Toni DeAztlan Smith went into her first birth without doing much research and naively trusting the system. After an eye-opening traumatic experience that took over 6 years to process, Toni was finally ready to take birth into her own hands and proactively turn it from something you endure to something that is empowering. Her second birth was a powerfully healing experience that culminated in a thrilling oxytocin high. Go listen.
What we talked about:
- Focused on work, ignoring her first pregnancy
- Putting her trust in her OB
- Induction prep? “We didn’t even bring our bags”
- Step by step of medicalized induction
- The added layers of abuse and obstetric violence
- Trying to meditate, but feeling like a rag doll
- The threat of a cesarean
- Why was baby whisked away?
- Finally understanding what happened
- Blaming herself no more
- Being very intentional about her next birth
- Taking charge of what she could change
- 40 weeks, 5 days: “These feel a little different”
- Strong, strong, then super strong…
- “Go labor on the toilet” (and finding a great coping mechanism)
- Loving the car ride!
- A different way of letting your team know you won’t have a vaginal check
- The tub as a “liquid epidural”
- Is she coming out my butt?
- The oxytocin high
Helpful resources, books, and articles*:
- Lost Mothers: Maternal Care and Preventable Deaths – Series on maternal mortality that identified the problem in Brooklyn hospitals
- Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin
- Mindful Birthing: Training the Mind, Body, and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond, by Nancy Bardacke
- Birth Partner 5th Edition: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Partners, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions, by Penny Simkin
- It began with a traumatic birth – Toni’s written account of her first birth.
- Birth story: STM 40+5 unmedicated tub birth – post about her second birth
Related Birthful episodes:
- The Induction Process, with Toni Golen
- Informed Consent, with Cristen Pascucci
- Childbirth PTSD, with Cheryl Tatano Beck
- Rethinking the Pushing Stage, with Whapio
- Your Pregnancy Microbiome, with Anne Estes (this one is the microbiologist)
- The Microbiome and Your Baby’s Immune, with Toni Harman (this one is not the microbiologist, but is also named Toni)
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About Toni DeAztlan Smith
Toni DeAztlan Smith is the mother of two girls. She is an assistant professor of practice in digital media production at a university in the midwest. Her storytelling chops were honed at UT Austin’s Radio-Television-Film program and at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. Before motherhood, Toni was a television producer for a major network in New York City.
Check out her blog: Proactive Pregnancy.
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