25 Meet Jasmine Part 2 on Birth Stories of Home Birth, Hospital Birth, Birth Center Birth, Being A Surrogate & Leukemia

Heidi Campbell

Meet Jasmine Part 2 on Birth Stories of Home Birth, Hospital Birth, Birth Center Birth, Being A Surrogate & Leukemia

Holy bananas! Get some tissue, get ready to be inspired, get ready to log in and Jasmine is a Doula in Eugene, OR. In this 2 part series, you will hear all about Jasmine's Birth Stories. First in Episode 24, a young mom who went into pre-term labor and birthed in a hospital. On her second pregnancy, she became an advocate for herself, hired a doula and birthed in a birth center. In Part 2-Episode 25-, Jasmine walks us through her third pregnancy which she opted to be a surrogate for a family in China. She unexpectedly births this baby at home and labor lasted only a few minutes! A few months later, she decides to be a surrogate again, but her blood work comes back abnormal. Listen in to hear Jasmine's heart wrenching and uplifting story about learning she had AM Leukemia and finding her own perfect donor through Be The Match. 

She raves about the cookbook the First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother. Buy a copy here:




24 Meet Jasmine Part 2 on Birth Stories of Home Birth, Hospital Birth, Birth Center Birth, Being A Surrogate & Leukemia

Heidi Campbell

Holy bananas! Get some tissue, get ready to be inspired, get ready to log in and Jasmine is a Doula in Eugene, OR. In this 2 part series, you will hear all about Jasmine's Birth Stories. First in Episode 24, a young mom who went into pre-term labor and birthed in a hospital. On her second pregnancy, she became an advocate for herself, hired a doula and birthed in a birth center. In Part 2-Episode 25-, Jasmine walks us through her third pregnancy which she opted to be a surrogate for a family in China. She unexpectedly births this baby at home and labor lasted only a few minutes! A few months later, she decides to be a surrogate again, but her blood work comes back abnormal. Listen in to hear Jasmine's heart wrenching and uplifting story about learning she had AM Leukemia and finding her own perfect donor through Be The Match. 

She raves about the cookbook the First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother. Buy a copy here:



LOOKING FOR A DOULA IN CHARLOTTE, NC? HIRE MyDoulaHeidi24 Meet Jasmine Part 1 on Birth Stories of Home Birth, Hospital Birth, Birth Center Birth, Being A Surrogate & Leukemia

[00:00:00] What does a contraction feel like how do I know if I'm in labor? And what does a day of Labor look like? Wait, is this normal? Hey, I'm Heidi Campbell a certified birth Doula host of this podcast birth story and owner of my Doula Heidi. I have supported hundreds of women through their labor and delivery.

And I believe that every one of them and you deserves a microphone and a stage. So here we are listen each week to get answers to these tough questions and more birth story where we talk about pregnancy labor deliveries where we tell our stories share our feelings and of course chat about our favorite baby products and motherhood.

And because I'm passionate about birth outcomes, you will hear from some of the top experts in labor and delivery whether you are pregnant trying desperately to get [00:01:00] pregnant. I hope you will stick around and be part of this tribe. Okay, it's review time. I just want to say thank you to everyone who pushes pause and rates a review for the birth story podcast.

And so this week I am going to read a few more the first one comes from me and Dee 3130. I love birth stories. I wish I would have heard this podcast before having my second son. There were so many tips and tricks that would have been helpful to know prior to his birth. I'm a mom of three with two I birthed within 19 months apart from each other things in the hospital changed that fast from the first birth.

I love this podcast keep bringing me more. Thank you so much Mandy. The second one or the next one comes from Kara. Great to have this gem here. It's so great to have a podcast with an [00:02:00] educated and experienced Host. This is a beautiful topic with such importance. I also love the host passion. I work with newborns and Every Day.

I'm Amazed by the mothers that have gone through their unique experiences this podcast is just wonderful. If you would like to hear your review read on the birth story podcast than I look forward to reading it. Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. I have no idea at what point in time you are listening to this podcast, but I want to welcome you to episode 24.

This is a two-part series with episode 24 getting ready to start now and then continuing on with episode 25. This episode is all about meeting Jasmine and learning about her. To birth stories one in the hospital in one in the birth center, but then I beg you to stick around because in episode 25, she [00:03:00] talks about her journey of becoming a surrogate and then how it took a turn and then being diagnosed with leukemia at the very end of episode 25.

I dig in deep on be the match and if you're listening the steps that you might take if you are interested in helping to save someone's life with leukemia. Thanks for listening. I hope you learn a ton from these birth stories and I hope that we continue to spread awareness around being the match.

Welcome Jasmine to the birth story podcast. I am so excited to have you here today. And before we get started I wanted to just let everyone know a little bit about how we connected. I think that I saw a picture of you on Instagram and your Instagram name has your name and the name Doula in it and was a picture of you [00:04:00] fighting leukemia and.

Everything about the story kind of really spoke to me and I just started following you and then I think we just communicated a few times from there. So why don't you tell everybody about. Who you are and a little bit about your journey you're currently on and then we're going to dig into your three amazing birth stories, but focusing specifically on your surrogacy.

So tell us about you. Yeah. Well, I am a mom. I've got two little girls and I've been married. We just celebrated our 8th year wedding anniversary.  And I'm also a doula a birth and a postpartum doula and a prenatal yoga teacher so birth and that whole world has a lot to do with you know, who I [00:05:00] am and what I do, but I've been out of it for a little while because I got diagnosed with leukemia in 2018, and I'm currently in remission.

Which is wonderful but still healing from the treatment and the bone marrow transplant that I had to have and yeah, it was kind of a whirlwind year in 2018. And that's just kind of where I am today. Well, I have a few questions for you because I had some doulas on but we weren't talking about their birth stories.

So I want to know like how how did you become and do a lot so many people don't even know what we are. So, how did how did first of all how do you know? What a doula is and how did you become one? Yeah, so my first birth like so many people who kind of discover doulas my first birth wasn't the easiest I went into early labor.

I wasn't very [00:06:00] educated. I was pretty young when I had my first daughter and you know, I had never even heard of a doula. And so when I got pregnant the second time, I was much more educated. I done a lot of reading a lot of talking to people and hired a doula for that birth. And so that experience of having her there and it was actually such a quick birth that she was only there for like a few minutes.

I cried at the end and just having her energy there in the room changed everything for me and I fell in love with it. I knew I wanted to be a duelist someday. And yeah, and that's just kind of how I discovered it. Just trying to create a better experience for myself that second time around and you know, I actually became a prenatal yoga teacher before I became a doula.

That's a very good step 1. Yeah, it was really nice and you know, just it kind of happened really organically because I'd be teaching my [00:07:00] classes and students. Want me to attend their births and I'd have to say well I just yoga teacher, you know, I can't like I wouldn't know what to do for you at your birth.

But I knew I would do it someday and then I actually attended a training while I was pregnant with the surrogate, baby. Yay, and I was going to say when you say I love just a prenatal yoga instructor and I'm like that can put their bodies into the coolest positions and stretches imaginable to help the babies descend so much faster.

I definitely know that now yeah all part of our crafts and trade we're going to kind of just. Go through your first two birds. And then we're going to really focus on your third birth in the surrogacy. But you mentioned that your first birth like you didn't know what to do low wise it wasn't that easy and you went into preterm labor.

So how early she was 32 weeks when she was born, but I actually went into [00:08:00] labor two weeks before that. So I was only 30 weeks pregnant when I started to go into labor and. I remember it was on Father's Day and I actually had no idea. I was even in labor. I thought my stomach was growling every five minutes.

I discovered. I have a really high pain tolerance at that birth. Yeah. I just, you know had no idea what was going on, but I started to notice that I was spotting a little bit and thought I'd go get checked out and right away. They said oh you're Contracting every three minutes you're dilated. We need to stop this labor and you know, they gave me a bunch of medication and I was on bed rest in the hospital for two weeks.

Just trying to keep her in for as long as possible and finally, you know two weeks later. She wasn't having it. She was coming out. So did the like no medicine was going to stop it. Did they? Have you inclined in the bed or were you just able to get up and take a shower and move around? No, [00:09:00] I was totally stuck in bed.

It was kind of miserable. I had to pee in a bedpan and they my water was actually broken at some point a couple days after I was hospitalized my water broke. So I had like this sort of diaper towel thing on and I had to stay in bed leaking amniotic fluid my sweet husband would like bring the bedpan over it was like.

The best way to just get super super vulnerable and intimate with a partner so your water was working for a long time before your daughter was born it was and so they kept me on a ton of fluids because they said that you know, the water would just sort of replenish as long as I was hydrated. So I had to pee all the time in the bed pad.

So uncomfortable when I kind of got used to it after a while. I just figured well, we're here. My doctor said let's try to get you as close to full term as possible. And so. We just hung out and we were kind of hoping to be hanging out for a little bit longer. But after two weeks she [00:10:00] went into distress one night and they gave me a little bit of pitocin.

No other meds, you know, I didn't have an epidural or anything. They just gave me load of pitocin and then labor took off and I had her just about 26 minutes later. Wow, so when you first went in at 30 weeks and you said you were a little dilated. Do you know how dilated you were? I honestly don't remember it was such a weird time and all of that language was so out of my, you know scope of just what I knew and understood I was so young.

I was only 20 years old when I got pregnant and I had just turned 21 right like the beginning of that month. I turned 21 on the third and then she was born on the 2600 was I was so young and so naive and they were just, you know telling me all these terms you're dilated and you're doing this you're doing that and I'm just kind of.

Okay, are you were you calm like did you know that the baby was going to be okay?  I [00:11:00] was I was and I don't know if that's because I was kind of naive but I just sort of trusted the whole situation. I think that I just know deep down that my baby was okay and I just kind of felt like well if this is her time, it's her time.

I don't think I fully understood. You know, what a preterm baby like what that really means. And so I was a little excited and I kind of was trusting also the doctors and their you know, the stuff that they had going on. I was trusting the medication and and I just sort of thought maybe I'd be in the hospital for a couple months.

You know, some people are but yeah, and that's what my doctor thinks I thought. Okay, let's you know, let's just hang out here, but you know is amazing because she was born so early and they're preparing me for this teeny tiny little Nikki baby and she actually was pretty healthy for 32 weeks. She was five pounds.

So she was kind of huge in the NICU that is amazing. Yeah. I mean to this day. I wonder if my due date was off a little bit because [00:12:00] she was clearly early, but I don't know if she. That early because she was so healthy. She didn't need any help breathing. She was wonderful. She did spend two weeks in the NICU just monitoring and you know, she had to develop her ability to breastfeed and all of those things.

But yeah, she was she was pretty healthy pretty big. Nikki baby, yeah. Well, let's elaborate on that a little bit because a lot of people don't realize that the swallowing reflex is one of the main reasons why a preterm baby can't go home and needs to be on a feeding tube is because they don't develop that swallow reflex until somewhere around 35, you know weeks along so she was feeding on her own by 34.

She wears yeah with a bottle and I really really wanted to breastfeed her. And so I was also using a nipple shield to try to mimic the bottle nipple. Mmm, and eventually we did [00:13:00] exclusively breastfeed without bottles, but I pumped in and fed her through a bottle and in the hospital. Yeah, but she did she had to develop that suck swallow reflex before she could go home and then temperature regulation is another.

Another one. Were there any other kind of check marks they were looking for with her before? They would send her home that you can remember besides the swallow reflex and the temperature regulation. No, I remember that was it because they also had a requirement that the babies had to be at least five pounds before they could be released from the NICU and I was like, oh she's already five pounds.

Perfect. Yeah. It was like, so we already hit one. And then that was basically it and then just kind of monitoring her and waiting till she could eat properly on her own because she did have the feeding tube for a little while and then did she like when you brought her home were there any complications?

You know, she was really healthy, but she was delayed and it was really interesting because each doctor's [00:14:00] visit she would be delayed just a couple months. It was almost like that two months that she missed out on developing in the womb. She would be just like that much delayed in the doctor said that would probably be.

True until she was about two years old and I did find that to be true. So that was sort of interesting. Let's recap that first birth from an opportunity to kind of teach our listeners a few things. So if you're 30 weeks along. And you are having anything that's coming consistently any kind of feeling like you experienced it as you're like stomach growling, but it's happening every 3 minutes or every five minutes.

That would be a reason to call your doctor. And then also in your case you are spotting. Were there any other symptoms that you would want to make sure that you passed along to anyone listening to say he you may want to give your provider call if you are experiencing [00:15:00] any of these symptoms as far as I can remember, I don't remember anything else happening except just that intuitive kind of feeling but I thought something's a little bit off because it wasn't a lot of spotting.

I wouldn't even say I was bleeding necessarily. I just kind of thought something strange. Okay, something something feels different and that's when we decided to go in. That mommy intuition man, you just can't mess with it. Yeah, it's like usually pretty spot-on is so spot on the other being I want people to take away from your first story is that your water was slowly leaking and the week I cannot press on enough that as long as you continue to stay hydrated.

And continue to intake fluids that your baby will continue to make amniotic fluids mostly through P. Yeah, and you'll continue to leak fluid [00:16:00] and I want to see this because a lot of times when I'm in labor with moms or their or they experience something called prom the premature rupture of the membranes and that's kind of where your water.

You know brakes are ruptures and you're not really an active labor or any kind of Libra yet and sometimes mom's kind of fries and are like, oh I got to go to the doctor, you know, like right now and I'm like there is a big difference between like your water rupturing and like, you know liters of fluid coming out nothing and then a slow tear were Tate just tablespoons of you know, amniotic fluid are coming out when your baby's continuing to make it that way.

But one of the things they probably did with you was, you know, monitor your temperature very closely to make sure you weren't getting a fever. Or condition called chorioamnionitis and that's an infection of the placenta when the amniotic fluid is ruptured. So I'm assuming they [00:17:00] took your temperature at least probably annoyingly every yeah.

Every few hours, if not, you know every hour of tree or water actually monitored just because I was already in the hospital. Yes, but they were very casual about it really didn't bother them at all, but they had been ruptured. It was a pretty slow leak. It was mostly just uncomfortable for me. Yes.

So yeah. So you feel like as you were talking. I was just some really neat pearls right there that I really felt like we could teach with you mentioned to me when we were scheduling the center view that your second birth for you is very healing and we heard from you a minute ago that you're you know, Doula was only there for a few minutes but energized day.

One of the things that I think is really beautiful about our profession though is the relationship that we build with our moms and our partners prior to the labor beginning you were probably texting or talking or you know [00:18:00] sharing with your Doula for a while before you ever went into labor. So then when she walks in the room, I've experienced this many times when your Doula arrive.

Everyone kind of calms down the relationships there. So it sounds like that happened with you. Yeah, absolutely. Did they ever find a cause for the reason you went into preterm labor with your first daughter, you know a little bit. I don't think they could conclusively say this is exactly why but we sort of determined that I was under a lot of stress and I was extremely dehydrated.

When I went into the emergency room. You know telling them that I was having these weird twinges and I was bleeding. They the first thing they said to me was who are very very dehydrated and they wondered if that was what started the Contracting and the and eventually sort of kicked off labor. I had just moved from the Bay Area to Southern California and was under a lot of [00:19:00] stress and was living with my parents while we looked for a home and we felt we had plenty of time because I was only you know, six months pregnant.

So I think it was just sort of a combination and a perfect storm. There was no other real reason that they could find no infections. Nothing that really you know car doesn't run in my family. Okay, so there was no reason for you to go into preterm labor and let's talk about hydration for just a quick minute because one of the things I coach my clients on is to take their body weight in pounds cut it in half and then drink that many ounces of fluid.

Per day, so if there is a 200-pound mama, then you would want to drink at least a hundred ounces of fluids per day to stay hydrated. Yeah, and what we have Natalie was not doing that. Yeah, and as we gain weight to I think we forget to up our fluid. So like at two months along versus six or seven months along you need more fluid, [00:20:00] especially as you and the baby have gotten bigger.

This is a good reminder. Everyone. Yeah breathe in calmness and peace breathe out while drinking water exactly. So how does that pregnancy go? Are you once again calm or are you terrified you're going to go into labor at 30 weeks again? Like what does that pregnancy look like for you? So I'm actually extremely calm and it was very very planned.

My first pregnancy was you know sort of a surprise and I was a young mama and I decided that I wanted my kids to be kind of close together in age and I kind of got over controlling and planned it down to the tiniest details like I started tracking my ovulation and wanted to be pregnant so that I could give birth toward the winter time versus the summer because I didn't want to be nine months pregnant in the summertime.

So I really like. Just dove in [00:21:00] headfirst and started doing tons of research, but all the books and was just very yeah, very calm very prepared and really excited because I was able to give birth to my first in the hospital without any pain medication, but I knew it was sort of an intense sort of scenario, and I really wanted to have a different experience.

So I was really really excited about creating that different experience and all the possibilities that started opening up for me. And so I started seeking out things like a birth center and a doula and you know took really good care of myself nutritionally drink lots and lots of water and I don't think it ever really crossed my mind that I would have another preterm labor because I did know that there was no real reason for.

And I just found it all to be really exciting. Okay, so this is where as the Doula I interject. So like how does this partnership happen between you and a [00:22:00] duel because somewhere between your first delivery and your second delivery like either from you know, social media or Googling or talking to other mom like like how did you discover?

Doulas. Yeah, she reached out to me. So she was actually in training but she was a friend of a friend she was in my circle and she was training to become a doula and so she reached out and I had actually I'd read about doulas. I wanted one, but I couldn't really afford one. So it wasn't on the table for me at one point, but she reached out and said hey, I'm in training.

I need a certain amount of births and I'd love to attend your birth for free which is you know, the perfect scenario for someone who's tight on money. And open perfect like yeah. Yeah, great. You know, I'm I'm in if you're in yes, okay. So let's just sit with that for a minute, right? Because I've been a jeweler for 15 years.

I certainly charge to be a doula point. But yes for anyone listening who is [00:23:00] interested in a duel. And maybe your finances aren't you know allowing you to get what you deserve. I believe every woman deserves a doula by their side topic for another day on insurance companies and Medicaid, but for today, I want everyone to be encouraged that in your city.

There are doulas that are being trained. And it is required to have training Birds many of these women have already become moms and just like yourself Jasmine have already there already mom's they've already been through labor and delivery and something is called them into the Doula field and their training and they need some training.

Depending on your Market they are sliding scale anywhere from free to an expensive maybe a few hundred dollars up to possibly a thousand dollars depending on where you live, but it's up to each individual Doula maybe one charges a little bit because they have to pay [00:24:00] for childcare something and then another one can do it completely for free because all of.

You know the things in their life are settled and conducive to allowing that so let's just kind of put that out there for everyone. Thank you for reminding me that duel isn't raining or such a just unbelievable resource for our community so that anyone coming into the birth process and and looking for support even if money is an issue just still reach out to the community of doulas and usually will be able to find you someone that we can match you with for your.

Yeah, and it was really wonderful that she reached out to me because I don't think I would have asked otherwise because I felt like I couldn't afford it at all. So my goodness the universe knew that this is just what Jasmine needed. Yeah, so it was your decision to birth at a birth center or was that her prompting?

Actually, I wanted a home birth, but my husband was really nervous about that idea after that first [00:25:00] experience. He was a lot more nervous. About all the things, you know early labor in the whole thing than I was so I was able to compromise of him on a birth center. Okay. So yeah, so we decided and there was one birth center in town that took our insurance.

And so that's settled it did you do at or meet The Midwives we did we did a tour we met the midwives, but I was pretty much sold because I just really didn't want to be in the hospital again. Okay. I felt a lot of anxiety around just the the smell and the. Atmosphere the hospital and say I thought you know what?

I'm good with. Whatever. Yeah, but whatever. It looks like and it was wonderful. It was a real small space, but it was real sweet. Yes, and if you have a healthy low risk pregnancy and in your case where you had a previous trauma in a hospital, you know, I think that's absolutely beautiful choice that you made for your birth.

And so tell us about the day you went into labor. How did you [00:26:00] what were your first signs and symptoms and how did you know you're in labor?  Oh it was. Really wonderful. Actually, I remember my husband was working late and I went to lean over the kitchen counter when right after I put my daughter to sleep and my water broke and I got really excited because I've been there before and I was like, oh, yeah just felt like I peed myself perfect.

Like, this is awesome. Thought I'd have tons and tons of times when my husband got home from work late. He was chatting and talking and tell me about this really rough day. He'd had in probably like two hours later. I finally told him hey, you know several hours ago my water broke and he just completely flipped out if it what I look like which Call the Midwife you are really good Secret Keeper.

Brr. Yeah, but I'm really glad that we actually like I this is intuitive conversations here because I didn't know what your story was. So I'm really glad we just went through with our listeners [00:27:00] what prom because you experience prom premature rupture of an emergency your water broke you were in labor hung out for a couple hours before you even told your husband.

Yeah. Well, you know, and I knew that. It doesn't necessarily mean Labor's, you know in a minute. So I just kind of yeah, you know, no big deal and I was like, well, we'll see maybe in the next few days, but I went to bed that night and already like pretty early. I started I couldn't sleep through the contractions, but my first experience was I didn't really feel the contractions until after pitocin, but that first bird so these so really mild it really manageable and it was very much in the zone and just kind of loving it.

I got in the shower and was. Swaying and honestly just really enjoying the process of feeling my body open up and being able to do it at home and privately and then I started to get a little bit more vocal which I was still sort of enjoying and my husband started to get really nervous. I'm really worried because he was just [00:28:00] really just thinking this baby is about to be born at home.

And so he called my sister to come watch our daughter and he finally drove me to the birth center, but then I. Realized as we were in the car on the way to the birth center. I'm still thinking of plenty of time because the sensation is not extreme at this point, but then I had a moment where I thought oh, no, this is kind of hard.

I don't want to do this anymore. And then I thought oh bingo I think I just wanted to shit. Yeah, I mean and every single I don't I haven't heard a story yet of a natural childbirth or the mom doesn't have that moment. Like the I got like the oh shit moment like. When you go? Oh, no, no, no, I no.

No, I can't I can't do this. Oh and if you have enough insight to go man, I'm in transition AKA cervix is stretching from 7 to 10 centimeters is the baby descends. Yeah. Oh and I had [00:29:00] done enough reading and enough research at this point to now actually know this and so I was a little bit like, oh, maybe you were right.

Let's babies, you know coming pretty quickly and. We got to the birth center before the Midwife got there and it was supposed to be a water birth. She was going to set up a pool for us for the pool wasn't already set up and I kind of was sad because I realized I'm not going to get my water birth because the pool is gonna take some time and I could I started to feel like her head coming down and I started to put my feet up on the - thinking I was going to catch my baby, but I'm so very calm and relaxed at my husband is absolutely having a cow.

Like he's like no get your feet off the dash year going into the birth center. Like what are you doing? Look, it's okay honey. I got this. I watched YouTube videos. I know what to do because I was just I was really in it was really in my head and everything to me was like so lovely but when he tells the story it's like a horror story to hip.

He's like in then. [00:30:00] But the midwives finally did pull up and she wanted to check me and I told her no need I the baby's coming and she said no, let me check you in to the oh, yep. There's the head go ahead and lay down and you know, my Doula comes running through the door right after I laid down and it was just about three pushes and she was born so we weren't even there for long at all.

I don't know how long but it was not long. Did you have did you experience the like ejection reflex where you just had like that overwhelming urge? I always think it's like vomiting in the opposite direction. That's the only way I know how to describe it to people as like vomiting is like uncontrollable like-for-like up.

I'm like delivering a baby is uncontrollable down. So yeah, my wife is trying to slow me down. She. Trying to say like well don't push and Isaac. I don't feel like I'm pushing like the baby's just coming and and she was, you know slowing me down its let me down so that I wouldn't tear and I definitely felt it with both.

[00:31:00] Both of those Folks at first and second one for sure. Yeah, there was just nothing to be done baby was coming coming and it is good if you can slow down a little bit and just kind of breathe the baby out. Just kind of slowly stretch that perineum then wonderful Ausable for that. Yeah. I'm like it's possible to like reduce or avoid tearing in your case your became very fast to that work did or did you still have some tearing?

I had a little bit of what did they call him skid marks China member if that's how she worded it. But yeah, I actually didn't tear and the skid mark was for anyone listening is just a little thin tear on. Like they would call it like the left and the right side. So you have one like one on each labia.

Yeah, and not needing any stitches or anything. So it was a really wonderful healing. From that one. So your duel is there yeah, like she makes it in for the grand finale, which is amazing. And then did [00:32:00] she have I'd stay in and provide postpartum support for you. I kind of remembering back to that at the time.

I was really well-versed at Birth but I didn't do as much reading and education on postpartum. Which looking back now. I really wish I had because I kind of jumped right back into my life and my toddler. And I kind of told her no, it's fine. You know, I don't really need anything. I was on a high I felt so good after that birth.

I was so happy and proud of myself and then it wasn't until probably a month later. It all caught up to me. You know, we're suddenly I'm exhausted and I'm like, what am I doing? Like, why did I do? You know, I don't I take advantage of the downtime when I had it and that's when we they help I need a postpartum doula now, we're just review out few hours a day at least and so so sense that birth you went on to become.

A trained certified Doula and postpartum doula as well as a prenatal yoga instructor. What a beautiful Circle. Yeah. [00:33:00] Yeah. Well that is going to lead us Jasmine and to birth number three for you. Yeah, and I just oh I have so many questions about surrogacy and being a surrogate. All right, everybody.

I hope that you'll just roll right into episode 25 to hear. The rest of Jasmine's birth stories where she walks us through exactly what it was like to be a surrogate and then to be diagnosed with leukemia just a few months postpartum.

Thank you for listening to birth story. My goal is you will walk away from each episode with a clearer picture of how labor and delivery might go and that you will feel empowered by the end of your pregnancy to speak up plan and prepare for the birth. You want no matter what that looks like.


23 LIVE FROM SHEPODCASTS: Meet Kennedy Birth Story

Heidi Campbell

23 LIVE FROM SHE PODCASTS+Dear Kennedy Birth Story

[00:00:00] What does a contraction feel like how do I know if I'm in labor? And what does a day of Labor look like? Wait, is this normal? Hey, I'm Heidi Campbell a certified birth Doula host of this podcast birth story and owner of my Doula Heidi. I have supported hundreds of women through their labor and delivery.

And I believe that every one of them and you deserves a microphone and a stage. So here we are listen each week to get answers to these tough questions and more birth story where we talk about pregnancy labor deliveries where we tell our stories share our feelings and of course chat about our favorite baby products and motherhood.

And because I'm passionate about birth outcomes, you will hear from some of the top experts in labor and delivery whether you are pregnant trying desperately to get [00:01:00] pregnant. I hope you will stick around and be part of this tribe.  Hey everybody, it's Heidi with the birth story podcast and I am recording live meaning I'm not going to do any editing from she podcasts and if you've been following me for a while.

He maybe like some of the people that have been emailing me or tagging me on Instagram recently and are like Heidi what happened? You haven't put out an episode in over a month. And I wanted to jump on here live from she podcast a big podcasting convention and just like rip this Band-Aid right off because they feel like I've just been like hiding under the covers from my audience from all of you guys and I'm having like a lot of like shame and guilt about just being a busy mom.

So I want to tell you why you haven't heard. A ver story or an Uber story. Well, let's start with a couple of obvious things [00:02:00] that you may or may not have noticed when I launched this podcast on January 31st, and you'll still hear the beginning. It says hi. I'm Heidi Campbell and dang if I'm not Heidi Campbell anymore.

So I've had a big name change for now on it's just me, it's Heidi some of my best friends. Call me hide. Another thing is that at the very beginning of this podcast I said, hey, it's Heidi and I'm writing a book that's going to be out this summer, which was summer of 2019. Well, Wah wah wah, it's October of 2019.

And because I had never published a book before they didn't really understand exactly how hard it would be and how the timelines with editing and design and production can all get pushed back. So I just want to give a shout out to like the three to four [00:03:00] hundred people that have pre-ordered the birth story book.

And if right now you're like what Buck this is the first episode I've ever listened to well, welcome to the birth story podcast. I'm Heidi a certified word tool and I wrote a book called birth story with the director of obstetrics from Chapel Hill. Dr. John Thorpe and it's a 42 week guide to your pregnancy.

It's a journal. It's got affirmations in it beautiful birth stories to help you learn about how to advocate for yourself. And now I'm at the point where I'll just say it's coming soon. So the book is written. It's beautiful. I can't wait to get it in your hands, but I just not sure how long production takes the reason that you haven't heard from me though since the end of August and there's been a big gap is because the deadline came do for that book and so with my executive coach and my team [00:04:00] and all of my friends and family that were supporting me.

I had to make the very difficult decision to focus on two things. Number one myself and my family and number two finishing that book. And so that meant that the podcast didn't get much love and the month of September. So you just wanted to come on and say thank you to everyone who stuck with me in as following this journey and I really appreciate the emails and the tags on Instagram and Facebook because people you've.

And I don't think that there's any greater compliment on your podcast then being missed so live from Atlanta Georgia and the she podcast convention. I am going to read you a birthday. Story, it's not included in the book that it was one of my absolute favorite natural birth stories of this summer, and I wanted to tell you all about the [00:05:00] day dear Kennedy Louise was born and so this is a letter that I wrote to help her mom and her dad just remember a little bit about their birthing time.

So I hope you learned something and I hope you enjoy this story. Thanks for sticking with me. This is episode 23 dear Kennedy Louise your mom's labor symptoms started three days before you were born. On July 1st. She was having cramping that started early in the morning. She was experiencing a lot of pressure as you dropped lower and lower in her abdomen the cramping felt like she might have just had to pass gas or go to the bathroom.

At least that's what she told me and this continued for the next two days. On July third she woke up, and she was just doing her new normal routine. She went to work was having some small [00:06:00] contractions. She told me they were super inconsistent and not too painful. This went on all day at work at 4:15 p.m.

She texted me. Hey Heidi, the contractions have progressed a little I advised her to just ignore him that time would tell early labor. If it was just some more of that practice. She had laid down to start timing the sensations that she was feeling. She sent me some pictures of her contraction Timer app and they were sporadic but lasting for about a minute or more and coming every 11 to 19 minutes.

Within an hour, they were consistently 7 to 10 minutes apart. She let me know. She was resting drinking water and tracking them and at 6:30 p.m. I asked her what her pain level was at a 10.  She said a 6. I called [00:07:00] her. She had planned for a natural childbirth. And I told your mom that we were going to have to reframe her Pain Scale.

It was obvious when I talked to her that she was in labor that she was in vain but a natural childbirth. I let her know that this was probably more like a one or two out of a 10 she was able to reframe. And at 10:30 she called me back to let me know that her water broke. She agreed to keep resting and to just call me when she felt like she needed active management of her contractions.

That happened very quickly at 11:09 p.m. Your dad texted me and said that your mom asked if I could come over right now. I raced over and at 11:40 I arrived and I found your mom laying in a bed with your cute dog, Hampton. Your dad was amazing and he was unloading everything from my car [00:08:00] one piece at a time.

I had your mom in side-lying position and I would push on her hips when the contractions started. She was breathing through them and handling them fine. She was still a bit chatty and not fully in the labor Zone yet. So we just had some essential oils diffusing spa music playing and she rested taking each contraction one at a time.

Soon she had to use the bathroom. So I decided to help her along in the process with some squats your mom labored on the toilet for a while and then moved to the birthing ball and she would squat on the floor when the contractions would search her. Next birthing spot was right into your Nursery. We laid a towel down as amniotic fluid and bloody show continued to emerge.

She was on her hands and knees and she would lay down over the peanut ball and rest in between around 1 [00:09:00] a.m. Your mom was back to the toilet and laboring there. She had started to make some of those Primal opening sounds like and what during each contraction. While she labored she had a contraction that surprised all of us.

She started moaning a deep guttural moan. She also started to get the labor shakes. I asked. Are you ready to go to the hospital? And she said yes. So we drove and met at the front entrance. There was no parking and your dad just left the car right there flashers on when we got to the hospital your mom's leave or slowed down a lot all of the bright lights the chatting the asking her questions checking in just made her aware of her surroundings, and it took her out of the labor Zone that she was in in the comfort of your dark home.

[00:10:00] I squeezed her hips as we walk down the hallway towards check in each time. She would fall into a deep Squat and eventually we made it to triage. At this particular hospital, they don't let the doulas in so your mom and dad went to triage and your dad texted me to let me know that your mom was doing okay.

She was three centimeters dilated 80% effaced. You were very low at a zero station and they confirmed that her water was ruptured. Your mom was given the most amazing. She was a cheerleader for your mom the entire time and helped guide her all the way through and natural childbirth after 40 long minutes in triage.

Your parents were led to their birthing Suite the doctor on call Cayman, but we only saw him once.  They left your mom alone, and they let the nurse control all of the medical aspects of birthing [00:11:00] you. At 2:30 in the morning your mom climbed into the bathtub the aqua Durrell. She loved it. She turned on the whirlpool Jets.

She said that the labor was getting really hard, but that she was doing okay. She said the pressure and the sounds from the whirlpool really helping her and your dad Sat by her side and comforted her through each contraction. About the same time all of your extended family arrived your aunt. Both your grandmother's they all came in and sat on the couch watching quietly as your mom labored.

I set up the room with twinkly lights and candles and diffused essential oils. I made ice-cold lavender cloths. I played the track by Steven Halpern inner peace to help your mom more deeply. She was so cold. However that when I put those lavender ice cloths [00:12:00] they were unwanted. She just wanted to be in a really big extra-large sweatshirt at 3:00 a.m.

Your mom started to feel like she needed to throw up the waves of nausea would Peak with the contraction and then subside when it faded away. We encouraged her to not fight the way. I asked the nurse for some smelling salts and she handed me alcohol wipes your mom really enjoyed the alcohol wipes and said it helped tremendously with the nausea at 3:30 a.m.

Your mom was out of the tub. And she was hanging by my rebozo and doing squats. She would lay back into your dad's chest and arms and between the contraction. Then she would sit up on the birthing ball as she felt the contraction coming. She would push it away and fall into a deep squat hanging from the rebozo your dad and I traded off squeezing her hips through each contraction.

The [00:13:00] nurse was monitoring you for your commands contractions to see what your heart rate was doing. She did this about once an hour for about 10 to 15 minutes. When it was time for the next check, your mom was on our hands and knees laying over the peanut ball. This was the very first time she said I cannot do this anymore.

Your dad said a prayer and this is when contraction spaced out to 10 minutes apart that lasted about 30 minutes when they returned they were now longer stronger and closer together two minutes long. Coming every three minutes just 1 minute break in between. At 4:10 a.m. The nurse checked your mom cervix, and she was five centimeters dilated a hundred percent effaced and a plus one station.

Your mom was [00:14:00] acting like she was in transition much more than those numbers suggested but your plus one station. Let us know that you were coming soon. This labor was not going to last much longer. Your mom climbed back out of the bed and did many more squats with me. She worked with curling around you and pushing your head deep onto her cervix to help it melt away in order to birth you.

This was some of the hardest work of her entire labor by 5:45 a.m. She was seven centimeters dilated and a plus-2 station. She was pushing at the peak of each contraction and we reminded her that her body would not tell her to hurt itself if she had the urge to Bear down and push the dilation didn't matter.

But your mom was done. She was deep in transition and she was ready for pain relief your head [00:15:00] was coming through her pelvis and the sensations were overwhelming. So I asked everyone to leave the room including myself to give your mom and your dad some space with her medical provider if she was wanting a medical intervention.

Then she needed to be alone with your dad and her nurse only to privately navigate the end of your labor the nurse hung IV fluids and let anesthesia know that they could come after she was given enough typically two bags are needed your dad and her nurse labored with her as she came to peace with her decision and patiently awaited for anesthesia.

At 6:15 a.m. Your dad came to get me when I came back into the room. Your mom was in the bed IV fluids were going she was on her hands and knees and she was bearing down naturally with each [00:16:00] contraction. Your heart rate was decelerate incur healthy deceleration. Letting us know you were so very low.

I asked her mom to just go with the sensation and to just start pushing. I reminded her that pushing feels so much better than labor and as she waited for the epidural that was never coming it helped her. The nurse checked her cervix. She was complete 10 centimeters. You were a plus-2 station and almost delivered.

So it's 6:30 a.m. Your mom started to push on the very first push. I could see the top of your head and your hair. All of your family came piling back in the room and your mom powerfully pushed. She immediately said that pushing felt so much better. She had an amazing surge of renewed strength in between [00:17:00] contractions.

She would breathe oxygen to help you with your naturally occurring heart deceleration, 's on each push your mom pushed you down further and further. Everyone can see you and everyone was cheering your parents left your sex as a surprise. And as you emerged at 7:10 a.m. Your Dad announced that your name was Kennedy Louise after the cord stopped pulsating and your dad cut your cord.

They gave your mom pitocin to help her uterus to contract and to Aid in the delivery of your placenta. Your mom is strong. She is faithful. She was body LED Kennedy your mom birthed you naturally with strength and vigor. She is an amazing woman who is surrounded by love and support of your dad and family the entire time much love your Doula [00:18:00] Heidi.

So thanks everybody for just joining me for this. Quick little episode. Sorry, I've been gone for so long. But one of the teaching moments I want to leave you from Kennedy. Louisa story is that station is so much more important than cervical dilation in which we get hung up on so you can look back on this story.

And remember that this mom was acting like she was in transition. She was a little pushy she was getting to that transition. I cannot do this anymore. And that was just about an hour and a half before delivery. So she went from 5 centimeters to 10 centimeters dilated and less than one hour. She was deeply in transition.

She believed that she needed the epidural to get through the end. But really by the time she was ready to just throw the towel in and give up [00:19:00] it was time to birth her, baby. So I encourage anyone who's listening is pregnant to really focus on the fact that there are three numbers you are going to learn about your cervical dilation.

You are going to hear about effacement or how thin your cervix is. You're going to learn about the station where your baby's head is high low any positive numbers mean your baby is coming soon. So you can get those IV fluids going and get ready for your epidural or your team could help to encourage to get you through transition and just push your baby out.

Whatever you want for your body is always the right answer. So I really look forward to getting back on track with some of the traditional birth story interview episodes. I have recorded 15 new episodes while I [00:20:00] was on this little Hiatus finishing the book and I can't wait to share them with you. So you're going to hear from Lily Nichols.

Who is the author of real food for pregnancy? Then you're going to hear from Michelle Smith All About hypnotherapy. I interviewed Emily Graham from the documentary. These are my hours a midwife who wrote the most amazing documentary that you can find on Vimeo about undisturbed birth Leanne Barnaby.

Great birth center Story coming to you out of Canada. I also recorded another daddy boot camp. And in this one it went three hours long is a two-part series and yeah the men tell all. I have a really special one coming up to its the meet Jasmine episode and she talks about having a birth in a hospital having a birth in a birth center [00:21:00] having a home birth being a surrogate and then getting diagnosed with leukemia and how to become the match.

There are so many more, but I just am really excited about the episodes that I've recorded. So that's the lineup and the interim please tag me in your birth stories at Birth story podcast on Instagram, make sure to write a review and listen for your review to be talked about on the next birth story podcast.

So thank you everyone for being loyal followers, and I hope you enjoyed today's episode.

Thank you for listening to birth story. My goal is you will walk away from each episode with a clearer picture of how labor and delivery might go and that you will feel empowered by the end of your pregnancy to speak up plan and prepare for the birth. [00:22:00] You want no matter what that looks like.




Episode 22: Freebie Alert! Natural Induction Methods

Heidi Campbell

22 Natural Induction Methods-Pro Tips From Doula Heidi For Your Birth Story

[00:00:00] What does a contraction feel like how do I know if I'm in labor? And what does a day of Labor look like? Wait, is this normal? Hey, I'm Heidi a certified birth Doula host of this podcast birth story and owner of my Doula Heidi. I have supported hundreds of women through their labor and delivery.

And I believe that every one of them and you deserves a microphone and a stage. So here we are listen each week to get answers to these tough questions and more birth story where we talk about pregnancy labor deliveries where we tell our stories share our feelings and of course chat about our favorite baby products and motherhood.

And because I'm passionate about birth outcomes, you will hear from some of the top experts in labor and delivery whether you are pregnant [00:01:00] trying desperately to get pregnant. I hope you will stick around and be part of this tribe. Today, I'm doing something a little bit different. I have had so many inquiries on how to naturally induce labor.

Not only from like Instagram in my Facebook and my dual accounts, but pretty much with all of my dual clients and as they come through the rotation of getting to about 36 37 38 weeks. Everyone starts getting antsy to meet their babies. Another thing that's happening is that if they haven't had a baby by about 39 weeks.

It seems that a lot of people are starting to have a conversation. So early on about induction providers may say something like well if you haven't had the baby by. Blank, then we are going to go ahead and schedule your induction. So today I wanted to walk you through how to naturally [00:02:00] induce labor when like air quotes you are past your guest date.

Okay. So this one is a little bit usually just free top and some of this is scripted because they wanted to make sure that it didn't forget to tell you anything really important. So if it seems like I'm talking a little bit less naturally than that's why you wake up and your 38 weeks pregnant and you think you are nearing your due date, but this is really better known as your guests date.

You know, your baby could actually come at any time. I don't want to downplay this at all my last couple of clients delivered at 33 weeks 35 weeks 37 weeks and then the last two at over 41 weeks. Yes. It is a big range. It's a big guess your baby could actually come today. But if you are counting down the days to your baby's arrival because you're so excited to meet him or her [00:03:00] and you just.

I can't be pregnant any longer just keep listening. So the average gestation for a first-time mom healthy without interventions is 41 weeks and one day your due date of 40 weeks is a week in a day early and it's also arbitrarily based on the day of your last period. If you even know that at all and it is a one size fits all model.

So some of us ovulate on day 6 some of us obviously late on day 21, sometimes the sperm and the Egg meat quickly. Sometimes the sperm is waiting around for days for our sweet little egg. You really can't guess based on when you had sex even when my clients do IVF. This one astounds me fertility astounds me like, you know, your transfer date and they still go off the date of your last period so if [00:04:00] you've hit the 39-week mark.

You go in and your healthcare provider starts whispering to you about induction, maybe even thirty eight weeks. Just take a deep breath. And remember that the first unnatural thing about your pregnancy is that you were given a due date. It's a guess. It's a moving Target. Your baby will come when he or she is ready.

And in fact only five percent of babies are born on there, dude. Despite the fact that I am about to offer up a whole guide to Natural induction methods. I want you to be patient before anything else. I also want to let you know that everything. I'm going to review on this podcast today is going to be available for free for download.

On my website birth I definitely want you to sign up for this guide put your pin and paper down. If you're driving. Don't worry about it. You can later go to birth [00:05:00] and you can sign up to download this free guide. It is so important to me that you have this guide because it seems to be the number one thing that people are asking about right now.

So just be patient feel those kicks sit down and enjoy these last moments of being with your baby. It is about to be over and I promise you you will actually be a little bit sad when. Your pregnancy ends and that cord is cut. I know it's really hard to believe that right. Now as you're like rubbing your aching back and your propping your swollen feet up and you are you're done you are done being pregnant.

I get it. If you have been listening to this podcast, then you have heard that I just needed until forty three weeks. I know exactly what it's like to be done being pregnant as your virtual Doula. I want you to [00:06:00] relax but if they're planning your induction and it's the best thing for you and your baby and your Healthcare Providers have discussed it then.

You know, I don't really see a reason to not try a lot of these natural induction methods or if it just seems like things just aren't getting going. I'm not going to offer anything that has not been proven to be safe for you and your baby many of these things are just traditions and old midwives tales that we pass down.

Some of them have clinical research behind them. Some of them are anecdotal please bear in mind. I am not a doctor. I am not a midwife. I am not a healthcare provider. I have been a doula at the time of this recording for 15 years, and I'm going off of my experience and my research and my training.

So I have personally done every single method that I am recommending. So the number one [00:07:00] thing that I learned is start early in the morning because no one wants to jump start labor at night. Your natural labor is likely going to kick in at night. So we want to do some things to prime it during the day when you have energy put your pens down.

This is going to be a downloadable free guide on burst or Number one make labor oil. So what is Libra oil it's a half a bottle of almond oil a half a bottle of castor oil and 10 to 20 drops of Clary Sage 10 to 20 drops of lavender essential oil. So you're going to shake that up and then you'll just came to put a few drops over your belly and rub it.

Into your belly, you'll wrap your belly with Saran Wrap and then you can add a heating pad on low heat for about 15 minutes. Now. This recipe is compliments of my Doula Mentor Molly Patterson in Eugene, Oregon. I could just say raise your hand if you [00:08:00] use the labor oil effectively and hundreds of hands are going to go up.

So the labor oil is I feels good. It's very relaxing. It smells. Delicious and I believe it works number two nipple stimulation. So you want to hook up your breast pump or. Get intimate with your partner. So about 15 minutes at a time several times a day. Also, this is key. If you want to use the labor oil at the same time, so you can do that set up with rubbing the labor oil on wrapping your belly in Saran Wrap putting that low heating pad on and then either hooking up the breast pump for a nipple stimulation and of course put the bottles in because if you have any colostrum or milk that comes in you want to catch it.

Put it in your fridge save it for your baby. So the next thing that I did and I recommend is black and blue cohosh homeopathics. I bought them on Amazon, but you could buy them at your local natural food store. I know that they have them at Whole Foods and some of our local [00:09:00] markets take them as directed the ones that I ordered it was three to five pellets every few hours under the tongue.

It is going to depend on what you buy from. Your store or Amazon so read the directions do it that way but black and blue cohosh are often used together throughout labor. So blue cohosh is a plant. This is where this podcast gets really funny because I'm not an herbalist, but color phylum the illicit or ladies.

I mean, I just hope everyone's laughing. I have no idea but blue cohosh is a plant black cohosh is equally painful to try to pronounce but black cohosh is also a plant historically these herbs were used by Native Americans as a uterine tonic. And for various kind of logical support, like reducing hot flashes and night sweats, but in labor, these herbs can be a powerful uterine stimulant.

They come in homeopathic tablets. You can also get them as tinctures or [00:10:00] capsules. The next thing I highly recommend to all of my clients is to have sex with orgasm and ejaculation. Because I'm specifically talking about semen. Don't worry. I work with plenty of Mama's that are both single and that are in same-sex marriages.

And so number four on my guide is going to talk about 2 parts will talk about orgasm which applies to everyone but the ejaculation piece I'm specifically talking about the effects of semen, so, The semen will soften the cervix and ripen the cervix because we do know that there are prostaglandins in semen.

We do know that we use prostaglandins like site attack or cervidil to induce labor. So semen seems to have the ability to soften and rapin the cervix when you have sex with ejaculation. So this is really important so like that the semen is a very critical part. [00:11:00] I hope there's not a lot of. Little ears listening because I definitely make this podcast explicit but if you are uncomfortable and sexy super uncomfortable than I sometimes say if they could finish, you know, you could do something else but then finish because what you're looking for is the touch and then the semen to so also.

Orgasm will release loads of natural oxytocin which can stimulate those uterine contractions if you're single or your partner is out of town or whatever masturbation. Is a great way to achieve orgasm for that release of natural oxytocin when you are just snuggling and holding and touching your partner.

You're also releasing that natural oxytocin. So everything about like sex touch. Orgasm and ejaculation have some benefits for helping to soften and [00:12:00] rapin that cervix. One of the things I want to remind you about that. I end up having conversations with all of my Doula clients is that your cervix is hyper irritable and there's lots of capillaries and so penetration can irritate your cervix and also burst open those capillaries.

So it is possible that you may spot after you have. Sex it's very important to notice the difference between like spotting and bleeding. If you are just spotting a little bit after sex, it's likely that your cervix is just a little hyper irritable. It also may be because it's softening and opening and those capillaries are bursting open.

I do not recommend having sex after your membranes or your amniotic sac has ruptured because of the risk of infection specifically talking about this topic if you are interested in more evidence base, Research I am a huge fan of evidence-based birth. [00:13:00] You can go to evidence-based birth and I'll link to it in the show notes.

Now. We're going to take a short break to just share a few things with you and we'll be right back. Hey everybody. Thanks for listening. I've got a really cool opportunity for you to hear your name on the birth story podcast and that is by writing a review. So I was hoping that you might push pause right now scroll down on your podcast app hit a five-star and then click the write a review just a few sentences can mean everything.

So let's listen to a couple. The first review comes from Chelsea 0 0 1 0 I am 17 years old and I really love this podcast being black American it often feels like there are certain things that we just aren't going to have and one of those things aren't easy birth. Making an episode about it was something I would have never expected and I loved it so much.

[00:14:00] I'm not looking to have a baby any time soon. But I love children. This podcast is very informative and it helps take away any fears and misconceptions that a curious teen may have about birth. It is good to be informed and this is a great way to feel a part of the conversation. Instead of just reading random articles online Chelsea.

Thank you so much. They also got one from Anna Sheree. Thank you so much Heidi for taking the time and effort to enter view these sweet women and discuss so many different topics in The Birth Community. I am a young student midwife. And I've really enjoyed learning through your passion to equip women with knowledge about the way God made their bodies.

It is made me so excited to be part of supporting women because of the care you take in Flushing out all the kinds of fears and misunderstandings [00:15:00] around the joy of birth and motherhood. That is awesome. And asuri, thank you so much. And I also wanted to shout out to RCF. Hmm. She covers a variety of topics pertaining to birth and is entertaining.

I always learned something new. Well RCF. Hmm. I always learn something from these women sharing their stories to thank you for leaving a review. And on next week's episode. You might hear your own name if you take just a quick minute to write me a review. Hey guys, if you're enjoying this podcast then I need your help to spread the word if you know anyone who is pregnant is trying to become pregnant or just loves a good verse story if you could send them to iTunes or Stitcher.

Or Spotify or SoundCloud wherever they listen to their podcast and ask them to subscribe to the birth [00:16:00] story podcast. The number five getting a prenatal massage all of my clients are sent for an induction massage at the end of their pregnancies. I want to spoil them the oxytocin from that touch can really jump start uterine contractions.

It's just much needed relaxation and softening of the muscle tension number six is chiropractic adjustment. Do it I believe in it. This is a critical factor in achieving your best birthing experience. It opens up your pelvis. It helps make every sure everything is in alignment and it promotes an easier and faster labor.

Your chiropractor really helps balance the pelvis it just really there's a lot of unnecessary tension in your ligaments and muscles when you're pregnant even just from sleeping and weird positions and it just kind of like Lynn's that helping hand to [00:17:00] get the baby in a proper birthing position. So when your baby is in a better position in your body is in a better alignment and position your ability to give birth naturally.

Is increased. Number 7 on my list is acupuncture the data shows that there's no adverse effects to Mama baby acupuncture is amazing and I went religiously to this amazing woman named Kristin acupuncture is part of Eastern medicine. It really just Target certain points on the body that will naturally prepare it for labor.

Including prostaglandins, which again we talked about soften that cervix and oxytocin that trigger the contraction. So when you have the natural release of these hormones labor can gradually onset and can typically lead to a smoother less painful delivery. I'll just give you a quick overview [00:18:00] of what it looks like.

I mean you go in and there's like, you know zen music and like waterfall and twinkly lights, but it's these very thin needles that penetrate the skin and in Chinese medicine it this acupuncture is linked to the belief that the disruption of Labor or even diseases things are caused when the flow of energy in the body.

Is Disturbed so acupuncture will stimulate those points on or under the skin called acupuncture points or acupressure points to try to release this key when I was experiencing acupuncture to try to induce labor. I felt like. I was getting a massage even though no one was touching me after the needles were in the baby became very very active.

It was really really cool. And I just remember that she liked was taking my pulse on my left and my right and I just remember her saying like your [00:19:00] body's not ready and it wasn't so. Number 8 on my list is walking and specifically the miles circuit. So have you ever heard of it? So the mile circuit was developed by to duel has to help position your baby in the ideal Loa position, which is left occiput anterior.

And that is like basically where your baby is head down kind of facing down on the left side. This is the ideal laboring and birthing position. It is a labor set that is exceptionally powerful to help regulate or speed up an erratic or slow labor. You can go to mile to learn how to use the mile circuit during your birthing just a quick reminder.

Again. This entire guide is free downloadable at Birth  Number 9 on my list is inserting evening primrose vaginally. You can even start doing this around like most of my clients probably start around 36 weeks. You [00:20:00] might be able to warp your arm around your belly and shove it up their yourself if you are single you can get creative, but if you are partnered then I would have your partner.

Insert the evening primrose for you as close to your cervix as possible with freshly washed hands. So do this right before you go to bed just so it doesn't leak out right away when you get up to go to the bathroom and you're going bathroom like 10 times the middle of the night. So when you get up to go the bathroom you are going to see little drops and the toilet that look like oil.

This is the evening primrose oil. It has nothing to do with bodily fluids. Like no bodily fluids coming out of you for labor and delivery look like olive oil and the toilet right? So evening primrose oil if you've never seen it looks. You know, you put olive oil in the toilet evening primrose oil EPO is another term for it.

It's a rich source of essential fatty [00:21:00] acids, especially GLA and that functions as a precursor for prostaglandin synthesis. So again, we talked about the effectiveness of prostaglandins ripening and softening the cervix. Number 10. I'm sure you've heard it all foods eat spicy foods dates eggplant cantaloupe.

These are all like, you know again traditionally old midwives tales that we talked about like stimulating the GI tract. Getting everything going vibrations in the colon that could lead to vibrations in the uterus also help to look kind of clean you out before you have a baby. So eat some spicy foods dates eggplant cantaloupe some people talk about pineapple to power and food though.

Number 11 see a reflexologist. And so this is very similar to acupuncture we talked about there's [00:22:00] acupuncture and acupressure points acupressure to me is a little bit more painful than the peaceful acupuncture but it is effective fair warning. It's not like you go in for acupressure. And it doesn't it doesn't hurt.

I went to an acupressure asked and oh, yeah the tool he didn't speak English just Chinese and he had a tool and he just kept saying it hurt it hurt it hurt and I was like, oh it does hurt, but it. Produced very strong uterine contractions. I will say within about 30 minutes. So it involves physically applying pressure to point running along your body's Meridian system many people believe that acupressure can induce labor because many pressure points increase the blood flow to the uterus and then they stimulate the contractions and then they can influence your [00:23:00] hormones number 12 is red raspberry leaf tea.

And its nickname is a uterine tonic. So again, it's found to be safe for mom and baby to drink and pregnancy. It's the leaf from the red raspberry bush. And it can be you can serve it hot or iced. You can steep it for 1 to 4 hours when I was using red raspberry leaf tea, I would put it in mason jars at night with like two to four bags and then I would let it steep overnight now a drink it as a cold brew most of the moms that I work with start it around 36 weeks if not sooner with maybe just like one drink but I mean it's kind of a joke in our little.

Birthing group because most of the moms are drinking it kind of like all day long at the end, but at least like three to four times a day, but again Studies have shown no negative effects from Mom and baby and then traditionally this is thought to we do this because it's thought to Prime that uterus.

[00:24:00] Okay, we are on the very last recommended technique and that is castor oil last resort Last Resort fair warning. So castor oil. Oh, gosh, how does it work? It stimulates the ep-3 receptors that are found in your uterus. And those cause the smooth muscle fibers to contract. So again the overriding theme with all of these things are position of your baby, uterine contractions, softening and raping of the cervix.

So this is one castor oil that's thought to cause those uterine contractions castor oil is you like this is used at the very end. It's not recommended Before 40 weeks is when like you and your provider either you're out of patience. Or your providers like, you know, I really am thinking that an induction might be the best thing and there's a lot of different every let [00:25:00] me say this every single provider seems to have a different set of rules and regulations for induction.

The arrived trial points to inductions at 39 weeks for first-time healthy mums. You can Google that arrive trial. But a cog. The American College of Gynecology and obstetrics doesn't really have a lot of pure indications like as an example macrosomia, which is Big Baby. It's not really it's not an indication for an induction, but just because it's not like indicated doesn't mean it.

It might still be recommended if that makes sense. So at the end of your pregnancy, you get to 40 weeks. They're going to do some non-stress test where they just monitored to see if you're having any contractions and then your baby's movements and heart rate. And if everything looks good. Usually your provider will allow you to keep being pregnant for up to 42 weeks.

I've had many [00:26:00] clients that have it's had such beautiful deliveries at 41 41 and a half 42 weeks gestation. So anyway, Last Resort. Castor oil got it. I'm doing a lot of talking on purpose because I want you to understand that this is okay end of the road and this is why Flippin not right you're about to go in for your induction.

It's scheduled. It's 48 hours from now. You aren't in labor yet. Maybe your cervix is right. But like they told you you're 50 or 60 or 70 percent effaced and maybe you're one or two centimeters dilated, but you're just. Not in labor yet and let's face it you're done being pregnant. So if this is the case the data shows that people have taken 1/4 cup, which is about 60 MLS of castor oil.

And you can take it in like a milkshake or a smoothie yogurt orange juice. It really doesn't [00:27:00] have a great taste. So definitely mix it with something delicious and then get it down as quickly as possible. Please only do this one time. I did it two times. That was an idea. I think I did it two times so I could teach all of you.

It was a mistake. So just do it one time. Most likely you will not have any GI upset, but you can cause some pretty good diarrhea. You should consistently contract even if you don't go into labor important things about castor oil it is not recommended Before 40 weeks. And it's not recommended if you've had a previous uterine surgery like a cesarean.

So if you're going for like a vbac then ignore this this one if you've had like fibroids or you know, any kind of uterine surgery where they're scarring. Then erase this from your mind this castor oil is a first-time healthy mom or a third time healthy mom, whatever. It is multi-purpose. Mom that has not had a previous uterine surgery got it mix it [00:28:00] with something and even though it was study data for the cup and 60 ml zai.

I still like think that's kind of a lot maybe start with an eighth of a cup and see how your body tolerates it and then you can you know do the other eighth of a cup the other things that I really believe in and that I coach my clients on at the end to have patience and relaxation are drinking. A glass of wine and buy a glass of wine.

I mean like four ounces. So just something to relax you getting into the bathtub and relaxing at night with hip. No anesthesia from hypnobirthing. My favorite is Melissa spills dead surge of the sea and when I was hypnobirthing my babies, she just covered me in Hip no anesthesia very easily. If you are scheduled for an induction it is okay.

I am the first one to tell you that I elected like raised my hand [00:29:00] for an induction with my second baby and I achieved a wonderful all natural childbirth with just a little bit of pitocin. I have been with many moms that I've had such a beautiful birds with an induction. Be afraid of it if it is happening right in the safest thing for you and your baby is an induction then I want to give you all of the peace and power that it is and can be a still a beautiful experience.

So thank you guys for joining me today from this variation from birth stories to talk about natural induction methods and everything that I discussed today is available for you. I made it for you. I put it together for you because I want to help you and Empower you I want you to be at peace and I want you to have tools that are safe for you and your [00:30:00] baby that are natural.

I have this entire guide to Natural induction method for you for free. I can't wait to put it in your hands. I hope you have a beautiful and wonderful birth and when you do right into me at hello at Birth so that we might be able to share it on the podcast.

Thank you for listening to birth story. My goal is you will walk away from each episode with a clearer picture of how labor and delivery might go and that you will feel empowered by the end of your pregnancy to speak up plan and prepare for the birth. You want no matter what that looks like.


21 Meet Rachelle: The How To On International Adoption-Uganda Edition

Heidi Campbell


This episode gives me all the feels. Two years ago, I traveled to Uganda with Rachelle as her adoption doula (yes that is a thing). She and her husband Pete were already 1.5 years into the adoption. The Ugandan government changed the adoption laws weeks before they were to come home with their son.

The next 2 years were some of the most difficult of their lives. They traveled back and forth to Uganda-one at a time-spending weeks with their son while leaving their other two toddlers behind. On my trip with Rachelle, I was able to be witness to the process of watching their daughter come to them. She was there all along, in every photo, next to their son's side. But because of the law changes and the long process, on that trip, they decided to also bring Priscilla home. 

On a teacher and social worker's salary they were able to save and fundraise the almost $90,000USD it took to adopt these two gorgeous spunky babes. 

In this episode, we walk you through the steps to take and that are required for international adoption. We will inspire you not to worry about the costs and the money will come. God is so good. Rachelle,  details exactly how difficult the road was, but how worth it all was when her family of 6 was reunited at the airport on adoption day 2018. 

For more information on Kidron Valley Orphanage or donating to their non-profit JoPri please follow @jopriuganda or visit:

And, if you missed Landon Donovan's epic goal in the 2010 World Cup-you can relive it here:

20 Meet Erin: PCOS Mom All Natural Childbirth

Heidi Campbell


On this episode, we discuss Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome

Erin struggled from the time she started her period at 11 years old. However, she was not diagnosed with PCOS until college. 

The first half of the episode is her PCOS journey. The second half of the episode is her birth story. 

She was induced via water rupture at 42 weeks gestation. Her Doula helped her achieve a natural childbirth with tools like a rolling pin to help with back labor when her daughter was OP (occiput posterior) aka sunny side up. She dilated to 4 cm with a ripe cervix before labor began. The midwife broke her water at 5:30 pm. She was dilated to 9.5 cm with a cervical lip by 10 pm. She pushed for 38 minutes and her daughter was born at 2:48 am. 

Erin's favorite baby product which helps catch milk on the side you are not nursing on is called the Haaka Milk Catcher found HERE

Thank you to our sponsor Little Nest Portraits. Don't forget to mention Birth Story Podcast for $50 off or use code Birth Story when booking online. Link HERE if you are in the Charlotte, NC area. 

She also loved her doula, Helen, from Aussie Doula




19 Meet A Maternity Concierge: Best Upon Request

Heidi Campbell


This week we take a break from birth stories to introduce Best Upon Request maternity concierge. Part of this week is celebrating companies that are making huge strides in appropriate parental leave. I want to celebrate Lilly, 5th Third Bank, TIAA, Stitch Fix, Bank of America, Spotify, EY, Deloitte, Netflix, Dell, Adobe, Reddit, Snap,, Etsy, Microsoft, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. These are just some companies leading the way for better benefits for parents. So, a big thank you to all of these companies!

Please share this episode with anyone that you know in HR that might want to add maternity concierge services. 

Click HERE to learn more about Best Upon Request.

Jessamyn and Jessica walk us through what a maternity concierge is and why every single company should have one!

Their favorite baby products to use and recommend include:

1. The Moby wrap

2. Lille Baby Wrap

2. Baby Brezza

Thank you to our sponsor Little Nest Portraits. Don't forget to mention Birth Story Podcast for $50 off or use code Birth Story when booking online. Link HERE if you are in the Charlotte, NC area. 

18 Meet Gail: She delivered Micro-preemies at 26 weeks after a long fertility journey

Heidi Campbell

Her pregnancy ended at 26 weeks.

She was diagnosed with Hashimoto Thyroiditis Disease after 15 months of trying to get pregnant unsuccessfully. She did 1 round of clomed and conceived fraternal twins a few days of part in conception. She didn't share her fertility journey because she felt ashamed. This was 10 years ago. At 24 weeks along, she started experiencing back pain that grew in intensity over two week along with extreme swelling. She wants to tell you to be on top of how you feel, that how you feel matters and to not down play it to the doctor. She said, "Whatever fears you have ask questions."

She tells us her birth story of delivering 1 lb 12 oz and 2 lb 1 oz twins at 26 weeks at the closest hospital she could drive to. 

Her favorite baby products are linked below:

1. The Giraffe Blanky

2. The Baby Briefcase

17 Meet Carrie & Her Birth Story. C-Section After A Two Day Induction & Exclusive Pumping

Heidi Campbell

Carrie never went into labor and delivered at 42 weeks 3 days via C-section. Her birth plan was to have a baby and her breast nursing plan was to feed her baby. After a two day induction with a failed epidural and an OP Baby, she was ready to meet her baby. She opted for a C-section rather than continuing on at the suggestion of her OBGYN. She attempted nursing and found out her breast tissue had never fully developed in puberty. Powered with choices, she pumped for 10 months and supplemented with formula. On her second, she scheduled a planned C-section. Carrie is giggly and happy and is a true testament to going with the flow, being open and loving your birth story and motherhood journey. 

She wants you to know about (click the links):

1. The Double Hip Squeeze

2. The Peanut Ball

3. This Hands Free Pumping Bra

4. The Medela Symphony Pump for Exclusive Pumping

5. The Nose Frieda




16: Meet Sarah & Her Mama Rachel

Heidi Campbell


Happy Mother's Day 2019! In this episode, I interview my first mother daughter combo and their eerily similar birth stories. Rachel talks about her pregnancy, labor, and birthing 30 years ago on her bathroom floor after just 2.5 hours of total labor. She tied the umbilical cord with her husband's sweatpant cord. This episode will have you giggling non-stop and will empower you for your birth. It is packed full of teaching by me, Heidi, an experienced Doula of 14 years.

Sarah talks about her first birth and delivering just 3.5 hours after feeling her first contraction. She wants every mom to know about the Miles Circuit, the importance of squats, red raspberry leaf tea. How she made the decision to receive antibiotics after testing positive for Group Beta Strep. She lost her mucous plug 2 weeks before she delivered and was 5 cm dilated at her 39 week appointment. She raves about the Squatty Potty, the birthing ball, and her favorite contraction timer app.

We pushed pause to teach YOU how to breathe and push at delivery and the power of positive thinking and positive thought. 

Her favorite book to prepare for childbirth is Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and her favorite postpartum book is The Happiest Baby on the Block. Her mom's favorite baby product is the Chick Pea Sherpa Swaddle.

Get ready to laugh!!!!!




15 Meet The Best Doulas In Charlotte, NC

Heidi Campbell

What is a Doula?

An anxiety vacuum. A google filter. A constant support.

Listen in to hear three of Charlotte, NC's best and most experienced Doulas talk shop. Part 1: We walk you through what a Doula is and what a Doula does throughout your pregnancy. Then we tackle continuity of care for the pregnant mom.

Part 2: What is like to birth at home, at a birth center and at a hospital? What tools can you implement if you don't have a Doula. What hospitals are doing right and what health care systems can improve on when considering moms at customers and not patients. 

If you are considering a Doula, this episode is for you. 

If you would like to contact the Doulas featured in this episode please reach out to Helen Herzig of Aussie Doula & Sarah Eiley Cowherd of Sage Mama Doula.




14: Meet Katie: 4+ Year Fertility Journey, Failed IUI, IVF, Miscarriage, Inverted Uterus, Postpartum Anxiety, & Two Sets of TWINS

Heidi Campbell

She. Has.Two.Sets.Of.Twins.

Gosh. Where do I begin? Katie talks vulnerably about her long fertility journey and how she got to be a mom to two sets of twins. After many years of the “we will just see what happens” method, she stumbled upon the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility which empowered her to visit a fertility specialist and to listen to her body. She walks us through getting pregnant on clomed and then an early miscarriage. She details exactly what it is like to show up in a fertility clinic and the steps they take and how they take them to help women get pregnant. She tried the meds, IUI. She had a lazy left ovary and endometrial biopsies revealed a hormonal and PH imbalance in the uterus. She only has 2 viable embryos and implants them both. After a successful pregnancy, she ends up in the hospital on bed rest for 6 weeks with preeclampsia. Her journey includes trauma and anxiety both antepartum and postpartum. At delivery, her uterus inverts and she hemorrhages requiring several blood transfusions. She opens up about how Zoloft really helped her. Then, 2.5 years after this whole ordeal, she finds herself pregnant naturally and the egg split delivering her the miracle of identical twins. Listen in to hear more.

13: Black Maternal Health-Why Black Women Are 3-4 Times More Likely To Die In Childbirth Than White Women & How One Group Has Taken Action

Heidi Campbell


Hi! It’s Heidi. Welcome to the Birth Story Podcast Episode 13. I’m so glad you are listening because this week is Black Maternal Health Awareness Week. I’ve traveled to Asheville, NC to record with Maggie and Cindy from MAHEC (Mountain area health education center) and Mothering Asheville and SistasCaring4Sistas Doula program. You will hear from these 2 incredibly inspiring women who are leaders in their community fighting innovatively to change the disparity of maternal and infant mortality rates between black and white women.  The Doulas were trained by Chama Woydak of Homegrown Babies and certified by DONA. Cindy begins with her own birth story and losing her son shortly after birth.

12: Meet Sarah & Derek-An Unplanned Pregnancy and Cervical Scar Tissue

Heidi Campbell

"It.Was.Bliss." (about the epidural)

Derek and Sarah join us fully pregnant with Baby #2 and in a strong and healthy marriage. But, just 3 years ago that wasn't the case. They walk us through what it's like to be 6 months into a rocky marriage with an unplanned pregnancy. They are raw with emotions and how the pregnancy unfolded as they tried to build and reconnect their marriage. I was Sarah's Doula and her cervix was stuck at 1 cm dilated due to cervical scar tissue. She used an epidural for pain management to get through the procedure of massaging the scar tissue away and relaxing through the rest of labor. This couple is hysterical and the whole episode keeps you on your toes. The couple's favorite baby product is The Topponcino. Please use my affiliate link: to explore this product and make a purchase today!

11: Kristen Part 2

Heidi Campbell


Kristen is back to talk about her birth story with Georgie. After suffering a miscarriage, a subchorionic hemorrhage and a 30+ hour first labor she was ready for another baby. She found out she was pregnant just before Christmas, but she couldn't tell anyone. The sack was small and they were not able to see a heartbeat. They told her it might be a blighted ovum and to come back in a few weeks. At 8 weeks, they were able to see the heart flicker and celebrated with all. She was so sick. She took Zofran, but the only thing that helped was Sour stuff like Chick-Fil-A lemonade and Starbuck's Iced Passion Tea Unsweetened and protein and fat. She lived on chicken nuggets and sausage, egg and cheese sandwiches. At 22 weeks she started suffering from symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD)

10: Meet Amy. She delivered her VBAC baby in the CAR

Heidi Campbell


Amy walks us through her three births and how she ended up delivering her 3rd baby in the car with a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). She was induced with number one but birthed vaginally. On number two, he flipped and stayed breech and was delivered via C-section. She was surprised with baby 3 and was encouraged by her OBGYN to deliver via VBAC. She hired a doula and labored at Costco. This episode is thrilling and will keep you on edge to the very end.

9: Daddy Bootcamp 1

Heidi Campbell

Did they drink the breast milk? Listen to find out.

These 3 new dads tell all about pregnancy, delivery, and life after baby. Garin, Wells, & Derek share their dad journeys with their 8.5 month old, 6 week old, and fully pregnant wife with a 2 year old at home respectively. Derek & Wells had a Doula and it is hysterical to hear their versions of labor and delivery. Garin supported his wife, who suffers from VonWillebrands, through 22 hours of natural labor since an epidural was not an option for her. Well's wife had a spontaneous and precipitous labor. Derek's wife navigated scar tissue on her cervix through a 30 hour labor. All 3 Dads agree that their favorite baby product is a velcro swaddle. Here is a great one by SwaddleMe! Garin also raved about sleeping soundly since his son wears the Owlet to bed. 

 8: Meet Sage-A Midwife For 34 Years Shares Her Midwifery Birth Stories

Heidi Campbell


Sage Brook is Charlotte, NC's most experienced and wisest midwife. She practiced midwifery for 34 years, delivering thousands of babies, before retiring in 2018. Sage walks us through her professional life story. After birthing her own 3 children naturally almost 50 years ago, she wanted to teach women. Sage says, "I wanted to help women have a natural childbirth." So in her 30's with three young toddlers, she went back to school. She takes us on trips to Puerto Rico, Guatemala, and the Navaho Indian Reservation with memories of birth stories.

7: Meet Rachel Coley-CEO of CanDoKiddo On Her Epidurals, Prodromal Labors, Tandem Nursing, and Grief During Labor

Heidi Campbell


Rachel Coley, a pediatric occupational therapist and the CEO of, shares with us her birth journeys from being a Bradley couple to having three epidural births and how the expected just took left turns to the unexpected labors. She said, "I was the Type A, high achieving, professional woman thinking I as going to design my the formula...and probably this mothering thing will go that way too." Then we had a good laugh. Rachel practiced baby bunching having 3 babies in 3.5 years as well as tandem nursing for the past 5 years.

6: Meet Zeke's Dads-Two Dads Adopting Through Private Adoption & Their Cross-Country Journey To Meet Their Son

Heidi Campbell

This beautiful love story begins with Johnathon & Blair, a couple of 17 years, talking about their current process to adopt out of our foster care system. Rewind to their first private adoption and they walk us through the private adoption process from costs, to procedures, to the emotional roller coaster. These two dads hilariously recount the delivery of their son while balancing the deep connection they had to build on the spot with their son's birth mother. If you are considering a private adoption, this podcast episode is for YOU!