Empowering Home Birth Story with Sarah & Matthew Bivens of the Doing It At Home Podcast

Show Notes:

No matter what kind of birth experience you want to have, the right support makes all the difference! Sarah & Matthew share how they were the creators of their experience and how love, trust, and confidence gave them what they needed to achieve the home birth they desired.

[1:11] Our reviewer of the week, Shaun Derenzo, said: “So inspired by this podcast! Hi Stephanie! Found your podcast through The Breastfeeding Talk Podcast, and now I can’t stop binging it! I am currently 8 months postpartum with my second baby, and you make me want to have another . . . AT HOME! Your words are so inspiring and listening to the work you do makes me want to become a birth doula 😍 (currently studying to be a certified lactation counselor . . . but who knows what else my future may hold 🤰🏻😁) HA! Thank you for the beautiful work you do for women and all the information you give to empower us through the most beautiful and life changing moments of motherhood. ❤️ I will never stop recommending this show!

Thank you so much! We are talking about a couple today who is preparing for another home birth!  💜

[2:21] Matthew and Sarah Bivens, the hosts of the Doing It At Home Podcast introduce themselves. They started their podcast in 2016 with their daughter’s home birth. Their podcast is about preparation for birth at home, relationships, parenthood, and life in general! They also share other home birth stories to empower and educate others! 🙌🏼

[3:43] What made you switch from a hospital birth to a home birth? 🏡 Sarah talks about how she was excited to move into home birth around 18 weeks because she and her husband could be the creators of their birthing experience versus walking in and being told what would happen to her and her baby.

[5:30] Matthew says it came down to the moment when their OB said they could not have the things on their birth experience list of what they wanted (water, yoga ball, freedom of movement, etc.) 🛁

[7:52] I often talk about the importance of finding a provider who supports your desires of what you want to happen in your birth experience. However, it’s important to also know what you want to bring it to your provider. 👩🏻‍⚕️

[8:43] I love the communication between Sarah and Matthew! Being on the same page and encouraging the other when fear and doubts crept in about making the right decision in having a home birth made all the difference! 💬

[9:14] 📣 PSA: This is a great episode to send to Dad or listen with him! 📣

[9:33] Sarah talks about her pregnancy and how her lifestyle choices have affected her options for her birth experience. She was considered low-risk throughout the entire pregnancy. 🤰🏼

[11:25] I know our mamas always want to hear what our guests did to prepare for the birth experience they wanted! Sarah shares that having a teammate to keep you accountable is extremely helpful. With her first pregnancy, she stayed active, ran, went to the gym, etc. 👟 She also had a great support system in her family, friends, and midwives. 

[13:11] With her second pregnancy, Sarah honed in on nutrition and mindfulness techniques. 🥗 Matthew mentioned that health is not just physical. It’s also about your relational, emotional, sexual, spiritual health as well. Matthew supported Sarah’s intuition to know what she and each of her babies has needed. He shares how he as a Dad was able to come along side Sarah and be there for her in the way she needed.

[18:26] I encourage women to listen to positive birth stories. I ask Sarah and Matthew what they do when they hear birth stories that may not be positive. Sarah says to do an internal check on how you’re feeling about birth content. The content you consume directly affects your attitude and mindset. 🧘🏻‍♀️

[20:51] There is value and importance for all types of birth experiences. Sarah says it’s all about managing your emotional state to where you can listen to those things and not have it affect you as if it were you. You can learn from it and see where you can do things differently. ❤️‍🩹

[22:32] Matthew talks about the lessons learned from less than ideal birth experiences can also help mamas and their birth partners prepare for outcomes they may not have thought about. 👩🏻‍🏫

[24:31] All right! It’s time for Sarah and Matthew to share their first home birth experience. Sarah says it all started with the Star Wars Theme Song. 💫 She was almost 41 weeks pregnant, and she was extremely uncomfortable. She lost her mucus plug and contractions started picking up.

[28:20] Matthew encouraged Sarah and kept reminding her about how grateful they were for the experience. It was a peaceful, calm environment for the first few hours of labor just the two of them. 😌

[29:09] Matthew did not realize how much equipment the midwife and her team would have! They carried black duffel bags into the home and started unpacking everything. 🧳

[30:08] Sarah had moved into the birth tub by this point. Over the next few hours, their birth team came to the house. Each person had a specific role. They wanted to make sure everyone had a job in order to make the process flow smoothly. 📝

[32:09] Sarah emphasized the importance of having support for Dad! If Dad is extremely hands-on, he can be exhausted by the end too. 😴

[33:12] From the time she started labor until her baby was born was 12 hours. She spent most of it in the birth pool. She allowed her body to just surrender and do what it needed to do. 💆🏻‍♀️

[35:23] She vomitted when she got to transition. 🤢 She started to question how much longer and wanted someone to tell her when her baby was going to be there. She then had her “crisis of confidence.”

[37:00] Matthew talks about that moment and what he knew she needed. He understood that this was when he needed to pour his confidence into her. She did not see fear in his eyes because he felt to prepared. 🤗

[38:14] Her water broke while on the birthing stool. After a few practice pushes, she felt the confidence of “I can do this!” Her daughter was born 45 minutes later. She was given Pitocin due to bleeding. Everything was fine after that and they got to stay snuggled in bed. 🥰

[40:56] Matthew talks about the pushing phase and what he did to help Sarah. He felt the strength of a woman pushing her baby out and how humbling that experience was. He shares what it felt like seeing her bleeding and how his instincts kicked in. 👨‍👩‍👧

[44:15] So thankful for the wisdom and clarity that Sarah and Matthew shared. Their experience will be so helpful to moms and dads interested in giving birth at home. 🏡

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ALL the best,


Links Mentioned:

My Essential Birth Course

My Essential Birth Instagram

Doing It At Home Social Media Links


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