Holy bananas! Get some tissue, get ready to be inspired, get ready to log in and Bethematch.org. 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: https://motherbees.com/pages/book-the-first-forty-days
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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.