Preparing Her Body & Mind for her Redemptive Birth Story with Courtney Hart

Show Notes:

Sometimes a negative experience can be the catalyst we need to make a change in our lives. Courtney Hart talks about how her first birth experience changed her life, how she prepared her mind and body for her second birth, and how our podcast made all the difference!

[1:11] The Reviewer of the Week is and she says, “I love listening to this. She has such a great soothing but energetic voice to listen to and I love all of her knowledge she shares, as well as the birth stories we get to hear! Thanks for what you do!”

Today’s episode is a birth story with one of our previous interviewees! We interviewed Courtney Hart: a Labor & Delivery nurse and certified breastfeeding counselor who works in the Labor Delivery Recovery Postpartum (LDRP) unit at the hospital. 💜

[1:54] I have Courtney Hart reintroduce herself. She is a Labor & Delivery nurse and certified breastfeeding counselor. She has come back to share her positive birth story and great experience which she attributes to listening to the My Essential Birth podcast! 🎧

[2:33] Courtney became a nurse after her first child was born because of her incredible experience with her L&D nurses. 👩🏻‍⚕️

[3:45] Were there things you did differently with this pregnancy than your first pregnancy nine years ago? She feels like she had some birth trauma with her son (he was 9 pounds 4 ounces), and tore pretty badly so recovery was difficult for her. She wasn’t too healthy, gained a lot of weight during pregnancy, uncomfortable. This next time around she exercised, 8,000-10,000 steps a day, ate a healthy diet, and everything was so much easier. 🥗

[6:10] I love that Courtney shares the difference that those healthy choices made! The only things that stood out to her about her pregnancy were her food aversions and nausea early on. She ended up getting a displaced rib which caused a lot of discomfort, and she also ended up being GBS+. 😕

[7:25] I ask Courtney what she chose to do or not do since she found out she was GBS+. Courtney was bummed because she had never taken IV antibiotics. She has seen babies with GBS which was the main factor for why she chose to get the antibiotics. She was also bummed about being GBS+ because the pediatricians want to keep the baby in the hospital for 48 hours for observation. 💊

[9:09] Courtney talks about choosing her provider since she worked at the hospital where she gave birth. She approached her provider before she got pregnant and asked her to oversee her pregnancy and delivery. She chose her provider because she’s patient with a more midwife approach, she had opinions on a course of action but let the patient decide, and she trusts the birthing process. 🩺

[11:23] What were the things you did every day to prepare for the birth? Courtney’s husband wanted to be involved from the very beginning and was onboard with what she wanted. At 23 weeks, they did the Spinning Babies course. She also did their daily exercises (inversion, squatting, pelvic tilts). 🔄

Courtney also found the Pregnancy & Birth Made Easy podcast around this time and listened to almost every episode! She also had her husband listen to our partner episodes. She also read the book “Mindful Pregnancy.” They incorporated the techniques talked about in the Relaxation Practice for Labor episode. 💆🏻‍♀️

[14:33] Courtney walks us through the first contraction. She started having contractions around 28 weeks, but they never progressed. Around 39 weeks, her hospital was the busiest it’s ever been and broke a record for births. She was nervous to go into labor because there was no room. She had her provider strip her membranes at her 39-week appointment, but nothing happened. She had her membranes stripped again the next day and within a half hour, she started getting stronger contractions. She was discouraged because her baby was posterior and started having back labor. 😫

[20:08] She went home and got in the tub. They did the Miles Circuit (3 different positions for a half an hour each exercise), and she swears it works! (And we do too!) She ate snacks, took a walk, and did curb walking. She tried to get some rest and then her contractions started waking her up. She checked her own cervix and decided to head in to the hospital. 🚗

[23:53] She got to the hospital and went into a room, got her first dose of antibiotics, and was put on intermittent monitoring. She wanted to be able to handle more of the labor process and tried the nitrous oxide. She labored on her hands and knees and got in the tub. Around 6 AM, she got the epidural, but it didn’t take at first. She was able to take a two hour nap. Her provider was able to make it, and she broke her water. 💦

[28:30] Her provider made her laugh and she started laughing her baby out. She pushed one time, she had a mirror, and her husband was able to deliver the baby. They did skin-to-skin and he latched on the breast. Everything was perfect. 🥰

[29:31] The first pregnancy she had a third and a half degree tear, but with this delivery, she had a second degree tear because he came out so fast. The recovery was so much easier. 😅

[30:35] We go back to those first few contractions, and I ask Courtney how she handled those. She said the bath tub with her essential oils and her Guardian of the Galaxy playlist was a huge help. She also kept moving and used her birth ball. Counter pressure on her lower back and hips was helpful. 🛁

[32:35] How did your husband know what to do? Courtney and her husband practiced beforehand. She also told her husband in the moment what to do.

[33:05] The first four weeks of maternity leave were magical! She had a beautiful baby with her husband close by. And then . . . the Hurricane Ian happened. Her family’s flights had been canceled because of the hurricane and she wanted to leave to spend time with her family. They had evacuated to their in-laws house to avoid the worst of it. The downstairs of their house flooded. After the hurricane, they did not have power for 6 days. They drove to Indiana afterwards. ⛈️

[36:15] How do you feel your mood and emotions are postpartum this time around? Courtney felt like she was on Cloud 9 and everything was so much easier. She thinks a lot of it had to do with the steps she took beforehand to prepare. She was so happy with her experience. She also wishes she had known that the experience could be so enjoyable because she would have done it sooner. 😍

[38:04] Even though her first birth experience was traumatic, it catapulted her into her profession! There are people who feel called to this and love to be there for women during this incredible time of their lives! 💕

[39:17] What is your best advice for mom? Take the My Essential Birth Course and listen to the podcast. Take time to prioritize preparing for your birth. Treat your birth like you’re preparing for your wedding. Prepare your body and mind. 🤩

[40:09] What is your best advice for dad? I’d recommend doing the same thing and have Dads prepare as well. Her husband even interviewed two doulas and wanted her to choose one. 🥹

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ALL the best,


Links Mentioned:

My Essential Birth Course

My Essential Birth Instagram

Episode 157: Birth Wisdom for Labor & Delivery with Courtney Hart

Episode 144: Relaxation Practice for Labor


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