Episode 46 Transcript

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Full Transcript from Episode 46:

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


all things home birth and motherhood.

Hey there, everyone and welcome to the happy home birth podcast. I’m your host, Katelyn Fusco and this is episode 46. Now I want to start this episode off with a statement that I have heard time and time again. You ready? I want to have a home birth with my second but I feel safer giving birth in the hospital with my first baby. I hear this from so many moms and I get it with so much propaganda and misinformation regarding the safety of home birth. I certainly see why so many moms feel that it’s the best option. And for many it really is they’ll feel more comfortable and just as empowered at the hospital. But for others, they expect that having natural birth in the hospital will be easier than giving birth at home. And once they experience the deep rooted, rooted disempowerment that may occur at the hospital, they long to have considered home birth more and swear to give birth at home the next time. I mean, listen back to just a few interviews and you’ll hear this theme again and again. In today’s episode, we’ll be speaking with Elena, who decided to do just that. Give birth naturally at the hospital. First, we’ll hear her experience both the good and not so good. And we’ll learn how to prepare ourselves in advance should we decide to give birth there or perhaps we’ll skip it all together and just stay home. Now, before we hop into the interview, I do want to take a moment to go over a few quick exciting announcements with you guys. The first one is in relation to happy home birth Academy, which if you haven’t heard yet is my childbirth education program specifically for home birth mothers. So, regular childbirth education courses, of course, are focused on hospital births. Why? Because 99% of women give birth in the hospital. So you as a home birth mother need a course that’s specific to you, because what’s going to be experienced at the hospital versus at home? It’s two totally different worlds. So I’ve been working with midwives across the country, as well as home birth mothers from across the country to put this course together and it is now ready to go live. I’m going to be launching the full course in January. But starting October 22, I’m going to be having a run through with a group of home birth families that are interested in participating. So this will be a live version, like I said, which means that we’ll meet weekly online, and if you can’t make the weekly meetings, that’s okay too, because there will be replay options available. And you guys are going to be giving me feedback to make this course exactly what needed for home birth families and midwives. So if this sounds great to you, and also just so you know, this is the lowest price that will ever be at as well what’s going to be less than $100 for for these founding members, if this all sounds good to you, please go to my happy home birth calm forward slash Academy and that is where you can very easily sign up and get started. Alrighty, next announcement is I don’t know if you guys saw these but I got some new t shirts and I’m super excited about them. So we are going to be their order through bonfire. So a certain number of people need to order before the order can actually be filled. If you are interested and checking these t shirts out and hopefully purchasing some happy home birth, swag, I believe the millennial say, then go to my happy home birth calm forward slash shop and you can pick one out and I believe that is all We’ve got besides my usual bag for take a screenshot of the episode, upload it to your Instagram Stories tagging happy home birth podcasts and I will feature you and mine. Yeah, that’s pretty much it. lilium Do you have anything? Can you say hi? Tell us a little bit of a fussy Hi, but she tried. Alright guys, just please remember that I am not a medical professional and neither is my interviewee. So please continue to see your doctor or midwife. Or if you’re like me, you’re a chiropractor. Also, one quick note is we do discuss Group B strep In this episode, and I will say that I’ll be linking to evidence based birth in the show notes for you to consider all the angles of this topic because it is a really depth one. And Rebecca Decker is very thorough and her discussion and recommendations. So please check that out. And that’s it. Let’s head on over to the interview. Elena. Thank you So much for coming on the happy home birth podcast.

Elena Loannidis 5:04
It’s good to be here.

Katelyn Fusco 5:05
Yes, I am so excited to have you. I would love for you to start off by just introducing yourself and your family to the listeners.

Elena Loannidis 5:12
Sure. Well, my name is Elena and I live in Sudbury, Massachusetts, which is about 21 miles out of Boston. And it’s me my husband and our two and a half year old daughter, actually, she’s almost three very, very soon. It’s too fast. That’s true. I can’t even keep up where I’m at. But yeah, and, and I work full time. And it’s busy, super busy, but we try to have a good balance between

you know, working and being outdoors, especially now with the summer here. Yes, I

Katelyn Fusco 5:56
that’s fantastic. So I’m really excited to share your story. Because it’s not what we have, we haven’t done one that has been strictly a hospital birth so far, you know, there have been moms that have started the hospital and then transition to home birth and kind of given little tidbits of hospital and home birth, but this is a hospital birth story, natural hospital birth story. And we are so excited to learn from your experience.

Elena Loannidis 6:21
Definitely, there’s a lot to share. And I hope that those who are considering having a natural birth, will learn from some of the things I experienced and sort of implemented in their own

birth if should they decide to have a natural hospital birth?

Katelyn Fusco 6:41
Amazing. Well, why don’t you start us out? What was your first pregnancy? Like what how did? How did it all start out for you?

Elena Loannidis 6:50
Sure. Yeah. So husband and I were married for 10 years and we got married really young. So at that point, you know, We hit the 10 year mark, and we were talking about having a baby. And we actually tried for a very short period of time and things weren’t working out. So we kind of just said, Well, maybe it’s not the right time and, and then I got pregnant unexpectedly and I traced it back to a Christmas day when I got pregnant and it was in, in St. JOHN, Virgin Islands, and this will be relevant later.

Katelyn Fusco 7:36
Even if it wasn’t

Elena Loannidis 7:38
Yeah, it was pretty crazy that it happened on literally Christmas Day. Well, I had like, calculated it and it was like exactly that day.

Yes, it totally was. So yeah, so I got pregnant and it was a little bit of a rough pregnancy for me, because I became super, super sensitive to everything around Me, like my environment, I don’t know, I became hyper, like, toxic at that point or something. I had been trying to live a pretty clean life style for a while before then but I guess maybe things accumulated. And for some reason I got really allergic to anything that touched my skin and things I ate. And just I was just miserable, like all the time, but the pregnancy itself was very low risk. And there was, you know, everything was progressing beautifully, no issues whatsoever. I just felt crappy all the time. And just like felt like, you know, my skin issues were out of control. And so actually, it’s relevant. This is relevant because it inspired me to find a solution and a cure in for myself and just learn a ton from how the body works and how it gets overburdened. Just you know how important it is to detox and be be super,

super just at your optimal level when you’re trying to conceive. So I’ve learned so much from that. But yeah, so and I had a traditional sort of regular conventional ob gyn, I was actually going to the Newton Wellesley, ob gyn, which is considered to be one of the best in the area. And I just felt, you know, every time I was there had a ton of questions and it felt really, like rushed and just super short, and I would walk out feeling like confused and, and, and a little bit like disappointed and so every time I went there, I would just, I would just dread going to my appointments and I will confess that I skipped some of them and said, like, I was like, Okay, you know what, I feel fine, and I don’t really need And that was like, I’m not feeling well I can come in Can I cancel my appointment? I would just skip a couple of them because literally like it wasn’t, it wasn’t, it wasn’t like a pleasure to go in there and it should be I feel like so that was weird and I was kind of like going through these doctors that I was trying to meet and see who within the practice I liked. And it turned out that they were pretty much all the same. How big was the practice? Um, good question. So I think it had like four or five doctors, and then they also had nurse practitioners, midwives that were part of that practice. So probably same quantity or more of the nurse slash midwives. So I knew kind of like that I had the option to go with a midwife and see only a midwife throughout my pregnancy prenatal care and during the birth, but I never made that switch really until I felt like I had a good Sort of exposure to all of the doctors within the practice. So about three quarters into my pregnancy, or maybe even towards the end, you know, I got so fed up that I said, I don’t want to, like I don’t want to see a doctor anymore. I’m just gonna go with nurse from now on and, and then I spoke with my husband and I said to him, you know, I just don’t feel very comfortable with these women when I come in. Actually a couple different things happen that really pushed me over the edge. One of them was I came in for an appointment and we had a discussion about my group the strap positive results, and I had that point I really tried in my head to avoid the use of antibiotics because I knew how important the birth canal microbiome is for the babies. So I just really didn’t want to go that route and I was like kind of trying to get more information and instead of being patient and explaining things to me, my doctor basically said to me, you know, if you decide that you don’t want to do these antibiotics, the hospital is going to have to call Child Services on you. And I said, You know, I mean this is like a threat. So it’s like, I don’t want that happening to me. So it was really off put by that and I felt like I had no choice. So that was one situation. Another situation I came in and she was trying to feel my belly and she couldn’t tell like I guess where the baby’s head was or something that was the excuse that she gave me. So she will then an ultrasound machine. And she had basically without asking me whether it was okay I started putting on my started putting the machine on my belly to see like, where the baby was and everything like that. But I in hindsight after I walked out realize we decided to You know, like, maybe like it happened so quickly, like, maybe I shouldn’t have had that, you know, and I never had like a question like, do you want me to do it or not? Or like it wasn’t, it was just like this is happening. I’ll be right back. So that happened. And then the final straw was a new doctor that I was meeting seeing for the first time and she was also feeling my belly and she pressed so hard. And my lower belly that like the, the amount of pain I felt it was like shooting up my spine and I felt like my baby kick at that point, because I think like she presses so hard that it was like, oh, man, like, I don’t know, like, I was like, so angry after that, like I like she she left pretty quickly. It was like less than a 15 minute appointment. And I was like, I just need to get out of here. My belly hurts. And I was so mad like that she was so rough with me. And so those things kind of happened and just didn’t feel like it was gentle or personal. And so I think I just just got that out. And I was complaining to my husband and I said to him, You know what? I’m, you know, two or three weeks away, I was like, at 37 weeks at that point, and I said, I am going to elect a midwife to deliver my baby at the hospital. I don’t want a doctor. And I didn’t know I didn’t even know all the information around the benefits of having one at that point. But I think I just went with my gut. And my like, intuition was speaking so loudly to me that it said, this is the right decision. And I knew that like if an emergency arose, then a doctor would be available anyway. So I said, that’s what I’m doing. And even though I probably won’t have the chance to meet her even beforehand, and that’s exactly what happened. I never got a chance to meet all the midwives I didn’t even get a chance to meet. Like one midwife. I don’t think I just met all the well, not all but some of the nurses. So yeah, and but I was okay with that. And so, my husband and I were talking about the second half of the pregnancy about How I wanted a

intervention free birth or unmedicated birth, and he was really nervous for me because obviously, he doesn’t know very much about it. And I didn’t know very much about it, so couldn’t really educate him. But I told him, you know, our, our moms did it, our grandmothers did it. I know that my body can handle it. So if, if I can’t handle it and it comes down to it, then I know I always have that option, but please be my support in trying to maintain that unmedicated birth and like if things get out of hand and you see that I’m really struggling then yes, let let me cave but for the most part, if you think that I can handle it, even like if you think I can handle it, please be the one to just step in and be like, you can do this, like just help me I told them, he said, Well, I’ll do my best but to see you in pain is really hard. I said, I know I know. So just just promise that you’ll try. And so he said, I’ll try. This will be relevant later, too. I love all of it.


So I think it was around 39 weeks when I started to have contractions. I, I, I basically woke up at 430 in the morning, and I will I like had this little packing like a shooting sort of back back pain, real real short, and I woke up from it. And I was like, oh, maybe it’s the wrong position. I should switch. And then it happened again, 10 minutes later, so and I was like, okay, no, that’s not comfortable. And it happened a third time. And I was like, okay, something’s going on. So I got up, kind of, you know, went to the bathroom and just like, stood there for a bit and I could feel it keep coming on. So I was like, Oh, I think this might be it. I just kind of knew in my head that okay, this feels like it. And by the way, I had no Braxton Hicks whatsoever said no idea what to expect.

Katelyn Fusco 17:06

Elena Loannidis 17:08
and so I didn’t know wake him up or anything. I think I was in the bathroom for about an hour just trying to like kind of see what how I feel like in and out of the bathroom and then around 6am he, he’s like, What’s up? What’s going on? I’m like, I think I’m having contractions. He’s like, Huh, I’m not done with all the house projects yet. We’re not ready. I know. But I love that. Oh, and we were like, renovating our home. Hardcore like dig renovations to like kitchen and bathroom and we had just were able to move in a month before I started having contractions. So it was more like 100% done yet, but we were it was livable. But he had so much to do. So anyway, and he’s like, I’m I’m never I wasn’t ready for this. Like Well yeah, very So, he’s like, so what should we do? I’m like, I didn’t even have a backpack nothing. And I was like, I’m, I’m just gonna go in the top because, you know, I want to see if I feel better in there. So I felt that the top and I was in there and actually, as a pretty interesting thing. One of my friends from childhood that I kind of disconnected with for for a while, had become a doula and she’s super super like, all natural and loves, like energy and studies it and all of that awesome stuff and so I reached out to her. I don’t know how this happened, but like somehow, something prompted me to reach out to her about a week before these contractions started and asked her, Hey, I want to do a non medicated birth. Do you have any advice for me and she sent me this amazing video that I can’t remember right now, but I’ll search for it later. That just looks really changed me completely like it was about, you know, how to move when you have contractions how to embrace the, like the discomfort, so to speak, or how to sort of, in your mind, be able to tolerate the pain through understanding if that makes any sense. Like if you understand what’s going on with your body and what’s happening, it doesn’t, you don’t you don’t tighten up as much with the pain you kind of let it go or like you breathe through it. And that was, that was really changed me and the one thing that I noticed because I was watching some of the women and how they were laboring as they would move their hips sort of in around fashion when they got these contractions and that helped them get through it. And I kept watching this video like up until this date. And so that’s instinctively what I started doing the day of and when I was in the top, so I was in laboring in the tub for a while, I only got out to go to the bathroom. When I’m and I went to the bathroom like I swear to God and I’m talking number two, like, four or five times. Yeah,

Katelyn Fusco 20:13
that’s so, so common.

Elena Loannidis 20:16
But I’m so glad to happen then and right. The first

Katelyn Fusco 20:20

Elena Loannidis 20:21

I was so grateful for that. I’m like, wow, I just went Do I need to really go again? I was like, oh my god again. Okay, so anyway, and I would just get right back in the top and it helped me so much with the pain and I really wanted a water birth but I knew the hospital wouldn’t allow it. So I just kind of was ready for whatever but I was laboring in there for a while and then I got out and I’m like, I’m kind of sick of this. So I just went and walked around in my backyard and I think that really helped because I I called my ob gyn and I told them, you know, my contractions are getting pretty close together. I think the world like four or five minutes apart and more intense, and she said, Okay, well, and this was around 1pm, by the way,

Katelyn Fusco 21:09
and when did it start?

Elena Loannidis 21:10
I tried 430 in the morning, technically, but it was very, you know, inactive. So, yeah, so I called them and I’m like, Okay, this is what’s happening and they’re like, well, you can come here and we’ll check you in. If you’re ready. You can go to the hospital, which I was kind of irritated by it because I said, Well, I have to go all the way to you guys and then from you to the hospital. I know that it’s not that far because they’re in the same town as the hospital but it’s kind of annoying because I just didn’t want to like move and, and I was right, because I was having my worst contractions in the car for some ways.

Katelyn Fusco 21:47
Yes. Nope. That is cartractions.

Elena Loannidis 21:50
Cartractions. Yes, yes. You call them that, right. So, so true. 100%. If I can avoid being you look hard the second time around. I totally will. But Any who, by the time I got there, they checked me and I was already six centimeters. So

Katelyn Fusco 22:05
Oh, active labor

Elena Loannidis 22:08
Is it? Okay, so? I don’t know at what point exactly it becomes that way of felt that way after probably after 10am for me.

Katelyn Fusco 22:16
Yeah, I mean the but that’s, that’s the thing. It’s like, those are just like, that’s the diagnosis but it’s your body can go from, you know, one centimeter to 10 centimeters and in an hour so active labor can be you know, it varies.

Elena Loannidis 22:31
Totally. Yeah. So yeah, so I got there it was hell and I was on my all fours in the backseat and my husband was like having a heart attack. I was like, Yeah, get there quickly, please. And luckily, it was Monday. So and it was a Tuesday. So it was, it was a work day, but it wasn’t too much traffic. So we got there. I walked over there and they’re like, yep, you’re ready to go to the hospital. And I’m like Jesus, I could just gone all the way there and I was like super snappy and Oh man, I gotta get back in that car. So I did and we got there we got to the hospital I requested a room with a bathtub because I wanted to continue being in the water was really helping calming me down and tolerating that, that pain. But here’s the crazy part. I get to the hospital, I change and I get in the tub, which I was lucky enough to get to score, you know, that room with the top and I stopped progressing because I was like, it was already like, I don’t know, close to five o’clock. And I was like, Okay, well, it’s been a while Should we check in? I was pretty close before and they’re like yeah, you’re still you’re still only about seven or six we not sure like six or seven and I was like wait a second. No. I was doing so well at home. Like how is it possible so they’re gonna maybe should get out of the tub and walk around and that did help because I was going up and down the hall and got yelled at because I guess part of my leg or something was showing too much. Now I need to cover up and I was like, wow.

Katelyn Fusco 24:10
Yeah, so

Elena Loannidis 24:12
you know, crazy. So I’m like in the middle of these contractions which are getting pretty strong. When I got up and started walking, I did wonders, but I was just so baffled by the fact that I stopped progressing them like oh my god, what’s going on? So anyhow, I walked up and down the hall, I think twice, and I came back and went back into talis that I can’t do it anymore, and to just stay in the top. And I wasn’t very vocal, I just kind of like, embraced you know, that discomfort or pain. And it was very, very tolerable for me the entire time. I never was loud or anything like that. I did want to be kind of in a room with less people. Just really my husband and whoever needed to be there. That was my only request. I wanted it to Be kind of a dim room I wanted to be calm and I didn’t want too much light I I even asked them if they could put candles and they brought these like their fake candles but for the ambience, they brought these candles and I was like pretty impressed with that. So that’s another thing that you know people who want to have a natural birth in China in the in the hospital and trying to make it sort of cozy and and comfortable for themselves they they should know that they can do that they can actually have these requests and most of the time the hospital will accommodate them if they can. I even had a you know, music playing soft music playing and it was very, very good. It was very comfortable. But so I started to progress further after the walk and they came back and and I don’t remember exactly the time but I was starting to you know feel a lot more discomfort. And I was majority of the time I was either on my floors. Or you can imagine a bathtub and I was kind of on my knees with my hands propped over the railing of the bathtub and just kind of like circulating my hips every time I had like a contraction that for you, you go back in the bathtub.

I would go back and forth. Oh, yeah. After the walk. I did go back in the bathtub. Yes. And I stayed there for a little while longer. It was helping me and actually my, my water hadn’t broken yet. So it had it broken the water it were while I was in the water. So it was very interesting feeling too because it felt like champagne popping. That’s a great lead. Oh, yeah, let’s celebrate. Yay. So

yeah, it was like

and they were like checking for any meconium or anything like that. So none of that was there. So That was good. None of that was in the water. The one thing I didn’t like and I don’t know if this is something that will change with the home birth next time around, but they kept on checking my belly for the heartbeat and it seemed for the baby’s heartbeat and it was so frequent that it was like starting to get really annoying it would happen like every 15 minutes and I’m not sure that that was necessary because literally the baby was doing beautifully the entire time. Like and I would kept keep asking how how was she? How is she and they will do it beautiful, like phenomenal. I’m very surprised. So it was like okay, well maybe you should stop checking. Yes. So but another thing that I didn’t like that, you know, I have learned from is because they saw in my records that I was group GBS positive. They, you know, wanted to put the idea in me and the one thing I just I want to say is that I have, I really, I really have amazing veins like I’ve never had issues giving blood ever in my life. And that day, like my body was saying to me, don’t do this. It was just saying it’s not happening. And they had about three or four attempts to try to get into my game to hook up the IV with the antibiotics. And they failed. And they will and I was going through contractions, and they were telling me to stay still. And I was like, I cannot I can’t stay still like, Are you kidding me? So and I said to them, this is your last shot. If you can get it in right now. It’s not happening. So they gave up and they try to go in my hand. And they did. They ended up inserting it in my hand. But the uncomfortable part was that because they needed my hands for support, and I was in the bathtub. It was really like uncomfortable and they had to put this glove on me and it was just the whole thing. I just wish I had said Did that I wasn’t going to get the antibiotics I now know how you know, it’s not really necessary there’s a lot of

scientific information that you can read about whether it’s a real risk or not. And I did so many things in preparation like I you know, I eat garlic and, and high dose probiotics and there’s so many things you could do that could optimize your Yeah, eliminate or optimize your chance or eliminate your chance of passing it to your baby, that you don’t really need to subject yourself to those antibiotics and you could insist and it is they’re not going to call Child Services on you. She was just trying to scare me, you know, during my appointment so I just want to make that very clear that it is going to be fine and it’s not a real danger like they make it out to be So but I did not know that that. But anyhow, so they finally get this IVF mean it was super uncomfortable and it was Pretty irritated at that point. So I get out of the tub again, because I think I asked them, Hey, can you just check me again, I just want to see what’s going on. Because I was getting tired by that point. It was like, I don’t know, maybe like nine o’clock. And I was like, How much longer do you can you tell me like what’s going on? And so they’re like, No, we don’t know. You know, you’re close. But we don’t know. It could take another hour. She may not be born today. She could be born tomorrow. We don’t know. And I was like, wow, this is exhausting. Let me just go to the bed. And so I get to the hospital bed. And I’m on sort of my fours and something definitely changed after my water broke because things got really intense. And like I said, I wasn’t very vocal. I got vocal and I was like, Oh my god, I could not like I was like, I’m ready for the epidural. And so they’re like, are you sure and my husband stepped in and he was like, honey I know she’s coming soon. He was like, there’s like, I know she’s coming soon. You’re going to make it. You’re going to do okay. Don’t do the epidural. And I was like, Okay. Okay. And I was like, but I can’t. And so they’re like well call the anesthesiologist anyway. And so he’s like, baby, I know you can do it. I know if you I can tell I can just feel it. I think she’s coming soon. Now I was like, I don’t know. I don’t know. So the anesthesiologist came in and they said, okay, would you like that epidural? And I said, and my husband, I’m like, my husband, asking him, what do you think? And he’s like, I don’t think you should do it. And I said, Okay, fine. I’m not doing it. No. So I sent them out. Now like you better soon, and they basically told me when you feel the urge to like, go poop. Like you want to go poop like that is when we can start pushing. So I said, I think I want to Pope I think they’re going to be poop or a baby. So check it out. So I start pushing a little bit and they’re like, yeah, yeah. How about you know, let’s do like a real push and, and so I knew she was coming because I had a lot of fluid coming out, you know, at that point, like a lot of fluid coming out from there. So I knew something was definitely progressing and like it was time so I just felt it. So as I started, they actually turned me over and said going your back which I regret doing, because I ended up tearing pretty bad and but that also happened because they did so the one thing is I was so exhausted at that point. I think it was close to like 19 hours and labor at that point. It was like 10pm like close to 1015 or so at that point when I started pushing and I was really motivated to push a fabulous Like I had this energy that I didn’t like come out that I didn’t know I had anymore. And I was just ready to get her out. And I wish so badly that my midwife would have stopped me and said, You know what, just take a breath for a minute and don’t push so hard like we see the head like, you don’t want to rush something to tell me to slow it down because I ended up tearing and I know this time around that it was probably not necessary for me to push so much.

Katelyn Fusco 33:29
Yeah, I hate it’s really frustrating to hear that even even the midwives were still super, super medical to be putting you on your back and telling you that’s, that’s the way that you should be pushing that stinks.

Elena Loannidis 33:42
Absolutely. And I know that if I was better educated and aware, I totally could have changed my experience. I could have said, I’m not going to go I’m not going to push on my back. I don’t want to and I’m going to stay in this position. And they wouldn’t have argued with me. They I’m sure they wouldn’t have You know, especially if you’re adamant enough, they won’t argue with you in that state. So, so yeah, and I wish they would have slowed me down and calm me down and said, You know, it will, it will happen. You don’t need to rush you don’t need to push so hard but in an unconscious On the contrary, they were actually telling me to, like push again and push the same within seconds. And yes, every time I’ve been actually every time a contraction came around, right, I had to push so I wasn’t I was kind of tired from the last push. I couldn’t I wish I had a little break and I didn’t so that’s, you know, something that I learned from and then and then she finally came out and it was amazing. I do want to say that. I for some reason, like during transition, I felt my most pain throughout the entire process during pushing. I did not feel being I didn’t even feel pressure I don’t I tour and I didn’t even feel that honestly. All the energy just sort of like within me kind of transitioned into that activity of getting the baby out pushing the baby out. So I really felt no pain. It was miraculous.

Katelyn Fusco 35:17
And I totally agree with that. Right? Like, in relation to my own experience. You’re right, yeah, transition. Oh, you’re just so open and vulnerable. But then you move into that pushing phase. And it’s like, I’m doing something.

Elena Loannidis 35:31
Yes. You like feel like okay, all that energy was kind of build up in the one area and now I can do something with that. Right. That’s how I felt and that’s why I think I didn’t feel any pain. Of course, there’s also the hormones but is that yeah. So she came out after like three or four pushes and it was great. They they gave me the baby right away. I put the babies on on my chest actually was wearing a gown, but I took it off. And I put the baby straight on my skin. And we tried to have her lash but she didn’t right away. But it doesn’t matter because she was very happy. She wasn’t crying. She was in my arms and everything was great. I, I forgot to mention in the beginning that I actually wrote out a birth plan of all the things that I wanted down to the very last detail. I even remember that I put in my birth plan, which by the way, everybody read my midwife, the nurses, they can, you know, obey my wishes, so to speak, but I even wrote in there that I wanted a mirror when I was pushing like down there. And she asked me right before I was pushing, she’s like, do you want to meet? Do you want that near now? And I said, No, I changed my mind.

Katelyn Fusco 36:49
Nevermind, nevermind.

Elena Loannidis 36:50
My husband saw what I never saw was going on down there. So it was like and I want to keep it that way. So yeah, so I like declined it so I know she read it and all All of that and they really respected all my wishes. Great. in there. I also wrote that I wanted delayed cord clamping and I didn’t want a bath for the baby like all of this stuff. So it really is important to write out all your wishes. And so we waited, you know, I think it was seven minutes and then would cut the cord when it wasn’t pulsating anymore. And they did take the baby away, to weigh her in, in do the AP car scores on her and I kind of wish it was it didn’t happen, like, right away, like 10 minutes into me giving birth. But you know, I guess you know, hospital procedures. I’m not really sure if I could have pushed that away more. Perhaps I could have deleted but I as far as I know, I don’t think so. So, from there, you know, just pure excitement, no pain. Felt absolute, like euphoria. I couldn’t believe it. I was so miserable throughout my entire pregnancy. And I didn’t understand this euphoric feeling, I was feeling like I was expecting to feel kind of sad because I didn’t I wasn’t pregnant anymore. And like, I heard that, you know, the postpartum feeling of not having the valley anymore would make you really sad. But none of that happened to me. It was so strange. I, I felt so happy that I wanted to cry out of happiness. I was like, so happy and overwhelmed with like, emotion. And so, so that was basically my birth. Now, I do want to mention that in the next few days, there’s a couple of things that I really dislike even even though you know, being in a hospital setting is great for first time mom. But there were just a couple of things I wish I and I put my foot down More on and hopefully others can learn from this and can be aware that this could happen to them as well. One thing is I did not want to vaccinate my baby. And when they heard that they seem to have I don’t know God this like crazy motivation to try to convince me to do it and try to secure a boy. And I was really really frustrated because I was already emotional. I was trying to focus on the baby I was like trying to figure out what to do with my baby like meaning like, you know, this this new creature in your arms and you’re just like, you got to figure it all out and it’s it’s overwhelming. So and I had these doctors coming in constantly trying to have these talks with me about why should vaccinate her and I said, You know what, like, it’s a no and I just felt like it was a lot of energy was spent on me trying to fight them off. And I had this like, Do Not Disturb sign on my door. And they just did not look like they completely disregarded it and would come in to my room anyway. The other thing about a hospital setting is that they have to do sort of their procedural things where they check your blood pressure and, and, you know, take your I guess they, I don’t remember if they took my blood or not, but they have to check you, your vitals and all of that. And it could happen at any time. So if you’re resting or you’re finally caught some Z’s and you know, they come in, and they’re going to wake you up, and they’re going to do it. So it’s really, it’s really uncomfortable that aspect of being in the hospital. But what’s great is that they do have for the first time moms, they have all the support needed for you know, breastfeeding and I actually needed a lot of help with that because my baby wasn’t launching immediately. It was kind of a struggle. So I didn’t need a lot of guidance in that regard. And that was really helpful. But with the doctors coming in and harassing me, and I can’t really even put it in the other way, because I was so clear about my decision, but just the fact that they kept pushing and pushing was really the most unpleasant part of being at the hospital and I just will never forget it. How one of the PD the hospital pediatricians there said to me, if you don’t do like the vitamin K shot, your baby will die on the way home. And I just thought that was like so vicious yet, you know, and I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing and I knew in my heart that it wasn’t true, but I got scared and I was like, they just totally scared me like they were trying to really use every

Katelyn Fusco 41:51

Elena Loannidis 41:51
every tactic, every tactic they could and I just was not ready to fight them that much. I was I was fighting them but I was just in the beginning of my journey of learning about vaccinations and pros and cons. And I just I because I, I reached the point where I saw too many cons. I said, I’m going to hold off on making this decision. It’s not a rush, I can always do it later. But I think Didn’t they didn’t respect that. So I really wish like, I was like, I almost wish I was discharged after day one. So I didn’t have to deal with any of this.

Katelyn Fusco 42:30
Yeah, I you know, I’m really glad that you bring these points up because that is my one concern with you know, natural childbirth and the hospital is a lot of the things that moms have to deal with. You know, you can have the natural birth there you you can you can do it. There’s no question. You can do it. The problem is is so much energy ends up having to be extended for some people in some hospitals with some practices, you know, It’s not across the board. But a lot of times you just have to fight so hard for all of the things that you want. It’s exhausting. And it’s really unfair to have a mom start motherhood in such a mama bear fighting mentality, you know?

Elena Loannidis 43:16
Absolutely. And that is exactly the point that I’m making. I think that a lot of women want to be as natural as possible, but are just a little bit too scared to make to maybe have their first some some I mean, things are really scary. Yeah, I do think that’s good, though. They just would rather be in the hospital setting. And for me, that was not the reasoning. For me, it was just a simple lack of knowledge I was. I didn’t give enough thought to it beforehand. If I had, I would have learned enough to understand that it’s not necessary to go to the hospital. But a lot of women are scared so they prefer to do it that way. And it’s absolutely true that you have to spend so much energy to just stand up for yourself, in fact, not just you, you need to have a support system when you go in there because sometimes you are too exhausted and you need like your hobby or your mom or your friend or your doula or whoever to come in and just be like, you guys need to step out of the room. Enough is enough. Like, I’ll give you an example. I was trying to breastfeed my daughter and this same doctor, this pediatrician returned a few hours later and I was like, I’m about to feed my daughter and I’m going to just whip my boobs out and this is going to be hopefully enough signal for him that now’s not a good time to be here talking to me. And he just sat down and was like, sitting there having a conversation while I was trying to feed my daughter and I was

like, this is awkward

trying to end like you know, I’m exposing those like I don’t even care like if this if it takes me this to like get him out of here. Then I’ll try it, but it didn’t even have like, he

was like, Look, I’m not even paying attention.

Katelyn Fusco 45:08
So, word. Yeah, that is you do. I’m so glad that you’ve brought these things up because it’s true. And and I do hear that a lot. And I totally understand it this idea of, you know, oh, well, maybe I’ll have a home birth with my second, you know, I’ll go to the hospital with the first. Maybe I’ll have a home birth with a second and I do get it. I totally understand that. But I love that you’re bringing attention to some of the things that do go on, should you decide to do it that way. You know, a lot of the things that are your common standard care procedures in a home birth setting, are what you’re trying to avoid in hospital like, you know, in home birth, yeah, you’re going to get a delayed cord clamp. You are not going to get the hep B vaccine, like your midwife is not going to give your baby happy So, so yeah, it’s a Definitely something that that should be considered. And Wade

Elena Loannidis 46:04
Absolutely, yeah, I think, you know, in hindsight in hindsight with, you know, everything that went on, I stand by the fact that if I did my research and educated myself enough about the possibility of a home birth, I would have 100% rather have had a home birth and chosen a home birth, I will tell you that much. But, you know, sometimes you live and you learn at least happy with the fact that it was very natural. And you know, there were some things that weren’t so great, but that that thing, that thing about how your emotions are so like, over exaggerated when you just give birth and to have to deal with, like negativity in that sense, like I would say that should that alone should be enough reason to get yourself out of that. situation. So if you can, you know, either choose, you know, birth center or a home birth, or I would say if you still feel like you need to have that hospital birth, then keep in mind this will happen and mentally prepare yourself.

Katelyn Fusco 47:15
Yeah, you’re that

Elena Loannidis 47:16
hire that doula get that support system so that Nobody messes with your emotions because that is the most precious time. Those like, literally first three days were unbelievable. Like I couldn’t. I was in some sort of other realm. I never felt it before. And for the first time you really really feel the difference. I don’t know what the second time and then toddler running around that I will but I’m looking forward to it if it does happen. So

Katelyn Fusco 47:43
yeah, you’re right. That is I mean, that is the most euphoric feeling in the world. So keeping that undisturbed. It very high on the priority list in my opinion.

Elena Loannidis 47:54
Yes. And just you know, keeping keeping your chances of

Sort of like that postpartum blues, he also is like, yeah, and speaking of which, I did not experience it either. So I was very lucky and I think part of that is because I, I got the my placenta encapsulated and nice. I was taking those pills, so highly recommend that you know, and you know, it’s worth mentioning that you can have a hospital birth and still take your placenta home. It’s 100% possible I want people to know this. They put it on ice for you and then whoever you hired to encapsulate it for you will come actually to the hospital and pick it up for you. So it’s really really easy. And super, super worth it.

Katelyn Fusco 48:44
Yeah, I definitely I actually do Placenta Encapsulation in my area and I, I really recommend it like it. It definitely helped. It helped. I think that it helped me. Granted It was my first so I don’t have anything to compare it with but my husband is always like, yeah, I could tell the difference. You forgot to take them so

that’s awesome.

Elena Loannidis 49:04
Yeah, I, I experience so much energy at one point on them that I was like this is too much actually want to sleep so I

Katelyn Fusco 49:11
gotta cut back.

Elena Loannidis 49:12
Yeah, so I had to actually cut back. Yeah, it’s true and I didn’t have anything to compare it to either but in my head I had the expectation I was going to be sad and I never felt that ever. So it was really really weird. Wow, it was awesome.

Katelyn Fusco 49:26
So glad, man only now I am so grateful for you for coming on and sharing your birth story. It is so insightful to hear from a mother who wanted to do things naturally educated herself as she went along. And then for you to tell us what the pros and cons were, you know, like that. Yeah, there were a lot of good aspects about it. You got to labor in the tub this and that. But there were also some difficulties that you experienced and for you to be able to, you know, from the horse’s mouth, this is what you can expect But if you want to have a natural hospital birth, it’s doable, but you gotta plan for these things. I’m so grateful for that.

Elena Loannidis 50:07
Yes, and I hope it helps a lot of women just prepare better, you know, even just emotionally for some of the things that are going on and when you know what to expect and you learn from it, I feel like it’s makes everything so much easier. Beautiful. Well,

Katelyn Fusco 50:23
it sounds like eventually with your next birth should things go the way that you plan. We’ll have to have you back on.

Elena Loannidis 50:33
And just a quick note, since I got so sick or reactive, during my pregnancy that prompted me to learn a ton about you know, how toxic our lifestyle can be from from, like the clothes you wear to the foods you eat to the cleaning products in your home, too. I mean, the list is like, it goes on and on and on, and I haven’t made so many changes since then. And I’ve healed myself more than any doctor could even, you know, functional medicine doctor. And so I just wanted to quickly say that it’s actually become a hobby of mine to read and research and spread knowledge. And I do that using my Instagram with like, short, you know, tidbit type of posts so people can learn. And a lot of it is really unconventional stuff. But I’ve been I’ve been doing this research for over seven years, and I really got deep into it three years ago. And so now I’m sort of putting all my thoughts and knowledge into these posts here and there and trying to educate Little by little, along with a few recipes here and there, but I just want to warn that it’s very unconventional. I, you know, highly promote the Weston a price diet. I think it’s like your sister. Yes, I think it’s just So, so necessary for prenatal and just growing babies and just pregnancy diet like this is the diet for you like you want to be absolutely. at your best and yeah and if anybody wants to check it out it’s nourish dot you on Instagram.

Katelyn Fusco 52:20
Perfect. Yes. Okay, we will put that in the show notes for sure. Yeah. Oh, it’s always exciting to hear another Weston a price fan.

Elena Loannidis 52:30
Yes, yes, it’s and, and because my background is Russian, a lot of the principles are not that new for me. So it was a really easy transition for me. Oh,

Katelyn Fusco 52:41
yeah. Oh, man, what will and I will be super excited to follow along with you. And I’m sure that there are going to be plenty, plenty of listeners who do the same. So thank you so much for coming on the podcast Selena

Elena Loannidis 52:52
and thank you for having me. You’re doing an amazing thing. It was. Thanks to you that I learned so much. Much and about home birth, and just all of the fears that I had about it are now gone. So knowledge is power and keep doing what you’re doing.

Katelyn Fusco 53:10
Thank you. Thank you. Okay, so upon editing this interview, I realized that Elena and I did not ever go back and discuss the Christmas conception and St. John’s. So I messaged her asking about that, and I’m going to share her response now. She said, Well, a couple of things. We took the Caribbean vacation on Christmas, and that was the first year of the Zika craze. So at one point I had, I think, my 20 week ultrasound scan and the doctor really scared me about my baby’s head being small. So of course, there was worry of microcephaly, even though I didn’t remember being bitten or having a fever or a rash. At or after the Caribbean. I ended up having one or two more scans, which I regret because of the harms of ultrasound and because there really wasn’t anything Worry about. It turned out that my baby’s head was small well, because that’s what was meant to be in genetics. Moral of the story sometimes doctors make you worry unnecessarily and ultrasound readings aren’t 100% accurate. All the more reason to avoid the conventional care model, the expert fetal medicine doctor who I ended up with due to this risk, told me I shouldn’t even be there. Meaning I had nothing wrong with the baby. But I can’t tell how this traumatized me especially because it was my first and because new moms worry, it was a huge reason why I consider my overall pregnancy experience unpleasant. Oof, not fun. That was going to be a major cliffhanger for the rest of your life if I didn’t wrap that up. So I had to add that there on the end. But now let’s jump into the episode roundup and Wow, there is so much to say about this brilliant interview. I’m so grateful that Alina came prepared to discuss both the pros and cons of her birthing experience in such detail. The main point Want to bring up as we wrap things up is this if you’re more comfortable giving birth in the hospital own that the point of this episode is not to make you feel concerned. Rather, it’s to inform you before you get there what you may expect and come in contact with and just to be prepared. I want to mention Elena’s sage advice of having a dedicated birth team to shoo away those care providers who just aren’t understanding the word no. This is critical in my opinion. And of course, coming from someone who clearly loves home birth. I want to remind you that many of the struggles you could face in the hospital are not struggles you’ll likely face and the home birth setting. As always do your own research. And if you decide home birth is right for you. Check out my free home birth mini course a teeny smidge of a taste of what to expect when the full course launches in January. That’s my happy home birth calm forward slash essentials. Okay, my friends. That’s everything that I’ve got for you this week. I’m gonna go ahead and wrap it up and I look forward to seeing you back here next week.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai