Ep 61: Emilee’s Birth Story – Learning to Have Healthy Pregnancies After An Unhealthy One

Listen and Subscribe On...

I'm so happy to be bringing you an uplifting birth story episode today, and this one was particularly fun. This time I'm talking with Emilee Wilson, a health coach and mom of two (soon to be three!).

Emilee was pregnant with her first baby at just 19, an experience that completely reshaped her worldview. After having what she called "an unhealthy pregnancy" and being induced due to preeclampsia, Emilee committed to her health in a new way in the postpartum period. 

In this episode Emilee talks about her first pregnancy and birth, the health changes she made after her son arrived and how that pregnancy changed her approach to her second and now third pregnancies. We discuss her decision to become a health coach and why she wanted to have unmedicated births, and Emilee also shares how she deals with some of the guilt around her first pregnancy and her advice for other moms.

By the way - I've updated my free online class on How To Make A Birth Plan That Works! with new information about COVID-19. The class will help you prepare for your birth and adapt your plans regarding the coronavirus. You can find out everything you need to know about the class here!

In this Episode, You’ll Learn About:

  • Emilee's first pregnancy and birth experience and why she felt she was "unhealthy"
  • Why it's so important to listen to your body if you think something is wrong while pregnant
  • How Emilee recovered from being induced with her firstborn due to undiagnosed preeclampsia
  • Why you should prepare for your birth and have a plan for medication, delivery, etcetera
  • How Emilee's first pregnancy changed her perspective on health and wellness
  • Why you should give yourself some grace and remember that you can always make a new choice

Links Mentioned in the Episode

Come Join Me On Instagram

I want this podcast to be more than a one sided conversation. Join me on Instagram where we can connect outside of the show! Through my posts, videos, and stories, you'll get even more helpful tips to ensure you have a beautiful pregnancy and birth. You can find me on Instagram @drnicolerankins. I'll see you there!

Share with Friends


Speaker 1: Today's episode is an inspiring and uplifting birth story episode. You will definitely want to hear this.

Speaker 2: Welcome to the All About Pregnancy & Birth podcast. I'm Dr. Nicole Calloway Rankins, a practicing board certified Ob Gyn who's had the privilege of helping hundreds of moms bring their babies into this world. I'm here to help you be knowledgeable, prepared, confident, and empowered to have your best pregnancy and birth. Quick note, this podcast is for educational purposes only and it's not a substitute for medical advice. Check out the full disclaimer at www.ncrcoaching.com/disclaimer. Now let's get to it.

Speaker 1: Hello there. Welcome to another episode of the podcast. This is episode number 61. I'm so glad you're spending some time with me today. All right, so today we have a birth story episode and it's a really inspiring story. Emilee Wilson is a personal trainer, health coach and a self proclaimed foodie. She had two sons almost seven years apart. She was 19 when she had her first one and then the second one at 26, and with her first son she had what she describes as the most unhealthy pregnancy possible and the pregnancy ended in preeclampsia and a premature baby. Now with her second son, she turned things around, did things differently, had a very healthy pregnancy where she made health a priority and she had that son unmedicated, quick birth and a super fast recovery. Now her scary, unhealthy pregnancy with her first son, led her to find her passion and calling in life as a health coach.

Speaker 1: And now 10 years later she has coached over 300 clients and she is super passionate about helping other women change their lives. So today Emilee and I talk about exactly what she means when she says her first pregnancy was unhealthy, as well as the pain she still feels today from that birth. We talk about how she was able to have a completely different approach for her second baby, as well as her current pregnancy. She's pregnant with her third baby right now. Also how she manages the guilt from those different experiences. And then just so much more advice is sprinkled throughout the episode so I know you will learn a lot.

: Now before we get into the episode, at the time this podcast is being released, we're in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic and if you've listened to this podcast before, you know I have a free class on how to make your birth plan. Well, I want you to know that I redid the class with some new recommendations regarding making your birth wishes in the midst of Coronavirus. You can go to www.ncrcoaching.com/register to sign up. The class is still on demand, still offered several times a day and this new version of the class will be there as long as we have the things in place related to Coronavirus. The previous version will come back once all this has settled, which it will eventually do, but in the meantime, to give you those updated recommendations, check out the new class at www.ncrcoaching.com/register. It's totally free.

: All right, let's get into the episode with Emilee.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Thank you so much Emilee, for agreeing to come on the podcast. You have a really interesting story and I appreciate you coming on to share it.

Speaker 4: Emilee: Yeah, absolutely. I'm happy to share it and hopefully it can be of help to some women out there, either in their pregnancy or you know, in the future. So I definitely hope it's helpful for them.

: Nicole: Absolutely. Why don't we have you start off by having you tell us about yourself, your work and your family?

Speaker 4: Emilee; Yeah, absolutely. I'm 30 years old, and I have been a personal trainer health coach for coming up on 11 years now.

: Nicole: Oh wow.

: Emilee: Yes. And I've been in the military for almost eight years as well. I'm married to my husband Adrian, who also serves with me and he is a police officer full time. And then we have two boys, and a third on the way. An almost 11 year old and then an almost four year old and then one is in the oven. So we'll see. We'll see how that goes.

: Nicole: And is this third one a boy as well?

: Emilee: Yes, it is. It is.

: Nicole: You are totally outnumbered.

: Emilee: I am officially 100% out numbered. Yes.

: Nicole: And I'm curious, what branch of the military do you serve in?

: Emilee: I am in the Air National Guard, so I do the part time kind of thing for the air force.

: Nicole: Okay. Awesome. Well thank you for your service.

: Emilee: Oh, thank you so much. I appreciate that.

: Nicole: Yeah. So let's start with talking about your first pregnancy. I know you were young at the time, 19. Was this a surprise pregnancy for you?

Speaker 4: Emilee: Oh yes. I don't know too many people who plan a baby at 19, but um, uh, yeah and actually my, my first son is from a previous marriage, so I married my high school sweetheart and you know, we got pregnant literally, I graduated high school in May and then I got pregnant in November of that same year. And I was obviously very young at the time we got married so that he could join the active duty Marine Corps. Cause we were both like, you know, we're kids, we have nothing to really, you know, take care of a baby right now. So we went that path of getting married so he could join and kind of have a support system there. And you know, unfortunately that marriage didn't work out, you know, who knew. So yeah, that was definitely a different experience and not something that we had planned.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Gotcha, gotcha. You said that that pregnancy was unhealthy. That was part of the reason, you know, you wanted to share your story. So what do you mean when you say that that pregnancy was unhealthy for you?

Speaker 4: Emilee: I always say that I took full advantage of being pregnant. You know, I thought that it meant you eat whatever you want because you're pregnant. And I was very naive to how much your body changes. So I'm like, ah, whatever happens now I'm just going to bounce back anyways, whatever, you know, just really had no idea what I was doing. So I would literally, I remember I sat down one day and I literally ate an entire bag of like 36 pizza rolls. Like I ate them all. Like to this day I still cannot eat them. I slept really like 14 to 16 hours a day. It was, I was like a koala. It was crazy. And, I packed on all this weight and again, I just, I was like, Oh, it's cause I'm pregnant. That's why. And I ended up putting on, you know, close to 75 pounds before I was even full term. And in one month I put on 25 pounds alone. I took full advantage of it. I was 0% active. I didn't care about anything that I ate and the weight came on with it.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Gotcha. So just really, you ate whatever you want and the choices that you may have weren't exactly great.

Speaker 4: Emilee: Yeah. Yeah. It was kind of like, I put life on pause while I was pregnant and I was like, you're pregnant. You can do whatever you want right now and you're not expected to do anything more.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Okay. Anything else? Like any alcohol use or smoking or anything like that?

Speaker 4: Emilee: No. You know, I've always been a square. I'm not really cool. So, I didn't dabble in that realm at all. It was really like food was my drug. And I worked at Subway at the time, so I got to close every night and you know, all the sugar cookies, anything left over was on me, so I just took it home and fully indulged there.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Okay. Okay. So then what was your prenatal care like during that pregnancy?

Speaker 4: Emilee: So at the time, you know, I chose to go to a midwife and I'd always wanted to use a midwife, probably because my mom had used midwives. I remembered her story. I was actually born at home on purpose and so it was just kinda in my head to use a midwife. So I went and utilized that through Medicaid. I delivered at our big hospital here and it was my entire pregnancy in all honesty was just pretty much me getting yelled at about my weight. But other than that it was fairly straight forward. Nothing crazy.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Okay. Okay. Do you think she was supportive and trying to help you or was it like chastising or what do you think?

Speaker 4: Emilee: As an older adult now, I look back and see that it was her being, you know, a medical professional and giving me advice I needed. But at the time I just remember being like super nervous before every appointment cause they weighed you every time. And I knew she was going to have a comment to say to me and I remember having a lot of anxiety around that. But again, as an adult now I'm like, well yeah, she was doing her job of advising you because I was also very honest with her about, you know, what I was eating and like why I was packing it on. So she had very good reason to be talking to me about those things.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Gotcha, gotcha. Looking back, do you think that there's a way that she could have approached it differently that would have made you, and I know we're going to get to how you chose differently for your subsequent pregnancies, but do you think there was anything that she could've said or done that would have made you make some changes during that pregnancy?

Speaker 4: Emilee: Probably if it was more of a personal conversation, if that makes sense. It was kind of like looking at the chart, going over the numbers, explaining why it was bad, and maybe if they'd come from more of like a, you know, well why are you eating so much? Well, why is this happening? Well, why do you feel that way? Why are you putting this weight on? Looking back, I can see that I was terrified to be a mom and where I was at in life and a lot of it was so emotionally driven and sure my relationship wasn't healthy at all. I was terrified about him being a dad to my child. And, you know, maybe if it would just have been more of a personal connection, but, you know, it was just kind of more so going through the numbers and the charts. These numbers are bad and this is why, let's do better next time. And that was kind of the end of it.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Gotcha. So when thinking about getting ready for your birth, and actually let me back up. I really appreciate you saying that because I think sometimes we get sort of focused on just like the numbers, the numbers, the numbers without really exploring why that happens. And I think we could go a long way if we kinda think about the why behind it and connect on that more emotional level. So that's really important. For sure. For sure. So when thinking about getting ready for your birth, was there anything that you wanted at all or were you kind of just going with the flow?

Speaker 4: Emilee: I always had in my head that I definitely wanted to try a natural delivery. And I honestly, at that time just being so young, I guess I didn't like, it's so funny having a baby at 19 and at 30, the difference of it. But I didn't think too much about it and I was just like, I'm going to try natural, what's the big deal? And it freaked me out to think of something going in my spine. And, just in my head it was honestly like I was excited about it, you know, I was excited to be a mom, as scared as I was. I was also very excited and so in my head I was just going on, my water was going to break and I was going to go to the hospital and I was going to have a baby naturally and we were going to live happily ever after. So that was my birth plan anyways.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Gotcha. Did you read any books or anything or take a class or anything like that?

Speaker 4: Emilee: No, our dog had puppies. She had 10 puppies two weeks before I had my son. And I remember like taking her through that birth and I'm like, Oh man, I got this, I got experience. Now it's a little different, but, no, you know, I did absolutely nothing and we just, we didn't have YouTube even even 11 years ago. It wasn't like the big thing to research and, yeah.

Speaker 1: Nicole: I'm trying not to laugh at you, Emilee, but you were just kind of sashaying through this thing, like show up and have a baby.

Speaker 4: Emilee: Right, right. That's what it was in my head. And I'm like, girl, this is why you don't have babies at 19. You don't even know what you're doing.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Well, so let's talk about what was your labor and birth like?

Speaker 4: Emilee: Yeah. So, I was at 35 weeks in a couple of days and I went to the emergency room, actually not at my hospital. I delivered at just one closer to me because I was having excruciating pain in like, my abdomen and I went in and they were like, well, at this point my blood pressure was high, but I was not diagnosed with preeclampsia yet. And they were like, Oh, you're just having heartburn, we're going to send you home. And I was like, you know, I've had heartburn and this is very different than that, but they sent me home. So I was home for about a day with it. And then I just remember I was at home, it was about 10 or 11 at night. And, my husband at the time was playing video games with his friends in the living room and I was like, look, man, like something is not right.

Speaker 4: Emilee: So we went to my hospital that I was meant to deliver at and we went in and I started getting woozy and the pain was just insane and they realized that my brain was swelling, my platelets in my liver had quadrupled. And I was about to seize because I was definitely preeclamptic and my blood pressure was through the roof. They were like, all right, we have to induce you now.

: Nicole: So I gotcha. So you had severe preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome.

: Emilee: Yes. Yes. And like I said, they didn't even diagnose me until right then and there when I'd gone into that. And so they said, well, I was a day or two shy of 36 weeks. So they were like, you know, weighing the pros and cons, but they were like, we're gonna do an amniocentesis to see about the development of the baby's lungs and we'll kind of go off of there and see what's going on.

Speaker 4: Emilee: Just to prepare for when he came. Well, they diagnosed him as his lungs were only 40% developed. But I'd gotten so bad at that point that they were like, we have to do this induction right now. So they ended up, well they gave me just about every pain medicine you could have just because it was so severe. And I did end up having an epidural to help with it. They gave this all to me for my, basically my liver pain. That was what was causing such those severe issues. So, I ended up having my son and I was on so many different things. In all honesty. Gosh, it's kinda hard for me to talk about it now. I don't really remember having him. I was so out of it. And he came out though and he was 4 pounds 15 ounces.

Speaker 4: Emilee: So he was a little guy, but he only had to do the required four hours in the NICU. He was perfectly healthy, just little. So the one development thing was wrong. Thank God. And I was actually unconscious for about four days after I had him. And I remember waking up and my mother-in-law at the time came running in the room and they're like, Oh my gosh, she's awake, she's awake. I was like, what are you talking about? Cause in my head I just had the baby. I didn't realize how much time had passed. And you know, all the doctors and everybody came in and were like, Emily, like you've been, you had your baby four days ago. And I was like, why? What's going on here? So I just, I remember that being obviously nothing like what I plan that was very different than my sashaying plan.

Speaker 4: Emilee: And I spent about seven, eight days in the hospital just getting my blood pressure back down. And you know, thankfully the, you know, as preeclampsia goes, the delivery was the solution. So, he was ready to go before I was, and we just went home after that.

: Nicole: Wow. That is a lot. Yeah, that is a lot. So how long did your labor induction take?

: Emilee: It was actually not long at all. It was probably five or six hours from when they started the Pitocin and I pushed about two or three times and, and he was out. So, that was my delivery all in all, you know, was pretty smooth.

: Nicole: Oh wow.

: Emilee: So, thankfully.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Yeah. Where did you, did they say you had anything like a placenta abruption or anything like that or it was just, cause sometimes when labor goes that fast it's maybe there's some issues with the placenta. I'm just curious.

Speaker 4: Emilee: Yeah. No, you know, thankfully there was nothing crazy, which is kinda wild considering the rest of the story. But yeah, it was smooth delivery.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Just trying to wrap my head around this a couple of things. Number one, I am so glad that you continue to recognize that something was wrong and you went back to the hospital, like number one because I mean you really could have had a seizure at home.

Speaker 4: Emilee: Right? Right. Yeah. And you know, at first I was like, and I think this goes through so many pregnant women's minds, like, am I being over dramatic right now? Like it, you know, like is it really that big? Should I go in? And that's why I'm such a huge advocate of I don't care what it is. It's better safe than sorry, go in, get an answer.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Absolutely yes, yes, yes, yes. And I'm just curious. I don't understand, like just thinking about what they do. I'm not sure why they did an amniocentesis. Like usually we know that babies that are born early, it doesn't, you know, you were sick, you have preeclampsia, you usually, we just deliver. So that's just interesting to me that they did an amniocentesis first at 35 weeks to decide about what to do cause it didn't ultimately change anything.

Speaker 4: Emilee: Right? And now where I am at, I look back, cause I didn't even know what an amnio was. They're like, you have to do this test. I was like, okay, like, and then you learn the complications that come with it too and you know, I know they're very small, but you know, none of that was even explained to me and I'm like, hmm. Like that all just seemed kind of weird. Now you know that I know more about it. Looking back on it. Right.

Speaker 1: Nicole: That just must have been incredibly, I mean, how did you feel after that? Like disoriented, sad, confused after the delivery? I mean, I can imagine you just went through a lot of emotions.

Speaker 4: Emilee: Yeah, I mean in all honesty, everything that hit me, like everyone was worried about me and my health, but I wasn't even thinking about that. I was like, I didn't get to change my baby's first diaper. Like I'm not the one who did that. I don't, I barely remember having him. Like I didn't get that. The moment I was looking forward to more than anything was the moment I had my baby and they handed him to me and I got to look at him and it's like, you know, they did that and I did, but I don't, I barely remember. I even see pictures of it, you know, I had people take pictures of that happening and I look back and I'm like, I don't remember that moment. And that that is to this day is still what you know, drives me crazy. And it was the main thing that I was even concerned about at the moment.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Right, right. Wow. Wow. So then let's talk about that. Going into your next pregnancy, how did all of that affect how you approached things the next time around?

Speaker 4: Emilee: Yeah. I mean I get up on my soapbox about it, but I'll tell you what, it's a night and day difference. And it wasn't even, you know, just approaching my next pregnancy. It was my life. The day we got home from the hospital with my oldest son, it wasn't about, Oh, I'm going to lose this baby weight and look good again. It was, listen, we're going to be healthy. I'm going to show you what healthy means, what it looks like. I owe this to you. It's a miracle that you're safe. And it felt like a second chance at life to me. Like I was never an athletic person. I played sports but I was the weirdo, you know, and health was never a thing on my mind. So I lost, you know, my weight and I got healthy and then by the time I had my second son, cause you know they're about seven years apart, that's just who I was.

: Emilee: So with my second son it was night and day, like never a single issue. And they told me after Gabriel, my oldest son, they're like, you're going to have blood pressure issues the rest of your life. And then with my second pregnancy they were like, Oh my gosh, that was so bad. Like we want you on the baby aspirin off day one with this. And you know, it's not like I was trying to go against my doctor obviously, but I never had one single issue with blood pressure. I was working out, not working out, but I was active three days after I had him. I had a completely natural birth. I remember every single second. I felt amazing. And it was just, it was night and day. Absolutely.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Right. So, you know, we talked about how on one hand you were kind of naive in the way that you approached pregnancy, but my gosh, this realization that you came to afterwards is incredibly powerful and not something at 19 that a lot of folks older and more experienced or however you want to say it, than you come to. So I think it's really, I don't know, it's just very admirable that it caused you to really take a whole different approach to your life.

Speaker 4: Emilee: Oh gosh. Well, thank you. I appreciate that. And you know, also as a young mom, you obviously get a lot of judgment and criticism and wow, weight will ruin your life, blah, blah, blah. But I believe everything happens for a reason. You know, whatever anybody else believes in. And I always look at my son as like, you're the one who saved me. Like, you're the one who is why I do what I do today and why I take care of myself the way that I do. So he was my driving force behind everything, that's for sure.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Gotcha. And then so that led you to, did you go get training? Is that when you became a health coach? Is that, did you get training as a health coach and or did you just sort of slowly build over time?

Speaker 4: Emilee: So here's what's kinda funny is, I'm sorry, I feel like I have a million stories. So at the time, actually one of my really close friends in high school, she had a baby a couple months just before I did. So we were the same age, pregnant at the same time. And she actually gained a hundred pounds after she had her daughter. And I'll never forget this day we were at her apartment hanging out. The kiddos were playing. And at the time they were about one, a little over one, you know, I'd already lost my weight. I was just, I wasn't coaching anyone. I was just taking care of myself and we're sitting there and she's eating a bag of hot Cheetos and she was like, Emily, you have to help me. Like, I, I can't do this anymore. I can't live like this anymore.

Speaker 4: Emilee: And I was like, absolutely. And literally starting the next day we went to the gym together every single day. I just showed her what I was doing and in 10 months she lost 130 pounds and I didn't just see, you know, she lost weight and had confidence. Like I saw her life change, everything. And that was my moment of like, this is amazing. Nothing felt so good as to help her, but it's kind of even crazy, after that I still wasn't like, Oh Emilee, you should be a trainer. For the next three years, I coached people completely for free, whoever wanted it, whenever, wherever. And just cause...

: Nicole: Emilee is out here, Emilee's out here giving away her all her best stuff.

Speaker 4: Emilee: Why not, step right up.

: Nicole: You didn't even realize you could get paid for this?

: Emilee: So then I started the process of looking at what it took to get certified, but then I had those gremlins. Like I know a lot of us do have like, who do you think you are? You don't have any formal training, why would anyone listen to you? And you know, at the time I was, you know, 22, and thinking who's going to listen to me? And then my dad passed away from very health related reasons that were all preventable. He was a self-induced type two diabetic, blah, blah blah. And that was my real thing where I was like, all right man, time to stop messing around. You need to help people, you need to save them. Like, you know, well not save them, but be the support system that helps them save themselves. And that was when everything became real for my full time, you know, focus and gig and certification and all that good stuff.

: Nicole: It's so amazing to me how much pregnancy and birth for many women is just such a life changer in so many ways.

Speaker 4: Emilee: Oh yeah. And it's so different than what you think it's going to be. As much advice, whatever, how much you think you know yourself. You're never prepared until you're in it.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Right. Exactly. Exactly. So let's get back then to talk about number two. So number two, it sounds like you were ready this time. Did you go with a midwife again?

Speaker 4: Emilee: I did. Yup. I did stick with the midwife route, a different one than I went to previously. So my prenatal care for that was the same thing. I had very well, actually my second pregnancy in all honesty, the thing with technology is it can really make you worry about things. Like I did the genetic screening and all this stuff and I got put through kind of the ringer of like your son is very high risk for this trisomy 18 and I had to do the maternal fetal medicine route and then he was measuring small my whole pregnancy. And so they were like, you know, you were worried the blood isn't going to the placenta to feed him. And I actually ended up getting induced with him as well, at 37 weeks because he'd fallen below the fifth percentile on his size, on ultrasound. But I was induced and I had him, you know, aside from the induction, I had him naturally and he came out and he was five pounds seven ounces and perfectly healthy. So it was kinda just inaccurate information coming from the prenatal care side of things on maternal fetal medicine. But it's, it's almost like unavoidable stuff when you do all this testing, you know? So yeah, he was perfectly healthy.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Yeah. And that's, that's always tough, I'll say from, from our side, you know, we do the best I can. Let me back up. So you can definitely go down a rabbit hole with testing for things. I think part of the rush, things that we don't do a good enough job of is explaining the implications of the results. And then like it's telling women like, we can test for these things, but what are we going to do with the information afterwards? And then for the growth piece, ultrasound can be off. So, you know, it's always tough sometimes. You know, we give the best information that we can, obviously in your case things turned out great and that's what we want. But I can certainly see how that you look back and it's like, wait a minute. Everything actually, you know, ended up being fine and I can imagine how stressful that was going through that at the time.

Speaker 4: Emilee: Yeah. And I definitely keep an open mind to it, you know? I know at the end of the day everyone's trying to give their best piece of advice on things and help you as best they can. And it's almost kind of ironic we're having this conversation. Just this previous week, I went in for my 20 week anatomy scan and they'd found an echogenic intracardiac focus in this baby.

: Nicole: Which 99% of the time is nothing.

Speaker 4: Emilee: Yes, absolutely. But then they sprinkle in there that it's a link to down syndrome. So, something that I've noticed is from my last son to this one in the conversation that's happening is they throw this at you and they say, but don't worry about it. It's usually nothing. Don't Google it. What are you really going to do? I go running to Google. Right? I went to maternal fetal medicine and they did the more in depth scan just a couple of days ago. He looks great, you know, got as best they could clearance on all that stuff. But it was 10 days in between that doctor visit of Hey, this is going on to the more in depth one where you get more answers and something that I, a gap that, and like this is obviously something that is not simple to do at all.

Speaker 4: Emilee: And I know it's a process. But from that conversation to you getting more answers, because what I found, cause of course I went online and saw the conversations about other people who had this because I'd never heard of it was you know I had a month, I had six weeks in between being told that this was going on to getting more answers and you can almost drive yourself crazy in that timeframe of overthinking things. So that was just one thing that I had in my head and it's not something personal against anybody in healthcare. Like I get it's a process, but I wish there was more of a system for the moms who are told these things to, you know, not have that time to go crazy for weeks on end.

: Nicole: Yeah, exactly. That's really important. I really think we in medicine don't really appreciate or understand some of those things. Like we should either like try to expedite as best we can for things to get you know an answer quicker or just acknowledge maybe. Do you think it would have been helpful to say like, I know in the meantime that it's going to be hard not to Google and it's gonna that waiting can be very stressful or just acknowledging that it's going to come and maybe, maybe some strategies to deal with it in the meantime. I know it's a, it's a tough thing.

Speaker 4: Emilee: Yeah. Yeah. I think that's a great idea and to just share as much information about it, you know, don't just give someone a pamphlet on what it is or just an idea and, you know, looking back, you know, I'm seeing an OB this round and she seems so not worried about it. Because just as you said, it usually ends up being nothing. So I'm sure she's seen it a million times, but you've seen the one, right? So she's like, yeah, whatever. She was like, I've never seen this actually be it. So I'm sure in her head again, she wasn't worried at all. And that honestly did make me feel better though. You know, the fact that she wasn't like, Oh, it could be a million things, but just like what you said, it'd be helpful to see here. Like, I know this is going to be stressful, we're going to get you in as soon as we can.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So you've had quite a range of experiences with all three of your pregnancies.

Speaker 4: Emilee: Yeah, yeah. Very interesting. That's for sure.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Oh, and I forgot to say, you said with the second one, you ended up having an completely unmedicated birth even while being induced. So how long did the induction take, cause a lot of times folks say induction, labor induction with medications is more painful than, you know, not having medications for induction. And did you do anything to prepare for birth that second time around? And are you in the same for the third one?

Speaker 4: Emilee: So my second induction went really great as well. Honestly, I know there's a lot of people who don't do so well, but my induction took about six hours from getting the Pitocin to delivering my son. Yeah, very quick, very quick. I will say though, just being in so much better physical condition, my recovery was a million times smoother with my second son. So I had him, like I said, naturally aside from the Pitocin, and you know, it hurt. But he was smaller too, but my recovery was so much better and clearer and you know, I got to keep him with me the whole night and all that good stuff. So, that was great. And then with this upcoming one, I kind of...

Speaker 1: Nicole: Oh, I'm sorry. Did you take any classes or anything or read books the second time around?

Speaker 4: Emilee: No, I guess I survived the first ones. I was like, Oh, I'll just do this again. I mean, obviously I'm in like a ton of, you know, mom groups. I will say that I put a lot more effort into finding out about fitness during pregnancy. So that wasn't something I was super, you know, I knew about it, but I put a lot of effort into, you know, fitness during pregnancy and keeping it safe and postpartum and all that good stuff.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Gotcha. And then, so how then were you thinking you were going to manage the pain? Were you just like, you know, your fitness you were hoping would translate, which it sounds like it did, but had you thought about how specifically you were gonna manage the pain?

Speaker 4: Emilee: You know, I guess I just had the mindset of, and this sounds ridiculous, but like you hear women have babies in fields and get right back to work. Like, you know, I'm at least going to be in a nice soft bed. Like I know it's gonna hurt. And like it wasn't cause I was trying to be, again, it's not like I'm trying to be a hero and have a natural birth, you know, I'm not against utilizing medication at all, if that's the route you choose. It just really freaks me out to think of a needle going in my spine. Like, I actually don't like that idea.

: Nicole: You'd be surprised, a lot of women actually feel that way.

: Emilee: Really? Yeah. Yeah. I believe it. I believe it. So, I was just like, I know that it will end eventually, so we'll just get through it.

: Nicole: Gotcha, gotcha. And so this time around, things are going, other than this little snafu with the cardiac focus. How are things going this time and are you approaching things any differently this time?

Speaker 4: Emilee: Yeah, this time things are, yeah, aside from that smooth sailing. And I would just say that I'm really looking a lot more into my postpartum care better than I did with my last son. Like this is my third child. We have two other kids to worry about. Like, this is why I switched to an OB. My hospital's a lot closer than the one I delivered at before. It's 15 minutes right down the road. We live in the middle of nowhere, so it's hard to get places and we're just looking at, we've even talked about scheduling an induction with this baby. Like when I can at 39 weeks because, and I know not everybody would agree with this, but my husband's family lives out of town. Like we don't have a lot of help.

: Nicole: Yeah. That's not unreasonable at all. Yeah.

: Emilee: And with our other kids and animals, he's a police officer and they actually expect you to get your vacation time in for this ahead of time. Like you know when a baby's going to come. So it's almost like planning it out. I'm just really focusing on the postpartum piece of this. Both my kids will be on summer break so all three are going to be home when I'm immediately postpartum. So that's one of the biggest things I would say is, is different with this one is the planning I'm trying to do.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Gotcha. And I did want to ask, how are things different between having a midwife and an OB? Do you notice any differences? I'm curious.

Speaker 4: Emilee: So far, honestly, not too much. I've only met with my OB two times so far. I was with a nurse practitioner my first couple of appointments. But I will say that at this point there is, there's really not too much of a difference in my care. I don't know if that'll be different when I actually go to deliver, but I should also mention when I delivered my first son that my midwife actually was not the one who delivered him cause I had an on call, high risk.

: Nicole: Yeah. Okay. Yeah.

: Emilee: So that was different.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Gotcha. Gotcha. Now just to wrap up, I'm curious about, do you feel any guilt about your first pregnancy and how have you managed that, if you feel any guilt about the differences in the way you approached your pregnancies?

Speaker 4: Emilee: Oh yeah. Yeah. Like I said, I get choked up just to this day thinking about it. I'm like, I definitely can look back at my first pregnancy and feel a bunch of guilt over that and I can say, you're a bad person and you missed out on this. You endangered him, or I can choose to look at the big picture of what came out of it. I never would have been a trainer. I never would take care of myself as much. I would never value health as much if I hadn't gone through all of that and at such a young age as well. And I can choose to look at it that way and appreciate what came out of it. And for any mom who's maybe feeling guilt over a choice they're making during pregnancy or made in the past, you know, just know that you're allowed to be human and make mistakes and you can choose to grow through those mistakes and they're all just learning lessons at the end of the day. So it's a choice you've got to make on how you're going to look at things. And again, looking at the big picture of what's really important here, he's healthy, he's fine. And so am I because of him.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Yeah, absolutely. And this is obviously like, you know, one of the questions I have written down to ask ahead of time was how has this affected your work? And I think that's in every single way it's affected what you do today.

Speaker 4: Emilee: Oh yeah, I would not, you know, awkward Emilee. And I think just about anyone in high school that knew me would be so surprised that, you know, I turned out to be a trainer. I don't think anyone saw that coming, not even my friends. And at this point I've coached over 300 people. And it's not like I'm the one changing their lives, but I'm helping them change their own life. And that came from him. That's really incredible.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Yeah, it is. It is indeed. So last question, if you had to choose your favorite piece of advice to give to other women as they go through pregnancy and get ready for their birth, what would that be?

Speaker 4: Emilee: I would say to have no expectations of yourself, as hard as that sounds, but just how much your body's going to change and how it's never going to be the same, but your entire life's going to be that way and just let it be what it's supposed to because it's a miracle to create a baby, and I think in today's society we forget that, like what? Like it is a true miracle to create a human being and then it's a miracle to raise them and get to be, have a connection with somebody like that. So just don't have an expectation of what it's supposed to look like. Don't let other people influence how you choose to go through things and just let this be your own miracle and look however you you need it to.

Speaker 1: Nicole: I love that. I love that. So where can women connect with you if they're interested in learning about more about what you do? Where can women find you?

Speaker 4: Emilee: Oh yeah. So you can go on Instagram. It's just @emileewilson. And then, Facebook page. I have the same thing. Emilee Wilson Health. I share a bunch of stuff on those things. And then I also have a podcast, it's called the Love Yourself Naked podcast. And I talk all things, fitness, nutrition, mindset, life. My cat, I call him my cohost cause he's always meowing in the bathroom or in the background. It's not as professional as this. So they can find me any of those places and send me a message.

Speaker 1: Nicole: Yeah, I love it. I will link to all of that in the show notes for sure. Well thank you so much Emilee, for coming on. You have a really inspiring story and I appreciate you taking the time to share it with us today.

Speaker 4: Emilee: Thanks so much for having me, Nicole. Appreciate it.

Speaker 1: All right. So wasn't that a great episode? After every episode when I have a guest on, I do something called Nicole's notes where I talk about my top three or four takeaways from the episode. And there were so many things that struck me about this episode that it was hard for me to choose just a few points for Nicole's notes, but here we go.

: All right. Number one, Emilee talked about how with her first pregnancy she was on Medicaid, which is insurance for low income women. And she talked about how her midwife chastised her about her weight instead of like, really helping her with her weight. And I'm not talking about the midwife in specific, you know, in particular I don't know her, but I do know that low income women and young women can be at risk for being mistreated during pregnancy and birth.

: People can often make judgements. I am probably guilty of doing that myself in the earlier days of my career. But to be clear, everyone deserves the same level of respect and care. So if you feel like you're being mistreated because you're young or because you're on Medicaid, and by the way, Medicaid covers 40% of births in this country. So there are lots of women who utilize Medicaid for their birth. If you feel like you're being mistreated, then bring it up or find another more supportive provider. And also I would say if you work in the healthcare field and you see women, if you're a nurse, cause I know I have nurses who listen, doulas who listen. If you work in the healthcare field and you see this sort of disrespect happening, then call it out if you feel comfortable doing so because that is how culture changes.

Speaker 1: All right, number two. Emilee is a lovely woman, but let me tell you that her approach, I'm not really doing anything to prepare for birth, does not work for most women. I have seen a handful of women in my nearly 15 years of doing this who can just pop in and have an unmedicated birth without preparing ahead of time. If you don't prepare ahead of time, you are way more likely to get overwhelmed and ask for pain medication, especially in the hospital. So I suggest for sure you read a book or take a course so that you can prepare. Of course, The Birth Preparation Course, my online childbirth education course has tons of information to help you with an unmedicated birth, including an entire lesson for women who want to do an unmedicated hospital birth specifically. So you can check out The Birth Preparation Course at www.ncrcoaching.com/enroll.

Speaker 1: Number three. I've said this before and I'll say it again. Listen to your body. If something is not right, then go in. Emilee listened. Even though they sent her home the first time, things weren't getting better, she still wasn't feeling well. She went back the second time and that's when she was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome. It can be the difference between life and death, literally. So you must, if you have things or you have that feeling, something's telling you that something's not right, then go back, get answers until you find an answer that you are satisfied with.

: And then the final thing I will say is there is always an opportunity to make a new choice. And Emilee is a perfect example of that. So give yourself some grace. Know that we all make mistakes in life. We all do things that we wish we would have done differently, but every moment, every minute, every day is an opportunity to make a new choice. You can make new choices and do things differently going forward. All right, so that is it for this episode of the podcast and speaking of new choices, who's going to make a new choice regarding how you approach your pregnancy as a result of hearing Emilee's inspiring story? Who's going to eat differently? Who's going to move your body more? Let me know in the All About Pregnancy and Birth Facebook group, this is a great group of supportive women. It's over 600 women in the group at the time that I've recorded this and I'm in the group as well, and the community manager, Keisha who is a doula is in the group, but the best part of the group is the pregnant women for sure. Just a really supportive and helpful community, so let me know in the group if you are going to make some new choices about how you approach your pregnancy.

: Also be sure to subscribe to the podcast in Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts like Spotify and please leave me a review in Apple podcast in particular. Number one, I love hearing what you say about the show. Number two, it helps the show to grow, helps other women find this show. And number three I give shout outs on episodes to folks who leave me reviews, so leave me an honest review in Apple podcast. I so appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. Now next week on the podcast we have a doctor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. It is going to be an amazing episode, so do come on back next week and until then I wish you a healthy and happy pregnancy and birth.

: Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the All About Pregnancy & Birth podcast. Head to my website at www.ncrcoaching.com to get even more great info, including free downloadable resources on how to manage pain and labor, and warning signs to look out for after birth. You'll also find information on my free online class on how to make a birth plan as well as everything you need to know about The Birth Preparation Course. Again, that's www.ncrcoaching.com and I will see you next week.