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. Her first pregnancy went great, but then her Dad died right before she gave birth. She talks about carrying grief and emotion into labor and how that can effect everything. She was in prodromal labor for almost 2 weeks and then found herself 21 hours into hard labor and not progressing much at 3 cms dilated. She described this part of labor as really dark, painful, lonely, and a place where her soul was being ripped open. She was physically and mentally tired. Then, a nurse/doula stepped in and in an angelic voice walked her through several contractions. She helped her process her decision to get an epidural based on new information than what she had planned for. The epidural was the perfect tool for all 3 of her births to help her feel like a warrior. This episode is jam packed with 3 birth stories and so much on playing with your newborn from CanDoKiddo.

Rachel's favorite baby product is LovEvery. Use this LINK to get $10 off your subscription or a Play Gym purchase. This will show at final checkout and not in your shopping cart.

We also discussed getting postpartum help in Charlotte from QueenCityNewbornCare

Transcription, Show Notes & More:






[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've supported hundreds of women through their labor and deliveries and I.

[00:00:29] Give 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 first 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.

[00:00:55] You will hear from some of the top experts in labor and delivery whether you. [00:01:00] Pregnant trying desperately to get pregnant. I hope you will stick around and be part of this tribe episode 7 does everybody have a glass of wine because I've got Rachel on the podcast today. She is a friend that I met through my broadly class and me and she's going to take us to a place for.

[00:01:22] Really all three of our birds that you have to hear. There is so much to learn from this woman, and I hope you enjoyed today's podcast. Hey everybody. I'm with Rachel colita de she was in my Bradley class when we were pregnant with our first baby dolls glowing and rested. Yeah, and so now Rachel has three babies, but we are going to talk about number one Rowan's birth and then maybe sprinkle in a little bit of hurt your other birds.

[00:01:54] So Rachel. Wrong tell everybody like who you are because I was stalking your [00:02:00] Instagram today because it's amazing. I am a very normal person who by professional training. I'm a pediatric OT, of course. I'm a mama first and a wife first but my business has always been pediatric occupational therapy and specifically kind of narrowing down into that baby toddler.

[00:02:19] We call Early Intervention birth to three has always been my heart and my passion and then. When I started having my own family, I thought I'd stay at home and then this business I don't know if this is how it happened for you. It happens for a lot of people. That's why I like it just. Happened to me this business happened to me and it was terrible timing and it like it was a very if someone had presented on paper like here you're going to launch an online business right now when you have an eight week old been like no, thanks, but it just happened.

[00:02:49] It was so natural. It was such a marriage of my. Professional passions and what I was living as a mom and a new mom and so I run can do and it is [00:03:00] an education website aimed for parents to really increase their confidence as a parent so that they can have a more playful and enjoyable parenting experience while giving their babies and toddlers the best developmental start.

[00:03:13] So I have my own professional agenda to help the kids, but my heart is also in helping my fellow parents to just enjoy it. It is awesome. I'm going to say you're right there like four years ago when you were just kind of starting this business and here we were both pregnant like for the first time but like I literally like I'm going to go back through and tell you all the things that I did with my first son Max.

[00:03:36] So like we literally had this like, Oh God, I don't even know it was like a muffin tin and there were like golf balls or something and it and I laughing and yeah, and he was like grabbing the golf balls. That was like one of the things that we did. The other thing was like we had a fan that we had streamers like and we like turned the fan on and then I will never forget [00:04:00] seeing pictures and you post about that Ikea what is the activity gym and activity gem.

[00:04:07] Yeah, but you had hung. All of these long like I don't know links off of it so that the baby could get it cuz I was thinking oh, I don't even know what to do with this and then there was another thing we were on a road trip or we're getting ready to go on a road trip when Max was like 6 weeks old and you had posted about like how to like basically decorate the car seat to entertain the baby so.

[00:04:33] All this pregnant mom has can do kiddo. Thank you. Thank you. It's been fun. And the best part for me is when parents say exactly that like I was able to play with my newborn. I had no idea you could play with a newborn and suddenly I could play and now I understood why the play was important because you told me that this is why developmentally this is important.

[00:04:54] So yeah, it's really fun. Well, I have learned so much from you. Yeah, and [00:05:00] and even more now. As my now three-year-old has sensory processing disorder and had a stroke. So I just am on your page like everyday looking in the the toddler section for the toddler tips and feeding tips. So thank you for all that you do.

[00:05:17] I'm so excited to hear about your birth Journeys with the three babies. So let's roll. Let's start with rowing because I remember sitting in Bradley class and we're all in Bradley class for a reason, right because we think we're going to have a Bradley Birthright. Didn't I didn't so let's talk about it.

[00:05:36] So I have been the only two in our class 2 and that didn't have like a Bradley Burt. I mean I drink orange juice at the end of the birth, but that was about as Bradley as my birth got I think we had I know my husband had a beer he packed a beer for that little mini fridge in the hospital yet. So yeah Rowan's birth was interesting because like at least my audience.

[00:05:56] I don't know about yours, but I was like the type a [00:06:00] high achieving. Professional woman who went into this thinking that I was going to design my birth and that I was going to follow the recipe. I was going to do the steps. I was going to eat the amount of protein they said and do the kegels and and lay in this position and not sit in this position.

[00:06:16] Do all do the formula to give me the birth that I wanted and it seemed to make sense and it seemed to be like great. That's the way I'm going to start this mothering thing and probably this mothering things going to go that way to that. I'm going to just find the answers and Implement them and everything will be smooth bless our hearts don't you just want to go back go back and have a I just want to go back and like hug and go.

[00:06:41] You know like you you have no idea the same way about so our three were born we did the quote-unquote baby bunching. So our three years are similar are three are less than three and a half years spread between. And I just remember these conversations before we had kids that how this was going to be so efficient and we were going to just knock out the [00:07:00] baby phase and then move on and they'll be closed and friends would be good friend or they'll be close in age.

[00:07:04] They'll be close and good friends and like I want to go back and have a drink with that Mom and be like, yeah slow it down. I mean, I mean, I know it's gonna lie. I had a plan to pregnancy at five months postpartum. Oh well as month and you are six months because I was like, I know that we were like the the first two in our class also, To get pregnant again and then met Eve how close was she's 22 months behind Eloise.

[00:07:28] So 17 and then 22 who it is a busy household wowed household. So Rowan so that was kind of my expectations going into birth. I did all the things that I was supposed to do and I did my quote unquote research the beginning of tons of mommy research. I love that term mommy research AKA Googling out of anxiety and.

[00:07:52] So during my pregnancy my dad who had terminal cancer was put in hospice and 11 days before I delivered [00:08:00] he passed away. And so and it was a very complicated relationship. So the grief was really complicated it but not to say it was better or worse or easier or harder. It was just a very like raw complicated grief.

[00:08:11] And so I was having prodromal labor. Anyway where I was having legitimate timed contractions only at night and then they fizzle. And so I was just wearing myself out not sleeping not sleeping anxious thinking is that yeah. Yeah. Yeah and then all the self-doubt like what's wrong with me that I thought I was deliberate like in labor last night and I wasn't and Bradley, you know, I should know better.

[00:08:35] So once my dad passed away the prodromal labor that had been going on for three or four days really cranked up and I was just miserable. I really wise and. By the time I got to the birthing daily actually his labor lasted two or three days, but when it really was go time. I just I felt really good in the beginning and I did all the things I was supposed to [00:09:00] do.

[00:09:00] We labored at home as long as possible. And then once I got to the hospital, it just took a turn for me mentally where. All the spiritual metaphysical Universal stuff that item a had talked about in her book and all those like drum circle births, which is what I thought I was, you know as much as you can have that in a hospital.

[00:09:20] That's what I was aiming for. It went to the other side of the spectrum for me. So all that spiritual stuff went to really dark really painful really lonely places and I just got I was in so much pain physically. That part I was prepared for but I was just getting my soul ripped open like I was already in so much pain going into birth.

[00:09:41] Mentally. Yeah that all the stuff that was happening during birth separate from my body just wrecked me I was and I was so physically tired and mentally tired and so at about 21 hours of hard labor not even counting the beginning stuff [00:10:00] where you can still eat and talk and all that but 21 hours of hard hard labor.

[00:10:04] Not really progressing much. I wasn't having very frequent checks, but when they did check me, it was always like wop wop. You're still at a 4 and when you showed up at the hospital, do you remember like how many centimeters I want us are like it a three and I've been laboring at home for 12 hours or something and prodromal labor for days.

[00:10:23] Right? Right, right. Not right Rhino before while you're talking. I just want to stop right there for a second and just say like it is. Triggering for me to even hear you talk because I'm just so proud of you for sharing your story because here I am. I'm a doula I'm delivering this podcast and yet I still don't talk about Max's birth.

[00:10:48] Oh really cause it's very similar to yours and it's hard because we do. I think that there and I did as a doula because I watched it unfold for 14 years [00:11:00] everything right? I knew it could be right and many times was and I wasn't prepared for a different a different. You know what it shouldn't be, you know, but I went to that.

[00:11:12] I just wanted you to hear me that I went to that very dark totally like not the place. I was expecting birth to go. My other bird was therapeutic. So, you know, we'll talk about some other stuff. But I just let's see that out loud like sometimes birth is really long and if you have emotional baggage going into it.

[00:11:39] Girl, it comes with you to that. Yeah, it does it rips you right open. So so 21 hours in the hospital, you're like four centimeters and you're like most people are done. Most people are nursing their baby by now and sleeping. So, where are you? So the the hospital we specifically [00:12:00] birth at a hospital further away from our house because we heard it had a reputation for being very supportive and very natural As Natural as you could potentially get in a hospital setting in our area.

[00:12:08] So they knew we were Bradley couple and we had expressed the wish to sort of be left alone. Like do what you have to do to check periodically, but kind of give us some space to do our Bradley thing. And so the nurse came in at about 21 hours just to introduce the new nurse because there was a shift change and the new nurse who at the time I had no idea but she was a doula on the side she came in to introduce and it was like one of those moments of like just my.

[00:12:33] Cut with being wrenched and both physically and mentally and she just swooped into my ear. I'll never forget she was in my left ear with this like Angelic calm voice and didn't even like just I think she interrupted her introduction either and it was like hi. I'm. You need help and she got there and she just walked me through several contractions.

[00:12:53] I was at that point screaming like giving that Patrol. I'm done. I'm done. I'm so done make it stop and she's like, you know talk to me about why [00:13:00] this is between contractions talk to me about why you wanted a natural birth. Let's talk about that what's changed for you? What if you stuck this out right now?

[00:13:08] What would it be for? What would the outcome like, what would be the purpose of it? And finally she said having been through several contractions with me. She said Rachel. This is painful. It's always painful. There's no way around this pain, but there's a difference between pain and suffering and she said I need you to tell me are you in pain or are you suffering and I'd literally said mind body and soul suffering and she said then do it.

[00:13:32] Yeah do it and so what that gave me and I did I had the epidural and then he had some you know, sort of predictable like d cells and all that kind of drama at the end and then he came out and he's perfect and wonderful, and I had a beautiful birthing moment. But that's the part that I didn't expect from all the Bradley stuff is things took a turn and the birth of Labor went a different way, but I never forget they asked if I wanted a mirror [00:14:00] my first couple pushes with an epidural were not they were like, oh bless your heart.

[00:14:05] Okay, let's get you a mirror honey. I don't think is working a little together nothing. I'm like did I do it? So they brought in a mirror, which kind of at first I was like, are you sure? I don't know. I don't know if I want to make. It was amazing to watch and toofie. I was feeling some pressure and you know, I just felt like I really owned the end of it and even without the pain the quote unquote pain.

[00:14:30] And so what I walked away from that experience the Doula / nurse was Camry and what she gave me was in the birth process a real processing of my decision so that I don't look back on that birth as like a failure or anything else it was. I had to change my decision making based on new information.

[00:14:50] Yeah, this was not the information presented to me and Bradley that this is how I was going to feel in my heart and my soul and my body and so it I'd never felt that like, oh [00:15:00] I failed or this sucked or I can't be proud of this birth. I mean, I felt like a warrior in that last push him out. It was like, yes, you know, I really found the how so.

[00:15:12] Our 21 you were four centimeters and you were like, I'm defeated. Yeah, and then it's somewhere around that is when you got the epidural right? How long until Rowan 36 hours total gosh, so it was almost double what you and already gone through your body went through then with now was able to rest once I got the epidural I was able to okay and get a little bit of sleep and stuff like that.

[00:15:35] Yeah. So my story your story. There are were outliers. Right right, so you have really. Rapid Labor's lesson, 4 hours precipitous bird like that are rare and then we have these longer than 24-hour 48-hour 50 hour plus 60 hour plus birth. They're also very rare. So the [00:16:00] majority of the people listening are going to fall somewhere in the middle right somewhere in that 12 to 18 hour like first birth or whatever, but it is so important to prepare for.

[00:16:13] Anything yeah, enter like burst your mind like wide open with you have no control over I what kind of Labor you're going to be given right or what that looks like in every single baby is different. But like, you know, I wish I could go back and tell ourselves sitting in that Bradley class like. Hey might take five days or how long was yours with the prodromal like seven days?

[00:16:45] Oh, no like to week two weeks. Yeah because it started right before my dad passed away. I started a couple of days of her dermal and then it really rant like those a lot of well the last two of those days I was in labor, but. You know those mid at that week. Yeah, it was June it's real so it's [00:17:00] prodromal but it's real labor.

[00:17:01] Oh, yeah, softening the cervix. It's painful contractions. There are exhausting contractions and you're nervous and excited and you can't sleep and I will say this too. They prepared the prodromal labor elicits a lot of feedback from people in the world and also from my midwives that this was preparing my body and that I would might go quickly or that this was like somehow going to shorten my labor and wrong or that like, oh with all this I didn't have internal checks.

[00:17:34] And so it was like with all this program labor, you know, people friends of mine would be like, oh you're probably already a three or four and like 21 hours in I was at a. Whenever you know if you have prodromal labor that leads to progress right like the Dremel label that leads to six centimeters dilated addition to meows like that's good.

[00:17:52] But sometimes it's just painful contractions, but don't really go much anywhere and I didn't really talk to my [00:18:00] Midwife about it too much and I didn't I didn't have a doula and so I didn't know. Well you kind of did at the end like a free Doula, right? Right and unfortunately she moved like. Week of getting pregnant with Eloise.

[00:18:12] I was like Kim Marie. Can you be my Doula and she was moving but we did use her partner. Okay, but yeah, it was it was an interesting birth because I feel like I was gifted this processing during. The middle of it. Yeah. So let me ask you a question. Did you ever go to any like counseling or anything afterwards or did you have someone that you processed the birth with like those early hours those first 21 hours with.

[00:18:40] Like we're you said you feel like you were just getting like ripped open or is that something that you just kind of the other birds were therapeutic for I never talked to anyone in a therapeutic context about it. Now. I was open with people about it after your first especially when you're in sort of a Bradley group.

[00:18:58] Like there's a lot of questions about your [00:19:00] birth. And at the time I also feel like I had friends a lot of friends who were pregnant and having their first and so. There was a lot of conversation afterwards. So I was able to verbally just share it and I never hid that part of my story. Yeah, just that there was so much grief and so much permit drama labor and you know that it was really long and brutal.

[00:19:16] Yeah. It's so good I ask that because it's just so important to talk about our Birds whether they're great births, whether they're hard Birds whether there's something in between, you know, so but I think just like sharing and being on the podcast telling the story, you know, it's just. Important to yeah, and I think there's also like for me when I think about my births, there's so much really rich metaphor in the stories.

[00:19:43] And I think that we as a society not you and me but. Really sell it short and make it much more superficial like all the mommy were stuff for the judgment about the actual outcome and how the baby can't what orifice the baby came out of and and how much medication what type of medication and how many [00:20:00] hours you went natural whatever all of that really sells the metaphors short because you can wind up with what you felt.

[00:20:07] Like I was a failure of birth, but for me like the metaphor of Rowan's birth, one of the many is the relinquishing of control and you will. Learn that lesson as a mom, you will learn it whether it's through an inter infertility Journey that it begins, whether it's through your labor and delivery that it begins, whether it's through postpartum that it begins, whether it's through toddler panting you're going to start.

[00:20:31] The relinquishing of control lesson and you're going to learn it over and over and deeper and deeper as a parent. And so I think we just need to like stop. Yeah, stop making birth into something so literal. Yeah and really embrace the metaphor no matter what your birth wound up being. You know, I feel like I'm in therapy, right?

[00:20:49] I feel like I'm healing from Max's birth, you know from just listening to you talk. Yeah, because that really was I went into his. Like you [00:21:00] did we had a dream of this Bradley birth and just really kind of giving that up halfway through the Bertha's. A difficult thing to do after the birth with Rowan.

[00:21:11] Do you feel like the hospital like honored like did you do anything like delayed cord clamping or placenta encapsulation or like skin-to-skin kind of like, what was your like after birth plan that we had a pretty detailed after birth plan. The only part of it. Well, there are a couple of hiccups in at one was that my husband was going to announce the gender.

[00:21:31] All three of ours were surprised genders and my husband was going to not through the gender, but. Hold up this like baby's got his penis in my face. And I'm like, it's a boy and then I was like sorry honey. I stole your thunder the court. We actually we think that they delayed the clamping. We don't remember and my husband did not cut the cord with him and we don't remember why how we literally just don't have any recollection of that acosta's he did have a little bit of [00:22:00] tension in the room when he was born.

[00:22:01] They brought the neonatal team in he turned out to be 100% fine, but just. As a precaution because of some of his heart rate details. And so I think that kind of skewed a little bit of the birth plan. But yeah, we were able to hold off on shots and we were we got a 24-hour discharge, which was our wish we had like Tatian come.

[00:22:19] I mean, we just were really supported. Person in that regard now. I've got some questions that are going to lead to your other birds to because I remember you tandem nursing. So I always am very curious about this because when I got pregnant with Max, I mean Jagger listen to me, I don't even know what whatever whatever one when I got pregnant with not to but I got pregnant with Jagger Max's milk gone.

[00:22:44] I mean it was God, so I'm always fascinated by tandem nursing so you get pregnant again 17. Later know five six months like sorry. Yeah, 17 months of art six months later and you are still producing milk. Yeah. I mean, this is another example of [00:23:00] one of those things that like you I think it's really good to research and have your intentions and have your goals but like there's so much more involved in your cognitive processing of something so my body had to cooperate with that decision and it happened.

[00:23:12] It was sort of like I wasn't heart set on it was just like hey if my body cooperates with this I was able to get pregnant while nursing my babies less than a year. Like, let's see how far. In run with this thing and then at some point it was like, oh man, I guess maybe I'm going to end a nurse like that wasn't ever something.

[00:23:27] I dreamed up there. Hope for yeah, and I did it twice. I've been continuously nursing since June of 2014. You are amazing or insane. I just got a hot flash. Right? I mean think about it ingly I said my first teaching and I've nursed and then I had sole owners Eloise for a little while and then always amazed him nurse until always we need so now just maze is the only one riding the milk truck.

[00:23:53] Oh my goodness. Okay, so maybe if you don't want to answer this question, I could always cut this out. But do you guys want to have any more children? Oh, [00:24:00] okay. So you're gonna have to cut that out. Okay. I was like you've done with three. For can us? Okay. I have no were so out of the past that he like we just couldn't yeah, well three in three years basically four years is a lot and they're not.

[00:24:14] Easy kid. I mean I know no kids are easy, but Rowan and Eloise did not have a good adjustment at 17 months to each other Rowan had a very hard time. Okay. I'm having a baby that close in age and continues to I mean that's just been a real struggle. So yeah, we're maxed out. Yeah, our house is loud enough and we're not we're not super young believe it or not.

[00:24:36] If you know them in real life. My husband is 53. This is mind-blowing. Everyone right now is are there pictures of your. And can do kiddo. I'm a few. Yeah. Okay, not a ton. But if you here's another reason to go to can do go and follow because this will blow your mind when you see her husband totally hot so hot.

[00:24:57] Oh, thank you and I agree looks [00:25:00] like he couldn't possibly be more than 35 years old. It's not fair. And when I married him, I'm not kidding you I think you are not 53. Let's just tell her what I'll be 38 in a few weeks. So I feel like our timing is like if we had a little more time and we had spaced our kids.

[00:25:13] Further and maybe had it easier kids, maybe not we maybe would have I think our dream was to have four and then reality again, it's another thing where it's like it's good to have intentions. It's good to talk about these things and have plans and then it's also good to be like, let's be realistic about where we are and make a new decision.

[00:25:28] Yeah, you know and feel really good about that. Yeah, we a hundred percent. We're going to have four and then while I was pregnant with number 250 know like those that were good. We're not done. Yeah now we're going to take a short break to just share a few things with you and. You right back with our guests.

[00:25:45] I'm so excited to tell you about my first book that I wrote that is launching this summer. Is that 42 week guide to your pregnancy? It's a collection of birth stories. It has a ton of dual [00:26:00] advice from all of the questions that my clients have asked me over the last 14 years. It has hysterical partner tips that you will want to read to your partner and it has journaling prompts because nobody has time to write a 20 pages in there.

[00:26:14] And all about their pregnancy. So I've taken the Liberty to give you some prompts of things that I think you might want to remember back on after the baby's born. So again, you can go to burst or and pre-order a copy today and it would mean the world to me. 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 birth story.

[00:26:46] 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 story podcast. So let's go back to [00:27:00] Eloise number, too. So you're able to. Still be nursing Rowan, which is unbelievable. Did you feel contractions? Like did it make your uterus contract specialist?

[00:27:09] And okay because I had I've had a few clients through the years that did this and they were very concerned about miscarrying early on in the pregnancy if they continued to nurse because the uterine contractions which is very. False, right so and it was that ever a concern for you know, I've never really felt them early on.

[00:27:28] I have very strong Braxton Hicks all three times that start around 20 20 weeks. They got a little earlier each time, but that was really what I felt was really strong Braxton Hicks when I would nurse and sustained that basketball belly would hang around for a minute or two. It wasn't until the very end that they started it would feel like that prodromal labor feeling worried.

[00:27:51] Yeah crampy, but it's funny because Eloise was 10 days late, which is very strange for a site or not. Very strange. But again an outlier. [00:28:00] Yeah. Everyone's like, oh, that's your second. You'll go early. So my mind is prepared for that. You'll go faster. My mind's prepared for that. Yeah false and false.

[00:28:08] But she one of the piece of advice everybody gave me was like you should stimulate breasts start pumping. I'm like dude. I have a nursing baby right? I'm kid Olivia Lee time anymore. Exactly. Yeah, so little bit little bit different the second time around with that. Okay. So tell me about the like day or night that you went into labor with Eloise like.

[00:28:33] What did it look like having a toddler? I know that you have to do something when we started interestingly. When I was pregnant with Eloise. That was the bigger concern. I think this is pretty common. Especially if you have a young toddler when you're pregnant the second time around or third time around my biggest concern was for my toddler's well-being.

[00:28:50] What am I going to do with him who's going to care for him? Will he be scared? He never really been away from us overnight because it was still nursing. Yeah, and so that was really my more my concern [00:29:00] until I went to labor once. What does in labor I like Rowan who take me to the hospital get me out of here, but I actually wound up going into labor on day 10 from a membrane sweep.

[00:29:10] I had a dime scheduled induction, which I did not want to do, but obviously it 10 days post date. They're like pressure pressure pressure. But we at least have to get it on the books and I was done I was so done. Yeah, and when you've had. The Experience like your first sometimes it is a very big sense of relief when they're like no matter what on Tuesday you're going to be in labor with controlled contraction.

[00:29:39] Yes, and you're going to have a baby and we didn't get there. So then Doctrine was scheduled for a few days later and say you had it though. So you're like, okay. Yeah definitely have this day. I think I've had fried a baby will be here. But let's just do the membrane sweep to see what I quit. Was totally willing to do because if it felt more natural, I talked to my duel about it and it was like it felt more [00:30:00] natural than the induction at this felt like a better alternative.

[00:30:02] Yeah, and are you dilated already hardly? I think maybe like out too. Hey, I mean it's something but and I don't think I was very afraid. I think I was like 40 percent or you know, it's something has it was happening but nothing dramatic. They weren't telling me you're going to go into labor tonight.

[00:30:17] Like they do some people they're like, let's sweep around perhaps and that worked pretty efficiently like within I don't know 3 or 4 hours things started moving and our duel I came we met labored without a deliver a while. It was comfortable and then at about 2 a.m. She came over and. Continue to labor at home.

[00:30:36] We did all the Bradley stuff and this time around Our intention and our goal was to try for a natural birth, but we at least entertain the possibility that like if we get to a place like I did last time I will not feel like a failure if I wave the White Flag. Yeah, so we're okay with any will not.

[00:30:54] Suffer again, right? Right, right. I was not going to go near that place. Yeah good for you. And so and I [00:31:00] don't when we say suffer like you and I both know because we've been there but we're not talking about like this hurts really bad. We mean like Soul suffering, you know, like it is it's very different.

[00:31:08] It's hard to even verbalize I literally was saying things like I'm alone in a desert dying someone's and why is no one saving me? Yeah, so and I'll be really transparent. I didn't even think I was gonna go here with anyone ever, but when I had to fill out. The paperwork at the end of the hospital stay that says how do you have Suicidal Thoughts?

[00:31:31] I wrote on the paperwork. I did during labor because I absolutely did it was not it was not again not the pain. It was like almost like the fatigue mixed with pain unleashes. Something inside of you that is dark and I remember thinking just give me a cesarean or God bring [00:32:00] me to Heaven. Yeah, because I'm done.

[00:32:02] Yeah, I cannot be. I felt like I was being tortured well and I felt like because of the terrible I should not be telling Rising this podcast, but it don't learning expenditure in the combination of that Soul paint plus the duration. So it's like I can't live in this space anymore and I've been in this space for hours, you know, there's there's a difference between dipping your toe in that water and being like treading water in that water for so long.

[00:32:26] Yeah, you know, yeah, so Eloise is birth very very very very very slow did not and zero progression like literally. So you're duelist there at the house? Yeah, and it's some fishing we at some point we moved to the hospital, okay? They check me in Sage. I think we've shared a midwife. But yes, and she checked me into love her.

[00:32:47] Well, technically you're not in active labor because they had changed the rules. Right? So now it's of six and that right if ba6 to be considered active. I don't know. They had to have sex at least we have for that they had to admit you over [00:33:00] to my clients at home for a really long welcomes. I was it home for a really long time, but I was like hmm But I don't know well and the other thing because we worth further away.

[00:33:10] There was a traffic factor that sent us to the hospital a little before we normally would have because going to be rush hour and we had a guy like fight the rush hour traffic. So it was like four clock. I think it was like let's go ahead and go and beat the traffic so but I mean I was. I was laboring hard and then just didn't progress at all at all.

[00:33:30] Like my cervix was going nowhere for hours and hours and hours. And finally, they said we can do several things. But one of the things we can do is break your water. I said let's do that first and then we'll talk about pitocin later. But give me a little time with the broken water and see what we can do.

[00:33:45] So they broke my membranes and then things amped up even more. Of course as I knew they would my Doula knew they would and then after I don't know time stands still 75 hours. No, I'm just joking a couple of hours. I [00:34:00] was. Things were stacking up. Like I was getting no break between contractions. I was having all those weird hiccupping nauseous Burpee.

[00:34:07] Well, and I was like, I'm done I'm done. I want the epidural and my Doula was like are you if we checked you because again, I wasn't getting a lot of check. She was like if we checked you and you were nine. Would that change things for you? And I was like, yeah, I think I could do it and she was like, well, let's let's get you checked in to see it because I really think you're in transition, okay.

[00:34:25] I think I was at like a for now. So you totally tricked everyone and I hope and I will not tell you what words came out of my mouth because again, it was literally like the twenty one hour mark. Yeah, 120 hours. Okay. So let me just interject right here is a do lot because I have been tricked many times before too.

[00:34:44] And it turns out that when I see this happen, it's the position of the baby that baby is either face up or the head is turned to the side and is not coming down to put [00:35:00] pressure on the cervix. Yeah, but. The contractions are the intensity right of the end of Labor. So it's almost like the position of the baby and the stage of Labor are not in sync right with each other.

[00:35:16] So like I'm tracking right there with your Doula because I would have been like, yes, let's check but then right then I would have known we have to get the baby to turn right and come down, right, you know and also. Interestingly, I don't know from your Doula perspective what this is, but definitely with my first two babies during prodromal labor and during real labor being on my side was horrible.

[00:35:42] And I know that they say in Bradley like go into the pain if a certain position hurts worst go there, but it was more than that it was. Completely intolerable like it would cause me to have weird reflexes and stuff because it was just so intense. Yeah. And so I mean I could never figure out was that better or should I go on there more it [00:36:00] actually was the position that also car cause the D cells for the time the opposite.

[00:36:04] I'm like we're going to move you out of it not into it, right and they did some a philosophies. I'm like leaping out of the bed to get out of it. Yeah. So anyway, so I did wind up getting an epidural with Eloise around the same. Point twenty one twenty two hours. Now from that point on it was a little bit faster.

[00:36:20] I think she was about a 28 our labor total. Okay. Talk to me a little bit right there about the epidural though like so for everybody listening and they're we're trying to teach everybody something like if your you have this beautiful Bradley birth plan, you know, but you're at the twenty one twenty two hour mark and epidural is a tool to help.

[00:36:41] You have a beautiful birth. Many times. Hmm. So let's talk about like what is it look like to get an epidural like what did it feel like like what? Okay was actually talk about two different visions of it. So yeah with babies number one and two it felt like. Being [00:37:00] terrified because I knew it involved some sort of needle in your back.

[00:37:02] You can't see it. But like at that just that conceptually felt very scary. And I never even saw the doctor either time like no one ever came around that side of the bed because they've already got you prepped on the side of the bed. You're bent over a pillow and I always thought was strange like.

[00:37:17] You're an angel from heaven about to give me an epidural but you're not going to come around and face to face introduce yourself or anything. They just like swept into the room draped. You scrubbed you with some cold stuff. And then with Rowan it was pretty it was like having a shot in your back basically, but with Eloise, I felt like weird things down my legs like kind of nerve things and they said it was okay, but it was very scary because it doesn't feel okay in your body.

[00:37:39] You're like, ooh, what's that's a very strange sensation and then. Bit slowly starts to work and they give you a little button and if it's not working as well, you click it again and get more I have video ask you the questions. Like do you have a funny taste in your mouth or ringing in the ears?

[00:37:57] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, and I [00:38:00] do have very low blood pressure anyway and did throughout pregnancy. And so I always have a hard time with. Blood pressure drops so I'll get really like kind of groggy headed and like feel kind of nauseous and they'll check my blood pressure and say it. Yeah. Yep, and they get then they give me epinephrine and they have to keep doing that pretty much for the rest of my labor.

[00:38:20] Yeah, just to keep me at a healthy. Blood pressure and it does slow things down. I mean it's hard to say on the first two but with Maeve I will say I think it's slowed things down which is what we learned in Bradley and you're stuck in the bed. So there's not the ability to move around and all of that.

[00:38:34] But did they have the peanut balls at the hospital by then? Yeah. Okay. So I remember when they did about three or four years ago. They were doing the trial of the peanut balls. So did they give you the peanut butter? I don't remember it with Rowan. I do remember it both in labor before. The epidural with Eloise they put me on my side with a peanut ball and I literally threw it across the room when I had a contraction because it was just so that position was so bad, but I [00:39:00] don't remember it after the epidural with Eloise Maeve definitely so I had an epidural all three times.

[00:39:06] My third epidural was more planned like I had an epidural right when I checked in. Yeah, like hey, I'm not messing with all that like let's just go for that and well and I also had sort of the same birth plan in my mind. Like let's go natural as long as we can and then do the epidural but I was progressing quickly.

[00:39:21] Is my third baby in three years? Yeah, and your body figured it out. Once my cervix looks like wait a second. I think I'm supposed to open here. Yeah, but I did wind up with some pitocin with Eloise my second. All right, because to pick things Jack has not. Well, it just never progressed without an epidural without the I mean with the rupture of membranes like nothing was getting it going.

[00:39:42] Yeah, and so. Give me some pitocin and that's the point at which I also had the epidural kind of consecutive like all at once. I'm going to interject just right here. The fact that you are delivering with sage in with midwives in this particular hospital. [00:40:00] I am certain that is why you had vaginal births.

[00:40:04] Oh, I agree. You have a special many people listening have this same story and. Ended up in a cesarean well and with Rowan with the details and all that. Yeah, we could tell at the end that we were that was the decision on the table in it. Any second. It was going to go that way. I mean, they were literally saying things like let's watch him through it.

[00:40:25] They didn't know what it was. Let's watch baby through one more contraction. Like I mean we knew we were on the chopping block the literal chopping block. Yeah and luckily for whatever reason. I think they were like, let's do one more check and like I was crowning. I mean, I like ya boom. He's there.

[00:40:40] Okay. Just kidding. Let's go ahead and get him out. Yeah, but yes, I agree. I think that the Bradley preparation. Being very intentional about having midwives having a doula the second time around particular Hospital chosen because they're supportive of natural all those things despite the fact we wound up having more interventions than my idealistic [00:41:00] Bradley student mind wanted still got the vaginal birth, but also knowing when.

[00:41:08] To use the magnet under Venture exactly like timing of the epidural is so important. Yeah, like. The further you go the better your outcome. And so like I just hear so much strength pouring out of you that you like rose. You're all of that. I mean just Rockstar status. And I'm a really good push our two guys.

[00:41:35] I mean like we're talking. Well, you're in a very good shape. I'm like you're in very good shape. I just slots would become very easy for us to tell you know, and then yeah, so my third baby, I actually when I checked in and we went to the hospital quickly. I had a membrane sweep. I was a few days late.

[00:41:54] She was like 41. No, she was 40 plus 6 or something like that. So she [00:42:00] was late but not or post date. Obviously. My cycle is funky. I mean, that's the only answer for why I have a second and third baby that were that late, but she I had a membrane sweet. Instantly went into labor like in the parking lot had my first real legit contraction.

[00:42:16] We're okay. Oh, it's go time. Had to go home pigment. This is like third mom third time. I've had to pick my kids up in preschool. Right? Like I'm not ready for labor like calling this can't be happening today and. That was like at 11:00 or 11:30. I had a membrane sweep and at two o'clock. I was in the hospital.

[00:42:34] In fact when I called The Midwives to say like the office to say hey, I'm headed to the hospital. She was the girl was so confused because I had a non-stress test at 11 and she's like what a mic yet know I'm in labor like two or three hours later. It's all the NS TR, right? No, I'd already had one that more know you would already have 11.

[00:42:55] Yeah, but you had to nsta and the membranes. Yes. Yes. Oh my [00:43:00] gosh, they were all sorts of computing. This is literally three hours late. Yeah, I'm at the hospital checked in at a 6 and let me tell you. How do you like? We're you like I just love how I never got into a six before like I mean, I guess with land with Rowan that line either leave your baby's vaginally so yes, I've been truly.

[00:43:17] Yeah. Yeah on my own and Eloise was with pitocin and with Rowan was probably 30 hours of Labor and an epidural. So I was like what I bet he thinks I was like high-fiving and. Wound up getting I was like I want to labor in as natural as possible for as long as possible and they're like girl if you want an epidural bear get one now like we gotta get this.

[00:43:36] Okay, and you did not use a dual on number three. No, and we've just that was a very intentional decision for financial reasons. Okay, because we decided to a lot that money towards postpartum help for our toddlers because we were going to bring a newborn home. Yeah, two toddlers. Yeah who are hard kids who don't get along like it just was.

[00:43:53] Like that's where we needed our so yeah, it was postpartum if you don't anyone listening if you don't have a doula. [00:44:00] Financially, it is very important to I'm just going to say this because it is there are so many doulas who are available who do payment plans and who are training and who need Birds to get experience.

[00:44:20] So I just want to kind of inject that why they're so if someone is willing and really wants to hat like where there's a will there's a way. So if there is someone out there listening that does want to do a lot and but doesn't have $1,500 frankly to spend on a doula then there are options. That's good.

[00:44:41] They're so doulas and training are a really good especially if you're on baby three, right like is is not your first, you know shindig you kind of know what's going on. You know what you need and some support and you may be able to really help a new dual entry. I'm a director. That's really good. I think we [00:45:00] were set up Focus because we'd had one per second.

[00:45:02] And so we only ever considered her. Yeah, it was like well, we don't want to pay the $1,500 or whatever. It was for her even though she's amazing and worth every penny but we would rather use that amount of money for a babysitter. Take care didn't even consider alternative. Yeah, so that's why I just entered the thought of that it is so important to have that plan for your toddler's like even if you don't have any find the money to have babysitters so that you have some postpartum.

[00:45:28] Silent yep, which is one baby and we so another whether you edit this out or not. I think it's important to at least. Automatically not editing it and I don't even know what you're going to say. Say it. So reach the mama first time around I had my first baby boy. I was so excited and we at the time I was working or had been working for our church.

[00:45:49] So a lot of people interested in seeing this baby and and we got married at our church. I met at our church. I like just a very big community and people want to bring his meals and it was so generous and so [00:46:00] wonderful, and so. Blipping overwhelming for me and you don't know what you're going to need or want postpartum until you're there and so I never even occurred to me to have any sort of plan for visitors and I had a summer baby and I'm not super anxious about germs.

[00:46:15] So I it wasn't that it was literally like I was in so much. Recovery pain and also needed to do so much for my own body and like figure out this nerds. It's not like when you have a three-day-old, you're like throwing a nursing cover over you and like doing it. It's a three-ring milk squirting circus, or at least it was for me.

[00:46:33] You're like, how do I even put this nursing cover on I like how do I hold the baby's head up to my boobs like and I'm like literally sprang like a fire hydrant out the other side and everything's kind of Sword. Yeah, and then you're going. How many holes are on like I don't know if you're like me.

[00:46:52] I thought there was like one hole on your nipple that like milk came out. I didn't realize it was like a spring 20. Yeah, I mean [00:47:00] the things you don't know so my. That was one of the things that my Doula really helped with the second time was like let's make sure we have a plan for four people afterwards.

[00:47:10] And then when we were talking about the third time around really wanting that postpartum kind of babysitter support extra set of hands. We do have my in-laws or local and we have people that we could have called on and I felt really vulnerable like there was something about it was like, I don't want a family member that's not I mean, my mom would be different but like I don't want to sister-in-law or mother-in-law or it just.

[00:47:33] I have here a privacy thing and so I was much more willing the second and third time around the kind of Honor that and be like, I don't want visitors. I've learned through experience that I don't want visitors and so my advice to someone the first time around since you don't know how your body is going to feel after birth how your psyche is going to feel after birth is too.

[00:47:55] Plein Air on the side of fewer people and then call on people if you need or want them. [00:48:00] Does that make sense? Because it's a whole lot easier to say. Yes come then to say no. You know in the moment. No, I don't want to see you and I feel like which isn't really what you mean. It's just like no I need I need my Sacred Space.

[00:48:13] No well, and also I need to be in a sitz bath every like two hours. And yeah, that was not I remember saying if you want to come over and do my dishes great, but like I don't need anyone else to hold my baby. Me and without with Rowan was her having from last set one. My second was born. My first born was having a really hard time when visitors came over because every was doing in dying over the baby and.

[00:48:38] Yeah, so well, this is a good they didn't ask me to do this, but I'm actually going to plug right here anyone local and Charlotte Queen City newborn care. I don't know who you used. But this organization run by Meg coffee is amazing and it is a network of postpartum [00:49:00] care givers that do night support postpartum support.

[00:49:06] I mean just kind of all of it. Just repaying. Ring moms like post-birth and it's a really beautiful organization. And so I just wanted to put that in there like for anyone who's kind of maybe feeling or thinking that they're going to feel kind of like how you are feeling like you don't want your sister-in-law, but you do want help someone.

[00:49:24] Yeah, it felt better and and the support we got the third time around was just babysitters for the. Toddlers are someone in the evening. Yeah, so dinner bedtime just an extra set of hands to help my husband handle that or just to give me the space to either be nursing baby or take a minute to cuddle a toddler while the other two were, you know being cared for so, so anyway, that was that was different the third the second time was very different and then the third time was really different because we actually enlisted some support there.

[00:49:51] Yeah. So if you could look back on like all three birds and experiences like. Do you have a favorite moment [00:50:00] or a funny moment like that? You tell stories of I don't do have not funny moment. Okay. Okay. So this is with Rowan going this is when I went into labor was it was a Monday night. I will never forget it.

[00:50:13] I had been at a women's group. My husband had been somewhere is about 9 p.m. And my husband has a bunch of friends through rock climbing who are younger single like just in a different stage of life. Then we were at the moment about have a baby and I'm driving. It's dark 9 o'clock pulling in my driveway and I see a bunch of cars parked on our street which isn't super unusual, but I'm like, I literally thought of myself someone's having a party and I see a guy walking down the sidewalk with a six-pack and he turns and walks down my driveway and I'm like, but it turns out as I pull in the drive mind you like 39 weeks pregnant or 38 weeks pregnant.

[00:50:53] Our friend one of my husband's friends had had him threw himself a going-away party at our [00:51:00] house unbeknownst to us. So I pull in and there's like 30 people on my back patio and the hashtag clueless. Oh my gosh, so and PS my dad had just died like it was just kind of like off dude. Dude. Is this person still in your life?

[00:51:16] Yes, we love him and it's totally fitting for him to do the cable more. Sorry were laughing about your he'll never listen. So anyway, so I go inside I make my hellos. I've tried to be friendly and these were not close friends of mine. These are my husband's friends that go inside. I'm like, what who does this some steaming and fuming go upstairs?

[00:51:37] I told I kind of whispered to my husband like I gotta go to bed like this is insane and I am upstairs and I'm starting labor and I'm like, I think it's not prodromal, but I'm not quite sure yet. So I'm just. Cat what I think I said shut it down in a text message. I should shut it down. Then I hear this friend the quite friend and question and my husband talk in the kitchen at a look out the window and it looks like most people have left and [00:52:00] I hear cabinet slamming and in my head the story I'm creating is that they're getting into the liquor cabinet and my husband's not a big drinker at all.

[00:52:07] But with this particular friend, I could see him like having a few shots of whiskey or I don't know what they would drink. I'm sort of like great. He's gonna be. Like shit-canned when it's time to drive me today are to the airport the hospital. So anyways, yeah, that guy was a boob. ER I will I will never forget just like the mama Rage of like you're violating my space.

[00:52:28] I think my body was already knowing that it was coming but I my mind but my body was doing all of its hormonal stuff to be hair and I just went into this rage of like this is my space and not only are you violating it but you're violating in the most like clueless disrespectful way like that you threw yourself.

[00:52:44] At my house and I'm in labor upstairs. Yeah, someday this person may or may not have an idea of that. Well, I love everything that I've learned from you today and just sharing like I [00:53:00] really feel like honestly like I feel like I've been in a little bit of therapy and I also feel like I might have shared too much but whatever and so before we're done.

[00:53:07] Do you have a favorite baby product or baby products that you used that you want to share about? Yeah, so my new recent favorite I actually didn't use because it came out like a few months when Maeve was like a little bit past the stage we use a little bit now, but there's a company called love every which is all one word L.

[00:53:27] OV e ve Ry and they started out making a play gym, which is beautiful and awesome and. Had one and loved it with may have but they recently came out with play kits and it's a subscription box that comes every once every two months but they really Far and Away more than anyone else Enlisted the help of Developmental professionals.

[00:53:48] And so every two months if you subscribe you can eat you can buy each box individually, but it aligns with the baby's development. It sends you toys. It sends you a whole manual activities, you can do and understanding your baby's development [00:54:00] it even includes a little gift for Mom every month because.

[00:54:03] You know, what you're doing is hard. They sent me as just to review their product and try it. They sent me all of the months for the first year. So it's six boxes and each one's stuck cram packed with all this stuff and I spread this stuff out opened it all at once and my kids are going crazy going through it all and I literally thought myself like this is all you need.

[00:54:23] Literally. This is like the best toys on the market aligned with your baby's development. And literally it's enough that that's it. That's all you need. You wouldn't have to stress about. Anything else how disgusting playroom that is cluttered with things they don't and they're all like beautiful wooden, you know, like all the perfect they're visually appealing so you feel like you're a cool trendy mom, but there are so spot-on with development.

[00:54:46] Okay, like I'm going to do a link in the show notes and I cannot wait to go look this and I'll send you my affiliate link so that they know that it came from me and it's also great gift for like grandparents and people that want buy you all the things but you don't really know what you need or yeah don't want a more clutter.

[00:54:59] It's a great [00:55:00] gift to. Yeah, oh my gosh, so excited. Alright, let's high-five it and then we'll pretend like we go back and tell our like very young Bradley selves, you know. Release Control hold everything it's not that you don't hold it. You hold it with a really loose grasp. Yeah. Well said Rachel like anybody who like loved the beginning here, but hearing about can do kiddo and like listening to your story, but like tell us a little bit more about how to get in touch with you and like why brand new parents need some of the stuff that you're offering.

[00:55:39] Mmk question so why do parents need some of the stuff that I'm offering is because I am all about Early Intervention, which really means that you had things off early on and you. You're proactive support positive development. You support what your baby's working on you support good bonding and connection between mothers and new babies so [00:56:00] that we don't have to fix a lot of problems longer term and it's also really important because some of the problems that we're seeing.

[00:56:07] On the rise with newborn babies are things that pediatricians are still saying let's wait and see let's wait and see they have a little flat spot on their head. Let's wait and see and there are things that instead of waiting and seeing that we could be doing two heads. Sorry for the pun to head some of the stuff off so.

[00:56:24] I wrote a book that basically gives parents all of my OT knowledge about preventing flat head syndrome and babies which is a growing epidemic and also for doing their best to avoid a helmet if their baby already has flattening not guarantee, but there are things you can do that are not wait and see and and just proactive playing with your baby in the things that can help combat all of our fears as a parent all of that.

[00:56:48] I'm not doing enough is my baby. Okay? What all those new mom anxieties and nude. Anxieties can really be alleviated with just a little more knowledge and a little more enjoyment of the newborn phase because it's [00:57:00] hard that phase is hard. Yeah, so we're like so if somebody's listening and they're like, oh like either I'm pregnant or like my best friend's pregnant or like.

[00:57:09] And like you need this book like you need this book Because as a new mom you are going to be staring at your newborn and being like what do I do with you all day long and there is so much. So like, how do we how do we get this Buck? Well, there's a couple ways. So I think these books I'm sorry.

[00:57:28] Yeah, there's like there's a bunch of books. But the the easiest the lowest hanging fruit is on my homepage can do that CA ND o Ki dto. There are a bunch of free email. Of course, it's for parents where they can kind of dip their toe in the water of this information, and you can pick the topic.

[00:57:43] So maybe you want to learn about playing with your baby. Maybe you want to learn about avoiding. No helmet and avoiding flatheads and Rome. Maybe you want to learn about tummy time and how to start doing tummy time really early, which is what's recommended is for a full-term healthy infant from the first day a week of [00:58:00] life.

[00:58:01] And so kind of be proactive in your parenting through some of these email courses and then if you want dig deeper also my website there's a section that shows the books that are about baby play the books the book about flat head syndrome. Plagiocephaly and then the three courses that I have which are about tummy time and feeding your baby solid starting solids and then one year old development at a big ol course all about following your baby through one-year-old development.

[00:58:26] Okay, like wait, did I hear you? Right you said you had free courses? Yes. I have free email courses where I drop in your inbox every day for about a week and I just give you lessons about. Staff, I want you to know as a new mom. And then if you want to dig deeper, you can always get some of the paid products, but there's an easier way to start than that.

[00:58:45] Okay, this sounds fantastic and like right now I'm like tag tag tag every single mom that I like, you know help to duel over the last couple of months. I'm going to be like sending emails tomorrow. So awesome. Thank you so much for coming on. This has been great. [00:59:00] Thanks, Heidi.

[00:59:04] Thank you for listening to birth story. My goal is your 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.