BIRTHFIT Podcast Episode 117: Emily and Michael Stanwyck Share Their Home Birth Story



Lindsey: [00:00:00] So welcome back to the BIRTHFIT podcast.


Emily: [00:00:07] Thanks.


Lindsey: [00:00:07] Yeah, tell everybody status like what’s going on. Cause if they listened before they got to hear your pregnancy episode.


Emily: [00:00:17] Yes. So we are 15 days postpartum/Old over here.


Lindsey: [00:00:21] Oh.

Emily: [00:00:21] Yeah we did the old–the last one on June 13th I think.


Lindsey: [00:00:29] Yeah isn’t that crazy.


Emily: [00:00:31] Like I would have liked for this baby to be born on the 13th. That would be nice.


Lindsey: [00:00:37] So when. What was his actual birth date?


Embracing a Past Due Baby 

Emily: [00:00:40] His birth date was June 26. So I was 41 weeks and one day.

Lindsey: [00:00:48] Were you freaking out at all?

Emily: [00:00:51] I was only freaking out because our doula was scheduled to go out of town on the twenty seventh. So I wasn’t freaking out actually I was just like ‘Oh dammit she’s going to miss it’. And the backup was amazing. I was like ‘Oh I just hope Rebecca’s there. She’s totally going to miss it’. And that was it, otherwise like I kind of accepted that I was further along than I thought it was going to get to after like five days.

Lindsey: [00:01:20] Yeah. Yeah. The only reason I ask is because you seemed cool like from my point of view. I was like ‘Shit she can stay pregnant forever’. But we all know that’s not true. Yeah. So what were you doing to keep calm? Because I know a lot of people–you know once they reach you know 40 weeks and five days/41 weeks they’re like ‘Oh my god’ they freak out.

MIchael: [00:01:48] Are we on?

Emily: [00:01:52] We’re on.

MIchael: [00:01:53] Why didn’t you tell me?

Emily: [00:01:53] I did.

MIchael: [00:01:53] No, you said 5 minutes.

Lindsey: [00:01:57] Well we didn’t tell the birth story yet. We want you to tell it.

MIchael: [00:02:03] Is this a video podcast or…?

Emily: [00:02:05] No.

Lindsey: [00:02:06] Well, Taylor is going to make a video promo so it’ll only be 60 seconds.

MIchael: [00:02:12] Well what like shirtless is cool?

Lindsey: [00:02:14] Yeah.

MIchael: [00:02:14] Alright.

Lindsey: [00:02:16] Dude y’all are at 15 days postpartum, be naked.

MIchael: [00:02:20] Right, so pantless is also cool.

Lindsey: [00:02:22] Yeah but keep the video just chest high.

MIchael: [00:02:24] God, your lighting is so much better than ours.

Emily: [00:02:32] It really is.

Lindsey: [00:02:33] Also yes so what were you–any self practices that you were using to stay sane?

Emily: [00:02:40] Well I got a really bad cold when I was 39 weeks. So I kind of took that to mean it’s time to chill. And I really needed to rest cause I felt horrible but I was like really bored for a few days because I just kind of abruptly stopped working because I got sick and I was like ‘What am I supposed to do’. But after that I kind of just rested and I went to the beach a few times and I still worked out once I felt better and I just was starting to mentally prepare as best as I could.

MIchael: [00:03:24] Right. Mentally prepare for what you thought it was going to be like?

Emily: [00:03:31] Exactly.

Lindsey: [00:03:31] Michael, were you know freaking out whenever it was past 40 weeks?

MIchael: [00:03:35] A little bit. I mean, it’s like I tried tried to be really conscious of the fact that like a 42 week pregnancy is a completely normal term pregnancy but I would say is that 41st week like progressed like I had a fight like ‘Okay what’s wrong what’s wrong what’s wrong. Why is the baby coming out? Baby should be out– there’s something wrong with the baby’. And I mean you know at 41 weeks I definitely said ‘Hey let’s start playing with some of those pressure points’. I mean that was– I wanted this to be over–or started.

Lindsey: [00:04:12] Over/started?

MIchael: [00:04:14] Yeah over or commenced you know graduation as a commencement. It’s like the beginning of something.

Lindsey: [00:04:19] Yeah a new chapter.

Emily: [00:04:25] We weren’t freaking out too badly like I really was so convinced quote unquote that he was going to come like early and then on time. And then before 41 weeks then I was like ‘Okay just give it up’.

MIchael: [00:04:37] Right. And it was that he was going to be a Gemini. And it was going to be born on international surfing day and [unintelligable] and then–

Emily: [00:04:45] Summer solstice then I was like god dammit, okay whatever.

MIchael: [00:04:50] And then it was just like please just come while our doula’s in town.

Emily: [00:04:56] Yeah.

Lindsey: [00:04:56] So basically you gave birth and she left the next day?

Emily: [00:05:05] Yeah it was cool. It was like when I texted her the night before saying like ‘Hey heads up, this is probably going down’. She told me like when she came for her postpartum business, she’s like ‘I still don’t think I’m going to make it. I think she’s like super early like I doubt this is going to happen tomorrow. I’m probably gonna miss it’. And she made it.


Lindsey: [00:05:25] Yeah. Let’s hear how it all happened. I like Michael’s version, it’s pretty good.

MIchael: [00:05:31] You know a little bit more intense, a little more dramatic.

Lindsey: [00:05:36] But both of y’all can tell the story.

Emily: [00:05:41] When I was 41 weeks and I was like ‘Rebecca’s is going to miss it’. And then he was looking up the pressure points.

MIchael: [00:05:47] I said ‘Did you ever go to your reflexologist like and like try to do the pressure points’? She said ‘Yeah like two weeks ago’.

Emily: [00:05:52] When I was 38 weeks.

MIchael: [00:05:54] Yes she was 38 weeks. And I was like ‘Well I mean like we have nothing better to do is try it’. And you know. Thanks to the internet you have access to all kinds of information that only trained people should have access to. But there was a site and they were like ‘and there are five points’ and there was like two around your foot, one around the back your shin and then two on your hand. And so Emily was like doing the ones on her hands and I was the the ones on her feet and on her leg. And maybe it was a coincidence, but like not two hours later Emily started labor. You never know what would have happened if you hadn’t done it. Yeah. So she was you know I don’t really remember, I wasn’t really super aware of it until we went to bed. She started cramping and then we were laying in bed and she was trying to like should just try to deal with the pain but she wasn’t really saying much. She was just doing this like long inhalation and *breathes*.

Lindsey: [00:06:50] Breathing?

MIchael: [00:06:52] And like right into the back of my head. I just like trying not to ask her to stop. If you’re going to do that like you or I should go sleep on the couch. It’s like she’s obviously in pain, but like I wasn’t going to get any sleep if she kept doing it the way that she was doing it.

Emily: [00:07:15] I was trying to figure out if I was going to be able to sleep through it or not.

MIchael: [00:07:19] So she eventually was like I think I don’t know were you stressing about it. She’s like I’m gonna get up.

Emily: [00:07:24] No I said, it was like 11:00 and I said ‘I’m just gonna call Monica, the midwife, now because this is not getting less intense’. So I said I’m going to move to the couch just to try and get more comfortable.

[00:07:38] And I was like yes. I won without having to say anything. So I don’t know if I must have fallen asleep at that point. But she came in a little bit later and said this is happening. It was like 2:30 in the morning she was actually already starting to have regular contractions like the same amount of time and five minutes/six minutes in between them. And so we kind of alerted the authorities, her family, my family we texted our families the middle of the night and the doula. We just sat– and then we were up all night like we just sat there to time the contractions just to see and they were like– I don’t know enough about birth and I was like I think these are five minutes apart to 90 seconds I think the baby’s coming. So yeah but we made it through the night and. And then Rebecca showed up. We called her in the morning. She’s like ‘Okay get a cup of coffee and we get to shower’–

Lindsey: [00:08:33] What time did she get there?

Emily: [00:08:35] Between 7 and 8a.m.

MIchael: [00:08:38] Yeah and thank God for her. Really. Because when Emily first got pregnant I was like do we–she’s like ‘I kind of want a doula also’ and you know like all due respect I had no idea really what the difference between a doula was even though my wife’s a doula. But like I never been through it.

Emily: [00:08:55] Well I knew really wanted a doula was just like pay for the midwives, I’m paying for the doula. I was like we gotta make this work somehow.

Lindsey: [00:09:01] Yeah.

MIchael: [00:09:02] Worth every penny. Yeah I mean it was worth it even if she’d only been there from 7 until when the midwives got there.

Lindsey: [00:09:09] Right

MIchael: [00:09:10] Well those hours of it getting intense and Emily like–I mean I would certainly wouldn’t have had any idea what to do you know I wouldn’t have been able to come up with all the things that she was guiding us through. I mean I’ll just try all the things like ‘Hey why don’t you do like kneel down on the floor and kind of you know lean over on the couch and Michael you do this pushing on her butt cheeks sort of uhh–. Yeah. Anyone who’s listening probably knows what I’m talking about And then let’s get in the shower and see if that helps. Let’s take you outside see if that helps and standing up and all of this stuff like she just had much more of a program to follow or more instincts around what would help.

Emily: [00:09:48] And what I remember she once the midwife there she was just like the water lady’s she was just making sure I was drinking water all the time. I would not have even thought of that.

MIchael: [00:09:58] I’m not saying she should have gone away after the midwives but even though she just there for those like three and a half hours, that would have been worth it. But yeah she was super once the midwives came and they took over the medical part, like the labor part, she took over. She she describes what I thought this was a great description the idea that doulas are like Sherpas. Like they’ve walked the path they’re there to guide you along the way. What I tell you when you’re about to step off a cliff you know like provide you with the things that you’ll need for the next step of the journey. That’s exactly what she did. She was just super calming and always refilling Emily’s water bottle.

Lindsey: [00:10:35] That’s awesome.

Emily: [00:10:36] Yes. Shout out Rebecca Coursey.

MIchael: [00:10:40] But yeah that know what it was when she thought she was also really clear when it was time to call the midwife.

Lindsey: [00:10:46] Ok. So yeah if you were sharing this with somebody do you remember when she was like okay. Do you remember what was going on?

MIchael: [00:10:56] We we’re standing in the backyard. And you know we were just trying and you know I think we had tried several things to make Emily more comfortable and after like the third thing which is like going outside standing up she was aware that like this was just progressing forward. I remember from the sound in her voice and the look on her face just like ‘Okay I think we’re going to call the midwife now’ and I remember thinking like ‘Do you see the head?’ like what aren’t you telling me?

Emily: [00:11:25] Yeah we’re standing outside and it got really like real for me and I was just like crying so much. I was just crying and crying. So I was like ‘Oh fuck, I see where this is going’.

Lindsey: [00:11:38] I See where this is going

MIchael: [00:11:39] Well it was so funny. I really felt like Emily was you know she was going into this really intense interactions. I mean it was painful but like not nearly as painful as it was going to get. Yeah but I could really tell she was a kinda trying to man up and like hold the tears in and I was like that’s not energy worth spending there. Just let [unintelligible] come out. And so she did she just she really let it go and she just sobbed herself through it. And that was like she got through that part in just a few minutes. Just like letting it out, letting it yourself kind of deal with whatever she was dealing with like ‘this is real’. Or like ‘Holy shit I’m scared’ or anything like that. We’re in it now. Yeah and it’s happening. And then you know and then the midwives well you know so we had a primary midwife and but their partners and so our primary midwife showed up first and then I don’t remeber how soon after.

Emily: [00:12:33] No clue.

[00:12:33] Just came and you know they they kind of got our birth kit open and they were did you know they were–at that point sort of taking over for the doula. Like there was nothing imminent. The baby wasn’t hanging out but we were really we were still moving. And so eventually we figured out all the you know where we were gonna be and they set up the pool. The pool was hysterical by the way. Like this a big inflatable pool has a cup holder in it.

Lindsey: [00:13:02] Yeah.

MIchael: [00:13:03] Makes me feel like they just like there like ‘That one! We’ll just use that one for our birth pool’. But it had a really intense like cover.

Emily: [00:13:13] Yes we got everything set up and like I think at that point I was like fully naked moaning away through the contractions like I don’t remember when I took my clothes off.

MIchael: [00:13:23] I’ve had nights like that.

Lindsey: [00:13:24] But that was in college.

Emily: [00:13:29] But yeah that’s when it like. Like I would say like within half an hour to an hour after Monica got there, it was like I felt the urge to push. It happened so fast by the time Monica got there and then I was like I was kind of like not really present.

Lindsey: [00:13:49] Totally.

Emily: [00:13:49] Because it went–Rebecca was there, the doula, earlier I was like talking in between contractions like ‘Woah that one was like intense. That one hurt’. And then once Monica got there I was kind of like not really–.

Lindsey: [00:14:05] You were on a different wavelength.

MIchael: [00:14:06] Yeah it was just a different level of how–of where we were in labor. Yeah but yeah it’s funny I don’t remember when Emily took off her clothes either but yeah.

Emily: [00:14:15] The shower probably that makes sense.

MIchael: [00:14:17] And then just never put it back and she was just sort of marching around the house completely naked. I remember I’m sure for the women who were here they were like yeah whatever that’s totally normal. I mean I was like I was fine with it, but I remeber being like wow this is kind of funny. She’s just–it’s she’s just butt-ass naked walking around there’s four other people in the house.

Lindsey: [00:14:40] No big deal?

Emily: [00:14:42] No big deal.

MIchael: [00:14:46] But yeah. So I don’t really remember when like what the progression was to pushing. But they filled up the pool and.

Emily: [00:14:56] Well and then they had asked me if my water had broken yet and I was like no. ‘Did the tender mucus plug come out’? I was like ‘I have no idea’.

MIchael: [00:15:05] She’s like I pooped ten times last night like it may have come out at any time.

Emily: [00:15:13] Yeah who knows. So then Monica was like ‘Okay well if you just go naturally was the contractions or if you feel the urge to push like we want this water bag to break so go with it’. And I’ve gone in the tub at that point which was really relieving but the contractions were honestly so horrible because my water bag was still intact. So like the pressure inside was just like indescribable like it was just like agonising it wasn’t like the most excruciating pain it ever felt my life, but it was just like unconsolable pressure pain that was just like I don’t know what is happening. Yeah and that lasted for like two hours.

MIchael: [00:15:54] Yeah, it was just the baby just–he just wasn’t going to move. Like the bag was bulging. And she pushed and pushed and pushed. And finally our midwife was like look like here’s the deal that pressure you feel, that’s the sack; that’s the bag. You know we don’t really always break the water but you know this is the art of it. This is the art of midwifery. And we think that we can do I can do that. And this might be a might be something to consider right now and Emily’s like ‘Yep do it’. She was like ‘Yup, right now, like just take it out’. And so we went over to the bed and I went over to Emily and I just want I just want to make sure that you know that it’s okay that you made this decision and she’s like ‘Oh yeah we’re good’.

Emily: [00:16:45] I am on board

MIchael: [00:16:48] Yeah shes’s like ‘I got no judgement, no nothing. We just need to move forward. This bag’s gotta break’. And she had a strong bag you know they went in there during a contraction and they have a little tool and they were just like as if they’re picking at it and there’s just striking at it and it wouldn’t break and then man all of a sudden it was just like POW and just water just fired out of Emily like a cannon.

Lindsey: [00:17:11] Like a movie, huh?

MIchael: [00:17:14] Yeah, you can just see the water streak across the bed.

Lindsey: [00:17:17] Wow.

MIchael: [00:17:18] Yeah that was pretty cool it was like.

Emily: [00:17:21] I was just like ‘Okay thank God’.

Lindsey: [00:17:24] Did you get relief with that?

Emily: [00:17:27] I did cause I-Well I think I got more mental relief. I was just like ‘Okay now we know where this is going’. Then she’s like ‘Alright so just like want you know like’–And she didn’t say this in a condescending way at all she’s like ‘all that pushing that you were just doing was trying to break the bag, it was not progressive at all. Now we have to push the baby out’ I was like ‘Jesus Christ I’m so tired like OK. We have to do this’.

Lindsey: [00:17:53] Yeah there’s no turning back.

Emily: [00:17:55] And I could feel that every contraction was pushing him down further and further I was like ‘Okay this feels different’. And they had to like help me because you know a lot of times first time moms don’t really understand how a push like what it feels like or like we want you to feel like you’re pooping’, but I’d only had like a mental block I was I was super afraid of pushing him out like just the pain. And so she was I was on the bed and she was you know giving me like tactile cues: ‘push here push here push here’. And I was like ‘Oh my god this is horrible like this hurts so bad, but we gotta get the baby out’.

MIchael: [00:18:31] Yeah I mean it was interesting to watch like Emily learn to push because they were like she learned really quickly there was like this rapid progression. She was like I’m just going to go up in there; I’m gonna put my finger on the spot where I want you to push.

Lindsey: [00:18:46] Those tactile cues work so good.

Emily: [00:18:49] It Was really helpful.

MIchael: [00:18:50] Yes because she was basically like push my fingers out. You know and so and when you were doing it she’s like ‘that’s exactly right, that’s exactly right’. And then over the next several minutes like it got really consistent. Emily really you know like– man everything about her like her whole countnece, her body, her voice, her face all just changed.

Lindsey: [00:19:19] They probably took coaches prep.

MIchael: [00:19:23] Yeah it was really cool. But like you also could see why like for at least our first time home birth why having the birth on the bed where you can actually be in contact with the midwives was alot easier than being in the pool. Even if the water had been broken it really would limit their access to Emily to be able to show Emily. But Yeah. Emily’s like ‘No I feel like I’m gonna poop’ and they’re like ‘Yes yes yes, we want you to poop. If you poop you win’. Like that’s the way to go. And like I’ll just be a little graphic. Like I’m watching and I’m like Emily I’m like your butthole’s turning inside out like it’s coming onto the outside of your body and that’s right, that’s perfect that’s exactly right.

Emily: [00:20:14] Watched alot of birth videos but not straight ass-view.

Lindsey: [00:20:18] Oh yeah they don’t show the butt-views.

Emily: [00:20:20] Only a few.

MIchael: [00:20:23] The things that I actually saw on Emily I was like I never thought I’d be like three inches from my wife’s butt watching her butthole turn inside out.

Lindsey: [00:20:37] That’s Amazing.


Dad’s Perspective 

MIchael: [00:20:37] Yeah. And it was so cool look I told Emily maybe a day or two afterwards. Like what I watched Emily go through was un-fucking-believable. I mean really, like I don’t even have the words for what I felt when I was watching her willingly continue to move forward into this because like at every moment she was like ‘I need this to be over. I want this to be over’. There was no mistaking how much this hurt, but the same time absolute commitment like it’s not like you can give up. I mean I guess you can.

Lindsey: [00:21:15] You can always opt for a transfer in the home birth situation.

MIchael: [00:21:18] Yeah but just absolute committment and like no slowing down. What I mean and again you can really take a break, but like her every time the contraction came, she was right there just pushing and pushing and pushing. And then like the contraction stopped to look take like a 60 second nap. I mean literally she’d like pass out and the midwife would wake her up. But it was like I was–such admiration for the intensity and the willingness to just get this baby out into the world it was just it was really beautiful.

Lindsey: [00:21:55] So the baby came out.

Emily: [00:21:59] Yeah.

Lindsey: [00:22:00] And you’re like ‘Boy? Girl? What do we got?

MIchael: [00:22:02] Well the baby crowned like she started crowning. Do you say the baby crowned or Emily crowned?

Emily: [00:22:07] The baby.

MIchael: [00:22:07] The baby crowned. Yeah. So you know I think I remember like five or six different positions that Emily pushed in. One was squatting, one was–I think they called ‘Mc–Mc’ because I don’t remember ‘Mc’ something that’s what on the bed where you’re on your back you’re holding your thighs. And there were those two, there was in the tub sort of reclining, there was on her hands and knees and there was on the toilet.

Emily: [00:22:27] And squatting. Did you say that?

MIchael: [00:22:31] Yeah I said squatting. And So the baby crowned while Emily was sitting on the toilet. But you know it was really cool. I’m sitting down there just all of a sudden I see something that I know is a vagina like it’s just clear it’s baby’s head. I’m like ‘Holy shit I see the head’. And I started crying and I’m like and Emily so wanted a blonde baby and I’m like he’s not blond. The Baby’s not blond at all.

Emily: [00:22:55] I was like ‘Whatever’!

MIchael: [00:22:56] She says she gives looks to the midwife she’s like what’d you say am I–.

Emily: [00:22:58] Am I about to give birth on the toilet? They’re like no we’re going to move and I was like ‘How I can’t walk. There’s something in between my legs’.

MIchael: [00:23:05] We probably just like wheelbarrow. Like I lean back with my arms out shooting in my arms. We sort of wheelbarrowed her into the bedroom. And then you know they’re checking the baby’s heartbeat every contraction right. They have their little doppler. They hold that’s Emily’s belly and they can hear the heartbeat. And we become really familiar with the baby’s heartbeat during the–you know every time we heard the midwife–we heard the heartbeat. So I knew how fast his heart should be beating and different positions would make it slow down a little bit. They’re like ‘OK this is not good for the baby. Let’s try another position’. And we got into the bed and she was pushing.

Emily: [00:23:47] And the head was like in and out, in and out.

MIchael: [00:23:50] Not– she wasn’t like getting past the widest point. So it wasn’t like popping out. And Monica had her hands in there she is really kind of trying to dig her fingers around like make some space and then they took his they took the heartbeat and his normal heartbeat during all stages of pregnancy was around 140 beats a minute. And this was like half that was about eighty. It was like way slower. And like I knew that that probably wasn’t a good thing. And you know you kind of see it in their faces and they looked at Emily said ‘OK. This baby’s gotta come out on your next push’.

Emily: [00:24:26] And I was like ‘Thank God’ because I they wouldn’t tell me like they wouldn’t give me time estimates. ‘Oh this is going to be this much longer’. Of course they don’t do that. And so she said this baby needs to come out right now.

MIchael: [00:24:38] At one point Emily asked she said ‘What time is it?’, And they go that doesn’t matter. What are you to do with that information? Like make a dinner reservation somewhere? Like no just keep pushing.

Emily: [00:24:50] So yes the heart rate was really low and they said ‘You need to push him out right now’. And I was like this was like my–I was so afraid to push I didn’t know that I would have that fear until I started having a really painful contractions. I was like you know just mostly afraid of tearing like realistically. But in that moment I was like ‘Okay well whatever happens this baby has come out right now’. And so it was like three contractions, like five pushes in each contraction and he came out.

MIchael: [00:25:20] Well it was head first, his head popped out. It was just like boop. And all of a sudden his head’s out. It’s like he’s got a really tight collar on. His Face was smushed up and he’s all purple. I don’t think he’s dying because his heartbeat was 80 and his head’s purple. And nobody–You know it’s they only tell you so much. It’s normal I guess for the babies head to be purple.

Lindsey: [00:25:40] Yeah.

MIchael: [00:25:42] He’s still–she’s actually–Monica’s still in there working trying to I guess change his position to get him to come out and get his shoulders out. I think she’s like trying to dig the umbilical cord from around his neck and she’s just not telling me how bad the situation is. So I crawl up to Emily and I’m like ‘hey’ I’m trying not to show her I’m like absolutely.

Lindsey: [00:26:03] You’re freaking out.

MIchael: [00:26:04] Freaking out and–

Emily: [00:26:06] I did not know he was freaking out.

MIchael: [00:26:08] And so I’m like ‘You can do this, you can do this, just a bit. The head is out’ you know. And all of a sudden like I wasn’t really aware of what was happening. Monica was putting a baby on her chest. Yeah. And he hit like sort of a wet fish just kind of hit the chest was like kind of I don’t wanna say limp because he wasn’t dead but like you know he wasn’t like using his limbs or anything.

Lindsey: [00:26:34] No, he’s used to living in the bubble of water.

MIchael: [00:26:37] He just flopped there and he right– and I was like I’m just waiting for the shoe to drop like make a noise, make a sound, Like show me you’re alive. Yeah he did.

Emily: [00:26:46] He was whimpering a little bit.

MIchael: [00:26:48] Yeah he whimpered then he let out a cry like ‘Ahhh’. But it wasn’t like super intense.

Emily: [00:26:54] Yes so he was a little purple and his face was a little gray and he wasn’t like transitioning as wonderfully as they would have liked. And so–.


Baby Looked Dusky 

MIchael: [00:27:02] They call it Dusky. He looked dusky.

Emily: [00:27:06] Around his eyebrows and nose like sinuses looked gray and kind of the deal was homebirth is like it’s the midwifes don’t like something right away you don’t wait. Yeah we call an ambulance so like.

MIchael: [00:27:22] Well there was a bunch of stuff.

Emily: [00:27:23] Yeah there was a bunch of stuff.

MIchael: [00:27:24] Like he was also– they said his lungs sounded wet. Which I guess is a result of him breathing in at the other flow they wanted that out but he wasn’t crying a lot. Which they were trying to, they were just like pushing on his back, rubbing his back trying to get him–turning him a little bit forward

Emily: [00:27:37] Yeah they gave him a few breaths

MIchael: [00:27:40] Yeah but ya know his APGAR score I think they said was like six. So it was like almost ones across the board. I don’t know what his two was but you know and I could see they’re not excited. You know there not excited as I want them to be. They’re like focused on what appears to maybe the problem. So I’m like just tell us what the problem is tell us what’s going on.

[00:28:03] Yeah tell us what the issue is.

MIchael: [00:28:04] You know I said we made a decision before this that there was like a respitory issue and we didn’t know what it was that we would just we would go to the hospital so we wouldn’t take any risks. Because Emily was GBS positive. GBS positive? Yeah GBS positive.

Emily: [00:28:18] Yeah we didn’t do antibiotics.

MIchael: [00:28:20] We decided not to do antibiotics during the delivery and so I said ‘I don’t want to take any risk’. I said what’s the biggest risk here that if we go because obviously there was a risk they weren’t they wanted to avoid going to hospital if it was real real as possible and they said Well worst case scenario is like he’s in the unit queue for five days he gets a full workup because you GBS positive, you didn’t do antibiotics, he isn’t resting you might be in some sort of respiratory distress they’re not gonna take any chances. They’ll probably give you a hard time about it. I was like okay cool. Like the other side is he doesn’t survive. So like let’s just let’s go I’ll be like ‘Do I get the baby seat?’ And they’re like ‘No no no we gonna call an ambulance’. And so the ambulance got here real quick and really by the time the ambulance got here he was like full 10 like he started nursing, he was turning pink. He was breathing but they said look like babies in respitory distress don’t nurse and he on it. He hasn’t stopped nursing ever since. He just latches super, super well. And the ambulance came–The paramedics checked him out there like ‘We think he’s great’.

Emily: [00:29:31] Yeah but in the midst of that we didn’t have the ‘It’s a boy’. Oh yeah we were just like he’s like ‘still forget to check’. We were kinda freaking out we forgot to check and its ‘Oh my god wait’ and he looks and is like ‘it’s a boy’.

MIchael: [00:29:45] He’s crawled back and I’m like What am I to see, what am I going to see I’m like ‘It’s balls, I see balls’. Well we got it so we and then we immediately got to call him by his name which was really cool.


Meet Baby Stosh 

Emily: [00:29:56] Baby Stash.

Lindsey: [00:29:57] How do you spell Stash?

Emily: [00:30:04] Like Stosh.

Lindsey: [00:30:04] But Stosh?

MIchael: [00:30:04] But it’s Stosh. It’s a polish nickname for the for the name Stanley which is my grandfather’s name.

Emily: [00:30:11] And they’re Polish it’s not random Yeah. Like his his his mother used to call Sosh that. Yeah. And so. So yeah they checked him out and they’re like ‘We think he’s looking great like we–look honestly we have to call the hospital because he is a newborn and they’re going to tell you to come in. But–‘.

Emily: [00:30:30] ‘He looks great’

MIchael: [00:30:32] ‘He looks great and we’re OK if you say no we’re all good with that’.

Emily: [00:30:36] They were super nice. It was good having a second set of eyes.

MIchael: [00:30:40] Yeah. And they said we’re gonna have to say this is against medical advice but like don’t let that make you think that you shouldn’t be doing it. He’s totally fine. They thought so. The midwives were happy that doula was like ‘I would tell you if I didn’t agree with the midwives and I totally agree’ and from that point on that was about the first thirty minutes. And then we were good. Then we just kicked back we were laying in bed and and Rebecca brought us food she brought us some like– yeah. Emily’s mother had loaded up our fridge before and at the beginning of the day with like tons of vegetables, prosciutto, and hummus she brought three new york steaks.

Lindsey: [00:31:17] Jesus.


After Birth Meal

Emily: [00:31:21] My mom went full out.

MIchael: [00:31:22] Tons of fruit. Yeah. So we just got we’ve got a plate of like you know of just–

Emily: [00:31:28] Cheese and prosciutto carrots and it was awesome.

MIchael: [00:31:31] Made a pasta plate housed that. And then she brought us another one and–

Lindsey: [00:31:34] Nice Grace.

Emily: [00:31:36] So freakin relieved. I was like I’ve never felt better in my life.

MIchael: [00:31:41] The funny thing was I think while I was panicking because for me it was like the realness was actually just starting. And for Emily the realness had been going on for like you know twelve hours and this was an improvement. You know she was like she’s like I’m sure everything’s going to be okay she was just happy to hold the baby.

Emily: [00:32:00] I was like ‘if we get to the Hospital, we go to the Hospital. The paramedics coming? Great. I feel so good right now’. I was like ‘I’m just happy the baby’s out’.

MIchael: [00:32:10] Yeah might’ve been like a huge dose of oxytocin or something and she was just like flooded with it and superhigh.

Emily: [00:32:17] And contractions were over.

MIchael: [00:32:22] Yeah

Lindsey: [00:32:22] Wow.

MIchael: [00:32:22] Yeah you can’t really underestimate how important that was.

Emily: [00:32:25] But it was like it was so so so amazing being at home after he was born. It was just so cool.

MIchael: [00:32:31] Killer. I mean we were at home. They left us alone for a while. You know they had as they set up their stuff in the other room to do whatever little newborn exam they were going to do. We called our parents and we said ‘Hey you know why don’t you come over in three hours, give us three hours and why don’t you bring us pizza’. So my mom went and she went and she got some pizzas. And Emily’s mom brought over four more bags of groceries. We had we had plenty of steaks for a Fourth of July barbecue we’ll just put it that way.

Lindsey: [00:33:05] That’s awesome.

MIchael: [00:33:07] Yeah so like we’re hanging out whole three hours later we’re sitting at our kitchen table and eating pizza and having a glass of champagne and you can’t beat you know a healthy home birth for that. It’s–My sisters had two healthy births and she’s had them both in the hospital, so I’ve got to see what they’re both like and I’m all for hospital if you want hospital but man. I asked Emily, I was like ‘You’d do this again’. Yeah. Yeah.

Would you do it again? 

Lindsey: [00:33:35] You asked her like two days after huh?

MIchael: [00:33:37] No I think I might’ve asked her, I don’t know, like half an hour afterwards.

Emily: [00:33:42] That day he said ‘This might be too soon but would you do that again?’ I was uhh jeez and I was like ‘Honestly Yeah because being at home was so great.

MIchael: [00:33:50] My question was really more like I felt like do you think you’d actually be able to put yourself through that again now that you’ve done it once and really I think it came down to like, yeah, if the difference is like getting to–having to do it so that I can be at home. Totally.

Lindsey: [00:34:08] And you had such a cool support team.

[00:34:11] Yeah. It was so great and it’s funny because like we talked about like all the things we wanted for our birth and I was like I want like a peaceful environment and like calm and fun and happy and like I definitely did not have fun and I did not feel at peace personally, but like there was like the environment that was created was super safe. It was really peaceful because no one was freaking out. Except me but I wasn’t really freaking out I was just like going through shit.

[00:34:42] It was really intense for you.

[00:34:43] Yeah. All the women were really cool. I mean, you know they were–I would say they provided a super peaceful surrounding.

Emily: [00:34:51] Yeah. And it was really encouraging. ‘You can do this. This is hard work. It’s really hard like it’s not easy. But like you got it’ like was good to hear. Like you know it was it was very very encouraging. Up until the very end when she was like ‘You need to push the baby out now’. Like I could tell she was serious but I was like okay let’s go. Yeah. I wanna get this baby out there. It was really cool. And you know like I’ve been to hospital births to and amazing nurses, amazing experiences and you know everyone’s different and this was my first home birth was mine. So–

Lindsey: [00:35:31] That’s cool

Emily: [00:35:32] Super cool. It was like Well I wished it wasn’t as painful because in my brain I was like not expecting it to be that gnarly. It was like everything I could’ve hoped for which was really great

MIchael: [00:35:45] Well that was the thing that was so astonishing it’s like having not gone through something like that before. I don’t think it’s possible to imagine how bad pain can be.

Lindsey: [00:35:55] Right.

MIchael: [00:35:56] You’re only kind of related to what you already know. So you go say this the tools that I use when pain comes and then this kind of pain shows up and none of that works. You know it’s like trying to play like you know like a band aid on a gushing wound.

Lindsey: [00:36:13] Or something that needs stitches.

MIchael: [00:36:13] I’m Like ‘hey’ we’re saying to Emily I think you know ‘I just want to make sure it time to let go of anything that we thought we knew about how this was going to be and just like take it as it comes’. It’s a totally different from

Lindsey: [00:36:25] That’s such good advice though for anybody is let go of all expectations.

Emily: [00:36:32] And you know it was I like intellectually knew I was like ‘This has to end’. Like this is so gnarly, but like you know like when he asked would you do it again. It’s like yeah because it’s over eventually you know and it was so crazy and so intense but at the same time like it wasn’t–it ended. I think that was just like so relieved. The relief was better than how gnarly it was. I wonder like I assume that when people have second and third children that is labor always shorter.

Lindsey: [00:37:10] No.

MIchael: [00:37:11] No?

Emily: [00:37:12] It’s not always shorter.

MIchael: [00:37:13] You can’t benchmark it.

Lindsey: [00:37:14] Now you’re like ‘Shit’.

MIchael: [00:37:16] Twelve hours or less from now

Lindsey: [00:37:18] Not always because I don’t want to say yes and then two years from now Embo has like a 24-hour birth and she’s like F you Lindsay.

MIchael: [00:37:27] Forget two years from now, think about the comments section of your podcast.

Lindsey: [00:37:31] Yeah. They’re like ‘No, I hate you’.

Emily: [00:37:36] Well for a first time birth it went really quickly like. I started getting the cramps at 9:30pm where I was like ‘OK I can’t sleep through these’. And that he was born to 2:30 the next afternoon.

Lindsey: [00:37:47] Yeah that is just shy of 24 hours.

Emily: [00:37:56] For the first time. That was great and then like actively was probably like seven hours.

Lindsey: [00:38:00] That’s awesome

MIchael: [00:38:01] Yeah and then they you know. Once he was cleaned up they did all of there stuff: they weighed him, they measured him and you know they made sure that we were comfortable, he was healthy and then they were like.

Emily: [00:38:11] ‘We’ll see you tomorrow’.

MIchael: [00:38:12] ‘See you tomorrow bye’ and they left and we had a baby.

Lindsey: [00:38:16] Like ‘Oh my God we’re really parents now’.

Emily: [00:38:19] Yeah totally. It was so weird and I was like ‘Oh my god I don’t have pajamas. I don’t have baby pajamas. I was like ‘Well it’s summer he can just wear a onesie to bed’

MIchael: [00:38:32] And we you know they we I’ve known a little bit about I’ve been told about like meconium and what the first few bowel movements were going to be like and you know we got–we went with cloth diapers. And yeah I said Go ahead and see what the situation is before we put him in cloth diapers. Let’s do a disposable because we’ve got someone giving us a package disposable we had ’em so. So we put them in that and that about three o’clock in the morning. We got up to change him. There was a little squirt in there and I was like ‘Huh he’s awesome forget that. Let’s put him in cloth diapers’. So I put him in a cloth diaper and the next diaper change I got up and he was filling it just feel–it was like he was waiting for me to like to put the cloth on.

Lindsey: [00:39:15] Yeah he’s like ‘I’ll show you’.

MIchael: [00:39:15] Yeah and just I mean just there’s a pool of it. I’m trying to clean him up. He’s just pumping out more and pumping out more. I’m watching it just coming out like syrup to the point where I’m like Emily I can’t do this by myself so I’m holding up. She’s holding him up and I’m like I’m trying to wipe him down.

Emily: [00:39:33] Like we’re killing it.

MIchael: [00:39:34] I’m like OK disposable diapers until the shit’s gone.

Lindsey: [00:39:39] But now y’all are on the cloth diapers train?

MIchael: [00:39:42] Oh they’re so awesome. Yeah. Yeah they really cute. I mean as far as I can tell it’s hard to tell if he’s not very–he’s not very fussy around around anything like he– If he gets a little uncomfortable he lets you know and if you do something he like calms down and so I don’t know if these diapers are more or less comfortable for any baby, but he’s totally fine in them. You know. Yeah he’ll take a crap and if he’s asleep I’ll be like ‘Well I’ll change you when you wake up I don’t wanna wake him up now’

Emily: [00:40:13] Yeah it’s really nice.

MIchael: [00:40:15] But he’s fine and he doesn’t get diaper rashes. And there super cute. It’s dumb. I mean at first we had these little pants but all these different designs we have.

Emily: [00:40:25] We got all the fun ones.

MIchael: [00:40:26] Yeah.

Emily: [00:40:28] But yeah he’s really sweet. He’s the sweetest little thing

MIchael: [00:40:31] Yeah and he loves getting his diaper changed I swear. Like you put him down on the changing table and whatever was just happening, he’s super calm he just loves the changing table. It’s so–it’s really weird. I mean I feel like it’s just obviously must feel good to get your diaper changed.

Lindsey: [00:40:48] Yeah air it out.

MIchael: [00:40:50] Yeah after you take his diaper off, clean him up and just let him hang out there naked for you know for a couple minutes. Drape a little wipey over his firehose.

Emily: [00:41:03] He’s only peed on his head once so.


Lindsey: [00:41:08] So if you could give advice for people specifically for birth what would each of you say? Because we talked about pregnancy and I bet some people are going to have some postpartum questions for the future so we may have to have y’all back on in like two months. But specifically about birth since this episode was about your birth story. What kind of advice would you share?

Emily: [00:41:35] I would say get BIRTHFIT

MIchael: [00:41:41] Not a joke.

Emily: [00:41:42] Yeah like…I think–what I talked about on the last podcast like. Being really conscious of like what you want. Like we do that exercise in the prenatal series like the circle exercise like what do you want? What do you not want? You know and just like really being super intentional about like what you can control and what you can’t control. Like we could control a home birth to a certain extent you know the way we want it and I could control my breathing and I could control my mental state. And like having the help of the team being like ‘You can do this’ or like ‘Let go of that’. Just forming your little group around you to support you was so huge. Like if I didn’t have someone in my ear being like ‘You can do this. It’s only 90 seconds like whatever’, It would’ve been really like a lot harder and then just being physically fit too was huge like moving around through labor was so nice. I mean I could tell that it was doing stuff. So yeah.

MIchael: [00:42:46] I would say– I mean this would be specifically for but you know the partner whether it’s a dad or another mom or whatever but there’s very little you can do. Right

Lindsey: [00:42:59] You can’t fix it.

[00:43:01] I can’t fix it. I can’t take–I can’t share the pain. There’s like very little that you can do and like if and what you can is just to be there. Right, it’s like to be right there. I remember it’s just it’s like I can do nothing but like be as close to you as you want me to be. You know to put my hands on you where you want them to be. And I would ask her ‘Is what I’m doing helping you right now’. And ‘Yeah no that’s good’ or ‘No I need something else’. But just being willing to to be there and give up that you can’t change any of this. You can’t take the pain away. Yeah you can’t fix it

Lindsey: [00:43:43] That’s cool.

Emily: [00:43:46] Someone else is here.

Lindsey: [00:43:48] Let me remove them for a sec. That’s my next one. No I think that’s great advice and that’s really hard for the partner, is to accept that. and watch it.

MIchael: [00:44:07] I kinda forgot about it until just now. But it got really really really hard watching Emily be in that much pain for that long. For a while I was like you you know it’s like ‘You know I can’t do anything about it I can’t do anything about’ it’s like–and then it just got completely swamped by like totally overwhelmed by it. Just I had to take a moment to just sobb it out because it was actually really hard. She was real–it was a lot of pain. I mean it really was a lot of pain. I could see it.

Lindsey: [00:44:44] Aww he cares

MIchael: [00:44:47] A little bit.

Lindsey: [00:44:49] A little bit.

MIchael: [00:44:49] For my son!

Lindsey: [00:44:51] Well thanks for sharing guys.

MIchael: [00:44:51] Yeah well thanks for having us.

Lindsey: [00:44:55] For sure. We’ll have to talk about postpartum later but um–

Emily: [00:45:01] So far so good.

Lindsey: [00:45:02] Yeah. Two weeks? Three weeks? Two weeks in!

Michael & Emily: [00:45:06] Two weeks.

MIchael: [00:45:08] You know I’d like I’d like to say like you know we’re awesome, I mean we are. But he is just such a fantastically cool type of baby.

Lindsey: [00:45:16] I love him

MIchael: [00:45:19] Yeah he’s so so great. He latched and he fed easy and he’s not fussy and he sleeps so much it’s like we got–.

Emily: [00:45:29] Two weeks in we’re happy.

Lindsey: [00:45:31] We’ll ask you at three months.

MIchael: [00:45:35] Ask me in like 16 years.

Lindsey: [00:45:39] Y’all go enjoy the rest of your Wednesday.

Michael & Emily: [00:45:41] Thank you.

Lindsey: [00:45:43] Stay Cool.

Emily: [00:45:43] Seriously.

Lindsey: [00:45:44] Bye! Love y’all.

MIchael: [00:45:44] Love you too.


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