Ep 220: Amber’s Birth Story – A Rushed Labor and a Quick Birth

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Amber had the picture perfect pregnancy that ended with an emergency induction. Her daughter couldn't tolerate the contractions and her heart rate kept decelerating. The birth almost ended up in a c-section but Amber was determined to at least have the vaginal birth she hoped for.

Amber succeeded in having a vaginal birth but her care team was not very supportive. In fact, they rushed her every step of the way. Amber says now that she wishes she would have been more firm in what she wanted but what should have happened is that her care team should have been listening to her. Because of all the excellent preparation she did, Amber did a great job of standing her ground despite the circumstances.

In this Episode, You’ll Learn About:

  • How Amber could tell she was pregnant
  • How her pregnancy affected her immune system
  • Why she recommends pelvic floor therapy
  • How her husband supported her throughout her pregnancy
  • What her birth wishes were
  • Why her doctor pushed for an induction
  • What made her disappointed with her doula
  • How she coped with postpartum depression

Links Mentioned in the Episode

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Dr. Nicole (00:00:00): You are going to love this birth story episode with Amber. Welcome to the All About Pregnancy and birth podcast. I'm Dr. Nicole Callaway, Rankins, a board certified OBGYN, who's been in practice for nearly 15 years. I've had the privilege of helping over 1000 babies into this world, and I'm here to help you be calm, confident, and empowered to have a beautiful pregnancy and birth. Quick note, this podcast is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice. Check out the full disclaimer@drnicolerankins.com/disclaimer. Now, let's get to it.

(00:00:49): Hello there. Welcome to another episode of the podcast. This is episode number 220. Whether you are a new listener or a returning listener, I'm so grateful that you're spending some of your time with me today. In today's episode, we have Amber. Amber is a registered dietician with a master's in nutrition and human performance. She is a personal trainer who's also pre and postnatal certified. She's an entrepreneur, and now she is a first time mom. Amber had the picture perfect pregnancy, but it ended with a sudden and unexpected induction after a routine prenatal appointment. Now, even though Amber is a trainer and a dietician, and she had prepared thoroughly for an unmedicated birth and prepped for what she thought was going to be an unconventional birth in a conventional setting, really everything about her labor was not what she wanted. Her daughter couldn't tolerate the contractions.

(00:01:53): Her heart rate kept dropping. Her doula left right before her daughter was born in order to go walk her dog. But despite that, she still fought to have a vaginal birth after almost ending up with a cesarean. And you're going to hear all about that story today. She really wanted you to know or wanted to share that it's okay if your birth doesn't go exactly the way you anticipated. It's still really, really important to prepare for things. So what are the possible things to expect? And you're also able to advocate for yourself and be firm in what you want, especially if it's your gut feeling. And let me tell you what that is exactly what Amber did in her story, and I can't wait to share it with you today. Now, one of the things that Amber talks about is how she took my birth plan class, make a birth plan the right way, and I am excited to share that that live class is happening again on Tuesday, August 9th at 7:00 PM Eastern Standard Time.

(00:03:03): Teaching this live class is one of my favorite things to do. I love interacting with folks in this live class and delivering all this great information. It really, truly, truly, truly is helpful. I would love to see you in the class. Go ahead and grab your spot now because spots fill up and there's a limited number in the virtual space. So head to drnicolerankins.com/birthplan. I'm not going to teach the class again, maybe one more time towards the end of the year, so it's going to be a while. So go ahead and grab it now if you're due in 2023. And that's dr nicole rankins.com/birth plan. Can't wait to see you in the class. All right, let's get into the conversation with Amber. Alright, thank you so much, Amber, for agreeing to come onto the podcast. I am so excited to have you come and share your story today.

Amber (00:03:56): Thank you so much for having me. I am honored to be here. As I had told you earlier, I'm actually a huge fan of you. When I was prepping for my pregnancy, I used all the tools that you give out online and it was very helpful.

Dr. Nicole (00:04:10): Oh, thank you. Thank you. That always warms my heart when I hear it, and I didn't pay her to say that. I promise. Alrighty. So why don't we start off by having you tell us a bit about what your pregnancy and prenatal care was like, because we have to understand that to understand what happens with the birth. So what was your pregnancy and prenatal care?

Amber (00:04:30): Actually,

Dr. Nicole (00:04:30): Lemme back that up first. How about you tell us a bit about yourself and your family? Looking at my questions clearly, I haven't had enough to eat t m. I have a colonoscopy scheduled tomorrow, so I'm only on clear liquids today, so clearly I'm needing some more energy. So let's back up and have you tell us about yourself and your family.

Amber (00:04:51): Yeah, so my name is Amber. I am 32 years old. I am a registered dietician, certified personal trainer. I've been in the health and wellness space for about 12 years now. Nice. And I married. I have a wonderful husband who's super supportive. He works in construction for utilities, so he's got a very demanding labor job. And I have our two dogs. So we have a Chihuahua mix and a full bread chihuahua. They're two totally opposite personalities, but they were my first babies before we had our little girl. So we have our daughter who's actually turning one this Saturday. Oh my

Dr. Nicole (00:05:36): Gosh.

Amber (00:05:37): Yeah.

Dr. Nicole (00:05:38): Doesn't time fly?

Amber (00:05:39): I blinked and we're a year forward already. You don't understand when they tell you savor it because time goes by so fast you don't know it until you're in it and you're just like, wow.

Dr. Nicole (00:05:55): Yes, yes, yes. Is she walking yet?

Amber (00:05:58): Yep. She just found her land legs and started walking probably two weeks ago and she's taken off. She's just going, yes,

Dr. Nicole (00:06:12): It opens up a whole new world because then you have to watch everything and move everything. All of it's a good thing to have, but definitely a new challenge.

Amber (00:06:21): Oh yeah. We went to Whole Foods yesterday and she was just zipping through it. She was just having the time of her life.

Dr. Nicole (00:06:26): Yeah. Yeah. I love it. I love it. So then now why don't we talk a bit about what your pregnancy and your prenatal care was

Amber (00:06:34): Like. Yeah, so my pregnancy was actually fairly easy. My prenatal care was pretty good. I know the first trimester, thinking back I remember I was good, probably around, well, backtracking a little bit. I knew I was pregnant before I got the confirmation. Something was different. I had my coffee every morning and one morning I woke up and it nauseated me and I was like, I'm either coming down with something or I'm pregnant. What is going on?

Dr. Nicole (00:07:11): Were you trying to get pregnant or?

Amber (00:07:13): No, it was in the future. We were in the middle of discussing it. We actually had a conversation the day before about kids, and it was like, all right, in the new year, let's start trying. So I had just finished up my internship for, no, I just finished up my internship and passed my RD exam. So I had just finished eight years of school, and I was like, oh, I could breathe right now and I have a little bit of a break. But then immediately I was like, Nope, you're pregnant.

(00:07:47): So I remember making an appointment with my gyno and she was like, Amber, it's probably very unlikely that you are knowing this soon, because it would be, I would be two or three weeks pregnant at that point. And I was like, oh, right. I'm like, I'm going to, I could wait, but I don't know. I think I am. So I ended up taking a pregnancy test two days after my visit with her because I went for my regular checkup because two days later I felt nauseous and I was like, this is either covid or I'm pregnant. And the test that I took, because I was on a time crunch actually, I was about to get on a call with a new client and I was like, I just need to know if I am or not right now. I grabbed the test and it was negative, and I left it on the trash can in the bathroom.

(00:08:38): I was in a rush and I did my call with my client and I come back into the bathroom. I'm like, oh, I got to throw that out. I pick it up and it's positive. I was like, oh, no, this isn't right. So I did it again and it was positive right away. I started getting nervous because I was like, if I'm that early, maybe I'm having twins. Oh, no. So I called my gyno and she's like, come in right now. I have an opening. Let's confirm it. And we did blood test and a test in the office, and it was confirmed, and I was fine up until week seven. And then the morning sickness, the fatigue, I did not know who I was because I'm usually up at five o'clock in the morning, wide awake, ready to start my day. I wasn't waking up until eight o'clock, nine, I couldn't get out of bed.

(00:09:32): I was so tired, nauseated, very hard to eat. And probably once, I think once I hit 10 weeks, I woke up and I had all this energy. The nausea was gone. I was like, okay, I could deal with this. I like this. This is good. I was like, this is not bad. Hopefully this stays like this. So yeah, you get your second wind once you get past that first trimester, and I just rode the wave. I was like, I'm going to make the most out of this. And I was continuing my workouts. I was eating really well. I was seeing a new OB because my gyno wasn't an ob, so she gave me some referrals, but I found one that I liked. I did a lot of research on this specific doctor and the hospitals in the area. So I was looking for places that had a low app episiotomy rate and a low C-section rate.

(00:10:36): And I ended up going to Mount Sinai in Manhattan on the west side. They seemed to have rated the best maternity hospital in New York. So I researched their doctors picked one, and we connected right away. She seemed really great. I was very upfront with her, with my, I don't want to say birth plan, but birth wishes and telling her what I wanted. And she was super respectful and supportive throughout everything, and she was very open about a lot of things too. So I had a good, the whole pregnancy, so good that I decided not to see the other physicians that were on staff because I was like, no, I really like her.

(00:11:28): I like to think the universe always has things in favor. I was like, no, she's going to deliver my baby. I'm putting out in the universe. This is how it's going to work. Didn't work on the end that way, but she was fantastic. Throughout my whole pregnancy, I trusted her and I was very upfront with her on certain things with the glucose testing, I told her right away because I saw her when I was about eight weeks pregnant for our first appointment, and I was like, I'm not drinking the drink. If there's another alternative, I'll do it.

Dr. Nicole (00:12:00): What was your concern about it? I'm curious.

Amber (00:12:03): I was concerned with the artificial food coloring in there and what goes in there. And I know there's limited evidence on it with that being connected with autism, ADHD in children. So I just like to take all precautions because I was responsible for another human being at this point. So I was like, I'm not going to do it. I'd rather do the finger prick. And

Dr. Nicole (00:12:29): You told her that at eight, that early you knew.

Amber (00:12:32): Yeah. Yeah. I told her. I was like, I'm not doing that. I'm doing it this way. And I liked that she was on board. She was like, no problem. She was like, we'll do finger prick tests when the time comes, I'll set you up with the endocrinologist and we'll get through it.

Dr. Nicole (00:12:46): Okay. And

Amber (00:12:48): I love that about her.

Dr. Nicole (00:12:49): Yeah, that's a good S sign.

Amber (00:12:50): Yeah. It's hard to find a doctor who supports a patient's wants or wishes, because usually it's like, well, we do it this way. And I didn't want to just be pushed into one direction, especially being a first time mom, I feel like we just kind of go by what our doctors say, and we don't advocate for ourselves. So I really wanted to lay that foundation with her upfront and with the prenatals, I had a very hard time finding a prenatal that wasn't astronomical and vitamin A, also constipation that comes for pregnancy. I was like, I don't want to take too much iron. So I kind of concocted basing off of my own education being a dietician. Yeah, I was going

Dr. Nicole (00:13:39): To say, you have some knowledge about it, just making it up out of thin air.

Amber (00:13:43): So I came in with a list of supplements that I was taking to take place of a prenatal, and she's like, well, it sounds like you made your own and I'm okay with it. So I was like, all right. I'm like, this works. I had my choline, my folate, my vitamin D, my d h a, and my magnesium, and I made sure my diet was in line with everything nutritionally.

Dr. Nicole (00:14:07): Gotcha. Gotcha. Awesome, awesome. So it sounds like you were listened to, respected, she felt like y'all were a team working together. Yeah,

Amber (00:14:17): Definitely felt like a team. It was very comfortable because any questions that I had, I would just also email her through my client portal, and she was responsive within a day, and she was just very honest with me with a lot of things. Sure,

Dr. Nicole (00:14:29): Sure, sure. Now, once you got past the first trimester and that first trimester tiredness, y'all is like nothing. I mean, everybody doesn't have it, but if you do have it, it can hit you. What is going on? I just remember sitting on the couch, I can't move. I'm just going to sit here because that's all I can do right now. And like you said, all of a sudden things just get better and then you kind of move on with things. But for the rest of your pregnancy, did you have any issues or concerns or things that came up?

Amber (00:14:58): No. My second trimester was so easy, aside from every trimester through my pregnancy, I did get sick with something because I know your immune system is a little bit on the low end, and I was just picking up everything

Dr. Nicole (00:15:14): But a little cold or

Amber (00:15:16): Whatever. Yeah, okay. I had a sinus infection my first trimester. I had a bronchitis my second trimester right before I delivered my daughter, I had another sinus infection. Other than that, it was pretty second trimester was super easy, even in the first trimester. I mean, that fatigue is just on a whole nother level. And when I look back at that, I'm like, how did I even work out? How did I work? Because I was teaching boxing classes. I'm also a boxing instructor.

Dr. Nicole (00:15:47): Oh, I did not know that. Okay.

Amber (00:15:50): So boxing Fighter, I just teach it now for fun because I love the sport, and I just remember being in class. I think I was nine weeks pregnant at this point. This is the peak of the nausea and the fatigue, and I put my MITs down and I told my boss, I was like, listen, I'm like, everyone smells like meat right now. And I'm like, I can't.

Dr. Nicole (00:16:12): I just can't. Right.

Amber (00:16:13): You can smell the metal and the sweat. Your senses are so heightened. I was like, I'm going to throw up. I need to sit, and I'm so tired. So he actually had to handle the pad work for me for that class because I was like, I take that out. But after that, I just remember being in class, the energy that you get in the second trimester is undescribable for some people. I think. I just remember telling a client, I was like, I'm pregnant and I'm doing this. You need to pick it up. They're like, you're putting me to shave. And I was like, oh, come on. You got to do this. If I could do this, I'm like, you could do

Dr. Nicole (00:16:54): This.

Amber (00:16:55): But yeah, I did my workouts. I go for walks all the time, so I was very proud of myself. I was getting 18,000 steps a day, and then into my third trimester was good. I started getting the fatigue again. It's almost like it's the third trimester is a brief summary of what the first trimester is. Not as bad with the fatigue and the nausea, but it comes back. I remember my third trimester, I think I was 33 weeks pregnant, and I was starting to get really tired again. And I remember going to my OB for one of my follow-ups, and this may be one of the only things that I did not wish she had said to me was to watch my weight. And I had looked at her and I was like, listen, I'm like the profession that I'm in, you know how active I am. I'm just so you know, I walked 10,000 steps before I got here. I was like, if I wasn't in the profession that I'm in, I mean, what would you say to me right now? I can't control the weight that I'm gaining. It's not something that's in my hands. It's out of my hands right now.

(00:18:18): And she told me to watch my carbs, and I was like, but I need the B vitamins right now. I was like, so I'm like, I need carbs. I need the energy. I'm growing a human, this is an Olympic sport for me. And she was like, just watch the carbs. You're on the high end of your weight gain. But I was only 20 pounds by 33 weeks, only gained 20 pounds. Her concern was she was like, in the third trimester, people slow down and the weight pile's on. I was like, you don't know me. I was like, before I stop, I will crawl. I will keep going. So I was actually really upset after that visit with her. I feel like a lot of women get a lot of pressure about the pregnancy weight gain, and it can really throw them for a loop, and it's not their fault if you're doing all the things, you're just gaining

Dr. Nicole (00:19:12): The weight. There's

Amber (00:19:13): Nothing you could do.

Dr. Nicole (00:19:14): Yeah. It definitely happens for some people where they just, I don't think it's a good thing to focus on. I just tell people, just control what you can eat, the best that you can move your body and you, the rest is out of your control.

Amber (00:19:27): Exactly. So the rest of that third trimester, I think I gained a total of 60 pounds, not 60, 30. 30, maybe 35 pounds. I stopped weight myself after 36 weeks, and every time they're like, what's your weight? I was like, still pregnant.

Dr. Nicole (00:19:44): Gotcha, gotcha. So then what did you do to prepare for your birth?

Amber (00:19:49): Everything.

(00:19:53): I started, the minute I found out I was pregnant, I put a program together for myself. I broke it down by trimester exercises that I should be doing, paying attention to how I felt, trying to keep my core strong. I made an appointment with a pelvic floor therapist. I was trying to see them the first trimester. They said No wait until the second trimester. So I was trying to be way ahead of the curve, which she was fantastic. That was such a great experience. I wish more women could see them more. It was so helpful, and seeing her actually help with hip pain that you get when you're pregnant, and the pubic pain, seeing her actually help, because I kept getting misaligned in my left hip, and she helped me with my pelvic floor because it was a hypertonic pelvic floor on one side. Got it. So doing the things to make sure my pelvic floor was healthy, because I wanted to also reduce risk of tearing. That was such a big fear of mine. So I did that. I kept up with my strength training. I did the pelvic floor therapy. I did the perennial prepping. That was interesting. So I brought my husband with me to that appointment, and she was like, I'm going to show him how to do this for you. And he goes, oh. I was like, teamwork. I'm like, this is teamwork, babe. Right,

Dr. Nicole (00:21:19): Right, right. That's funny.

Amber (00:21:21): Yeah, he was, my husband's so hands-on with our pregnancy. He was, so he made all of the prenatal class appointments. He found a doula for us. We interviewed so many doulas, and he was there for every single interview. He asked all the questions. I barely talked. He asked all the questions, and I thought it was so sweet that he did that, and he really went the extra mile for that. He made all the froyo yogurt runs at nine o'clock at night, and I was craving froyo.

(00:22:02): But yeah, prepping for birth, I really treated it as if it was a boxing match for myself. I looked at it as, okay, this is game day. This is what I have to do to prep for game day. I need to have a strategy, a plan, and I need to pivot if it doesn't go my way. So I went in with a flexible strategy because I knew even though I wanted to go a certain way, it might not go that way. And I did your course. I know you had a course available, setting up your birth plan. So I did all that, and I'm trying to remember how I found YouTube. I don't remember. I think I googled it and your website came up. So then I found your Instagram. I was like, oh, birth plan. So I downloaded that. I did that, and that was so helpful. Really great stuff in there that I feel like gave me good skills going into the delivery room as well as the prenatal classes that we did. That was really helpful. And I even wanted to go the extra mile because one of my fears was having a C-section. I know there's tons of positive C-section stories. I was looking for them because I wanted to see both sides of deliveries, the positive experiences with them. But a lot of people that I know that had them didn't have a good experience. So it scared me still.

Dr. Nicole (00:23:34): Gotcha.

Amber (00:23:34): So my goal was to do as much as I could to avoid a C-section.

Dr. Nicole (00:23:38): Okay, okay. Okay.

Amber (00:23:41): Yeah. That's why I got the doula to help advocate for myself, just in case my OB was not on call to deliver my daughter.

Dr. Nicole (00:23:52): Gotcha. Gotcha. So I mean, you really took control of all of the things that you could control to be as prepared as you could.

Amber (00:24:00): Yeah. Yes. From day one, I laid everything out in a notebook. I had a whole notebook, so I just went in. I was like, this is the strategy. This is the game plan. This is game day. I probably should not have been so married to my due date. So sad when she was late.

Dr. Nicole (00:24:21): Yeah. They come when they come, and sometimes they're like, I'm going to cook a little bit longer.

Amber (00:24:27): Yeah. I think she was just so happy with the movement happening from all the exercise and how well fed she was.

Dr. Nicole (00:24:35): I like it in here. Yes.

Amber (00:24:37): She wasn't trying to come out.

Dr. Nicole (00:24:40): Sometimes I tell the babies, I'm like, listen, I know it's nice in there, but there's people here on the outside who are waiting for you and ready to love you, and y'all just love it in there. They just love it in there sometimes.

Amber (00:24:52): Yeah. She was so comfortable. I tried everything. Once I hit 36 weeks, I did acupressure, acupuncture. I was going to the nail salon around the corner from my apartment at the time, probably every other day for a manicure and pedicure because of the massages. And I remember telling the girl, I was like, can you just do it hard? Because I know the pressure point for labors in the foot. And she was like, no, I'm not allowed. I was like, no, I'm telling you baby's fully cooked. You could just put an elbow in the foot. It's okay.

Dr. Nicole (00:25:26): Let's get it. Yes.

Amber (00:25:28): So they wouldn't do that. But it was nice to go for a manicure every two today. Right.

Dr. Nicole (00:25:33): Yeah, I bet. I bet. I bet. So you said you were worried about or afraid about a C-section and afraid about tearing. Was there anything else you were scared about when thinking about your birth?

Amber (00:25:45): No. No. I went in, I didn't want to go in with the mindset of fear, because I know fear and the nervous system for tightly interconnected. I didn't want it to increase pain because I also wasn't trying to have an epidural.

(00:26:00): So I was trying to go in with a different mindset, and it ended up, a lot of things ended up not as planned except for the vaginal delivery. So I went on our due date, I ate my feelings in a T-bone steak, and then I went for a manicure pedicure later on, hoping I'd wake up the next day and be in labor. Didn't happen, and I went for an acupressure massage at a place in Jersey that specializes in inducing labor. So I went and later on that night, I started cramping. I was like, oh, this is it. Right? Something

Dr. Nicole (00:26:44): Going to happen. Right.

Amber (00:26:46): I was so excited because I thought I was going to have to get induced, and for a brief period of time, because I thought I had to go and get induced, I felt like my body was failing me because I envisioned, this is my first pregnancy. I envisioned going into labor on my own. I envisioned the water breaking. I just envisioned everything being just so natural and just coming in a natural way on its own, everything happening on its own, and I felt like my body was failing me in that sense, where I was like, I did all this stuff. I exercised. I stayed moving. All the sex your doctor tells you to have doing everything. I ate a whole pineapple. I was so upset at this point where I was like, you know what? I'm going to go for this massage. It's probably not even going to work. I'm probably just going to have my induction on that Sunday, which was scheduled for the 24th.

Dr. Nicole (00:27:52): Okay, and how far was that past your due date?

Amber (00:27:54): She was due the 18th of July, and this was on the 19th of July that I got that acupressure massage.

Dr. Nicole (00:28:02): Okay, okay. Okay. And then you were scheduled for the induction then

Amber (00:28:07): The 24th of July.

Dr. Nicole (00:28:08): Okay.

Amber (00:28:09): So it was the day before my husband's birthday. Okay.

Dr. Nicole (00:28:12): Oh,

Amber (00:28:13): So yeah, that was the day that my OB was going to be on call, and I was like, all right, we could do it that day. Got it. At least it's a nice birthday present for my husband.

Dr. Nicole (00:28:20): Right. Got it. Got

Amber (00:28:21): It. So I went and had this massage, got home, started cramping, and I got so excited. I'm like, this is it. And it was just so drawn out throughout the next day. I couldn't even walk because there was so much pressure on my cervix. I was getting a lot of brax and hicks, but I wasn't sure if there were contractions, but I just went about that day as normal. I worked out, which was probably the toughest workout I've ever had, just because of the uncomfortability. I went for a walk, and then I remember going for a walk with my husband to go get frozen yogurt, and this was around 5:30 PM and I had to keep stopping, and he's like, are you okay? I was like, I don't know. I'm like, I just can't walk. And I'm like, this is so uncomfortable. And he's like, maybe you should go home. I'm like, I looked at my Fitbit and I was like, no, I still have 4,000 more steps until I hit 10,000. He's like, but you can't walk. I was like, I'll make it. I'm like, I'll make it.

Speaker 3 (00:29:22): So

Amber (00:29:23): He's like, you look like you're in a lot of pain. I was like, it's okay. I just need to take a breather. Let me just sit. So I actually, I tapped that at that point. I was like, get me home. Just help me get home. So we got home and I sat on the big medicine ball, and I was doing the hip movements on the ball. I was like, all right, maybe she is coming. And he's like, we don't know she's going to come when she comes. I'm like, this feels different. I was like, maybe you shouldn't go to work tomorrow. And he's like, let's see how you feel in the morning. I was so uncomfortable at that point. I was like, I'm just going to bed, and it was like seven o'clock at night. I'm like, I woke up at four o'clock in the morning with contractions, and I woke him up.

(00:30:04): I was like, you're not going to work today. I'm, I think she's coming. And he's like, okay. He's like, I'll stay home. So I had an OB appointment that day. Anyway, this was a Thursday, I believe this was the 21st of July, and my appointment was at two o'clock, and now I'm just waiting around the house timing the contractions, about 30 minutes apart. And then my husband forgot to count some of the contractions, and we walked to C V s and we're walking around, and I had maybe six or seven contractions within 15 minutes there, and I was like, so we're leaving the store. And I was like, did you log those? He goes, no. And I was like, oh, no. I was like, I don't know how far apart they are. We go to the hospital. I was like, alright, we just have to make it to our doctor's office.

(00:30:58): I'm like, let's just head there now. We'll go a little bit early if I'm on labor, at least it's in her office. So we go and she checks me out and she's like, yeah. She's like, you're in early labor. She's like, do you want a sweep? And I was like, ah, yeah, sure. I was like, let's do it. My husband almost passed out. He was like, what just happened? And she goes to me. She's like, all right, what street do you live on? Meanwhile, her office is on Sunday, ninth street. I live on 170 third. She was like, all right, we're going to have this baby tonight. She was like, how far do you live? I was like, I live about a hundred blocks from here. She's like, you're going to walk as far home as possible, have sex, and then I'll see you later. And I was like, oh, I could barely walk here. I was like, you want me to walk home? And she's like, as far as you can. I was like, I'll give you a half a block. That's not working.

Dr. Nicole (00:31:57): That's all I got in me right now. She

Amber (00:31:59): Was like, alright, let's see how you do. She's like, well, before you go, do you want to do a non-stress test? And I was like, good, why not? I was like, let's do it. Why not make sure everything's okay? She did a non-stress test on the baby for about 30 minutes, and she came into the room. She was like, I don't like what I'm seeing. Every contraction that I had, the baby's heart rate kept decelerating, and she was like, give me a second. I need to figure out if I need to send you to l and D right now. She's like, I have to call them. So 10 minutes later, she walked in and she was like, all right, forget what I said. She's like, you're going to l and D right now. She told my husband, she's like, you go home, get the hospital bag.

(00:32:41): And she's like, she pointed to me. She's like, you're going to go to L and d. We're having a baby. I was like, am I getting induced? And she's like, yep. She's like, we got to get this baby out. I was like, oh my goodness. Okay. I was like, this is real. I got really stressed out. I got really scared because I never thought about the heart rate and contractions, and I just remember looking at John, I was like, I'm really hungry. Can we go get tacos? And then dropped me off at l and d, so we went and got tacos. He dropped me off and I feel like we should have went and got the hospital bag together, because once I got to the hospital, and it was just me, because I also called the doula to let her know, and she seemed hesitant to come.

(00:33:31): She was like, okay. She was like, well, it's going to be a little while before you have the baby. It takes a while to set up the Pitocin. She is like, I'll get there in a couple hours. And I was like, okay. I was like, well, I don't know what I'm doing. I just go. She's like, yeah, just go. They'll set you up. And I was like, all right. So John goes, get the hospital back. I go to l and d, they check me in right away. It wasn't even, I didn't have to wait or anything. They're like, all right, let's go. They brought me into the delivery room, set me up. They set up the IV in my hand, which really hurt, and I don't do well with needles. I am strong and brave in a lot of other areas, but not with needles.

Dr. Nicole (00:34:17): I can't watch myself getting my blood drawn. I just,

Amber (00:34:20): Oh, no. I set up with smelling salt and a wet rag, and they, they're like, you okay? I was like, I don't want to pass out on you. I was like, because I've scared a few nurses. I'm like, I'm not trying to scare you. Exactly. Exactly. So she's setting up, she puts the needle in my hand, and I was like, Ooh, that really hurts. I'm like, can you put that somewhere else? And she was like, no, she's, it goes there. And I was like, okay. I was like, that was abrupt. An abrasive comment. They're doing all the intake forms where they're setting everything up. The OB comes in, who's on call, and she introduced herself and she's like, we're going to start the low dose Pitocin. She's like, do you want the epidural now? And I was like, no, but I would like to share my birth wishes with you before we get started.

(00:35:11): I was like, my husband's not here. The doula's not here. I would rather wait until everyone's here before we begin anything, and she's like, no, you're sent here for an induction. We need to set this up as soon as possible. I was like, this feels very rushed. So I started panicking because I was alone. I was by myself and I was like, what if they do something that I don't want them to do, and I feel like I can't speak for myself right now? She had a very strong demeanor about herself, and she set the pitocin up and she left, and then I didn't realize how painful contractions can be with Pitocin. I was warned through research that I've done, but you don't realize it until you're going through

Dr. Nicole (00:35:59): It, until you're in it.

Amber (00:36:01): So I didn't want that epidural. I was going to try to hold out without it, and she set it up. My husband got there about an hour later, an hour and a half later, and they didn't tell me that the Pitocin increases every 30 minutes. I just thought it was a specific dose, and when I left the obs office, I was actually two centimeters dilated. By the time I got to the hospital, I was already four centimeters dilated on my own.

Dr. Nicole (00:36:30): Oh, so why didn't they just maybe see what happened?

Amber (00:36:34): That's what I wanted to do, but because they were concerned about the baby's heart rate, they were like, you're here for an induction. This is why we processed you in and you have a bed today because this is an emergency induction. I was like, okay. So then Pitocin kept increasing, and then it started getting so painful to the point where I am trying to remember everything, but I just remember it feeling like my back was breaking.

Dr. Nicole (00:37:03): Oh, god.

Amber (00:37:04): And screaming. I was screaming and I told my husband, I was like, please tell him to shut the Pitocin off. I can't take it. My husband's very polite, very well mannered, and he asked the doctor, can you please? She's in a lot of pain. He even said, he is like, I'm scared, and she was like, no, I can't shut it off. So he comes back in and it just kept intensifying, and it literally just felt like verte by vertebrae was just snapping, and I was begging her. I was like, please shut this off. Give me a minute to breathe. Instead, they put an oxygen mask on me and kept the pitocin on. Then my husband actually got upset and yelled at the doctor and was like, you need to shut that off right now so I could talk to her about the epidural. Let me talk to her. So the doctor comes in and she is like, I don't understand why you won't get the epidural, and I just looked at her girl,

Dr. Nicole (00:38:04): I mean, you make me want to fight right now.

Amber (00:38:09): I looked at her, I was crying so hard. I had snot running down my face, and I just looked at her and I cursed at her. I was like, shut the F and Pitocin off right now. I was like,

Dr. Nicole (00:38:22): I said what? I said,

Amber (00:38:23): And so she did it. She did it, and the anesthesiologist came in and he explained the epidural to me, and I felt like in a sense I was raising a white flag. Okay, I give up. I'm not going to fight anymore. So I was actually upset about that because my thought process on getting the epidural was, I'll get it if my labor stops progressing and I need to relax. That was the condition that I gave myself. And then I also discussed with my obstetrician, so the anesthesiologist came in, he did the epidural, and now everything I want to do birth wise, birthing position out the window.

Dr. Nicole (00:39:02): Lemme back up. Did they offer you any IV pain medication or anything?

Amber (00:39:08): No, nothing.

Dr. Nicole (00:39:10): Just it was epidural or nothing,

Amber (00:39:13): And I was in so much pain that I forgot to ask about the laughing gas. I researched all the options. Yeah.

Dr. Nicole (00:39:22): Okay. Okay. And then was your doula there? When did your doula get there? She

Amber (00:39:26): Got there around, I'm going to say I got checked in around five 30. She got there around nine 30. She got there around nine 30 because my husband called her and was like, she's in a lot of pain. Can you please come here? And she got there at around 10. I'm already doped up on the epidural. I'm stewing in my feelings at this moment where I was very upset. I couldn't feel my legs. I was actually borderline panicking because I couldn't feel my legs.

Dr. Nicole (00:40:04): You bring up a really good point for some people. It's really, I don't know how to describe it. It's like you're disassociated from your body because you know it's there, but you can't feel it, and that can be a very uncomfortable feeling.

Amber (00:40:17): And then they put the, I believe, was it the catheter in your bladder? That's one of the things that I did not want. I want it to be mobile and walk around, and I was so worried about getting an infection with the catheter. All these things were going through my head. So much anxiety was coming to the surface, and I just remember crying to my husband saying, I did all this stuff. I was like, and I still ended up with the epidural and with tubes attached to me. I'm like, and I can't move. I can't birth in the position that I wanted to. I feel like that was taken away from me, and the nurses kept running in every hour because as the contractions were getting more intense, the baby's heart rate kept celery even more. So now I start hearing C-section and I'm like, no.

(00:41:09): I was like, absolutely not. I'm like, no. I'm like, I'm going to have this baby vaginally. So after flipping me and left, I couldn't lay on my back because that made the contractions de cell even more. If I laid on my left deceleration even more, I had to only lay on my right side, and if I breathe through contractions and actually pushed my stomach out based off of what I was seeing on the monitor, her heart rate stayed normal. So I didn't sleep because I was like, I'm not having a C-section. I'm going to stay up and I'm going to breathe through every single contraction here. I'm going to not take my eyes off that monitor and I'm going to keep her heart rate steady. So that's what I did.

Dr. Nicole (00:41:55): And was the Pitocin still on?

Amber (00:41:57): Yep, Pitocin was still on. It was still on, and then around, I think right after I got the epidural too, and this is when the doula was here at this point, the doctor came in and she was like, okay, time to break your water. And I was like, you're not breaking my water. And she's like, this is the process of an induction. I was like, no, because my water could break as I push. I was like, you're not breaking it, I'm sorry. She's like, we need to get the baby out. I was like, I'm sorry, is this bed being rented soon? So she looked at me and my husband just put his hands in his face and the doula just stared at me, and I was like, no, really? I was like, I feel so rushed here. I'm like, I can't rush this. I was like, I'm having a baby. I can't rush this. I'm like, you want to do all the things within five minutes? I was like, I'm scared. I'm nervous. You put a catheter in me, I'm cranky and I'm tired. And she was like, well, I'm going to have to break it at some point. I was like, can you come back later? And I looked at the doula and she was like, yeah, you can ask her to come back later. And I'm thinking, I'm like, yo. I'm like, can you get in my corner right now and be like, go away,

Dr. Nicole (00:43:16): Say something.

Amber (00:43:18): So I feel like my husband had more input than her, and he was more of a doula. He was a fantastic doula, so she was like, okay, I'll come back. Tell me when I'm like, I don't know much later, I'm come back much later. So she came back three hours later. Then she's like,

Dr. Nicole (00:43:39): Okay. Do you think if she would've come in and she would've sat down and said, okay, here are the things that we can do here are the risk, the benefits, and presented it more of as a discussion and an option that it could have changed the energy around things. Do you think that that's fair to say?

Amber (00:44:00): I think that's really fair to say. I think that's so fair to say, because her method was this is what we're doing, and I think when you're two people that have two different plans to get to the same destination, you're like, whoa, hold up. Wait a minute. I think she was trying to go the shortcut and I was just trying to stay the course, and she came back in and she was like, did you decide when I could break your water? And I was like, well, you're going to keep bothering me, so go ahead. And she broke it and she's like, this is going to speed everything up so much faster. I was like, I doubt it, but thank you. And she left and my labor sold and I didn't dilate. I stopped dilating.

Dr. Nicole (00:44:51): How far, far you do? You remember?

Amber (00:44:54): I was about six centimeters dilated and I mean everything was going smoothly on my own until she broke that water. Then I think it was like five o'clock in the morning, they came in, they're like, the nurse came in. She's like, we're going to do an amnioinfusion. I was like, what is that? I was like, that doesn't sound nice. And she's like, we're going to put water back into the sack, and I lost my mind. I probably called the doctor every name in the book. I told her she was wrong, and I told her that she should have just listened to me. I didn't have to go through this. This is another expense that I'm going to be billed for.

Dr. Nicole (00:45:30): Oh, you went all in?

Amber (00:45:32): Oh, yeah.

(00:45:34): I was very upset because I felt like everything was getting ripped away from me that I wanted to do and that I planned to do. I felt less of a human and more of just a number on her induction ticket, and I think that upset me the most. I wasn't treated like a human being to her. So yeah, so they did the amnioinfusion, and then I was just really in my feelings at that point. Thankfully, I think it was around seven o'clock in the morning, they did a switch of staff and I got a new OB who was definitely a ray of sunshine. So everything started to turn around and be a lot less complicated, and once she got there and she introduced herself and she let me know that she knows what was going on and that she's going to try to be as supportive as possible, and that was very soothing, I think. I remember looking at my husband, I was like, oh, thank God. Oh my. Thank God. I was like, I feel so much better. And then once that happened, labor started picking back up again. I started dilating again. So I feel like the energy and the demeanor of providers is super important on the stress of the mom. I feel like I was just so scared at that point. Just everything stopped,

(00:47:06): And I was also so hungry they wouldn't feed me, so I had to sneak snacks in there too. I wish

Dr. Nicole (00:47:12): We wouldn't do that, but that unfortunately happens too. Yeah, yeah.

Amber (00:47:17): She actually scolded me. She called me eating a granola bar. She's like, you can't eat. And I was like, I'm hungry. I'm starving. Excuse me.

Dr. Nicole (00:47:23): Yes.

Amber (00:47:27): So every time someone would come in, I hide something behind my pillow. I remember throwing a protein bar at my husband. I was like, catch this. They're coming in. But yeah, then they kept checking me and I was dilating, and I think by the time I got to, I was about nine and a half centimeters dilated, and at this point I felt like I was playing host with my doula, so she was just like, I remember she looked at her watch and she was like, we're probably going to be here for a few more hours. I don't think the baby's going to come anytime soon. Do you mind if I go to walk my dog? I was like, do you want to go walk your dog? I was like, what? And my husband had left the room to go give our house keys to my dad so he could take care of our dog.

(00:48:19): And I was like, you're going to go walk your dog. And she lives in Brooklyn, and now I'm in Manhattan and it's Friday Traffic City. At that point, I was like, yeah, you're not coming back. I was like, okay. I was like, yeah, go walk your dog. And she was like, yeah, by the time you'll be here, by the time I get back, you'll probably be ready to push. I was like, I'm nine and a half centimeters dilated, but I don't know anything. This is my first rodeo. So I was like, okay, I see you later. She leaves, the doctor comes in and she's like, all right, let's check you. And I was like, oh, it's probably still nine and a half. And she's like, actually, she's like, if I push this in, and she pushed my cervix in and she's like, you're a 10 time the push.

(00:49:03): I was like, the Tula just left. I was like, can we wait? She's like, no, the baby needs to come out because probably about 10 minutes before, no, 30 minutes before this happened, the baby's heart rate decelerating to have actually a very dangerous level, and probably about seven nurses ran in and they were talking. I wasn't even there. They were like the, or do we prep it? I was like, excuse me. Explain to me what's going on. I was like, her heart rate's fine. It's okay. They're like, no, it dropped below a certain point and this is what we have to worry. So that's when the doctor came in. She's like, oh, you're nine and a half. Let me come back in a little bit. And then when she came back in within the 30 minutes, she pushed it and she was like, you're 10 baby's coming out right now.

(00:49:51): We're going to start pushing. And my husband had just walked back in the room. I was like, it's time. I'm like, baby's coming. And he was like, where's the doula? I was like, she wants to go walk her dog. I was like, she's fucking her dog. I'm like, she'll be back later. And he was like, she wants to go. What? I was like, yeah. I was like, it's fine. I was like, it's okay. I'm like, we don't need her. I'm like, we definitely don't need her. We got this. And he was like, no, we got this. I was like, we got this, and I'm crying, and I was like, we don't got this.

(00:50:18): I am panicking at this point. And the doctor was like, it's okay. Relax. I was like, please don't let my butt rip. Please. Yes. And she is like, okay, that's the goal. I was like, I don't want app episiotomy though. I was like, please don't cut me. I'm like, don't cut me anywhere. And she is like, all, so here's the goal. Baby's going to come out and we're not going to rip. I was like, okay, all we can do this. And I just remember I was just shaking, just shaking. I was like, I don't think I can do this. And then we pushed probably about 12 pushes and she was out. Oh,

Dr. Nicole (00:50:57): That's not long at

Amber (00:50:58): All. No, no. She was out real quick and it was the coolest feeling in the whole world. Yeah, my mind was blown. You just see your stomach deflate and you just feel this pressure relief, and I was like, whoa. And my husband's recording the whole thing. I'm like, whatcha doing? He's like, this is so cool. He's like, do you want to see? I'm like, no, I'm living it. I don't want to see.

Dr. Nicole (00:51:29): And did they do skin to skin contact and things like that?

Amber (00:51:32): We did, yeah. As soon as she came out, they put her right on my chest and it was just so magical. It was so magical. Her eyes were wide open. She was super observant, so we did skin to skin, me and her, my husband and her, and it was just so wonderful. Nice,

Dr. Nicole (00:51:52): Nice. Did they do delayed cord clamping also?

Amber (00:51:54): They did. Okay. Yes, they did. For a while. They left the cord on while she was stitching me up.

Dr. Nicole (00:52:00): Okay, okay. Oh, so you did have a tear?

Amber (00:52:03): I had a tear. Not in the perennial, but everywhere else, which I did not expect. That was, she was like, good news. Your butt did not rip. I was like, yes. She was like, but you do have some tears. It was mostly inner and then on the labia. Yeah.

Dr. Nicole (00:52:23): Yeah. Sometimes you have tears inside the vagina, so you can look outside and you may not see a whole lot, but inside there can sometimes be some tears. Yeah,

Amber (00:52:30): Yeah, yeah. She tore me from the inside out. Okay.

Dr. Nicole (00:52:37): But she's so cute though, I'm sure.

Amber (00:52:38): Oh, yeah. No, she's so sweet and cute. Sometimes I'm like, oh my, how did I make you? Oh, how is this even possible?

Dr. Nicole (00:52:46): And then did you breastfeed?

Amber (00:52:47): I tried. So we tried in the hospital. She latched right away. As soon as we gave birth, she latched right away without a problem too, so they didn't have to call a lactation consultant. And then the two days that we were in the hospital that I was breastfeeding, I didn't realize that she was latching wrong. So yeah, my nipple started to bleed. So I actually was trying to do the nipple shield that they were showing me, but they only showed me two positions to hold her, which were uncomfortable from where I tore because I couldn't sit. And I was like, but what if I lay on my side? They're like, no, no, you got to do it like this. I was like, okay, this isn't working. I was like, I don't know how this is going to work because my vagina really hurts right now. I was like, and I can't focus. So that was difficult. And then she ended up getting thrush, and I was like, your mouth is not going on me.

(00:53:45): So that was a month long process for her thrush, but I tried pumping, but I tried to pump, but that was short-lived. It was a lot. It was very difficult. It is a lot. I couldn't bond with her the way I wanted to with how often they feed right at first. So I would feed her with the formula and with the bottle or with breast milk, and then I would have to go and pump right away, and it's like I felt like I couldn't spend time with her. It was so demanding mentally that I did it for four weeks, and I was like, you know what? I'm like, I don't think this is mentally right for me because I am not spending time with her and I want to spend time with her and I want to feel a connection with her.

Dr. Nicole (00:54:32): Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. And then did you see the pelvic physical therapist postpartum?

Amber (00:54:37): I did. I, I saw her after my six week checkup, and I did a couple sessions with her and she said that everything was looking great. Pelvic floor was strong, surprisingly right after birth. And then as a trainer, I already started rehab for my core and to heal the gap that I did get from pregnancy, so that was almost closed by the time I did see her. So she was like, just keep doing what you're doing. She's like, that's working. Okay,

Dr. Nicole (00:55:08): Awesome. So overall then, how do you feel about your birth experience and postpartum?

Amber (00:55:14): I feel like it was a roller coaster. My pregnancy was fantastic. I can't really complain about it besides the swelling that I had towards the end, the uncomfortability, but pregnancy was easy. Labor was, that was hard. That was tough. Birth itself was easy. That was easy for me, pushing her out and having my husband there, that was an easy part. I think the hardest part out of all of it was the postpartum phase. I did so much to prepare for birth and to have a strong pregnancy. And as far as postpartum, things that I prepared for were making sure I was nutritionally adequate. I wanted to make sure that I was eating the right foods to heal well, and I had a whole system in place, food-wise, postpartum, but I didn't realize the mental impact it would have on me. Sure. I come from running my own business.

(00:56:17): I don't have to depend on anybody. I would always just depend on myself, and I didn't know that was a factor for being so type A was a huge factor for postpartum depression. And I remember being at my follow-up at my six week appointment and I unloaded on her and she was like, you need help. She was like, you need to see somebody. And I got hit with postpartum depression really hard, and I remember telling her, I'm like, my life is not bad. I was like, I have a wonderful husband, a beautiful baby. I have a job. I'm like, I don't understand why I'm so sad right now. I'm like, and it's the debilitating. And she's like, it's not your fault. It's your hormones.

(00:57:05): It gets better down the road. She's like, but you should see somebody. And that was a whole nother fight in itself trying to get the postpartum care in line. I had to wait three months to see a therapist. Oh my God. Yeah. Okay. So I had to wait three months and I was scared for myself where I thought about going to the hospital to check myself into the hospital because I wasn't sure, am I safe to be around myself? I knew I would never do anything to my kid, but I wasn't sure. Stepping out in traffic seems a lot easier in the moment, and I just remember when I had that moment, I just remember crying to my husband. I'm like, I need to see somebody. So I made an appointment with this therapist and they were booked until November, and this was in September when I called 'em and when I got to the appointment, she told me she wasn't taking on new clients.

(00:58:13): Oh my God. Yeah. So she wanted to just give me medication and send me on my way, and probably she's like, I could link you up with someone else. She was like, but yeah, you do need help, but I'm not taking on anybody. And I'm like, I can't take medication without the guidance of someone. Sure. Yeah. I don't feel comfortable doing that. So that was tough going through all that and really trying to hold myself above water and be there and try to survive that essentially on my own. And I liked that. I was in a mom group with other moms who had babies in July that I found on Facebook. Oh, that's nice. That was very helpful. It was really helpful to talk with 'em and kind of have that little village, even though it was virtually, we were all in the same boat and a lot of us were going through the same thing.

(00:59:04): And I finally saw a therapist at the end of December, but we weren't a good fit when he has no kids. Yeah. Doesn't know what it's like marriage, all that. I told him, I was like, I think you're great. I'm like, but we're not a good fit. You can't be a provider for me. I'm sorry. And then they told me that they have someone new coming on in the spring. I was like, I can't wait. I was like, I need help now. So I ended up paying out of pocket for a therapist briefly, and that was very helpful. I needed, that helped me pull me through that last bit of postpartum depression. Gotcha,

Dr. Nicole (00:59:47): Gotcha, gotcha. Okay. Did you ever start on medicine or did therapy once you got therapy that finally helped?

Amber (00:59:54): Therapy helped a lot. Talking about it helped a lot. I wanted to try the talk first approach before taking medication, but I was open to it. I was definitely open to it. Yeah, absolutely. I think medication's really important, especially if talking doesn't help. Sure,

Dr. Nicole (01:00:10): Yeah. But you want to start with talking first for sure. Yeah. And did the doula ever show back up? Did she ever, what happened with her?

Amber (01:00:21): She showed up. I was such a cranky lady when she showed up. I was like, I don't, she's like, oh, we have our postpartum visit. And I was just like, oh God. I'm like, I don't want to host you. I was like, you left to go walk your dog. I'm like, I don't want you in my house. But my husband always tells me, you got to take the high road. He was like, got to be nice, Amber. And I was like, I'm like, all right, fine. She came over, she spent about an hour at the house and it was just such a long hour. I was like, please leave. I was like, you could go. But she was like, how are you doing? I'm like, I'm doing good. Everything's great. It is so fantastic. And I tried to keep it as short as possible. I made her a coffee and I just sent her on her way.

Dr. Nicole (01:01:15): Okay. Okay. All right. Well, that's that. So then as we wrap up then, what is your one favorite piece of advice that you would give to someone who's expecting a baby?

Amber (01:01:27): My favorite piece of advice? I would say have a strategy, but roll with the punches. Just roll with it, go with the flow, and if it doesn't feel right to you, stand up for yourself because you are your best advocate. And if it doesn't sit well with your gut, you need to speak up.

Dr. Nicole (01:01:44): Absolutely. Absolutely. So where can people connect with you if they want to connect with you and what you do?

Amber (01:01:48): Yeah, yeah. So I am a registered dietician and personal trainer. I do work in the maternal space. I work with pregnant women on staying strong throughout pregnancy and with their nutrition. I also work on postpartum recovery through fitness and nutrition. And then you can find me on Instagram. It's Naked Wellness.

Dr. Nicole (01:02:10): Okay. All right. And we will link that in the show notes. Well, thank you so much, Amber, for agreeing to come onto the podcast. I'm really glad you got to share your story. Even though things didn't go exactly as anticipated, people need to hear all of the things that are possible, and I just know that this is going to be helpful for someone. Yeah,

Amber (01:02:27): Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.

Dr. Nicole (01:02:37): Wasn't that a great story? I love how Amber was really confident in advocating for herself and really prepared and did all of the things that she could do in order to have the best birth experience and control all of the things that she could control. Now, after every episode when I have a guest on, I do something called Dr. Nicole's notes, which are my top takeaways from my conversation. So here are my Dr. Nicole's notes from my conversation with Amber. Number one, we do a terrible job of having patients with the labor and birth process in the hospital. That's just something we're not great at. That's why I tell people to stay at home as long as you can because it's like we can't help but do something when people get to the hospital. And I say all that to say that they absolutely could have waited until her husband came in order to get things started with the induction.

(01:03:28): She was there, she was on the monitor. They were looking at things. They could see if the baby was in any sort of distress and intervene if needed. It really wasn't necessary to suddenly rush and push her and not give her the opportunity to wait for her husband to come. Sometimes you just have to slow things down and say, is there a problem with me waiting? Is it bad to wait? There are rarely true, true emergencies like rip the cord out of the wall. Emergencies in obstetrics. People sometimes think it's an emergency, it may be urgent and things may need to happen quickly, but true emergencies are like we are running. It's an emergency. So you generally always have some time to wait. So feel comfortable saying, Hey, you know what? I'm just going to wait. Give me a second to think about it. I want my husband to be here.

(01:04:15): Those kinds of things. You absolutely deserve that time. Okay, number two. She talked a bit about how she got some virtual support to help her during her postpartum period especially, and that can be really important. The Internets can be crazy spaces, but it can also be a place to really connect with people and get support that you need. That's the community I've created in my Facebook group. The all about pregnancy and birth inner circle community. If you have not joined, definitely come join. It's a really supportive open place. You can ask questions. I do Q and as there. Just search Dr. Nicole Rankins on Facebook and I think it's facebook.com/group/drNicoleRankins. We'll link it up in the show notes, but definitely come join us in that virtual community there. Okay, next up is the two are kind of related. Pregnancy is not a disease.

(01:05:11): I loved how Amber was able to stay active during her pregnancy. Now, you may not be boxing like she was, but you can move your body during your pregnancy, going for walks, doing prenatal yoga. There are so many YouTube videos with free prenatal. Sarah Beth Yoga is one that I used to like. So you can keep your body active and that may help you with your weight during pregnancy. Now, don't throw things at me. I'm not saying that you have to be obsessive about your weight, but it's just another way to help you stay in the healthiest way possible is moving your body. And actually, I never focused on people's weight gain during pregnancy because there are some people who, no matter what they do, they're going to gain 50 pounds. They just gain 50 pounds. Or some people who don't necessarily gain as much, and I shouldn't say I completely ignored it or anything like that.

(01:06:11): But what I would focus on telling people to do is control the things that they can control. So if you're eating healthy, if you're moving your body, do not obsess about the numbers on the scale. Feel free to say like, I'm not going to get on the scale if you don't want to get on the scale, because that one number isn't always indicative and it's not the best indicator really of your health and wellbeing during pregnancy. Just control the things you can control. Eat the healthiest diet. You can move your body and do your best in that area. And speaking of control, what you can control, another thing that you can absolutely control is how educated you are going into your birth. This is so, so important. Everybody needs to do childbirth education. It's really one of the big things that helps you be prepared and helps you advocate for yourself.

(01:07:00): It helps to reduce that fear. Fear can stop birth, and I mean that for real. I've seen situations where people are so scared being in the hospital, it will stop birth actually outside of humans. Mammals in general, if they get scared during labor, their labor will stop. We have that same thing that happens to us if we get really, really scared. It just stops the labor process because you're in that fight or flight response of trying to preserve yourself. So helping to reduce that fear, education is an important part of that. That's why I would love to see you in my birth plan class, make a birth plan the right way. It's a great place for you to get started in order to get that information that you need to really be prepared and advocate for yourself during your pregnancy. That's drnicolerankins.com/birthplan, and it's happening live on August 29th.

(01:07:52): Alright, so there you have it. Do me a favor share this podcast with the friend. Sharing is caring. It helps me to reach and serve more pregnant folks. That's just my heart, soul, and passion. And I want to reach millions. Yes, there are 4 million people that have a baby in the US each year. I want to reach at least half of them. 2 million people. Okay, 2 million people with my podcast. I want to reach every episode. Let's just go for it. Let's just go for it. And I would love your help in doing that. Also, be sure to subscribe to the podcast wherever you're listening to me right now, and leave me an honest review an Apple podcast or shoot me a DM on Instagram. I'm on Instagram @DrNicoleRankins. I'd love to hear what you think about the show, love, show suggestions, all of that. Good. Great stuff. So that's it for this episode. Do come on back next week and remember that you deserve a beautiful pregnancy and birth.