Birth Story: From Navigating through Infertility to Experiencing the Sacred Place of Birth with Starlee Galbraith

Show Notes:

[1:11] Our reviewer of the week, namesbrr.johnson, said “Fantastic podcast, through and through! Hi, Stephanie! I found out I was pregnant with my first last March. Your podcast was recommended to me by a friend as she knew I was interested in a “natural” birth. Though my initial desire was there, you were the influence that fully converted me! From the first episode, I was hooked. And thanks to slyly listening to one of your episodes while my husband was in the room, you sparked his interest. Before that, he was unconvinced that a home birth would be safe. He has now become a fully converted advocate for natural childbirth. You were the catalyst that led us to 3 different birth courses worth of knowledge, and it seemed like whenever I had a question those other courses didn’t answer, you knew! Because you’d release an episode that week on the very thing I needed help with. I hope you know how inspired you are! Armed with knowledge and as many tools as I could gather leading up to my birth, I had an amazing and adventurous labor and delivery experience lasting under 4 hours from start to finish. I felt empowered and confident the whole time because I knew what to do and had a wonderful support system, and so much of that I owe to the things I learned from you and this podcast. Thank you for being such a powerful and informed advocate for women around the world, and for encouraging them through education to tune into the power within them; enabling them to confidently accomplish the most important and life changing adventure of their life, aka, the bearing of children. You are wonderful. Thank you.” - Brianna Johnson

What an incredible review! I so appreciate these reviews and hearing all about your great experiences! Birth is natural and wonderful and you CAN do it! 💜

"I believe God made my body to do this." With this mantra, Starlee was able to achieve the birth she wanted by preparing her body and mind with the My Essential Birth Course. Her husband also learned knowledge is power, which gave him confidence to be an active participant in the birth experience. 

[3:16] This is my favorite part of what I do on the podcast: hearing mamas share their birth stories! I have a My Essential Birth Student here on the podcast with me this week. 🤩

[3:32] Starlee is from Utah and a first-time mama. She worked as a CPA before becoming a boy mom. She loves being outdoors. Starlee shares about her infertility journey and how after five failed cycles with her OB, she decided to see a fertility specialist. She always encourages mamas to see a fertility specialist even though it’ll cost more. They did a handful of IUI’s, but they were still unsuccessful. She talks about how it took a surgery to get to her first successful pregnancy. 🩺

[8:46] Starlee talks about how pregnancy went for her, and it was an amazing experience for her. She exercised every day and continued her active lifestyle. 🏃🏻‍♀️

[10:15] I ask if there were any complications regarding her pregnancy (change of due date, broken bag of waters, GBS+, etc.) Starlee knew her due date almost down to the hour of when the baby was conceived because of her IUI. At 26 weeks, she did the glucose test and her sugars were low even after the test. She tested positive for GBS, and she switched providers and hospitals at 26 weeks. 🏥

[12:18] I ask why Starlee switched her providers and what made the difference for her. She was with midwives at the beginning, but they thought more like OB’s. When she asked them questions, they were somewhat close-minded to alternatives Starlee suggested. She felt like the second set of midwives were more accepting of her birth plan. 📝

[15:15] Starlee shares how her birth partner helped her through her birth experience. Her husband was NOT on board with the unmedicated birth plan, but he was supportive of what she wanted. She had to explain a lot of reasons why she wanted an unmedicated birth. She listened to the podcast and bought the birth course early on in her pregnancy. 🎧 She and her husband worked through it together. She loved how we presented the options for different choices you have during your birth experience. Her husband enjoyed learning how to do counter pressure so he felt like he was a part of the birth. She also hired a doula to help them both. 

[19:40] I used to teach birth courses in person, and we had a lot of dads who were dragged to the class. By Class 5, I’d have my husband share his experience and how the knowledge helped him have a more active role in the birth process. Dads often get left on the sidelines, and the birth course gives Dad the tools to be a part. 👨🏻

[22:23] How did you prepare for birth? She did the three free exercises around 10-11 weeks pregnant, and she binged a lot of the podcast episodes. She did meditations every night. She started drinking red raspberry leaf tea at 34 weeks. She meant to eat dates, but didn’t get around to it. She bought Clary Sage to bring to the hospital. She was content to be pregnant until 37 weeks because she loved being pregnant. 🤰🏼

[26:03] Starlee walks us through her birth. At her 37 week appointment, she had her cervix checked. She was 3 cm dilated and 70% effaced. At 39+4 weeks, she took the day off work to relax, but was active throughout the day. She laid down and started feeling contractions. She took a walk, bounced on her birth ball, and then started timing her contractions. She packed up the hospital bag with the last few minute things. 🧳

[30:12] She got into the bath and then told her husband that she was ready to go. She didn’t tell her husband that she was having contractions because she wanted to make sure they were labor contractions. She sent a screenshot of the contraction timer to her doula, and she was told to go to the hospital. The doula got to her house, and calmed her husband down. 😌

[33:54] The doula noticed she was getting back-to-back contractions. Starlee was still moving around and talking through her contractions. She finally decided to go to the hospital, but she was still only 4 cm. She was not progressing, but her bag of water was bulging. Her contractions started picking up, and she needed support like counter pressure. 😩

[37:09] She was finally admitted and given antibiotics since she was GBS+. After the antibiotics, she got in the tub, and contractions got intense. She told her doula she wanted the epidural if she wasn’t progressing. She felt like releasing air while having a contraction was extremely helpful. She got checked and was 8 cm dilated. She had two more contractions while her husband did the double hip squeeze. Her body starting pushing. 😨

[42:21] Her bag of water started coming out because it still hadn’t broken. She changed up pushing positions. She felt so supported with her nurses, husband, and doula. Her water finally broke, and she pushed on her knees at the end of her bed. She started pushing, and her baby was born! She sat down and held her baby for two hours. 🥰

[46:20] What did the contractions at the beginning feel like? Braxton Hicks just felt like a stomach tightening. Her first contractions felt like period cramps. During her real contractions, she didn’t feel her stomach tightening. As time went on, they just got more intense. Once she started pushing, she felt like everything was tightening. 💥

[47:34] When you feel safe emotionally, you can lean into that and not worry about not receiving the care you wanted. Starlee talks about how her doula asked her, “Why is this important to you? Why are you choosing to give birth this way?” Starlee responded, “I believe that God made my body to do this. I was designed to do this.” She made affirmation cards, but she didn’t have time to pull them out. Starlee shares about her sacred space and how the Heavenly Father helped her. 🙏🏼

[50:24] As a doula, I don’t think there is anything better than being in that sacred space of bringing life into the world. 🤱🏼

[51:05] What advice would you give to moms who are listening? Trust your body. Your body is not going to do it wrong. Staying in that mindset was so helpful. Don’t let a provider tell you otherwise! Be confident. 💪🏼

[51:59] Communicate with your birth team. It helps your team to know exactly what works for you. What works for one contraction may not work for the next. Keep that line of communication open! 💬

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