamaze instructor, a midwife’s assistant, and a doula.  How amazing!  During today’s episode, we discuss this transformation and the birth stories that caused this shift.


Show Notes:


  • Stefanie found out she was pregnant with her first child the same week she and her husband had moved from New York to Atlanta.  She knew exactly where she would give birth in New York, but had to search for a care provider now that she was in a completely different location.
  • Luckily, Stefanie found a supportive midwife group in one of the local hospitals. She enjoyed her experience with the midwives, and was grateful for their recommendation of hiring a doula for her labor.
  • Stefanie’s first labor was arduous and full of back pain with a baby who was in the posterior position for most of labor. It was quite a long one, spanning 24 hours, so her doula came in handy. 
  • Stefanie dilated to 8cm…. and then remained there for 8 hours. She spent much of her time in the shower (accidentally flooding the room at one point!). She was quick to acknowledge that had she not been with the midwives, it’s very likely that she would have ended up with a c-section.
  • Finally, even though baby was very high and she was at an 8, her midwives encouraged her to try pushing. They tried every position imaginable, and amazingly, after 2.5 hours, her baby was born!
  • Stefanie did struggle with some postpartum anxiety after her first child.
  • With her second pregnancy, she thought, “That went so well last time- why don’t we just do it at home?!”
  • Between the two births, Stefanie had become a doula, a midwife’s assistant, and a Lamaze instructor. She knew exactly who she wanted to have attend her birth.
  • With her second birth, she realized she was in early labor at about 6:20 one evening. She was grateful that her husband was almost home.  He got home and began to take care of their toddler while Stefanie went to take a bath.
  • Suddenly, her labor took quite an intense turn. She called her midwife to let her know that she was in early labor.  Upon Stefanie’s call, her midwife said she was on her way over, though Stephanie felt certain she was still only in early labor.
  • She was not. She decided to check herself…and only got about a knuckle deep before running into the baby’s head.
  • Luckily, her midwife arrived quickly. She got out of the tub and onto the toilet, facing backwards. Suddenly her water broke, and her midwife told her she needed to turn around… neither Stefanie or her midwife could catch a baby in that position!
  • Stefanie’s baby was born very quickly at this point—in less than the amount of time it took her to push with her first baby, she labored and had her second!
  • Stefanie’s doula business is a 2-person group, which was inspired by a former interviewee, Madeline Murray. Check out her episode here!
  • Stay in touch with Stefanie:
  • doulasinatlanta.com
  • instagram.com/theatlantadoula


Aug 05, 2019
Ep 35: When Pregnancy Becomes High Risk...Twice

Brought to you today by my wonderful, amazing, charming, and highly skilled husband who drove around for an hour today to find Wi-Fi and upload this. He is the real deal. #Blessed #MyHero #WhoShotJFK?

Jul 29, 2019
Ep 34: GlowbodyPT's Guide to a Fit Pregnancy and Post-Pregnancy

I LOVE working out, and I especially loved it during my most recent pregnancy.  Something about focusing on my health while growing my new babe was incredibly empowering.  What about you?  Did you feel energized and ready to work out during pregnancy?  


Now that I'm postpartum, I'm biding my time until I can return to working out.  The first few weeks post-pregnancy are a sacred time of rest, so I know I must take this just as seriously as any other period of time.


But what happens when I get the green light?  Do I just jump back in... full steam ahead?


Nope, I'm going to be incredibly careful to make sure that each exercise I do is actually safe for my new postpartum body, and that it's helping build me up- not causing more distress.


Enter: Glowbody PT.  This episode features a mama and former World Champion athlete, Ashley Keller.  She has created both pregnancy and post-pregnancy workout plans, and she knows the ins-and outs of both intensity and safety when it comes to the fresh new mom-bod.  

Show Notes:

Ashley is an army spouse and mother of 3 young children.  Before babies, she was a professional tri-athlete for Team USA, and won a World Championship for Half Iron Man.  She then served in the Army and became a mom.  She realized she needed short, efficient workouts for herself, so she decided to share what she was doing for her prenatal workouts on YouTube-  GlowBody PT was born. 

Ashley has not created your average run-of-the-mill pregnancy routines.  No, no, my friends.  These workouts are a beautiful marriage of both intensity and safety for pregnancy and post-pregnancy.

Ashley discusses the breakdown of her pregnancy workout plan, which is divided into trimesters.  


First Trimester

During the first trimester, Ashley discusses the importance of maintaining consistency with whatever types of workouts you were doing before.  If you weren't working out much, now is not the time to begin something rigorous.  However if you were working out, continue in the same way.  The caveat: bring your maximum workout level from a 10 to a 6 or a 7.

She mentions that there are several things mothers should avoid during the first trimester: overheating and breathlessness (due to change in hormones).  

The first trimester is a great time to try to get the abs and back very strong, as their strength and stability through pregnancy is key.


Second Trimester

The second trimester is a great time to begin lifting weights, even if you were not lifting weights before pregnancy.

Ashley gives great explanation as to how helpful squats are for avoiding the "soggy bag" pelvic floor.


Third Trimester:

It's incredibly important to remember that the body is creating a hormone called relaxin, which increases greatly during the third trimester.  This makes the joints and body as a whole hyper-mobile, so it is very important to be careful while working out, especially with yoga.  Ashley recommends doing prenatal yoga only once or twice per week.  

Her pregnancy plan ends at 32 weeks... why?  Not because you cannot continue to work out past this time, but because she wants each individual mom to listen to their bodies rather than feeling like they must do a specific workout.  She recommends doing workouts from the second and third trimester if you feel good continuing to work out.  She reminds mothers to listen to their bodies, as it will tell you when to stop!


Ashley has had 3 vaginal births in the hospital on base with midwifery care.  She appreciates the intimacy of the midwifery practice, and the way that the hospital allows her to labor how she wants.  She has found that giving birth on all 4’s, either on the bed or on the floor, is best for opening her pelvis and allowing baby to engage.  She says her most recent baby practically “fell out” as she leaned against the bed.  Nurses had to rush over to catch the baby.

As we delve into postpartum, Ashley's big piece of advice for the first few weeks is toREST HARD.  While it is not time to begin working out, this is a great time to begin doing long kegels (specific description in episode).


Beginning to Work Out Postpartum:

After receiving the "go ahead" from your medical provider, it's important to make sure that you are also checking your body's signals.  Are you still bleeding?  This means you're not actually ready.  Are you still sore?  If you had a Cesarean section, is your incision oozing?  This would also mean that you're not ready.  Just like at the end of pregnancy, it's important to listen to your body's cues during the postpartum phase.

 “We need to retrain our body because it’s gotten a little wonky."  Ashley discusses how it's important that we are not only gaining strength, but rebuilding the very foundations of our body.  It's been stretched and relaxed, and we must be very careful as we begin to rebuild.

 The benefits of Ashley's 12 Week Post-Pregnancy Plan:

  • It's Diastasis Recti Healing/Safe
  • Saves Time (20-30 minute workouts, 4x/week)
  • Does the Brain Work for You- Just click on the video and Ashley works out with you!

 Happy Homebirth listeners receive a promo code (for being the greatest listeners in the world)!



Code: homebirth15


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No matter how far postpartum you are, you can close that diastasis recti gap with Ashley’s 12 week post-pregnancy plan!


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Jul 22, 2019
Ep 33: Jasmin Struggles with Stalled Labor

What do you do when labor stalls?


Somewhat of a wonky question, as the body is generally far more intelligent than we give it credit.  However, there are times when our mind and body are just not connecting and we need help figuring out how to progress. 

Enter Jasmin-Mom boss and entrepreneur.  Jasmin, who herself was born at home, never even considered the idea of homebirth until she became pregnant with her third child.  After a very quick second birth she assumed baby #3 would practically fall out with ease.


Not so.  Baby #3 was a wild card!  After hours of labor, Jasmin realized she was not progressing.  She'd been at it for quite a while, and realized something had to give.  Deep down, both she and her midwife knew she was holding back.  With the concern of needing to transfer to the hospital if things didn't get moving, Jasmin dug deep.


Listen in to hear how Jasmin decided to have a homebirth in the first place, and just how that homebirth ended.  


Deepest Thank You to Our Sponsor!

Hatched at Home- Midwife Carrie LaChapelle: 




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Leave a review on iTunes for a chance to be the reviewer of the week– you’ll be sent a Happy Homebirth sticker if selected!

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Jul 15, 2019
Ep 32: A Cultural Look at Postpartum Healing With Adilah

What happens when you break a bone, undergo surgery, or get sick?  Typically, very specific time is taken to rest, and most importantly, to heal. 


What about when you have a baby?


After creating an entirely separate, entirely new life in your womb for 9-10 months, then bringing that life forth one way or another, what do you do?  Do you give your body the same type of attention and care that one does when recovering from any other strenuous/difficult event? 


I sure as heck hope so, but I sure as heck worry that it isn’t happening enough, especially when considering our western culture’s nonchalant attitude regarding postpartum recovery. 


Today’s episode is all about Adilah’s personal experiences with postpartum recovery.  As the daughter of a mother with a Malay background, she was truly required to rest and recover after giving birth.  Her mother made her broths, soups and warming stews, and saw to it that she was given traditional healing treatments: postpartum massages, belly pastes to warm her body and increase circulation, herbal baths, body scrubs, belly binds, hair treatments and feminine washes.  All of this combined with rest taught Adilah the true benefits of taking the postpartum period seriously. 


Now, with her in-depth understanding of these treatments, Adilah is providing many of these same kits to interested mothers through her website, www.ibudoula.com


With all of this attentive care, it’s no wonder that Malaysia ranks the lowest in the number of women with postpartum depression.  Perhaps if we adopt some of these principles, the western struggle with postpartum depression and anxiety would decrease as well.


This podcast is full of beauty and fascinating cultural information.  Listen in to hear how Adilah’s grandfather understood so deeply the importance of this postpartum support that when her mother gave birth to Adliah, he came and stayed with her and cared for her just as Adilahs mother did for her (her grandmother had passed away before Adilah was born).  This example so clearly demonstrates the depth of understanding this culture has in regards to the importance of postpartum healing and bonding. 


Connect with Adilah:








Other resources mentioned in this episode:


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Jul 08, 2019
All Kinds of Motherhood: Sydney's Journey as a Bio Mom, Homebirth Mother, and Surrogate

Motherhood: What does this word mean to you?  What comes to mind? 

I know that personally, I think of my own experience- raising my daughter, and now starting again with raising our second girl.  

Sydney's experience, however, is quite different.  She has experienced motherhood from several different aspects: as a biological mother who placed her child for adoption, as a mother raising her second child with her husband, and as a surrogate.  

This episode details Sydney's experiences in all of these areas, providing us all with a fresh perspective on the word 'Motherhood'.


Show Notes:

Sydney found out she was pregnant directly after college- she was not expecting or planning on this pregnancy.  She felt sure that she was not ready to be a parent, she did not want to parent alone, and she knew she had to figure out quickly what she needed to do. 

Her family assumed she would get an abortion, but she felt that because she wanted to be a mother one day, she could not allow herself to end this pregnancy with abortion.

Once she chose the family to adopt her child, she wanted them to be as involved with the pregnancy as possible.  They got along very well. 

Sydney struggled with her familial relationships in terms of deciding to keep the pregnancy, and in fact did not speak to her father for the entirety of the pregnancy.  Their relationship was quickly reestablished afterwards, when he acknowledged that he had handled the situation incorrectly.  He now continues a relationship with the child by sending presents, birthday cards, etc.

For the first year, all seemed to go well.  Sydney felt rejuvenated to be able to spend time with her friends without being pregnant… she felt like her old self.  However, at the 1 year birthday party of the baby, she became very emotional and realized she had not taken the time she needed for herself to heal after the birth. 

She decided to take a job with Teach for America and travel.  She moved to Memphis and met her husband.  Within a year, they were pregnant and married!

Her second birth was a homebirth in Las Vegas.  Her husband was able to catch her son and passed the baby to Sydney under her legs.  Both she and the baby were crying!  She discusses the difference of feeling between having her first baby with her second- knowing that this baby was hers to keep. 

 Her third pregnancy was as a gestational surrogate.  The beginning of her pregnancy was incredibly easy- she had no morning sickness, which was very different from her two previous pregnancies. 

During the 20-week anatomy scan, a heart defect was found in the baby.  The parents of the baby had to decide whether or not to terminate the pregnancy.  Right before Christmas, they’d decided to terminate. 

However, the day after Christmas, they changed their minds and said they would keep the baby no matter what! 

The rest of the pregnancy went okay for Sydney, though she did feel stressed trying to make sure she was doing everything she could to help the baby be healthy.  She was induced at 39+2. 

The labor was long, but once she finally was pushing, she pushed for only 3 minutes.  The baby was born screaming- so she could breathe!  And she didn’t need oxygen.  She was also strong enough to have her heart surgery on day 2 as opposed to day 5.

Sydney was able to breastfeed the baby while she was in town, and then she was able to donate over 3,000 ounces of milk to other babies. 



Deepest Thank You to Our Sponsor!

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Jul 01, 2019
Ep 30: Katelyn's Peaceful, Undisturbed Birth


Show Notes:

Happy Homebirth hit 10,000 downloads!  It's time to celebrate.  What do you want to see?  A Facebook group?  Merchandise?  Send an e-mail to katelyn@myhappyhomebirth.com with your suggestions.

Imagine your ideal birth.  Where are you?  Who is with you?  In what position are you laboring?  Listen in to hear Katelyn's most recent birth.  Her experience was "magical," as she was surrounded with exactly the right people in exactly the right time.  Katelyn set up her birthing space very intentionally and set her mind to the exact kind of labor she wanted to experience.

She and Thomas share their labor story, as well as a hilarious postpartum experience that occurred.


Katelyn's labor march:


Katelyn's birth video:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2DSJQYpxCc8MHVyeWxfa0xhb3FiVVhkT3ctenZpQmhiWm8w/view?usp=sharing



Deepest Thank You to Our Sponsor! Hatched at Home-Midwife Carrie LaChapelle: www.hatchedathome.comhttps://www.facebook.com/MidwifeCarrieLachapelleLMCPM/ 864-907-6363 

Help out the show:

Leave a review on iTunes for a chance to be the reviewer of the week-- you'll be sent a Happy Homebirth sticker if selected!

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Jun 24, 2019
Ep 29: Rachael Births at the Birth Center... Before it was Cool!

Deepest Thank You to Our Sponsor!

Hatched at Home-Midwife Carrie LaChapelle: www.hatchedathome.com




Show Notes:

  • Rachael is a mother of 3: Her oldest is 10, she has a 4-year-old son, and a 1.5 year-old babe
  • In 2009, when pregnant with her first, she decided to have a birth center birth. We discuss how uncommon this choice was at that time, at least in the area she was living.
  • She had two friends who had had hospital births without any interventions. When she asked them about their decisions, she began seeing the benefits of an intervention-free birth and thought it might be something she’d like to do.
  • Rachael admits that another big aspect of choosing an out-of-hospital birth was the fact that she wouldn’t be allowed to eat in the hospital. The more she learned, the more she began to feel rebellious!
  • We discuss the fact that childbirth education courses can truly help shift your perspective of what your body can tolerate (in regards to pain) during labor, and what you can do to relax and enjoy the experience.
  • “It was as much like therapy as it was a [prenatal] appointment”
  • Rachael finds it very interesting how different each one of her birthing experiences were.
  • With her first, she had prodromal labor for a week and a half
  • Rachael kept feeling like she needed to poop- so she had her husband run grab her an enema from the store. She laid down on the couch while she waited, and after about 3 minutes, she heard a sound that sounded like a shot going off.  Initially, she thought her colon had exploded!  And then she realized it “worse”—her water had broken!  She expected that she still had several weeks to go before having her baby, so this was quite a shock.
  • She called her midwife, who said she would check back in with her once contractions began. About 30 minutes later, her midwife called back and asked her if she’d like to begin heading to the birth center so she could be assessed (she also recognized that traffic would be getting difficult soon, as rush hour approached).
  • 12 hours after he water broke, her baby was born.
  • Rachael discusses how all of the things she thought she’d want in labor were NOT what she wanted. The opposite was true, too!  She did not imagine wanting to labor on the toilet, but it worked for her during labor.
  • When Rachael laid down, she would vomit- she was grateful that she learned about how sphincters work during her childbirth education class, so she wasn’t shocked or scared by this reaction.
  • “I didn’t panic… until I hit transition, which is I guess when everyone panics!!”
  • “I looked like I’d been pulled behind a speedboat for about 6 hours when Lilah was born, but I felt SO good!”
  • “Don’t be so afraid of birth—don’t let somebody else handle it because it scares you. Learn what you can about it so that you can make informed decisions.”
  • Between her first and second child, Rachael had been divorced, and she was now in her late 30’s. She did not think that she would have more children.
  • Her next pregnancy was a surprise—“No one was planning that!” She was grateful that her partner was completely supportive and on board with having a birth outside of the hospital.
  • Rachael feels that her second baby’s birth was even more straight forward. He was born en caul!
  • The day before labor, she didn’t feel good and decided to stay home instead of going out to dinner with a friend.
  • Rachael talks about how in her mind, she did not want her daughter to miss school because she was having a baby (She’s not sure why that was a big deal to her, now!). She didn’t go into labor until 1 am on a Saturday, so she thinks she must have mentally willed that to happen!
  • “I didn’t want to wake up the midwife before 5am—I thought that was rude.”
  • Rachael remembers feeling more “with it” during her second birth.
  • Her son was born around 9 am, and they were back home by lunch time
  • With her last birth, CeCe, Rachael was 40 years old: “That’s not what I had planned for this year!”
  • Once again, Rachael had prodromal labor. 
  • Her husband’s mother came into town a week before the baby was due- she was hoping that she’d be around once the baby came.
  • Rachael made dinner, then decided to go get in the bed, as contractions (she was confident they were prodromal) were making her uncomfortable.
  • Rachael contacts her midwife, who tells her that she’s heading out for a birth that’s in quite a distant location. She asks how Rachael is doing, and Rachael tells her not to worry, she feels like she has plenty of time.
  • Thank goodness—the other baby was born in quite a hurry, and the midwife (who was acting as a second for that birth) was called and told not to even worry about coming out because everything was taken care of.
  • In the meantime, Rachael’s daughter began getting sick. She got up to go check on her--
  • “When I stood up, I had that ‘Oh no, what have I done’ contraction!”
  • She went to the bathroom and saw that she’d lost her mucous plug. “Okay great, well we have to go now!”
  • Somehow Rachael and Andy were able to make it to the birth center in 30 minutes—usually a 45-minute drive!
  • Once they arrived at the birth center, Rachael’s baby was born within 30 minutes.
  • “It just keeps getting better… maybe we should just keep having more kids!”
Jun 17, 2019
Ep 28: MaternityWise's Anne Croudace Shares Her Birth Stories

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Hatched at Home-Midwife Carrie LaChapelle: www.hatchedathome.com




Show Notes: 

  • Anne is a mother of 6 children who range in age from 25 to 3
  • She has been a doula/labor support person for 25 years (before the term really even existed!)
  • In 1999, Anne trained formally as a doula. She trained a second time with another organization the following year, and found that the two organizations had rather opposite methods and beliefs.  One was very medical, the other was almost medically antagonistic.  Anne felt she was lacking training from both organizations, so she set out to do something about it.
  • She and a group of women started a business called Maternity Wise, and she’s been training doulas since 2004.
  • With her first birth, Anne had a doctor who she says was more like a midwife than a typical doctor. At the end of her labor, she did use some narcotic pain relief at the end of her labor (though her doctor did discourage it), which she attributes to having a more difficult pushing phase.  Anne mentions how it made her feel drunk and slow- unable to move the way she wanted to.
  • Once the narcotics wore off, Anne was able to push more successfully and baby came out quickly at that point.
  • “What I’ve learned throughout the course of my births is that I’m one of those moms who does a lot of early work.” Her births are fast, but she does a lot of laboring off and on in the weeks beforehand. “I do a lot of laboring off and on during the weeks beforehand… and that sort of thing makes everybody nutty!”
  • With her second child, she was actually put on bedrest several weeks beforehand. She had both of these babies 2 weeks before her due date, and both were over 8 lbs!
  • As soon as they took her off bedrest, she went into labor.
  • When she went to the hospital, the nurse checked her and her water broke. The nurse left, saying that she had quite a ways to go.  As soon as she left, Anne begins feeling the “poop pressure”
  • The nurse ran back in, lifted the blanket, and caught Anne’s baby as he came “shooting out”!
  • All in all, her second labor was 55 minutes long.
  • Between her second and third birth, her amazing doctor stopped practicing. She was referred to an OB who she very much liked, but in 1999, doctors were now working in groups, so she was not necessarily going to be attended by her own doctor. 
  • At 37 weeks Anne went in because she was experiencing potential labor. After being there for several hours and having everything die down, she wanted to go home. The doctor said, “Let me just check you one more time and we’ll go from there.”  What she didn’t know is that the doctor had an amniohook in his hand, and he broke her water without her permission. 
  • After the baby was born, Anne felt he looked far too small and young. She’d been studying for quite some time at this point, so upon assessment, she felt confident that he was not 3 weeks early, but closer to 5 weeks early. 
  • “I think of all these moms whose due dates could be miscalculated- and how they induce and how they hurry things up and how they have these itty bitty babies who are just not ready.”
  • In 2002, Anne decided to have her first homebirth (baby #4). With this baby, she went 3 days past 40 weeks- much further than she’d ever previously gone!
  • Anne’s sister in law came to stay with her because her husband was working an hour away, and they knew that might be too far to make the birth! Of course, her baby waited until the day her sister in law left to be born!
  • She began feeling slight contractions, but they very suddenly made a turn and got very strong. She called her midwife, who said she was on her way, but was 45 minutes away.  She had been in the tub, but got out because she was uncomfortable.
  • As she got up, her body started pushing. She walked to the bed, and with the next contraction, her baby was born. Anne’s husband caught her, juggled her around a bit, and put her on Anne’s chest.  The baby took a good breath, but then went limp, which very much scared Anne at the time.
  • Anne mentions that as a toddler, this daughter would faint if she were surprised or scared… she now thinks that’s what happened at her birth!
  • This daughter that she had alone- Ruth- is very shy. On the other hand, her next daughter is the life of the party.  And for this birth, Anne needed all of her people there!  She had plenty of women around her, as well as her husband, and her kids were in the other room “eatin’ triscuits”.
  • Her midwife was about 10 minutes out, and her water had yet to break. With the next contraction, she felt a big, warm gush.  This contraction was particularly difficult. She assumed her water had broken, but when she opened her eyes, she saw that everyone around her looked concerned.  She looked down and realized that this was not water, but blood.
  • One of her friends, who is a lay midwife, was with her and supporting her. She prayed over Anne, then looked at her and said, “You need to push the baby out.”
  • At that time, Anne’s midwife arrived. She grabbed a Doppler and checked baby’s heartrate, which was good, so everyone felt reassured.  However, she was still bleeding copiously, so there was great concern.  Her midwife checked her and told her that she had a cervical lip, which she was going to hold while Anne pushed through the next contraction.  Her midwife kept saying, “You have to push harder.  You have to push harder.”
  • Anne remembers thinking, “They can’t help her if I can’t get her out.” So she pushed with what she felt was her last bit of life force (she was weakening with each contraction, as she was losing so much blood) and her baby came out screaming.
  • Once her baby arrived, Anne’s perception of what happened vs. the reality of what happened were very different. She says she wouldn’t have believed it had it not been video taped. 
  • Anne is in a state of delirium at this point, but suddenly something amazing occurs. Her two-year-old daughter Ruth, who is incredibly intuitive,   comes up beside her mother’s face and touches her. 
  • Her midwife later diagnosed that Anne had had a marginal placenta previa, which is what caused the tremendous bleeding. A piece of Anne’s placenta actually came out before her baby, but it broke off on her cervix.  This was a serious complication. 
  • Between the next two babies, Anne gets divorced and remarried. She has been traveling all over the country and the world training women as doulas.  To her surprise, she finds herself pregnant!  At 40 years old, Anne is considered “advanced maternal age.” 
  • Once again, Anne is experiencing lots of prodromal labor. All of her babies had been born in the evening up until this point, so when she would feel signs of labor in the morning, she typically ignored them.  One morning, she was having a consistent feeling of, “Oh, if I could just go poop, I’d feel better…” This turned into her walking around, getting in different positions, and continuously thinking, “If I could just do this (insert activity), I would feel better.” 
  • Anne had her husband fill the tub with water. She sat on the toilet while she waited, and had several very intense, uncomfortable contractions there.  She gets into the tub and tells her husband that he should call the midwife.  In the meantime, she’s thinking, “Oh, if I just get my tummy in the water, I’ll feel better….”
  • Anne gets on her hands and knees, and the next contraction was more manageable. The next contraction happens, and Anne does “the big Moo”.  Her midwife was on the phone at this point, hears Anne and heads for the door.  Apparently she had been nursing her toddler—she threw her toddler at her husband, ran out the door without a shirt on, and drove straight to Anne.  This was the first birth her midwife ever missed!
  • With the next contraction, Anne’s baby’s head was born. She was still en caul (her water had not broken)
  • “For good or bad, I think we define ourselves as women by our birth experiences- and that’s why when you have a bad birth experience you’re more likely to suffer from postpartum depression or anxiety.”
  • “Birth works all on its own- We just interfere with it so much.”
  • Anne on MaternityWise: “One of my favorite things to do is help women birth their business.”
Jun 10, 2019
Ep 27: Doing it at Home with Sarah Bivens


Show Notes:

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




Episode Roundup:


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


Jun 03, 2019
Ep 26: Katelyn's Blessingway & Pregnancy Update


Show Notes:

  • Currently 38 weeks pregnant
  • Have had quite a successful pregnancy-- this one has gone by much faster (probably because I've been chasing my toddler)
  • Planning to have my daughter at the birth.  We've prepared by having her watch birth videos and even listening to/watching the video of me pushing with her
  • This pregnancy I: continued strength training throughout- I feel it made a huge difference for me
  • I did start eating more poorly during February/March, so I did the Whole30 with my husband and daughter as a reset in April and felt much better
  • I got sick with a stomach bug around 34 weeks- I don't wish that on anyone!  So awful to be sick and that pregnant.  I worried momentarily I'd accidentally push the baby out while puking.
  • I had a blessingway ceremony this past weekend.  Surrounded by amazing midwives and birth workers who love me. 
  • We: ate, had a bead ceremony, a fear-releasing ceremony, made an affirmation banner, and prayed over me
  • If you had a Blessingway, what did you do?
  • Please send me songs to add to my playlist- feel free to send them via your instagram stories, tagging @happyhomebirthpodcast 
May 29, 2019
Ep 25: Mia Advocates for Herself and Baby During Transport

Show Notes: 

  • Mia and her fiancé have been together for 7 years and have two precious sons together.
  • She comes for a naturally minded family- some of her aunts had had homebirths. However, she was not very educated on the subject.  She planned for a hospital birth and had a pretty good experience. 
  • She later experienced a friend’s homebirth (about 8 months after her own hospital birth) and realized that’s what she would want to do with any subsequent children.
  • Mia found out that she was pregnant with her second son right after her first son turned one.
  • When she found out she was pregnant, she knew she wanted her friend’s midwife to act as her own midwife.
  • Interestingly enough, both Mia and the midwife did not make it in time for the actual birth of Mia’s friend’s child! However, Mia loved how the midwife interacted with her during the home visit and immediately postpartum enough to know that homebirth was the way she wanted to go.  “It made me more aware that homebirth isn’t a scary thing.”
  • Mia admits that she procrastinated a bit with her prenatal care- she began going to prenatals at 20 weeks.
  • One way that Mia educated herself was by joining several homebirth and natural birth Facebook groups. Every afternoon when she would scroll through her feed, she would gain more insight into the choice she was making. 
  • With her first birth, her water broke before labor began. Once she went in, Mia mentions how many steps there were before she was actually able to focus on her labor: She had to get checked in through labor, assigned a room, they had to bring a birthing tub in in pieces, her water line was broken in her room so she had to wait for maintenance—Because of this the hours seemed to pass by like minutes.  “Looking back at it now, the hours passed by like minutes.”
  • After laboring for 3-4 hours in the tub, Mia was checked and found to be 9 ½ centimeters. After a few more contractions, she was ready to push.
  • Mia says that pushing was the time that things became more uncomfortable. She was on her back, bright lights shining directly on her, nurses and doctors hustling and bustling, etc.  Mia felt that the discomfort of the situation slowed her labor dramatically.  She ended up pushing for 3 hours, and when her baby finally came, he was tangled up in his cord.  Mia wishes she had been able to push in a better position, thinking that could have helped her situation dramatically.
  • With her second child, Mia had been having Braxton Hicks contractions for weeks. She woke up at 3 am one morning with contractions that were different from what she’d been experiencing.  Her fiancé works nights, so unfortunately this was right when he was coming to bed.  She remembers having to tell him, “Hey, you can’t go to sleep- I’m having contractions!”
  • They decided to wake up and straighten up the house a little bit. After, Mia decided that it might be a good idea to eat a little something and begin timing her contractions.  She was contracting every 5 minutes and they were lasting about 30 seconds.  However, because they were consistent for an hour, she decided to call her midwife and let her know what was going on. 
  • Her midwife agreed that she was in labor, but recommended that she try to go to sleep for a bit. Mia took her advice and after about an hour of trying, she was able to fall asleep and stay asleep for 4 hours.
  • She woke up and had a normal day. Mia was even able to get a small nap in when her son did later.  Once she awoke, she decided it would be best to head to the grocery store to get a big haul of groceries so she wouldn’t have to leave her house any time soon!
  • She remembers her son running away from her in the store. As she chased him, she began having a contraction and though people must think she was crazy!
  • “I think that I was so busy trying to relax that day that I didn’t nourish my body the way that I should”
  • Mia stayed in touch with her midwife throughout the day. At 7:30 pm, Mia’s mother arrived at her house.  Around that time, Mia called her midwife and asked her to begin heading her way.  Her midwife said, “Well, you’re still talking through your contractions.  I’ll call you back in about half an hour to reevaluate.”  About 15 minutes later her midwife received another call—this time from Mia’s mom—telling her she couldn’t talk through contractions anymore!
  • Mia says that she had a perfect birth team. Her aunt, who has had homebirths, and her mom, played a huge role in her first labor, so she knew they would be important in her second birth, too.  Her two cousins came, and even Mia’s little sister, who is 6 wanted to be a part of the special day.  Mia had a photographer, and of course her midwife, as well as a second midwife and an assistant.  Her fiancé was there taking care of her, too!  Everyone was at her house by 9pm.
  • “And really what helped me most through contractions this time was listening to worship music and just trying to sing through them, which I loved.” 
  • Mia’s midwife kept asking her to go pee, but Mia was unable to each time. Her midwife finally said that she felt like Mia was a bit overstimulated with having everyone around her.  She asked her to go lie down in her bed with her fiancé, promising that they would come in and check on her. 
  • Mia laid in her room for the next 2 hours, her midwife coming in to check on her every 30 minutes or so. At one point, her midwife said again, “Listen, you need to go pee, or I’m going to catheter you.  If you’d like, I can check and see how dilated you are.”
  • Mia decided to be checked, and when checked, her midwife let her know that she was fully dilated.
  • She notes that she had been feeling the desire to push, but was thinking it couldn’t possibly the right time. She though she needed to let the pain do its job, and if she had pushed, it would be counter to what she needed. 
  • Mia says she thinks her midwife came in right at the perfect time, because she probably would have had the baby alone in her bed had she come in any later!
  • “Get in the water and push your baby out!” About 5 pushes later, Mia had her baby!
  • Mia describes how with her first baby, even though they didn’t find out the gender, she knew she was having a boy. With this baby, she was completely convinced it was a girl.  However, once baby was born…. She reached down and found a surprise!
  • “I was so convinced I was having a girl this time….I reached down and I felt balls!”
  • After having the placenta, Mia got out of the tub and realized that she was hemorrhaging. Her midwife began doing all of the common interventions for too much bleeding.  She began by giving Mia hem-halt, which is an herbal supplement to help stop the bleeding.  Her midwife then gave her a catheter since she knew that Mia hadn’t been able to pee for quite a long time. 
  • Neither treatment worked, so her midwife examined her internally to see if there was any clear reason as to why she was bleeding. Upon examination, nothing could be found.  The bleeding continued, so her midwife gave her a shot of Pitocin and 3 Cytotec (another drug used to contract the uterus) rectally.
  • After all of these interventions, Mia was still bleeding. Her midwife made the decision to have someone call 911 and transport her to the hospital, as the bleeding was not stopping. 
  • As the ambulance was on its way, Mia’s midwife recommended that she put together a hospital bag, should she have to stay for any reason. She also told her that her baby’s car seat needed to be installed so that he could come to the hospital. 
  • At this point, Mia refused. Her baby had only been on her chest so far, and she was not going to put him in a car seat so quickly.  Her midwife told her that when EMS arrived, they would tell her that she couldn’t take him with her in the ambulance.  Mia said, “Well I’ll just throw a fit, because he’s not going away from me.”
  • Once the ambulance arrived, Mia did as she said she would and advocated for herself. She told the EMS team that the baby would be riding on her chest- that she would take responsibility.  They conceded and Mia was able to take the baby with her.
  • Once they arrived at the hospital, they had to wait for the OB to come down from the maternity floor. While waiting, Mia’s midwife April checked her again and told her that her bleeding was much better.  She said they would probably just check her out and send her home. 
  • Before being sent home, the OB wanted to physically feel inside of Mia to see if she could figure out why she had been bleeding. She felt internally as deep as she could, and Mia describes this as the worst pain she can remember experiencing. 
  • After receiving IV fluids and stitching, Mia was able to return home.
  • “It doesn’t always have to be 100% perfect at a homebirth. Your midwife knows what’s going on and is going to send you in when you need to be sent in.” (Katelyn)
  • Mia mentions how she didn’t feel any panic during the hemorrhage because she knew her midwife was on top of the situation.


Episode Roundup:


  1. The body works so much better when given space to work! During her hospital birth, Mia ended up pushing for 3 hours lying on her back.  With her second birth, she was in a pool of water on her knees.  Her baby was out within just a few pushes.  Position makes such a difference!
  2. Always, always, always advocate for yourself or have someone present who will. When Mia had to be transported for bleeding, she made sure that her baby was able to stay with her the entire time (clearly, she knows the importance of postpartum skin to skin!).  She stood up for herself and her baby and kept him with her at all times, even when it was considered unconventional. 
  3. Having a “Happy Homebirth” does not mean everything has to go perfectly. It’s not always going to be butterflies and rainbows.  Sometimes things go awry.  The Happy Homebirth experience is being supported and surrounded by care providers that you trust to keep your health and safety (not only physical, but mental and emotional) as the top priority.  Sometimes this includes hospital transports.  This can also include hospital births! 
May 27, 2019
Ep 24: Leah's Midwife Handles a Serious Complication


Show Notes:

  • Leah is a registered nurse engaged to a UFC fighter, Brandon Davis. They have just grown their family with a new baby!
  • She had a homebirth with her first baby. When asked how she decided to have a homebirth, she said she’s always been fascinated with it, but she doesn’t have any friends or family members who had had homebirths previously.  That being the case, it took a large amount of research on her part to come to the decision and know for certain she wanted to give birth at home.
  • As a registered nurse, she did have some negative reactions from coworkers and friends about her decision.
  • “I think that labor is best left untouched.”
  • Leah’s fiancé was very uncomfortable with the idea of a homebirth. Early on, she asked him to visit several care providers, and he quickly disagreed, saying she needed to give birth in the hospital like every other “normal” mom!
  • Not wanting to argue, Leah began seeing an OB. She continued with this care provider up until week 26, when she began feeling very uncomfortable with the idea that she was now going to be having a hospital birth.
  • She decided to set up a quiet little meeting with a local midwife without involving her fiancé until afterwards. She immediately felt connected with this midwife and said, “This is it.  I know that whatever my birth story is going to be, you are going to be a part of it.”
  • Leah continued to see both her OB and her midwife up until week 36, where she completely transferred care over to her midwife.  Though she liked her OB, Leah began feeling pushed to do things she didn’t want to do, including a  3rd trimester ultrasound and weekly cervical checks after 35 weeks.
  • She felt that her prenatals were far more in depth with her midwife; they discussed issues like nutrition, which never happened with her OB- not because she didn’t care, but simply because there was just not enough time.
  • In fact, her OB was so busy, that she had a patient due every single day of the month that Leah was due. She had warned Leah that she would likely not be the person delivering her baby anyway.
  • Leah’s midwife was able to discern that her baby was posterior, and explained how that had the potential to complicate, or at least prolong, labor. She recommended chiropractic care and yoga to help get baby in a more optimal position. 
  • She appreciated how much more hands-on her care was with her midwife. The OB pushed for a 3rd trimester ultrasound to see baby’s position, but her midwife already knew baby’s position by consistent belly palpation.  “I felt like she was almost a sister or a mom to me, as well as a care provider.”
  • Leah decided to work up until the day that she gave birth.  She was healthy and her baby was healthy, so she decided to continue.
  • During her 39th week, she got up on a Friday to go to work and noticed some bloody show. She let her midwife know, and asked her what that meant in relation to when labor would start.  Her midwife responded that it could be any time between the next 24 hours and week!
  • Leah went to work and worked the full 12 hour shift. She was on her feet all day, and by the time she got home, she was feeling crampy and “not good,” but she hadn’t realized at that point that she was on the cusp of labor.
  • Leah tried to go to sleep early, but couldn’t sleep. Although she was feeling crampy, she thought that maybe she was just experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions.  At about 3:30 in the morning, the discomfort was feeling less tolerable.  She thought that maybe she should start timing them to see if they were actually contractions.  At this point, she was having contractions every five minutes. 
  • At 4:30, she called her best friend who lives hours away and let her know that she thought today was going to be the day, so get in the car and head her way whenever she was up and ready.
  • At 5, Leah called her midwife and let her know what she was feeling.
  • An hour later, she called her midwife back and let her know that she was still consistently contracting.
  • At 8:30, Leah’s midwife arrived. Leah says, “I remember walking to the door and saying, ‘Hey…I feel like crap.’”
  • Her midwife checked her and said, “Strong work, girl! You’re a 6!”  Leah was very happy to know that her contractions were doing something!
  • Leah’s midwife had an assistant with her, who also acted similar to a doula during the experience.
  • In the late afternoon/evening, she was checked again and was at 9cm with her bag of waters still intact. Her midwife gave her the option of continuing with labor uninterrupted or breaking her water.  Leah decided to wait and see and did not want her water broken at that time.
  • She labored on for another hour and began feeling exhausted. At that point, she decided to have her water broken.  She as laboring on the bed at this time, but her midwife told her she should try to decide where she wanted to be when they had the baby since they were getting close.  She labored for about 26 hours total, but only spent about 45 minutes in the pool.  She decided she wanted to go back to the labor pool.
  • Leah’s midwife told her that would be fine… but she was worried that they wouldn’t actually have time to get the birth pool set back up before baby arrived.
  • Leah decided to go for the next best thing- her shower! At this time, she was already feeling pushy.  With her next contraction, she made a clear pushing sound, so her midwife came back into the room…. Only to realize that Leah had already birthed the baby’s head!
  • Her midwife came behind her and provided perineal support to help prevent tearing. After a few pushes, Leah’s midwife that the baby wasn’t coming out.  She asked Leah to give her everything she had during the next push.  At this point, Leah was doing all that she could, and wondered what was happening.  Her midwife told her that she would need to get out of the shower if baby didn’t come with the next push.
  • Baby still did not come, so Leah stepped out of the shower/tub and her midwife had her get onto her hands and knees on the bathroom floor. Her midwife had her alternate lifting one knee into a runner’s lunge, and then the other knee.  Back and forth, back and forth.  Baby still was not coming, though Leah’s midwife did free a nuchal cord that was wrapped twice around his neck.
  • At this point, about 5 minutes had passed. Leah’s midwife had her lie down on her back and lift her knees up as high as possible (this is called the McRoberts maneuver).  Baby came at this point!!
  • Leah’s baby was not crying or vigorous when he was born- he was absolutely exhausted. It took a bit of stimulating him to finally get a solid response.  Of course, he was attached to the cord this entire time, so he was still receiving oxygen via the placenta. 
  • Even after this entire situation, Leah did not tear at all during her birth.
  • She and her midwives spoke after everyone had calmed down. Leah was curious to hear how this situation would have played out in the hospital.  She learned that she certainly would have received an episiotomy, which she mentions is not a very helpful intervention because a shoulder dystocia is not a skin-on-skin issue, but rather a bone-on-bone issue. 
  • Leah says that she felt so good postpartum that she probably didn’t take it quite as easy as she should have. Postpartum bleeding ended up being somewhat of an issue. She had a hard time just lying in, so she admits that she ended up doing too much and being on her feet too much!
  • She felt such a sense of empowerment after the experience, and so did her fiance. He was very upfront that he didn’t want her to give birth at home, but after the experience, he couldn’t stop bragging about her. He was so happy with their birthing experience.


Episode Roundup

  1. This is an amazing example of a rather large complication being handled at home. Notice how calmly and skillfully Leah’s midwife managed the shoulder dystocia.  She had her get up, then hands and knees, then alternating lunges, and finally had her move onto her back with her legs pulled up.  She also knew the importance of course of keeping the cord attached so that Leah’s baby still had a direct flow to oxygenated blood, even if he wasn’t quite breathing yet.
  2. Just because you’re feeling empowered and strong doesn’t mean you should go make dinner! Once again, make sure you are taking care of your body and recovering appropriately after birth. 
  3. If your gut is telling you to go with a certain care provider, please be in tune with that.
May 20, 2019
Ep 23: Believe in Midwifery with Madeline Murray

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Hatched at Home-Midwife Carrie LaChapelle: 





Show Notes:

  • Madeline Murray is a CPM working in Atlanta, Georgia. She is part of a 3-midwife practice called Modern Midwifery
  • She had her first child this past year, and remembers people telling her that having a baby would make her a better midwife. Though she’s not sure if she agrees, she definitely thinks being a midwife made her a terrible pregnant lady!
  • Madeline was born at home in 1982 (her mother had her first baby at home in 1977). When she was growing up, homebirth was the norm for her
  • How she got into midwifery: Her job was coming to a close as a nanny, and she witnessed her sister-in-law’s victorious VBAC
  • She went to Midwife’s College of Utah for her didactic training
  • She attended births in Haiti and the Philippines, then finished her training in Oregon at a birth center
  • Madeline explains “Believe in Midwifery”
  • She discusses how difficult it was to be living in Oregon and not be able to experience anything outside of an hour away from the birth center. She was feeling suffocated from being on call all the time, but felt she wasn’t allowed to say anything about it.
  • “I was either going to quit or figure out a way that I could get a little time off.”
  • “I knew that I wanted to be a midwife, I knew that I was going to be a great midwife, but I also knew that I couldn’t do it in the system that is set up right now.”
  • Madeline developed a schedule for the midwives and midwifery students that showed how each of them could receive time off while still providing continuity of care for their clients. She presented this at a staff meeting.
  • The midwives told her that it would work, but that’s not what “midwifery is”.
  • Madeline discusses the physical toll that on-call workers take by that type of lifestyle.
  • “I could be both things: I could be a good midwife and someone who wanted to have a life, too.”
  • “The midwives model of care is the answer to so many of themajor problems with the birth culture in The United States”
  • “To make midwifery sustainable, midwives need to have regularly scheduled time off call.”
  • Madeline discusses how she feels like if mothers knew and understood what that on-call lifestyle was like, they would be just as happy to have this system as midwives.
  • She mentions that one incredibly depressing statistic is that the average career time of a midwife is a mere 7 years.
  • She also brings up a fabulous point: how one midwife for one client in and of itself is still somewhat isolating. The ability to have several women pouring into each client is an incredible benefit and truly more in the sisterhood vein that midwifery was intended to be!
  • Contact Madeline!:
  • believeinmidwifery.com
  • com/believeinmidwifery
  • midwifemadeline@gmail.com

Episode Roundup:

1. It’s okay to want to be a midwife or birth worker but have a life outside of that, too!  Your family is important, and you need to be able to be there for them.

2. In order to provide more services to more mothers and to prevent burnout and short careers, we need to find a way to make midwifery more sustainable.

3. For mothers, seeing several midwives gives the benefit of seeing several different women, perhaps with different styles of mothering or in different phases of motherhood and life.  I know this left a huge impact on me, and I’m so grateful that I was exposed to a few strong mothers/care providers before entering into motherhood myself.

May 13, 2019
Ep 22: Birth Photographer Kendra Miller is Inspired to Have a Homebirth After Attending One

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Hatched at Home-Midwife Carrie LaChapelle: www.hatchedathome.com




Dreckman Family Chiropractic




Show Notes:

  • Kendra is a mom of 4: a 6 year old, 4 year old, 2 year old, and 1 month old
  • Before becoming a mother, she was a vet tech. After the birth of her first child, Kendra entered the world of birth photography and has not looked back!
  • She and her husband, who were high school sweethearts, have always seen eye to eye on birth: He has supported her in all of her birthing decisions.
  • At the age of 19, Kendra’s doctors informed her that she would likely never become pregnant; she had chronic lyme disease, as well as what they thought was PCOS.
  • Shortly after marriage, Kendra had a miscarriage. Although very disappointed, in a way they felt positive that she even conceived at all. After speaking with several doctors, they decided to begin trying to get pregnant (they hadn’t been, previously).  After a year, Kendra became pregnant with her daughter.
  • She had what she refers to as a very “by the book” pregnancy and birth with her first daughter. Kendra says she didn’t think to research much.  She was told that she had borderline gestational diabetes, and her OB wanted to induce her at 39 weeks for fear that the baby would be “too big.”
  • At about 3 cm, the nurse told Kendra that she looked uncomfortable, so she’d send the anesthesiologist her way.
  • Kendra was nervous about the epidural, and now recognizes that she ended up having a panic attack due to the lack of feeling in her legs.
  • Her daughter came out at just over 6 pounds, so NOT TOO BIG!, but she was a healthy girl, so Kendra and her husband did not think much of the experience.
  • After the birth, Kendra said to her mom, “Gosh, I wish there could have been someone here like a wedding photographer to take pictures of the birth.” The nurse then told Kendra that that’s actually something people do!
  • It was through her clients that she began realizing that she could have her next baby differently.
  • “I started researching and realizing how I wanted to do it different if we had another baby”
  • A month after her realization, she was pregnant with her second child!
  • At 37 weeks, her OB told her they needed to go ahead and have her little boy- there were complications with the placenta.
  • Kendra did receive Pitocin for an induction, but did not use any pain medication for his birth. She says it was the most exhilarating thing she’d ever done. 
  • “It was the most exhilarating thing I’ve ever done.”
  • She hired a doula for her second birth. Kendra says, “My husband was my number 1 support.  I wanted the doula for him to be able to support me.”
  • Her doula was amazing at helping them weigh each choice that came up.
  • “With birth, you really have to know your choices… and what you want for your birth.”
  • Kendra thought she was done having children, but then became pregnant with her third! She switched care providers this time in hopes of not being induced.  She was able to get exactly what she wanted, and had a completely natural childbirth at the hospital.  Baby weight in at 5 pounds and some change. 
  • Compared to the Pitocin contractions, Kendra couldn’t believe how well she was able to cope with the unmedicated contractions. She compares the difference, saying that with Pitocin she felt like she was out of control, but with no Pitocin, she knew a contraction was coming and felt she could ride the wave. 
  • Kendra’s third baby was over 9 pounds!
  • Once again, after their 3rd baby, Kendra and her husband decided they were done having children…..
  • Then…. She photographed her first homebirth! “Then I photographed my first homebirth, and I was just amazed.”
  • Kendra said she had never felt more safe for a mother than at the homebirth, and she has what she refers to as a “duh moment,” where she thought, “This is how it is supposed to be… in the comfort of your own home surrounded by people that you love and trust.”
  • She said that if they were ever crazy enough to have a 4th baby, they’d have a homebirth… and then she got pregnant.
  • Kendra interviewed the same midwives that she had worked with at her first homebirth and loved them. She decided to hire them, and that was that!
  • Kendra talks of how it was quite a switch to go from birth photographer to client. As a photographer, she speaks of how it’s all about going unnoticed.  To then have prenatals and care be centered around her was quite a different experience.
  • Kendra loved how her prenatals were in a living room type office instead of a cold, clinical exam room. She loved that her kids had a place off to the side where they could play with hot wheels and baby dolls.  It made all of the appointments so much comfortable than what she’d experienced before.
  • After the first appointment, Kendra’s daughter told her that she wanted to be with her at the birth. Her daughter was always asking questions and involved in the prenatals, and the midwives included her completely.  She loved the experience and how it felt like family. 
  • Though she didn’t add anything new to her pregnancy routine, Kendra says this felt like her healthiest pregnancy. She attributes this to feeling so relaxed.
  • One exciting aspect of this pregnancy for Kendra was that she did not have to drink glucola for her gestational diabetes test.
  • She loved that her midwives looked through her history and realized that the fact that her lyme disease affected her pancreas could very easily be why she failed the gestational diabetes test in the past.
  • At 38 weeks, Kendra called the birth team to her house. They were there for 14 hours, when finally she asked to be checked.  She found out she was 3 cm dilated, and her midwife told her she thought what was happening was “prodromal labor.”  She was so frustrated, but also felt incredibly supported.  Her midwife reassured her that this was a normal part of birth and labor.  The same thing happened a week later.  Finally, at 41+ a few, she began having contractions.  Kendra got in the shower, and the contractions quickly intensified, so she called her team back.
  • Her doula arrived about an hour later, and the contractions were about 2-3 minutes apart, and very intense. Her doula texted the midwives telling them to come, but not necessarily to rush because Kendra felt it would still be a while.
  • Kendra’s daughter, wearing her “tiny doula” shirt, took care of giving her water and helping in any way she could.
  • Kendra felt like she needed to go to the bathroom, and while she was on the toilet, her water broke. Once it broke, her contraction was incredibly intense and she called her doula in. 
  • Kendra’s student midwife arrived and had her lie on the bed on her side, in hopes of being able to breathe through the contractions until the midwife arrived.
  • Once the midwife was close enough, the student midwife told Kendra she could get in the tub. She immediately stood up from her bed and sprinted downstairs to the birth pool. 
  • “I remember thinking to myself, ‘my body is doing things, and I’m not doing it.’”
  • She felt lots of pressure and put her hand down to see where the baby was. She realized his head was out, and then his body slid out after.
  • This baby was 6lbs 5oz, so much smaller than her previous!
  • Kendra’s labor was very short, which she appreciated after so much prodromal labor.
  • They noticed that her baby had a “true knot”. The cord was very long, but it tore away from itself, so her midwife had to clamp it quickly.  All worked out perfectly.
  • Kendra had lost a very close friend of hers in August 2017- she was like a mother to Kendra, and she always came to help with the children after each birth. It was incredibly emotional moment for her once her baby was here and she felt like her friend was there with them.
  • Kendra discusses how if she would have gone into the hospital during either of her prodromal labor situations, it’s likely they would have admitted her and progressed her labor synthetically because she wasn’t progressing.
  • “If you’re healthy and the baby’s healthy and you’re doing all the best things- the baby really will come when he’s ready!”
  • Kendra mentions how the long wait after prodromal labor was very tolling on her. In fact, she had a night where her mom took her kids, she cried, had a bath and processed through all of her emotions… and then the baby was born two days later!
  • com/kendramillerphotography
  • com/kendramillerphotography


Episode Roundup:

  1. Parenthood is a continuous learning journey. We don’t have, and never will have, all of the answers, but if we keep an open mind, we will continue to grow and make the wisest possible decisions for our families.
  2. Your body and your baby are so deeply connected, and they work together so beautifully. Although Kendra’s prodromal labor was incredibly frustrating, she and her midwives decided to continue to wait until her baby was ready- this led to a beautiful, healthy outcome. 
May 06, 2019
Ep 21: Dear Darby Sisters Share Their Birth Stories and New Brand

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  • April and Aleena are sisters, Aleena is the oldest, so she gets to go first! Aleena has 4 children and a loving husband. Her kiddos are 13, 11, and a pair of boy/girl twins who are 9.  Her family has moved a round a bit, but they now live in the Boise, Idaho area—7 minutes away from her sister, April!
  • April has 4 kids with a babe on the way—She has 3 little girls: 7, 5, 4, and a 2 year old boy.
  • These two sisters own the company Dear Darby, which was created about 1.5 years ago.
  • April has been a doula for almost 7 years, and Aleena has been for about 2. April had mentioned how much she would love to create a functional/beautiful labor gown.  After attending her first doula birth in the hospital, Aleena completely agreed and knew they had to make this product happen.
  • April had be having homebirths, and felt that there was nothing on the market for mothers that was functional for that setting, either. Typically sports bras and a skirt or pants are the go-to, beyond the typical birthday suit!
  • The gowns they saw on the market were often replicas of hospital gowns, just in pretty colors.
  • Their product has finally launched (about a month ago)!
  • “Women are too important and birth is too important for you not to show up as your best self” This is what inspired these sisters to create a luxury labor gown for all birth settings.
  • Backing it up, we go into more detail about Aleena and April’s personal stories.
  • Aleena’s last pregnancy was a twin pregnancy, and as she says, “It was a doozy!” Her first two births were with a midwife in the hospital.  When she moved to Las Vegas, she found out that at that time, Las Vegas did not allow midwives in the hospital.  She had to go through 3 OBs to find one who was even willing to consider doing a vaginal twin birth.
  • Aleena tells a really neat story of her mom having a premonition that she would have twins—and she didn’t find out until her 20 week ultrasound that they were actually twins.  “They put the ultrasound machine on my belly, and I see two babies.  So I said, ‘Oh, is that an echo?’ And the lady said, ‘Oh, you didn’t know you’re having twins?!”
  • During the birth, Baby A came out head first, and Baby B ended up being breech. Luckily Aleena was able to have the vaginal birth that she desired!
  • Because Aleena had an amazing unmedicated birth, all of her sisters decided to follow suit. By the time April was beginning to have children, she was very comfortable with the idea of an unmedicated birth. 
  • With her first birth, April planned to have a hospital birth. However, around 28 weeks, she started considering other options.  The midwifery practice she was with was rather large, and she felt that she had to keep explaining herself and her goals again and again to new people.
  • “I wanted whoever was up in my business to be my best friend!”
  • She decided to change to a birth center, and loved her experience. Later, she realized that the only part she didn’t like about the birthing experience was getting in the car and driving to another location.  For that reason, she decided to have her next babies at home!
  • It was actually Aleena’s birth that April witnessed that gave her the “birthworker bug” (at the age of 21!)
  • Aleena has been a doula and childbirth educator for 2.5 years now. She owned a health and nutrition store for about 7 years prior to that.  She’s always been an entrepreneur at heart, even in childhood when she’d sell snow cones and McDonald’s toys in the neighborhood! 
  • When April mentioned the idea of creating birthing gowns, Aleena though, “Oh, that’s a business! We can do that!”  And set off contacting manufacturers. 
  • “If we change their clothes and change their mindsets, they will show up how they want to show up.”
  • April and Aleena discuss the community aspect of Dear Darby and how they are hoping to influence birth for so many.
  • “Women need women… especially in birth, and just in life.”
  • instagram.com/dear_darby
  • www.deardarby.com
  • Sizes range from small-3x
  • Facebook Group: The Darby Clan


Episode Roundup:

  1. Changing what you wear can be a very powerful way to change your perspective- empower, give autonomy,
  2. Women need women- There is such a sisterhood to be had when we allow ourselves to become close with mothers around us- of varying ages and stages!
Apr 29, 2019
Ep 20: Carrissa Chooses the Birthing Location That's Best for Each of Her 6 Births

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Show Notes:

  • Carrissa is a mother of 6 children: 5 girls and 1 boy.
  • She always knew that she wanted a big family: Carrissa has 4 siblings herself, and her husband was an only child- both were very on board with a large family!
  • I met Carrissa through a group in which she has been an admin of for over 9 years- Homebirth and Waterbirth.
  • Carrissa explains the group and its purpose: A place for mothers interested in homebirth and waterbirth to come and feel connected and supported.
  • When she became pregnant with her first child, Carrissa began thinking that she wanted to have her baby in the most natural way possible. Her husband was not quite comfortable with the idea of a midwife at that time and preferred they use the hospital.  Carrissa decided that was okay and went along with a planned hospital birth.
  • Unfortunately, while in labor, Carrissa had a very negative reaction to a medication given to her. On top of that, her water was broken very early- she was about 4 cm dilated at the time. She continued to labor, though and at close to 9 cm, she asked for medication to ease the discomfort.  They gave Carrissa Fentanly through her IV, and immediately she felt a shift in her body.  Baby move back up the birth canal, and her cervix actually began to close- she went from 9 cm dilated to 7.
  • Carrissa went unconscious for a moment, and the nursing staff had to wake her back up. Her baby’s heartbeat went from 144 beats per minute down to 77, and she was in distress.  They tried to get Carrissa up onto hands and knees, while several doctors and lots of nurses rushed her to the OR.
  • They put Carrissa under general anesthesia, and when she awoke, she realized her baby had been born about 4 hours prior. Everyone had been able to hold her and snuggle her before Carrissa.
  • Carrissa says she felt heartbroken—she felt as though she had given her baby a bad birth experience. Of course, now she recognizes that the situation was not ideal- she had a doctor who was not very supportive, and a lackluster nursing staff.  She mentions that that hospital has come quite a long way since that time, and they’ve done quite a bit to improve (this was 13 years ago).
  • With her second daughter (11), Carrissa was adamant that they would have a homebirth this time. The birth went so much better, though she discusses how once again at 9 cm, she stalled.  She attributed this to the fact that that’s as far as her body had gone with labor the last time, so her body still had to do the hard work of figuring out how to have a baby this go ‘round.
  • Baby was born safe and sound, and Carrissa mentions how much better her postpartum experience was with this baby- she did not have to contend with the drugs and medication that she had to be on with her first birth, which kept her feeling foggy and as though time was slipping from her.
  • Carrissa’s third birth (another homebirth) was her shortest. She was putting her two daughters to bed one night when her midwife called and said, “Hey!  It’s a full moon tonight, so I just wanted to call and check up on you- full moons tend to put moms into labor.”  Carrissa laughed and told her that she was actually about to call—that she was getting into the shower and thought she might be in labor.
  • Her midwife came over and checked her, and told her that her waters were bulging and she was very dilated- she’d be having a baby soon! The pushing phase was rather difficult, but overall the birth was short and lovely.
  • Carrissa’s next pregnancy was 6 years later- it was a surprise! She decided to have that birth in the hospital- it was financially a better option at that time, and her midwife was no longer practicing.
  • She mentions that she also wasn’t in the best place mentally and emotionally at that time, so the decision to go to the hospital made Carrissa feel the most comfortable.
  • For that birth, she had been in prodromal labor off and on for several weeks. In fact, she’d gone to the hospital several times thinking it was certainly the real deal.  Luckily, they did not admit her at any point.
  • Several days after Thanksgiving, Carrissa and her sister were making ornaments for their children to hang- She was clearly in labor.  Everyone around her kept say, “Let’s get you to the hospital,” but Carrissa was not ready to go- fearing it would be another false alarm. 
  • All of Carrissa’s children came at 39 weeks and 6 days… except for this baby! She was 40 weeks and 2 days at this point, and she was convinced that this baby was just not coming!
  • “’Im going to be the first woman in history to be pregnant forever’… I was convinced of that!”
  • Finally, after several hours of what was clearly active labor (to everyone else), her sister and father convinced her to go to the hospital.
  • “They didn’t even get to fully admit me before I was crowning!”
  • The nurse checked Carrissa and said, “Great, you’re at 7 cm.” Carrissa responded, “Okay, that’s great, I really need to push right now.”
  • “[The doctor] walked in and was putting on his gloves, and said, “Op, there’s the head.” Both the doctor and Carrissa caught her baby. She says it was a great experience.  In fact, it’s her favorite birth story to tell!
  • With her youngest baby, Charles, there was concern of preeclampsia. An induction was scheduled, but on the morning of the induction (39.6 weeks), Carrissa woke up in labor.
  • She says that his labor was difficult- he was very large compared to her previous babies: 9 pounds, as opposed to her 2nd biggest being 7 pounds!
  • “My husband was a huge support- he was pretty nervous, but he did awesome.”
  • Carrissa had the same understanding doctor as with her previous birth, making the experience a very comfortable one once again.
  • We touch on the idea of education on the mother’s part being so critical. At one point in her last birth, a nurse told her she thought Carrissa having a VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean) was a bad idea- Luckily Carrissa knew that this information was incorrect, and a vaginal birth was statistically safer than another cesarean.
  • “I really do believe that research and education can make or break your plans.”
  • Carrissa has been a doula for 9, going on 10 years. After having her homebirth, she became so in love with the birthing process that she wanted to help other mothers.
  • Carrissa has been a doula in a number of situations: homebirth, unassisted births, and hospitals too.
  • “I love watching a mom find her voice.”
  • Now, with 10 years of experience under her belt, Carrissa has created a doula course: Birth Workers International Doula School, which opened in March 2019.
  • She is offering courses for birth doulas, fertility doulas, and postpartum doulas.
  • Carrissa is also creating a program with her father, who is an NLP, that focuses on healing for women with trauma: be it birth or sexual. She discusses how giving birth after either of these types of trauma can be incredibly difficult.
  • com or on Facebook at Birth Workers International Doula School

Episode Roundup:

  1. Education changes everything! Carrissa discusses the difference between her first hospital birth versus later ones, and the massive difference was her ability to stand up for what she knew was right for herself and her baby- all backed by education.
  2. Not every single birth requires the same birth setting- Carrissa knew with several of her births that a homebirth was just not the right choice for her at that time. What’s most important is going with what feels will be the best, healthiest choice for you- even if it’s a different choice than you made with previous births.
  3. Sharing is caring. Carrissa is dedicating her time and energy to not only serving as a doula, but also training other doulas.  Whatever skill you have, be sure to share it with the world!
Apr 22, 2019
Ep 19: Wise Traditions From a Mother of Grown Children

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Show Notes:

  • “Holistic Hilda” is a health coach and podcast coach in the D.C. area.
  • She has 4 young adult children, and a husband who is an athletic director
  • Hilda’s own birth story: Hilda was born with a birth defect- a hole in her heart (because her mother was exposed to German Measles while pregnant). At 9, she had surgery to repair her heart. 
  • As a child, she had to be very careful. After her surgery, she was ready to live life to the fullest!  This, she believes is what spurred her on to living such an active, healthy lifestyle.
  • When Hilda became pregnant, although there were not as many resources regarding natural childbirth at the time (late 80’s-early 90’s), she did find The Bradley Method, which was everything she hoped it would be. She learned about avoiding the cascade of interventions
  • Hilda self-describes her body type as being small in stature. She found out later that when she walked into the hospital, her doctor thought, “She’s definitely going to have a cesarean.”  Hilda proved her wrong!
  • Hilda had a friend who was working as her doula. She was there to support Hilda and her husband, and remind them of their plans of how they wanted to give birth.
  • Baby #1 weighed 9 pounds, 15 ounces!
  • Although Hilda has learned a great deal more about nutrition and holistic health since her childbearing years, she was still eating a relatively healthy diet and was certainly keeping active.
  • “For all the moms out there, don’t ‘should’ on yourself. All we can do is move forward from this point in time.”
  • I mention that the Weston A. Price Foundation focuses a great deal on eating a diet for growing healthy babies and nursing, but they also focus a great deal on pre-conception. I ask Hilda to explain what this looks like, and what we can be doing to encourage health, no matter what stage we are in:
  • Hilda reminds mothers that if they have been on birth control for preventing pregnancies, we cannot immediately expect our bodies to become pregnant once we go off. There’s a time of rebalancing and releasing the hormones that have been given.
  • “Detox”- shed little by little the things you can that you know aren’t favorable.
  • “Your body needs to have the signal that you’re in abundance, and you’re able to bear.” Don’t have a scarcity mentality, which means avoid “dieting”. 
  • “Let your body know, ‘we’ve got what we need to produce a healthy baby’”.
  • Detox your environment- get rid of air fresheners, perfumes, perhaps over-the-counter creams, and chemicals you can’t pronounce—these things are getting into your body through your skin, and they’re being absorbed by all of your cells.
  • Take on and embrace: healthy foods. Nutrient-dense foods—a great example of which is liver.  
  • Take on and embrace: your intuition. Trust that your body knows what it needs, and don’t live in a place of fear.  Consider, what is your emotional and spiritual state to have a baby?  Hilda emphasizes the importance of giving your baby a peaceful environment to grow in—so work on the anger and anxiety beforehand!
  • “I just feel like I was burning the candle at all ends- not just both ends! And it was to my detriment.” So go ahead and make those peaceful changes before conception.  Take self-care seriously!
  • Hilda discusses the work of Dr. Weston A. Price (whom the foundation is named after), and how his travels showed that all of these strong, healthy cultures had very specific pre-conception protocols and rituals. The mother and father would eat special diets of highly nutrient dense foods, like fish eggs.
  • Finding good sources for these types of food is critical. The Weston A. Price foundation actually has an incredible resource for this through local chapter leaders.  Find your local chapter leader and learn where to source the best food in your area! https://www.westonaprice.org/category/get-involved/local-chapters/
  • Hilda’s births:
  • With her first, she focused on relaxing her jaw. She had her husband quote scripture- 1 verse- over and over.   The nurses even commented afterward that it was like her husband was giving her drugs whenever he would do that for her!
  • Hilda did struggle with some amount of preterm labor. In fact, with her 3rd birth, her doctor informed her that she needed to go on bedrest.  For a fitness person like Hilda, this was rough news.
  • Hilda talks about the benefits of not being so dogmatic in our beliefs about exactly how everything is supposed to go.  She gives an example of a friend who planned a homebirth, but then ended up having to go into the hospital.  Of course, this woman was disappointed not to have the homebirth she was expecting, but was grateful for the necessary care she received. 
  • On a lighter note of this- Hilda and I talk about routines with small children: She mentions that she used to give her kids baths at night, then put them to bed in the clothes they would wear for the next day.  Her mother-in-law tended to raise an eyebrow at that!  I mention how on the opposite end, I don’t bathe my daughter every day, which stresses my mother out!
  • Hilda goes on to discuss the benefits of children not being raised in too-sterile environments. She mentions how health-giving it is for children to be exposed to the ambient temperatures of their surroundings, no matter what climate they live in.  This is even helpful during the newborn phase, where expose to the outdoors helps set baby’s circadian rhythm correctly—meaning more sleep for everyone at night!
  • Hilda’s last recommendations (3 factors): What we’re putting on our body in terms of light, especially at night. Red light is great for night, and maybe even use it in the baby’s room, and making sure that kids are getting out in the sunlight, and inform yourself about vaccinations, as it’s something that goes directly into your child’s bodies. 
  • Stay in touch with Hilda!: holistichilda.com  and Instagram.com/holistichilda

Episode Roundup:

  1. Don’t should on yourself
  2. Take out that which isn’t serving you, bring in that which does
  3. Let your kids be kids- get them outside, expose them to their climate, and let them PLAY
  4. Whatever decisions you make for your child- surrounding food, surrounding screens, even vaccinations- give yourself the empowerment of looking into these topics. There are so many touchy topics—whatever decisions you decide to make, feel confident in them by being informed.





Apr 15, 2019
Ep 18: Sarah's Search for a Certified Midwife


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Show Notes:

  • Sarah and her husband have been together for 10 years now, and have lived all over the world.
  • She has two children: Manning and Alex
  • Sarah’s first birth was in a birth center setting. As a child and teen, she never had exposure to out-of-hospital birth.  However, her mother did refuse epidurals, chose to breastfeed (in the 80’s- when breastfeeding was going through quite an uncommon spell).
  • Sarah and her husband had their eyes opened to the idea of natural childbirth outside of the hospital.
  • “Birth is a natural, healthy process. There’s no need for it to take place in a hospital.”
  • Of course, hospitals can be a fine place to give birth- and especially important for emergencies, but Sarah certainly sees the benefit of the out-of-hospital experience.
  • Her first birth, which took place in Alaska, was attended by a number of Certified Nurse Midwives, as well as Certified Professional Midwives.
  • Sarah’s first birth was long- 36 hours from her first contraction until baby was born.
  • Sarah’s friend attended her birth as her very first doula training birth, and now she is a very successful midwife!
  • Sarah’s midwife, after quite a while, called her directing midwife to check and see if all was well, or if they needed to transport. The head midwife came and assessed the situation, saying that all was well and a transport was not necessary. 
  • The setup of this birth center is incredible: Being able to call other providers to come help and support, even though her original midwife did stay all the way until the very end.
  • Sarah and Katelyn discuss the “what if’s” of had she gone into the hospital at the time she went to the birth center, she very possibly could have ended up with a c-section.
  • Sarah’s second child, Alex, was quite a surprise! Sarah began searching for options in Mississippi, where midwifery is not regulated.  Certified Nurse Midwives are unable to practice outside of the hospital at all. 
  • Luckily, Sarah was able to locate a CPM in the lower part of the state of Mississippi. At least at that time, she was the only CPM that Sarah could find who resided in Mississippi.
  • “She had not only a level of training, but also a level of accountability that I appreciated.” -Sarah on selecting a CPM
  • This midwife does not take on many clients, and even more difficultly, she lived 3 hours away from Sarah. Upon agreement of working as her care provider, her midwife required Sarah have an OB backup care provider who would be able and willing to take care of her in a hospital should any situation arise. 
  • Having an OB backup made Sarah feel even more comfortable with the process, and it helped space her visits out, especially towards the end. She was able to see her OB for some of the prenatals as they got closer together, allowing her not to have to drive the 6 hour round trip drive bi-weekly and weekly.  Her OB would not officially condone her blessing for Sarah having a homebirth, but she did not try to strong-arm her into the hospital setting, which was quite a relief for Sarah.
  • Sarah and Katelyn touch on the accountability of a CPM and how these care providers are held to a certain standard based on their credential- no matter what their state regulations may be. This allows for consistency and trust between midwife and clients.
  • Before committing to using a midwife, Sarah toured the local hospital first and met with an OB practice. The pamphlet that they gave her stated two things that made her very uncomfortable: 1. Patients could not eat or drink during labor (this would not be feasible if she had another long labor like last time) and 2. Photography was not allowed during the birthing process.  This made Sarah feel very unhappy and uncertain, especially because some of her most precious photos she has are directly during and after the birth of her first child.  She sent a picture of the pamphlet to her husband without mentioning her concerns, and he immediately responded saying that was not going to work for them!
  • When it came to estimating her due date, there was a small level of uncertainty on Sarah’s end, though she felt fairly confident about her dates. She measured along with her dates, too. However, when she had an ultrasound, the results said that she was actually about 2 weeks further along than expected.
  • Based on Sarah’s calculated due date, Alex came 2 weeks early, though based on the ultrasound estimation, he came right at 40 weeks.
  • As labor approached, Sarah did not notice much different in her level of activity. However, when she looks back, she realizes, “I did actually clean out my car and my husband’s truck and install the baby seat!”
  • Alex was born very quickly. She went to bed on Sunday night with no indication that anything was coming.  Around 11:45, she went to the bathroom and though, “Oh, what was that?  Did I pee myself?  Nope, something’s definitely still coming out… oh, there’s more….”  She then realized her water had indeed broken.  Sarah called her midwife to let her know that her water had broken, and no, she was not having any contractions.
  • Sarah called her mother who was in Dallas, and told her to head their way.
  • Sarah’s midwife’s assistant, who lived about an hour away, began to head their way to check on Sarah.
  • About an hour later, contractions started. By the time her birth assistant arrived, they were getting stronger, though she was able to still speak. 
  • Sarah’s midwife arrived and was very pleased with the way she was progressing.
  • At some point, Sarah got into the bath tub, which was helpful in some ways, but did not help with her back labor (which she had with both labors).
  • Alex was born at 5:50 in the morning, so only about 6 hours of labor as opposed to 36!
  • “My body eased me into labor and my brain was able to keep pace with what was going on.”
  • Though Alex, like his brother Manning, came out with his hand up over his face, Sarah had no problems with the pushing phase.
  • Once Alex arrived, Sarah found out that he was a boy! She had not wanted to know his gender beforehand.  However… Her husband Thomas had found out the gender earlier on in the pregnancy!  He was able to keep it a secret from Sarah for the remainder of the pregnancy!
  • Alex was born on their anniversary!
  • Back to the first birth:
  • Early in the morning on New Year’s Day, Sarah began contracting. These were slow building, and they did not initially stop her from doing anything. 
  • After a while they decided to go to the birthing center, and stayed there for the rest of the labor. Manning was in an awkward position, and Sarah had a cervical lip.  This all culminated in quite a long labor… and quite a lot of pushing. 
  • Manning came out facing Sarah’s right side with his hand up by his face.


Episode Roundup:

1. Just because your labor is long or arduous the first time does not mean it will always be that way.  Each labor is different.

2. Sarah took the time to see out a CPM even when it was difficult.  She felt it important to have a certified midwife who is held to very specific standards, no matter what the state requires or does not require.

3. Disclaimer: I will begin adding a disclaimer at the beginning of each episode to remind you that the views expressed in these interviews are not necessarily my own, but this is a space for all to share their stories.  

Apr 08, 2019
Ep 17: Homebirth 101: Midwife Carrie LaChapelle Craft Explains Midwifery Care at Home

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Show Notes:

  • Carrie is a Licensed CPM working in the upstate of South Carolina
  • Her first two children were born traditionally in the hospital. After the birth of her first child, she realized she loved all things related to birth.  This was in 1997, so before the ease of internet access. 
  • She learned about becoming a doula, and decided to take a DONA Certified doula training course.
  • Soon after the birth of her second child, she found an ad in a local parenting magazine for a midwife who was looking for midwifery students.
  • She contacted the midwife, who invited her to dinner. This midwife explained to Carrie exactly what her job entailed, and Carrie was shocked.  “People actually do that?  They give birth at home?  And pay you?  That seems so strange to me!”
  • This midwife invited Carrie to a birth, where a precious mother allowed Carrie into her birthing space. Carrie remembers vividly how amazing the experience was.  “It almost like time stood still when that baby was born.”  She mentions how the mother’s thoughts and feelings were taken into consideration, as was the father’s… how this was their experience and it mattered to the midwife that they were respected.
  • Having only worked in the hospital previously, Carrie was overwhelmed with the beauty of this way of giving birth. At that time, in the hospital, there was no such thing as “the golden hour” or “the magic hour,” and babies were typically very quickly and unceremoniously removed from their mothers.
  • Carrie explains her route to midwifery, though schooling has changed since she studied. At that time, she had do a self-study course led by a licensed midwife, complete a certain number of prenatal exams, births, and newborn exams, and once everything was satisfied, she was approved to sit for the NARM exam, which is similar to a nursing exam. 
  • Now, Carrie is on the other end. Not only is she a midwife, but she is a preceptor.  Carrie takes on apprentices and teaches them about midwifery from top to bottom.  
  • “Sometimes it’s still amazing to me that I am a midwife.”
  • Carrie discusses how amazing it is to be able to teach others- to watch them replay and sort out births and process how it all works is very worth it for her.
  • We now compare the similarities and differences of midwifery vs. a typical ob/gyn
  • Carrie shares how all of the same testing is offered: ultrasounds (whether early ultrasound, 20-week anatomy scan, 35 week weight and position scan), gestational diabetes screening, and group b strep. All of these are offered, but more options exist.  Carrie also believes strongly in informed consent.  A mother is given all of the information and asked to consider it and do research on her own if she feels uncertain.  Should she decide to forgo certain tests, Carrie supports her clients in it, knowing that they are owning their own decisions.
  • When it comes to the differences between midwifery and OB/GYN care, Carrie mentions how with midwifery, the experience tends to be much more one-on-one, without any middlemen. For example, when she experienced OB care, typically the nurse did the bulk of the work, with the doctor coming in to speak for a few minutes.  With a midwife, the prenatals are 45 minutes to an hour, and flexible at that.  The midwife is the one checking vitals, listening to baby, palpating the belly (feeling where baby is in the belly—moms love getting to know their baby this one and what kind of position he/she is in), and taking a urine sample. 
  • Carrie discusses how a large part of the prenatal is made of “teachable moments,” where nutrition is discussed, growth spurts, and information pertinent to that mom’s particular place in the pregnancy journey.  She talks about how it’s somewhat astounding to her how many of her second and third time mothers who are having their first homebirth will often say, “wow, nobody ever told me that…”, which Carrie finds rather disappointing, as she feels the information she gives is all very relevant—information mothers should be given.
  • “If you give them the tools they need to have a better feeling pregnancy, they’ll use them!”
  • Beyond having longer prenatals, Carrie’s clients have access to her 24/7. Of course she asks that they not call her at 11pm to ask what comes in her birth kit, but she does say, “if you’re worried about something- if something is keeping you awake at night- just call me.”
  • We next jump into the common misconceptions of homebirth.
  • Carrie mentions how the training for midwifery is similar to being trained to work on an ambulance: midwives are trained to deal with whatever comes up in the moment.
  • Medications are carried in case a mother were to have too much bleeding postpartum, midwives are required to maintain certification in neonatal resuscitation, and they carry oxygen and resuscitation equipment in the small case that they need to use it.
  • Carrie mentions how with homebirth, it’s the mother’s body doing what it’s designed to do- the midwife isn’t adding anything or taking anything away by using interventions. Because of that, the chances of running into true emergencies are so much less.  
  • “What about the mess?!”
  • “That’s what I feel like makes us birth ninjas—we have all of these little tricks”
  • Carrie discusses how being a midwife does not mean that she is in any way anti-hospital. In fact, having strong relationships with local doctors, nurse midwives and OB/GYN’s is hugely important to her.  Being able to groom these relationships and work with other providers to make sure that her clients are receiving exactly what they need when they need it is what her practice is all about.
  • Carrie says her clients range from moms who say, “What is the greatest amount of things you can do for me” all the way to “What is the least amount I can do and get away with it”
  • She mentions that each of her clients is seen by a doctor, nurse practitioner, or certified nurse midwife at least twice during her pregnancy. This is to confirm that the client is healthy and a good fit for out-of-hospital birth at the time the care practitioner sees them.
  • Carrie’s recommendation for a mother who is considering homebirth: Gather a list of questions together, meet with multiple midwives, and certainly bring your spouse along—especially if he is uncertain or uncomfortable with the idea of homebirth.  Often times once he meets the midwife and sees that she is a genuine medical care provider, the fears drop away.

Episode 17 Roundup:

  1. Midwives (CPM’s) are trained professionals who have to go through rigorous schooling and testing (and it’s getting more rigorous all the time), as well as an intense apprenticeship program. They have to maintain certification in life-saving practices such as neonatal resuscitation and CPR. They carry equipment and medications, should an emergency arise.
  2. A competent midwife has working relationships with local doctors, hospitals and the like. Of course, some hospitals and doctors are more friendly to homebirth families than others, but midwives do their best to maintain solid relationships and have people to call on when needed.
  3. Homebirth mothers are well cared for through long prenatals where not only are all of the routine tests and practices offered, but midwives take the time to discuss other pertinent parts of pregnancy, such as nutrition, that often times OB’s just don’t have the time to cover. They are also often overseen by another care provider several times throughout the pregnancy to assure that they are a good candidate for homebirth.
  4. If you are a mother considering homebirth, go interview midwives. Bring your questions, bring your spouse, heck bring your whole family.  Find a midwife that resonates with you and who makes you feel comfortable and supported. 


Apr 01, 2019
Ep 16: Megan's Pattern-Breaking Labor

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Show Notes:

  • Megan lives in Texas with her husband and 5 children. She homeschools, and is so grateful to have her in-laws in the same neighborhood, and her parents just 30 minutes away.
  • For her first birth, Megan decided to have a birth center birth. This came about in quite an interesting way: during college, she was required to volunteer a certain amount of time.  She decided to work at a crisis pregnancy center.  The volunteer coordinator there happened to be a midwife.
  • She had a good friend at the time who was having children with that midwife, and she saw how amazing her friend’s experiences were.
  • Several years later, Megan was married, and she and her husband became pregnant on their honeymoon (isn’t that the cutest?!). Megan and her husband decided they should consider all of their options. They first toured a local hospital.  Later, they went to the birth center of the midwife Megan knew at Family Birth Services.  The birth center is a renovated historic home.
  • “I just felt heard. I felt encouraged.  I felt supported.”  This is how Megan felt immediately at the birth center.  She and her husband came prepared with lots of questions, all of which were comfortably answered by her midwife and the staff.
  • “I did not feel like a number. I felt like a person with valid questions, and they did not rush me.” 
  • Megan read several books to prepare for birth: Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, and Supernatural Birth
  • With her first child, she had been praying throughout the pregnancy for a short delivery. At 38 weeks, she called her midwife and told her she was experiencing contractions.  Her midwife talked her through everything, and the contractions dissipated. 
  • At 39 weeks, Megan began feeling contractions again. She laid on the couch, and they still would not subside.  Her husband began saying, “Hm, I think we should get in the car and head to the birth center,” knowing that the center was a 45-minute drive away.
  • On the drive to the birth center, Megan’s husband had his mother pull the car over so that he could drive and get them there faster (don’t worry, he’s a police officer!). The 45-minute drive turned into closer to a 30-minute drive.  By the time they arrived, Megan was quite uncomfortable.
  • Once she got into the center, she had her midwives check her. At this point, she was dilated 3cm.  This was at 7pm.
  • At 9pm, her midwife, who was in the area, stopped by the birth center to check on her. Knowing that Megan is a first time mom, the midwife said, “Oh, I’ll probably have time to go home and take a shower and gather my things, but let me just check you.”  At 9pm, Megan was already dilated to 9cm!
  • “I just followed my body. I felt like I was being pulled through birth.”  Megan mentions that when she wasn’t fighting the contractions, all went well.  She did experience moments of pain, however, and she later realized they were the times that she began fighting the feelings and tensing up.  She recalls how it was very related to the pitch of her voice getting higher and higher. 
  • After her first birth, Megan stated that she never wanted to have to go through laboring in a car again. That was the major reason that she switched to giving birth at home. 
  • “I just thought, ‘if I don’t have to go anywhere, why go anywhere? Why not just be in my own place?’”
  • With Megan’s second child, beyond the fact that she really didn’t want to labor in the car, she loved the idea of the coziness of giving birth in her own home. Another deciding factor for having a homebirth instead was that she now had a toddler to contend with.  Her in-laws were planning to take the toddler down the road to their house as she gave birth to her son.
  • Unlike her siblings, Daniella took her sweet time coming out.  At 40 weeks and 6 days, Megan finally felt what she thought were true contractions.  She downloaded an MP3 called Childbirth In the Glory and listened to it as her husband and family members still slept.
  • Her plan was that once labor truly began, she would have her in-laws come pick up her 3 boys. Her daughter, who is 10, wanted to stay home and witness the birth. 
  • Unlike all of her other births, which took 4-6 hours, Daniella’s birth was 12-14 hours long.
  • Megan’s midwife Bethany texted her and told her to try the Spinning Babies’ Abdominal Lift and Tuck. She decided to walk outside with her 3-year-old and get some fresh air.  Megan remembers leaning against her chicken coop performing abdominal lifts and tucks during contractions…. As her son chased chickens with a stick!
  • Megan went inside and ate a light lunch, then laid down for a nap. Around 2:00, her contractions began coming stronger, lower and longer.  At this time, she still was concerned that maybe she was contacting her midwife too early.  Because her labor was so different this time from previous labors, Megan was feeling confused, and even struggling with fear.
  • “I think that every woman faces that… fear vs. faith.”
  • Around 4pm, Megan finally texted her midwife and said something to the effect of, “My husband would feel more comfortable if you’d come this way.” …Still not wanting to be the reason that her midwife came out all that way if it wasn’t actually time!
  • In relation to that feeling, Megan mentions, “And midwives.. that’s their desire. To be there for you in your time of need, whether it’s the ‘real deal’ or not.”
  • By the time the midwife arrived an hour later, Megan was in the labor zone. “I think the thing I love most about midwives and labor, is that they are in the background and I get to follow my body’s lead, and I am the star of the show.  I’m the queen for the day, at least for a few hours!”
  • Megan mentions how wonderful it is that her midwife is so good at waiting in the background, yet anticipating her needs at the same time.
  • Her husband was wonderful support- staying next to her and holding her hand when needed, letting go when needed, and praying over her.
  • Megan got to the point where she felt the familiar wave of transition nausea run through her. However, this time was a bit different.  She got on hands and knees to throw up, and as she did, the baby began crowning!  “So here I am… throwing up in the bowl, and the baby’s crowning, and it all happened all at once!”
  • Megan’s midwife helped her switch positions to lie on her side so that baby could make a slower entrance and prevent tearing.
  • She discusses how her postpartum has been amazing, even now at 4 months out. But the few weeks leading up to Daniella’s birth, Megan felt like she was an emotional wreck.  Much of this she feels is because she had certain expectations for when and how she would give birth, and when they did not come to pass, she was frustrated and confused. 
  • Megan tells us how this postpartum has been very laid back. Daniella sleeps better than her previous babies, and she’s taking supplements to keep her energy and mood stabilized.  She says that experience also helps—She knows what kind of mother she is and how she parents.  “It’s not about what other people think.  It’s about what works for me and my family, and with that comes peace.”
Mar 25, 2019
Ep 15: Nutritional Therapist and Author Jenny McGruther's Healthy Homebirth

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Show Notes

  • Jenny has been running Nourished Kitchen for over 11 years now- what started as a small hobby has blossomed into a vibrant community of people committed to traditional ways of preparing food.
  • She is the mother of two children, ages 13 and 2. She and her husband have been together for almost 20 years now.
  • Jenny had been struggling with poor health in a number of ways, which is how she stumbled upon her traditionally-rooted diet. She was suffering from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Thyroid Disease, hormonal imbalances and infertility. 
  • She was told in her early 20’s that she’d likely be unable to become pregnant on her own. Jenny began working with an endocrinologist, who recommended that she shift her diet.  Jenny thought she’d been eating well: low fat vegetarian foods, lots of soy-based products, etc.  She decided, however, to take the endocrinologist’s advice and shifted her diet.  Within 3 months, she became pregnant with her first child.
  • When her son was about 9-10 months old, Jenny came across the work of the Weston A. Price Foundation. This was in 2007, when butter was still considered an unhealthy food by many, nobody was talking about bone broth or kombucha, etc.
  • “I’m so pleased to see how these traditional foods have become mainstream.”
  • What are traditional foods? The foods that your great-great-great grandparents were eating.  The foods that came before the industrial revolution.  Before the processes of mono-cropping and the introduction of heavy agricultural chemical use.
  • Examples of traditional foods include: sauerkraut, long-simmered broths, sourdough bread
  • During Jenny’s first pregnancy, she was so concerned with her health issues that she decided to use an OBGYN. She remembers feeling that her voice was lost in the dynamic of Doctor/Patient instead of Doctor/”Client”. 
  • By her second pregnancy, she had been adhering to a traditional diet for a decade. She consumed plenty of fresh and fermented vegetables, stews made with grass-fed bison, pastured eggs, fresh oysters (rich in zinc)
  • “I wanted the safety to be able to give birth at home. I wanted the autonomy to make decisions, and I wanted to be able to work with a practitioner who truly listened to me.”
  • Jenny mentions how when she worked with a homebirth midwife, she felt it was a more collaborative approach. The midwife listened to her, and when it came to health, she took a more proactive approach.   During their long prenatal sessions, nutrition and movement were at the forefront of discussion.
  • “Instead of waiting for problems related to pregnancy to arise, we made sure I was in optimal health throughout the pregnancy.”
  • As a survivor of sexual assault, Jenny discusses how negatively the hospital experience was for her: Her birth plan was thrown out the moment she walked into the hospital. She was checked and prodded without consent, people were in and out of the room… all very strong issues for someone with previous traumas. 
  • “The homebirth experience that I did have was an incredibly healing experience.” Luckily, her midwife’s proactive approach allowed Jenny to work through much of the trauma.
  • “It wasn’t just about giving birth to a healthy baby, it was about becoming a mother again.”
  • “With homebirth, it’s a much more organic, holistic, respectful experience.”
  • “We talk about these due dates like they’re set in stone… when the reality is you kind of have a ‘due season’.”
  • With Jenny’s first birth, she was pressured into having an induction. With her second, her midwife reassured her that as long as everything looked healthy, she would be willing to wait for Jenny’s body to go into labor naturally. 
  • After a week, Jenny went in for a biophysical profile, which came back saying all was healthy and well. She continued these every few days until finally around 42 weeks, her body was ready to have her baby. 
  • At 42 weeks, Jenny remembers having contractions that at the time, she thought nothing of… she’d been having them for weeks. She mentioned to her son that her back was feeling very uncomfortable, and he told her she should call the midwife.  Jenny laughed it off.
  • Later she went upstairs and realized that these contractions were getting more powerful. She called her midwife, who said to give her a call in an hour after she timed some.  By the end of the hour, Jenny found herself in full blown transition.  In fact, her son was born with in 45 minutes of her arrival.
  • She remembers reading about the Fetal Ejection Reflex and thinking how odd it would be not to “have to push,” but rather that her body would actually do it.  But there she found herself, in the tub, 3 contractions of her body doing the pushing, and baby was born. 
  • At one point, not realizing her birth was only going to be 4 hours, Jenny asked her husband to turn on the tv show “Curb Your Enthusiasm”.
  • She was not even cognizant that she was pushing, once the time came. She had a contraction, and baby’s head was born.  Another, and out came his shoulders and body.
  • Katelyn says she feels this MUST be because of Jenny’s pregnancy tea recipe, which she drinks every day beginning in the second trimester.
  • Jenny’s tea is a variation of “NORA” tea: Nettle, Oatstraw, Red Raspberry, and Alfalfa. She adds lemon balm, rose hips and rose buds.
  • Jenny brings up a book that we’ve had several moms mention in relation to postpartum recovery: The First 40 Days
  • Her midwives both told her that in the long run, it would be easier for Jenny to recover if she took the first few weeks especially slow.
  • When it came to her diet, Jenny avoided drinking too much dairy, as she knows it can cause fussiness in newborns. She found herself eating lots of iron-rich foods, and she had her placenta encapsulated to help restore the iron she lost during childbirth (a natural part of childbirth).
  • Jenny’s magnificent postpartum with her second child is contrasted with her first postpartum experience, where she was called back to work only 2 weeks after giving birth.
  • Jenny recommends mothers check out the book “Real Food for Pregnancy” as a good start for learning how to eat during pre-conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • Find Jenny’s book The Nourished Kitchen at your local library, on barnesandnoble.com or on Amazon.
  • Follow Jenny: instagram.com/nourishedkitchen
  • nourishedkitchen.com


Mar 18, 2019
Ep 14: Victoria and Steve's Unexpected Unassisted Homebirth

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Mar 11, 2019
Ep 13: Exercise Physiologist Stephanie Sibbio's Healthy Homebirth


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Instagram: stephsibbiofitness

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Show Notes:

-Stephanie is a fitness and nutrition coach for new and expecting moms.

-She’s been working in the industry for almost a decade now.

- Stephanie began doing this work almost by “accident”… one of her clients became pregnant, so she realized she needed to learn more about pregnancy in relation to fitness.  She was a natural at it, and the mother, who had several pregnant friends, asked if she would do a group class.

-Through this experience, her career was born.

-When it came to preparing her own body for a successful labor and delivery, Stephanie said the things she considered were:

            -Nurturing her body with proper fluids, eating an anti-inflammatory diet, and making sure she was getting all of the nutrients she needed

            -She said it was important to make sure that she was not in any pain, because when you’re in  pain, the last thing you want to do is get up and do a workout.

-“It’s important to work specifically for what you want to accomplish”

-She mentions that for labor, our legs need lots of stamina, we need mobility in our hips, and we need overall strength and endurance.

-“Labor is a big interval session, right?  You get a contraction, you get some time off.  And then repeat!”

-“If you can work out in a way that almost simulates labor, then you’re in a good place when it’s actually time.”

-Stephanie saw a pelvic floor physiologist, a chiropractor and an osteopath during her pregnancy.

“I kept repeating through labor… I can’t believe THIS is how we get people into the world… I can’t believe this is how we populate the planet!”


            -Stephanie mentions again how important whole, natural foods were in her prenatal preparation.  She made sure to eat all of the colors of the rainbow, and if she had a craving for something unhealthy, she would try to recreate it in a healthy way.

            -She also mentions how important supplementation was during pregnancy: A link to her guide for prenatal supplements is mentioned below.


Stephanie’s Birth Story:

-She feels it went pretty much as smoothly as it could be.  She wants to note that there was no ego about this- she did not want a homebirth at the risk of her health or her baby’s healthy. 

-She was only 38 weeks and 3 days… “My husband said he knew I was in labor because the bathroom was cleaned!”

-The next morning, around 6 am, she felt some contractions and intuitively knew she was in labor.  Stephanie had not had any Braxton Hicks, but she felt confident that these were early labor contractions.

-She remembered her midwife saying try to get some sleep during labor, so she tried.  By about 7:30, she was ready to get out of bed.  She headed for the bath, but became overheated and got out.

-At this point her step sons were awake, so she let them know that she was pretty sure she was in labor, so not to worry if she bent over and moaned or had to work through contractions a bit.

-A while later, Stephanie called her doula to tell her that although the timing of the contractions was still all over the place, she was experiencing more and more pain.  Her doula suggested that she come over to work on some acupressure points to potentially get contractions more consistent.

-Stephanie’s mother was also on the way over- Stephanie made a “game time decision” to let her mom come to the birth.

-She discusses how beneficial her decision to hire a doula was for her birth experience.  Having someone there to help her determine what needed to be done at what time was invaluable.

-Stephanie mentions how vague the timeline is when in labor.  She doesn’t know exactly when her doula came, when she got in the tub, etc.  She does know, however, that her entire labor was 16 hours, 6 of those being classified as “active labor”.

- “By the time I was at the pushing phase, my legs felt like Bambi legs.”  Stephanie says she was unable to sit down or lie down throughout her labor, so her legs felt incredibly weak towards the end.  She mentions how grateful she was that she had trained for this exactly, because she can’t imagine how anyone could do this without muscular endurance in their legs!

-Stephanie says that the great thing about deciding to have an unmedicated birth was that she could feel everything.  When her midwife told her to keep pushing, Stephanie responded “I’m done pushing for the moment” because she knew what her body was telling her to do.

-She mentions how there were those moments of defeat-like feelings when she would push and feel baby’s head come closer, and then retreat.  But in retrospect, she thinks of how useful that system is- stretching mom and preparing her body for crowning.

-Stephanie’s baby’s head finally emerged.  Baby’s body, however, did not immediately glide right out.  Her hands were up at her chin, and her arms stuck to the side of baby’s torso…. Making for a much wider circumference, more similar to pushing out the head still.

-“At that point, I knew I had to push beyond where I could,” Stephanie remembers.

-“If I don’t give an extra 10% now, it’s going to mean I have to do so much more work for -another push.”

-Finally, Stephanie’s midwife said, “On this next push, I’m going to hand you your baby from between your legs.”  The next push came, and sure enough, Stephanie’s daughter was in her arms.  -She remembers her first words to her little one, “You did a good job, my baby!  You did a good job!”

-Moments after, she began shaking and her teeth began to chatter because of all of the adrenaline.

-The midwife got an oxytocin (Pitocin) shot ready for Stephanie to deliver the placenta.  Stephanie said, “Hang on a second, what’s that for?”  The midwife responded that it was to get the placenta out.  Stephanie used the BRAIN acronym and asked about the benefits and risks… she then asked if they could wait for the placenta to be birthed on its own.  The midwives said waiting an hour would be fine.

-Within 20 minutes, the placenta was born on its own without the use of Pitocin.

-Stephanie’s mom cut the cord, which was very special.

-“And now we can snuggle and go to bed.  And the same place she was born was the same place we stayed for days.”

-To Stephanie, having a homebirth didn’t feel like an act of bravery.  In her own head, she was avoiding the things she was scared of: the hospital, the cascade of interventions, etc.

-“During the whole labor, I remember I kept saying, ‘I’m going to die.’  But I knew I wasn’t actually going to die, I just needed everyone around me to know how bad it hurt!”

-Stephanie said she read the book The First 40 Days, which very much inspired her take on postpartum.  Personally, she didn’t want to stay in bed for 40 days, but 9 days in bed was perfect for her.  After that, she said she was beginning to feel sore from the inactivity, so she knew it was time to begin moving!

-She took the first 6 weeks as a time to absolutely not work out.  Stephanie says that in the whole scheme of things, really, what’s 6 weeks?

-Stephanie mentions how if you push yourself too hard at the beginning of postpartum, then you might not be able to do the things you typically do later.

  -She says it’s important to remember that you aren’t truly starting over, your going back to the foundation and rebuilding up and out, starting with with the pelvic floor and core breathing.

-Stephanie says, “And I’m six months postpartum and I’m still working up.  I’m not back exactly to where I was before, but why should that be the goal?”

-She mentions that just as  you have to prepare for birth in a certain way, you also have to prepare for postpartum in a certain way.

-Stephanie discusses the fact that if she were to tear her ACL, at her 6-week appointment, her doctor would clear her for physical therapy… NOT EXERCISE!  Why then, after birth (a physical trauma), are doctors immediately clearing moms for exercise at 6 weeks?  We need to shift our perspective when it comes to postpartum recovery.  “We need to shift the way we look at postpartum recovery.” 

-“It took almost a year to build that baby… give your body that amount of time to recover from it.”

-We have to be realistic with ourselves and our expectations of our bodies postpartum.


Connect with Stephanie!

Complete Guide to Prenatal Supplements: https://stephaniesibbio.com/resources/guide-to-prenatal-supplements/ 


Chocolate Chip Oat Muffins (great to prep and freeze for postpartum recovery): https://stephaniesibbio.com/chocolate-chip-banana-oat-muffins/ 


Glowing Mama To Be Course: https://stephaniesibbio.clickfunnels.com/glowing-mama-to-be


Glowing Mama Facebook Community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/glowingmamas/


Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stephsibbiofitness/ 

Mar 04, 2019
Ep 12: Kerry Tuschhoff Introduces and Explains the Hypnobabies Program

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Instagram: stephsibbiofitness

Hatched at Home-Midwife Carrie LaChapelle: www.hatchedathome.com




Show Notes:

-Kerry is the founder and creator of Hypnobabies, which was created in 2001.

-She created the program after having her own two births.  At that time, she was a Bradley Instructor.

-Both of her babies were posterior (“sunny side up”) which caused for labors that she describes as extremely painful.  She felt that the Bradley Method was wonderful for teaching about labor, but did not help her cope well enough with the pain.

-After 26 hours of pain, she had an epidural, which she says helped her become a more understanding childbirth educator- she could certainly understand the need/desire for a mother to have an epidural.

- During her second birth, her sister saw her in agony and said, “It should never have to be this hard.”

-Kerry set forth to find a way to make childbirth easier for women.

-She soon saw a tv program about a doctor who was using hypnosis for his patients, and how their birthings were going much better.

-Kerry went to a training for this.  She then attended births using this method, and the women were all still clearly in pain.

-She decided there was something else that she needed to find.  She became a Certified Hypnotherapist, and took several specialty courses.  One of which was Gerald Kein’s “Painless Childbirth” program.

-She transformed Kein’s information with his excited permission, into a childbirth education program. 

-“The goal of Hypnobabies is to have the easiest, most comfortable birthing possible” by using deep, somnambulistic hypnosis. 

-Hypnobabies is considered “medical grade” hypnosis.  This type of hypnosis is used for patients who are allergic to anesthesia.  They use this type of hypnosis when having surgery.


What Makes Hypnobabies Different?!

- Kerry’s philosophy is that if you are learning childbirth hypnosis, you need to learn your childbirth education at the same place.  This ensures that the hypnosis and education support a mother’s mindset and belief that she can in fact have an easy, joyful birth experience.

The Hypnobabies program covers all aspects of childbirth education: nutrition, how a mother can help keep herself low-risk, the stages of labor, how to use hypnosis throughout those stages, hypnosis for pregnancy, selecting a compatible care provider and birthing place, questions to ask care providers, information about doulas and midwives, natural comfort measures for pregnancy, risk/benefit analysis for interventions, creating a birth plan, informed consent, optimal fetal positioning, anatomy and physiology of late pregnancy & birthing, avoiding induction and cesarean, benefits of delayed cord clamping, birth partner preparation, and even a birthing rehearsal. 

-Hypnobabies even provides information about new mothers and babies: how to take care of the new mother and baby, etc. 

-Hypnobabies provides a “change of plans” script: This allows mom to stay in hypnosis, even though something might be changing from the original birth plan.

-Eyes Open Childbirth Hypnosis- this is unique to Hypnobabies.  Moms learn to walk and talk an change positions all without losing focus in hypnosis.

-Hypnobabies Birth Visualization Track:  Mom goes through a mental birth rehearsal (the way they want it to be) as she listens to this track.  Practicing whatever they want to do or accomplish helps on the actual day of labor… the repetition programs your subconscious mind to produce the birth you want.  It’s practically a blueprint for the birthing.

-Joyful Pregnancy Affirmations Track: They really do change the state of mind of the mother during her pregnancy. 

-Kerry mentions that birth often times progresses more quickly than expected with the Hypnobabies mother.  This is why the program comes with a Quick Reference Booklet.  More than other times, a mother might seem completely calm and relaxed when she is actually very close to having her baby.

-Many women have told Kerry that they chose to have a homebirth after taking Hypnobabies because they had the confidence of knowing they could give birth peacefully without the use of medication.

-She discusses the fact that Hypnobabies acknowledges how every mother knows what she needs.  The program is there to give information, and to allow the mother to feel confident in whatever choices she decides are best for her and her family.

-Kerry mentions that sometimes, for whatever reason, a mom might do all of the practicing, but then not follow through during her birth.  She reminds moms that to get the full effect, it’s important to use the cues, listen to the tracks, or have their birth partner read the scripts during the actual birthing time.

-“Peace” is the most powerful hypnoanesthesia cue.


Moms Wanting to Learn More About Hypnobabies/Find Local Instructors:

  • hypnobabies.com
  • You can select from an online homestudy course, the “classic homestudy”, or find a local instructor

Make sure you also check out:

-Becoming a Hypnobabies Childbirth Instructor: the training is coming up in late April of 2019

-Becoming a Hypnodoula


You can also find more on facebook, twitter, Instagram and Hypnobabies even has a youtube channel!








Episode Roundup:

  1. Labor does NOT have to be scary and painful- prepare yourself for this life-altering event by taking the time to educate yourself about childbirth. I 100% recommend finding a private course, not just the one your hospital dishes out at their tour.
  2. If you decide to use Hypnobabies, commit! Use the advice and resources given here by the actual creator of the course to give yourself the most joyful, peaceful labor you can have.
  3. Be sure to involve your birthing team in your childbirth preferences. If you choose to use Hypnobabies, make sure your midwife/doula/OB and birth partner are on board and know what that means for their role.
Feb 25, 2019
Ep 11: Suzzie's Birth Trauma Overcome By Homebirth After Cesarean

Special Thank You to Our Sponsors:


Stephanie Sibbio’s Glowing Mama To Be Course: https://glowing-mama-courses.thinkific.com/  (15% off with the code: happyhomebirth15 )

Instagram: stephsibbiofitness


Hatched at Home-Midwife Carrie LaChapelle: www.hatchedathome.com






About Our Guest:

Suzzie Vehrs is a birth advocate and lover. After her first birth  left her broken and in need of deep healing, she knew she had to do things differently the next time around. Her HBAC birth was the BEST experience of her life. Suzzie is determined to inspire mothers to use pregnancy and birth as a time to explore their creative powers, sink deep into feeling wonderful and creating an experience that truly serves both mother and baby. If you want to find your birthing and mama power you must read her book Divine Birth and check out her article on the surprising ways prenatal yoga helps you birth like a goddess, even if you're terrified of labor. 

  https://moregigglingmoments.com/divine-birth-book/     https://moregigglingmoments.com/2018/12/29/4-surprising-ways-prenatal-yoga-will-help-prepare-you-to-birth-like-a-goddess-even-if-youre-terrified-of-labor/


Show Notes

-Suzzie’s first birth was an emergency c section, where she felt she had no control

-She spent the next few years in therapy, doing her best to process what had happened to her and overcome her birth trauma.

-For her second birth, which was several years later, she decided to research local midwives

-After finding a midwife that she considered a perfect fit, she was finally able to feel excited about the prospect of her second birth.

-Suzzie feels that her second birth was incredibly healing and was able to deeply curb the pain and sense of loss she felt in relation to her first birth.

-She gave birth in the water, and her midwife directed her baby’s body towards her.  Suzzie picked up her baby and patted her back.  Hazel cried for a few moments, the nestled comfortably into Suzzie’s arms, safe and sound.

-“We just had this moment of total peace, serenity, calmness and happiness… and she was here.  In my arms.”

-As mentioned previously, Suzzie’s first birth was not quite as peaceful.  She mentions that when she told them her plan to give birth naturally, they were not very supportive of the idea.  Looking back, she realizes this was a sign of the care to come.

- Her water broke before contractions began, and she was essentially put on a “clock” by her doctor.

-She labored through the night, and then in the morning when she was beginning to feel rather uncomfortable, she went to the hospital.

-The admitting nurse asked the typical intake questions, and when she found out that Suzzie’s water had broken the night before, she responded by saying, “Your water broke 12 hours ago?  You could have killed your baby.”

-These harsh words, unsurprisingly, put Suzzie into a place of shock and fear, and her labor stalled.  “My labor just stopped.”

-They put Suzzie on Pitocin, and she did not feel that she was able to cope with the pain of the contractions.  Looking back, she says that she did was not as aware of as many coping mechanisms as she was with her second birth.

-“They whisked her away, and my husband away with her.  Which, I’m glad he got to go, but that left me alone.”

-Suzzie was so dehydrated that she felt she might die from it, and in the meantime, nobody in the operating room would give her a straight answer about whether or not her baby was okay.

-Once they finished surgery, Suzzie was taken to another room, where she waited for several hours alone and in the dark without knowing what had happened to her baby.

-Suzzie mentions that her decision to have a homebirth after cesarean was made once she saw that the research pointed to uterine rupture not necessarily being caused by having a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), but by the use of Pitocin.

-She knew that she would have to have a homebirth, as birth centers in her area are not regulated to perform VBACs.

-She mentions how comforting it was to be under the care of someone who cared about her in a holistic way: Not just, are you breathing?  Do you have a pulse?  Does the baby have a pulse?”

-Out of her trauma came healing.  Suzzie has since authored the book “Divine Birth: A Collection of Wisdom + Coloring Pages to Inspire and Empower the Pregnant Mother”

-“Pregnancy and birth is really a chance for us as women to explore our creative powers and to step into our womanhood.”

-“I am worthy to have experiences that not only serve me, but are the best for me and my baby.”

-Suzzie mentions that her bravery was shown more powerfully in her traumatic hospital birth where she had to cope with all of the difficulties that followed.  In comparison, the homebirth was easy.

-“At some point in your journey, someone will ask you, ‘How did you know you could do it?’ and you will answer, ‘Because I looked within.’”

-“When you make decisions that are lined up with the answers inside of you, you will have a great birth experience.”


Episode Roundup:


  1. Take note of your care provider’s attitude when you share your birth plans with them. If you notice that you are not being treated with respect, it’s time to search for a new provider.  Remember, you are hiring these people!  You can fire them, too.
  2. Educate yourself on what is normal during childbirth. I recommend birthing classes, as well as a number of books that you can find on the happy homebirth website under “resources”.  By being informed, you’ll be able to notice anything fishy going on with your care.
  3. Hire a doula!!!
  4. If you have experienced birth trauma, seek help. Suzzie sought therapy after her traumatic experience, and if you’ve had something like this happen to you, I urge you to do the same.  These experiences and emotions cannot help but to seep into every other aspect of our lives.  There is no sense in struggling alone. 
  5. “When you make decisions that are lined up with the answers inside of you, you will have a great birth experience.”


Feb 18, 2019
Ep 10: Rebecca's Struggle With Infertility, Hospital Transport, and Eventual Homebirth


HUGE thank you to our sponsors!

Hatched at Home-Midwife Carrie LaChapelle: www.hatchedathome.com




Stephanie Sibbio's Glowing Mama To Be Course: https://glowing-mama-courses.thinkific.com/  (15% off with the code: happyhomebirth15 )

Instagram: stephsibbiofitness


Mama Moon Birth Photography: www.mamamoonbirthstories.com

Instagram: mamamoon.birthphotography



What motivates you to share your story?  In Rebecca's case, she knew that she couldn't be the only one who struggled to conceive.  She and her husband tried to become pregnant for several years before putting away the idea and beginning to consider adoption.  To say that they were surprised several months later when Rebecca became pregnant would be an understatement.  In this episode, Rebecca reveals her struggle, her faith, and her eventual success.  She shares her story to provide comfort to those who, like her, have experienced deep hurt over infertility.   

Show Notes

-Rebecca and her husband were married in 2013

-Because they were 34 and 35, they both thought it would be possible that they could struggle with becoming pregnant, so they began trying soon after their marriage.

-Rebecca discusses the incredible discomfort after getting off her birth control- she likens it to going through withdrawals.  Her body was acting as though it was pregnant when she knew she was not.

-She discusses the grief and pain she felt as all of the newlywed couples around her so easily go pregnant, while she and her husband struggled and received the news that IVF was going to be their best option.

-Rebecca says she learned that she had to trust the Lord, and he took her to a place where in December of 2015, she remembers realize her self-worth was not tied up in motherhood, her career, or even womanhood.  Rather, her self-worth was completely tied up in God.

-She remembers making a facebook post on December 12, 2015 stating that she had peace and had come to terms with her journey…. And exactly one year from that date, December 12, 2016 Rebecca gave birth to her first son.

-At that point (Dec 2015), they had decided that they were going to stop trying and pursue adoption.

-In April of 2016 Rebecca returned from a conference feeling rather “crummy.”  She assumed she had picked some type of bug up on the trip.  Her nursing coworkers begged her to take a pregnancy test.  She finally did, and it was positive!

-“I choose to speak about the infertility, because so many women feel like they’re alone, and feel like they’re the only one walking this path…. And they’re not.”

-Rebecca was seeing an OB at the time, but decided to switch to a homebirth midwife.  She connected very deeply with her midwife and had an amazing prenatal experience

-Labor, however did not go according to plan: She went into labor around 10:00 on a Friday night.  By 3:00 am, everything had stopped.  Contractions were completely gone.  This lasted all day Saturday and into Sunday afternoon.  She did everything she could to get labor to progress: Walking, birthing ball, position changes… nothing would get contractions to come back consistently.

-On Sunday afternoon, Rebecca decided she needed to get out of the house and walk (in the freezing cold!!).

-By 11:30pm on Sunday night, Rebecca was at 8 cm.  After hitting 8 cm, she once again would not progress. 

-By 9:00 am, Rebecca’s midwife mentioned to her that it might be time to head to the hospital to receive some rest with an epidural, and Rebecca agreed.

-She went to the hospital, received the epidural, was able to sleep for several hours, and then was able to push her baby out by 6:00 that evening.

-With her second child, she found out that she was pregnant in a very interesting way!  After having a fall through a step in her house, she began taking Motrin for the pain. A few days in, she had the random thought, “Maybe I shouldn’t be taking this Motrin… Maybe I should take a pregnancy test.” No other symptoms, yet the test came back positive!

- For their second birth, Rebecca’s mother came over in the morning to pick up her 2-year-old, as she keeps him while Rebecca works. 

-At 7:30 am Rebecca was having small contractions that were irregular and not very timeable.  This continued until about 2:00 pm.

-At 2:00 contractions quickly began to become consistent, longer, stronger and closer together.

-With things suddenly moving so quickly, Rebecca was worried her midwife might not make it!  When she heard her midwife’s voice in the house, she was completely relieved and ready.

-Within 10 minutes, Rebecca had the baby!

-She had no tearing, no complications, and Donovan was wide awake and crying when he was born.

-“I was on such a high after it was all over—that I had done it—completely at home, completely unmedicated.”

-Her second birth was 11 hours, start to finish.

-When describing the emotions after she gave birth, Rebecca says, “it was both powerful and euphoric all at the same time.”

-Rebecca and her midwife laugh about the fact that they’ve had the birth pool set up twice and never used it… this time she gave birth on the couch!

-When commenting on her story, particularly with infertility, Rebecca says, “There is power in knowing that you’re not alone.”


Episode Round-up:

  1. Have faith in the hard times
  2. Sharing your story, even the struggle, removes the crippling grip of isolation and builds stronger communal bonds
  3. Open communication and trust in your care provider are key to a successful birth
Feb 11, 2019
Ep 09: Kelley's 5 Back-to-Back Homebirths, and Her Struggle With Postpartum Healing

HUGE thank you to our sponsors!

Stephanie Sibbio's Glowing Mama To Be Course: https://glowing-mama-courses.thinkific.com/  (15% off with the code: happyhomebirth15 )

Instagram: stephsibbiofitness


Mama Moon Birth Photography: www.mamamoonbirthstories.com

Instagram: mamamoon.birthphotography


Warning: This episode contains topics that may be uncomfortable or difficult to hear as a pregnant mother.  Please be sure that you are emotionally prepared to discuss: maternal depletion, postpartum depression, nursing difficulties (inverted nipples) and cervical prolapse.


-Kelley has had 5 homebirths within a very short amount of time.

-Her first 3 births were in Connecticut, and she moved south weeks before her 4th child's birth.

-Her midwife left for France, and she was attended by another midwife that she did not know well, though the birth went well.

-For her 5th birth, Kelley found a midwife that felt like her best friend.  She loved the experience, though she did not expect to be pregnant so soon.

-Kelley struggled with difficulty accepting her 5th pregnancy and not being able to feel bonded to her baby throughout the pregnancy.  She had hoped that her final baby would be a girl, but she learned early on that she would be having her 4th boy.

-Luckily, Kelley's mother was able to be in town for her birth (she and her mom are incredibly close, and Kelley feels like her mom can read her mind during labor).

-With her 5th birth, she had a birth entourage: Lots of friends, her husband, her mom, a doula, her midwife and apprentices.  She felt very loved and supported, and she was finally able to have the water birth she had always hoped for.

-Once the baby was born, she put him on her chest.  When she looked him over, she realized... HE was a GIRL!  

-Kelley was so thrilled and shocked that her final baby was the girl she had hoped for.  She sent her mom shopping for girl clothes the next morning!

-Postpartum, Kelley struggled with inverted nipples.  She encourages women not to give up if they experience similar struggles.  She says that if you can make it through the first 6 weeks, you'll be able to make it through anything else!

-12 hours after giving birth, Kelley realized she had a cervical prolapse.  She has been incredibly involved in pelvic floor physical therapy since that time.

-It took 12 weeks of bedrest to recover from her cervical prolapse, 6 of which she spent in Connecticut with her parents' help.  

-Kelley recommends that anyone who has postpartum health issues to seek help and guidance.

-19 months later, Kelley is still nursing her little girl and continuing on her journey to recovery.  She is enjoying this new stage of life... not being pregnant!  




Feb 04, 2019
Ep 08: Molly Escobar Explains How Birth Is a Marathon- And How Doulas Can Help!

HUGE thank you to our sponsors!

Stephanie Sibbio's Glowing Mama To Be Course: https://glowing-mama-courses.thinkific.com/  (15% off with the code: happyhomebirth15 )

Instagram: stephsibbiofitness


Mama Moon Birth Photography: www.mamamoonbirthstories.com

Instagram: mamamoon.birthphotography



Molly stepped into the doula world 3 years ago, after caring for her mother at her end of life.  Molly realized that caretaking was something she was drawn to, and realized becoming a doula would be a way to continue this role.

-She quit her tech job and opened up her own business, Doulamee LLC.

-Molly teaches childbirth education, both in person and virtually online. 

-She has also founded a client portal, giving a safe community for those giving birth to come and bounce ideas off of each other, as well as molly

-She brings up the “Marathon analogy” (Katelyn is a huge fan of this!): Not preparing for childbirth is like not preparing for a marathon.  You could do the marathon either way, but if you don’t prepare, it’s going to take longer, feel more uncomfortable, you might have to walk some or even hitch a ride, etc.  If you prepare, your muscles know what they’re doing, you aren’t surprised, and you can get the job done faster and with greater ease.

-She focuses on bringing the birthing partner into the fold of birth by having their job be to stimulate birth hormones and get the birthing mother in the correct frame of mind.

-Molly discusses the difference between a doula and a midwife, and why having a doula, even when giving birth at home, is very useful for the family.

-She goes in depth about what constitutes a good birth plan, especially at home.  Molly mentions how important it is to have a good, positive space prepared at home. 

-She discusses preparing for any potential changes in the plan: the unpredictability of birth, and how to bring the home to the hospital if that were necessary.

-Molly discusses the use of the rebozo in a number of ways

- She details her postpartum doula work:  How they debrief from the birth and help process, supporting parents in the initial transition, going over newborn care, having a meal prepared when they get home, etc.

- She discusses the importance of a postpartum plan: who is coming by when, how long they’re staying, what food you’ll be eating, etc.

-Molly’s recommendations:  Take a childbirth education course (it doesn’t have to be at a hospital), read Penny Simpkin’s The Birth Partner, look into Rachel Yellin for any type of hypnosis-based childbirth, work on visualization, and prepare for your “marathon” with nutrition, appropriate attire, and body work.

-Contact Molly and keep up with her!


Instagram: doulamee

Facebook: Doulamee LLC facebook group

Jan 28, 2019
Ep 07: Pregnancy Update- Week 20

Listen in to this bonus episode to hear how my (Katelyn's) pregnancy is progressing.  Somehow I'm already halfway to the finish line, and I don't know where the weeks went!  

Jan 25, 2019
Ep 06: Samantha's Surprise Breech Homebirth


Samantha's Surprise Breech Homebirth

  • Samantha has had two hospital births (one medicated induction, one natural), one homebirth, and one birth center birth.
  • At the beginning of her third pregnancy, she researched midwives and decided giving birth in her own space was right up her alley.  Her husband was completely supportive.
  • She interviewed with one midwife and knew in her gut that this was the right fit.  She felt complete trust.
  • Experienced “White Coat Syndrome” previously, but her blood pressure was always perfect with her midwife.  She feels that that shows just how comfortable she was with her care provider.
  • When Sam went into labor, things progressed very quickly.  When her midwife heard her have a contraction over the phone, she got in the car and headed her way immediately.The midwife stayed on the phone with Sam for the entire car ride, as Sam was nervous that she’d have the baby without her.
  • The midwife got into the room, and after Sam had one contraction, the midwife thought something was strange, so she checked Sam.
  • “I don’t want you to freak out, but the baby is breech.”
  • In South Carolina, breech births are not within the guidelines of having a homebirth, so the midwife did call EMS.
  • The baby was safely born at home.  Samantha’s husband told EMS they were not going to transfer to the hospital, as the baby was fine.
  • The fact that her midwife stayed for hours after the birth meant the world to Samantha
  • Samantha shares how a sheriff showed up saying, “I don’t really need to be here, but I heard a baby was being born and I wanted to come!”
  • Katelyn recalls how two men were trying to put a stretcher in Sam’s room, and she remembered wondering to herself, “What are they even trying to do that?”
  • With her last child, Sam gave birth at a hospital birth center.
  • The prenatal experience was more similar to her experience with the OB, though she still liked the experience.
  • She was worried that she would not make it to the birth center during labor, as it takes about an hour to get to the birth center from her home.
  • Sam ended up using the birth center because of the complications of insurance. 
  • When she reached the birth center, her blood pressure was high, and the midwife wanted to transfer her to the hospital.  However, she was progressing so quickly, she did not know whether or not they’d actually make it, so she was able to stay at the birth center.
  • Katelyn mentions how the opening of the hospital-based birth center has been really great for the community, as it’s a great in-between zone for those who are not quite comfortable giving birth at home, but do not necessarily want a hospital birth, either.
  • Sam recommends finding a midwife that takes the time to get to know you and is willing to build a relationship.


Thank you to our sponsor, Mama Moon Birth Photography!  www.mamamoonbirthstories.com

Here is a sample of Ashlie's beautiful work: https://vimeo.com/302639176

Jan 21, 2019
Ep 05: Christina and Ryan's Harry Potter Homebirth


I could have titled this birth story 1,000 different ways, but Harry Potter Homebirth?  I know that had to catch your attention!

Show Notes

  • For their first child, Ryan wanted to be in/near a hospital.  They were living in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • Christina went past her due date, but was not induced.  She had a 45 hour labor with baby #1, Eowyn.  
  • Ryan fell asleep in the triage bed!
  • Christina became a doula after having an incredibly supportive team and lovely birth.
  • They had their second child, William, in a free-standing birth center.
  • Liam was born at 41 weeks, 3 days
  • Her out-of-hospital midwife advised an herbal induction.
  • She later realized her first baby was posterior, causing the long labor.
  • Christina went under the care of a chiropractor for baby #2, and she used spinning babies techniques to help position her baby better.
  • Labor #2 was 6 hours, compared to 45hours with the first, and the baby was 10 lbs, 6 oz!
  • Remembers thinking, "This was even better than the hospital!"
  • Ryan and Christina took Hypnobabies with baby #3.
  • Ryan says, "I was literally eating barbeque and drinking beer while Christina was laboring in the tub"... much more comfortable than the triage bed!
  • Their 3rd baby, Patrick, was 41 weeks, 3 days.
  • Prodromal labor started 6 weeks before, so Christina was very tired when she went into labor
  • Pursued an herbal induction again, which was gentle and effective
  • She used acupuncture to help with the prodromal labor
  • Christina got the urge to push after 2-3 hours of labor, but was confused because she didn't feel like she'd been through transition/transformation.
  • Something felt off, so she asked her midwife to check her.
  • The midwife said that she still had a bit of a cervical lip, and recommended that Christina try to avoid pushing for a bit.  What she tactfully did not mention, was that Christina was actually only 4 cm dilated.
  • Christina flipped to her back, and for 30 minutes she had to breathe through her pushing contractions.  She says it was the most difficult part of her labor.
  • Music and singing helped her cope during the no-pushing phase.
  • They had theological discussions during labor about whether or not Mary had a midwife!
  • Christina remembers thinking, "I can't do this anymore."
  • She started singing "Jesus Loves Me," with her husband and midwife, and feels that that intimate moment truly depicts the beauty of homebirth.
  • She then needed to change positions.  She got out of the pool, stood up, and suddenly had to pee.  She didn't want her daughter to see her peeing on the floor!
  • She got on the bed, and her pushing contractions doubled.  She HAD to push.
  • Her water broke forcefully, and baby's head was immediately crowning.
  • Patrick was the largest baby her midwife had caught, at 10 lbs, 9 ounces and 23 inches long.
  • It was only 45 minutes total between Christina being 4 cm and holding her baby.
  • They had opened the window in the bathroom earlier, and it turns out the neighbors heard the baby being born.
  • Christina had a 5 lb placenta
  • After her shower, the midwives came in her room wearing Hogwarts robes and witch hats.
  • She did not tear with her 10+ lb babies, which she attributes to self-directed pushing.
  • Ryan guarded the 6-week postpartum experience, and it changed her postpartum so much for the better.
Jan 14, 2019
Ep 04: Hailey's Transition From Hospital Birth to Homebirth



Hailey Mugica Show Notes:

Website: myhappyhomebirth.com

Contact Katelyn: katelyn@myhappyhomebirth.com

Follow: instagram.com/happyhomebirthpodcast 

Donate: https://www.patreon.com/happyhomebirth


  •  Hailey's first two births were traditional hospital medicated births
  • Her sister planned to have a homebirth for her first baby, which Hailey thought was crazy, but then she watched The Business of Being Born, read some of Ina May's Books and decided she wanted a homebirth, too!
  •  She says that the prenatal experience between her OB and Midwife were not even comparable.
  • Her midwife came to her for home visits, discussed nutrition and exercise, and diagnosed anemia, which Hailey feels confident she had during her first two pregnancies and was missed.
  • She feels she received far more detail and attention from her midwife.
  • She remembered Ina May's words of "you're going to get huge" during her labor, and it was very helpful.
  • Hailey was 41+ weeks and worried she would not be able to have her homebirth because she wasn't seeming like she would be going into labor soon.
  • She decided to pump, and after 20 minutes, she was having contractions that were 45 seconds long and less than 2 minutes apart. 
  •  Hailey saw a chiropractor the day before labor began, and she attributes her fast birth to that.  Before the adjustment, she could feel that her baby was ill-positioned in her right hip, and then labor began the next day. 
  • Her birth went so smoothly, and she felt incredible about her decision to have a homebirth.
  • Hailey felt incredibly supported by her midwife postpartum: On day 5 her midwife came back and set up an herbal bath for Hailey and her baby and even took photos for them.
  • With her medicated births, she felt like something that had happened to her.  With her homebirth, she felt like she was covering from something that she did.
  • Hailey's mom took her other two sons out for dinner, and when they returned, the baby was already born.   
  • Katelyn and Hailey discuss the benefits of not finding out the gender before the birth:  You get double the presents, and people buy you good gifts from your registry because "nobody wants to buy a gray onesie." 
  • Hailey's recommendation for a mom considering homebirth:  It's not a flippant decision.  Do your research, and as long as you have a solid 'why' behind your decision, you can do anything.
  • She and her husband opted not to tell anyone who they thought might not support a homebirth.


  • Instagram:  @theintentionalessentials or @haileymugica


Jan 07, 2019
Ep 03: Anne Margolis Shares Her Personal Story From Hospital to Homebirth and Nurse to Midwife
  Anne Margolis, CNM, LM, MSN, BSN, RN (Biography)


Anne Margolis is a Licensed Certified Nurse MidwifeLicensed Femme! TeacherCertified Clarity Breathwork Practitioner, Yoga Teacher and practitioner. She is a 3rd generation guide to mommas birthing babies in her family. Anne has helped thousands of families in her 20+ year midwifery practice and has personally ushered the births of over 1000 healthy babies into the world. She has also guided countless human beings to heal from emotional pain, inner stress and trauma, tap into their strength and power, live fully and vibrantly, and reclaim their radiance, joyfulness, calm and overall sense of well-being.

Through her online childbirth course 'Love Your Birth', her online and in-person midwifery for pregnancy and postpartum support consultations, her birth professional mentoring, her holistic gynecology, Clairty Breathwork and Femme! experience offerings she infuses wisdom, compassion, inspiration, and joy into the entire process of women’s health care from teen aged years to menopause, as well as into facilitating incredible healing and wellness for both men and women of all ages. She also provides consulting to help you publish and launch your book!

Anne is a two times number one national and international best selling author of 'Natural Birth Secrets: An Insiders Guide How To Give Birth Holistically, Healthfully and Safely, and Love the Experience', and also 'Trauma Release Formula: The Revolutionary Step by Step Program for Eliminating Effects of Childhood Abuse, Trauma, Emotional Pain and Crippling Inner Stress, to Living in Joy without Drugs or Therapy.' Anne’s work, insights and advice have been seen on TV shows and movies including 4 episodes of 'A Baby Story' on TLC Discovery Channel, and the award winning feature documentary, 'Orgasmic Birth' and 'The Human Longevity Project.' She has been interviewed for multiple local, national and international radio programs, shows and podcasts. Anne has also been a featured speaker and expert panelist at distinguished events for Weil-Cornell School of Medicine, the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, RCC State University of New York School of Nursing, and Birthnet Association of Childbirth Professionals and Hudson Valley Birth Network to name a few. Anne's Clarity Breathwork and Femme! healing movement workshops have been hosted at several yoga studios and wellness centers, including the conscious, high vibration and transformational community at The Assemblage in NYC. Anne is a proud founding member of The Health and Wellness Business Association, which was created to promote initiatives that support better collaboration, interaction and ethical business practices within the health and wellness business community.

She has midwifed mommas and babies for over two decades, and guides individuals to birth themselves as healthy and whole human beings capable of immense joy and inner peace. Her clients describe her as “passionate, sensitive, big hearted, and a playful ball of light.” When she’s not helping mommas around the world you can find her doing yoga (anywhere and everywhere), dancing, taking or facilitating powerful growth and healing workshops, traveling, enjoying family time and watching comedy.


Show Notes:

-Developed fear of birth while working as a labor and delivery nurse

-Birth was treated as a potential lawsuit- she witnessed many cesarean births

-Had a traumatic birth of her own

-Later learned about midwifery, and began schooling to become a midwife.

-Had another baby at home, which was incredibly healing

-In midwifery, relationships are built with the mother throughout the prenatal care, with longer appointments to gain trust and understanding

-Many times when a partner is uncomfortable with homebirth or midwifery, it is often because of misconceptions.  Midwives are trained medical professionals who can administer life-saving drugs, and know life saving techniques like neonatal resuscitation and CPR.

-The postpartum period is incredibly important, and Anne explains her recommendations for creating a community of help and support during pregnancy.

-Anne’s Website: www.homesweethomebirth.com

Instagram:  @homesweethomebirth

Facebook: facebook.com/homesweethomebirth


Contact Katelyn!

Interview: katelyn@myhappyhomebirth.com

Instagram: @happyhomebirthpodcast

Support the show: patreon.com/happyhomebirth

Jan 01, 2019
Ep 02: Neely's Story of Two Quick Homebirths and How Hypnobabies Helped Her Cope


-Neely and her husband Garrett have 2 sons, Howie and Cole

-Decided to have homebirths after watching the film “The Business of Being Born” 

-She selected her midwife after a friend had a wonderful experience with her

-Neely did not use a doula for her first birth, but decided to take Hypnobabies for her childbirth education, then used a Hypnobabies certified doula during her second homebirth.

- For her first birth, she took a Bradley-based childbirth education class.

-She attributes her successful labors to the fact that she practiced yoga throughout her pregnancies, saw the chiropractor, ate dates at the end, and generally did all she could to prepare.

-With her first birth, she had early-labor type contractions from 36 weeks on, but felt she would likely give birth a week or two after her due date.

-She went into labor several days before her due date, with contractions that seemed similar to what she’d been experiencing before.  She got in the shower to relax, but suddenly felt she needed to poop.

-After about 30 minutes of being awake, she wakes up her husband, still feeling sure she has a long way to go, but just wants him to let the midwife know what’s going on.

-The midwife asks how far apart the contractions are:  1-2 minutes apart, lasting a minute each time!

-Once the midwife hears her have a contraction, she lets Garrett know that she might not make it based on how far along Neely seems to be.  She tells him what to do if she doesn’t make it.

-She became overwhelmed with the urge to take her clothes off, but at the same time was saying to herself, “This can’t be right.  Why do I want to take my clothes off so early in the process?  I thought that happened towards transition!”

-Immediately after having her baby, she stood to her feet and said, “Hey Baby,” which her husband says was incredible to watch.

-Because the labor was so quick, Neely did experience symptoms of shock. 

-She felt that she had failed what her vision for her birth was—It was so different from what she was expecting, she felt she never had time to get on top of the contractions.

-With her second labor, Neely felt confident that she would go past her due date.  She had no prodromal labor with this baby like she did with her first.

-In the middle of the night (39 weeks, 5 days), she begins having contractions.  She calls her husband, who is in the other room, on his phone.  He responds back via a text message with a ‘?’ …..He then comes into the room!

-He calls the midwife, she asks how far apart contractions are.  They were a minute apart and a minute long… practically no break!

-She felt far more in control with her contractions during this birth.  She was riding the waves instead of being pulled under.

-She did not feel pushing as being nearly intense with this birth; rather, she felt she was breathing her baby down.

-With the head partially out, she began to feel the fear that she would tear.  Suddenly, her contractions paused.  It was the longest break she’d had since labor had begun.

-Her body gave her a break, allowing her baby’s head to stretch the perineum naturally.

-Neely’s water broke, followed by the baby’s full head, and then the whoosh of the rest of his body.

  -She was able to feel that she was a part of her labor and in more control, not as helpless feeling as her first labor.

-Garrett was able to catch the baby, and immediately exclaimed that it was a boy.

-Neely’s biggest recommendation for labor is to prepare.  Take a childbirth class and truly learn to relax and release.


Want to interview?  Katelyn@myhappyhomebirth.com

Instagram: @happyhomebirthpodcast

Support the show: patreon.com/happyhomebirth



Jan 01, 2019
Ep 01: Katelyn's Very Slow, Then Very Fast Labor


In this episode, I share my personal birth story.  It's a solo-sode, so if you'd like to hear an interview, head on to the next show featuring Neely's story.  

-I had attended a Spinning Babies workshop days before going into labor that discussed shoulder dystocia... and became somewhat convinced that my baby would have a dystocia

-I wanted my birth to be a party, so I had my midwives arrive in their pajamas and robes.

-My uterus decided it wanted no audience, and my contractions were very unproductive

-I finally got into the birth pool, which basically stopped my contractions

-The next morning I went to my chiropractor, who tried to get my baby (Janie) in a better position.... I experienced "cartractions" the entire 40 minute ride to and fro

-I took a nap with my husband from 3pm-6pm

-At 6 I decided to go crazy on the birth ball to get the baby out (finally entered active labor)

-Went through transition in my garden tub full of cold water, that I kept accidentally draining

-Finally moved to the birth pool, where I went from 8 1/2 cm to crowning in a few short minutes

-I had a "short term lotus birth," where we kept the placenta attached until it was born

-We had a cord burning ceremony

-We then got in bed, ate eggs and toast, drank mimosas and celebrated our new little one!


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Jan 01, 2019
Pilot Episode: An Introduction to Happy Homebirth

Finally, finally, finally!


Several months in the making, the pilot episode (don't get too excited, it's just an introduction) is up and running!  

Happy Homebirth launches on January 1, 2019 with several episodes in the arsenal waiting to be released. 

Today's episode will let you, the listeners, know exactly who I am and what my vision is for this podcast. 

Support.  Encouragement.  Education.


This is a community dedicated to homebirth mothers (or others who are naturally-minded) to come together, celebrate their victories and encourage one another in the process.

Dec 14, 2018