You’re not really supposed to have a baby shower for your fourth baby….



McKayla’s real family


James feels like he doesn’t need to attend a childbirth class because he’s a middle child.  I think he’s confusing childcare for childbirth.  Very different.  This is where a doula would come in to help during a birth where the partner is scared, needs support, or not participating!  Many cities have volunteer birth partners, especially for teen parents.

James: I have 7 brothers and sisters.

Lilly: You weren’t in the room when they were birthed.

Lilly is going to be the only mother alone in class, dickhead.  She’s already going to be self-conscious of her age and marital status.  I hope James isn’t already slowly backing away from fatherhood.  That’s nice for you, James, that you don’t need to know about an experience that your girlfriend and child can’t avoid.

Lexus’ grandmother was a teen mom and is “shocked” this happened without birth control.  Lexus is 1 cm, 50% effaced and her provider wants to induce at 39 weeks.  WHY.  Are you going on vacation?  Ugh.  I hope there’s a reason they’re not sharing.

Of course Lexus is excited because she wants to see her baby, not be pregnant, and trusts her doctor.  Get ready for a long, painful labor that may lead to cesarean and a long recovery!  Has anyone explained to her that contractions will be more painful?  God, I hate obstetric culture!

McKayla, do not give in to the joint baby shower.  I am so sorry your adult mother is putting you in this awkward position.  BOUNDARIES.  Probably a PD going on here with the guilt trips, substance use, multiple children, lack of interest in McKayla until a camera crew rolls up.  Mama McKayla looks familiar; was she on Intervention?  Such a victim.  It’s so sad that you are an outsider because you chose drugs over your children and then chose…?  You’ve been sober since 2009.  You don’t work.  What have you been up to?

Oh, the longest text ever that Mama McKayla sends after Shelley disengaged and hangs up on her. I’ve received a few of those from people with borderline traits.  I am all about Shelley stepping in as an adult to protect her son and McKayla.  Pregnant ladies, daughters, teenagers, humans should not have to deal with this woman.


90DF reddit has created an r/TLCunexpected


Netflix and Sick: Unexpected


Lexus and her mom are twins.

Lexus, the teen mom, and her mother, are younger than me.  D:  The obstetrician awkwardly talks about natural induction methods: walking, pineapple oil, teen sex.  Mama Lexus gives the side eye.

I’m officially an old feeling uncomfortable with teens discussing their virginity loss stories.

The relationship with McKayla and her grandparents is fascinating, cute, and beautiful.  Excellent editing choice to play out the entirety of You Are My Sunshine.  McKayla and Kaelan are naming their son after their grandfathers.  “They were like the fathers in our lives.”

McKayla’s absent mother is due with a baby 4 weeks apart from her teen daughter.  Another screaming emoji.  I love how protective Caelen’s mother is of McKayla.

Now I know what a glamma shower is.

Cycle of teen pregnancy well-demonstrated.  Amazing how even the teen boys have teen mothers.  Change this show title to “Completely Expected Due to Socioeconomic Factors.”  I hope the ladies aren’t all abandoned by the fathers like in Teen Mom, ugh.  Or the teen moms I’ve worked with.


The stories we tell ourselves


“It’s like I was out of stories to tell myself everything would be okay.”  Here’s the genius of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s musical interludes: they’re the protagonist’s coping mechanism.  The prior episode and this week’s should be shown in grad school.

Dr. Daaaaamn: In my opinion, you’ve been misdiagnosed throughout the years and that’s why you’ve been struggling.

Say it’s time for DBT.  Oh, nope, he’s avoiding the stigmatized dx.

Rebecca has been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, insomnia, PTSD, sex addiction, OCD in the past.  She’s wondering if maybe she’ll be bipolar, schizophrenic light.  She has a shifting sense of self (like many Axis II disorders) and wants an identity and a solution.

Dr. Damn: It’s important to not look up the diagnosis online before we discuss it.

Because you’ll realize that people don’t speak about Borderline Personality Disorder in gentle terms online.  Nil, how do you feel about clients with this diagnosis as a psychotherapist?   It’s complicated.  🙂  Fist pump!  Armchair diagnosis confirmed.  I never thought the show would be this direct about the protagonist’s mental health.


Rebecca blows off group therapy in IOP.  She hates her diagnosis because it’s not a disease: she tells herself it is a reflection of who she is as a person.  Rebecca seeks a second opinion from her psychiatrist/psychotherapist.  Crossing boundaries, she (and Paula, wtf codependency) interrupts a client in a psychotherapy session.  Then the show brilliantly has the psychiatrist state the DSM criteria while cutting to flashbacks from three seasons.  Rebecca accepts the diagnosis as “crazy” and returns to IOP with a workbook (totally Dialectical Behavioral Therapy!)

Also everyone’s reactions to the suicide: overzealous mothering, blaming themselves, fear, oversharing on social media, flashbacks, placing themselves at the center of the drama.  Put this episode in a textbook.

I recently listened to Dan Siegel and science shows that the stories we tell ourselves, and choose to focus on, shape our brain and become our reality.  Rebecca, what will you tell yourself about your diagnosis?

How do you get quintuplets? How do you stay sane?


These were my questions so I watched the first episode of Hodges Half Dozen.  I love a birth story!

First of all, you get a TV show so you’re not broke.  I get that!

As a pediatric oncology nurse, infertility was mentally difficult for Liz.  They tried four rounds of Clomid and got pregnant with Rowan.  For the second time, they tried two oral medications and then “hormone injections”.  Is that not IVF?  0.1% chance of quints and it happened.  While I have empathy for the infertility they endured, I also am like, cool so doing Clomid gave you a baby.  That’s not going to happen for me.  And then you don’t even need IVF for your multiple subsequent children?  I can’t compare mental pain but 😑

Wait.  A minute.  They’re in Austin?!  With Dr. Berry?!


I’m so curious now.  Want to stalk.  Lord, don’t make me watch this show regularly.

Dr. Berry: Our goal is getting as far along as possible…out of the hospital, off bed rest, because bed rest is not that helpful.

This man is trying to avoid induction with quints.  Wow!  I know some people who think he’s pretty great.  🙂


I may have been born here…

They started building a house for a family of four.  And now they’re moving.  Girl, this is too much stress for me.  And you’re working with a child?!  My blood pressure is rising.


This looks like a suburb I would deliver Amazon to.  You can’t build a house in Austin unless you’re balling. An hour and fifteen minute drive.  Wow!  Is that without traffic?  Do you live in San Antonio?  I’m predicting Leander.  Let’s look it up.  Temple, TX.  Okay, I no longer feel obligated to watch this show.

Contractions start at 27 weeks.  Teagan’s membranes have ruptured.  Cesarean time!  Team of 50.  3 people per baby for delivery.  Dr. Berry explains this to the parents and that they’ll show each baby for a few seconds over the drape.  THANK you, sir.  That is huge for any cesarean and this is a high-risk scenario.


Baby B, Connell, is rushed to the neonatologist so as soon as all babies are delivered, Daniel goes to be with baby.  This is where a doula would be helpful so Liz doesn’t have to be alone in the operating room with no family during a major surgery.  And if someone tells you there’s not enough room in the operating room, push back.  That OR was packed and everything was fine.


Baby B stabilizes.  Apparently Waterloo Ice House gives you a free beer with each baby wristband.

5 or 6 days for skin to develop and be able to touch the babies.  It would be awful to not have skin to skin!  So many losses.  No wonder people get PTSD from NICU stays.  They have to travel for the next 3 months.

Liz has OCD tendencies, perfectionism, difficulty accepting help.  Life is giving you just what you need!  Red flags for postpartum mental health issues.  I would ask to be placed on Xanax at 12 weeks.  JK don’t take that during your first trimester.  Developmental issues.

6 carseats.  Passenger van.  So many changes!  This show is stressful.





When Survivors Give Birth


I’m doing this training this week from Selena Shelley, a doula and psychotherapist, like me.  I attract a lot of clients who are survivors (some disclose, some do not).  It can be difficult for me to differentiate sometimes when a client is in the “zone,” as opposed to dissociating.  Being present in your body helps labor progress.  Sometimes, mamas don’t want to feel anything/be numb during birth, or once the feelings become intense, the fear of sensation/overstimulation causes them to physically clench tight, and slows or halts labor.  An epidural or fentanyl can be that intervention that allows the mother to relax and I have witnessed mamas dilate from 4 to 10 cm within minutes when they can finally let go.  That’s why I’m a doula that will support whatever works to get you to your goals.

When I did my doula training, a survivor talked about how birth was transformative for her and allowed her to reclaim her body and that spoke to me.  I wanted to be a part of that!
Here were my WOW moments from the training that I didn’t yet know, or needed to be reminded of:
94% of prostitutes experienced childhood sexual abuse (CSA)

70% of teen pregnancies experienced CSA

Asthma (a constriction and tightening) can be a red flag for CSA, especially when the abuse was oral

Somatic infertility (woman unconsciously may not want to bring a child into an unsafe world), as well as infertility due to physical abuse, can occur

GI issues, chronic pelvic pain, vaginismus, TMJ, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, migraines: all possible impacts of CSA – “the body tell us things we need to know”

Red flag: women not attending dental/prenatal appointments (due to fear)

A survivor’s daughter reaching the survivor’s age of abuse, can precipitate memories

Birth trauma rates increase in survivors (process as soon as appropriate)

Impact of CSA on pregnancy, labor and birth:

  • fear of being “ripped apart” or damaged
  • exaggerated symptoms of pregnancy (body is triggered)
  • pelvic exams can progress slowly and be narrated by providers with permission from survivor
  • hyperemesis gravidarum and CSA survivors have a high correlation (80%, wowowow) – “vomiting is a rejection phase”
  • fear of having a girl who could potentially be abused
  • fear of having a boy, another penis inside the woman without permission
  • fear of blood draws, IVs, catheters, stripping of membranes, artificially breaking water, insertion/penetration (some survivors feel comfortable in an open room)
  • fear of blood and secretions (triggers around liquids, messiness, stickiness)


Helpful tips:

  • move bed if woman is exposed toward door
  • make a sign for the door: please knock and introduce yourself
  • “meet the pain and press it out with the baby”
  • request nurses wipe often during pushing with permission, change pads while dilating
  • ask what to do if dissociation occurs
  • “when you are pushing your baby out, you are pushing trauma out with your baby”
  • “relax” or “let go” may be triggering, rather than helpful
  • prepare women that breastfeeding can be arousing and give oxytocin rush and is normal, healthy, not sexual

We can offer survivors choice, which was missing from their childhood.

The training is based on a book by Penny Simkin.