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War Stories from the Womb
41 minutes | Jun 23, 2022
An Unintended Teenage Pregnancy: Sunni's other story
Today's episode features a difficult but important story. It’s the kind of story we avoid in part because it involves difficult emotional topics—sexual assault and unintended teenage pregnancy—topics that society does not handle gracefully. My guest today was sexually assaulted by her partner as a teenager, and carried this unintended pregnancy to term, at which point she put the baby up for adoption. More than two decades have passed since these events transpired, but we talk about how every element of this challenging situation has impacted my guest's life, and continues to affect her deeply, and likely always will. Now that Roe v Wade is under such direct threat, and there are calls for women to "just carry out the pregnancy and put the baby up for adoption", what all this does to the woman forced to undergo this experience is more often buried than shared. I am grateful to my guest today for sharing her story.
45 minutes | Jun 13, 2022
The Complicated Emotions that Can Accompany an Unintended Pregnancy: Jennie's Story
These days the word mother can mean a lot of different things. As today's guest shares, she sought out the birth of her first child, but the second pregnancy was unintended. Her preference for family size clashed with her partners, Although she may have been open to terminating the pregnancy, her partner was not; she was living in a state whose majority is not particularly supportive of a woman's right to choose, and she was brought up in a religion in which abortion is not considered a reasonable choice. and so began a very emotionally taxing pregnancy and birth. She shares how she managed these challenging circumstances which I think is an important story to share, especially right now when such black and white ideas about pregnancy and birth are in abundant circulation.
44 minutes | Jun 2, 2022
Surprised by Preeclampsia: Jess's story
Today's guest did not anticipate that pregnancy would offer a totally smooth ride to parenthood, but the ride she did encounter included a number of experiences that were nowhere near her radar. Managing a lot of challenging conditions like preeclampsia, and post partum anxiety had significant effects on her: first it encouraged her to reimagine what her family would look like and to find contentment in this family even though it wasn’t what she originally pictured; it made her really engage in caring for herself, to focus on both her mental and physical health; and lastly, this experience made her feel grateful for the life she has now.
56 minutes | May 24, 2022
The Right to Choose your Reproductive Destiny: Tova's Story
This show is focused so far on the unexpected elements of the emotional or physical toll of pregnancy and birth. Today that story is extended to include the emotional and physical impact of a pregnancy that didn't find its footing and ended in abortion. Abortion is obviously a topic most people have strong feelings about. And unfortunately, those strong feelings tend to flatten the conversation, when in reality like all elements of reproduction, thinking and talking about abortion requires nuance. Some people may seek out first trimester abortion early in their pregnancy and feel like this choice. This procedure is like any other medical procedure. For other women. It comes with more personal or cultural or religious baggage and it's in no way easy for them to make that choice. In today's episode, my guest has a second trimester abortion and her pregnancy which many complications arose. And her experience of working through the grief of this loss is impactful to hear and very much a story that I will carry with me for a long time. For extended show notes, see: https://warstoriesfromthewomb.com/
48 minutes | May 13, 2022
Race, Identity and Motherhood: Naomi's story
Today's guest, like many of us, encountered some unexpected twists and turns at the delivery that were challenging to manage in the moment. But the focus of the story she shares today is about race and identity--she gives us a sense of what it's like to live in the world both as a daughter who doesn't resemble her father, and as a mother who doesn't superficially look like her son...what assumptions people make and share and what these assumptions suggest about how we define motherhood. for extended show notes, see: https://warstoriesfromthewomb.com/
46 minutes | May 4, 2022
A Pregnancy that Outran Scary Predictions: Lisa's Story
Today's guest has an interesting spin on the difference between her expectations for the pregnancy and birth and her experience. Going into pregnancy she had a number of health conditions that led to a lot of cautionary talks about the many things that could go awry...and then, when she actually was pregnant--she more or less skated through a problem free pregnancy...so she's left both feeling grateful to have outrun so many serious issues and like she didn't get to enjoy what was basically a straightforward pregnancy because she was constantly on alert.See extended show notes at: https://warstoriesfromthewomb.com/
47 minutes | Apr 24, 2022
Choosing the Greatest Vulnerability: Jody's Story
Today's guest has a host of experiences when it comes to creating a family. She and her partner had their first child when she was 35. And when they tried to have another, things didn't quite line up. And so she and her partner looked for adoption, something she'd always been interested in exploring, as she herself was adopted. She’d anticipated that her experience would draw her closer to her daughter, but what she hadn't expected is that it also drew closer to her mother.
61 minutes | Apr 11, 2022
Making her way through Preterm labor and Surrogacy: Ariel's Story
In today's episode, my guest is a friend of mine shares her story. She comes up against a host of extremely difficult situations and challenges in her quest to have a child. Her story has some elements that many people will relate to preterm labor and issues with her cervix, and other issues with IVF and surrogacy that I think really showcase her resilience and strength and make the birth of her daughter a triumph we can all celebrate. for extended show notes, see: https://warstoriesfromthewomb.com/
58 minutes | Apr 1, 2022
The Birth of a Rebel: Monique's story
American culture has a lot of ideas about pregnancy and motherhood baked into it. And even if you don't subscribe to most of the common tenants, pregnancy and birth and still offer unexpected twists and turns, today's guest was gently into pregnancy. She got pregnant relatively easily and for the better part of nine months had a smooth experience. She meticulously researched every aspect of birth, pulling the traditions that spoke to her from all over the world and setting out to have a very specific type of home birth. She couldn't have been more prepared. You'll hear she had her eyelash curler packed in her hospital go back just in case and then the wheels came off, as they often do.for more detailed show notes, see: https://warstoriesfromthewomb.com/
58 minutes | Mar 22, 2022
A Dilemma of What to do with Frozen Embryos: Nicole's story
If, in your attempts to start a family, you run into trouble getting pregnant you quickly learn about a thousand elements involved in the process of getting pregnant: hCG and estrogen and the uterine lining and if you are making use of IVF technology to get pregnant, a whole other set of elements enter the equation: the quality of eggs and sperm and if you are lucky embryos, and then, again, if you are lucky, the quality of the embryo after a few days of cell division, the blastocyst…and the list goes on and on. What today’s guest contends with, which I’m guessing is a common issue for most people who use IVF, is the question of what to do with the remaining frozen embryos. The power of their potential keeps her and her husband uncertain about their appropriate fate. for more detailed show notes, see: https://warstoriesfromthewomb.com/
57 minutes | Mar 12, 2022
A Prayer Answered: Rachel's Story
Pregnancy, both physically and emotionally, is a personally transformative event no matter what else is going on in the pregnant person’s life. The context in which you are experiencing this pregnancy, be it calm or dramatic, can add to the challenge. Today’s guest experienced flux in both her extended family, her immediate family, and the medical community she was a part of. While she successfully had six children, five of the births involved emergencies, and her third pregnancy, the focus of today’s conversation, was seeded with issues from the very start. Despite the many tricky elements of this pregnancy and birth, my guest (and eventually her daughter) persevere and create something beautiful: a beautiful baby who grows up to have a beautiful life. For extended show notes, see https://warstoriesfromthewomb.com/
60 minutes | Mar 3, 2022
Babies that started with a Dream: Julia's Story
Pregnancy involves massive changes and for some of us, one of the first hurdles is overcoming issues that have developed in our bodies that make getting pregnant and being pregnant difficult. On the road to becoming pregnant, today's guest learned that she had endometriosis, an issue that she'd painfully lived with for years without a diagnosis, and which required surgery before a pregnancy could develop...and after the first child, the number of physical obstacles seemed to grow more numerous--more endo, a bit older, a shorter menstrual cycle, a medical community that was suggesting that pregnancy was unlikely again...but today's guest's story should remind us to never bet against mother nature...for extended show notes, see: https://warstoriesfromthewomb.com/
48 minutes | Feb 22, 2022
Ditch the Birth Plan, Plan for the Fourth Trimester: Sunni's Story
Many people enter the long road to parenthood stuffed with different stories about what the process will be like: how long it will take to get pregnant, what growing another human inside your body will feel like, how the birth will unfold. And these stories come from everywhere: your childhood, family experiences, books, and media...today's guest originally thought she wouldn't have children, which may have shaped what stories she took in and which she avoided...and then she had a change of heart. and with this change came some next level planning--not so much for the pregnancy or birth, chock full of their own surprises, but for what came after: the fourth trimester and the new role of mother. She wisely borrowed traditions from a variety of sources that offered the kinds of support she anticipated needing, and made for a lovely transition to parenthood.
42 minutes | Feb 13, 2022
A Birth that leads to a Rebirth: Starr's story
Pregnancy can invite a million different kinds of challenges. For some women, it's a physical trial. There are real limits on what our bodies can do. It certainly was for me for some all the massive changes that happen internally and externally can cause distress. And for some women, like today's guest, part of the challenge is how pregnancy can affect relationships. She had lots of challenges with the baby's father at the time, which forced her to navigate the very real question of whether or not to bring a baby into a relationship that wasn't fully settled. Adding to this already tough situation, she had to figure this all out amidst the gnarly set of restrictions required of women having babies during the pandemic. Ultimately, through her own perseverance, she manages to birth both a baby and a whole new family context for herself.
57 minutes | Feb 4, 2022
Anything but Restful, A Bedrest story: Aileen
If there’s one thing I can relate to directly, it’s the story of a high risk pregnancy. But the pregnancy that my guest encountered was something I have no first hand knowledge of: she ran into an issue that threatened a premature birth, which caused her doctor to prescribe bedrest–for five months, 150 days for anyone who is counting–of being horizontal, she was more or less plucked out of normal circulation and forced into bed. We talk about what that dramatic transition was like and how she managed it, while also juggling way too many signficant life changes: a move from Brooklyn to a farm, from apartment to farmhouse, the start of a new business and more.
63 minutes | Jan 26, 2022
A Pandemic Pregnancy with Surprises, Large and Small: Kaila's story
Today's guest stepped into pregnancy relatively easily, and while she had some pretty common early challenges--extreme fatigue, congestion, and sensitivity to smell (her husband called her a blood hound--which feels like high praise in the right context... ). The challenges really picked up at the birth, which was visited by a hemorrhage after a vaginal delivery and a bad reaction to morphine. And by the way, all of this went down during Covid before vaccines. After taking some time to settle after the physical and emotional turmoil, she is now enjoying chasing after her nearly two year old.
52 minutes | Jan 17, 2022
REBROADCAST: Good Things Come in Threes
#003-Today’s guest approached pregnancy, and the motherhood that would follow, like a competition--one that she could excel at and ultimately win. And her first pregnancy, while not seamless, was relatively straight forward, giving credence to her early ideas about the process. But these beliefs lost steam when she had trouble getting pregnant the second time, and were fully deflated when ten weeks after a positive pregnancy test, a scan revealed that she was carrying triplets. A pregnancy with triplets is not for the faint of heart. Despite the challenges, she did everything she could to bring these babies safely into the world, and ultimately prevailed. Listen to her inspiring story. For extended show notes and useful links, see:https://warstoriesfromthewomb.com/
50 minutes | Jan 8, 2022
REBROADCAST: An Ectopic Pregnancy that Jumped the Shark
In this episode we feature the story of a young woman who pursued pregnancy in a country different from her own, where language barriers and a different approach to care contributed to what became her life threatening condition. Originally told that she was not pregnant, she learns, many weeks later she has an ectopic pregnancy–but not your garden variety ectopic pregnancy. Thanks to her organized effort and perseverance, she saved her own life. In a second pregnancy, she goes on to deliver a beautiful daughter, who is a mirror of her mother’s driven spirit.
58 minutes | Dec 29, 2021
Pressure Makes Diamonds: Dr. Crevecoeur's story
Here we are at the end of 2021 and you may be feeling nostalgic for easier times, pre pandemic life…we visit these times in today’s story. my guest gave birth for the first time more than two decades ago and had a wide breadth of experiences in pregnancy and delivery in the course of her four pregnancies. She has hyper emesis for all of the pregnancies and learns to manage it despite her busy OB practice. A whole host of surprises visit her in the five years of pregnancy, including what I’ll call an enthusiastic cervix (you’ll see what that means as you listen to her story), postpartum challenges, milk supply issues, and once the kids are older, health surprises of her own. Whether it’s her medical training or her intuition, she makes a number of critical decisions that keep her from what could have been complete catastrophes and She manages the various ups and downs with grace and wisdom.
45 minutes | Dec 14, 2021
A Birth that requires Stamina: Kristen
Every person has their superpower. Yours could be patience or wit or strength. I am guessing that among the things that today’s guest could list as her super power, toughness and or stamina are probably near the top of the list. She contends with a fair amount of uncertainty about elemental issues, like the timing of both pregnancies, and then manages a stack of challenges beginning with birthing a baby who is not situated in the birth canal in a friendly way, tending to said baby, who is getting fed too often to make restorative sleep a viable goal in the early postpartum, and then carefully dissecting her own diet to manage a food allergy …and she does it all with a certain grace and good humor.
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