BIRTHFIT Podcast featuring Shane and Kianne Farmer
BIRTHFIT Podcast: Shane and Kianne Farmer
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Lindsey: What’s up, BIRTHFIT community? This is Dr. Lindsey Mathews, your BIRTHFIT founder. I have on the podcast today Shane and Kianne Farmer. You may know Shane from Dark Horse Rowing. But today, they share their journey as a family, mom, dad and baby Kennley in the picture, about their whole transition into motherhood.
Kianne and Shane put lots of energy, lots of effort into educating themselves and preparing throughout this journey for birth and then even in the immediate post-partum. So, enjoy this podcast. Take lots of notes. And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to Shane Farmer via Dark Rose Rowing. He’s on Instragram and Facebook and all things social media. Check out this podcast and get lots of juicy information and stories.
Thanks for joining the BIRTHFIT podcast. You’re on the BIRTHFIT podcast.
Shane: It’s exciting.
Lindsey: Let everybody know who I’m speaking with. Both people.
Shane: Well, this is Shane Farmer and I’m here with my wife Kianne Farmer.
Kianne: Hi. Kianne Farmer, wife of Shane Farmer.
Shane: And I am the founder of Dark Horse Rowing and good friends with the BIRTHFIT community and everybody up there in Venice.
Kianne: And the birther of our daughter Kennley Farmer seven weeks ago.
Lindsey: Do you participate in Dark Horse Rowing or you have your own career, am I right?
Kianne: I have my own career. I’m a lawyer.
Kianne: But I do–
Lindsey: You do a lot.
Kianne: As a co-business owner. Yeah. I’m around a lot. I feel like I’m one of the employees.
Shane: She’s our in house counsel.
Kianne: Yeah, sure.
Lindsey: Nice, nice. Everybody’s got to have one of those.
Shane: Yeah, exactly.
Lindsey: Well, let’s take it all the way back. I want to find out all about your journey. You can definitely leave out things you don’t want to talk about or say pass, no comment, whatever. But, yeah, what brought on kids? Were you all ready? Were you expecting it?
Kianne: Yes. We were trying to have kids so it was planned. It’s what we wanted. Honestly, I’ve always said, if it was up to me, I would have kids when I was 50, if my body would let me.
Lindsey: Yeah, totally.
Kianne: Because there’s still tons of traveling I want to do but we did six years of just us and I’m glad we chose now because it is a whole lot of work. We definitely wanted to get pregnant and we did. And I did a lot of work before that to make sure I was very healthy. I had a lot of tests done. And I was taking pre-natals for about six months before I got pregnant so that I was just a very healthy person during. So, yeah.
Shane: We went down to a facility in Mexico where she basically just did a complete clean out and got herself–
Lindsey: Yeah. What facility?
Shane: It’s called Sanoviv. S-A-N-O-V-I-V. It’s this beautiful like medical spa, if you will. I’d say about half the people there are there for cleansing purposes. The other half are there with different types of degenerative disease or terminal illness. And they — It’s, I guess, you call it in patient facility but it’s — They have a full spa. They infuse eastern medicine practices with western medicine practices. They have a full — Everybody that comes in is assigned a doctor, a dentist, a psychologist, and a fitness specialist, a nutritionist. And every day, all five of the people that are those specialists for you, they all convene together to determine your plan of attack while you’re there. So, it’s a very, very holistic facility, which is pretty cool.
Lindsey: How long did you spend down there?
Kianne: I think I was there for four, five days.
Kianne: And I wanted to get all kinds of things out of my system. I guess, I’ll just say I was on Ritalin since I was 19 and so that was — Coming off of that to get pregnant was a little bit scary for me. So, I went down there to jumpstart it. And then no caffeine. I mean, they really pull everything out of you. So, it really was a great reset. I came back and, I think, we bought two or three different juicers and I was all on the juicing trend. I don’t know how much we spent on juicing the first few weeks. Yeah, it was a great experience. I really wanted to be super healthy and really prepared to carry Kennley.
Lindsey: Yeah. How did you all find out about this place in Mexico? Because a lot of people hear this and they’ll be like, “I don’t know if it’s for me. It’s outside the US.” And they’ll stay within their comfort zone here. So, yeah, what made you take the plunge? I think that’s pretty, pretty rad.
Shane: I actually worked there.
Shane: Yes. So, I transferred from — My first college was in Colorado, Western State College of Colorado, little school in the middle of nowhere. I transferred or I applied to transfer to the University of San Diego but I knew nothing about the school. I didn’t know San Diego at all. And I had no idea if I was going to get accepted. I felt like I was on the cusp of whether or not I could make it in.
And so I just kind of took a risk. I sold everything that wouldn’t fit in my car, packed it up, and I got this job because my uncle worked down there, and moved down to Mexico for that summer and was, basically, an intern for them. And I worked in their lab, which was funny because everybody else working in the lab, they’re like 5’1 and spoke only Spanish.
Mind you, almost everybody there speaks English. Everybody speaks English. But in the lab, they spoke only Spanish, and I’m this 6’3″, 20-year old, 19 or 20-year old, that just towered over them. And I was definitely underneath them as far as what was going on. And we would communicate and figure out what they needed but ultimately it ended up with me looking through like thesis for most of the summer in out of like plastic cups. So, that was how we found the place and I worked there for two summers.
Lindsey: That’s awesome.
Shane: It’s just an amazing facility.
Kianne: Yeah. It made me very confident going into the pregnancy. I knew I was as healthy–
Lindsey: Yeah. Heck, yeah.
Kianne: Yeah. I felt I was pumped full of good stuff and that I could be the best carrier.
Kianne: For our daughter, because it was planned. I had the foresight and the ability to really prep for that part and I was really excited to get pregnant. So, before we even pulled the goalie, I was prepping up. And I’m a preparer. There’s no way I wouldn’t have researched. I mean, my baby registry was done before we were pregnant.
Lindsey: That’s amazing. That is organization. Wow.
Shane: She definitely has that part covered in the relationship.
Lindsey: You want to know a funny a story? And you’ll appreciate this because, Shane, you know Logan. I was walking out of the house this morning and this couple that lives across the street from us, they’ve been together 17 years and they ended up just tying the knot and they invited us to their wedding reception, which is on Sunday, I just found out. But when I left the house this morning, they’re like, “Hey, neighbor.” I’m like, “Hey, how are you?” They’re like, “Hey, are you coming Sunday?” I was like, “To what?” And they’re like, “Oh, our wedding reception.” I was like, “Sure.” And they’re like, “We gave Logan the invitation.”
Shane: I definitely knew about that.
Lindsey: They totally gave Logan the invitation. It’s Logan, and puts it wherever he can. And, of course, I’ve never seen it but, so I was like, “Yeah, I’ll be there Sunday.” So, I’m usually cleaning up the loose ends there.
Shane: That is Kianne after me as well.
Lindsey: Amazing. Well, I love that you, basically, got your mindset ready and your physical body for birth. That’s a beautiful way, like a conscious conception. We’re actually in the thrills of creating a program called that but, yeah, brilliant.
Shane: Good timing.
Lindsey: Yeah. It’s not ready yet so don’t go looking for it. So, once you got pregnant and everybody, everything was rolling, what did you all — Did anything shift or did any planning shift or what did the training during pregnancy look like, mind, body and soul?
Kianne: We did a lot of work to prepare. Really, I treated the birth as like a Bar exam, is the best way. I prepared because I knew when I went in there, there was nothing I could have done more. I was as prepared as I could be. And that’s what it was going to be. So, we went as far as we saw a psychologist to kind of do some fear releasing because there’s so — Every person who thought I was pregnant wanted to tell me how scary and traumatic their birth was.
“Oh, you don’t know what happened.” “Oh, it was so scary. It was the worst pain ever.” Everybody. I mean, we were line one day and a woman turned to me, she was, “Oh, you’re pregnant. That’s great. It’s a miracle. I wanted to die. I asked them to kill me during my birth.” How is that helpful to me?
Lindsey: Yeah. Do I have a sign on me that says say this?
Kianne: So, we had to start stopping people. But there’s a lot of fear wrapped up in birth. I ended up doing it without any epidural or drugs or anything. And that’s kind of unheard of. A lot of people were just, “Oh, you’re never going to make it. It’s too painful.” And so I had to — We had to go see a psychologist. We didn’t have to. We chose to. The same one that did our pre-marital counseling.
Shane: Can’t recommend that enough.
Kianne: Oh my gosh.
Shane: Pre-child counseling, which is like–
Shane: Pre-partum couple’s counseling.
Lindsey: I love it.
Shane: It really was — That was super. I didn’t mean to interrupt but I can’t recommend that enough for people. I don’t know of anybody that really talks about that, like the couple strengthening their relationship before the baby comes and that’s been super helpful for us.
Kianne: So, that was helpful for me to let go of everyone else’s stories and for me to have my own. We did that. We did hypnobirthing which was a huge help, which we basically had a couple of hours of homework at night that we were doing between visualization — What else were we doing? Everything.
Shane: I recorded a passage for her that she could listen to every night as she was falling asleep and we were learning how to do, like how I can massage her to help her through the labor. Hypno sounds so wuwu when you don’t know about it and the first session is always like, “All right, what am I getting myself into?” The first thing that our instructor said, it’s like, “Hypnobirthing is the worst thing they could have chosen for this.” Because it turns people off because they just don’t understand what it is by the name. But what we learned in there was just so, so powerful and impactful for us.
Kianne: Right. And before that, I was going to get an epidural for my epidural. There was no feeling, anything. I wanted a nurse on call to pop me with something the second I felt anything. And then when I came out of that, I said, “I think I want to switch to midwives. I think I’m going to go to a birth center.”
Lindsey: And Shane’s like, “Whoa. What’s going on?”
Kianne: He was totally supportive. He wasn’t going to get in the way of what I decided. So, that’s what we decided. We switched, when I was 36 weeks pregnant, to the midwives. “I think I can do this.” I don’t want to continue to see a doctor because we learned a lot about how intervention can get in the way. I’m not trying to say that there’s anything wrong with people wanting to have intervention but I did ask for it at some point but I didn’t need it. And our birth, as a result, I’m skipping forward, I guess, was amazing because we were so prepped. I don’t have anything scary to say.
Lindsey: I love that.
Kianne: We had our minds right. We were ready.
Shane: Yeah. That was a big part of it.
Lindsey: The mindset is huge. I’m actually a hypnobirthing practitioner but it’s funny you say that because in the first class that you lead these couples through, it is like, “Okay, just try not to think of it as the hypnosis that you see or the witchcraft or the crazy hippy-dippy stuff that comes along with it, all the thoughts in your mind.” Because we’re actually just taking away some of the negative word association, planting some triggers in there, and then, okay, practice mindset drills all the time.
Lindsey: But you all seem like the best students. So, had you completed the whole hypnobirthing course before you switched or did you switch in the middle of your hypnobirthing course?
Shane: Like week three?
Lindsey: Okay. What did that switch look like or how did you navigate that? Because some people are super hesitant to switch that late in their pregnancy?
Kianne: Yeah. We went to a really unique hospital. They have a birthing center within. And so it gave me the confidence to switch over because if anything had gone wrong, the labor delivery, the normal doctor unit is on the same floor. So, I was really confident that I had both options. Had I been through hypnobirthing with enough time, if we had started earlier, we couldn’t because of Shane’s traveling schedule, we couldn’t do it any earlier than we did, so we were the most pregnant people in there pretty much, I would have maybe given a home birth.
Shane: She’s already that saying for the next one, she thinks she’s going to want a home birth.
Kianne: Next one. I think I can do. Yeah.
Lindsey: I love it.
Shane: If you knew–
Shane: Kianne Holnagel.
Kianne: That’s my maiden name.
Shane: That’s her maiden name. Who then became Kianne Farmer, that the like concept of a home birth is so far from what you would anticipate. I for sure thought it was just going to be by the book medical intervention birth. That’s just how things were going to go because that was, when I first met her, that’s how it would have gone.
Kianne: Because no one gave me a good reason why you shouldn’t have intervention. I couldn’t find a good — I said, just, “It’s better for the baby.” And I go, “But why?” And then hypnobirthing really helped me understand some of the benefits of not using drugs, if you can get away with it, if you want to. And a lot of that has to do with breastfeeding right away which is its own challenge.
Lindsey: Yeah. Heck, yeah. So, how did you all prepare for birth in the realm of like getting your team together? I know you talked about practicing the two of you at home but what did getting your team together look like? Did you have a doula? Once you got the midwife on board, all was good to go? Or how did that look?
Shane: So, we started with, upon a friend’s recommendation, we got a doula really early on. I want to say in the first couple of weeks of pregnancy, we interviewed this doula because everybody was telling us, “Get a doula–“
Lindsey: With the baby registry?
Shane: Yeah. About in line with that. And so we interviewed this doula and we hired her and paid her half up front and then about 20, I don’t know, 22, 24 weeks into the pregnancy, we hadn’t heard from her at all. She hadn’t reached out.
Lindsey: Oh. I remember you telling me this.
Shane: Yeah. And I was shooting her texts. I was like, “Hey, just FYI, you probably want to — Could you reach out to Kianne? I think she could use just somebody to talk to right now.”
Kianne: You can say why.
Shane: So, okay. Kianne actually had — She went through a short bout of, I would call it a depression during the birth, or during the pregnancy. And it lasted four days?
Kianne: Yeah. It was a week. I scared Shane.
Shane: It scared the hell out of me. And so I reached out to the doula. I said, “Hey–” I’m talking to Kianne where I think she could really use somebody who’s on the inside that is not me that could, that she might be able to open up to.” And I told her, “Hey, she’s really kind of in a depressed place right now.” Four days later, nothing. She hadn’t reached out?
Lindsey: Four days?
Shane: Yeah, four days. And so we fired her.
Shane: Long story short, we fired her. And then a very good friend of ours who has been my acupuncturist since I started in cross fit and has become a really good family friend of ours, she treats both of us now, is a doula but her primary business is acupuncture and she’s really busy with that. And we knew that she had done doula work with just for friends before. And so on a whim, I just said, “Hey, Heidi–” Her name is Heidi Baker. I just said, “Hey, Heidi. This is totally out the left field. We love you. You’re a great friend of ours.” And she lives just the next neighborhood over so she’s like a five-minute drive away. “What are the odds that you would be open to being our doula?” And she just came back with a resounding, “Yeah, absolutely.” And so she became our doula.
Kianne: I love her. She’s no BS. And she was no BS during the birth too. I remember her turning to me and saying, “This next part is going to gnarly.” And I was like, okay. And that was it was and she kept it straight and I trusted her. I don’t know what we would have done without her.
Shane: Yeah. She was critical.
Lindsey: It was meant to be.
Kianne: We would have been at home during that birth if we didn’t get in the car. Because I was very far along.
Shane: But at the same time, Kianne also wanted to go a little bit sooner and she kept us at home because she had a feeling that if we waited a little bit longer, by the time we got to the hospital, Kianne would be ready to go, and sure enough, when we got there, Kianne was. Kianne thought that she was still a day away from giving birth and she’s like, “If this is–” The first thing she told the midwife, she goes, and she looked at Heidi and I, like, “Please don’t be mad at me.” And she looks at the midwife and she goes, “I think I’m going to want an epidural. I can’t–“
Kianne: Or something.
Shane: “Or something. This is just — This is too much.” And the midwife says, “All right, let me check you.” And we did a cervical check and we had both agreed that we didn’t want to do that because we didn’t want it to get in our heads.
Kianne: We didn’t want to know the number.
Shane: We didn’t want to know the number. And she said, “Well, okay, just let me check and I will tell your husband and he can choose to tell you.” And she does the check and she looks at Kianne with just this big smile on her face and she goes, “Honey, any mom would want to know her number right now because you’re nine centimeters. Let me just put you on the next room over and you’re going to have a baby in your hands in like two hours or less.”
Kianne: Oh my gosh.
Shane: And sure enough, that was the case. She sent a nurse to start filling the tub. Kianne went in there and jumped in the tub for like–
Kianne: One push. That was it.
Shane: Yeah. Like one or two contractions and then she felt the need to push and they’re like, “Okay, out of the tub and get ready to go.” 45 minutes later, we had the baby in our hands.
Kianne: The hospital we went to, the birth center, they don’t allow you to push in the water.
Kianne: And I was really excited about this tub. I was going to get my first Jacuzzi and I was going to get in that tub and we got in one push, my water broke and they took me out. I was like, “Dang it.”
Lindsey: Okay, dips the feet, and we’re out. Well, it sounds like Heidi was meant to be you all’s doula. So, did you labor at home before going to the hospital?
Kianne: Oh, yes. We even got in the bath at home for a little bit. So, I kept thinking because of all the horror stories you hear, “Oh, this isn’t really labor. It would be way worse.” And everyone’s like, “You’ll know when you’re in labor.” No, not really. I wasn’t. I was convinced I wasn’t in labor. Cramping, it’s okay. It was fine. And I was like, “Oh, this isn’t it. We’re days away.” And, I guess, I was in labor.
Shane: She was in full blown labor and she was like a labor denier.
Kianne: Yeah, I was a labor denier.
Lindsey: Super denial.
Kianne: Oh my gosh. Yeah.
Lindsey: What did you think when you got to the hospital and they’re like, “You’re nine.”
Kianne: Oh, we cried. I almost just cried when he was telling the story because it was — The reason I was asking for some help, because they also do laughing gas there, was like I’m not going to — I’m keeping my eyes closed and I’m not going to be present when she’s born. I’m going to miss it. And I was like I really want to be there. It wasn’t that the pain wasn’t bearable. It was that I couldn’t be present. Where was I going at that? What’s the point?
Lindsey: When you heard that you’re nine.
Kianne: Yes, thank you. So then she told me nine centimeters and I realized this was it. What she said was, “You’re going to go meet your baby right now.” And we cried. Because we were there. We had done it. We had done the hard work. It was done. And I was like, “Oh my gosh, we did it.” And then I said, “No, I don’t want drugs. I don’t want anything. If we’re here, why are we going to slow it down?” Yeah.
Lindsey: So, how did the second stage go, pushing? Baby was out in one push?
Kianne: No. I wasn’t as prepared for that. I didn’t realize that it could take a little bit longer and it’s not a place I ever pushed from. So, they were like, “You need to push.” And I was like, “I’m not really sure how to activate that.” But it was funny I had a cute dress to wear when we went to the hospital and I was going to put that on but we were so far along that I wasn’t — Shane dressed me and he dressed me in his clothing because that’s kind of what fit me at that time.
Shane: That’s true. One of my zip up hoodies and pair of my sweatpants.
Lindsey: That’s awesome.
Kianne: They were cross fit stuff and so the midwife kept going–
Lindsey: Dark Horse Rowing.
Kianne: Yeah. Well, no. The woman kept saying, “You need to give me a cross fit push. You need a cross fit–” I’m like, “I don’t know what that means.”
Shane: I go to [0:28:31] [Indiscernible] [Indiscernible].
Kianne: Yeah. But you, it was the part, the second part, this phase two was just a lot of effort. It wasn’t — It was just a lot of effort. Everyone was seeing her head and the entire room, and there was like nine people in there, would erupt in cheers when they would see her head and I go, “Yes, is it over?” Nope. Back in. And it kind of she moves forward and back and forth and that went on for I felt like it was six hours. It was, I guess, Shane says 45 minutes. So, it happened like over 20 times that I would push and they would see a little bit of head and it would come back. And so that was a little frustrating because I thought, oh, you push and then baby comes out.
Lindsey: Yeah. You’re like, “Where she at?”
Kianne: No. It was the most effort I’ve ever put into like a movement before.
Shane: I think at the end of it, we both kind of said like the, I guess, I don’t know if it’s a critique of the hypno class, was that there’s so much work on the lead up and we felt like we could have had a little bit more help in the ‘this is what is actually going to happen on the day of’ and like the whole, hey, there’s a — It’s two steps forward one step back process that happens over and over and over. I think that part was kind of briefly touched but could have had a little bit more emphasis just so that she was more–
Kianne: I was kind of denying their help too. They were like, “Take a mirror so you can see what’s going on.” I was like, “I don’t want to see that.” No mirror.
And they kept trying to hand it to me or ask me to touch her head. I think if I had done what they were asking me to do, I probably would have had a better grasp of what I was supposed to be doing. But I felt very like, I think I’m pushing but, again, I’ve never pushed from this area of my body before. It kind of just felt like I was stuck in the bottom of a really deep squat. That’s what I thought at the end of it. I’m just kind of stuck here and it’s like trying to push from there. And we gave birth on our side. It was on my side and Shane held my legs. So, it was great.
Lindsey: Wow. I love that.
Kianne: It really wasn’t — We got done and we were just thrilled and it’s just so not something to be feared. It was so amazing to go through.
Shane: Let me say from the dad perspective.
Lindsey: I was just going to ask.
Shane: I don’t think there is enough emphasis placed on fathers taking ownership of what the birth process is. I think too many guys just leave it up to their wives to make all the decisions and to have all the knowledge. One of the things that was really amazing about hypno was the amount I was able to get involved and be an active participant as well as I feel like the two of us were equals in how the whole thing played out. I wasn’t the one that had to do the work but I got to–
Kianne: You did some work.
Shane: But it was really empowering for me which most of the time guys aren’t thinking like they need to be empowered. But I would say down the birth route, guys tend to be pretty clueless and mostly because they just — It’s not something we’re raised with.
Kianne: Yeah. We talked to some of our family members and they weren’t even — The men weren’t even allowed in the room when their kids were born. So, it’s kind of new. And I took coaching from Shane really well. I needed him and I listened to him and I just wasn’t in a state where I was asking for anything or do anything but exactly what I was told which is also not like me because — You should see Shane coach me rowing. I fight him on everything.
But for this process, I really needed him and it was like having another, a second doula who we had to discuss everything and all the things that I thought I wasn’t going to like he would have to just keep trying things and I don’t even really remember what he did but some of them were so helpful and him helping me focus on breathing because that made all the difference. And reminding me, even though I knew it, it was easy for it to get away from me if I wasn’t being told, “Breathe deeply, breathe deeply.”
Shane: And one more time, as a public service announcement to every other woman that’s out there that thinks that like, “Oh, well, Kianne has a little hippy-dippy in her to begin with,” that’s like so opposite. Kianne is like number one type A. She’s an attorney. Hippy-dippy is not who she is. And like she came into this fully loaded with fear and with what all of, I think, most of her friends probably got epidurals.
Kianne: No one I know [0:33:39] [Indiscernible].
Shane: Right. So, it’s not like we’re in this — We’re surrounded by people who are giving birth in tide pools with no doctors around. Kianne is 100% somebody who just kept her mind open and was able to really learn from the process. The reason I say that is because it’s so easy for people to say, “Oh, she’s so much stronger than I am,” or, “She was already — She already had that in her. That’s kind of who she was.” And it’s just not the case. She is a perfect testimonial for hypno and somebody who’s just at least open to learning.
Lindsey: Yeah. That’s what I was going to say. It sounds like she comes with a growth mindset. Like, okay, I’m going to take this. I’m going to learn. She’s probably going to read everything there is to know about a certain subject. And then I’ll make my own decisions. And, I think, that’s brilliant. You have to approach this whole transition from that growth mindset.
Kianne: Why wouldn’t you do everything you can to help — You’re going to labor at some point. You’re going to feel something. And you might as well set yourself up with tools to make it not hurt which is what I dealt it. I was breathing through it. I’m telling you, it wasn’t bad at all. I mean, we had a really great — I didn’t think I was in labor.
Lindsey: Yeah. Labor denial. I love that.
Kianne: Yeah. So, why not give yourself every tool possible? Even if some of them we didn’t use, like all the music playlist we had, we didn’t use any of them.
Shane: There was no music.
Kianne: There was no music. Turn the music off. Be quiet. The bath tub, we didn’t, all these things. But some of them worked. And the ones that did and the ones that we remembered to use were so valuable. And I’m able to sit here and not have, not be another person with a traumatic story to steer the next person about what’s going on. I don’t have anything traumatic to say. It was awesome.
Lindsey: But you can still share your story. I love that. Because people need to hear this. It’s a beautiful birth experience. I mean, you both were completely aware and present for it and I love that. So, immediately post-partum, did you know you’re having a girl?
Kianne: Yes. Again, I actually went before my scheduled ultrasound to tell her gender so that I would know it by Christmas so I could do a reveal at the time I had planned to do my reveal. So, yes, there was no way I was not going to not know.
Lindsey: So, what were some of these emotions that came to you right after she came out? And maybe dad knows exactly how it felt but even for you?
Kianne: I’m a delayed reactor.
Kianne: So, I was nervous about what the stitches process would be like so I was pretty focused on that. And I really didn’t need very many but it was one of the things I was very fearful of that we worked on releasing but apparently didn’t all the way release. So, I was kind of, unfortunately, because there were so many people around, I didn’t really get to focus on her in the beginning. It took me a while to process. And I’ve never held a baby so I didn’t really — The video is, I’m just like, “Am I doing it right? I don’t know.” But it was more few days later was when I started getting very emotional. Just everything changed for me. It takes me a little bit longer to process emotions specifically, I think. Shane is more emotional.
Lindsey: Yeah. That’s totally, yeah, natural. Yeah.
Lindsey: What did you think right away, Shane?
Shane: I wasn’t thinking. I was just a heap of tears.
Kianne: He was singing to her. He’d sing this song to my stomach during the pregnancy and she came out screaming and bright red and angry. I can imagine.
Shane: [0:37:33] [Indiscernible] and she was beautiful and as healthy as you can ask for.
Kianne: But then Shane sang her that same song and she calmed down. It was amazing. Isn’t that crazy? She totally knew his voice. She totally knew the song and she just looked at him and completely calmed down. I don’t know. She probably didn’t see you but she heard you.
Lindsey: Yeah. She knew it was dad.
Kianne: Yeah. It was really sweet.
Lindsey: I love that. One of my favorite parts about attending births is I’m standing there and then I see dad’s face just freaking melt or dad’s heart just explode and they start crying and then I start crying and then mom’s over here like, “What the hell just happened?”
Kianne: Yeah. That’s kind of how I felt.
Lindsey: It’s like oh my god, everybody’s crying and mom’s like, “Pay attention to me.”
Kianne: And it was so crazy. She totally crawled towards my nipple, like strongest baby ever. I saw that happen. I think it’s one of the most amazing things I learned through the process was that they have — I guess, I’ve shut down all my instincts but there’s so many human instincts that I didn’t realize we have and one of them is that babies, well, I don’t know all of them will but I think that they crawl towards the nipple for eating.
Lindsey: For sure, yeah.
Kianne: And she did it and it was like, wow.
Lindsey: Yeah, the breast crawl.
Kianne: She’s never known what a nipple was. She was even eating through her mouth until right now and she crawled and we’re like we have the strongest baby ever.
Lindsey: I love that. Tell me a little bit about you all’s post-partum, like the 40 days in? Because I know you all shut it down, kept people out, and I love that and I want more people to hear about this.
Shane: It was from the book.
Kianne: Yeah. So, I was sitting there and we had done all this prep for pregnancy and then all of these pills I was taking, these prenatals, checking my blood, all of this work is getting done while you have the baby and then you give birth and it’s sort of like everyone’s focused on the baby but I’ve just gone through something in my body and I was like, my levels, I must have to — Shall I be taking something afterwards that makes me equalize out? Why is there no literature for me to research and figure out what to do?
And then we went to another class and they talked about this book called The First Forty Days. And the book talks about how in a lot of cultures, just not in the United States, the community surrounds around the woman and basically keeps her calm, takes care of things in the house, cleans and cooks for her so that she spends somewhere between, depending on the culture, but up to 40 days recovering, staying safe, bonding with her kid, and she doesn’t have a bunch of tasks to do.
So, the woman who wrote the book The First Forty Days, I think, is Chinese. I guess, it’s very Chinese too.
Lindsey: Yeah, yeah, based on that, yeah.
Kianne: And, I thought, wow, that makes sense to me. Just spend some time putting myself back together because they say Americans the next day, two days later are out on a walk and trying to work out and put themselves, lose the baby weight as if it’s just going to go away. Actually, I was sad when my baby weight was going away and my stomach was going down was so sad.
Shane: Every day she kept saying, “Oh, my Kennley belly is going away.”
Lindsey: I love that.
Kianne: So, I thought I think we should do this.
Shane: Yeah. We did it. I think the hardest part was saying, when we’re talking to each other saying, you know what, people are going to think we’re real weird but we just got to set our own boundaries and anybody that wants to be around will get over it and they will be okay with whatever we’re doing. And so we told the families and initially we had announced the idea — We had heard about it but we didn’t understand the reasoning behind it.
So, early on, we were like 40 days, nobody can come to the house. It’s just the two of us. And then after we read the book, we’re like, oh, it’s not like seclusion. It’s build a community around you to take care of the mother. Because, I think, one of the quotes out of the book is that nobody drinks if the well dries up. You look at the mother’s well and if things start to go south for her, baby can’t drink, dad can’t be emotionally healthy because he’s having to deal with now two pieces that are starting to fail and then he starts to fail and it just kind of snowballs.
Kianne: If I could add in. The reason we found this book too is because I had that depression during pregnancy. I was at high risk at post-partum. And so we were looking for something to get ahead of it. So, that’s how we originally started looking for sort of a solution so that I would — Because I was pretty nervous about post-partum. It’s pretty common.
Shane: And so, yeah, we just put it out there. We told our families, “Hey, listen. Here’s the deal, 40 days Kianne and baby are not really leaving in the house. Most people are not welcome to come. It’s not visitation time. This is take care of Kianne time. So, here’s what we need. If you guys want to come, hang out with the baby, you’re not just coming to visit. You are coming to take care of Kianne. And if you get to see the baby during that time then it’s a plus. If you’re coming, you’re coming to help us by bringing food or cooking at the house, making a lot of soups and broths, or you’re coming to clean or you’re coming to do the laundry. And if in that time Kennley is awake or needs diaper changing or we need to take a nap or anything like that, that’s when you get Kennley time. But you’re not coming to see Kennley and we’re not here to socially support you. This is for you guys to support Kianne and her healing.” And our families were like, “Got it. Sounds good.” There’s a little bit of like, “That sounds weird.” But we kind of had to — We really had to put our foot down.
Kianne: And it was amazing. When we went to the hospital, my mom came down and cleaned our house while we were there and picked up my dog and then Shane’s family came over and cleaned our house.
Shane: After her mom had cleaned.
Kianne: After my mom had cleaned. And then we got home from the hospital, my sister was cleaning. Like we made it very clear that this was the buy in, it was cleaning and cooking, and they went in — It was amazing. We didn’t have any fight from them after that.
Lindsey: That’s awesome.
Shane: Yeah. It really set, it set the entire tone for how the family gets to be a part of her life. You don’t get to leave the parents behind. It is like you support us and by supporting us you will have a healthy and happy niece, granddaughter, and therefore, your time with her is going to be that much better but you don’t get to leave us behind and just be the grandmother with no responsibilities.
Lindsey: Right, right. I love that. So, when did you all finally leave the house?
Kianne: I think, well, how graphic do you get on this show? I don’t know. When I stopped bleeding–
Lindsey: Yeah, you can say that.
Kianne: I took my first short walk. I think I ran out to get my nails down maybe a month in. I’m still not leaving a ton. I’m starting to go to the gym again.
Kianne: And we had an outing two weeks ago.
Shane: By the way, we’re almost eight weeks. Just for time reference.
Kianne: Yeah. So, 40 days was almost two weeks ago.
Kianne: Yes. So, short little outings. I mean, it’s difficult especially in the beginning because we didn’t know when Kennley is going to take and if she wakes up and I’m not there Shane has got a situation on his hand and Kennley has to eat. We’re still kind of working through the routine situation. It actually was good that I was around as much as I was. Being a mom is really exhausting. So, I’m finding the need to be home more so I can nap.
Lindsey: Yeah. Heck, yeah.
Kianne: Yeah. But it was a great restoration for my body. I felt really good. I mean, I wanted to work out three days in because I felt so good but, of course, I didn’t, which is really hard for me. And I’m coming back now and could not be more sore.
Shane: She went to work out last week with body weight squats and she couldn’t walk for about six days.
Lindsey: It’s so surprising, like I get that comment or an email or text or message, whatever, and that’s the response from majority of the people. Like who knew breathing and body weight squats could be this traumatic? I’m like, “I know, I know. It will get better.”
Kianne: One more comment on the first 40 days too because, I mean, I think we did well is we were also pretty, we’re flexible. Because it ended up being that we needed more family help with Kennley than I thought. And sometimes I wanted to get up and clean my house and have someone else hold her because you sit there and you breastfeed and you stare at that mark on the wall that you can’t get to and you’re like, “I have to get to that mark.”
And so my family has been really helpful, and his family had been very helpful. And we ended up wanting them around a lot more than we thought. We thought maybe come by for a few minutes once a week and every day they weren’t here I was like, “Get down here. You need to help me.”
Shane: Please come help.
Kianne: So, we made it our own because it wasn’t this seclusion that we thought it was going to be and we were willing to be flexible for what we needed and what we needed was food and help with Kennley because it’s our first child. That was an important adjustment we made.
Shane: Staying flexible.
Kianne: Staying flexible.
Lindsey: I just love hearing you all’s story and I could sit here and — Can you hear me?
Lindsey: The mike. I could stay here and listen to you say it again and again and again but I certainly think you all grabbed resources and information and education from all over and you took and made it your own. I think that’s the most important thing. Before we start to get off the podcast, what is one piece of advice each of you have, maybe for dads or moms or anyone in between, about this motherhood transition time?
Kianne: I think what I just said about being flexible because, at least, for me, I’ve never been a mom. I didn’t grow up around children. I don’t have a lot of experience with them. And so we are having to do a lot of research and pretty flexible and it’s not exactly what I thought it was going to be. And having help had been just so good for my mindset and my sanity, to try not to do it myself which would be my habit, I think, would be to try to do everything myself and not ask for help until I’m breaking down. Being willing to ask for help and being very clear about what you need has been a hard transition for me but it’s been very helpful during this.
It’s challenging. I mean, I still don’t know what I’m doing. We’re trying a new sleep method now. Difficult. So, flexibility and being clear with people about how they can help you. People want to help so just say, “Yes, stop by.” Say, “I need meals.”
Lindsey: Yeah, I like that.
Kianne: And I need help.
Shane: And tell them what meals.
Kianne: And tell them what meals.
Shane: Like you don’t want a cheesy lasagna two days after you’ve given birth. Get some really awesome bone broth in your system. Get some really super easy to digest foods. Tell people. Be direct.
Kianne: Read the First Forty Days, if you can, before you give birth. Get a system. Because there’s a lot of batch cooking in there you can do beforehand because you’re going to get home from the hospital whenever that is or the doctor’s and you’re going to need food immediately. So, get prepped up to get your home nested and ready for the after part. The birth is such a short period of time and it’s so doable. And I spend so many years afraid of it and it’s not something you need to be afraid of, not if you go in knowing what you want and what to expect and knowing that you’ve done the preparation and that many generations have done it before. And I am not someone who is strong or likes pain and I did it. So, you can do it too.
Lindsey: You’re stronger than you think. I love it.
Shane: And for the dads, I would say, number one, take ownership of being a father. It’s very — I think a lot of guys — I don’t want to say a lot of guys. But, I think, it’s becoming more acceptable now for dads to really take ownership of being a father and to take ownership of what it means to have a child and not just take a backseat but to be an active participant and try to be an equal to your wife and help her as much as you can and don’t just be the blustering guy who just waits for direction.
Shane: Try to take as much as ownership as you can, would be my number one. And my number two would be to find other guys that you can use as resources who have been through what you’re going to go through. And we just went through this the other day and, actually, I had an emotional breakdown the other day. I was in tears because I had been for, I don’t know, a week and a half, two weeks, like holding in the stress of trying to run a business and a baby who wasn’t happy with me when I was trying to put her down for a map.
I was trying to protect Kianne from that emotional challenge because our daughter would be crying in the other room and Kianne would be crying out in the living room. I was trying to be like this iron pillar that didn’t break and it only lasted so long. And I finally broke. But, thankfully, Kianne was there for me with open arms and we were able to talk though it. But, I think, a lot of guys don’t. There’s not a big resource pool out there for men who are new fathers to understand.
I mean, the Dadswagger has been like a huge boon for me. And watching what they’ve been doing and watching his blog because I was able to read ahead of time before we had the kid, and it least gave me some insight into what I should be looking forward too.
Kianne: And excitement too, I think. The blog, it was exciting. He was so sweet about his kids.
Lindsey: I want to just come hang out with you all.
Shane: Well, come down to San Diego. We have spare room for you.
Kianne: You have to bring a meal.
Lindsey: Deal. I totally think we could manage that. Thank you so much for donating some of your time for the BIRTHFIT podcast.
Kianne: Yeah, thank you.
Shane: Thanks for having us on. Happy to share our story.
Lindsey: So, did Kennley sleep the whole time? Is she still sleeping?
Kianne: She just started stirring and I was like, “Oh, no. Here we go.”
Shane: The monitor is sitting in front of us right now.
Kiane: But she’s back asleep, so.
Lindsey: Maybe you’ll have some time to yourselves right now. Who knows?
Lindsey: Thank you so much Shane and Kianne. Did I say that correctly?
Kianne: You did. And I also wanted to say I did do BIRTHFIT and I was so glad I did. I did want to mention this.
Lindsey: You don’t have to say that on the podcast.
Kianne: I know but the squat thing is like, when I was pushing, I was so glad I didn’t just do yoga the whole time because I don’t know that I would have had the strength to push the way I did. That’s where she kept saying, “Cross fit push.” Whatever that means. I don’t think I would have the strength if I hadn’t been honestly back squatting almost the whole time.
Lindsey: That’s awesome.
Kianne: I did want to say that because I am doing your program.
Lindsey: You all are awesome. Kennley is a lucky one.
Shane: We hope so.
Kianne: We hope we’re lucky too.
Lindsey: So, where can people find — I know Shane’s on social media. Where can they–
Shane: Anything Dark Horse Rowing would be me. So, darkhorserowing.com or @darkhorserowing on pretty much any social media channel or YouTube for that matter.
Shane: [0:54:27] [Indiscernible] Do you want to remain — Most of her stuff is private. She doesn’t have Facebook.
Kianne: Yeah. I don’t have Facebook. I gave it up during my pregnancy. I was too tired. Any picture you see tagged to Shane is pretty much what I took.
Lindsey: Amazing. Well, thank you again and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. And next time we’re in San Diego we’re bringing you food and we’re coming to see you all.
Shane: Love it. Sounds wonderful.
Kianne: Sounds good. Thank you.
Lindsey: All right. Bye, Shane. Bye, Kianne.
Shane: Bye, Lindsey.
Lindsey: All right, BIRTHFIT, I hope you love that podcast. Shane and Kianne, you’re awesome. Little did you know that they were trying to put their baby down to sleep before we got on and she slept the whole time so that was amazing.
All right, I want to give a special thank you out to all of our BIRTHFIT Summit sponsors. Be ready. I’m going to read the list here. HaaKaa, RIE, Original Nutritionals, US Wellness Meats — P.S. use the code BIRTHFIT17 for 15% off — Caveman Coffee, Topo Chico, DEUCE Gym, STR/KE MVMNT, Primal Kitchen, Phat Fudge, Traditional Medicinals, Scopa Italian Roots, [1:06:03] [Indiscernible], Expectful, ICPA, Pathways to Family Wellness and Brute Strength. Thank you all for sponsoring the BIRTHFIT Summit.
If there is one thing you could take away from this podcast, I think that would be to do your research, ask questions, look things up, and have this growth mindset so that you may make things or make the process your own. We heard from Shane and Kianne that they took in bits of information from here, from the hypno-birthing class, from there, from all over, and they made this their journey.
They used the 40 days, the First Forty Days book and they tweaked it to what was appropriate for them and their family. So, remember that you are unique, your story is unique, your journey is unique, and you’ve got to know yourself deep down inside and then you got to get the information and education from the outside and put it all together, integrate it all and make it you own.
Again, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to Shane Farmer at Dark Horse Rowing. He’s on all things social media. And then if you have a question for Kianne, I’m sure Shane will ask her. Until next time, enjoy your week.
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