The Happy Homebirth podcast is your source for positive natural childbirth stories, and your community of support, education and encouragement in all things homebirth and motherhood. This podcast takes a deep dive into the the authentic stories of mothers who have given birth (usually) at home, as well as the care providers who tend to them. Although typically upbeat and fun, Happy Homebirth is unabashedly unafraid to examine the rawness, the pain and the struggle of some birthing situations. Host Katelyn Fusco is a former student midwife, who joyously shares her experiences and provides a space for her guests to share theirs as well. From pre-conception to pregnancy, to postpartum and beyond, Happy Homebirth is a podcast that focuses on how victorious birthing mothers are from around the globe and encourages you to have a magical birthing experience. To learn more, head over to www.myhappyhomebirth.com
Brittany's Untouched Birth Works Best
Which leads to better outcomes do you think, high amounts of unpersonalized intervention… or… space? Space to allow a mother’s body to do what it was designed to do?
This week we’re speaking with Miss Brittany Pride, a mother of 4 daughters and new member of the homebirth community. Through Brittany’s stories, we’ll learn what style of care worked best for her and her family.
Before we jump in, let me take a moment to welcome all of the new students who took advantage of the Mother’s Day sale and joined Happy Homebirth Academy last week. I’m so thrilled to have you! If you didn’t join last week, don’t worry! You can still access Happy Homebirth Academy any time— just go to myhappyhomebirth.com and click on Happy Homebirth Academy in the upper righthand corner.
And let me thank our reviewer of the week, Can I get more to like? Thank you so much can I get more to like? Can I get you to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can send you a happy Homebirth podcast sticker?
And of course, if you are loving this show, would you go show some love on apple podcasts? It’s a free, relatively easy way to support the mission behind Happy Homebirth and get this show into the ears of the mothers who need it.
Brittany is a mother of 4 girls: 8, 5.5, 3 and 8 months
She lives outside of Nashville TN
Stay at home mom/ social media influencer/content creator
Brittany is a proud crunchy mom who loves to empower mothers to take charge of their families health
Her 4th daughter was her first homebirth
First pregnancy- it was amazing. She was a stay-at-home mom, so she was able to rest and nap whenever she was tired or sick.
She went into labor on her due date, she did not have a doula, which she learned was really important for her next time.
Her first labor was incredibly difficult, as her baby was malpositioned. She didn’t know how to get her baby repositioned without help. When she went to the hospital (using midwives), she was only 1 cm dilated after 20hrs. Her cervix was behind her baby’s head— baby was low, but not putting pressure on the cervix. On top of that, he water broke during triage, so there was no cushion beyond that point.
She ended up receiving an epidural as she was unable to relax.
Brittany feels that she learned so much from that birth— she did deal with PTSD after that birth.
“If you’re feeling bad about your birth, remember that it’s not your fault, you did your best, you’re still a rockstar, and you can have a better birth next time.”
Brittany notes that each baby and placenta and story is different— it can be different next time!
For the second birth, she found a doula who knew how to manage malpositioned babies and who knew how to use essential oils. She brought over a birth pool
Having a doula does not negate a husband’s role, it enhances it. Brittany’s husband says they’re so worth the price because it takes the pressure off the husband. Long labors, malpositioned babies… so many things can happen that are unexpected.
Hiring a doula is a great way to capitalize on the experience and to allow your husband to focus on the aspects on birth that he wants to focus on.
With their third birth, they chose a freestanding birth center. Brittany thought it may be her last birth, so they thought this would make the experience even better.
She enjoyed her experience, except for the fact that she was encouraged to push (even after she told them she didn’t want to yet— she already had a history of swollen cervices), and when her baby came out shockingly quickly, she had a difficult time breathing (said the midwives) and had to be transported to the hospital. The midwives were frantic when this happened, and it was an incredibly chaotic experience. By the time t
A Tokyo Homebirth
When your birth plans change, what do you do? Do you jump to a place of self-loathing and frustration, or do you take it in stride and choose to love your experience? Hey there…
And although my first question is easier said than done, Jasmine and her husband Julian have some lessons to share with us today all about this subject and many more. From a hospital birth that turned out differently than expected to a homebirth abroad in Tokyo, get ready. This story is incredible.
And… Happy Mother’s Day! Whether you are preparing to conceive, mourning a loss, planning your first homebirth or driving around in your 12-passenger van full of offspring, I want you to know that you are so important. Mothers, no matter what stage, are just incredible. You have done and will do amazing things. And I want to celebrate you this week. So to all of the mamas who want to prepare like Jasmine does in this episode, with Happy Homebirth Academy, use the code MOM20 at checkout and get 20% off. This deal expires Friday 5/14 at midnight, so be sure to jump on it early!
Okay, before we get into Jasmine’s beautiful story, let’s take a quick moment to thank our reviewer of the week, Girl_Mom, who wrote: So encouraging! My sister just told me about this podcast and I’m so happy! I love that there’s a podcast d directly dedicated to home birth stories. I’m going to attempt my 3rd home birth in a few months after having my first baby at home with a transfer for the baby, second was a hospital transfer during pushing with vacuum delivery and now I’m hoping for my healing 3rd home birth. These stories are giving me hope and I even had a dream last night after listening to this about having a pain-free birth. It was so lovely and I love this resource as I’m preparing for another homebirth!
Girl mom, what a beautiful review. I’m praying that pain-free birth over you and hoping you continue to feel confident and empowered as you listen to this story, as well as all of the others. If you’ll send me an email at I’ll be sure to send you a happy homebirth podcast sticker.
And of course, if you are loving this show, would you go show some love on apple podcasts? It’s a free, relatively easy way to support the mission behind Happy Homebirth and get this show into the ears of the mothers who need it.
Alright, let’s jump in. Please remember the opinions of my guest, and this show is not meant to prescribe or treat- it’s an educational tool, so continue to take empowered responsibility for your health and your family.
Lives in Tokyo— moved right before Covid hit, as her husband works for the government. Jasmine now says she will definitely have all of her kids in Tokyo!
With her first child, she gave birth in the US in a hospital with midwives. They pressured her through fear tactics to have an induction at 41.3 days.
During the induction, she was at peace, but it was difficult. The contractions were back to back, and Jasmine says “It felt like an attack on my body.”
The way that a woman is supported in her decisions in her birth, and the way that we speak over a woman in her birthing situation makes all of the difference. Jasmine told her husband she wanted an epidural and that she was sorry. He said, “Don’t be sorry! This is a game time decision, and it’s amazing that you know what you need.”
As soon as she got the epidural and was able to relax, her body opened up. Just a couple of hours later she was pushing!
Because of the perspective Jasmine and Julian took, Jasmine never looked back on her birth experience feeling any amount of shame. Savannah’s birth taught her the importance of support.
“the way we frame our births has such an impact on us postpartum, how we connect with out babies, and the start we give our little o
A Secret Homebirth After 2 Cesareans
What do you do when your doctors don’t believe in your body, but you do? What happens when hospital policy is so counter to your own beliefs that you have to be constantly on guard and fighting for your rights? Where do you turn?
This week we’re speaking with Julie, who was faced with a number of situations and circumstances that required intense decision-making for herself and her family. I know there are so many mothers out there who are hoping and planning to have successful homebirths after cesarean sections… I know this episode is going to be an inspiring and encouraging one for you. Julie is such a strong mother, and her drive to do what’s best for her family is so obvious.
I want to give a quick heads up— the sound quality of this episode is definitely sub-par. I’m not sure what’s going on with my mic while I record in zoom, but the quality lately has been driving me crazy. Just know that I know it’s a thing, and there were some feedback issues, too… so not the best quality, BUT I guarantee you’ll barely notice because Julie’s story is absolutely riveting.
And before we jump in I’d love to give a big thank you to our reviewer of the week, JandRFarmsTN.
Thank you so much, JandRFarmsTN, if you’ll e-mail me your address at email@example.com, I’ll be sure to send you a happy homebirth podcast sticker.
Alright, my friends. Let’s dive in. Please remember the opinions of my guest may not necessarily reflect my own and vice versa, and this show is not meant to prescribe or treat- it’s an educational tool, so continue to take empowered responsibility for your health and your family.
Julie had 3 miscarriages before having a full-term baby:
The first two were from a luteal phase defect, which she finished. The second occurred immediately after a flu shot that her doctor counseled her to take. She realized then that she had to take research into her own hands.
Julie wanted a midwife- her husband wasn’t comfortable with the idea of a homebirth, so they chose midwives at the hospital. Julie said they were basically doctors with other letters beside their names.
She had diet-controlled Gestational Diabetes, though they pushed her to be induced. Her body was not ready, she ended up with a c section.
Julie went back to the same midwife with her second, and they said she could only have a vbac if she went into labor naturally before 39 weeks. When she didn’t, they scheduled her for a c section. It was a traumatic experience— the room was loud, the doctors found a uterine “window” where, the scar opened up just upon touching it. The doctors then began chastising Julie’s husband to “wear a rubber.”
Although Julie practices ecological breastfeeding, her fertility returns very quickly.
During the pregnancy of her third baby, they knew they would need to flee from New York because the vaccination laws were removing religious freedom.
Julie was pregnant in NY, but researching hospitals in CT to see who would let her attempt a VBAC. All of the hospitals were saying “no”.
Finally, she called Yale, and she happened to reach one of two doctors who are VBAC-supportive.
Julie drove 2-2.5 hours each prenatal for the rest of the pregnancy. They moved around 30 weeks, and when she reached 40 weeks, she began to realize that 2 of the providers would support her, but the 6 others were barely going to tolerate her attempting a vbac.
After weighing their options, Julie decided to go in at 41 weeks when she knew the OB would be a supportive one and have them do a gentle induction, rather than waiting for labor to begin on its own and have to deal with a care provider who was unsupportive of her plans.
Julie successfully had her VBAC with a 9lb baby, which was 2 pounds heavier than her others!
For a ho
Appreciating Rites of Passage, Releasing Fear and Healing During Pregnancy
What the heck is a rite of passage… and why does this matter in regards to birth?
This week we are speaking with Rachael Jean, a homebirth midwife and birth rite enthusiast. In this episode we delve into the meaning of rites of passage, why they’re important, how to reclaim birth as a rite of passage, and… how to prepare for birth through healing. Immediately I can tell you this will be an episode you’re going to want to save and listen to a couple of times. I’m so excited for the wisdom that Rachael brought to this conversation.
Before we jump in, I’d love to take a moment to thank our reviewer of the week, DannyWannyzzz.
If you get a moment, would you stop on over to apple podcasts and leave a hopefully 5 star rating, and perhaps even a review?
Rachael Jean is a midwife practicing in Maine
She’s been working in ceremonial work, and feels that midwifery is her mission.
Rites of passage: a normal social and cultural event that brings societies together: It brings honor and celebration.
birth, puberty, marriage, eldership, death
There is not a very strong entrance into adulthood in our current society
How do we begin to prepare ourselves for this rite of passage?
-It’s about healing: Birth was robbed from women with “twilight sleep” and midwives having to go underground
-Rachael’s main goal is to go back through childhood and heal generational traumas: relationship to mother, to father, to child, and wounding patterns related to the elements
-Rachael strongly feels that babies are master teachers— they come down and know exactly what lessons you need to learn
“Birth is the utmost of the feminine….”
The goal is to gain awareness and presence so that we can create space to make choices.
Women deserve to love their birth story, no matter what.
It’s about honoring the mother, the father and the child. In presence, we get a chance to bring honor back to daily life.
Rachael’s recommendation: Unpack the baggage while you’re pregnant!
Reclaiming pregnancy and birth as a rite of passage (facebook)
Elemental Birthrites IG
Wasn’t that powerful? I just love speaking with someone who has both intense passion and insight, and that’s exactly what Rachael brought to this conversation. As we head into the episode roundup, let’s go over a few of these incredible topics
I promise I didn’t pay Rachael to talk about this— But the topic just keeps coming up, and I know it’s vitally important. The concept that we can choose not to feel like victims of our birthing experiences. We can ready ourselves for the balancing act of both birth preparation and feminine wildness, and we can positively claim our birth stories, no matter the specifics of how they unfold.
I love the concept of honoring these rites of passage in order to more deeply appreciate the beauty in our day to day being. The element of presence in each moment— wow, it just adds such depth to every experience, both big and small.
Finally… unpack your baggage. I love the emphasis Rachael puts on finding a way that works for you to heal yourself in pregnancy. You know, gestation is such a time of transformation already, adding this highly important work of healing only makes sense in such a time, and it seems to reason that our minds are already in a place of willingness to take on such a task. As she mentioned, there are so many ways we can approach healing, so find what works for you. Counseling, Rachael’s course, self-directed. During my second pregnancy I found such great healing and fear release through reading the Psalms. But whatever you choose, set the intention to heal those wounds and I know the results will overwhelm you.
So there you have it, my
Mama Midwife: When Your Midwife is Your Mother
Midwives… have you ever experienced that moment in labor with a client where you know it’s a fork in the road? What do you do and say? What… if that client is also your daughter?.
And this week’s interview is special indeed. We’re speaking with Tori Justesen and her mama and midwife Stacey Bufkin all about what it was like to hold both a mother and daughter and midwife/client relationship.
This interview is phenomenal, and Stacey and Tori bring up aspects of birth that are going to be so valuable, so make sure you’re hanging onto every word— don’t worry, it’s impossible not to.
And hey, if you get a moment, would you stop over to apple podcasts and leave a hopefully 5 star rating and review? It’s..
Okay my friends, I can’t leave you hanging any longer. Let’s hop into this interview with Stacey and Tori. Please remember
Stacey has been working in the birth world for 2 decades now. She is a licensed midwife in Alabama, and she has been very involved in the political aspect of midwifery on a state level for many years. She has fought for the decriminalization and licensure of midwifery in that state.
Tori, Stacey’s daughter became pregnant with her first child/Stacey’s first grandchild in 2019, due April 2020.
She knew she would have a homebirth, and she knew exactly who would be on her birth team.
She became pregnant easily, telling her mother of the pregnancy by dumping a pile of supplements on her mother’s bed and asking “which of these should I stop taking? I’m pregnant.”
Tori’s chiropractor helped her both with adjustments and supplementation, which she attributes to her easy pregnancy.
She and her husband did the Bradley Method
She exercised throughout pregnancy, and went in healthy and low risk.
In April of 2020, of course Covid fear had set in, and the implication on birth and the hospital setting was massive.
Stacey and Torie decided together that she would take on a few additional clients. Stacey made out a list of the types of clients she would be willing to take: She wanted to make sure her clients weren’t merely running away from the hospital, but who were running towards homebirth.
Stacey also has a lung condition, which concerned Torie and her son.
Tori says, “Well, I was a typical first time mom, so I did way too much trying to get my baby to come.”
At 41.6, Tori realized her water had broken, and she noticed that there was some meconium (baby’s first poop). This threw her off a bit for a moment.
90% of her labor was in the shower or tub.
Tori was experiencing back labor, so her mother did an exam to see if there was a positional issue, or if this is just how Tori was going to labor. It turned out to be both position and sensation. Stacey helped Tori’s baby renavigate and reposition through 6 hours of positions, one of which being Walcher’s (very intense)
When Stacey was ready to have her midwife support person come, both of the women she had on call for her were at other births. Stacey thought to call her friend Luicelli, who she and Tori both refer to as Mother Teresa. She came to their aid, and she was the perfect person. They consider this divine intervention.
Tori realizes now that when she was at the brink of “I can’t do this,” it was much because she was still trying to hold onto the reins of control in her labor instead of surrendering.
Luicelli took Stacey out of the room and asked her, “What needs to happen now?” Stacey knew Tori was at a fork in the road, and she knew exactly what she needed to go say to her— she just didn’t want to be the one to say it (though she knew she had to be).
Stacey went to her and said, “I don’t care what you do— but this about you owning your birth and stepping into your powe
Ep 120: Navigating Homebirth While Being Youtube Famous
Have you always known that you wanted to have biological children, or is that something that came with time?
Nikki’s decision to have biological children wasn’t one that she and her husband had in mind for the majority of their 13 years of marriage. Her decision took time and much consideration, as you’ll soon hear.
Before we get started, can I ask you a favor? If this podcast has been of help to you, could you hop over to apple podcasts and leave a 5 star rating, and hopefully even a review? It’s an easy, free way to support the show, and it truly means the world to me.
Okay, let’s waste no time and jump into Nikki’s incredible story!
Nikki listened to to every single podcast episode leading up to her pregnancy, and she felt it truly helped her prepare for what was to come.
She originally thought she and her husband would only foster/adopt their children. She explains how that changed in this Youtube Video: Why I Changed My Mind About Having Babies
Nikki’s dealt with chronic pain since she was 13 years old, so the though of being pregnant terrified her.
Now that she’s experienced the miracle of creating life,
Nikki would love to have lots of biological children, though they may also still adopt, too
Therapist said, “You think you can’t do it, you don’t KNOW you can’t do it.”
Nikki’s pregnancy: It was half horrible, half perfectly fine!
She was sick the entire time— throwing up until days before she gave birth
She aimed for a very low-key stress-free pregnancy. She ate well through the book Real Food for Pregnancy by Lily Nichols
As soon as she became pregnant she began researching
She went to a birth center and met with a midwife there. When she left, she thought, “This is like a fake version of what I actually want.” She then did a vlog in a Kroger’s parking lot sharing about how if she weren’t pseudo internet famous, she thinks she’d have a homebirth, because it’s what feels right for her pregnancy.
So many people messaged her saying “don’t let that stop you!”
At the original appointment, the midwife bothered her in two big ways:
She didn’t interact with her husband Dan at all, and they thought of the pregnancy as “their” pregnancy
She didn’t get the feeling that the birth center would actually support informed consent
She reached out to one more midwife, Jen, and she immediately realized she was the one for her.
Nikki’s opinion: If you’re not going to prepare, you’re going to end up with something you don’t want.
She dove down and read books and consumed 70% positive birth content with some bits of “what if” transport stories to feel prepared no matter what.
The end of the pregnancy was hard for her, but she doesn’t feel confident that she felt any worse than any other woman
Nikki thinks she was in prodromal labor for a few weeks before labor began
She mentions that she didn’t have many checks or tests during her pregnancy, and for the next she’ll do even less. She did the glucola test, which didn’t give accurate results because she never has sugar. She learned that next time she’ll decline or test her blood sugar at home instead.
The night she went into labor, at 12:30am her husband was feeling sick, so he took some Nyquil. Not long after, Nikki had to go pee. When she wiped, she realized there was blood. She tried to wake Dan up, but he couldn’t get up— He’d just taken Nyquil!
Nikki labors by herself for a few hours, then wakes Dan up. He goes to fill up the birthing pool, and she suddenly feels something “stuck”….He looks to see that her bag of waters is bulging out of her vagina. Dan snaps a picture and sends it to their midwife, Jen.
Jen heads out and lets Dan know that he may be catching the baby without her there. He’s excited!
I SO relate to this story! My oldest was a hospital birth and it was AWFUL. The hospital staff was extremely combative about refusing shots and it was, in a way, traumatic. When I got pregnant with my second baby I knew I would never go back to the hospital so I had a birth center birth and it was drastically different. I completely understand what this podcast is saying in being able to relax during prenatal care and welcoming the baby into the world! I’m 27 weeks with my 3rd baby now and this time I’m doing a home birth and I’m so excited to be home this time. Also, happy to hear a fellow Catholic talking about fighting the contraceptive battle with the OBs and embracing a big family with as many kids as God gives us. Thank you for sharing this story!!! ❤️❤️❤️
Best way to Birth
I love listening to this podcast! I started out with an OB group for my first pregnancy, and ended up moving for my military husband and was able to have a midwife and birth in her house! Now I’m hooked on homebirth and I’m so glad Katelyn is sharing so many women’s stories. She is a vibrant interviewer and all her guests are amazing. Thank you, Katelyn, for all your hard work.
My sister just told me about this podcast and I’m so happy! I love that there’s a podcast directly dedicated to home birth stories. I’m going to attempt my 3rd home birth in a few months after having my first baby at home with a transfer for the baby, second was a hospital transfer during pushing with vacuum delivery and now I’m hoping for my healing 3rd home birth. These stories are giving me hope and I even had a dream last night after listening to this about having a pain-free birth. It was so lovely and I love this resource as I’m preparing for another home birth!