Birth Story: Unmedicated, Spiritual, and Supportive Hospital Birth with Justina & Kace Knowles

Show Notes:

[1:11:] Our reviewer of the week, Leliz86, says: “Still in preconception here! 🙋🏼‍♀️ I stumbled upon this podcast when I started searching for meaningful and educational podcasts that fit my hopes and dreams for my first time pregnancy at 36! I love the content - I feel so informed and empowered to make all the decisions, prepare myself to be my healthiest for me and my baby! I absolutely love that there’s even episodes that help new dads! I can’t wait to sign up for the birth course and love that they cover pregnancy, some preconception health, and birth stories! Determined to listen to every single episode - Thank you for all that you do! ❤️

We love when we're able to hear from both mama and birth partner about the birth experience! Justina and Kace Knowles share about the unmedicated birth of their son in a hospital and how their faith, communication, and the birth course prepared them.

[2:30] Justina and Kace Knowles introduce themselves. Justina taught third grade and was teaching until she was about 7 months pregnant. Kace is originally from the Bahamas and met Justina in grad school. 📚

[3:23] I ask Justina to share about her pregnancy. She felt like the whole pregnancy was pretty normal. She did test positive for GBS though, and a few weeks before her son’s due date, her provider wanted to induce her because her son was measuring small. He ended up not being born until TWO weeks past his due date. 🗓

[4:39] I ask Kace what support looked like for him and what he did for Justina. They went through the My Essential Birth Course together. When things got hard, he encouraged her. Justina felt like they communicated really well, which helped her feel like she was prepared because they both were on the same page. 🤝

[6:25] Justina shares about her experience with her provider. She had plans to give birth in a hospital unmedicated. Since this was her first birth, she felt like the hospital would be her best choice. Her provider was not encouraging unmedicated birth but not against it either. 👩🏻‍⚕️

[9:20] We talk about all things preparation. What can mamas do right now to prepare? Justina did the three free exercises every day. The forward leaning inversion helped with her back pain. Preparing her mindset of knowing what she wanted to do and having faith is what got her through. 🧘🏼‍♀️

[11:15] Justina shares about her faith and how it affected her birth. She felt like no matter what happened, she had a backup plan or another course of action that they could take. She also had a worship playlist which helped her relax. I believe birth is an incredible, magical, spiritual experience! 🙏🏼

[12:30] I ask Justina to share her birth experience. She felt like she was going to give birth around 38 weeks because she was doing all the things (red raspberry leaf tea, yoga ball, eating dates, etc.) Her family and her husband’s family were staying with them to be there for the birth, but her baby stayed cozy in her belly. She felt defeated that he was so late. She had an appointment to determine when they would induce, and they did a membrane sweep. She was 4cm and the induction was scheduled for the next day. She had Braxton Hicks so her contractions weren’t super concerning. She started having strong contractions every ten minutes. They decided to labor at home as long as possible. 🏡

[17:40] They got checked into the hospital, and she was 5 cm. She wanted to labor in a bath tub. She got the antibiotics for her GBS. She asked for a wireless monitor once the antibiotics were finished. She tried all the positions for labor and then decided to get into the bath. Her contractions were coming 2-3 minutes apart and then she got back into the bed. 🤰🏽

[20:56] She was on her knees leaning over the back of the bed. She wasn’t making any progress and was still at 5 cm. Her water broke, and she started feeling the need to push. Her husband helped her change positions. She used the squat bar and pushed for an hour. ⏰

[23:50] After her son was born, he was placed on her chest. They could hear that he was nasally when he breathed, and the nurses took him to check on him. She felt like the stitches from her tears were the worst part of the experience. 🪡

[26:00]  Her baby was 7 pounds 10 ounces when he was born. He was a normal-sized baby even though he was measuring small. 👶🏽

[26:39] The part that surprised her the most about was labor was the nausea. She threw up multiple times throughout the labor. 🤮

[27:32] I loved that Justina was able to speak up for herself and have her demands met. 💬

[27:53] I ask Justina how Kace supported her through the labor experience. Through every contraction, he was rubbing her arm or back and talked to her. A month before their son was born, he wrote a song specifically for him. He also created a mantra and recorded their versions of affirmations. While pushing, he would give her updates on seeing the baby’s head and his hair. 🥰

[30:14] Kace gives his perspective and what stood out to him about the birth process. He felt like he didn’t realize how long and intense contractions were and that they would last for hours. He felt that knowing what they wanted and did not want during the birth was so helpful! He felt like the course was so helpful in giving the choices that are available for procedures and different courses of action! Kace was in awe of the whole situation and what women’s bodies are able to do! 💪🏼

[32:59] Kace talks about how the birth course educated him on what to do during contractions and the labor process. He said positive affirmations, touching her hand/back, her facial expressions, and switching positions were things he learned that helped Justina through labor. Kace actually had a picture of me that he would show to Justina and say, “What would Steph do?!” 🤣 It helped her relax and smile during labor. 

[35:53] The biggest difference between a successful experience and not is having a supportive birth team versus a team that questions every decision you’ve made and if you can handle it. Kace tells other dads not to get offended if their wives tell them not to do something. They’re going through a lot in the moment. 😅

[37:23] What is the #1 piece of advice you’d give to other mamas? Justina says to prepare mentally! You can do all the things physically, but if things go a different way than you and planned, you need to be prepared mentally to adapt and know what your next step will be. Kace says for dad to be prepared with a fan, music, or anything that she could need! Be prepared for the moment but also for when things don’t go according to plan. 💜

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ALL the best,


Links Mentioned:

My Essential Birth Course

My Essential Birth Instagram



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