BIRTHFIT Podcast featuring Kevin Bonar and his wife Lindsay
BIRTHFIT Podcast Episode 65: Kevin and Lindsay Bonar
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What’s up, BIRTHFIT tribe? This is Dr. Lindsey Mathews, your BIRTHFIT founder. And I am back from Paleo f(x) back from Austin, Texas. I wouldn’t say I’m recovered quite yet, but almost there. So this episode is actually I’ve been looking forward to this for quite some time. It’s super special we get a dad’s point of view. But before we jump into the episode, I want to mention that I will be at MommyCon in Austin, Texas again this coming weekend, June 2nd. So come, stop by. It’s an all-day event. There’s lots of really cool mom-related vendors and I’m sure you’ll get some great discounts if you come that Saturday, June 2nd.
Also, we just posted a blog full of all the information that you would need to know about applying to be a Regional Director or even a BIRTHFIT coach or even a BIRTHFIT professional. Professionals, anyone from a doctor of chiropractic, physical therapist or a doctor of physical therapy, an acupuncturist, an OB-GYNE or a midwife or doula. So check out that information.
All applications you can submit them starting now, which we’ve already had a number of applications submitted since then, which is pretty freaking cool. But all applications are due by December 1st. And then we’ll do interviews and the next class will be announced in 2018. So check that information out. It’s on the blog from Monday of — I don’t even know the dates anymore. Monday the 22nd, 23rd, sometime around there of May.
But yeah and come see me at MommyCon this weekend. And then be sure to check out the Regional Directors’ tab on birthfit.com. We’ve got lots of postpartum series happening around the United States, lots of BIRTHFIT prenatal series happening around the United States. So get in, go see your local Regional Director and don’t miss out on the opportunity for education, rehab, movement, connection and all things in the name of love.
All right. So we have Kevin Bonar of Wisconsin on this show today. Him and his wife, Lindsay, share a little bit about their second birth and basically going through the whole BIRTHFIT journey with Dr. Erica Boland in Wisconsin. So they used Erica as a doula. They went to her BIRTHFIT prenatal series and they also used her as a chiropractor.
So basically, all things Erica BIRTHFIT Wisconsin. Listen in. Dad shares a ton about his experience. And if you have a dad in your life or a partner or somebody that’s about to embark on this journey, please share this episode with them. I know they’ll get a lot out of it. All right.
Welcome to the BIRTHFIT podcast officially.
Kevin: Thank you.
Lindsey: Yeah. You are from BIRTHFIT Wisconsin. So I’ll let you just give a little bit of your backstory and who you are and what you do.
Kevin: I’m pretty much just a normal guy. I teach fourth grade at an elementary school. I also coach baseball. I actually had to run home after a baseball game because I just made it home. So it was a good deal. And then I’m married to my wonderful wife, Lindsay. She manages a health and fitness center that focuses on working out and eating right. So she’s my best asset in life for sure.
And then we have two wonderful kids, Charlie who we like to call [0:07:57] “Puth” actually, she’s three and just love her to death and then little Lincoln is our new guy and just we also love him to death, so lots of love. We actually — Lindsay and I grew up in Wyoming. Our families are both from Illinois, but somehow we both ended up in Wyoming and went to high school together and just the old traditional [0:08:20] [Indiscernible] and all that.
Lindsey: Wait. You all are high school sweethearts?
Kevin: Not high school sweethearts actually. She was kind of nerdy for me. So we didn’t really hook. No, I’m just teasing her. She’s right here. She’s a huge fan of you guys. She was so jealous. She’s like, “What?” But no, we were in the yearbook class together and I was a couple years older than she was. So we definitely knew who each other were, but we actually didn’t start dating until after high school. Well, her senior year high school. But yeah and then mom moved to Wisconsin and we followed her out here in 2005. So we’ve been here for about 12 years now and we just really like it.
Lindsey: Wow. It’s not too cold for you all? I guess you’re probably used to it.
Kevin: Lindsay would move in a heartbeat. But I kind of like the seasons. I like the toughness of winter. Yeah, I really like fall. I don’t know if I could do without fall. But Lindsay’s family is all actually — there’s mom and both sisters are down in phoenix. So we got to be careful. I didn’t have to check everyone. So I’ll make sure she’s not trying to sell the house or anything. I would just come home and we’d be packed up by Lakewood. But we’re good for right now.
My mom — we just moved to a new town last fall and a year and a half ago I guess and my mom lives right up the street and just retired, and now she’s got grandbaby number two down the block. So we have a really good set up here.
Lindsey: Yeah, it sounds like it. So were you planning number two or was it like, “Oops. We’re pregnant.”
Kevin: Yeah, we planned. Originally, we weren’t going to have any kids and I was okay with that, with teaching school. I was getting my kid fix at school and we had lots of nieces and nephews. And I guess about four years ago, Lindsay’s like, “I think to have a baby.” I was like, “Sweet, let’s go.”
So we had Charlie and then we were very content, just happy. But Lindsay always had this feeling inside like we’re missing — she specifically would say we were missing our son. And so [0:10:29] [Indiscernible] was a little bit after this time last year, right after baseball season she said, “Hey, let’s try and have a second one.” And we got to work in July and holy smokes it happened real quick.
Lindsey: Awesome. So how did you all meet Dr. Erica or Erica, whatever you call her?
Kevin: Erica, yeah, we met through — it’s called Eupraxia. It’s a health fit center. And Lindsay had started managing it and, Lindsay, fill in if I miss anything. But Erica was actually looking for a great place to work out and she came in and Lindsay also teaches yoga and they just really connected. And like I said before, our lifestyles matched up awesomely. And so they became really good friends and Erica actually —
Lindsay: I had some issues after Charlie too.
Kevin: Yeah. And Lindsay also with the BIRTHFIT after Charlie hooked up with Erica for everything. Oh, man, we were for the breastfeeding and then just getting back in shape.
Lindsey: Yeah. If Lindsay’s there, can she share a little bit about — if she wants to like what kind of issues she had after the first one and how Erica helped her?
Kevin: Yeah, absolutely. Lindsay.
Lindsay: Yeah. Hi, it’s Lindsay.
Lindsey: Hey, Lindsay.
Lindsay: Yes. Yeah. No, I guess I knew Erica from my gym and we just kind of chatted a little bit and I gone out for some adjustments with her. I had a lot of issues after I had Charlie and I was like a year postpartum. I didn’t know anything about BIRTHFIT. And I had like, gosh, three back spasms I think in like six months and I was just having — had hip issues and my knees hurt for the first time in my life.
And she talked me into taking the postpartum course and we’ve just been — it was like a huge connection for us. I feel like I guess I got really close with her then after that we just stayed in touch. So that’s how we kind of met and yeah.
Lindsey: Awesome. I always tell people you’re postpartum forever. So it makes sense that once you have a baby and then all of a sudden stuff comes out. Like it might have been in there for a while, but when the heck were you going to ever address it? And now when it speaks to you like, “Okay, I got to address it especially being a mom.”
Lindsay: Yeah, yeah. I don’t like — it’s weird because once you know what it feels like to feel good, you tend to know if it’s more crappy. So yeah, that was a big thing for me. I don’t like not feeling good.
Lindsey: I love that. I love that. So going into your second pregnancy, what were both of you thinking? What were you planning? Anything that you know that you wanted to have that was part of your first pregnancy or birth or maybe that you know you didn’t want to have along the journey?
Lindsay: Well, with Charlie for me, for me, with Charlie we planned a home birth and I ended up in the birth center with Charlie and I just labored for so long. They just moved me for change of scenery I guess to try to speed things along. So for me, a big thing for me was trying to do it at home. Like I wanted to have the second one at home. So that was big for me.
Lindsey: Was Kevin on board for this?
Lindsay: Yeah. I am so, so lucky with that because he’s pretty much like, “Well, I know I trust you. I trust that you do your research.” So he’s very supportive of whatever I kind of chose to do. So…
Lindsay: Yeah. He’s a little skeptical I think at first.
Lindsey: Yeah. So Kevin, what were you thinking especially in the first birth or the first pregnancy situation when Lindsay said, “Hey, let’s try for a home birth”?
Kevin: My initial reaction was like, “What? Can you even still do that?”
Lindsey: Right, right, especially when you’re not exposed to it.
Kevin: That’s like a mistake, right? But like Lindsay said, she’s so onto it with research and we were really blessed with just the perfect midwife. She had hundreds and hundreds of babies that she delivered. She was just so soothing and comforting. And once the decision was made then it was just gathering all the information and I’ll admit both births for me were just completely terrifying.
As a male, you just — I don’t know. I just feel like I had no control. I don’t know. It was totally scary for me not in the sense of — just you know, but then it goes from like totally terrifying to greatest thing in the entire world like a miracle and then once things settled down, you’re back to parenting in general which is just pretty scary.
So kind of roller coaster, but total confidence, a lot of confidence especially in the second birth. I was just extremely confident with — we actually had a new midwife, but I just had a good feeling about her. Then Erica was our doula. So it was really helpful having her, somebody we were familiar with.
Lindsey: Yeah. Using some of that confidence going into the second birth, when did you decide to use Erica as your doula?
Kevin: Pretty much right away. When we couldn’t lock down — our first midwife was actually out of the country when Lincoln was born. So she wasn’t available. And then our second midwife, Tavniah, was just wonderful and she knew Erica. There’s a pretty tight community around here in southwestern Wisconsin.
So that was nice and Erica had great things to say. And Lindsay and Erica are really tight friends. So once she asked Erica, “Would you be my doula?” And then Erica opened up the BIRTHFIT classes for us. It just felt right so we just built on it.
Lindsey: Awesome. So how soon did you all start preparing for the actual labor and delivery of the second one? Do you all remember?
Kevin: The second one probably — well, I know we were going through the BIRTHFIT classes last fall because I remember Lindsay went back I think for — it was around Thanksgiving she went and visited her mom in Phoenix and had to go by myself to the BIRTHFIT class which is interesting.
Lindsey: Yeah, tell me about —
Kevin: I was like, “Man, I will get so many husband points if I go to the BIRTHFIT class.” So I went and it was kind of nice because there were some questions I was sitting on that I wasn’t clear about. And without Lindsay there, I sort of felt like a little bit of freedom like, “Okay, I can check up on these things and I don’t have to show my wife that I’m really, really scared.”
Lindsey: Yeah, totally. What were some of the questions you had? Do you remember? Because I’m sure many other dads have the same questions.
Kevin: Yeah. I mean you know the first — our first birth, we tried to get our insurance to help pay for the home birth and they wouldn’t do it. And I remember we went to a — it was like an appeal process. And there was this old nasty nurse there and she just brought up every horrible things that could happen during birth to try and like deter us basically from having a home birth.
And so I had some things that she had mentioned still in my head about as far as like EMS and would they be able to provide the same services if there was emergency. And then I shared the exciting news with my class at school and of course there’s like ten year old kids and they asked some strange questions and one of them telling me about how, “Yeah, I almost died when I was little. My umbilical cord was wrapped.”
So that was just really stuck in my head. So that was probably one of the most powerful question I just asked Erica about. Like, “Okay, what’s the deal with this whole umbilical cord thing?” Because I’m kind of a squeamish guy. So I didn’t even cut the umbilical cord. I was like, “No, I’m good.”
So I don’t even physically remember like seeing it and sizing it up and is this possible? So that was a really important question for me. And then as it turned out with our exciting birth story with Lincoln, the knowledge that Erica was able to give me was from just that one question was ended up just being huge to keep me calm Lincoln’s birth as well.
Lindsey: Yeah. So tell me a little bit more about that. What were some of the things maybe that Erica shared with you that you carried over into the labor and delivery?
Kevin: Yeah. Sorry, the umbilical cord question, for some reason in my brain I had it that like the baby — like once the umbilical cord was pinched or wrapped that it would be like if someone was choking me and there’s be no oxygen and freaked out. And what ended up happening with Lincoln in our home birth was when Lindsay really started pushing, the umbilical cord actually did get compressed and his heartbeat dropped rapidly and we did end up calling EMS.
That was actually my job. But then superhero midwife and Erica and my amazing wife, like everything turned out fine, but I think if Erica wouldn’t have told me, “Hey, it’s fine. The umbilical cord can be pinched. There’s all this good blood filled with oxygen and the placenta is going to take care of the baby. It’s going to be okay.”
And I knew that from the BIRTHFIT. So I think that maybe kept me from passing out during our birth at home because it got pretty scary. And I was actually on the phone, called 911 and then I was down by the door as EMS and the firetruck pulled up. And there was a thunderstorm and there was lightning going off. And the girls were in the room and they were moving Lindsay in all these different positions.
And I remember Tavniah, the midwife saying like, “Lindsay, we got to go now or you’re going to have to go to the hospital.” And my wife just like bore down and pushed Lincoln out and I think it had to be less than three minutes. It was amazing. And so I actually heard his first cry like the minute they hit the door. And they’re like, “Do you need me?” And I was like, “I don’t know. Come with me. Let’s go see what’s up.”
And we walked up and the baby was good and Erica actually was the first face I saw. She had a big smile. So I knew something was [0:21:42] [Indiscernible]. And then I saw Lincoln in Lindsay’s arms and he was wailing a little bit, crying. And I was like, “Holy smokes. You’re going to be all right.” And the midwife said, “No, we’re good. Thanks for coming.” And the EMTs high-fived me on the way out and we had a baby boy.
Lindsey: Okay. So looking back, so we stopped at this part where you were the only male in the BIRTHFIT class.
Kevin: Well, not the only male. Just the only guy without his wife.
Lindsey: Yeah, only guy without his wife. So were the other guys super impressed that you were there when your wife was not there?
Kevin: I don’t know. We didn’t get really tight during the class. But I know if I was on the flipside of it I would have been pretty impressed especially if the BIRTHFIT classes were on Sunday night during football season. So there was a little pull there.
Lindsey: That’s amazing. Okay, looking back at the class and then we’ll get more into the birth story. But what were some of the takeaways that you, not only the umbilical cord takeaway, but maybe some of the takeaways that you carried with you into labor and delivery to help keep you super calm?
Kevin: Well, it was pretty special having Erica teach the class and then also be like right in our bedroom during the birth. It doesn’t get any better than that. That was calming in and of itself. But just all the wonderful information she was able to give as far as if this happens then this. And she really just empowered us with — I was thinking about this on the drive home from the game tonight and it’s like, you know, birth you’re so vulnerable and like I said for me from the male perspective, you’re just kind of powerless. Like you’re there, but you can’t muscle through it. There’s nothing.
And you’re just so vulnerable and there’s no — you can’t practice it or anything. So for me, that knowledge that she gave us and just walking us through different scenarios and just reassuring us over and over. And my wife did a great job of this during our first pregnancy especially I think when I was even more nervous. Just that Mother Nature intends you to have a healthy, happy little baby.
And really the majority of time that is what happens. And as long as we’re healthy people and my wife was so great. Like just taking herself of herself. Every night, she was on her yoga mat walking around on her hands and knees and rolling around — back and just preparing so much for the birth, which the way it all played out.
We were always joking because she worked out at the gym just right up to — I know with Charlie it was the day her water broke. With Lincoln, the day before with Lincoln. And I would always joke like, “Hey, easy on the Goblet squats because you’re going to have a baby on the next one.” Sure enough that really helped her in the end just being so strong.
And Erica always encouraged that and she just reassured us that a happy, healthy homebirth is really the way it should be. And if we’re into it and we believe in that, that she would help us get there and that’s how it happened.
Lindsey: So how did labor start for this one? Do you remember or what it looked it on your end?
Lindsay: You were sleeping.
Kevin: Yeah. I was in a nap. Well, like the before she had some contractions at night. And I’ll be honest, my biggest juggle was baseball season. So we were supposed to go out of town for a doubleheader on like that Saturday and she had some pretty good contractions on Wednesday.
And so then I cancelled my baseball trip that Saturday and of course nothing. There was no baby. And so we went through the next week and I think Lindsay was very ready to have the baby. And so then of course we planned. We were going to go tour an organic farm Saturday morning. We’re like, “Let’s just get out and do something.”
And we told the three year old. We’re like, “We’re going to go see all these farm animals and everything.” Kind of jinxed ourselves because Lindsay woke Saturday and was like, “You know what, I feel different. I think we should probably stay close to home.” And we’re pretty glad we did.
So we hung around most of the day, Saturday, and made some calls and let Erica and the midwife know. And then yeah, I was taking a nap downstairs actually, very different from the first. There’s no way I would have fallen asleep. And then the contractions picked up and the midwife showed up and Erica was here the whole time. And then it went pretty quick in the afternoon. What do you think, Linds, a couple hours?
Lindsay: Five hours from like I think Erica and the midwife got here. It was like five hours later there’s a baby.
Kevin: Yeah. I remember her water breaking. For Charlie, the first baby, her water broke on Tuesday afternoon and then Charlie didn’t show up until Thursday night. So I don’t think I was around when the water broke on Charlie. So that was a new experience for me. I was like, “Whoa, okay.” And yeah.
And there was one time after the water broke that Lindsay got in a position and Linc’s heartbeat went down and that was the first kind of like, “Whoa. Hey, wait a minute.” And we just — everybody was real calm and they’re like, “Whoa!” And kind of joking like, “He doesn’t like that position. Roll over. Try this.” And then it came right back and we were like, “Oh, no big deal.”
And then kind of a little knock on the door like, “That might come back.” And then it went really, really, really fast after that. So compared to Charlie, Charlie was like a 52 hour process and Lincoln was —
Kevin: Yeah, not even an eight hour shift. So it was pretty good.
Lindsey: So you mentioned that the EMS came. What made you or because you were the one that called 911. Was it just the dropping heartrate that the midwives were like, “Okay, let’s be a little cautious, call 911”?
Kevin: Yeah, the midwife actually made the call. She’s like, “You should probably call EMS.” And it was funny. Tavniah, our midwife — Erica was like pretty laidback hippie like us. Tavniah, super laidback hippie. And there was times I guess where I was a little nervous because we went from like kind of the seen it all, know it all grandma midwife to like the younger — Tavniah’s a little younger, hippie-ish midwife.
And I was always kind of wondering like is she too laid? Is she too chill? But man, when things started flying, I call her superhero midwife now because it was like a new level. And she was just so calm and she was aggressive in moving Lindsay into the position she need to be in. Told me right away, “Go call. We should call.” But not in a panicky way. It was just like she knew that was a step we had to check off.
So like I said, I just left the room and came out and called and they were here very quickly. So I just waited down by the door. I could hear them just felt like almost immediately before I was even off the phone. I think I could hear the sirens. And like I said there was a thunderstorm going on and lightning.
And it was a little intense in that sense, but yeah. And Tavniah after the birth, when we went back and recapped the events and everything, she kind of explained why she chose to have us call and what might have happened had we had further complications and stuff. And that was really reassuring too.
Lindsey: Yeah. What were some of the things she said to you then? Do you remember?
Kevin: Just that once they got in there that there was a good chance they would have wanted to transport right away. And it was still so fast that the baby wasn’t in grave danger at any time really. But it was more of a worry like if we did get the little guy out, would he have enough energy to be okay and if they would need to him with oxygen and stuff right away.
And she said there was a good chance they probably would have vacuumed maybe if we made it to the hospital. But I remember Lindsay kind of like — I remember the phrase like, “Lindsay, we got to have this baby now or we’re going to the hospital.” And I remember Lindsay — did you say anything or…?
Lindsay: No, but in my mind I think I [0:30:56] [Indiscernible].
Kevin: Yeah. You could kind of see the look on her face like, “Oh, no, we’re not.” And that’s where the squats came in and just got her done.
Lindsey: It’s funny you mentioned that because there’s been a few instances where I’ve been at home births where definitely either the — I don’t want to say threat, but the midwife is like, “Okay. If this hasn’t progressed or this hasn’t changed then we’re going to go into the hospital or we’re going to call 911.”
Or there was one time where I was with a mom and the placenta didn’t come out. Where it’s like once you put that in the mom or in the air like, “Hey.” It’s usually the midwife like, “Hey, if this doesn’t change by then, then we need to take a step.”
And I think once you put that in there then it’s like, “Oh, no, we’re not.” And mom does whatever she has to do in like a primal sense to get baby out or to get placenta out or whatever she’s got to do. And it’s actually really cool to witness that. So it’s really neat to hear that.
Kevin: Yeah. Moms do a lot of amazing things I’m learning, but that is definitely, yeah, it’s almost like a whole new level. You hear of like the superhuman like someone lifting a car off their child or jumping over a thing to save their kid. And it’s kind of cool moms can do that like before the little bugger’s even out. It’s pretty amazing.
Lindsey: Totally, totally. They’re already on that alternative wavelength. They’re already programmed.
Kevin: Absolutely. Yeah, it’s pretty cool. And during Charlie’s — during our first birth, there was a point where Lindsay was sitting backwards in a wooden chair and she was going through some pretty heavy contractions and I will never forget this. She just snapped the top of the chair off. Just like it was amazing.
And she doesn’t remember doing it and the midwife just kind of looked at me and she’s like, “Ooh, you are a strong one.” And then we kind of put the pieces of the chair down and I was like, “Oh, wow.” So yeah, definitely some super strengths for mamas for sure.
Lindsey: Was that probably the craziest thing that you’ve seen or witnessed during either the labors like the ripping of the chair?
Kevin: Yeah. Yeah, breaking the top of a — and it was like a solid wooden chair. That was very impressive. But then I think she outdid herself with Lincoln basically having to push without contractions and —
Lindsay: It was like a crowning.
Kevin: I will never really know what that feels like. Just from Erica and Tavniah’s reaction, that probably topped the chair for sure.
Lindsey: Yeah. So what did the immediate postpartum period looked like after the EMS and all the chaos kind of died down for you all after they left?
Kevin: There’s just that sort of Euphoria. Everybody kind of bustled around. Our backup midwife actually showed up a little bit after the birth. Everything happened so fast. And so she came in and I remember Erica was pretty tired and exhausted by then. So we kind of tried to send her home so she could see her boys.
And then the midwife stayed and we just sort of cleaned everything up. Made sure Lindsay was good and comfortable and the baby. And then gathered up the placenta and all of that stuff. And yeah and then it was the best because I think that was really Lindsay’s drive was she wanted to be in her own bed, in her own room with her own little baby.
And so then it was just once everybody — and then the midwives — I don’t know, maybe a couple of hours and then they both had children at home too. So they’re like, “Well, we’re going to go home and we’ll be back tomorrow.” And so we just sort of sat in bed and of course I was hitting Facebook like crazy and Lindsay is nursing and it’s just that perfect — it’s just the finish line and you’re there and you just kind of take that deep breath.
And the next morning was awesome. It was actually Easter morning. Oh, that’s right. So actually had to go run around and hide eggs and get the Easter baskets for the three year old. I forgot about that, yeah. And then the next morning, my mom brought Charlie down and you really can’t get any better of an Easter than, “Hey, hey, the Easter bunny brought your little brother.” So that was really cool. And then it just felt right. It was a great day for family and all that stuff.
Lindsey: How does big sister react to little brother?
Kevin: Oh, she just loves him a little too much. We’re trying to create some boundaries especially during when he’s nursing or if he’s a little fussy. But a couple days ago, she picked up a little baby doll and started kind of mimicking mama. So maybe that’ll ease up a little bit.
Just love. We want to probably — it might be my favorite picture all time now was — I don’t know if it was that next day or the day after. But she was just laying down with him face-to-face and just touching his hand and she got one hand up in his head. And then just — yeah, that’s kind of I think if we look back it’s the one picture where Lindsay was absolutely right like we’re probably missing something. So it was pretty cool that we had our second baby.
Lindsey: I love that. So looking back even at both pregnancies, what would you say is the most challenging thing for a dad through pregnancy and then through birth?
Kevin: Through pregnancy, I think it’s just — man, maybe the wife. No, I’m just kidding. Just seeing your wife go through all these changes with her body and her energy levels and things like that. And I don’t know. I’ve been through it too and I don’t know that I could sit down a new dad and be like, “Okay, this is what’s going to happen first year and the second.”
My wife is so active and like I said she maintained her workouts and everything through and work and just doing a great job there. So part of it I think the hardest part maybe I don’t know for me personally, probably a little bit. But for a lot of guys probably is just that release of control and understanding that really the best you can do is shotgun.
You can get in the passenger seat, but your wife is really driving this thing and the best thing is just to support her and love and just try to do the best you can to help her out. And I think what was cool was Lindsay’s constant yearning for knowledge on the matter and stuff like that.
And so it was just important to share in that and to really just appreciate that part of it. I knew physically she was going to do a wonderful job growing our baby, but I had no idea just how academic she would get about it and really just get really, really smart about home birth and that really helped too. But yeah, the hardest part just that release of control and just being along for the ride a little bit is different sometimes for husbands.
Lindsay: And I have to say too because we’ve joked about this before because every now and then I’d try to drop a knowledge bomb on him or something or like reiterate something or say, “This is why I’m acting bat shit crazy,” or something like that. And he’d be like, “Lindsay, I know. I took the class. I was there. I know about this BIRTHFIT stuff.”
So it’s really it’s kind of like a joke that he knows more about birth than most women. And it’s really kind of funny. We joked about that before. It’s funny, but it’s [0:39:19] [Indiscernible].
Lindsay: That’s amazing. I love it. So here’s a question I always have like especially because you’re both curious and you both sought out information. And I always — and maybe this isn’t a question, but more of a statement. But there’s also those couples who don’t have any of that. Don’t have that curiosity or that motivation or anything to seek out information.
Do you know what insight maybe drove either of you to either read more, Lindsay, or at least go along for the rise and surrender control, Kevin. Rather than just depend on maybe the OB-GYNE with the white coat or what your mom or your sisters, somebody, a female in your family said?
Kevin: Yeah. Well, Lindsay takes first priority. She was really inspired about the home birth. And like I said I would have stepped right in line with having a hospital birth probably. I’m so thankful that we did it the way we did, but yeah, Lindsay, share.
Lindsay: Well, long story short. I used to be fat and unhealthy. And I got healthy and I think there was a point in my life when I would have been the guy that just listened to the guy in a white coat. So I guess it kind of goes back to I guess the whole path or learning how to eat healthy, learning how to exercise properly. Learning how to do all the stuff that just kind of seemed natural to me to have the — to have that kind of follow suit, to have the baby the way you’re supposed to have a baby.
And then I also had — both of my sisters had really horrible experiences in the hospital with my niece and my nephews. So I had a really good idea of what I didn’t want to happen. So that was another huge driving factor. And then there were a couple of people at my gym that talked to me about home births and how they were like having their kids at home and that’s how I actually found my midwife was a referral from one of my gym members.
Lindsey: Were you exposed or did you know anything about home births prior to maybe having conversations at your gym?
Lindsay: No. Not even a little bit. Like I said, I knew I wanted a natural birth and when one of my gym members was talking to me about that home birth, I thought that was my best shot at getting it, so. Especially with the first baby and everything you read about that stuff. So like you said, well, if I would had my first, Charlie, in a hospital, if I would have been in a hospital there’s no way they would have let me labor that long especially after my water broke.
Lindsey: For sure. It’s so interesting. I love it. I love it. No, that’s great. Awesome. So yeah, I love that the curiosity basically drove you to explore other options, drove Kevin to basically support you. So that’s pretty rad.
Lindsay: Yeah, yeah. Like I said, I’m just so lucky that he’s pretty supportive of pretty much all of my craziness.
Lindsey: What would you say looking at your experience with Kevin through both birth experiences, what would you say was the hardest part of dad and now hearing some of his feedback?
Lindsay: Well, I’ve always kind of known that he doesn’t like — he’s helper. He wants to be able to fix things for me. I’ve always kind of known this. And that’s like whenever I come to him with a problem, he’s already got a solution already. He’s going to make a game plan.
So I kind of knew that with him which is why I had my mom and sister at my first birth. That’s why I wanted Erica at the second one because I knew he needed to have the space to do what he needed to do as far as that goes. So I think it’s just nice to know your partner, to know your partner well enough so you can both of kind of do what you need to meet each other’s needs.
Lindsey: Totally. Were there any practices or daily exercises that you all would do together to prepare for either birth or birth experience?
Lindsay: Not really together, no.
Lindsey: Just you.
Lindsay: I mean we took the classes and the first time through, yeah, there was — I mean just little things, just trying to connect and a lot of little reminders of him just acknowledging that he understands that I’m pregnant and me apologizing profusely for whatever rude or anything I said to him the day before. And just taking the moment to just kind of connect. But otherwise, I don’t think we had anything real, baseball, our schedules are crazy [0:44:22] [Indiscernible] say hi to each other most days.
Lindsey: Oh, this is a question that most couples face on the other side, the postpartum side of things. How the heck do you find time for the two of you especially with two kiddos? You’re like, “We haven’t.”
Lindsay: We haven’t yet.
Kevin: [0:44:42] [Indiscernible] on the second one yet. You got an answer? No, it’s you know.
Kevin: I don’t know. Yeah, patience and then you just learn that really the family time is good. I mean I remember a guy at church when we had Charlie, I was walking by and he’s like, “Oh, a new baby.” I was like, “Yeah.” And he said, “Don’t take this the wrong way,” but he said, “Being a new parent, you’re going to find out how selfish you are.” And I was like, “What? What’s this guy talking about?”
It took me a long time and I couldn’t really figure it out. And now I kind of know what he meant. And I think part of it is I am so selfish of my kids’ time like I just want to be around my kids as much as possible. So I think that’s one part of it. And then I think the other part is you realize that maybe date night turns into play dough night or something like that. I know I have never loved Lindsay more than seeing her as a mom now. So it’s not all bad.
Lindsey: Kids aren’t bad.
Kevin: But yeah, we’re still working on it. That’s our plan this summer. Baseball is almost over for me and we’ll find some ways to connect hopefully a little better.
Lindsey: So how old is — no, go ahead.
Lindsay: Oh, sorry, I was just going to say leading up into it, we did do a pretty good job up until the second kid and the nights away. So we did do a pretty good job of like connecting at lunch and stuff like that I guess.
Lindsey: Yeah, you have to get creative. And it’s like, “Okay, maybe day dates are the thing right now.”
Kevin: Well, yeah.
Lindsay: That’s our life anyway.
Kevin: Our friends joke with us because they’re like, “Do you want to do something?” Or like, “Well, what time?” If it’s after 5:00 at night, we’re like, “Yeah, maybe next time. Why don’t we do this over here?” They’re like, “You want to get together this weekend?” We’re like, “How about brunch? You want to do some brunch? That’d be cool.”
Lindsey: I love it.
Kevin: You adjust for sure.
Lindsey: Awesome. So family’s complete, family of four. I love it. I love it. How old is the youngest one?
Lindsay: She’s three and a half-ish. Yeah.
Lindsay: Three and then Lincoln’s six?
Kevin: Six weeks Saturday.
Lindsey: Okay. Whoa, okay, awesome. All right. Would you recommend a doula to everybody?
Lindsay: Oh, yes.
Kevin: Oh, yes. I recommend Erica. Like if you could just multiply Erica, that would be — yeah, home births would spread like wildfire.
Lindsay: I mean home births aside, you birth where you’re comfortable, but having the support and stuff, it was priceless. Yeah.
Kevin: Yeah. And you know that was cool about class because Lindsay was 100% home birth. There was another couple that was 100% home birth. And then there was another couple and they were kind of still figuring out what they wanted to do. And what I thought was cool about Erica was we knew her preference and her kind of her beliefs were founded in a home birth.
But she provided so much awesome information for if someone did decide to go into a hospital. She just empowered them with knowledge and sort of role-played all the different decisions and how much they might be steered one way or another by the hospital. And she gave us the reasons for that. Like why a hospital would want to do things a certain way.
And then she also just reassured everybody in the class like it is your decision. It is your body. Don’t let people rush you. Don’t let them tell you you have this much time or that you have to decide between this and this.
And so it was cool. It was really cool how she taught that way and just made everybody feel comfortable whether you were going to have a home birth or if you were going to have a midwife at the hospital or if you were just going to have a traditional hospital. I guess not — I don’t know what — the average house birth. So it was pretty cool.
Lindsey: I love it. I’m so glad you all sought out the information because like you just experienced that many people don’t realize that there are actually choices in their cities, in their country about where you can give birth, who you can give birth with, things like that. So that’s cool.
Kevin: Yeah. And when she shared the history, I think what I was shocked with was just, I don’t know. I don’t know that there’s anything more important to mankind than our children and carrying on generation after generation. And I was shocked to find out how many things that happened in the last hundred years as far as birth goes and how many things were just like, “Well, let’s just try this.”
Well, they were wrong. They knew 100% that they shouldn’t keep doing it, but they did. And some things are like money-driven and some things were like just we got to flip that bed and get somebody else in here. I was just shocked by that. I was just like, “Wow. How did we let that happen?” But I suppose it’s not the only — when you look around, there’s a lot of things that we let slip.
Lindsey: Right, for sure. And that’s one of the reasons we include that history in the BIRTHFIT prenatal series, like the curriculum of it is because if you look at — if you were to approach let’s say like a — Lindsay probably will understand this too being in the health world is we didn’t get nutrition right. Like if you look back at the — like we were telling people to eat low fat for good chunk of time. And now, we’re realizing, “Oh, that’s good.” Like okay, what are we doing?
Kevin: [0:50:40] [Indiscernible].
Lindsey: Yeah. And you kind of just take the emotions out of birth or out of the situation and look at just the — I guess the black and white of it. It’s like, “Oh, the first epidural study was in 1993. Like that’s crazy.” Like, “What?”
Kevin: Yeah, it’s wild I think. And then just to feel like we talked earlier how it’s kind of your most vulnerable time. And to think that you might be bullied or kind of pushed in the direction you don’t want to go by sometimes complete strangers in that situation. That to me is just — I don’t know. I’m just really glad that we did it the way we did and yeah.
Lindsey: Right. And in their defense, I want to say like not all doctors or hospital staff are out for evil. It’s just the protocols and the rules and regulation that they have to follow which is kind of unfortunate sometimes.
Kevin: Yeah. And I think they are stuck to that code. Yeah, it’s I don’t know. But you never know. I mean it seems five years ago I knew maybe like two old ranch families back in Wyoming that had home births probably because of snowstorms or something.
Lindsey: Yeah, they didn’t make it.
Kevin: Now, I have probably two dozen friends that I know that have had home births. So it spreads and it grows and stuff like this, I think spreading the word and the knowledge is good.
Lindsey: Awesome. I love talking with you all.
Kevin: I should defend the hospital. I feel like I was just attacking.
Lindsey: No, you’re totally fine. Usually, I’m attacking —
Kevin: Even Erica, she said they do a really good job and they’ve changed their way of thinking a lot as far as if you bring in your own midwife and how they support that and things like that. And one of the hospitals in particular here has really, really flipped the switch on that. So I should, yeah, I should back up.
Lindsey: You’re totally fine. Yeah and it totally depends on what state you live in and what city you live in and what hospitals are there. It’s wild.
Kevin: Yeah, but even the laws. Like you guys shared the laws like I can’t believe there’s like a law about how long you can be pregnant or —
Lindsey: In California, yeah.
Kevin: Yeah, the C-section law. Like you had one C-section, it’s illegal to try to have another baby without a C-section.
Lindsay: In some states.
Kevin: Yeah, but that just blew my mind as far as how much, you know, [0:53:38] [Indiscernible] enjoy their freedom and especially like the right to my body and all that. Well, that was — that really blew my mind. And in California, I was like, “Come on. People in California would take that.” But that was crazy.
Lindsey: Yeah. I keep telling people, California is not as free, hippie as you like to think it is. It’s wild. Well, looking back, is there any pieces of advice that you all would pass on to new families, new families starting out, even families about to embark on baby number two?
Lindsay: Look into BIRTHFIT.
Kevin: Yeah, we highly recommend BIRTHFIT.
Lindsey: That’s too funny.
Kevin: Yeah and just knowledge is power and like just found that confidence in your decision and talk to your spouse, get on the same page and then —
Lindsay: And that you don’t have to settle either. Like you can change your mind. I can remember I have a friend that had some issues with like the cord insertion point like whether it was marginally off or really far off. And she really wants a home birth and they had her all freaked out. And her midwife says she wants a home birth, but told her she’d take like 36 weeks they could wait and change their minds, you know. So…
Lindsey: It’s a good point. You got options. Amazing.
Kevin: Yeah, the squat. I high recommend the squats.
Lindsay: Squats, yeah.
Lindsey: I love it.
Kevin: But actually just staying in shape. It’s been kind of cool. Erica — I remember I actually trained a little bit at the gym that Lindsay work runs. And Erica brought in the BIRTHFIT class one time and it was still — I can’t remember if it was before Lindsay’s pregnancy. But I was a little nervous having like four pregnant women working out, swinging kettle bells, doing their thing.
But we’ve had so many of the gym members and that’s how sort of our family of home births friends have grown. But just so many women who stay physically active if they can and just how much better it seems as far as their energy levels and their own confidence I think and stuff like that. So don’t be afraid to work out a little bit too and that’s a good way for your husband to get involved as well. You’re working out together and there you go.
Lindsey: Totally. That’s a good point. I love it. Awesome. Well, I won’t keep you all anymore, but I really appreciate you giving me some time in sharing your birth story and your experience with BIRTHFIT. It’s really rad to hear.
Kevin: You bet. And thank you. Thank you for your program and people like Erica.
Lindsey: Yeah, Erica is a gem.
Kevin: She is. She’s awesome.
Lindsay: Yeah, she’s awesome.
Lindsey: Well, you all enjoy your Thursday and maybe in the next year I promised Erica I would get out to Wisconsin. So I definitely hope to meet you all while I’m out there.
Kevin: That would be awesome.
Lindsay: Yeah. Maybe summer.
Kevin: [0:56:51] [Indiscernible].
Lindsay: Come in the summer. Come in the summer, Lindsey.
Lindsey: Yeah, definitely not the winter.
Kevin: [0:56:57] [Indiscernible]. I wouldn’t blame you there.
Lindsey: Awesome. Well, you all enjoy your Thursday and happy Memorial Day.
Kevin: You too. Thank you so much.
Lindsay: Thank you.
Lindsey: All right. Bye, Kevin. Bye, Lindsay.
Lindsey: What’s up, BIRTHFIT? I hope you enjoyed that interview. I freaking love that couple. They seem so chill, so down to earth, but also curious and eager for information. And I can totally tell why they loved Erica. But yeah, let’s talk about one pearl of wisdom and I think Kevin said it. It’s basically that, dads, you’re pretty much riding shotgun.
So yes, you have fears and you have concerns and questions and all these things. And seek out the information, ask the question, show up to class by yourself or even schedule a class by yourself. But birth is the mom experiences it, the female experiences it and she’s going to feel super, duper comfortable, safe and basically in her own skin.
Because we don’t change who we are during labor and delivery. We basically just have kind of an exaggerated version of that. So if labor and deliver is three days, we’re definitely going to explore all avenues of ourselves in those three days. If labor and delivery is five hours, we’re going to hit the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. So moms got to feel super comfortable, supported with dad riding shotgun.
[0:58:55] End of Audio