#252 | A Father's Perspective on his Baby's Inaccurate IUGR Diagnosis

February 14, 2024

IUGR or Intrauterine Growth Restriction is the latest trend on the obstetric scene--a diagnosis that has afflicted many mothers unnecessarily. Eric, a father of two daughters,  joins us on the show today to discuss his experience with his wife's IUGR experience.  When an early ultrasound told them their baby was measuring smaller than expected, they were sent to maternal-fetal medicine and their baby was labeled as growth-restricted. As their dreams of a birth center birth quickly vanished, they started having regular ultrasounds and non-stress tests to monitor their baby. While Eric's intuition told him everything was ok with their baby, he had to balance the forceful voice of the medical system and his wife's nerves and unease, given the pressure and fear-tactics she was relentlessly subjected to, while having to make constant trips to and from the doctor to continually check on the baby. At forty-two weeks they scheduled a hospital induction, birthing a perfectly non-growth-restricted baby who was estimated to be just forty weeks’ gestation, indicating the doctors incorrectly estimated the due date at the outset. This story illuminates the excessive fear and risk put upon parents and the common inaccuracies of IUGR diagnoses.

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View Episode Transcript

I think fathers feel extraordinary degrees of powerlessness, because you're there as the protector of your family. And you're rendered powerless by nature first and then by the medical system.

Absolutely. She would go in one week talk to one doctor, and the doctor would assure her that everything is fine, and it looks great. And then she would go in the next week, it would be like almost catastrophic, right? The doctor is like, well, when we see this fetal growth restriction is not good. It's stressful.

Trisha, how would a couple know at this point? If they're dealing with small for gestational age versus intrauterine growth restriction?

That's the million dollar question around IUGR.

And when you're trying to get out of the hospital, and you're like, well, at baby's fine, mom's fine, it's eight in the morning, the next day, we've slept, it's time to go. And it's like, well, you're not allowed to leave until the pediatrician signs off on this baby. And it's like, well, I'm telling you, the baby's fine. And I'm the dad. Right? And it's like, well, if you leave now we're gonna call CPS on you. I felt like I was in like prison.

I'm Cynthia Overgard, owner of HypnoBirthing of Connecticut, childbirth advocate and postpartum support specialist. And I'm Trisha Ludwig, certified nurse midwife and international board certified lactation consultant. And this is the Down To Birth Podcast. Childbirth is something we're made to do. But how do we have our safest and most satisfying experience in today's medical culture? Let's dispel the myths and get down to birth.

My name is Eric R. I live in Loveland, Colorado, with my wife, Erin. And we have two beautiful daughters. One is two and a half the other is about five months. And, you know, I wanted to come on the show and talk about, you know, our fetal growth restriction diagnosis that we got and kind of our journey going through that. And, you know, we had originally intended to do, you know, birth at a birthing center, and then wanted to do a home birth and then ended up in the hospital so I can kind of talk about that journey and the hospital birth.

Yeah, Eric, really quickly, this is the story of your second daughter, right? The five. So just in a nutshell. So you're where you were, you know, I always feel like fathers go into their subsequent births feeling a little bit more like experts and moms are always feeling like they're starting from square one every time they get pregnant again. So you must have had a little bit of that relief that you already had been through at once? How would you summarize the first birth experience? And what your experience was the first time around so that we know who you felt like you were going into the second birth before this unexpected thing came up for you? Absolutely.

Yeah. So the birth of our first child was kind of during the peak of, you know, what I would call the COVID hysteria at the hospital and, you know, your first birth, you're not thinking like, oh, I want to do something really wild and different have a home birth seems like scary. So we I mean, we were 100% committed to doing everything through the official, quote, traditional hospital system. And so the first birth, you know, it was obviously a wonderful, beautiful, amazing experience, my daughter came into the world and my life was profoundly changed forever. There was a lot of stuff that happened at the hospital, because, you know, Pete COVID time or just like, what I hear a lot on, on y'all is podcasts around just the stuff that they do at the hospital in general. You know, one of the things that was like a COVID procedure was, you know, they weren't letting a lot of support people be there. So, you know, having that experience, and all those things. We were like, excited for the birth of our second daughter like to do this birthing center, right. And we worked with tender gifts who are amazing in northern Fort Collins, and we were just super excited that like, Okay, we had this kind of experience during the birth of our first daughter, let's try something that's that's going to let us feel more at home and, and having as many support people as we wanted. So we were really looking forward to that opportunity with our second baby. We found out we were pregnant in December 2022. Everything was normal, healthy at our 20 week ultrasound, and we did to know the gender like a lot of folks do. You know, they did mention that the baby was about a week behind in the charts and stuff. And they also noticed that the placenta was sitting kind of low, right? And so that was like another area where they were a little concerned. They were like, you know, maybe come back at 28 weeks and get another ultrasound just to make sure that placenta has shifted. And so You know, we did that. We went for the 20 week ultrasound. At that time, you know, they gave us news that the baby was measuring below 10 percentile on a lot of different measurements. And that as part of the state of Colorado's regulations on birthing centers that they can no longer do the birth there, they still offered midwives. But that was kind of devastating news for us. Oh,

Eric, was this only based on the ultrasound? And yeah, one one ultrasound?

I mean, it was it was two ultrasounds, I think that only one

The first was normal, only one ultrasound that said anything was different. Correct.

And we were we were not sure about the due date, you know, date of conception kind of thing. We went in sort of blind to the idea that that might impact this considerably. And that'll come out and kind of as I tell the story, but it ended up seeming like that was probably the main thing was just we didn't know the conception date. And we were way early with some of this stuff. Where are they basing her guesstimate on her last period? Yeah.

And which was also pretty shaky, because having just had a baby and been breastfeeding, she wasn't getting regular periods. Right. So you don't know when she ovulate it anyway. Right? Right. So sort of gaps, right? So many women don't have normal cycles don't know exactly when they conceive. And unless you have that, that early ultrasound, for dating, it's hard. It's hard to pick the date. And that's just an example of why we really need to not put so much emphasis on due dates, because we can really derail a pregnancy.

Yeah, absolutely. And and, you know, because of the fetal growth restriction diagnosis, it's like, now there's all these concerns and worries, maybe there's something wrong, you know, and I had in my heart, you know, my gut instinct, the whole time that no, the baby's fine. There's nothing to worry about. I just knew, right, that it was going to work out and be okay. But, of course, the path that the doctors recommend now is lots of testing, right? They want multiple visits per week. So he's driving like 40 minutes up to the hospital now, or, you know, maternal fetal medicine, to get tests. And it's the ironic thing about all this stuff is they keep calling them non stress tests.

I always say, when ironic term, it's the most stress inducing, it's the most stress inducing thing they can do to women in late pregnancy.

All right, she seemed very stressed. Right, it's like, I'm going for my non stress tests, and she's trying to get out the door and drive 40 minutes with a two year old. And so

I'll just explain quickly where the name comes from, it is totally in not a good name, because it is a stressful experience. But prior to the non stress test, they actually used to induce contractions in mothers and it was called a contraction stress test. So they would actually make you have contractions and see how the baby tolerated it. What it is. Yeah. And so it's now called a non stress test, because they've removed that contraction stress. Can you imagine and like, we're, we're forcing contractions upon a baby and a body that's not ready to see how they respond to see if the baby has tolerance for this in the name of the baby's wellness. And what I've always noticed with women over the years when they have non stressed tests, is they go and everything is fine. And then they leave and they're still just a ball of nerves, because they were put in that state of never feeling that it's really okay, you don't get news, good enough and reassuring enough, it's just a matter of like, okay, things look okay, for now, but we're going to check on you again in a couple of days. And they just live in a state of stress. And is that similar to what you observed in your wife, Eric? Absolutely.

Yeah. No, I mean, did you specify exactly what they picked up on the 28 week ultrasound that indicated IUGR.

Um, I know that the baby measured below the 10th percentile, like overall, with size, and then there was like, the stomach was above the 10th percentile, but like everything else was smaller. On the ultrasound itself, everything was great. The measurements were maybe below the percentile we needed, but they were all kind of congruent, right. So the baby was growing. Normally, it wasn't like the head was really big, or, you know, organs were out of proportion or anything like that. So that was really reassuring the Dopplers that they were doing, they would tell us things like well, we're seeing some decrease flow in in the, you know, from the placenta and the umbilical cord. So that's somewhere where we might be concerned and there was a lot of like, she would go in one week. Talk to one doctor and the doctor would assure her that everything is fine, and it looks great. And then she would go in the next week, maybe the test results were slightly different. But the doctor would be like, almost catastrophic, right? The doctor is like, well, when we see this fetal growth restriction, it's not good. There was a lot of that is stressful. And so yeah, she would come home, and we would talk about it. And I felt that everything was going to be fine. The midwives, they told us, like we've seen babies do this before where they've grown from this diagnosis. And then you can still do the birthing center or the homebirth. pray for a miracle kind of thing. And we were right. So wouldn't even be a miracle if the baby just gets past that 10% 10th percentile, just an ultrasound. Trisha, how would a couple know at this point, if they're dealing with small for gestational age versus the more serious diagnosis of intrauterine growth restriction?

That's the million dollar question around IUGR. This is what everybody is trying to determine is is a baby just SGA? Or are they truly growth restricted? So the first thing question, the first question that comes to my mind is, did Aaron have any pregnancy complications? Did she have gestational diabetes? Did she have hypertension? Did she have any underlying risk factors for IUGR?

Did she smell did she do drugs? Drugs, things like that, too? I

Trisha Yep. Those are on there.

My wife is probably one of the healthiest people I know. Right? So I mean, in general, like she's a fitness coach and instructor, you know, our nutrition is extremely dialed in. Yeah. So I, I never had any doubt in my mind that she was able to, to do her job in this well, right. She doesn't do drugs, she doesn't smoke. She does no

risk factors is what you're saying. Right, exactly.

So what what is used to determine IUGR is still it's still kind of unclear, there isn't consensus around this. And this is part of the problem and everybody's jumping on these little babies that might just be SGA. In the looking at the Doppler flow that is more diagnostic. So if there is evidence of significantly reduced blood flow to the placenta, then of course, you in a baby who's not growing? Well, that is a concern. If they're just under the 10 percentile, but they're consistently growing. I don't see how that's IUGR. You know, if a bit if a baby's at the 10th percentile, and then the seventh percentile, and then the fifth percentile, and then the second percentile, week after week after week, that's growth restriction, even if they're in the 40th, and then the 28th, and then the 14th. That should be a bigger red flag going to be measuring around. Right reminder. 10 can talking about babies who are not consistently growing, not just babies who are small, what am -- The thing is, the vast majority are already in the right range, the question you're asking is how many are the average. And we can have babies that are in the average? I mean, how many, right you have to have bigger ones. And you have to have a normal scale as well for from one to 100. And we don't all need to be between 45 and 55%. For everything, we have to remember that for every baby that's in the 50th percentile, there must be a baby in the second there must be a baby in the 99. There must be someone in the 72nd. This is under a normal bell curve distribution. It's the anomalies that they need to look for. But they're looking under the bell curve of normal for a lot of these things. Yes, once we go down this path of measuring the stomach, the femur, the head, I mean, it we are getting it's so nebulous, and they're just putting little points talk about subjective because we're measuring something that's three dimensional with two dimensional with a line with two with a line. There are certain measurements that are more accurate with ultrasound and there are other measurements that are very inaccurate and we know that estimating, you know weight is very inaccurate because of what you just said about you know, three dimensional measurements.

Eric, I just want to talk for a minute before you continue with one of the most difficult things I think for couples in such a situation is that we often hear of dads like you who have a solid gut instinct, just enough removal from the situation to know that everything is really okay once in a while and it is really rare but it does happen once in a while the father it gets more anxious than the mother but the norm is for her to be lying awake in bed while you're sleeping her eyes wide open. It's you know, there is definitely an impending feeling when you're pregnant that this baby must be well and this baby must come through your body and out of you. It just is a different experience inherently it's a vastly different experience being the father versus the mother. But how does a couple deal with that? It's such a struggle when you know sometimes for the woman who's so anxious she can feel the comfort in her house. But no one everything is okay. Or she can feel frustration saying How come you're not more concerned about this? And are you taking my worries seriously enough? How did it go between the two of you?

Yeah, I mean, I'll definitely comment there that it was, it was difficult for me in a lot of ways. The anxiety, the stress, the worrying, and yeah, seeing Aaron go through that, it had to be 10 times, or more worse for her. And I would just say, like she over, she really handled everything with a lot of grace. And I'm lucky that she is such a strong person. And, you know, I saw my role there a lot of times is just being someone she could vent to, or talk to, and pray with, and, you know, not feel the need to take control of the situation. And I had to allow myself a lot of times to say to her, like, you know, of course, I don't know that everything is going to be fine. Of course, I'm scared. But there's nothing we can do. At this point. It's like just being there for her and trying to be a good husband, right, and making sure that I was spending a lot of time with my daughter, so that, you know, Aaron could go to the gym or, you know, do the things that she loves to do. And just being a supportive husband. I mean, I think it did give us a really good opportunity to grow together. You know, like I mentioned, we started praying together a lot more that I think, helped. For us, as a whole, it was incredibly stressful. But it did bring us together. You know, overall, it was good for our relationship to kind of go through that kind of stuff, and rely on each other for support, not just the ways that we normally do. And it was a trying experience, which every couple is going to go through something like that at some point. So yeah, I don't know that I was always the best about it. Right? There's so much opportunity for fathers to grow in these experiences. And, you know, really learning from her like, wow, she's she's dealing with this. And she's making the the main thing is just like the driving all the time to these points out of her. Yeah, and one position, and worse, worse than the driving. And the logistics of it is the mental load that she had to carry of worrying about what was going to happen every time she went to the appointment. What am I going to be told today? Am I going to be told the anticipation of am I going to be told that my baby is in hard, you know, in a dangerous situation is in harm? Or am I going to be relieved and told that everything is okay in the up and down of when you're not getting either one of those things Definity, like definitively, like you said, it's like that open ended fear is really tough psychologically, you know, then you're left with the feeling. Is that something I'm doing wrong? Yes, yeah, absolutely. So what happened in late pregnancy, tell us the story of when the baby came.

So So 34 weeks, the baby measured over the 12 percentile, which was extremely encouraging. They still were not ready to release her back to the birthing center. Because even though like the 10% was supposed to be the threshold, but like you're saying, it was like, Well, you know, the stomach and the head look good. But the shoulder, you know, we still got some things that are under this percentage, and so we don't want to release you back to the midwives just yet. So so the following week, the baby measured in the 22nd percentile. Okay, so they didn't have any excuse to keep us at the hospital. Okay.

Just for the record. That is incredible evidence of the inaccuracy of ultrasound, that baby did not jump to what 10 percentile in one week.

In the 22nd. Yeah, 34 weeks to 37 weeks. So four, so four weeks, three weeks, a huge, massive chunk, and a baby whose growth restricted, right, that makes no sense. No sense.

So at that point, they had to release this back to the midwives in the birthing center.

And they're like, oh, sorry, we've been wrong all along. Your baby hasn't been grown. Your baby hasn't been grocery restricted this whole time. Those were their rules that 12% They really should have done it. The fact that they kept you guys on after that was not necessary. Keeping you anxious for another three weeks, you had to like, knock this number out of the park by some weird metric to even it just doesn't make sense. But what happened next 37 Right, so 30 to 40 weeks, you know, we were back at at tender gifts or midwives and the maternal fetal medicine doctors were like, well, this never happened. You know, this never happens and the Midwest.

Never have to know how often I've heard that. Through couples, this never happens. Of

course, there's a huge catch in this entire scenario where We're like all this hope and joy that we were feeling about that is like, well, at the same time, if the baby doesn't come at 42 weeks, you gotta go back to the hospital, nothing you can do. It's the state regulations on home births and birthing centers. So, you know, leading up to that time that deadline, we're doing everything we can to get that baby out. We're doing prenatal massage, and we're going on walks, we're going on bumpy car rides, we're trying to do some big car rides. That's all kinds of stuff to try and, you know, bouncing on the ball. And my, my wife has this is probably the most, you know, and is it like your own anxiety? Again, that's keeping the baby in there now. And for you, when you guys were going through all this, so yeah, this was like 3940 weeks now where like, we we need to get the baby out. Otherwise, we have to do a hospital birth. Anyway, what happened? What happened? Yeah, 40 weeks, 41 weeks. And then finally, it was, you know, the the deadline day that Sunday, so we had to schedule an induction at 42 weeks.

Now, induction was still optional. You just had to take it over to the hospital. Right? You could? Sure.

Actually, yeah, no, you're right. So so this is just like the best medical advice that we got, right? It's like one of those things where we had that conversation about, like, look, we don't have to do the induction. I mean, I can only say like, at this point, we were so fatigued from this whole process that it was like, it was really difficult to consider that like saying no to the doctors, right? It's so hard sometimes that they're saying like, well, this is the best thing for your baby. This is the best thing for mom, we know where the you know, we're the hospital, we, we do this all the time. And so you know, just for the birth. You know, we went in at what the doctor saw was 43 weeks, we did the induction with Pitocin, minimal Pitocin. But, you know, whatever that is, and, you know, just in the absolute praise of my wife, and what a strong, amazing person she is. She did both of these births, both of my daughters with no epidural. And also her sister was our doula for both of the births. And isn't it? Isn't it interesting that doctors and hospital doctors, mostly not hospitals, they're willing to change your due date, based on, you know, the baby's looking big or whatever, they'll move your due date up, you already know that you didn't have a good, accurate due date on this. And she's most likely not 42 weeks, right? The baby's not here, because she's not ready yet. Because she's not 42 weeks, and they're they're unwilling to look at that. They're willing to induce you and move your due date up. But they're not willing in the situation like this to be like, hey, you know what, even they actually have a very good, estimated due date for this baby. And maybe, you know, we just need to give it a little more time because she's not actually this far along in pregnancy.

Right. And that that came to be kind of more clear after they did the Ballard score.

So that's when the assessment they do on the baby after they're born to estimate gestational age.

Right? They really did when they what did it come out as 40 weeks?

Yeah. See?

How accurate is that, Trisha? I mean, like everything else? Not I know. You told us it's more accurate that sounds.

So it is highly accurate. And it was 40 weeks. So this means that if they had had the right, estimated due date from the start, none of this ever would have happened.

Sounds like it to me. Yeah, yeah. And what also, I mean, this is also like a retrospect, pointing the blame at doctors, I don't want to do that. But, you know, if we had listened to the best medical advice, we would have then induced our baby at 38 weeks, right? Because they they were like, well, we want to induce it. 40 weeks where, you know, we would love that? Because that was again, like their best medical advice that we were sort of like, No, we're gonna at least wait until the 42 week date. So yeah, I mean, the due date thing is critical. And knowing these things, in retrospect, it's like we would have done so much differently. Right? You said you don't want to blame doctors. And I always find that interesting. When anyone says something like that, first of all, in my vocabulary, I don't use the word fault. And I don't use the word blame. I really don't like or agree with those words. However, if this if you had been pushed into an induction too early, or if you had been told you had IUGR with all these unnecessary interventions and all the scary that you went through all the stress you went through, they were responsible for this, right? I mean, we don't have to remain out versus differential to doctors and we don't have to look there they are getting birth wrong in this country. What are the rates are just rising and rising while they're lowering everywhere else? It is okay to say, well, they really almost caused harm. I mean, it's true, they almost caused harm based on bad information while they were looking at you and saying, Look, we're the experts, we know what we're talking about. They weren't humble enough to say we really aren't 100% Sure. But this is what we're concerned about. And these are some options. They weren't doing that. So, you know, I appreciate how I don't know where you're coming from when you say I don't want to blame doctors. And I, again, it's not a term I would use. But I do think we have to hold our trusted medical providers to a higher standard, and there has to be more humility on their side, there has to be better expectations on our side. And we do have to look at where the responsibility lies, because it does lie with you know, what it lies with us in some ways, the decisions we make it lies with them with the recommendations, they're giving them how much pressure they're applying to couples, you're you're putting your trust in them that this is the best medical advice. Right? You were you were given the best medical advice, and it's not the best medical advice. And they, those giving out that advice need to be responsible and accountable to whether or not they're giving the best advice or not. That's you didn't get informed consent through informed consent. You didn't get the potential risks of the fact that you know what, we don't know that this is an accurate due date, and we might be inducing early. Nobody said that to you. Yeah, no, I mean, the reason I said I was just I have a lot of anger towards those people.

Yeah, I'm just trying to like sugarcoat it right like that. Let's hear how you really feel talk about Yeah, I mean, yeah, they, they put risks on my child, right. I mean, I can't describe the amount of anger that makes me feel right. So having gone through the first birth with the crazy, crazy COVID madness, right, like that was, that was enough for me to be like, there's something really broken here. With not just the medical system, but like the birthing thing, it appears to me to be sort of the frontlines of this medical freedom thing that's going on in in America. And, you know, I don't want to sound like a crazy extremist or something, right? Like I do think that thing in the world to question these things, right. And I do want to believe in my heart that these people want to help.

Part of the part of the problem is that they truly don't believe that they're doing harm to a baby by inducing them at 38 weeks, they they believe that the baby is it's better if they can control the labor and birth process through induction or cesarean and get that baby out sooner rather than later. That's they don't respect and trust the process of physiologic birth and all the all the subtle benefits that come with going into labor naturally, and how that influences a mother over her lifetime. They're not thinking about that they're literally thinking about making sure that baby is born safely. And that's it.

Right? And it's very much to me, like a, it's like, it's almost like a factory farm kind of situation, right? Like they're doing everything for the lowest common denominator. And I understand like you have, you know, it's a teen mom, who goes in there who's got all sorts of health problems, maybe she's got drug problems and things like that. And, you know, they're, they're seeing all kinds of people come in there. And so, you know, that's where, like, for me, like, I don't want to prejudge their, their motivations, their intentions, their their morals, or ethics or where they're coming from. But But even with, like the delivery, like as a baby's coming out, like the doctor wasn't in the room when the baby was born, and she was like, freaking out. I got like, she came in like, oh, you had the baby without me in here and things like that. And like, I'm not sure if this is true or not. So you know, this might be speculation, but like, I someone was telling me like, if the doctor is not in the room, when the baby comes out, they don't get a certain bonus or something or money like they don't get paid. I don't know if that's true or not, but she was really upset when she came in. That baby had come out while she was there. It's so upsetting. she's blaming the mother. She was giving birth. Yeah. The way her body is just, you know, telling her to do it. She's upset that she her body didn't wait for her to be in there. Yeah. I mean, celebrating that She shouldn't be looking at her and hugging her and going, great job. Look at you, you're so powerful. You're, you know, your body knows exactly what to do, you didn't even need me. We have we have a lot of listeners outside of the US all over the world. And on a regular basis, over 80 countries, and about 15% of our listeners are outside of this country. And I always think of them when we talk about things like this. They they're, I think their jaws drop collectively, when they hear this talk of money, because it is just an it's the only country in the world where you are tying healthcare to revenue targets for literally publicly traded companies and people are shareholders and stakeholders. It's just unbelievable that we even have to discuss it and speculate. But I do want to acknowledge one other thing that we're talking about. I don't I agree with you. Like I don't, I don't like to speak to anyone's motivation, or intentions or morals because I can't get inside their head. But I can judge the actions. And that the things they say to you, we can have opinions on and make judgments around the things they do to you. And what we need to talk about more is not like well, at least everything worked out. Okay. Robbing women of what could have been a better experience is an injustice. That happened, that's exactly what happened with you and Aaron, you know it, they robbed you of a better prenatal experience and birth experience. And it's not being taken into consideration how that undermines a woman's sense of herself and her transition into motherhood. Birth is a rite of passage. And it is meant to be an empowering one it is meant to is meant for a woman to feel in her most glorious state in birth in and out is constantly taken away from women, through people managing their labors and managing their birth and intervening and undermining their experience. Yeah, like I'll never forget as the baby's sitting on a warmer and we're just there waiting, like there's just like glaring at the nurse and the nurse kind of gave me this thing. She's like, Do you have a problem? Because there's everything okay, dad, and I wanted to strangle her. And it was like, I had to just sit there and think, Well, if I do anything crazy, CPS is gonna get called I mean, or something. There's so many conflicting emotions that like, I can't just take control of the situation like I want to, because I'm going to look like an insane person.

I think fathers feel extraordinary degrees of powerlessness through the birth process. Absolutely. That's really hard. Because you're there as the protector of your family. And you're rendered powerless by nature first, and then by the medical system. And when you're trying to get out of the hospital, and you're like, well, at baby's fine, mom's fine. It's eight in the morning, the next day, we've slept, it's time to go. And it's like, well, you're not allowed to leave until the pediatrician signs off on this baby. And it's like, well, I'm telling you, the baby's fine. And I'm the dad. Right? And it's like, well, if you leave now we're gonna call CPS on you. I felt like I was in like prison. I mean, this is the same when my first daughter was born to right during the COVID stuff. It was like I had sort of been prepared for that. Once we knew we had to go back in the hospital. It's like, you get kind of looks from these people like what are you a bad parent? Because you want to leave the hospital? It's like no, like the baby. We don't belong here in this windowless room as a family on the first day of my baby's life. You know, how did this experience change you?

Oh my gosh. Well, being being a dad has totally changed my life in general. I mean, I'm 38 and you know, so we didn't have our first until I was 36. There's just there's nothing that has made me a better person in my life than having a kid. The second has been an even greater like there's just your capacity to love is only going to grow. It seems scary when you're a single guy or maybe you know, a newlywed who is scared to become a father. Because for me personally, it was like I didn't think I had the capacity to love this much. And I thought it was going to be so much work. It is a lot of work but the first time I heard my first daughter cry in the hospital, it was like this feeling of pure joy and it makes everything worth it

Thank you for joining us at the Down To Birth Show. You can reach us @downtobirthshow on Instagram or email us at Contact@DownToBirthShow.com. All of Cynthia’s classes and Trisha’s breastfeeding services are offered live online, serving women and couples everywhere. Please remember this information is made available to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is in no way a substitute for medical advice. For our full disclaimer visit downtobirthshow.com/disclaimer. Thanks for tuning in, and as always, hear everyone and listen to yourself.

Erin loves y'all's podcast, she was super excited that I was going to come on and talk. So I hope that I did her justice with telling the story. And yeah, just extremely thankful for you all for doing this kind of thing for medical freedom. And like I said, it really is the front lines. And we got to do something and talking about it is is super important. And I'm just really glad for the opportunity to kind of share the story.

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About Cynthia Overgard

Cynthia is a published writer, advocate, childbirth educator and postpartum support specialist in prenatal/postpartum healthcare and has served thousands of clients since 2007. 

About Trisha Ludwig

Trisha is a Yale-educated Certified Nurse Midwife and International Board Certified Lactation Counselor. She has worked in women's health for more than 15 years.

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