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In this episode, I interview parents Kristin and Zach Crosby, who live in Alabama with their four children. Kristin is a registered nurse, and has been a stay at home mom since the birth of their third child. They recently adopted a two year old. Zach is a systems administrator, and runs a locksmith company. They took the Evidence Based Birth®®️ Childbirth Class with EBB Instructor Traci Weafer.

We talk about Kristen’s first two hospital births, and what led her to take a different approach with her third – where she opted for a home birth. We also discuss their journey of self-advocacy in birth, and the importance of making informed decisions.

Resources

 

Transcript

Rebecca Dekker:

Hi, everyone. On today’s podcast, we’re going to talk with Kristen and Zach Crosby about their calm and peaceful birth.

Rebecca Dekker:

Welcome to the Evidence Based Birth® podcast. My name is Rebecca Dekker and I’m a nurse with my PhD and the founder of Evidence Based Birth®. Join me each week as we work together to get evidence-based information into the hands of families and professionals around the world. As a reminder, this information is not medical advice. See evbirth.com/disclaimer for more details.

Rebecca Dekker:

Hi everyone. Today, I’m so excited to welcome Kristen and Zach Crosby to the Evidence Based Birth® podcast. Kristen and Zach live in Pratville, Alabama with their four children. Kristen is a registered nurse and she’s been staying at home since the birth of their third child. Zach is a system’s administrator and runs a locksmith company. Their four children are ages four, two, two, and seven months, and they recently adopted a two year old. They’re here to talk about their experience with their third birth, but will also talk a little about their first two birth experiences as well. Welcome, Kristen and Zach, to the Evidence Based Birth®podcast.

Kristen Crosby:

Thank you. We’re so excited.

Zach Crosby:

Hey. Thank you.

Rebecca Dekker:

So, tell us a little bit about your first and second birth experiences. So you have a four year old and a two year old that you gave birth to.

Kristen Crosby:

Right. So my first baby was an induction at 39 weeks and five days because I had some high blood pressure and that was a long, long labor, I think 18 hours, and I hadn’t had an epidural. It was in a hospital with a doctor and I was pretty satisfied with that birth because I didn’t really know any better or want anything different at that point. I had went into it just thinking, “I just want to try to avoid an epidural and have as little medication as possible.” Try to be as natural as possible was pretty much all the thought and preparation that I put into it, but I didn’t know what I was going to encounter in the hospital, even though I’m a registered nurse. So, one thing after another was kind of done to me that I didn’t know to prepare or put any thought to, but I wasn’t like … it wasn’t traumatic or bad experience. It was a good experience. It just wasn’t as good as I knew it could be.

Kristen Crosby:

Then, with my second one, I wanted to try to avoid an induction and avoid an epidural. So I had a little bit stronger mindset and goals going into that one, but I had a doctor who, at all my appointments, would just kind of say, “Okay, yeah, yeah, sure. We can do whatever you want. Whatever you want.” Then when I actually was in labor and went to the hospital, his tune changed and he was not supportive at all of me trying to labor without an epidural. He kind of made some snide remarks and really rushed me and pushed me. She was an induction as well. She was 40 weeks and four days. So, because I was past my due date, there was a lot of pressure put on me and I didn’t know. I didn’t know. I knew I wanted to wait. I kept saying, “Oh no, I’d rather just wait and let things happen naturally,” but I didn’t know why, and I didn’t have any evidence to back it up. So, again, it wasn’t traumatic, but I did come away from that second birth a lot less satisfied because I was frustrated with my doctor and feeling like he wasn’t really supportive of what I wanted.

Rebecca Dekker:

Zach, tell us, what were those experiences like for you? What was your role? How did you help during the labor and birth process with the first two?

Zach Crosby:

Right. So, with baby number one, my wife had just finished nursing school and I actually was in nursing school at the time. So I think a lot of baby number one was very much kind of standard medical was all that was kind of in our minds. So it was just listen to the doctors, listen to the nurses. I’ve been saying, with baby number one, I did not stand up as much. I just kind of encouraged my wife to just listen or, “Hey, if you’re in pain, just get an epidural” kind of thing, but baby number two, we kind of took a little more of a stand I feel, but the doctor … this was a separate doctor than baby number one, a different doctor, but he … like she said, he changed his tone from appointments to delivery.

Zach Crosby:

So, we still have a little bit more, but it was still very shocking because some of the stuff we had talked about in appointments was not being honored or even considered during the birth process. Again, nothing was traumatic, nothing went wrong. The births were fine, but after number two, it was like, “There’s got to be a better way about this. I can be more supportive and stand up a little more and better, but there has to be another way to go about this,” because it was just very focused on medication and forcing the birth than just allowing it to happen, I feel.

Rebecca Dekker:

So it sounds like you were both sort of frustrated after that second birth experience.

Kristen Crosby:

Yes.

Zach Crosby:

Absolutely.

Rebecca Dekker:

So let’s fast forward to your third birth. You were pregnant again. What kind of actions did you take?

Kristen Crosby:

Well, I went back to that same doctor, believe it or not. I was planning on having her in the hospital with the same doctor. So I went to my first few appointments with him and was just kind of planning on, “I’m just going to stick up for myself a little bit more this time. I’m just going to be a little bit firmer about what I want,” but that was really all … again, all I knew going into it. I didn’t know how underprepared and how little I really knew about everything. I thought because I was a nurse, I already knew everything I needed to know, and then we took your class.

Rebecca Dekker:

Yeah, so how did you find out about the EBB childbirth class?

Kristen Crosby:

I went to a baby shower at my church and Tracy Wayfer  was at the baby shower and she was doula and educator for the mom. I overheard the way she answered questions, just very calmly and nicely, but she knew what she was talking about. I was immediately drawn to her and I just started asking her questions and I said, “I want you in my corner when it comes time to have another baby. I want to know. I want to pick your brain.” She was like, “Yeah.”

Kristen Crosby:

So a few months later, I was pregnant again, so I reached out to her and she said, “Okay, here’s my class,” and talk to me about my last couple of births and what I wanted for this birth and everything. Then we took her class and just through the process, just by way of talking about all our different options and realizing that we actually had options, we realized that the best fit for what we wanted was a home birth.

Zach Crosby:

Yeah. We started the class thinking, “Yeah, we’re going to have a hospital birth and we’re just going to stand up more to our doctor,” but it didn’t take very long for us to be like, “Well, we can do a home birth. It fits with more what we wanted.”

Rebecca Dekker:

By this time you’ve already had two babies vaginally and you maybe felt more confidence in your body.

Kristen Crosby:

Yes, I have definitely felt confidence and I wanted to … I really wanted to experience what it felt like to go into labor spontaneously, because that’s something I had never felt. I knew that the Pitocin that I had been on with the first two made the contractions so much faster and harder to cope with. So I really wanted to experience that labor coming on spontaneously and see if I could cope better, like I thought I could, and then be free to move around, because that was another thing in the hospital, just being told I had to stay in the bed and have an IV and have the monitor strapped on me constantly. I was not … I don’t want to say allowed, but it was not permitted to get up and just move.

Rebecca Dekker:

You definitely weren’t encouraged to move around.

Kristen Crosby:

Right. Exactly.

Rebecca Dekker:

Okay. So when was it in the class that you realized that your interests and preferences were leaning more towards a home birth?

Kristen Crosby:

Well, I think Tracy knew before we did that that’s what we really wanted because we were describing our ideal birth and everything, and she was saying, “You can have that birth in the hospital with your doctor, but you’re going to have to have a lot of conversations with him leading up to it, and then you’re going to have to have … Zach, you’re going to have to have some really good advocacy in the hospital for her.” Every time would have conversations about that, about having these hard conversations with my doctor, I just kept feeling like, “I really don’t want that. I really don’t want to do that. I don’t want to have to fight for my birth,” because if what we’re going for is me to be calm and peaceful, then I’m not going to feel that way if I’m having to feel like I’m arguing with my doctor the whole time.

Kristen Crosby:

So, in our area, there’s not a whole lot of options. There’s just the hospitals and home birth. There is no birth center or anything like that. So I think maybe if we had had more options in our area, I might have looked more into something else, like a birth center, but it was really either hospital or home, and I knew I didn’t want to have to fight with my doctor while I was trying to give birth. It was my … like you said, it was my third vaginal birth and both had gone well, no complications, no health problems, healthy babies. My body is doing good, so I was like, “Let’s go for it.”

Rebecca Dekker:

Zach, what were your thoughts about that?

Zach Crosby:

Oh, I’ve joked about having a home birth since baby number one, and so I was a big fan of it from even the first time we talked to Tracy about it. I was trying to convince my wife, “Hey, we should just do it.” I am definitely more … my wife holds me back a lot.

Kristen Crosby:

Hey.

Zach Crosby:

No, no, no, no, because I’ll just go. I’ll just jump in and be like, “Oh, let’s do it.” So I was all gung ho about it, and …

Rebecca Dekker:

She’s the one who kind of says, “Let’s pause and think about this?”

Zach Crosby:

Yeah, exactly. She thinks-

Kristen Crosby:

Well, I was like, “Well, you’re not the one giving birth.” Well, and I had to deal with my nursing training, my nurse brain, thinking that I wanted to be a good patient, you know? I didn’t want to upset my doctor. I was very concerned about how is my doctor going to feel about this? What’s he going to think? Am I going to be the talk of all the nurses at the hospital? Because this is the hospital that I worked at. I was like, “I’m going to be the talk of all the nurses. They’re all going to be talking about me like I’m crazy.” So for that reason, I didn’t tell any of my coworkers I was planning a home birth, for the whole nine months.

Rebecca Dekker:

I can identify with that.

Kristen Crosby:

Yeah, we didn’t even tell the doctor. I-

Zach Crosby:

Until after the baby was born. We called them and they were like, “Hey, you haven’t come up for your appointment,” and we’re like, “Oh, we had the baby at home.”

Kristen Crosby:

Yeah.

Rebecca Dekker:

So yeah. So what did you do next? So did you continue care with your OB and find a midwife? Did you kind of concurrent care at the same time?

Kristen Crosby:

Yes, I did. I kept seeing my doctor and we found a midwife. We did a video chat with her and instantly felt a connection there and we just really liked her, and then I just kept going to see my doctor. I didn’t tell him I was seeing a midwife. I didn’t tell him I was blaming a home birth. Then towards the end, once I got past 37, 38 weeks, whenever he would start putting the question on me about “You want to just wait or do you want an induction?” I would just say, “I’m just going to wait, let things happen naturally,” and then the very last couple of times I went, he kept wanting to do an exam, do an internal exam, and check me and I kept saying no. I could tell he was kind of taken aback. He’s kind of like, “Well, I need to check you,” and I was like, “No, not today. Thank you.” I was like, “Next time, next time.”

Kristen Crosby:

Then after the baby was born, I think like two days after she was born, I called our office and was like, “Hey, go ahead and cancel my appointment because we had the baby at home.” She was like, “Oh, well, do you need to come in for a follow up?” I was like, “No, we have another care provider, but thank you.”

Zach Crosby:

I wouldn’t say it wasn’t like we were trying to hide from him because we were scared, just because of some … midwives in Alabama is kind of new. We didn’t want to just kind of turn them off and then have to go to a hospital and try to figure out which doctor to use. We still wanted somebody we knew if we did have to go to the hospital.

Rebecca Dekker:

So the doctor was kind of your backup plan in case for some reason-

Kristen Crosby:

Yes.

Rebecca Dekker:

You had to have a hospital birth and you didn’t want … yeah. So, it’s kind of too bad that there was that lack of trust in that doctor that … Were you worried that he would fire you as a patient if he found out you were planning a home birth?

Kristen Crosby:

Yes, exactly. I was worried that he would either fire me as a patient or try to scare me and try to talk me out of it. Again, I was worried about what everyone I worked with thought. So I was afraid he would get upset and then talk bad about me to other nurses and then everybody would think I was crazy for doing this and that it was so dangerous. I heard that from nurses I worked with that, “Oh, I just can’t believe anybody would ever attempt that. It’s so dangerous.” You know? I didn’t want to hear that, so I just … and you’re right. It is sad that I felt like I couldn’t trust him and just tell him that because I was doing well physically. I was safe, but it’s really unsafe to not have that freedom to exchange information between him and my midwife. They should have been in contact. She should have been able to talk to him and get all my records and all of that, but because of how I chose to go about it, there wasn’t that.

Kristen Crosby:

So thinking back, in hindsight, the safest thing for mom and baby is definitely for there to be free communication between them, but because I was so afraid of how he would react, how he would talk to me, how I would be talked about, there wasn’t that.

Rebecca Dekker:

Obviously your prior experiences with him created some of that mistrust from that birth experience you had with that doctor.

Kristen Crosby:

Yes, because my very first appointments with him, he would say, “You’re driving this train. You’re in charge of this. It’s up to you.” Then, towards the end, or actually when I was in labor, it was, “I’m not going to let you do this. I won’t let you do this or let you do that,” those kind of words.

Rebecca Dekker:

So, going back to your childbirth education, what were some of the things you learned in the Evidence-Based Birth childbirth class that you were really excited to learn? Or tell us about your experience taking the class.

Kristen Crosby:

I think really going in depth in the stages and phases of labor really helped because, like I said, I never had gone into labor spontaneously, so I didn’t really know what to expect, how it would feel and how it would go and everything. Then just learning more about the different comfort measures, the self-talk, how to deal with those fears and calm down and breathe through it. Then other things, like I had never thought about dimming the lights and music playing and water, using a shower or bath, I had never gotten to use any of those things. It was just check into a hospital, get in a bed and a gown, and get hooked up to all this stuff and then just lay there. So hearing all these options I had, all these tools I had to help me cope, was so exciting because I felt like, “I can really do this. If I have the freedom to use all these tools at my disposal, I think I can do this.” So it was exciting to believe in myself like that again and think, “I think I can do this,” and then just movement. I really liked the video of you and your husband demonstrating all the positions you can get in for laboring and the ways you can move and sway and the massage and acupressure, because that’s really what I wanted the most, I think, was just to be free to move.

Rebecca Dekker:

Yeah, I totally agree. Zach, what about you?

Zach Crosby:

I think just some of the … all the education was really nice, just especially for some of the afterbirth or shots, eye creams, all the stuff leading up to it. Just kind of learning more about all the potential issues and the things that can prevent that beforehand, like the movement and being calm and things like that. Just hearing about some of the negative side effects of laying in a hospital bed, being checked, on a monitor, just kind of being exposed to some of the other evidence instead of-

Kristen Crosby:

It’s like, you knew I wanted a more natural birth, but you didn’t know why and I didn’t really know why myself, but we finally were able to put into words why we wanted these things.

Zach Crosby:

And be confident in our decision because of the evidence.

Rebecca Dekker:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). It kind of was just laid out for you and you could see it for yourself and then realize the benefits and risks of all your choices.

Kristen Crosby:

Yeah.

Zach Crosby:

Right. Exactly. Even if we decided to do one of the other things, we had evidence [inaudible 00:17:42]. There wasn’t any bias, that it was just, “Here’s the facts of everything. Now make your decision,” and the ability to make informed decisions on the whole process was super encouraging and-

Rebecca Dekker:

So, share your birth story with our listeners. How did it begin?

Kristen Crosby:

It started about 8:30 in the evening. I was sitting in the floor playing a board game with my other children. I think I had had some false labor for a couple of days. I had felt some little cramping, but this one at 8:30 hit me and I was like, “Whoa, that was different,” and it made me stop. It made me stop playing the board game and have to be quiet and kind of breathe through it. I was like, “Okay, I think I’m going to go lay down and rest because this might be happening tonight, so I need to go get my rest.” So I went in the room and laid down and Zach made sure the pool was all set up and the bed was all made up and the music was on and my Christmas lights were on in my room. So, it was just really nice and relaxing in there and I texted. At that point, I texted my midwife and said, “Hey, I’m not really sure, but I think I might be having real contractions.” She was like, “Okay, just keep me up to date.” So I laid down and tried to go to sleep and I did fall asleep until about 10:00.

Kristen Crosby:

At 10:00, I woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep anymore, but I was still talking and laughing through them and I was just laying down for the most part, but I was laying side to side. I did some of my stretches and things like that. Then, at 11:00, I had a bloody show and the contractions got a little bit stronger and I just kept remembering Tracy teaching me longer and stronger. Just the contractions get longer and stronger, and I thought, “Okay, I think they’re definitely getting longer and stronger.” I am terrible at timing my contractions. I don’t know. Zach would tell me to tell him when they started, when they stopped. He was trying to time them and I just couldn’t. I couldn’t tell when they started and when they stopped. It all … So he’s like, “I don’t … ” They were all over the place.

Kristen Crosby:

So, but at 11:00, I knew something was definitely up, so she said, “Okay, I’m going to go ahead and come.” She’s two hours away from us, so my mom also came and my mom got there right at midnight. When my mom got there, I was moving around. I was leaning over the side of the bed and I was … but I was still talking to her in between contractions. When a contraction would come, I couldn’t talk during it anymore, but once it was over, I could talk to her and we were joking, talking about our day.

Kristen Crosby:

Then at 12:30, I was like, “I can’t do this anymore. I can’t talk. I got to go get in the shower.” So I got in the shower and had warm water running on my back. I just stood in the shower, swaying, and started doing this really funny, repetitive moaning that I didn’t plan, but I was kind of just like going through my vowels. I was going, “Ah, eh, eh, ah, ooh,” every time I’d have a contraction. I didn’t even realize I was doing it until after a couple of contractions. I realized I was doing it, I was like, “Oh, this is helping me. This is helping me cope. Okay.”

Kristen Crosby:

Then my midwife got there at 1:00 and she checked position of the baby. There was no rushing me to do anything I wasn’t comfortable doing. No “We got to do this. We got to do that. We got to, got to, got to,” like there is in the hospital. It was just, “How are you feeling? When you’re able, when you’re comfortable, I’d like to check the position of the baby and listen to the baby’s heartbeat and everything.” So we did that, but it was all at my pace, in between contractions, very considerate, very kind, how it was all done.

Kristen Crosby:

Then I started asking to get into the water. Pretty much right after she got there, I had the pool set up in our bedroom and I was like, “I want to get in the water. I want to get in the water.” They were like, “Okay,” but the water was a little too hot, so then Zach was taking buckets of cold water and putting in there to cool it down and finally got the temperature cool enough. I got in and about 10 minutes after I got in the water, I said, “I think I need to push,” and I just started groaning, like this really deep groan, and I was like, “I can’t help it. I got to push. I got to push. They were like, “Okay, just go with it. When it feels good, push, if it doesn’t feel good, don’t.” They’re like, “Just breathe through it and push when it feels good,” and it did. It felt so great to push.

Kristen Crosby:

It felt so great to finally feel like I was doing something to bring this baby earthside, and 2:12 she was born. Zach caught her in the water and then he caught her and then he handed her right to the midwife because the cord was around her neck. So he caught her in the midwife, saw that, and I think he thought, “Oh, I’m going to let her handle this.” So he handed her right to the midwives, still in the water. She fixed the cord and then handed her up to me. Then I just … I laid there holding her. I was in shock. I was like, “I did it. I really did it. I can’t believe I really did it.”

Rebecca Dekker:

Wow, and Zach, what was the experience like for you, this whole labor and birth?

Zach Crosby:

It was fantastic. Just being able to feel just really close with my wife as we went through the process. So much calmer, just being able to be in the comfort of our own home was fantastic. When the midwives arrived, it wasn’t like a swinging open the door, loud, like it is at the hospital sometimes. They were very quiet. I didn’t realize they were there for a minute. They had all set up and I turned around and it was like, “Oh, everybody’s here,” but everything, it was quiet. It was calm. There was no external stressors, and was just a great opportunity to be there with my wife as we went through the delivery together. Getting in the water with her was great. Being able to catch my child was fantastic, and just being able to move around with her and alleviate her pain. Instead of just rubbing her shoulder and saying, “Oh, you can do it” in a hospital bed, being able to actively participate in and help with the different things we had learned.

Rebecca Dekker:

Yeah. So it sounds like you used a lot of comfort measures. You used the water in the shower and the tub and you use movement and you used vocalizations, using your voice. Were there any other comfort measures that felt really good for you?

Zach Crosby:

The lighting really helped. I know we did a lot with lighting. She wanted it dark with almost Christmas lights and then music, calming music. We used your playlist from Spotify.

Kristen Crosby:

Yeah, and he used acupressure. We talked about, every time you touch me, that it’d be with a purpose. Not just patting me on the back, “There, there,” but be rubbing my back, would be rubbing my shoulders. He was really good to remind me to relax my jaw and relax my shoulders. He would be like, “Open your mouth, relax your jaw, relax your shoulders.”

Rebecca Dekker:

Way to go, Zach. That’s awesome, because that’s all stuff from what you learned in the class, the helpful words, the helpful touching and massage, and you said it felt really amazing to catch your own baby.

Zach Crosby:

Yeah, that was a special moment that we hadn’t had the opportunity before, and then again, because we were at home, being able to bring in the other two girls right away after the baby was out was just having a family moment without doctors and nurses. Everybody kind of stepped back for a minute. While my wife was in the tub holding the newborn, the other two were able to come in and we all kind of just got to huddle together and meet the new family member, and so it was super special.

Rebecca Dekker:

At what time point was it that you went into labor then? Because I know with your other, you’d had inductions at 39 weeks and partway into your 40th week. How far along were you when you went into spontaneous labor this time?

Kristen Crosby:

39 and five.

Rebecca Dekker:

Oh wow.

Kristen Crosby:

Yeah, it was before 40 weeks. I know, and I was so nervous about “What am I going to do if I go past 40 weeks?” I had made up my mind, “Okay, I’ll go past 40. I’ll go past 41, but what am I going to do if I go past 41 weeks?” Tracy was just really great about telling me, “Go back, read the evidence about due dates and read about inductions and just think about what you want and decide on what you want.” She would say, “But I really don’t think you’re going to go past 42 weeks.” She was like, “It’s your third baby and you didn’t … ” She’s like, “I really don’t think that’s going to happen, but just read the evidence and make up your mind.”

Rebecca Dekker:

Did you do any of the acupressure for cervical ripening leading up to your labor?

Kristen Crosby:

Yes, we did do that. Yes, and I was seeing a chiropractor too. I was seeing her more and more frequently leading up to my due date. I think I saw her twice in that week before. I think I saw her the day before I went into labor, actually.

Rebecca Dekker:

So you said the birth was peaceful and calm, but it was actually pretty fast from start to finish. Less than six hours, correct?

Kristen Crosby:

Yes. Everybody kept saying how fast it was. My midwife said, “I’m glad you didn’t wait any longer to tell me to come on because we might’ve missed it,” because she got here right at 1:00 and the baby was born at 2:12. So everybody kept saying how fast it was, but to me it felt perfect. It felt like it just went right along, not any faster than I wanted, but not too prolonged either. It felt just perfect.

Rebecca Dekker:

Tell us about your postpartum recovery.

Kristen Crosby:

It was great. It was weird being that morning she was born and being already in my house and I was able to get up and take a little shower and then go into the living room and sit in my recliner and just hold and nurse the baby and then I was really well taken care of. Zach waited on me hand and foot for several days, well and weeks, but especially those first few days. I pretty much just went from my bed to the recliner to kind of walk around the house a little bit for the first few days and that was it. Just really took it easy, and the midwife came back and checked on me at 24 hours. Well, not right 24 hours because that would have been 2:00 in the morning, but after a day, she came and checked on me and the baby and we were doing good and then she came again at a week.

Rebecca Dekker:

You mentioned that you read Babies Are Not Pizzas during your recovery. What were your thoughts as you were reading the book?

Kristen Crosby:

I just was so happy that I identified with it so much. It was almost exactly like my experience, how you talked about going into the hospital and you were a nurse and you wanted to be a good patient and you knew you wanted to avoid interventions, but you didn’t really know which interventions or why, and a lot of your fears and things you had been told in nursing school or just told by coworkers caused a lot of unnecessary fears. So I identified with it so much. I was just reading it and just smiling the whole time, thinking, “This is exactly like my experience and I’m just so glad and so thankful that I did this.”

Kristen Crosby:

I’m so thankful that I met Tracy because before meeting her, I had never heard of an Evidence-Based Birth class. I only knew about the classes that the hospitals offered and they pretty much just teach you how to have a birth in their hospital. Then I didn’t even know what a doula was. When Tracy said she was a doula, I was kind of like, “What’s a doula?” Even after she told me, I kind of thought a doula was just someone to hold your hand and I thought, “Well, I already have a husband who does that, so I don’t need a doula,” but after talking to her and hearing how much she does and teaches and how much she knows and all this experience she has, I was just blown away by how much I didn’t know about birth. I thought, “I’ve given birth twice now and I know so little about birth.”

Rebecca Dekker:

Before, you said you were afraid of telling people that you were planning a home birth. Did any of that change after your third baby was born?

Kristen Crosby:

Oh yeah. I tell everybody now.

Rebecca Dekker:

You’re on the podcast talking about it, so the secret’s out.

Kristen Crosby:

Yeah.

Zach Crosby:

No, we’re definitely much more open about it. My wife, whenever she talks to somebody who’s pregnant or anything, she always recommends your book. We bought it for her cousin when she got pregnant because … and that’s … I think we always share just that there’s more evidence than what you’re told. So many people come and say, “Oh, I don’t know about this. I don’t know about this.” Or “This is just how everybody tells me to do it,” and we’re able to encourage people to, “Hey, we would recommend the class” or-

Kristen Crosby:

I send a link to the article on your website about things all the time, and then I also tell people all the time, it’s not a home birth class. They think that, and I … because I’ve recommended the class to a lot of pregnant people too, and I said, “It’s not a home birth class. You’re not going to go in there and get talked into a home birth.” I said, “You’re going to hear the pros and cons, the risks and benefits of every different kind of birth, every different kind of intervention, so that you can make the best informed decision for your family. For us, that was a home birth, but that doesn’t mean that if you take the class, you’re going to have a home birth.”

Rebecca Dekker:

Well, it’s great to have your testimonial, your information about how the class helped you have a home birth, because sometimes we get home birth midwives and birth center midwives who are like, “Will it actually prepare our clients to have a home birth?” So did you feel prepared to go without an epidural and have a birth at home?

Kristen Crosby:

Oh yes.

Zach Crosby:

Oh yeah.

Kristen Crosby:

Very prepared. Very prepared. Yep. [crosstalk 00:31:15]-

Zach Crosby:

Not over prepared, but just knowing that there was so much evidence, so many different interventions that we could do ourselves. The toolbox that was provided to us, it was definitely not … we knew we had everything we needed and more to go into this situation.

Kristen Crosby:

It went … it did go … I will say, as far as the speed of it going fast, it went so fast that that I didn’t use as many things as I thought I was going to use. I had all these things in my head, we were going to do the reading, the scripts, and I was going to just be laying there while he read to me or whatever, but it did go pretty fast, so we didn’t use all the interventions, but I quickly found the ones that worked for me and used those the whole time.

Rebecca Dekker:

It’s better to have more than enough runway than not enough runway when you’re landing a plane.

Kristen Crosby:

Yeah, exactly.

Rebecca Dekker:

So, awesome. Well, thank you so much, Kristen and Zach, for joining us on the podcast. Do you have any final advice or words of wisdom for people listening who are planning on entering birth or parenthood soon?

Zach Crosby:

We have four kids, so parenting is a blessing. We love it. Being able to have the different experiences with each of our children has been great, but just … I feel like we’re where we are now with the knowledge and the confidence, that we really appreciate just having that knowledge to be able to help others who come and ask questions and to be able to point them towards evidence for their questions. Instead of just, “Well, this is how we do it,” we can provide them with resources so they can do what’s best for their family, because each family is different. So, being able to help them see what’s best for their family has been a huge blessing.

Kristen Crosby:

I would say to new moms, first time moms, just realizing that you can be in control and you can have the birth that you want. That doesn’t necessarily mean your birth will go exactly how you want it to go. You may go into it planning a home birth, and you may end up with a C-section, but if you are being informed and talked to about all the risks and the benefits along the way, and you get to make those informed decisions along the way, then you will have the birth that you want. I think that was the main thing for me with my first two was, did I have trauma or like this horrible experience? No, but did I ever really feel like I was in control or I was making the choices for myself? Not very. Sometimes. I didn’t really feel like that. So I think for … especially for first time moms, because you kind of come into your own more after you have that first baby and you stand up for yourself a little bit more, but first time moms need to know, you can make these decisions for yourself. There’s no you can’t do this or you can’t do that. It’s your birth. You can say what you want and you can make decisions for yourself.

Rebecca Dekker:

So it sounds like you’re saying education is power. Learning and getting knowledge is really empowering for new parents.

Kristen Crosby:

Yes. Very.

Rebecca Dekker:

Awesome. All right. Well, thank you so much, Zach and Kristen, for sharing your experiences with us and we just wish you the best as you continue raising your family of all those little kids.

Kristen Crosby:

Thank you.

Zach Crosby:

Thank you.

Rebecca Dekker:

Thanks, bye.

Zach Crosby:

Bye.

Kristen Crosby:

Bye.

Rebecca Dekker:

This podcast episode was brought to you by the book Babies Are Not Pizzas: They’re Born, Not Delivered! Babies Are Not Pizzas is a memoir that tells the story of how I navigated a broken healthcare system and uncovered how I could still receive evidence-based care. In this book, you’ll learn about the history of child birth and midwifery, the evidence on a variety of birth topics, and how we can prevent preventable trauma in childbirth. Babies Are Not Pizzas is available on Amazon as a Kindle, paperback, hardcover, and Audible book. Get your copy today and make sure to email me after you read it to let me know your thoughts.

 

Listening to this podcast is an Australian College of Midwives CPD Recognised Activity.

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