Read the Transcript of episode 42 to hear how Elizabeth achieved a mindful birth with her third homebirth.
Katelyn Fusco 0:03
Welcome to the happy home birth podcast, your source for positive natural childbirth stories in your community of support, education and encouragement and all things home birth and motherhood.
Well hey there happy homebirthers and welcome to Episode 42 of the happy home birth Podcast. I am your host, Katelyn Fusco and my oh my do I love it when a plan comes together guys. Holy guacamole I can’t even tell you. So this episode that we’re listening to. I’m interviewing Elizabeth bauuer. You’re going to hear more about her in a minute. But I just want to give you a little background. So this interview was conducted several months ago. It’s been on my content calendar. So it’s been scheduled and planned for several months.
Elizabeth Bauer 0:55
And somehow it relates perfect leads, like 100%, perfect fit with what all is going on right now. So if you have been on social media in the last few days, then you probably have seen that I am trying to garnish funds for a course that I would like to take for my business on course creation, which is very meta if you ask me. But so basically, I am ready to create my childbirth education course for home birth mother’s for you. And it’s all related to giving birth mindfully and peacefully. Well, that is what Elizabeth finally achieved in her third birth. So I cannot wait for you guys to hear this. Because what she did is so so relevant to what I am hoping to teach you or what I’m going to teach you. So like I said, back to the fundraiser thing, I am raising money, so that I can enroll in this course for the business. Because let me just tell you, I do not know what the heck I’m doing when it comes to anything digital. So I’m, I’m hoping to enroll so that I can make something beautiful and amazing for you. So if you are interested in learning about the fundraiser, I only have until September 18 to raise the funds. So if you’re listening to this on, I don’t know, Thursday after this episode releases, it’s too late, but you can still donate. But if you’re listening Monday or Tuesday or even Wednesday morning, if you would like to buy some candles, head on over to the show notes. And there’s going to be a link where you can purchase those or you can just go to my Instagram or Facebook, there are links all over it of noxious Lee. So I might say. Anyway, let’s get get past that and head over to the interview information. I like I said, I cannot wait to talk to you about this. So picture this. You’re pregnant for the second, third, maybe the fifth time. What do you do? I mean, you’ve done this before. You certainly know all there is to know right? So this week’s guest Elizabeth bauuer. She takes education seriously. And just because she’s done something once doesn’t mean she isn’t going to learn and prepare even more for the next go round. Elizabeth takes us on a journey of her birthing experiences from a frenzy birth center birth to a birth without the midwife present. Finally, a mindful and peaceful third birth, she was bent on improving her experience every time. And in celebration of all of these things coming together and so much change going on. I have made an awesome freebie for you guys. And it’s so related. It is called the happy home birth essentials mini course. So it’s your guide to having a successful and happy home birth. Now this is an audio guide. And you can pick it up at my happy home birth calm forward slash essentials. I promise you are going to love it. I cannot wait for you to hear this episode. Before we jump in. I do want to thank our reviewer of the week and that is Renee bar. And Renee said the best podcast. Thank you Renee with all those exclamation marks, you’re a winner. She says I wish I had found this podcast a little sooner. I started listening just a few months after my first home birth and I’ve already learned so much to prepare me for my next one. I love that this podcast has a variety of experiences to listen to keep them coming. I will Renee and if you will email me at Katelyn. My happy home birth calm I will send you a happy home birth podcast sticker. Thank you guys so much for reviewing and raiding this podcast it really means the world to me. While you’re at it. If you’ll take a screenshot or a selfie of you listening to the podcast, posted on your Instagram stories, tagging, happy home birth podcast, I will be sure to share you and my stories as well. All right, without anything else to get into way, let’s please remember that the opinions of my guests might not necessarily reflect my own and vice versa. Neither one of us are medical professionals. So continue to see your doctor midwife, or if you’re like me, your chiropractor. Elizabeth, thank you so much for coming on the happy home birth podcast.
Thank you for having me.
I am so excited to hear your three birth stories. So if you wouldn’t mind, would you introduce yourself to the listeners?
Yes. My name is Elizabeth. I am a mom of three. I’ve got a seven year old, a almost three year old and a nine week old today. And we live in Bend Oregon.
Oh, congratulations. So before we started the interview, you told me that you have had all three of your children outside of the hospital. But you started with the birth center. So what was that? Like? What What made you decide to have your first birth at a birth center and not the hospital?
You know, it’s funny. It’s a funny story I hadn’t ever considered having birth outside of a hospital. It didn’t even occur to me that that was an option. And when I was interviewing obstetricians when we were very early pregnant with our first I had been like a drug free birth was what I wanted. But I so I was seeking an obstetrician that was going to support me and we had interviewed a few and we landed on one at the time we were living in Southern California, in Laguna Beach, who was in a private practice, I really was hoping for the obstetrician that I had been seen to deliver the baby that was important to me, I didn’t just want whoever was on call. And so we found this guy, and he after talking to him, he said, You know, I think you’d be a really good candidate for the Midwest practice down the road and the verse center, and I thought what you don’t want to you don’t want me like, I didn’t get it. And he said to me, he said, you know, for women who want to have, you know, low intervention or no intervention births that you know, in terms of drugs and painkillers, I really don’t do anything. He’s like, it’s kind of tissue in the doula hanging out and doing your thing. And then I come in at the very last minute and catch the baby. So you might as well just go work with the midwives because they specialize in low risk births. And you’re a perfect candidate. And I was 32 at the time, and I thought, okay, so I was really nervous because I I carried sort of a cultural stigma about out of hospital birth with me, and I was nervous. But my husband and I went and met with the midwives, and it took about 15 minutes for me to say, Oh, this is exactly what I want. This is what I’ve been looking for. I mean, it was a 15 minute console that lasted like an hour. You know, right. This is wonderful. So yeah, we just were like, I felt very comfortable. I felt so cared for. And I felt so important. I felt like I was the only woman that had ever given birth in the whole world. To our was it was about to give birth, I felt so special.
Yeah, amazing. And how cool that you had an OB that recognized, hey, you know, this isn’t really my thing. So much it is as it as a midwife thing and your perfect candidate.
Right. And the thing that was so cool that I just that I left out was that he actually is the OB that the midwives will send their patients to who end up being high risk or in the meeting, they have a relationship, I forgot about that part. And so you just said that. So he said, you know, should things go in a different direction, and should you need my care, I’m here. But if everything goes as normal than the midwives are the perfect people to handle that.
Katelyn Fusco 8:41
I love to hear that. And it’s so incredible to hear those relationships, you know, that does not happen all across the country, it doesn’t happen with every midwifery practice. So to hear that they have such a compatible relationship is just incredible.
Elizabeth Bauer 8:56
Which is just could be such a wonderful model of care if that was more normal. Absolutely.
Well, amazing. Also, you you found your midwives, and what was your prenatal care, like with the birth center?
I mean, we were in there, I think every appointment may have been like an hour and a half in the best way, you know, not because I was being kept there against my wishes. But because we were chatting, I had so many questions because it was my first and she I kind of kept getting flagged for things that ended up turning out to be nothing. But I kind of kept having these flags and things that would come up with the tests. And so they did an excellent job explaining all that to me. And I just, again, I felt like the only pregnant woman they were seeing. And this is a very busy midwife practice in Orange County, so very much not the only woman but I just felt like I was and it was it was it was exceptional. I loved it. Oh, gosh, that sounds so great. And that
Katelyn Fusco 9:53
that is exactly what I wish for every mother to be able to experience that feeling of I am the most important person in the world giving birth right now.
Elizabeth Bauer 10:03
Yeah, yeah. And I never felt like any of my questions were a waste of time or, or silly. And I have been in situations with other health care providers where I have felt a little shamed for my questions, or, like I was bothering them, like they had to get at it. You know, there’s, there’s a lot of culture sitting on the computer while I’m talking to them, you know, and I’m thinking, are you really listening? I know you’re typing. But are we really engaging here and with the midwives while sometimes and some of the midwife practices I’ve been with it, almost think like, how are you remembering everything I’m saying right now, because you’re not writing anything down. But somehow they do.
Katelyn Fusco 10:42
So with such amazing prenatal care, how was your birth experience with your first when it started?
Elizabeth Bauer 10:52
It started perfectly. I mean, it was it. We had a really, we were eight days past our duty date, which now my husband would really like every model of care to change the 40 week to 41 week. So that that’s freaking out about why the baby hasn’t come.
Katelyn Fusco 11:14
A long way. Once you get past that 40 week mark, you are so right. I’m sure the day is just like the hours multiply.
Elizabeth Bauer 11:21
Oh, yeah. And my husband’s like, I don’t know why they tell you 40 weeks average is 41. Anyway, does he simply one? Yeah. Right. It’s crazy. It’s crazy. So we were at the day before I was 41. And you had a long, wonderful day. And I had started and I started having some contractions. But you know, they weren’t really a big deal. I, I tend to in my, in my stories, when I count or when I consider going into labor, I think of it as when I needed support. Like I can’t actually have a conversation through a contraction anymore. It’s not It’s not funny anymore. I’m having a good. It’s not that that’s kind of when labor starts for me. And so we had, I had been having those like, Oh, this is fun. Maybe we’re having a baby today moment. And we, you know, we got in bed and I had actually done a lot of hip no birthing prep up to the birth. And as soon as I started, this contraction started getting a little more uncomfortable. I remember putting my headphones in and trying to start some of the hip no birthing tracks, and immediately was, you know, shocked at how much they weren’t what I needed at the time, which I didn’t know he was my first baby. So I had imagined something really different. Like I was going to be able to zone into this, you know, really great relaxed state. And that wasn’t the case for me. I heard the tracks and they actually started making me a little angry. You know, I kind of always
Yeah, I said some bad words. Like you have no idea what I’m doing. There’s no relaxing right now. And so anyway, I got up and got rid of that. And, and yeah, and then and then it was it all happened really fast. You know, my first for for some reason, my, which I think I’ve now come to realize why. But my, my transition from zero to 10 happens pretty quickly. And so it as it was starting, I remember thinking, oh my goodness, these sensations are really powerful. There’s no way I’m going to be able to do this without an epidural. And I got I got a little scared like this is this is more than I signed up for because I assumed I was at two centimeters. Right? Because you know, they tell you your first birds can it take so long and be in it for the long haul, get your coconut water, whatever, you know. And so I kept thinking, Well, I have another 16 hours of this. There’s no way you know, thanks, especially because the hit over things not working. So I’m not able to use it. And so we call the doula and she came right over and she was I was it was my husband was conveying to her that the sensations are getting pretty powerful and that I was feeling like I didn’t have a lot of tools to help me because the doula wasn’t wasn’t there yet. And I because again, I was only supposed to be two centimeters at this point, in my mind, so she shows she had me get in the in the tub while I was waiting for her to come and I got in the tub. And she came and I immediately told her, you know, I think I have to poop like this is feeling really overwhelming. And she said, okay, we need to get to that. We need to get to the birth center, which is funny, when it’s your first you have no idea that that’s usually a sign that you’re approaching transition, you know, you’re going to actually push the baby out soon.
And I thought,
wow, this is really just not… This isn’t what I signed up for. I just thought it was gonna be a lot easier when I’m two centimeters. So so we get in the car and drive to the the birth center. And hello, is that a it was about 15 minutes. Okay. So we and it was now at light exam midnight or so you know, so there’s nobody on the road, fortunately. So we got there. And when I got there, the midwife met us there and I was already nine centimeters. So it only taken three hours for me to get to nine centimeters. And so I you know, and and then at that point, I’m I switched from being like, there’s no way I can do this to like I was made to have babies, you kidding, this is amazing. We’re doing they’re gonna have a baby in 30 minutes. And so I you know, it’s really excited. And we got into the room and, and it was interesting. That’s kind of when things shifted for me. We, I got to this space that in the time I didn’t, I had no concept of this and the time, it’s only now in hindsight from having read a lot more and had two more babies that I wasn’t really comfortable in the birth center. And again, like I think it’s important that I do know this at the time, I was just having a baby, you know, and I was there. But you know, I didn’t like the ending like the furniture. I didn’t like the decor, it was kind of it felt a little old fashioned, you know, I didn’t like it didn’t feel like my home. And all the sudden there were there was a midwife. And there were two assistants who were wonderful. But it was all very, it was a little bit chaotic, because there was a baby coming right now. And no, you know, we’d all just arrived. So there was a lot of rushing around. And it felt my water broke on my husband’s shoes. And that was like funny to everybody except me. I was like, I’m having a baby. This isn’t funny, you know, and you look at me, right? And so it felt like the energy really shifted in terms of what was quiet and cozy at home kind of turned into a little bit more of an energetic environment. And and so that I you know, I started pushing and and it wasn’t I wasn’t progressing in the pushing as fast as they had hoped. So there was a lot of like, concern over positioning and and listening. There’s a lot of listening to the heart rate, and I could hear it. You know, it was it was very, it was a lot of discussion happening between the midwives. And I could overhear that. And so it kind of while I was seeking a less clinical environment, I ended up feeling like I was sort of in a hospital environment that was disguised as a birth center. Does that make sense? Oh, yeah. Yeah, it was an end. So it took it took a long time. You know, we I was pushing for a long time. And I think it when I was pushing, I was it about the baby’s heart, my baby’s heart rate wasn’t, wasn’t sounding, it was a little bit of a cause for concern. So they were keeping very close, sound on on all of that. And they were monitoring it really closely, which is also contributing to my stress levels. Because I you know, I’m right there, they listened in heart, they’re talking to each other. They’re having me change positions. I’m starting to get a little nervous. It’s my first baby. I know, we all want to be in the safest, most supportive environment for our babies to be born. And I was starting to doubt myself was this really the right choice is wrong? I’m so nervous. So
anyway, so then at about the two hour mark, the midwife said, we’re going to we’re going to need to start thinking about a hospital transfer. Fortunately, the hospitals next door, it’s like two minutes away. They’re not a connected business that was right down the street. And so that was good. That was one reason why I chose this birth center. And she ended up leaving the room for a bit to do something. She was doing something and I I remember my doula at the time, really stepping in and looking at me and giving me I picked I picked the doula because she’s an athlete, she’s a triathlete. And she’s an I am an athlete. And I felt like we were gonna, we were going to click on in terms of that kind of athletic perform woman’s idea of tolerating these sensations and being okay with it. And she just got right in my space and a really loving way and looked at me and said, You need to stop listening to anything that’s going on in this room, and you need to look at me, and you can do this, like we’re here together, she gave me the most incredible pep talk. To this day, it gives me chills to think about what she did. And she just held my hands and she was like, you are pushing this baby out right here. Like you’ve got this and I just I felt this new swell of energy where I was, I was ready to give up I mean to, to at 15 minutes of pushing your heart and you know, but you’re at the end of like, two hours of pushing, and I just I was done. I was really like, the hospital was like the best idea ever. Like, I just want to stay out and I don’t care how it comes out. And she just gave me this new, she invigorated me. And by the time the midwife came back in, she gave me one more check in the Midway was go, oh, my goodness, we’ve made some progress. Look what the baby’s got there. Okay, this is gonna work and the baby came out, it still took a while, you know, my, my memory of the exact time stamp here isn’t perfect. We ended up pushing for just under four hours. So somewhere in this summit, the doula was talking to me. And we ended up getting the baby to make some progress, which allowed the midwife to feel comfortable with me staying at the birth center. And, and so and then we ended up having her there, and it worked. And, in hindsight, it’s so clear to me, I believe that my body was I didn’t feel comfortable, you know, I didn’t feel comfortable, I felt scared, I felt nervous, the whole environment changed for me. So after now, all the reading I’ve done about this mind body connection, it’s it’s really no surprise to me that things kind of froze up. And it took my doula to re ground me and talk to me and make me feel safe and comfortable. Because she wasn’t my care provider. She was my support. And my friend, you know, and somebody who was just exuding love and support and that was it, but she wasn’t making any decisions. And so that was really critical for me to have her there. And the other piece to this that I thought was interesting was it again, in hindsight, my midwife was wearing a shirt from the musical wicked. She, she was in our pajamas, I think she was in her pajamas When she showed up and she’s wearing a T shirt, weapons because it was midnight, but she was wearing so it had like, I think it was like a black shirt with a bright green, you know, wicked words, right across her chest. I said these bright red nails. And she had a southern accent and like it didn’t quite jet. So I as I’m pushing and the only position that my daughter’s heart rate with cooperating was for me to be in kind of that typical hospital birthing position where you’re on your back leg on your tailbone, not the ideal position for birthing a baby. And so I was staring at these words wicked, and could see through the latex gloves, my boys bright red nails, and I heard, right. And so these things, and again, none of this, I’m realizing in the moment. But as I’m, you know, prepping for my second and third burst and reading more literature, it’s coming back to me, and I’m thinking, how could this stuff have not? How could it have not had an impact
on my brain and my experience? So needless to say, it all worked out? I really think the doula for helping me get through it. Yeah,
Katelyn Fusco 22:33
that is, so that’s really powerful to me that, and that’s kind of I feel like that’s an important thing that we haven’t talked much about, actually, on this show is how, you know, not every midwife is is created for you, you know, and, and it’s true, you know, whoever is at your birth, they are bringing an energy and if it is not calm and focused on you, then it’s really not going to be helpful. I can totally picture what you’re talking about. Everybody is coming in and trying to get everything ready for you really quickly, but it’s actually causing huge amounts of chaos in your brain.
Elizabeth Bauer 23:15
Yes, yes. Because, you know, they’re, they’re laying out those pads are getting all the equipment ready and your any and you’re just it’s feeling felt like somebody who kind of opened up a feather bed, you know, just flushed it in the air as I walked in the room, and I was like, Wow, what’s happening in my calm environment, it’s just vanished. And that’s,
Katelyn Fusco 23:33
that’s crazy. So, okay, so you you did it though, you had your birth center birth, the what was the postpartum like, what happened after she was born?
Elizabeth Bauer 23:43
I was amazing. My husband, you know, made pancakes for everybody. Because they with the birth center. And so that was really special. I think it might have been waffles doesn’t matter. But he made, you know, made breakfast for everybody. And I was a little amazed at how fast I could go home. You know, it was maybe I think we had our five and I was going home between like 10 and 11. And I remember thinking like, Oh, well, no, no, you guys can’t let me out into the world with this thing. I don’t know how to do this. You know, this little tiny baby, she looks so small McCarthy Don’t Don’t leave me to let me go. But you know that. That was my stuff. They were they did a wonderful job actually, the midwife who had delivered the baby and ended up going home and so right at about right after maybe an hour after sage, our first daughter was born. It could have been later I she didn’t come back in. And so they transitioned in the new the other midwife came on, on who I felt really comfortable with. And so that that was wonderful. We had a really nice cozy time in the room, all just getting acquainted and going home. It was a lot, you know, it’s a lot coming home. For me, it was a lot coming home with my first baby. And I, you know, my breasts were a size that I never seen before they were seated as the milk was coming in, that was a huge sensation that I was not prepared for. But the one of the things I loved about the birth center is they had a lactation consultant who was always available, and she ended up supporting me. And I felt, again, besides that, that that little bit of the birth where things felt stressful, the quality of care I received from this, this group of midwives was exceptional and the postpartum care was was really, really good. But yeah, I thought I actually because she’s a midwife who can also write prescriptions. I didn’t end up getting mastitis. But the good news was, the second I was wondering, or concerned about what was going on with me, there was a prescription called into the right around the corner, and we just got that dealt with right away. And the lactation consultant was on it. I mean, it was it. You know, we did have our hiccups, but it was all I felt very well here for
Katelyn Fusco 26:00
Oh, that’s amazing. Yeah, that’s, that is super helpful to be able to have them write you a prescription so quickly. So So all in all, you did have a good experience with the birth center. But in hindsight, you realize some of the things that might have contributed to a more difficult pushing face, then perhaps you would have had had you been at home? What was it after having that birth center experience that made you decide to transition to having a home birth?
Elizabeth Bauer 26:30
You know, it was it was pretty much wanting to be in an environment where I felt most comfortable. And, and safest actually, you know, because safe is a safe, it’s a big word, that means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. And to me, safe felt like home, you know, I really, I really felt most comfortable there. And so did my husband, you know, we we fortunately aligned on that. And I’m feel so lucky. And so, as I had been doing some reading, when we just were newly pregnant with our second baby, I just had this pushing urge that was telling me like, just have the baby at home, have the baby at home. And we were living abroad at the time when we were pregnant with our second and we decided to come home to have him come home back to the United States because, well, it’s a long story. It wasn’t the perfect place for us where we were living abroad. But the the prenatal care, we were in the United Arab Emirates, we were in Abu Dhabi, which was a wonderful place. And in order for me to receive prenatal care, I had to show my marriage certificate. So there was there was some of that stuff that was a little different to you know, the United States model of care, and there were no out of hospital births. At the time, there were no out of hospital births allowed that wasn’t an option. And so we decided to come back to our hometown because we were not exactly sure where we’re going to end up in the world. And that will just go to our hometown and be around family. So we we were living very close to hospitals. And that was always something that mattered to me. Again, for me to feel safe. I wanted to know that if indeed we needed to do a hospital transfer, we were within minutes to a place where we could get that care if we needed it. So we’re living in a really urban part of San Diego and we were right next to three or four hospitals so I felt really comfortable. And I as I was shopping shopping, sir excuse me as I was interviewing midwives, shopping for midwives, I like shopping. You know, it’s an it was an out of pocket expense for us. So it was kind of like shopping. It’s a it’s a splurge. Yeah. So we, I we found I found one that I loved and she was in North County, San Diego, which on a day where there’s no traffic was probably a 20 five minute drive to our home. And I knew that the likelihood of us having a baby when there wasn’t going to be traffic in San Diego was pretty slim that I decided I didn’t care. I liked her so much. And so So anyway, I met we had we moved back to San Diego and I think I was maybe 16 weeks pregnant or something and started working with her and had a marvelous experience got even better, it got even better than I thought my thought was possible with her. She’s a she was a solo practice. And she was I just wanted her to be my second mother she was she’s so lovely. And she also had a really wide range of, of knowledge in sort of just vitamins and supplements and sort of little things that came up instead of going to like a prescription option. She’d say, oh, let’s look at your diet. Let’s look at what supplements can help you you know, go to the bathroom more or whatever kind of these sort of things non-serious pregnancy issues can be she was such a wealth of knowledge in terms of looking at diet and looking at supplements and I really appreciated her for that. And, and then we were so lucky again, I just got so lucky because as I was hiring a doula, I ended up hiring a doula who I really connected with who then who was in midwifery school at the time, and she ended up doing her. I don’t know what it’s called. And in midwifery practice, but like the equivalent of a residency where you go and you internship apprenticeship think you should her apprenticeship just so happened to end up being with the midwife that we had chosen. How cool, so cool. So I was seeing her at every one of my prenatal appointments. And she was an she’s an exceptional woman. And, and again, in hindsight, I it just it’s ironic that the woman that I was most drawn to to be our doula was somebody who was in midwifery school because the midwife didn’t make it to the birth.
So, yeah, right. So like I said, I’ve had these fast births. And the first one, the second one was lightning fast. And, and, and,
again, I’m so hesitant, because I, I love this midwife so much, and I I really don’t think this was her fault. And, and at the same time, I think it’s important for people to know that we, as women are experts in our own bodies. And when I was in labor, and calling the midwife I did feel a little bit like, she didn’t believe me that I was in labor to the point that I was, if that makes sense. I, you know, I, I was in the tub already, you know, feeling like it was it was at that moment where it stopped being funny and was like, Okay, I actually am having a hard time talking to these contractions. It started really fast. So I didn’t have a lot of time. To let her to let anyone know, really. So I called the the the doula when I thought it was happening. And of course, the doula was, like, I’m not even in a risk it I’m coming, I don’t care if I have to go home, I’m just going to come. So but with the midwife, you know, she was a little bit more like, Whoa, you know, give me a call when you get to, you know, whatever point it was that she wanted us to be at, to have her come and, and I, I wasn’t, I was annoyed. I was in the tub. And I was annoyed that she wasn’t just getting in the car. And I, it’s fascinating. I started to have started to panic a little because I was in the tub, it was starting to happen to you know, the sensations were getting really powerful. And the midwife didn’t want to come and so or that was my interpretation of it. And I really, I really love this moment. And I would I would hate for anyone to think that I know she didn’t do this intentionally
No, of course. and everybody’s human, you know? Yes,
yes. And so I, I had a panic attack in the bathtub, and I just started crying. And I felt really scared. Like, I don’t, I don’t, I had some, you know, trauma from my last birth. And I remembered about all that pushing all the sudden, I started to doubt my decision to have the baby at home and I was feeling really uncomfortable. And everything came to a cease it ceased. I stopped being in labor. I was like, everything stops. And I was like, oh, oops, I guess she was right. Like, I’m not heading. And then that was all no thing. Like, wait, what? What just happened? Why you might not live anymore. Like that was that was legit. A contraction? You know, I’m not crazy. I’ve done this before. And, you know, the doula showed up. And I told her, I thought I said, I am so sorry, I guess I’m not in labor. And she said, Oh my gosh, don’t be silly. Sit down, like let’s sit down. And she started telling me these funny stories about, you know, her total potty training and kind of the chaotic keepers of her pooping toddler. And I started laughing is probably over a period of 30 minutes. We were sitting down, I started laughing really hard. And she was making me laugh, and we were having a great time. And what do you know, my contractions started, right where they left off. And again, like hindsight is 2020 at each with each birth, I do more reading, you know, and they talk about laughter and the oxytocin that’s happened, you know, all of this is textbook. And so and then, and then it was like, we hit the ground running like, right when she was making me laugh. I started having contractions, it was you know, not funny anymore.
The laughing ceased,
right, the laughing ceased, and
45 minutes later, the baby was born. So, so what happened was, again, I was I was at home, I felt at this point, I felt extremely comfortable, extremely cared for she came in and, you know, basically wrapped her arms around me and was like, I’ve got you like, we’re in a good place here. My husband was there and my daughter had come home from preschool and she was there. My mom was there, it felt so good. And so then boom, we hit the ground running and in that whole process, I believe the doula had called the midwife in there. I don’t know when it happened, but and the midwife hit the road, but you know, of course, it’s traffic. It’s July 4 weekend in San Diego, you know, so we, you know, the doula caught the baby and the baby was my son cedar is was fine. He was perfect in every way. And everything was fine. But that was also an element of, of trauma for me, because I, I, all of a sudden had this baby in my arms, and I kept I have it on video. And I keep asking the doula, like, Is he okay? Is he okay with your kids? Your kids, okay. And she was like, He’s perfect. He’s great. And I kept asking, Are you sure? Are you sure? You sure? She says, it’s my partner. She looks at me. She’s, I’m certain. Okay, okay. And, and, you know, he’s crying. He’s paying. He’s perfect, you know, and then and then the midwife got there about 15 minutes after he was born. And we were still in the tub. We were holding him and it was fine. But and now, I think, well, maybe that’s why they became so effortlessly because I was so comfortable. Yep.
Yeah, totally different from that, that first experience, still some difficulties that you had to go through?
Yes, but definitely, you are more comfortable
Katelyn Fusco 36:41
with that with your doula being there and in the comfort of your own home.
Elizabeth Bauer 36:46
Yeah. And once again, man, the doula just saves the day. I mean, right. Because of this is, my husband and I are both, you know, my husband jokes that whenever he’s not one to give unsolicited advice, but he said every time somebody announcing that they’re pregnant, or it’s there for you, and he always wants to say, you guys really should hire a doula. It’s like the best money you’ll ever spend. But, you know, there’s, I think there’s an ego part of it. For some partners to think that they can’t be that person for their spouse. Yeah. And I, you know, I, I get that energy sometimes sort of like, well, I’m there, why does it do you need to be there, and especially when you haven’t been a partner in a birth before you and you and you aren’t doing some sort of training with Bradley or whatever, you know, to know Really? how critical a doula can be for a mom, because they’ve been that so many births,
right? And how critical a doula can be for a dad to for a partner. Yes, that’s what’s so incredible is the the people that do experience the doula work. It’s not just the mom that is singing praises, just like you’re saying, with your husband. I mean, Dad end up benefiting so much, because then they know how to help. They can still do the things but they know what things to do because someone’s telling them Oh, this is usually good for this type of situation.
Yes, absolutely. I and I, I left that out of the birth. My the doulas and the doula and Peter work together beautifully. Oh, yeah. It was wonderful. That’s amazing. Well,
okay, so so two very different birth experiences. I’m super curious to hear about the one that just happened.
Yeah, so so now we we moved to Oregon. And there’s a wonderful midwifery practice here. And they we had I met with them I felt really comfortable from the get go with both of the midwives in the practice. I loved them and and now started to read a little more, I started to really dive into more literature because I am now noticing that with each birth, I go through a period of really doubting Where is that safest place safest in quotation marks, you know, safest place for me to have my baby, I really start to wonder, I start to get a little fear, I start to think, oh, gosh, how can I possibly have a third uncomplicated birth, you know, that’s, that’s just too much to ask for, maybe I should be in the hospital. And then there’s also the cost, you know, it’s expensive to pay out of pocket for a home birth when my husband’s insurance will cover a birth in a hospital right down the road. You know, so vast reading, it’s so frustrating. And I and I, it, I have to hand it to my husband, I was the one feeling guilty about it. I was like, you know, me, I don’t know, it’s my third baby, you aren’t, we just we could just go to the hospital, have a baby and whatever, save a bunch of money. And he, he was like, Oh, baby, you know, I, this means so much to you. And this is such an important part of our story. Like, I really think you need to have the baby where, where you really want to have the baby, you know? And, yes, he has a really, he’s a very frugal man, very frugal man, and at the same time can put this into perspective and say, you know, yeah, it’s, it’s about $5,000 to have a baby here, and we’re not swimming in money. So it’s not like that’s a drop in the bucket. But at the same time, he has a he has a way of really putting it into perspective and being like, we save money for really critical and important things. And this was the birth of our baby is really important. You know, and, and this is, this is a forever moment, it’s more to us, it’s more important than a car or, you know, whatever these other kitchen remodel, you know, retiring our kitchen, whatever it’s going to be those things really don’t matter as much as this this experience for us. So this is where we decided to spend our money. And so and I think that’s an important thing to to talk about is so for some people, it does become just about money. And I would encourage them to think about where else they do spend money and then to way like, what, what matters for them, you know, because sometimes when you put it into perspective, like this other thing can wait, you know, and I do realize as I’m talking about a car or a kitchen remodel it, it that is a privileged by choice to where you’re spending your money. But if you’re saving money, and you have some there that you can spend to think about, like you know, what can be put off because births really matter. Oh, I love that.
I might have cried a little bit.
When that is your whole story, I
feel like I don’t even remember the kitchens I lived in or whatever. In the past or things I’m keep harping on the kitchen, because I’m sitting here with the mind right now. But anyway, the so I then once I finally I said that it’s at that time, in my process where I dive into literature, and it it always ends up grabbing me and reminding me that I do feel most comfortable and supported with midwives and in my home. So we and it’s it may is really the one who just keeps I keep coming back to and and then I also a follow some Instagram feeds that show out of hospital births primarily, which also is just another another contribution to the tape playing in my head. This is normal, this is safe, like right, the vast majority of women have very successful births like you know that our human race would not be where it is today. Most babies were born without complications. Exactly. So it’s nice to remind myself of that and dive into the literature. And as I was diving into the literature, I was now really learning about this mind body connection. There’s that the book by I believe his name is Michelle Oh daunt That’s correct. And the needs of a woman in labor. And it’s very short. And I was reading it and I had this just massive light bulb go off in my head. And that is kind of what made me reflect on my first birth. The second and why it did go so smoothly. And thinking, Wow, that’s so interesting. When the midwife and kind of the chaotic environment of the birth center were there. This happened when I was at home and it was just my doula and my family this happened. Okay. So as I was moving into the third birth, I it finally occurred to me that I could ask for what I wanted, you know, and say, Hey, you guys, these are my stories, I think I might be really susceptible to the energy around me. And I don’t want to hear the heart rate, when you’re when you’re checking my belly. I don’t want to hear it. Like I don’t I don’t I don’t want to have to worry. I don’t want to hear you guys talking about what’s going on. Please take that to the other room. You know, I started to now realize what what could it be contributing to the success of my what was potentially contributing to the success of my second birth and felt very confident asking for what I needed. Like, please don’t wear any clothes that have like, what can we make it have words like Please Like, I now know that these things are probably affecting me. I I want the energy to be calm, I don’t want there to be lot of talking. And my midwives were just so supportive of that. And I felt like they were grateful to be told what was going to work for me. And so now here we go. I’m, I’m I Oh, sorry, another another part of this that I think was really important to and something my only goal and my third birth was to reframe my association with this with the, I hate this word, but with the pain, okay, so with this with the first and the second, I felt like I muscled my way through it, like I just I’ve got it, I’ve got a high pain tolerance, I’ve done a lot of extreme athletic endeavors, I’m really good at sort of just ignoring it. But I wanted to do more than ignore it, I really wanted to just not have it be something I was trying to run away from. And instead just be okay with it, and really accept it as natural and not judge it. And so I did a lot of work. Leading up to the birth through meditation and through practicing with I was running up until about 34 weeks, and a lot of that was took, it took a lot of letting go in terms of expectations, my body and sensations and things I did so much mental prep, going into this birth about how to tune into my body and sit in my body’s physical discomfort, just with the little discomfort of pregnancy, and to not judge it to not hate it, to not endure it, but just to be in it and to be okay with what it was. And I’ve been a big pregnancy complainer in the past, you know,
like, Oh, I can’t do this, I
can’t do that. I’m huge, it hurts to do this, I was so much, you know, complaining. And this time I, I tried. Every time I wanted to complain, I tried to switch it into something. My body’s amazing. I’m carrying this baby, we’re healthy, just really switching it and. And so my goal was to have a more positive association with the sensations of birth. And I wanted to catch my baby because the sensations previously and the fact that I was trying so hard to run away from the pain in my head, there was no way I could have caught the baby. I was just like, get the baby out.
I don’t want
anything to do with this. I’m just gonna push as hard as I can tell me when it’s over. Right kind of my, my, my process. And with this one, I thought none in and out. Like I’d seen enough of these just amazing birth videos of women catching their babies and thinking how on earth were you able to like, for me that is the moment of the most intense sensation just as the heads coming out. There’s no way I could be grounded enough to like, be present for that. And so my goal was Yeah, you can like you can this is all in your head, you’ve got to figure out how to get on top of this. So I had a friend who was is my yoga teacher I asked who had a home birth I’d asked her if she would support me it’d be my doula and she was beautiful teacher and inspired me in a lot of the yoga thinking in terms of just being in the posture, whatever yoga pose you’re in, it’s uncomfortable, but it’s the same stuff, you’re not going to judge it you’re just going to be in it you know and and, and not try and change it or fix it or or sink away Don’t Don’t let your mind go somewhere else just be in it. So as I knew she’d be the perfect person to have there to help me just be in it. And our birth I was four days past my due date, which is a very hard space for me to be in.
I had a really hard time with this birth in that
space because in this pregnancy in that space because I really wanted to control it I really wanted the baby to come I was I was tired of being pregnant and i just i you know i to other kids there was so much of this like I two other kids. My doulas husband, my my doula and friends husband is a in flight paramedic, he’s got crazy hours and I thought Oh, goodness, like how is all this going to align the woman who’s going to take pictures, it’s got three kids, I’m like, This is
crazy. I don’t know when we’re all going to be able to make it here at the same time.
So I just I wanted this baby to come and the midwives had had shared the you know, options with me like you can we had do a sweeping of the membranes. And they even went so far as as saying that if I felt more comfortable, they could break my bag of waters. And I could go home and have the baby because of how quickly my baby said, Come. You know, they didn’t want to miss it. And we had gone through all of these different options. And once again, and I he was really hard for me not to just Yep, let’s do it right now. Let’s pray water today, let’s do it. You know, I’m done. And it was thanks to my husband, who was like, let’s just, you know, pump the brakes.
Katelyn Fusco 49:08
Peter is really saving the day. And
Elizabeth Bauer 49:11
I mean, just because he is so saying, you know,
so grounded and not pregnant that he was able to say like, this is your choice, but pump the brakes. Let’s go home. Let’s just talk about this. Let’s see if there’s any way we can get you through one more day. Like what do you need? Do you need me to take the day off work to do you need to give ourselves like do what you need to do to just get through one more day like you have spent this whole pregnancy preaching how your body’s amazing, your body knows best. And now you’re like, let’s break my bag of water. So
let me so
so I’m not I feel like you might be going a little bit crazy here. So how can I help you? ground back down and look so
of all of that. So he me,
he was great. So then he sent me to or you know, gave his blessing for me to go to a foot spa they have here in band, which is where you go Yeah, like foot massages. And or he
was he said to me, like, you know, maybe you just need to go get a massage. And again, this is so big for him because like I said, we’re not swimming in money like this stuff. This these choices matter. And massages are expensive. It’s another you know, hundred bucks or whatever and and he he said, You know what, again, like, let’s just trust your body, go do something for yourself. And the only place I had availability was this foot spa. So I ended up going there and getting a wonderful foot massage. And then we went out to dinner with some friends and had Thai food. And it was that night that I I thought I thought I was just having gas pains. Like at the end of the
Thai food and the end of hiking. See it’s hard to gas can be uncomfortable. There’s not a lot of room.
I was up I woke up at 230 with these with these, quote gas canes. And I was like, oh man, sir,
I shouldn’t have eaten Thai food. And ironically, my husband was up at the exact same time because he had been sleeping and he fell asleep in the kids room. So he was up. I heard him and I called him in and and then I He’s like, do you think this is the baby? And I’m like, No, no, I think it’s just gas. And
he was like,
what’s kind of coming like every three minutes?
You know I right? time, right? Yes. Yeah. Yeah.
He’s like, I don’t know, sweetie, this is and I’m like, all right, well, maybe we should just start timing it. And then I felt it’s funny. I felt so sensitive about calling everybody at 230 in the morning, because I didn’t want it to be a false start. You know, I’m one of these people who I don’t like bothering people. You know, it’s hard for me to ask for help. So I’m in my bathroom going like, No, no, no, no, like, let’s just wait. Let’s just wait till we really know we’re having a baby. And he’s my husband was like, I really think you should call somebody like this is getting this is I think you’re having a baby. And I’m still talking through it. So I’m like none other. And then I thought there’s no way we can have another fast birth. Like there’s another, that reputation of third births being a wild card. Right? everybody kept telling me that. So now I’m like, Okay, this is going to be my 16 hour birth. I’m ready.
Let’s just call people when we’re sure we’re having a baby.
So, you know, it got within probably 10 minutes, it turned into we’re having a baby. So we you know, we called everybody and they arrived at my house at I think, like 310 or 315. And the baby was born at 415. So we had another perfect really fast but and the midwives made it and this was a really interesting part of the story was my friends who didn’t have home births. Were asking me like, so where the midwives like, you know, are they are they all over you? Are they? Are they checking you every minute? Like, what? What’s happening? And my husband overheard me telling a friend No, nobody touched me the whole time. Except except my doula. And and Peter goes, No. See, he’s like the sweetie that they have a heart rate thing on you the almost the whole time.
There was like, way way. He’s like, yeah,
there was some, you know, the Assistant, she had a heart to heart. It was in the heart rate the whole time. I was like, No, and I went back to look at them. TechStars like, then she is like crouched in the corner. Like just slowly pulling back my robe. You know, listening to the heart, they completely honored thing what I’d asked
for Yes, I had no idea. And, and so it was just it was so beautiful that like,
they they were like ghosts. You know, I didn’t even know they were there was the one or two times the midwife even spoke to me it was so quiet. And, and by the time I think the thing that was so shocking to me, because I had thought in my head, like, third births are a wild card. I kept thinking there’s no way this is happening already. And of course, I get that sensation, like I’m going to push. And I kept saying things like i think i think i’m I think I’m a push right now. I think I think it’s time for me to push. And the midwife was just quiet. And it was funny, because almost now in in as a complete 180 I was annoyed
that like she couldn’t tell me what my body. Right? Like, why are you telling me it’s time to pause? You know, like, why don’t you know cuz she was totally, you know, she was she was
besides but they were listening to the heart. You know, she she was very hands off. She was just sitting next to me on the bed. And she kept saying because I rewatch the video, she just kept saying, like, go with it, go with it, if that’s what it feels like you need to do and,
and in my mind, I was like, No, just tell me what to do. I don’t know what to do. And it
was amazing. Because our bodies do know exactly what to do. And our minds just get in the way. You know, we kids, I had this tug of war with my brain where I had to consciously bring my mind back, especially as the sensations were getting so powerful. I, I’d have these moments in the middle of the contraction where I’d want to run away, you know, my mind would want to just wince and go somewhere else. And I had to, you know, I had this image of like laughing my brain back and yanking it back and just sitting in it. And and every time I’d want to judge it, I kept thinking like, what centimeter? Am I at? What where am I where and every time I would just like fly swatter and just stick my head in the pillow and go into this. Like, it felt like a black hole in my brain where I could just be in it without wondering and my eight centimeters do I have to do this for six more hours? What what what what, you know, this, this race of my brain that I was really controlling for the first time ever, and, and found that all the sudden, then I was ready to push and thought, Oh, wait a second hold up, this could not be happening already. And then, you know, that was happening. And then all of a sudden I was like,
uh, I’m having a baby, it’s gonna come out
right now. And I was standing up. And, you know, I, I, I have the wherewithal to say to my midwife, I want to catch that I want to touch it. And she said, This is beautiful moment on video where she’s like, this is all your girl, she’s like, behind me, you know, ready, like spotting, but I, I think she did a little bit of help guiding the baby into my hands that I was right there and, and caught my baby and pulled into my chest and was just like, like, happen so fast. And I just felt like, I am sensitive to say this because I don’t want it to come out the wrong way. But it’s I felt like I won my gold medal. You know, I felt like I, I did it. Like I worked so hard to try and get to this place where I could achieve this type of birth, where I was in charge of my brain where I felt like I trusted my body who I was really able to just let it do its thing and not get in its way. And then I was able to catch him and, and I just thought, oh my gosh, we’ve just I did it like and I it was the most wonderful experience. And it was amazing to me how being able to get it in that mental space of not judging it. I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but it really didn’t hurt that much. Like I
I don’t know how that’s possible. But it didn’t I just
remember thinking like, we’re just having a sensation here. And it really made me question how much we define our brains define our pain, you know, and that it doesn’t have to be a painful experience. Because you don’t have to make it that. Does that make sense? Yeah. Wow, that’s really cool. took me three years to figure it out.
I really I just guys, it’s it’s,
it was incredible. And
so yeah, that was that.
Katelyn Fusco 57:45
Oh, gosh, wow, Elizabeth, you have such amazing stories, and you tell them so beautifully. And I love to hear the progression that you may, you know, with, with each birth, and I love how, you know, it seems like sometimes we you can get in this place with at least I know with my second birth, it kind of birth was like or, or even pregnancy was kind of an afterthought. You know, I’m focused on my toddler, I’m focused on all these other things. I wasn’t putting as much emphasis on learning still throughout the pregnancy, but I love to hear how every single pregnancy that you’ve had, you did not stop learning, you did not stop researching, and it positively impacted your birth stories so clearly.
Elizabeth Bauer 58:31
Yeah, it really did. And I and I also come to learn that every woman needs different things. You know, there isn’t a one size fits all for, for this birthing of babies and I, I think I’ve I think I’ve come to learn that the best, the most, we can empower ourselves the most by knowing ourselves, and knowing what we need. And and after hearing a lot of other women’s women’s birth story. That is a common theme. In hindsight, I hear women say, I wish I had trusted the fact that I knew fill in the blank, you know, or that I had the sense that I wanted fill in the blank. But we I think we’re also
the fact that this is this is the most important thing in our hearts that will ever do. Right? Like nothing matters more, we’re scared. You know, it’s a thing where the pain of something going wrong could be so incredibly profound that we will do anything anyone said, I think we start to doubt ourselves. Because, you know, for lack of I don’t believe this now. But we get in this situation of Well, everybody knows better how I haven’t done this that many times this, this ob or this midwife, they’ve been doing this for forever, like they know best and, and, and they do know a lot, right. But I think that we don’t give ourselves credit for really knowing what we need, also. And some women don’t need to read one book, you know, it’s like, it’s like these amazing, I need some amazing mothers who are like, Yeah, I don’t really read parenting books, I just Come on, go by intuition. And our intuition is it is amazing, right? And he’s really grounded, really wonderful mothers who really never felt like they needed to pick up a parenting book, and there and then somehow they’re there already. They’re doing everything the way that you know, contemporary psychology is saying we should do and they right doing it. Right. You know, so I, I but I’m somebody who loves to read parenting books. So for me hitting the books and going to the literature really makes me gives me confidence and helps me learn about myself and what I need. But I you know, not everybody’s the same way. Oh,
man, I love that I you have hit on so many incredible topics. I just honestly don’t even know what to do with myself. Because I’m sitting here thinking, how am I going to pick quotes for Instagram? so many amazing things. And your stories are just amazing, credible. So Elizabeth, I cannot thank you enough for coming on and sharing with us. You really have been so inspirational.
Well, thank you so much. And I really I’m so grateful that you are out there, you know, sharing stories because women learning from each other is so important and hearing everybody’s stories and then trying to create a model that fits best for them. That’s you know, that’s that’s progress.
That’s perfect. What a beautiful way to end. Thank you so much, Elizabeth, for coming on the show.
Thank you so much too.
So heads up as we enter into this episode, round up. Nursing noise is brought to you by Lillian Ruth and those are free. can’t get anything done anymore without a little bit. So that’s like, all right, episode round up. Can we just Can you raise your hand if you just loved Elizabeth, if you could see me right now both my hands are raised. And Lillian looks like she’s raising hers to this episode was so incredible. And I have some many things that we could talk about right now. But I just want to point out a few. So first off, wasn’t it crazy how Elizabeth midwife like in the unknowingly, her clothing choices, had a subconscious ability to throw off Elizabeth birthing game. That’s, that’s crazy. And and I don’t know if any other care providers are listening to this and thinking like holy moly, that is, I mean, it’s not something that I necessarily would have thought about before and how that could really impact things. So maybe be considerate of what you’re wearing. Sometimes you just can’t help it. And you’ve just got to attend to birth in your bra and underwear or in your New Year’s Eve party dress. But when you have the ability to think about that. Also, Elizabeth learned that she knows her body better than anyone else. Even professionals. That is so important to to notice, guys, so important. Also, love and laughter can bring a baby out in a hurry. Didn’t you just enjoy hearing the way that Elizabeth sitting down with her doula after Labor had stalled for a momentary time, how those stories that they told together in that time they spent together is really what ramped her labor right back up. And then, finally, and what I find to be just so important, how mindfulness gave her the most beautiful present birth yet, that is what I want for you. I just love this idea. And, and I love it so much, knowing that I’ve experienced it myself. And the way that the second birth came for me was, I mean, guys, it just can’t be topped. And I probably talked about it enough to where it’s like annoying to you, but I’m, I’m talking about it because I want you to have that. I want you to have it so bad. So on that note, if you haven’t dealt with the freebie yet, it’s a free audio guide. It’s like a mini course. It’s five tips to help you have a happy home birth. Just head over to my happy home birth, calm forward slash essentials and download the guide there. It’s going to be awesome. And it’s kind of just a little taste of what you guys can expect in my home birth, childbirth education course that’s going to be coming out in January. So thank you guys so much for tuning in this week. I love you to death. I cannot wait to see you back here next week.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai