The Home Waterbirth Story
My second son was born at home. One of the midwives on staff at the birth center where my first son was born had started her own practice doing homebirths! I was so excited. I am pregnant again and am going to the same midwife planning another homebirth. I love her attitude as she is all about natural birth and non-intervention.
She gave me lots of choices that I was not even given with the birth center, such as not making me have the IV antibiotics during labor. For every decision, she gave me the risks, pros, and cons and let me decide. I really appreciated that and her trust in a woman's body to give birth by itself.
I woke up at 4 am after only 4 hours sleep and proceeded to pace my house for about the next 10 hours. I then spent the next several hours in my bathtub. My other son, who was 3 years, 8 months old at the time, got in the tub with me. It was really sweet and funny. I said, "I can't even have labor by myself." He would rub my back and say comforting things. I didn't mind him being there at all. My husband would pop in out of the bathroom checking on me, as would the midwife.
It was mostly just me and my little boy. Right when it got tough, my husband came in and stayed. He seemed to know when I needed him and when I was ok alone. Although our moms and my sister in law were at my house, I didn't want them with me during labor.
They were all present for my first birth, and my mom had a hard time seeing me in pain. Labor is an unbelievably intense time and I didn't want to be distracted. I just breathed through each contraction, just concentrating on each one at a time, and reminding myself I was that much closer. As before, I allowed myself to squeeze my hands together, but made the rest of my body stay relaxed.
You have to let your body do the work. If you tense up, you are fighting against yourself. I made no noises probably due to the fact that my son was there and I did not want to scare him. My labor lasted nearly 15 hours and towards the end I was exhausted, after the lack of sleep and 10 hours of pacing, then several hours of hard labor. Transition was a blur, it was so intense and painful, though quick.
I remember an intense mixture of emotions of pain and love for my family and God's presence just before transition. Delivery was quick and seemingly effortless. I say that because I didn't have to push hard like I did before. He was ready to be born and I squatted in the floor and out he came.
My husband and I caught him. I did send for our family to witness the birth. I did get noisy during birth and I think it scared my son, so my father in law took him outside. He had left the bathroom before transition, and I'm glad since I was obviously in pain. I also found a Christian worship CD to be immensely helpful. I listened to one nonstop the whole 15 hours.
Our midwife sat in the corner during transition and birth, so it was very special with my husband and I catching our son. He's the one who turned him over and announced, It's a boy!" I elected not to get an ultrasound, so we didn't know what we were getting.
We didn't cut the cord til after it stopped pulsating and I donated the cord blood. I wanted to do these with my first birth, but didn't get to. I have a stepson, too, so my husband has had one in a hospital, one in a birth center, and one at home.
Home is his favorite and mine. He was serving up pie and coffee. I cannot fathom trying to have labor and delivery in a hospital. I pray I never have anything to cause me to have that experience.
For something so incredibly private and intense, home is definitely the place to be. For women who may doubt their ability to have a natural, unmedicated childbirth, I personally never found it to be fun, but it was doable.
I could deal with a day of pain for the benefits of an alert baby, no lasting back pain from an epidural, and the speedy recovery among many other benefits. After this one, I got right up and got a shower and felt great.
Trust your body. It's created to give birth and it knows how to do it if you let it and don't fight it. The birth part is a crazy feeling, but it's over in less than a minute. I found the contractions the difficult part, but certainly not impossible.
Many people live in extreme pain constantly. Surely we can endure some pain for the benefit of ourselves and our children. 20% of women who get epidurals have chronic back pain afterward.
Why trade a day of pain for a lifetime of pain? You can do it!
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Page Last Modified by Catherine Beier, MS, CBE
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