Birth Story: Unmedicated, Hospital Birth with Sally Steffy

Sally shares her unmedicated, hospital birth experience despite dealing with family loss the same week she went into labor. She talks about the goodness of God and how her experience of giving birth has brought her and her husband closer than ever before. We also talk about a few small things to have with you during labor that will help you keep your energy up, keep you hydrated, and distract you from the pain of contractions. I hope this episode speaks to your heart the way it spoke to mine!

Show Notes:

[1:11] Our reviewer of the week is KylieDilulo, and she says, “Best birthing preparation podcast! This is hands down my favorite birthing podcast!” She recently gave birth to a 9 lb 4 oz boy in a birthing center. She credits her "absolutely perfect and amazing in every way" birth to all of her preparation and the My Essential Birth podcast. She knew she always wanted an unmedicated birth, and this podcast gave her the tools and knowledge to achieve the birth of her dreams. She recommends it to all her pregnant friends. 💜

We love when you share the podcast! Our goal is to get the podcast to as many women as possible. We also love that you were able to birth a "big baby" at a birth center without an induction unmedicated. Way to go, Kylie!  🎉

[2:21] We have Sally on the podcast for the second time due to some technical difficulties (🤦🏼‍♀️😖), and this "improved" version of her birth story is going to be so helpful for other mamas! 

[3:00] Sally introduces herself, her eight-month old baby girl, Billie, her husband, Griffin, and their bernadoodle, Mercury. They are big fans of sparkling water, being involved in their church, working out, and spending time outdoors. ⛰

[3:54] I ask Sally to tell us about her pregnancy. She talks about their plans for getting pregnant and how she was able to complete 25 wedding photography shoots throughout her pregnancy going right up until the day before she went into labor! 🤯 She attributes being able to be on her feet and so active during her pregnancy to participating in cross-fit before her pregnancy. 🏋🏼‍♀️

[6:30] Sally refers to my metaphor of birth being like a marathon, which she loved because she herself runs marathons as well. 🏃🏼‍♀️

[8:49] Sally did not have a provider when she was found out she was pregnant, but went to an OBGYN who was covered under their insurance. They did love her, but she did not promote unmedicated birth. She later congratulated Sally on being able to accomplish her goal of an unmedicated birth. 😏

[10:10] Due to COVID, they were unable to get a hospital tour, which made Sally feel anxious and uncomfortable. However, since their insurance did not cover the birthing center in their town, they moved forward with the hospital birth. She loved the labor and delivery nurses that she had because they were so caring and attentive. 💕

[11:43] She talks about her dreams for a home birth for her next baby. 🤰🏼

[12:00] We talk about when Sally started listening to the podcast. She typed in "birth" and found our podcast! She would send her favorite podcast episodes to her husband for him to listen to learn along with her. He felt that going into birth prepared was so helpful. They even did ice pack rehearsals together! 🥶

[14:55] Sally gives us a rundown of what she would do daily to prepare for labor: meditation/worship playlist, breathing exercises, etc. We talk about breathing exercises referenced in the My Essential Birth course. I talk about the benefits of learning how to breathe and practice before labor to give mom and baby the maximum benefits during labor. The three free exercises are available for download and can benefit any expecting mama!

[18:27] Sally walks us through her labor which started with her water breaking and losing her mucus plug at 38 +2 weeks. She and her husband drove five hours to get home later that evening! 😱 She continued to labor at home. 

[22:12] Once they arrived at the hospital, Sally was told she would have her baby within the next 24-hours. She was only 1 cm dilated. Contractions began to start, and she experienced back labor. 💥 She talks about how she thought the experience would go by using different positions, rebozo method, etc. and how none of that was doable because of her back labor. She had a lot of uncontrollable shaking during her labor, which made her feel like her body was having a panic attack but not her mind.

[24:50] She talks about how she fueled her body during her labor with orange juice, protein bars, and snacks. She encourages women to eat during their labor to keep their energy up. 🍊 She also recommended getting a water bottle that you can sip from while lying down. A portable fan was also helpful during labor. 

[26:30] About twenty minutes before her baby was born, she was 7 cm dilated. Sally pushed for a short amount of time, which she was extremely grateful for. She wants other women to know that if you get hemorrhoids after birth, you're not broken! That's just part of your birth story! 🤷🏼‍♀️

[27:55] Another important thing Sally wants moms to know, is that you may not immediately bond with your baby the second they place them on your chest. You may need a moment to take a breath! For a lot of moms, that feeling of not bonding right away with the baby is normal. It does not mean you're not going to bond or have an incredible relationship with them! ❤️

[29:35] We talk about things that Sally did that helped during her labor. She packed a comb which she would squeeze during her contractions. If you're having pain in one place, and you distract the nerves with pain in a different place. By squeezing the comb, your pain receptors react to that pain and takes the edge off your pain.

[32:34] Sally describes her postpartum recovery. She wanted to get home because of a recent death in her family. She believes God allowed her to have the baby when He did so she would be able to attend the funeral. She talks about processing her grandfather's death, meeting her new baby, and recovering postpartum. Looking back, she wishes she would have visited a pelvic floor therapist sooner. She encourages moms to seek help for any issues after birth. 👩🏻‍⚕️

[37:38] I ask Sally to share her spiritual experience with birth. ✝️ She wants everyone to be able to experience the high of bringing her baby into the world with their husband. Birth brought the two of them closer than ever before! She quotes a photographer that also had an unmedicated birth and uses the parallel of the pain between God the Father being separated from His Son, Jesus, being compared to childbirth. It was a joy unlike anything else and a testament to women being able to overcome hard things! 🙏🏻

[40:50] What is your best advice for moms or birth partners? Sally shares her #1 tip with us! 💯

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ALL the best,


Links Mentioned:

My Essential Birth Course

My Essential Birth Instagram

3 FREE Exercise Guide

Water Bottle

Portable Fan


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