Ep 70: Homebirth on the School Bus

Homebirth… on a school bus? 

If you think that’s the wildest part of this upcoming episode, buckle up, baby. 

My guest, Caroline Campbell is a homebirth mother of two, and both of her experiences were intense to say the least. 

I always like to be up front when episodes contain difficult topics, and this one contains quite an emergent situation during her first birth.  Be prepared for that, but know that she and her midwife do an absolutely bangin’ job of handling the situation.  It’s truly powerful.  However, if you’re close to giving birth and are concerned that hearing a story of an emergent situation might upset you, you might want to come back to this episode. 


Before we jump in, just giving another quick update on Happy Homebirth Academy.  I’m in the home stretch!  Just a bit more work to go, and it will be ready for all of you lovely women seeking a homebirth-centered childbirth education course.


Secondly, I’m a few weeks behind on sending out stickers for reviewers of the week.  You’d think that being at home all of the time would give more opportunity to keep me on track, but I feel like it totally doesn’t.  So if you’re waiting on a sticker… sorry!  I’ll get it in the mail!  To add to my list of mail, I’d like to thank this week’s reviewer: Bailadora Del Mundo


And if you would, go ahead and take a screenshot of you listening to this episode, upload it to your instagram stories and tag @happyhomebirthpodcast.  Don’t forget to use the hashtag #givebirthonyourturf! 


Finally.. if you aren’t in the Happy homebirth pop up group on facebook, you’ve got to get over there.  So many stories, so much amazing, supportive homebirth goodness.


Show Notes

  • Caroline is the mother of a 2.5 year old daughter and 4.5 month old son.
  • Her husband was born at home (freebirth!), so she was familiar with the idea of homebirth once she became married.
  • In high school, her friend became pregnant and the father was not in the picture—she stepped in and took birthing classes/witnessed her friend’s birth.  Though her friend had a healthy pregnancy, Caroline was uncomfortable with the hospital birth.
  • During her first pregnancy, Caroline glowed.  It was easy and beautiful—she did prenatal yoga, she focused on her diet, and had a wonderful time. 
  • She and her husband were living in Virginia, but knew they were going to move to Ohio.  They traveled 6.5 hours to their midwifery appointments.
  • They planned to have a structure prepared to live in before the birth—that didn’t happen.  They ended up moving into a school bus conversion!
  • Caroline went from living in her childhood home in Virginia to living in a school bus… without running water (they had a spring on the property)
  • She and her husband nested in their school bus- they spent time with the dogs outside, with their new chickens.  They worked on the property and enjoyed their time.
  • Little known fact: 2015- I bought a school bus!
  • Caroline went through early labor during the night.  She woke up in labor with contractions that were 5 minutes apart.
  • She didn’t have cell phone service where the bus was parked, so she would walk up and down a big hill to text and call her midwife.
  • Caroline’s birth team arrived around 11.  Her midwife checked her, and found out that she was 8 cm dilated. 
  • With her first baby, Caroline didn’t feel an urge to push, which frustrated her. 
  • After her baby was born, her first words were, “That was so easy!”
  • Caroline experienced a legitimate emergency during her first homebirth. 
  • Postpartum was also difficult, as her child had severe tongue and lip ties.
  • Caroline decided to wait a bit before getting pregnant again.  She wasn’t ready to commit to a homebirth again quite yet.
  • They waited a year and a half to become pregnant again, and her second pregnancy was not a fun one.  She was very sick, and her pregnancy lasted 42 weeks.
  • Once she finally went into labor, she felt everything in her back and was unable to find relief.
  • Once her son was born, she had him nurse so that contractions would continue and she could deliver the baby.
  • The placenta was born 20 minutes labor.
  • Caroline’s pregnancies and labors were total opposites of each other.
  • Breastfeeding went much better with her son than with her first baby.  She jumped quickly into action, and she had her mom visiting for the first few weeks postpartum, which was of great help.
  • Because Caroline was so concerned about breastfeeding, her baby developed a “breast aversion,” which was very difficult for her because of her strong desire to achieve, especially in relation to breastfeeding.  After 36 hours of pumping and using a bottle, he accepted the breast again.



Episode Roundup


  1. Emergencies DO happen at home.  Luckily, midwives are highly trained professionals who are prepared to do what they must.  I love the fact that Caroline was still involved in the decision-making process, even during an emergency. 
  2. When it comes to breastfeeding, it’s an amazing idea to know the resources at your disposal.  There are certainly hiccups that can be had, and as Caroline shared, it was much easier for her to navigate the second time around when she already had a plan.  Even if this is your first baby, it’s a great idea to learn of the different care providers in your area, should you need them postpartum.