In this episode of Birth Kweens, Care Messer shares about her journey to becoming a mom, a path that included struggles with infertility, adoption, having an unmedicated birth center birth, and eventually becoming a birth worker herself. Care is the founder of The Birth Education Center in San Diego, CA. When Care discovered HypnoBirthing for the birth of her daughter in 2008, it changed her life’s path. Care believes that babies can experience a birth day that is magical, loving, and gentle. When families are educated to resolve fears, birth becomes a beautiful positive experience. Care continued on to become a DONA Doula under the instruction of Gerri Ryan and became a Certified HypnoBirthing Instructor. From there, Care started her own business, San Diego HypnoBirthing where she has been educating families since 2009. She is a NATH Hypnotherapist, a Certified Placenta Encapsulationist, an ICEA-trained Childbirth Educator, a CAPPA-trained Post-partum Doula, and an Innate Traditions-trained Post-partum Doula. Care is certified as a Professional Cuddler and Cuddle Facilitator through Cuddle Sanctuary in Los Angeles and through Cuddlist.com. Until recently Care served as the Director of Cap Wellness Center. She is a mentor and educator for doulas across San Diego County in Professional Doula Classes created for the Birth Education Center. She has also trained students nurses at SDSU and held nurse trainings in local hospitals. She is a Board member at The Nizhoni Institute for Midwifery and served as Vice President of San Diego Birth Network. Here’s an overview of what Care shares about in this episode:

  • A bit about her family background… what it was like to grow up in a big family with hopes of having the same and then be faced with infertility
  • Her struggles with repeated miscarriages (6 in total) and the impact that they had on her physical, mental, and emotional health
  • How Care’s oldest daughter Angie came into their family at 5 years old via adoption
  • Getting pregnant for the 7thtime and how that baby (a little girl that would be named Finley) became the first and only one that Care was able to carry to term
  • The role that getting diagnosed with and treated for MTHFR had on Care’s ability to carry Finley to term
  • Care’s struggle to connect with Finley while she was pregnant because of all the miscarriages and how that experience has informed her understanding of trauma
  • How Care went from wanting a completely medicated birth “with ALL of the drugs” to being an avid student of Hypnobirthing who switched to a birth center and midwifery care.
  • What Care’s labor and birth with Finley was like – a waterbirth in a birth center followed by an unexpected postpartum hospital transfer for the baby
  • Coming to learn, a few hours after she was born, that Finley was very sick and eventually being told that she wouldn’t make it
  • What it was like for Care to cope with Finley’s terminal diagnosis, especially after already experiencing so much loss
  • How Finley beat all the odds and survived despite her severe birth injury
  • What life is like for Care and her family today, including how Finley is doing
  • Care’s current role as a birth worker and the impact that her own beautifully unique and challenging birth experience has had on how she supports other families in their childbearing years
  • The importance of connection when it comes to birth and what it looks like to connect with your baby and your partner(s) throughout pregnancy and birth
  • Some helpful tips on how to work through fears and past traumas related to/stemming from birth
  • Some info about using birth story medicine and therapies like EMDR to work through birth trauma

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