Ep 66: Drawing Strength From a Community of Women

Birth is an intertwining of souls, and the community a mother surrounds herself with can make all the difference. 


Show Notes: 

  • Mandy didn’t know about homebirth, but she did know that she wanted a doula. Her doula introduced her to the childbirth method.
  • Mandy’s water broke dramatically in bed with her first child. Even after 10 hours, she was only about 2 cm.  She went on Pitocin for about 2 hours.
  • Contractions stopped after several hours because baby was posterior. They thought he flipped, but he did not—not until the very end, after pushing for several hours.
  • Mandy’s doula was amazing at recognizing that her getting an epidural was quite possibly the best way to save the vaginal birth.
  • Between births, Mandy and her husband saw The Business of Being Born.
  • At the time, she felt almost ashamed to tell people that she wanted to have a homebirth.
  • “You don’t get a gold star for going natural”- No, I’m liking for an oxytocin high!
  • With her second birth, after choosing midwives, Mandy’s appointments were typically 1.5-2 hours long. This was perfect for her, as she had many questions about how birth would go compared to her previous experience.
  • During the birth, at one point, she was in the water and felt the urge to push. Her water broke, and there was lots of meconium.  With a quick check, her midwife determined that the baby was breech. 
  • Mandy was asked to get out of the water—the midwives informed her that the protocol is to transport to the hospital—likely to have a c section.
  • The second midwife checked to confirm, and Mandy was 10 cm—birth was imminent, and Mandy felt unsafe and scared. She didn’t even know that you could deliver a breech vaginally.
  • A panic attack was coming on for Mandy—and her doula came and got right in her face and told her that she could do it. It was everything she needed to say to help Mandy get the baby out.
  • Mandy remember shouting, “My vagina!” as the baby came out.
  • She discussed how women can go through something so traumatic, yet the first question still be, “is the baby okay?”
  • The birth team who came were both backups—and they happened to have been to a breech birth previously to this.
  • 6 months postpartum, Mandy found out she was pregnant again (a bit surprised!)
  • At the anatomy scan, Mandy had a slight placenta previa, but the doctor felt it would move before the birth- She would just get checked again towards the end of pregnancy.
  • At the recheck, Mandy found out that her placenta was completely covering her cervix. Even more so, where the umbilical cord was attached was right above her son’s head, which could have caused a lack of oxygen.
  • She got a second opinion ultrasound with the same results.
  • The doctors kept referring to her as “the homebirth transfer”
  • For the last few days, Mandy had to be on bedrest.
  • Her midwives continued prenatal care with her and remained as a support system.
  • At the home visit, the midwives and doula came and surrounded her when she needed it.
  • The day of the birth was very hard- Mandy had to walk into the OR by herself. Her husband and doula weren’t allowed to be there until she was completely prepped.
  • Mandy was able to do vaginal seeding for her son, thanks to the help of her doula.
  • She was able to lean into her doula very heavily as the doctors were sewing her back up after her son was born. This 45 minutes were the hardest for her, and she was so grateful for her doula’s presence.
  • Mandy’s midwives host a C-Section support group that meets monthly.
  • “Birth is this intertwining of souls”


Episode Roundup




  1. “You don’t get a gold star for going natural.”   It’s important to keep in mind that those who say these kinds of statements are uneducated about the benefits of experiencing physiological birth.  Of course, this isn’t a conversation you can have in the throes of labor, or ever, but it might be worth educating these people on why you’re making the choices you’re making.  Feel free to direct them to this podcast!  Of  course, if medication is relied upon during birth, this doesn’t make your experience any less valid or important!  But to speak down to women who are attempting to give birth without intervention is so unnecessary.
  2. I also want to acknowledge just how divinely Mandy’s second birth occurred. Praise God for putting exactly the right people at her birth who could knowledgeably and confidently support her through such a shocking turn of events when her baby was found to be breech.
  3. Finally, let’s end where we began. Mandy said it so beautifully, “Birth is an intertwining of souls.”  Mandy was surrounded not only by her husband, but also by a community of women who could comfort and encourage her.  These relationships are so intimate, so deep.  They can carry you through both the highs and the lows.  I want to encourage everyone to foster those relationships in your own community.  If you can be the shoulder for another mother to lean on, be it.  And if you need that shoulder, ask for it.  We need each other.