Three Births: Birth Center, Hospital Birth and Homebirth Stories

by Mianilli

After trying to conceive for 7 months and and experiencing an early loss Sionann fell pregnant with her first child, Goldie, in May of 2019.

Her pregnancy with Goldie was mostly uneventful other than navigating a decision to change insurance providers in order to open up Birth Centers as an option. Sionann chose to have an out of hospital birth and loved the midwifery model of care.

Going “post dates,” Sionann resorted to taking a midwives brew of castor oil to induce labor at 41+5. It worked and Sionann worked through early labor by walking laps around their property (unbeknownst to her husband who was doing yard work with huge ear protection on so he couldn’t hear her in labor).

They eventually made their way to the BC (a harrowing drive) and Sionann was 6-7cm! It was go-time! After coping well through a manageable labor through lots of position changes, nitrous oxide, tears, and long pushing phase due to an asynclitic presentation and cervical lip, Goldie Jo finally joined us in the world on 2/10/2018 after almost 15 hours of labor. 8lbs 5oz!

hospital birth

LAYLA JUNE

The choice to have a second child came easily but conceiving took some work. Sionann suffered 3 miscarriages before becoming pregnant with Layla in May of 2019.

They were excited to plan a home birth for this 2nd baby but a placenta previa diagnosis changed those plans. They decided to pursue a hospital birth due to being in limbo about whether Sionann would be cleared for a vaginal birth.

In the end she was cleared and things moved forward! Sionann finally went into labor at 40+5 (late again lol) after a rough membrane sweep. The hospital experience was much different than the birth center and Sionann wasn’t as prepared for that as she could have been.

She was admitted at 4cm but in pretty excruciating pain the entire labor. This was just different than her previous experience, likely made Worse by her anxiety surrounding hospitals in general and unneeded intervention. She wasn’t coping well this time and needed some relief. The nitrous oxide the hospital provided wasn’t working well (it was later discovered that the tank had been empty the whole time!)

Morphine was administered for some relief while at the same time Sionann’s bulging water bag was broken. The water bag had been preventing baby’s descent and after a few short minutes it was time to start pushing. No long pushing phase this time! Baby Layla was born after 20 hours of labor on 2/8/2020 (narrowly avoiding all the Covid insanity). 8lbs 7oz!

homebirth

AUSTRA MOON

Sionann and Cyrus had always wanted at least 3 kids and planned to start trying for #3 (their last baby) around Layla’s 1st birthday. Sionann began tracking ovulation early to get the hang of it and get a feel for her cycle. They kind of randomly conceived around Christmas of 2020 as a result. They were thrilled fit the opportunity to finally have a home birth!

The pregnancy was much harder this time due to having multiple littles to care for. Sionann’s morning sickness was awful and it was hard for those first couple months.

Things were moving along smoothly until an NIPT result flagged the baby for something called 22q Deletion Syndrome. It’s a “grey diagnosis” with a wide spectrum of things that can be affected. This was gutting news and not knowing how the baby’s quality of life would be was so hard. After a lot of testing and an amniocentesis it was determined that both Sionann AND the baby had 22q Duplication (so not the deletion). This served as a little relief because at least Sionann knew she was a living example of the duplication having minimal interference in her ability to live a happy and healthy life.

The diagnosis required more testing and scans than a usual pregnancy so they were tied to an OB practice until around 36 weeks.

Things with the midwives were so amazing and supportive the entire time. When Sionann went post dates AGAIN they helped her come up with a plan for homeopathics and castor oil that eventually put her into labor at 41+5 after a full day of walking curbs and taking herbs

She was joined by her amazing doula Katie and team midwives in their home around 9pm and worked through the contractions using her hypnobabies techniques and watching the Office on the birth ball. After a couple of hours everyone decided to go to sleep and get some rest. Sionann tried to just meditate and breathe but needed to move around more. She decided to labor on hand and knees in the shower and quickly realized she was going to need an extra set of hands soon. The doula and midwives came and held space while Sionann mooed, spit, and growled her way through transition. At 12:47 after just 5 hours of labor Austra (Ozzy) was born into Cyrus’ hands. 9lbs 8oz!

It was a really amazing experience to get back the agency she felt had been taken in the hospital. Being able to follow her intuition and birth the way that felt right was so positive and redemptive for everyone.

Through all three postpartum experiences low-supply/ IGT in breastfeeding and postpartum OCD were common themes.

Sionann Ghahremani and her husband, Cyrus, recently relocated to the Bay Area from Los Angeles, CA. They live with their 3 young daughters (Goldie, Layla, and Ozzy), their pug Tallulah, and their cat Marcella. Sionann works as a stay at home mom and Cyrus is in creative marketing and content development. Sionann can be reached on Instagram @sionann_shreds

Resources

Ergobaby

Today’s episode is sponsored by Ergobaby. Founded in 2003, Ergobaby has pioneered the gold standard for comfortable, ergonomic soft structured carriers. Ergobaby is dedicated to helping families bond, grow, and thrive by creating premium baby products where function and quality are not compromised. Ergobaby has created a broad range of award-winning baby carriers, strollers, swaddlers, nursing pillows, and related products that fit into families’ daily lives seamlessly, comfortably and safely. In 2020, they launched Everlove by Ergobaby, a first of its kind baby carrier buy back and resale program, a sustainability effort to support families and the planet.

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