Birth Stories

XP: Home water birth story

XP from the Natural Birth board

I woke up around 7:30 on Sept 10th. For almost 10 weeks I?d been having Braxton Hicks contractions, so I didn?t think much when I felt some slightly stronger BH type contractions.  After being up making breakfast for DD I realized these felt different, more like cramps and BH contraction at the same time.  I thought it could possibly be the very very early start of labor, but I wasn?t sure, so I didn?t tell anyone.  I didn?t want to jinx it!  We went about our normal day, DH to work, and DD and I went to our neighbors house and hung out with the neighbors.  I half jokingly predicted that I was going to have a Sept. 11th baby.  DD and I then went to her gymnastics class.  The crampy contractions continued regularly between 5-10 minutes apart, but they were very short and not too uncomfortable.  We just did our normal thing to pass the time and see if this really was labor.  In the car ride home from gymnastics the contractions became more uncomfortable (probably because I was sitting) and I decided we?d not go out in the car again that day.  It was a gorgeous, perfect fall day, so I decided that DD and I would go for a nice long walk, and if it was labor, it would only help things pick up, and if it wasn?t labor, at least we had a nice walk.  We walked about a mile or so.  Halfway through the walk I had to stop walking when a contraction came.  I still didn?t believe I was in labor.  Since DD had been 2 weeks past her estimated due date, I just assumed I wouldn?t have this baby until at least a week late.  We stopped by the little playground near our house on the way back.  I sat on the bench through the contractions while DD ran around and played.  Then I had the strongest contraction yet and then I felt a pop and a rush of fluid, my water broke!  It was 12:30 when my water broke.  Just like with DD, it was not just a little fluid, it was a lot!  I stood up and it kept gushing out so I told DD it was time to leave.  She behaved like a little angel and hopped in her stroller.  I called DH and told him this was really it, he should come home now!  He sounded excited and immediately left work.  I called my frined also and left her a message that I was really in labor.  At this point my jeans, socks, and shoes were entirely soaked with amniotic fluid, it was quite gross feeling.  We walked home (just a 5 minute walk) and I crossed my fingers I wouldn?t run into anyone.  Fortunately only the trash truck drove by.    We got home and I started to panic a little.  I realized there was some meconium in the water (which didn?t end up being an issue), and DD was confused why I kept leaking stuff on the floor.  She kept yelling ?mommy spilled!?  I was having a hard time concentrating on what was going on with labor and taking care of DD.  I called Peggy and spoke with her, she decided to come out and check me, the baby, and see where we were in labor.  Then I spoke with Kelly (our doula) around 1:20 on the phone who was able to help me relax, calm down and breathe.   After my water had broken my contractions had stopped, while I was on the phone with Kelly they started up again.  It was a relief to know labor was going to continue!   The contractions were still short and  uncomfortable, but not painful.  I ate, fed DD and remembered to keep drinking plenty of water.  DH got home and thankfully put DD down for a nap and cleaned up.   The contractions continue to be short/uncomfortable but started coming closer together 3-5 minutes apart.  Peggy and Kim arrived around 2:00.  Everything looked great with baby and myself.  They checked me, I was 1 cm, but the cervix was soft stretchy, thin, ready to go.  We decided they would go back, and I?d call later when things had picked up, and I?d check in around dinner time regardless.   We just stayed distracted and relaxed at home after they left.  We ate a 2nd lunch.  I sat on the bed and meditated and tried to rest fully between contractions.  They gradually got a little longer, but were still around 40 seconds long, several minutes apart.  Mentally I was prepared for a super long labor again and was at peace.  My friend arrived around 5 to take DD to her house.  I got out of bed at that point and said bye to DD.  I walked around the house a little to see if the contractions would change.     We decided to watch some TV to pass the time.  I sat on the exercise/birth ball while we watched television.  It was a comfortable position to get through the contractions.  Sometimes I?d hold onto DH too, and sometimes I?d lean a little on the couch as well.  We watched about 2 or so hours of shows and then I just felt like I HAD to get up.  I went to the bathroom and had three much stronger and longer contractions in a row.  DH timed my contractions for a little while, and they were 60-70 seconds long and under 5 minutes apart.  I couldn?t watch TV or be distracted through them anymore and I mostly just leaned over something (the sink, the wall, Ian, etc) to get through them.  We decided to call Peggy and Kim to come over for good at this point, and I?m glad we did!  They reminded us to fill the birth pool (we hadn?t thought to do it yet, we assumed labor would be slow).  At this point it was 8:00.  We went up stairs and Ian worked on filling the pool between 8-9 and I labored hard.  The only position that was comfortable was on my knees leaning over the bed.  I could put all of my weight into the bed and floor and relax most of my body.    At this point in my mind I just let labor take over my body, and I was just along for the ride.  The breaks between contractions were wonderful!!  I didn?t have that with my pitocin labor with DD.  I was able to re-center myself between the contractions. I would sit cross legged on the floor, roll my neck, breath, and relax until I felt another one starting, then I?d lean over the bed.   Peggy and Kim arrived around 9 or so.  I was deep into the labor and they quietly came in.  They checked my BP, etc, the baby?s heart rate, etc.  All was good.  They suggested they check my dialation to see if I was far enough along to get in the water.  The thought hadn?t even crossed my mind that I had progressed far enough to get in the pool! They checked and I was 6-7 and good to get in the pool!  So, around 9:30 I got in.  It was AMAZING.  My whole body relaxed as soon as I got in, I could feel all the tension from the last few hours of contractions melt away.   The contractions while in the water were painful, but easier to stay relaxed through than they were out of the water.  The timeline gets kind of fuzzy in my mind at this point, but I had maybe 5-6 more contractions that were a few minutes apart.  Then my arms started feeling numb.  In the back of my head I thought ? could this be transition?  Then I started having contractions one after another with just a very short break to breath in between then.  In my mind a hoped it was transition because it was really HARD.  I kept saying outloud ?I just want this to be over!!?  After a while (don?t know how long!) of these back to back contractions I felt myself starting to push.  I thought ?should I be pushing? I can?t possibly be to 10 already?.  I couldn?t really make myself ask, I was just too involved with the contraction so I just went ahead and pushed a little.  It still hurt to push with the next few contractions so I didn?t push very hard.  Then all of a sudden I was PUSHING for real.  I really didn?t believe I was pushing out our baby, I kept asking in between pushes what was going on.  They kept telling me, you are pushing out your baby.  Then Peggy said, reach down you can feel his head.  I felt the very top of his head and was just floored.  I WAS pushing him out.  Holy crap!  I just pushed when my body felt like pushing and didn?t when the urge left.  I think it was 4-5 sets of contractions that I pushed through, some of them I pushed once, some of them several times.  Right before he crowned, his head was half out I had a break between the contractions.  That was the strangest part of labor feeling his head just sitting there halfway out.  I really just wanted someone to pull him out it was so weird feeling.  Then he crowned, though I didn?t even realize it until Ian told me his head was out.  I was saying ?I can?t do this!? and DH told me ?you already did, his head is out!!?.  Then I pushed again once and his shoulders and body came out.  Peggy brought him up out of the water and held him next to me.  His heart rate was good, they rubbed and suctioned him and then I saw him take his first breath.  It was such a little miracle to see.  I got to see and hold him in his first moments of life in this world.  We quickly moved out of the pool to the bed.  I was in such awe of this little person and the perfect way Mother Nature delivered him to me.  It was so simple and easy and we were all so happy, relaxed, healthy, everything you hope birth will be.  Kim cut his cord after a few minutes when it was done pulsing and I delivered the placenta, which they saved for us in the fridge to later be encapsulated.  As soon as the cord was cut he started crying/screaming, clearing out his lungs and got bright pink!    He was born at 10:27 p.m. just a little shy of my Sept. 11th prediction J  He was healthy and screaming and I was still just in awe of the experience of giving birth.  We guessed what size he?d be.  He looked a little smaller than DD had been, so I guessed 8.5 lbs.  He was 8 lbs 15 oz and 21.5 inches long.    I had a small tear along the line where my previous episiotomy had been.  I doubt I would have torn if I hadn?t had a previous cut.  No stitches needed though, and it hasn?t been painful, just slightly sore. 

After he was born and the midwifes went home, the house was quiet and restful.  We all laid in bed together .  DS looked around wide awake for several hours.  He tried nursing a few times and latched on for real around 1 a.m.  After that we all slept waking to nurse once or twice.  I mostly laid in bed in awe again of my new little boy and the easy peaceful way he entered this world.  After DD was delivered (by vacuum) I felt I had failed my child and caused her pain in her first moments of life.  Her birth, while it resulted in a beautiful, wonderful, perfect child, was very hard on her and myself.  I can see the difference a uncomplicated natural birth makes in baby and mother.  I will be a lifelong advocate for homebirth.  It has been one of the most natural, loving, and healing experience of my life. 

Congrats if you read that far! 




Re: XP: Home water birth story

  • Congratulations, that sounds amazing!
  • I love this birth story! I am planning on having a water birth too, only at the hospital rather than at home. You just got me excited about labor for the first time in awhile. I have been a bit of a Debbie Downer for the past 2 weeks, feeling apprehensive and even telling DH that I have "changed my mind" about wanting to even go through labor/birth. You have in a way re-enlightened me. Thanks for that!

    Every so often I need to be reminded that I am made to do this and it will be ok!!! 

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  • imagejamienbj:

    I love this birth story! I am planning on having a water birth too, only at the hospital rather than at home. You just got me excited about labor for the first time in awhile. I have been a bit of a Debbie Downer for the past 2 weeks, feeling apprehensive and even telling DH that I have "changed my mind" about wanting to even go through labor/birth. You have in a way re-enlightened me. Thanks for that!

    Every so often I need to be reminded that I am made to do this and it will be ok!!! 

    Awesome!  You can do it, and it will be amazing!

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