0:00:01 - Emilee:
All right, Heather, welcome. Thank you, so happy to be here. Yeah, this is so fun to get to do this, and this has happened with a couple of other guests as well where I met you before this baby. You know we work together and do coaching together, and then you come to the freaking festival with your freebirth baby, and now you're on the podcast. It's such a fun. You know, spiral and full circle, yeah.
0:00:26 - Heather
Yeah, I'm happy to be here, Emilee, it's just wonderful. Thank you for having me.
0:00:31 - Emilee
So let's get into it who are you before your first baby and kind of contextualize a bit of your life and and who you are as you're heading into your first child. Yeah, it's such a journey, you know.
0:00:45 - Heather
I always kind of like toted myself as, like you know, we lived on a three-acre homestead at the same time. I was like, it's like split personalities. I'm in corporate Marketing, running a three-acre homestead, so working in high tech and, you know, tending to goats in off my off hours, going and picking up new goats, adding more farm animals, big garden, but kind of in a split world, right, like living into these two identities. And as we navigated our first birth, we weren't planning it, my partner and I've been together for, I think, probably eight years at that point, a long journey. And it was right before a trade show circuit, and I knew that he had been calling in the baby, that it's time I want to start this family.
And lo and behold, you know, James’s spirit came, and so I went on a three event, three-week event circuit and didn't know I was pregnant. It was like falling asleep at this trade show and then flying from New York to Miami, then from Miami to Orlando and got back to the city, then from Miami to Orlando and got back and took a pregnancy test and was like, oh, wow, this is happening. So that was, you know, it was. I was like in the sympathy world okay, now I need to shift. You know what's going to happen, what's going to go on, and, at this point, where are you living? I was in Santa Cruz, so at that point that was in Valley. It was working in the Bay Area. Doing that, our community, our way.
0:02:12 - Emilee:
Oh my God, yeah, no, no crazy. What we've done, it's not our previous lives.
0:02:19 - Heather
It really is. It feels like different lives in a good way, yeah.
0:02:22 - Emilee
In a good way. I was just recently in a city this weekend, and I was just like, what is wrong with me? I can't handle it. I can't handle, the parking and the garages and the what signs, and I've completely calibrated out to a whole different.
0:02:39 - Heather
I was joking, it was like my sanctuary. I was like, I'm not going to be in San Francisco. I'm not going to be in San Francisco. It's like, you know, san Francisco is like a big sanctuary. We come home to like the three acres, like tucked in the Santa Cruz mountains, like, yeah, sure, you know Santa Cruz is like a hundred thousand people, I think now, but it doesn't feel like, say, or San Francisco, and then like commute into these parking structures every day like, battle the freeway and it's like, wow, this is nuts, but you just do it Totally.
0:03:09 - Emilee:
So, what's your setup? Do you go to a doctor or midwife? How are you starting to imagine your pregnancy is going to be and your birth?
0:03:17 - Heather:
Well, it's so interesting because it's like before that, you know, I was really sick as a kid. I had, I had epilepsy. I was in and out of the hospital. I literally lived in in Stanford for probably three months with a turban wrapped on my head for them to test like brain. So childhood was really medicalized, right, and that was kind of like the only way I really knew.
You know, I was like, well, I'm like this is what I need to do, right, okay, you go in, they validate your pregnancy test, right, they, they want to give you an ultrasound right there. You know, with his birth, I Brian knew Brian really wanted to start the family and so, but you know, in my teen years, as I was healthy, I never went in. It was like, well, I don't need to, like, you know, you just kind of. And then all of a sudden, you're pregnant, and it's like, Now there's this whole regiment that is like expected of you, right, and I, I didn't know, you know, I'm like this is what I need to do, right, okay, and I was like, well, I'm like I'm not going to start the family, and I'd never been pregnant before. Well, actually, that's not true. I think I might have had a miscarriage early on, but I wasn't a hundred percent sure about that. And so I went and got an ultrasound, you know what, eight weeks, just to be able to share that with him, to make sure it was right, cause I didn't want, you know, I just didn't even know, like, do you trust the test, Do you not? And then that jump-started everything. So it was like I, I was like I'm not going to start the family. I was like, I'm not going to start the family. I was like, I'm not going to start the family, I'm not going to start the family, I'm not going to start the whole regiment and and and I. You know, at that time, I felt good about that because I was like, okay, that's what's expected of me; this is what you do. And you know there was. It was just they kicked us off into you know, he was elated that we were pregnant. They kicked us off into this like a joint, actually prenatal circles. So they did your like it was weird, it was actually really cool. I mean, it was really cool, and it was really, really cool in the sense if we were just like communing and like talking and like having this, whatever, but there is all the prenatal stuff involved. So you go in there, you take your weight once a week, they do the Doppler on you and then you sit down, you hear the baby's heartbeat and then you sit down as a group and you talk through and follow this little book where you track everything like down to a T. And we did that, you know, we did that the whole way through and then we did that as a group. I was like, and we did that, like you know, when I was a kid, we did that with a big hyperemesis.
I'm one of those lucky people who, whether we say it's real or not, right that I'm just vomiting like crazy and doing that. You know, running, I was a marketing director at this time, traveling all over the United States, in the world, running these big events, and so I would barf the whole way to the airport as he drove me. Sometimes, like I remember one time, it was like in the Lindor rice cake bag. It was like desperation, like why did I have that rice cake bag? You know, proceed to barf the whole rest of my business trip. So that was one layer that really threw me for a loop, and as we get to my last and my freebirth, I really owned that right Because this is a part like this is a part of my journey. And so, actually, at one event, talk about like just the craziest experience that had been happening for so long that I started vomiting blood, and I was in Las Vegas running a huge conference.
I'm the kind of person where I'm totally type A, and so I'm barfing all morning. See, there's blood. I'm like, oh no, in Las Vegas. But who's going to set up the event? I have to set up the event. So, I called the emergency emergency room. Is this a problem? They're like, yeah, you got to come in. I'm like, well, be there later If you could fast-track me. I go set up the event and lift all these boxes right and then go into the emergency room, and then they proceed to do the whole thing of you need to take regaline, you need to take whatever the salt, whatever all the prescriptions are with this stuff, and had deemed that I had severe varicose veins from the intense vomiting that came with HG and at that time when, in when, in reality, someone just needed to say quit your job, sweetheart, yeah, or take a break, right?
0:07:15 - Emilee:
Well, same, same, yeah, yeah, exactly.
0:07:17 - Heather:
Like you know, and so it wasn't. It was like here's the tool that you can keep running a million miles an hour, just like we're expected when we go into our menstrual cycle, right, like we feel we need to like to take a break, but we're pushed, there's no, there's no break to be had unless we carve that out for ourselves, and that's something as we get into that I've learned, right. But this time, it was just following the regimen, you know, and at that time, I felt it felt a little weird to me, like, but it was like okay, I'm not going to question it. You know, the white coat thing where it's like, okay, this is, you know, you're telling me what's in my best interest. So I'm going to do that, you know.
And so with his, you know, progressed on, and there is this was a big theme, you know, with James, at about eight months pregnant, my husband he'd had three back surgeries before this and his back went out, and he could not move. It was, oh my God, I was running, you know, really intense work, you know, eight months pregnant had been going through, you know, all of our appointments. I was fine, I'm, you know, I'm healthy, we stay active, we're doing all this like, but it was. The anxiety was so intense at that point he couldn't move, and it actually got so bad they rushed him into immediate surgery. At that surgery, they snipped his where it releases spinal fluid, so losing spinal fluid, you mean, you mean on accident.
On accident, oh my God, to put him into another emergency surgery. At this surgery in his back again, and this is his lower back, this is where they introduced a staff infection, whoa. And so after that surgery, he got a staff infection in his spine, and I was eight months pregnant, and it was crazy. It was like this whole, like living in this hospital, right, like, and now he is, I have to give him a pick line of intravenous medication twice a day at home, and how he's been flush everything after three hours, at eight months pregnant, trying to like to own what my body is doing, and all the while like navigate, as you know, this first pregnancy of like, what's this going to look like and what are my fears? I knew I wanted to have a natural at this time of what I thought natural birth, which meant no epidural.
Right At the hospital, I had a doula friend. That was really wonderful, and she supported me, but you know, she even had her home birth before that and was like, you know, why don't you have? You know, have you thought about this? It wasn't really a conversation, but I was like I was still on this trajectory of like this is what needs to do and all the women in my corporate work talking, you know, about, like whoa, you're not going to. You know, what are you going to do? Are you going to vaccinate? Are you going to do this? You're not going to have an epidural.
I mean, that was crazy, you know. But the fear I had to sit with was, can I handle this? Like all these people around me are like that, not having an epidural is crazy, right? So it puts me in this headspace all the while dealing with Brian's health thing. So at that time, he's this went on for like two months, this, this pick medication. So, right before I gave birth, he finally got better, and there was a time when I thought I would lose him. Like it was such a severe thing. Like the doctor, I was like, what is the likelihood of this becoming really bad? And he's like we just have to see, because it was in his spine underneath, you know, it was inside of him, and so I'm like trimming goat hooves, I'm like mucking stalls, I'm barfing and super pregnant and like so emotional, right, like what is going on here, but we get through it and are you guys like pretty alone?
Oh yeah, like, I mean, we have family over there, but it's like, yeah, there wasn't. You know, some people were rallying around us, but it was, yeah, I mean, like Brian's boss at that time built me a stand where I trimmed the goat hooves on, which was awesome, and they were like that family was amazing, but they have kids. Right, he's running a company. It's like as far as a lot of support to help through this. You know, nobody was coming in and helping you with the pick line or any of this stuff. It was us, but at that time, we didn't have kids. So, you know, it was much more manageable than if we were in that state now.
0:11:40 - Emilee:
And so how? How is your mental health heading into your first birth?
0:11:45 - Heather:
Well, it was rough. Yeah, there was a lot of like feeling I was definitely feeling sorry for myself why am I, you know? But and then having to grapple with that, like and I don't think I grappled with that at that time, but it was like it was a part of this journey, right Like of self-awareness and realizing like I have to put my big girl pants on and we're just going to handle this. You know, and I had a friend at that time that had had a natural birth at Sutter Hospital, which is in Santa Cruz, and it's like, if you're going to give birth in a hospital, I mean, this is the one you get a balcony, you get your own room, they have a birth or pool in their tub that you can't birth in, but Of course not.
0:12:23 - Emilee:
But you can, you know what, you can look at it, and you can, you can think about maybe going in there at some point. You know what I told them.
0:12:31 - Heather
I said I'm in there, and I think you're birth, like, are you going to look like? And I'm just going to do it, are you gonna pull me out of there? And they're like, oh yeah, oh yeah, we'll pull you out of there. I don't know, I can get pretty mean like you might not want to see, pull me out of there. And it was like this, like almost joking, but kind of like, no, really like you would.
0:12:48 - Emilee:
No, no, we'll actually pull you out. Oh yeah, no, no, your own arts are funny. Yeah, exactly.
0:12:55 - Heather
You know, we do the whole thing. We're in these like the centering groups, is what they call them. We're going through it right, and then tour the hospital, all the stuff they put you through, to like, get prepared, pack your hospital bag. And James came, you know, right on the clock. I knew when he was conceived because I had that three-week event circuit, you know, and that was the only time it was right before there. And just by, you know, by God's alignment, it was like I was ovulating right on that day when we did it, and his spirit was, for sure, called in, like, in a needed way. It was a game-changer in her life.
But his birth, you know, it was like, it was like the unicorn, like hospital birth. It was straightforward, like my labors are pretty quick. I was grateful that I had my girlfriend, who was a doula, because she gave me some good guidance I didn't know at the time, and that was labor at home. At home as long as you can, right Before, like going in there, and you know, right like, avoid prison, exactly, avoid the bright lights, avoid all that until you know, and it wasn't even that she was pushing me there because she had had her home birth until I choose that. That's where I need to be, you know, right.
So you know, our last night before he was born, as we walk, you know, go for a walk on Capitola Beach, we wouldn't have lunch at like botanical arms over there walked up the sand. It was beautiful, I had, you know. One thing I did start in his pregnancy was like my journey to more holistic approaches in medicine and I'd always been like you know, I grew up at the Yuba River and this year in Nevada is a Nevada city like that's where Brian and I met. Like I was always really crunchy and that, like I said, it's like two lives corporate Heather and then crunchy Heather over here, right.
0:14:44 - Emilee
I love how, just like like likey, nature is crunchy.
0:14:49 - Heather
I know Well, and I only say that because, like, through this thing, like, even the women that I worked with were like, oh, you're so crunchy. Like, are you granola? Are you? You know, that's what you would classify it in tech. Right, of course, city, right, you're not doing that Like it's abnormal.
My baby was a little more, you know, I was like sleeping at the river. Yeah. So you know, last night before the birth, it was like, went on that beautiful walk, got home, and the one fear I really had of not having experienced birth was what this would feel like? Like, am I going to? You know, it was almost like people describe. Well, it feels like you're about ready to die. That's what somebody I remember telling me. So, in his labor it was like, which is totally not the case. I mean, for some people it is, some people it is, but I mean it's like how we frame it right, like, of course, it could feel like that, but at the same time, like it's level of resistance, I felt it for me, it's the levels of resistance. If I'm resisting it, it will feel worse than if I allow it to wash over me, and that's what I learned through the subsequent pregnancies. But in this case, yeah, I came on in the middle of the night.
I remember waking up at 1 a.m. in the morning, and it was like, boom, okay, this is it. And then I just labored by myself all night long, you know, trying to rest as much. And then, come the morning time, called my doula, and I'm just being quick on this one because we want to spend more time on our other ones, but she came down, and she got there about 7.30, and I'm like writhing a bit at that point, right, and she goes I think you're probably around to six and I'm like, okay, well, I feel like I need to start pushing. And she's like, oh, well, then we need to go. But I had been.
You know I internalize a lot. So in my head, I'm like, you know, working through this, and we get there and, sure enough, you know, spent that whole car ride in transition. I don’t recommend that. Nobody wants to be in a car in transition. That was horrendous. Get to the hospital. And yeah, I was. You know they do the check right. It's like, yeah, you're eight centimeters, and the nice thing about that is they don't make you do any paperwork when you get to the hospital that close, so I spent some time in the pool there.
0:17:04 - Emilee:
Well, a lot of hospitals do. You got lucky that if they put that off, I've seen women, you know, near crowning being made to sign stuff and answer questions. Yeah.
0:17:15 - Heather:
Yeah, that's cruel, that's cruel. Well, we got up. I remember we're in the elevator, and I'm like writhing, I'm keeping it together. But she didn't push the button, and she's like, oh shoot, I'm sorry, we're just standing in the elevator for like three minutes, and we get into the room, and I get into that tub, and I had this blessing way beads that my beautiful women made for me up in the Sierra Nevada and I'm like, oh, I'm in our hometown, and I'm holding on to those and handling it.
But it was intense, and I was. I started vomiting, and I'd been vomiting that whole pregnancy that I knew was going to be for some, and I probably called that in a little bit, and so they gave me an IV for water, and she could not find my vein and I'm like, sit still, and that is the hardest thing to do when you're sitting in a tub in transition with bright lights all over you, right, and the whole arm at the end of it was black and blue. She finally got it. That was a mistake. It was like then you're tethered to this thing, and, sure enough, then the projectile vomiting comes.
So, bless my doulos heart, who's like holding this tub, like catching it, and is like, are you done? I'm like, no, I'm not done yet, yeah, and then, of course, it's like, the thing, you can't stay in here, now, you've got to go lay on the bed. You have to lay on the bed. And they're like trying to offer me nitrous gas, which because you know, oh, you don't want to have an epidural, which I guess is an as uncommon in Santa Cruz, or I knew quite a few that had done it there, but they put this mask on me. I'm like, get this off my face. Like I can't breathe, like no, thank you, uh-uh. So it's barbaric.
It is, it's like, and I'm, whether it's coming from a good place or not defeats the fact that it's like.
0:19:07 - Emilee:
Of course it's not. Making all attempts to drug women in labor is not coming from a good place it's coming from.
0:19:15 - Heather,
An indoctrination like this is what I believe is what I'm supposed to do to help you. And it's so far from the truth. Right, that's not. What we need is women.
At that moment, and there is fear that I had with his birth was tearing. I had this weird hang-up on what it would feel like to tear. Of course, it's not weird, that's really common, what is totally? But it is like just, and then you realize it's so intense you don't even really feel it at that moment. But I remember, like, okay, now you need to bear down.
It is so much, even though I made this whole birth plan, like no coach pushing none of this right, everything gets kind of thrown out the window, and my body wasn't ready yet, even though he came really quickly, like knowing what I know now, I wasn't ready to push, and so I pushed against it, and I pushed hard because, man, I've been trimming goat hooves and hauling hay and doing all this Like I was ready for that Push. And what happened? I tore because I pushed against my body. I didn't feel the tear, but it's just interesting because that never happened with my next two births. So, and then the pitocin, all that right, it's like then, it's like the massage. Just I remember, you know, then getting stitched up, he's so beautiful, has him on my chest right, and it's like that was excruciating, you know. I mean, that was probably worse than the birth Was. Getting stitched up right after that, of course, was just insanity. And we stayed there for two days, and then, you know, that was the start of my motherhood journey and one of the big pivotal moments where there is I knew I wasn't going to vaccinate, so that was what really started going down.
You know, I didn't take any of the vaccines during my pregnancy. I know that was like a crazy thing that people looked at. They're like, what? You're not, you know, always pushing back. I'm like, no, I'm not going to do it today, you know not, and I just, you know, held firm on that. I'm glad I did. This is something that kind of came up in my teenage to early adult years where I started to learn a little bit more about this, but not as much as I know now. Right, because I didn't really need to. When you're a person by yourself, you're like, oh what, they push one of the flu backs on you a year when you have a kid, what is it Then? I'm like 76 now, with 76 vaccines in the first year or so. It's crazy. So that kind of started this journey, and I remember in, you know, or me, off to this trajectory, and then it's expected of you that you go to these wellness visits. Right, like, I don't know why, in my head, I didn't realize that any of this was optional.
0:21:56 - Emilee:
It was like because they don't say it is. You don't say it is.
0:21:59 - Heather:
So you're as this person, that's like type A. I'm like, oh, I have to do this. And then I'm just following along, and in one moment I'm like, why the hell am I going to these visits? Like, and I remember our pediatrician she was actually. She was. She's like, yeah, you don't need to be here. She was, I got lucky in that department. She never.
0:22:17 - Emilee:
And you got some basic honesty.
0:22:19 - Heather
That's a basic honesty, and I always needed to scratch beneath the surface because I was really sick as a kid. I was in and out of the hospital. I highly believe that that was because of a vaccine injury, right and, and that you know, I went to federal, I had all this stuff. So I pushed and asked for her because I needed her help, because you can't get any attesting done, you know, you have to have somebody in the medical systems help to do it. And we discovered that he has the most of our gene mutation, like I, you know.
So I was really grateful that I didn't. I knew enough not to put him through what could have, what could have happened. I mean, the body could have really suffered from given the added layer of that inability to detox, right. And then I just stopped going, and you know, and she was actually supportive of that I could use that, that tool when I needed to, if I absolutely needed to, like a peak. One time, you smashed his finger, a daycare, and the door, and it was bad, so we needed to. But otherwise, you know, stop doing that, boy. Was that a stress relief?
Wow. So then with and if we can shift, I can go into kind of Junies. You know, this kind of started my trajectory and it's so okay. Actually this is a good point. I found Free Birth Society podcast on it. Shortly after he was born, I think he was probably. I was on maternity leave for about two months to maybe three months total and then took him and my husband with me on my next trade show, which was he was born on June 20. The trade show was in September, so really didn't take a very long maternity leave at all. But on one of those upcoming business trips is where I found your podcast and this really kind of kickstarted this whole.
Ah ha, like what you know and I remember it was one of the stories was like how the love on this woman you know she has this beautiful freebirth and then the women are tending to her as equally as they're helping to tend to the baby. And this concept of like I think a lot of us we get lost. You know everybody comes, visits you after birth you know, at least for me and they're like oh, let me see the baby. There's no tending to you as the woman, a part of the baby, the nourishment that comes with that right. That was a big aha moment for me and and something I really wanted to call in later.
But this, you know, I consumed your podcast just like crazy. It was like, wow, this is beautiful, like this, this feels right, right and like this is, this is awesome. And you know, june wasn't wasn't conceived till you know she. They're two years apart. So there's this journey throughout that stage of, you know, really learning and leaning into my motherhood. And who do I want to be as mom? What am I providing my kid right and this holistic lifestyle that is very contrasting to how I grew up.
Like I said, I was in and out of the hospital so it was kind of like in for me and no man's land. I didn't, you know, really know how to navigate this and you know, working in corporate, like all these things are expected. Well then we get into my cove it baby. So that's the whole, the whole other side. So, yeah, I can, I can talk through that a little bit, yeah, yeah.
So we consciously called in June.
You know, in all the while before that have been listening to Free Birth Society and diving in a bit more, joining some more like all the homeopathic groups, like ways to figure out how I could even just like treat myself.
And you know, this will come to kind of ahead when we talk through Millie but like what are the tools out there, the resources, the natural resources that I have and the natural abilities, and where's the community? Right, and I didn't find actually your community till a bit later, until we actually connected after June. But this was the start of it, where the seed was planted at that point, right. So with June we called her in and I kind of started back on the same course and then realize like Okay, I wanted to have a home birth this time. I got you know back engaged with with the on site doctors, then realize I want to do a home birth this time and I think I had the thought of like maybe freebirth as an option. It's hard to think back but I maybe that I I wasn't capable of that yet, or how do I do that right?
0:27:00 - Emilee
And, excuse me, medical men would. Free in the home is really until until you're. The wall is like lifted. It really seems like the best of both worlds.
0:27:14 - Heather
It does. That's what it felt like at that time. Yeah, I knew so many women like beautiful women that had had their home births, right, and the thing is is it's every person is unique. Every, you know, midwife versus midwife is unique and I would say that, as I compare both stories with James and June, june's birth was much harder and this is what I actually contacted you for is to unpack from the birth trauma that I left this situation. So, coming in with this mindset of I'm going to be safer at home, right, I, this is more comfortable for me. I mean, you know his birth.
I, when I left his birth, I was on top of the world, I at that time, because I felt, you know, yeah, there was stuff I didn't like. You know they're like, let me check you and I'm like get your fingers out of me like. No, I'm in them, I'm trying to do my thing here and I don't need to be like fingered while I'm doing it, please like. But they, you know, okay, that's expected of me. And then we get into, you know, the midwives. I'm interviewing a lot of midwives. This woman came recommended to me by my, my close friend, and I love her to death, but I know she didn't necessarily know. You know it's hard to know exactly how each one operates, right?
0:28:27 - Emilee
And I felt also a lot of women that are recommending their midwife haven't critiqued what's happened to them, so like of course they still had sutures and directed pushing and did it it up, but it happened on her bed and she got to be fed right after and she got it's so much better in some, you know, like a very cognitive dissonance way that unless they're critiquing what they had you know, they're just recommending more medical intervention without even really grasping it.
0:29:02 - Heather
Exactly. Well, and then it yeah, and it's kind of like you say it, it's actually when you flip the switch and I've heard you say this before it's almost worse when it's in your home, own home, it can be yeah, when you start to look through that lens, because then, it's. It's not like you get to leave the place and never look at it again.
0:29:19 - Emilee
It's also like the sister wound. You know, like it doesn't you kind of expect to be treated Like you know be a number in the hospital, right. But when you endear yourself to one specific woman for months and she's in your home and she meets your kid and she hears your dreams and then does the same bullshit, that betrayal can cut so much deeper.
0:29:46 - Heather
Of course and that was a lot of this, because I found her and I felt like we connected I really thought I did my due diligence of saying like I really wanna have my own autonomy. I don't need someone to be like I don't want you like touching me and all this stuff. What I need is, when I come to the transition this is what I said at transition I just need someone to affirm me to hold space for me.
I really wanna minimize checks. I don't want this. And she seemed good with that. Yeah, so that was a part of kind of the journey with her. It was I'd interviewed with one of her other people. This was should have been the red flag. Is that she was really like hands-on? Is her partner that she works in the business with? And, looking back, I should have tuned into that so fast forward, but we had been evacuated from the CZU fire.
0:30:39 - Emilee
Oh right, Wait, wait. I wanna ask a question before you get into that. I'm wondering, like below the surface, like if it's true that you only wanted someone to affirm you, why did you hire a?
0:30:52 - Heather
medical provider. Well, probably because I think on the deeper level there was the anxiety right that like what if something goes wrong for me? And this is I had to pack with Millie.
0:31:01 - Emilee
This is a lot of like the fear I'm packing, but at that time I didn't acknowledge that Right, which is an important thing to flesh out for all these women listening right, Because we say stuff on the surface level and it doesn't mean it's not true, there's just also Trace it back D-d-d-d-d-d-d-d. Like you know, why not have a friend? Or d-d-d-d-d. Right, If it's just the affirming and transition, like dig, I'm speaking to listeners like dig deeper, to be honest about what you're really wanting to see, if it's an alignment.
0:31:36 - Heather
And I think that's the key thing is, once you can find out what it is, then you can tackle it.
Mm-hmm, you have to allow yourself to lean in, and fear is a part of our journey with this right, because there's so many voices all around us telling us you can't, you can't do that, or birth is scary, or this or that, and so we have to like unpack all of that.
And that's something I had to do Is with her, is, I think I called the medical midwife in because I've had that fear and even at that time when I didn't acknowledge that or I gave myself like this vanilla icing to make it feel better, like, oh, I just want you to transition, I think what was really there is, like, can I do this? I don't know. And so I had that fear of like well, as I look back and I reflect, I opened my space up to become sabotaged because I did not unpack my fear, as I didn't acknowledge or allow myself to acknowledge that fear. Right, and then do the work. Do the work in it, and I didn't have to because I had someone there that I could just like they could just tell me what to do, right.
0:32:42 - Emilee
And that's yeah. And you also didn't know yet that medical midwifery is birth sabotage.
0:32:51 - Heather
I know. Well, yeah, and now I know is like, but I guess I didn't even like, like, try to consciously look at that, like, what is this going to really shape out to be, when I was essentially offloading my responsibility and my autonomy to this other person? Right, of course it's going to be sabotage, because I'm literally like, I mean, and we'll get it, I'll talk through how this happened in the sense of like, you know, like, even to fast forward a little bit, even why I didn't have a water birth with June because I didn't fill my own pool, was I looking, you know, all of a sudden I was looking for her to do that, like to tell me that it was okay to do that. You know, like, when I look back and take that radical responsibility right I had, I was trying to take my power back by having a home birth, by trusting, you know, somebody that I thought would A different person.
But why am I trusting somebody else when I'm the one that you know I'm the most powerful one here? I'm the birthing mother here. Should you know that though? Yeah, yeah, exactly, and should I allow myself to know that, so that you know started the trajectory with her. And before birth, you know, right before I gave birth, we were evacuated. So all of a sudden I was kind of sent on this like spiral and I did all my prenatals, I did my stuff with her, I did a few even in the doctor's office, like just to keep. It was a lot easier to get paperwork through them. So navigating like high tech maternity leave is demanding. They require it's not necessarily demanding, they just require like check boxes, checked and proof, right. So it makes it like and I'll just, we'll share when we get to Millie's, how I navigated that why not engaging in this right? It's totally doable. It's just thinking outside of that checked box, you know.
0:34:49 - Emilee
And like, of course, high tech corporate requires and is set up to integrate with high tech pregnancy. Like, of course, of course.
0:35:00 - Heather
They're like great, you know all these great forms, like easy for us to put in your file, you know, on each side. So, yeah, with you know, with June I didn't really I had extreme nausea with her but I didn't have to go through the intense sickness, so that was nice, yeah, and it's interesting because, you know, whatever the stigmas of boy versus girl pregnancy, we did, I did the ultrasounds with her. I didn't do nearly as many as I did with James, because I was so I was so sick with James that it was like I'm saying that in quote and I'm doing quotations here because I wasn't, it was just a part of my pregnancy story. I was, you know, I was nauseous and throwing up the whole time. I wasn't actually sick, there wasn't something wrong with me, right, as I look back, at least in my opinion. But they, you know well, we got to give you more ultrasounds because of XYZ and I followed along with that With June. It was just the standard stuff that they put me through and I felt followed through with that. I wish I would have. I didn't know what I know now about them.
Why were you evacuated? We were evacuated from the CZU fire, so that big fire that came ripping through the Santa Cruz Mountains was like three miles as the crow flies from our house, and so that that was the fire that burnt all the old redwood growths down, all the world, the redwood forests down. And I remember that night, emily I Was, it was so hot, we don't have AC, we had fans and we had a dry thunderstorm. And I remember the power going out and laying on the couch and being like please just give some rain, please just like cool this down. Like so pregnant, right, and like this is hot in the dead of summer, because she wasn't, she was born September 10th, so it was. But that night is when the fire started, because all the thunder there wasn't, you know, it was dry lightning that came through, and so we were evacuated for two weeks, had to get all the farm animals out of there. Oh my god.
Yeah, it was intense. Thick smoke, I mean ash falling from the sky, it was so it was gnarly. It was really intense.
0:37:18 - Emilee
Um Went to second, second crazy-ass drama right before you give birth. Yeah, I know, it's not weird.
0:37:24 - Heather
Lord, let's break that cycle. It changes, but yeah, so we're. You know I get back in. I think a week and a half before I gave birth I'm supposed to have this home birth. It was. It was.
My mental state was intense again because at that time I wasn't, I was doing a home birth at my home, right, and when am I gonna give birth? I remember having, like other women opening up their spaces to me. I went and toured a few spaces. We weren't sure if we were gonna get back, we weren't sure if our house was still gonna be there, like whoa, you know, and being prepared to have a newborn, right. So it was intense and but luckily, you know, I navigated through that.
There was a lot of fears that came up and I don't think it set me up for a great stage in my birth. So Get back into the house and you know, just to kind of summarize here as we got through this, it's it, she, my water started leaking the day before and that was new for me, my, I, my waters didn't break with James till I was pushing, so that threw me for a loop and she wasn't born till the following day, like 35 hours later, right, which I was grateful that she actually didn't medicalize, that she didn't force me to go in. She wasn't you know, but when it came time for her to finally show up the following day at about 1130, I, my laborers are now becoming very precipitous and she did not believe where I was. So we got caught into this kind of like tandem of where she checks me. I knew what she. I shouldn't let her check me. I was five and that was at like 1245.
You're also second-time mom who had a primary first birth like, yeah, and just to put it into context, for if I'm not first five centimeters, june was born at 216 right.
Oh, and so I'm. She wanted to leak. She was like I felt like she thought I was dramatic and so, but this goes into that like right, where I had to acknowledge this, when I went through my stuff with Millie, or my pregnancy, my birth with her, is like why was I outsourcing to her? I was, I was looking because and this is a part of the journey of unpacking your fears and acknowledging yourself as an individual in this space right, like yeah, there's scary stuff that we have to work through as women, like that we might be holding on to, but give yourself the grace to see that and then you can heal from it, right, but I didn't do that with her. So I, you know, I was like hey, I'm feeling really close and she's like I actually think you're plateauing and I'm like what? And she wanted me to go Walk around the property. That was thick smoke, it was dark outside and it was noon, it was like black skies.
0:40:11 - Emilee
Well, I'm literally. Who would ever say that to a mother?
0:40:17 - Heather
The walk, the property or go take a nap. So trying to heed her advice because, for whatever reason, I'm like trying to waddle my way to bed, un, you know, probably edging on transition at this point. It was excruciating. And then she's I'm like having contractions, like I'm losing my head because I'm in this, I'm in this Rift, so I'm right.
0:40:39 - Emilee
And then she's like oh, and she's gaslighting you in labor. So to tell you that what you're feeling isn't actually true and of course she knows best because she's the authority and you've already set that up with her. So she's literally gaslighting what is real for you in your body as you're about to birth and then I'm second guessing.
0:40:58 - Heather
Now, my body, that's what. That's what he means, yes, yeah. So then then she says this to me. She's like I say you can't go, I'm not gonna be able to call you. But I'm not saying it that calmly, right, I'm like Because I'm popping out of my head and she goes oh, that's great, I love one husband's call. And I'm like no, you can't go. This is, you know, probably Very shortly before I get birth. And she goes you are here, you need to be here, we'll know when you're there.
0:41:28 - Emilee
Okay. So so for people who can't see this, she's holding like a hand up for the middle and then holding up her hand, you know, up above, above right, to show that she's nowhere near where she needs to be and I'm like the fuck, like what?
0:41:45 - Heather
so condescending, because you know what. We're just gonna go outside and go for a walk. Give you some space. At this point, I'm like I'm, I'm so progressed, I'm like I don't, I don't care, go get out of here, like whatever. But, all the while I'm losing my head because now we've had this dialogue when I'm like she knows, mother knows best, kind of thing is what I'm going through, like she knows best. I have a long ways to go.
0:42:08 - Emilee
She's like you must be crazy.
0:42:10 - Heather
That's what she said to me. You got a lot of work to do all the while, I know, and so I'm like I'm hanging on my husband, I'm like I can't. You got a call. Well, the saving grace from the evacuation, dula, reached out and said I would like to support you virtually Because you're going through all this. Do you need to some woman witnessing?
Right, I was able to call her in that moment and just get some kind witnessing and she helped Me reground, like she didn't help because she was virtually, but just Words that weren't gaslighting me. She's helped me regain myself and and then, all of a sudden, I hear the virtual do look, oh, she's about already have a baby that you need to get that midwife. I mean because I, you know, the midwife was just checked out. This was like 10 minutes from when she walked out the door and, of course, my husband has to go find her 150 feet away at the chicken coop. She comes back in I'm on the toilet like in, you know, shaking, sweating, um with somehow holding the phone with the virtual Dula, you know whatever and she comes in. She's like get off the toilet. And I looked at this midwife and I was all I will get off the fucking toilet when I'm ready to get off the toilet, just what bad vibes.
No you know so, merges beautifully. You know I, I can. You know like we owned my girl and I. We owned our body in our situation, our birth. At that point, and I got, I didn't give a rats what the midwife is doing. At that point she was shuffling, chucks pads, like there was a panic, and my husband was there with me and I got on all fours on the couch, made my way over there and she came out. She was halfway in, halfway out, made a cry he's crying, you know she's crying. And then she finally emerged and she was perfect. But I fired that midwife 24 hours into that postpartum Because it was. You know it's a whole nother story, but you know just the gaslighting that came with that. You know, what do you want me to tell you? I fucked up. What do you want me to? You know, you, you had a, you had a beautiful birth. I'm like no, you, you, you weren't listening to me.
0:44:11 - Emilee
I was telling you literally didn't do your job, you were literally not listening to me and you were gaslighting me. I was telling you that I felt pressure and you told me I'm telling and you remember how you hired her to hold space during transition and instead she gaslight you and abandon you and went hung out with her your chickens. I hope she listens to this episode.
0:44:32 - Heather
I do too. It was, it was tragic, it was like but in that, you better, yeah, do better and listen to women. Listen to women Because we actually know something when we're going through that right like. So the big lesson was that was no way I do know. I knew my body was close. I was close, yeah.
So that that started the journey unfortunately threw me in obviously into a weird postpartum depression because it was like a starting this birth in this crazy way. So that really led to this healing journey for me of like, why am I this people pleaser, why I just go with this flow and this is a big theme with Millie's pregnancy Is like, you know, why am I not leaning into myself? So to move through that and this is where we connected, emily, because this is where I reached out to you on that healing journey is to unpack that right. So I kind of full floor scope into this. I need to owe my voice. I need to owe my voice and who I am as an individual.
And why is this conditioning that I've gone through? What is it? Let's acknowledge it. Let's put it all out there and face it right. It's ugly to face, but that's the only way we get through it. So Brian and I do a huge change. We move across the country, connect with you and, you know, start calling in more like-minded women of like this is the kind of life I want to live, right, I want to. I want to live in my voice, I want to live and protect my children. And I want to live and protect my children and and heal from whatever I have that I'm carrying right. So we move across the country to Maryland, knew we wanted to call in another pregnancy absolutely beautiful journey and we'll get over here and call in a third baby. And this is where it really starts into this right, where I really test myself and I go through this stuff.
0:46:34 - Emilee
And do you know at this point that you're doing a wild pregnancy and a freebirth? Yes, I knew that.
0:46:41 - Heather
I wanted a freebirth. I knew that I wanted a wild pregnancy. However, I had to get there. So with this pregnancy, we're still like in the throes of kind of the COVID-esh things. People are working from home, the company I'm with at this time, and still currently it's long hours, really demanding schedule and I get I'm sick again. I'm just all day and I'm like I can't do it like this. I'm not gonna do it the same way I did before.
So eight weeks I went in to get the diagnosis because I needed something to share. If I was gonna take a leave and that was my plan is if it kept going on like this, if I couldn't create scalability, I was gonna take a leave so I could find that scalability. Well, this is what kind of puts me into the forefront of really having to face the risk of having to take a leave. My people pleaser. This is like kind of the theme that I go through in this pregnancy of finding my voice. We're in there and of course, they wanna onboard me. I say no, I don't wanna be onboarded as a patient. I just need this diagnosis, like I need this formalized and they go okay. Well, we need to give you an ultrasound. I'm like I really don't wanna do an ultrasound. I say no several times, right, and then no, we'll just do it for two minutes. And I agree. And so she did. She snapped one picture. It was quick, but I left there going, man, I'm doing this, I'm engaging this again. It did end up becoming helpful for me to have that one when I fully left. But this is where I reached out to the community and the freebirth community and actually you gave me, you know, pointed me to the homeopath that we can do a really beautiful friendship and I started to find my own health journey. So we agreed that I was gonna do some, get a full panel of blood testing to see cause.
I have had gastrointestinal issues like my whole life. I've been struggling with severe heartburn, esophagitis. Never wanted to take the like, the what are they called? Prilosec or something you know, for the rest of your life. Didn't wanna do that, but maybe this was contributing to what I was dealing with so intensely in pregnancy. So what's this healing journey look like, right?
So I go back in at 11 weeks just to get the blood panel, just to get the blood panel for the nature path, because it's covered by insurance and they coax me into another ultrasound and I looked at that and I said and that was totally unnecessary, it was needed like, it wasn't needed, right. And I was like I'm never going back into this, I'm not for nothing, I'm not gonna go back into this system, I can't. And then I had to face myself of like why am I people pleasing like this? I say my words, I say no, and then you know it gets like whatever right worn down a little bit. So I really had to face that and so I took stood away from every other thing, right. I never got on boarded officially as a patient, but I was like I'm gonna take full, radical responsibility for me as an individual from here on out, from here on out.
So from that 11 week mark on, I did what I wanted to do. Right, I went and I got acupuncture when I felt like I wanted acupuncture to help with my anxieties or my like or the nausea. I worked with this nature path to work on my diet and I cut and went to a therapeutic diet to like really regain my health, and it was. It was extremely healing to tune in and see what is my body saying. What does my body need right, working with natural, natural medicine, and it helped. I mean, I still was sick the entire pregnancy, like you know, nauseated, but I was able to take it with a new light. I owned it, you know, and I was like, okay, this is something that's happening to me, it's gonna happen whatever. What do I wanna make of it? You know, like, what's this? I'm not gonna be a victim in it anymore, it's just gonna be what it is and I'm gonna connect with my beautiful baby, I'm gonna connect with my body. And so I used a fetoscope if I, you know, at like 20 weeks, like trying to find, just trying to learn myself, you know, can I find baby? And I found baby, you know, and it was the most amazing relationship because, even all the while, when I'm still working in the same kind of work I did before, I'm taking ownership for this part that is so intimately mine, you know, and loving that.
And so, as the pregnancy was progressing, there's the fears that come up Can I do this right? The stuff that I never allowed myself to face before really, or really acknowledge before, and it's real, and having to like to meditate on that, and my goal was is how can I get into better, a better relationship with myself. What is my inner voice telling me? Is this intuition, is something wrong, or is this fear? And each time I sat with that and like actually really sat with that, I realized it's fear. Okay, where is this fear coming from? You know, what can I do to feel better about this? Do I need to do? I wanna educate myself more and, as the personality type that I am, I like to have information. So I did that and I read, you know, and I cleared what I could for myself.
0:51:59 - Emilee
Right, Was there a particular tool or like sequence that you would utilize to discern between intuition and fear? Because that's a common question that I will get. How do I know if it's intuition or fear? And I know my answers, but I'd like to hear what your discovery process was.
0:52:22 - Heather
Yeah, I think that's a really good question. When I it was very meditative, like when I'd really sit with myself, I knew everything was fine, like when I really sat, but there was this like this haze of fear in front of it. Well, what if? What if you have so shoulder dystocia? What if you there's a Nucle core right? What if? What if this? And I knew that there was nothing like even gestationaly, like like I lost 20 pounds this pregnancy, like I lost 20 pounds because I threw up multiple times every day. But I knew, like there could have been, there could have been right. Oh, something's wrong. There was a fear, right. But I knew in my like in my soul, when I really actually sat with myself, that I was fine.
0:53:10 - Emilee
I knew it was fine, just to it. Was you just taking the claiming the space to just stop and tune in, yes, and really get present? And then it would be obvious.
0:53:23 - Heather
Exactly. And then if I needed like when I would, when I would tune in, if I would say, okay, I need some like, I need some witnessing or I need some medicine, like and when I say medicine I mean like a chiropractic adjustment or just like, or some body work or like the acupuncture I would give myself that Like and that was like self care, right and so. And then I would leave those feeling like witnessed, or feeling held Like I would try to make relationships, like even with the naturopath, and talk through some of these things, talk with trusted people that weren't trying to give me medical advice but were trying to just hold space with me. And that was like a sense of therapy right For me on my own journey of like I'm feeling like this and to actually say it out loud, or even talking with my partner, like acknowledging, like sometimes it's not pretty, like right, you know, sometimes you're, I remember right before, you know, getting really.
It was easier in the beginning because I felt really confident in like my pregnant body. I knew I was, you know, okay, I feel sick, but I knew I was healthy and fine. I would do things for myself, like if I felt like I needed to. You know, like I started getting headaches at one point, like, okay, well, I'm just, I'll take my blood pressure. If I felt like I needed to do that, like if there was something I felt I needed, I did it, and in the sense of like listening with a fetoscope or like palpating myself right, nothing like going in, but you know, taking Exploring yourself, my blood pressure.
Yeah, exactly Like exploring my own capabilities to take what I needed for myself, but not at the hands of somebody else, you know. So I'm not gonna take that. That makes sense.
0:55:07 - Emilee
Yeah. So before we get into Millie's birth story, is there anything that you want to articulate about the choice to freebirth and like why not just hire an even more hands-off midwife, just to be safe, like what most women do?
0:55:36 - Heather
Because anytime you let somebody into that space, you're sharing that space and I knew that after that experience with June, her energy would be in that space and it's it was it it needed to be a sanctuary for me. I didn't want anybody else there, I didn't want, I just wanted my. At some point I didn't even actually know if I wanted my partner there. You know, like I had this beautiful vision, like maybe I would just be in the middle of the night by myself and I think it was like like some parts were scary, like yeah, would it be scary to be alone? But then, once sitting with those fears and like unpacking that, why am I feeling scared? Oh, because if something happened, well, I just knew it wasn't going to and I prepared myself like if, like shoulder dystocia, for example, like that was one thing that came up for me, right, like what about shoulder dystocia? Well, I'll bend my body, I'll move my body. My body has never been afraid to birth, even with June, it wasn't afraid. I was never afraid in my body when you're actually in that zone, and I held on to that and knew that like I can trust, if I can lean in and surrender and trust my body and let go of this, this analytical mind here and birth, everything is going to be fine.
And if I let somebody else into that space I run the risk of sabotaging that right of off putting my power. And so this is a part that actually came up, even with an RBK, because who's a great friend of mine and she's very kind. But I needed to find someone to help me with my kids because I wasn't sure when I was gonna give birth and that was probably one of the points that was like the most stressful for me is like who's gonna be here so that if I want Brian with me, he can be with me to witness our child emerge right and some, like you know, my kids are taken care of. So I focused almost a little bit more on that. It was weird, it was like, but I also didn't want somebody else in my space.
I needed something that was comfortable with birth, that wasn't gonna call totally a piece or something on me, and I ended up not needing any of that because they were asleep exactly I know, but we need the backup plan so then you know, the other part that helped me work through my fears is actually I was listening to one of your podcasts with sister Morningstar on it and she was doing the newborns first breaths and she said something that really stood out. This is as I was getting farther through my pregnancy. I've been doing all of my own prenatal care, getting to know my body, getting to know my baby, listening to Yolanda's birth affirmations, which were amazing, and then I heard sister Morningstar call out something that said you know, you need to unpack your fears before birth and I had this fear of stillborn. For some reason it kept coming up and it came up in June's birth. So I actually reached out to sister and not for necessarily helping the birth at all, but just to like how, what are tools I can use to unpack this and just have like wise woman witnessing. That was another really cathartic thing and we ended up kindling actually a really beautiful friendship and connection that was like very organic, very natural, right, like came together for both of us and she offered to actually like if I needed support in birth at any point, you know I could reach out to her, or which I didn't feel like I necessarily needed, you know. But it was really nice to have that offer and actually did come in handy for one chapter in the third stage. So we continued on with the pregnancy, the.
I was in prodoma labor for probably five days before and the night of I could feel things coming in waves. I had a really bad flu before that and so I was in this denial state of like feeling like, oh my gosh, I'm having like a leg of this flu coming back on again. So at like 1 30 in the morning I'm like up like oh great, here it comes. And then go back down and lay down and all the while I'm actually in labor but like not acknowledging it right. And at that stage of getting into this birth, I remember like when I fully released all my fear and it was the day before, and I remember this feeling of peace and this was really key is I was like I am ready, I am ready for this to happen any way, that it's going to happen and I'm going to own it right, and that was a really beautiful thing of surrender and lo and behold, like it started to take shape at that point and I remember it was so useful, like starting into this.
So, at about like 2.55 in the morning, is when I finally came to the conclusion okay, I think I'm actually in labor, right, this is actually getting really intense. And I was like I better call my husband and have him come up here and help me fill this pool, because at this point now I don't think I could feel the ball, because I've been in denial, thinking that I have a weird leg of this flu lasting, and he comes up and, very graciously, I'm. You know, it was so calm, everything was so peaceful, and Emily, like, literally it just went into full force, like, but there was no fear at that moment and so the only thing that came up as it was progressing is he's up there, he's filling the pool and all of a sudden, like 15 minutes into it, I'm like, oh my gosh, my body is like pushing and I'm like, whoa, whoa, wait. So now, like all the work I did right to prepare, I'm like this is really quick and so I'm like taking full ownership. I'm checking myself right, like I'm like okay, I'm gonna see I can feel like something. And I'm like, and my body is pushing, like you know, like I'm not doing, I'm just in that moment and I'm like, well, this is quick.
So I started to doubt myself for a second, and not doubt myself, but going, this is really quickly, this is happening really soon. And I, you know, I said he goes oh, you think the baby's gonna be born when the kids are going to school. And I'm like, oh, no, no, no, I think this is gonna happen really soon. This is it. Like you know, three o'clock in the morning, 315, he's getting the pool ready. I'm like, leaning over stuff, my body is pushing. I'm like, oh my gosh, my body really is pushing at this stage. And I'm like, do you want to check me? And he's like me, check you.
And I'm like, well, I don't know what I'm feeling, because this is like I don't either but just like these sweet moments of connecting, like the rod is right, and I was like, okay, yeah, yeah, no, I got this and but that was the stage. And then, you know, the pre prep before that is like working with sister Morningstar was like, you know, just surrendering, letting go as we were talking through this, like you need to just let it wash over you, and I remember those wise words and the knowing in myself on my self journey is like this is just gonna be what it's gonna be. Your body is amazing and it's got this. So he gets the, the pool ready and it's literally only got 12 inches in it because we ran out of hot water and I'm in the pool riding around. I think I actually googled what does 10 centimeters look like right before getting in that pool, emily, and it was like a bagel and I'm like, well, this can't be a bagel, forget it, let it go. And literally it was I. You know, I check myself again I feel the water's for bulging. My body is, you know, bearing her down, the water's rupture. It was beautiful, it was crazy. I feel her drop into the birth canal and it was like everything split open, not in a bad way, in a powerful way and it wasn't really painful. It was intense but it wasn't really painful.
And as soon as I surrendered into that and let that thinking mind go, everything started taking shape. I took the washcloth. I was holding it, holding it over myself underneath the water, asking my husband you know, get in here and he's, you know he's behind me, but I'm like she's coming now and this is all in a span of like, maybe 20 minutes, right from like. It just happening so suddenly and all of a sudden her head's coming out and he catches her. I had thought at one point, do I want to catch her? But it felt, right in that moment, that I wanted his hands to be the first, as I held my body and gave and gave way to that. And he passes her over to me and it's just the most incredible moment of power, of like it happened that it can happen this quickly, this quickly, right, and I'm in the, in the pool with her and I pass her over my legs, sit in there for a while and get out. And then it's time, I felt it was the time to birth the placenta and I lean over this pool and this is where, or this bowl, and this is where it kind of takes a little bit of a turn, because as the placenta comes out, the membrane stay in and separate it from the placenta and I wasn't concerned at all. I, you know, I think you know that could have been a place where I could have sabotaged myself, but I wasn't in that moment. I was fully in peace and in power like she. It was the most beautiful I would even air to save.
Painless experience of this birth, intense but but pain-free compared to Junes, where when I was losing my head it was excruciating. It was the most painful thing I've ever experienced, but when allowing it to wash over and fully surrender and trusting your body and unpacking those fears, it was incredible. And there was nobody else there to outsource, to right. There was nobody there to give me a gaslighting, dialogue or anything. My husband just held presence, he was calm. So when this placenta came out and the membrane stayed attached, I tried to tug on them. They wouldn't come and I'm like okay, well, and he's like well, is this something to be concerned about? I'm like, no, not right now. I'm not believing a lot, but this is where, sister, morning stars offer really helped because I was able to take.
You know she was in Nova Scotia teaching this training and, and you know, had no cell service. So I'm texting her over WhatsApp a picture. She, to the few people I said that I would that, you know asked when she's born. She was how's everything going? I said it's great, except for there's some. There's part of the placenta is stuck and she's like what? And so I sent her a picture and she walks me through of turning the membranes, twisting the membranes like a rope, and I'm trying. I've got the baby, I'm twisting the membranes, they're still not coming.
You know, all the while and I didn't know this until I connected with her at your festival is that she was twisting with me chanting on the other side and Nova Scotia bless her beautiful heart.
So I finally had to take it a little more seriously and pass the baby over to Brian. You know she was now connected to her placenta and her cord detached from me and really twist and twist and twist that membrane and I ended up moving to the bathroom because I tried multiple times and I moved to the bathroom until I could get in a squat and twist and twist. I had to use a paper towel because it's so slick, you know, and I wasn't scared, I just kept visualizing, release, release, release and finally it was much larger than I thought. It was like a good, like probably softball-ish size and that's what it was stuck. It was stuck on the pelvic bone and so I twisted it and I pulled and I knew everything had come out at that point. But that could have easily been a part where I could have fallen away and in transferred, you know well, and a lot of yeah, a lot of women that I have talked to will make up that that that trailing membranes is retained placenta yeah you know which?
1:07:13 - Emilee
you know they just make it up because, like no one knows anything right, we're all just like in the very early stages of reclaiming all this birth education right, and so, yeah, sometimes I'll hear these transfer stories of that they made up that it was retained placenta and then it really was just trailing membranes and they just didn't know. So I'm so glad that you had sister as a lifeline and, yeah, that spiral move was a cool one to share.
1:07:39 - Heather
On the podcast and you just for everybody listening you really have to twist much more than you think you have to twist. So if that depends.
Yeah, I mean it was long enough. Yeah, twisting at the end wasn't enough, but then when it was done it was fine, you know. But but the other thing that sister said is actually she thought that that was a second placenta, that there was a potential that that was an absorbed twin, which is interesting in her teachings when she looked at it because I sent it to her. So there's all different variations of normal that we go through right and after that stage it was, it was fine, you know there was, but also the unpacking of the fear before that of learning to tune into what is fear versus what is intuition. I knew in my intuition everything was fine and that that work and I will say that Yolanda's birth affirmations were really helpful in this pregnancy of listening to that.
I think from about 30 weeks on I listen to that every evening just to have a meditative mode. Yeah, there's the thought that when you train your brainwaves before you go to sleep, right, you carry that like that. That reprogramming and so you know part of those resources is really helpful when you can go in with that calm and know that there. I think there's a line in there. She says I have fear, but what is it I have fear, but I am not the fear for something she acknowledge.
1:09:00 - Emilee
I think it is.
1:09:01 - Heather
I feel fear, but I'm not afraid yes, I feel for our fear, but I love. It's one of my favorite, favorite lines yeah, resonated so deeply because and going through this and navigating this and stepping out of what is quote-unquote normal, you know even there is you can feel fear and that's normal that's fine epic.
1:09:26 - Emilee
And then you're like, yeah, three months postpartum, I'll just come down and vend it, mrf, and crush it. You had the prettiest booth, yeah that was.
1:09:35 - Heather
That was a. That was a whole trial in itself, just with a newborn, but it was awesome in the mud tree arc rising. Next year will be more chill well, next year it won't be like a 10-week-old baby stroke my chest and setting up a booth with all these totes right and no, yeah, it'll be easier.
1:09:56 - Emilee
Next year's our year of ease. It's gonna be the full moon on the solstice, no rain, yes it's gonna be beautiful so well. I love, love, love, love your stories. It's such a journey and I know so many women are going to resonate with your take on it and just be so inspired by your evolution.
1:10:18 - Heather
I really appreciate it. Yeah, it's. It's a beautiful, beautiful journey that we all go through to get where we need. To be right you need to each of us proud of yourself, thank you.