In Mother's Words
"Such a wonderful experience! I tell every pregnant woman that I know to look into this."
-Kristy, mother of Israel
29 Palms, CA, USA
"We had a wonderful water birth. TJ was so calm and peaceful after birth...and didn't even cry until much later. He is a joy and I'm so thankful to have had the benefit of water to ease my labor surges, to protect my perineum from tearing, and to allow for a calm entry for TJ into this world!"
-Bobbi, mother of Tyler Julian
Dayton, OH, USA
"Gabriella is my third child. After the midwives convinced me to get in the tub, I didn't want to get out. I can remember every second of my labor and delivery and what a wonderful experience it was! Water birth was not an option with my first two, but I wish it had been. We're expecting our fourth child in May and hopefully we'll be able to have another water birth then."
-Samantha, mother of Gabriella
Queanbeyan, NSW, Australia
The Homebirth of Grace Alexander - Powder Springs, GA, USA
|Birth Story submitted by Laura, mother of:
Powder Springs, GA, USA
"I'd been having contractions for weeks, real ones as well as Braxton-Hicks. On the night of September 9, I tried to go to bed around 9. Contractions were 15-20 minutes apart, and I wanted to sleep between them. They were really strong, and I'd wake up right at the peak and unable to stay on top of them. Around 10:30 I tried propping myself up in bed because lying down was making them worse, but even with that the waking up at the peak was too much. Around 11:15 I went out in the living room with Chad. We put in a Friends DVD and hung out for about 45 minutes. As soon as I was in the living room, contractions jumped to 5-7 minutes apart.
Around midnight I really wanted to get in the birth pool, but was thinking it was really too early. I decided I didn’t care-the water was calling me. Chad tried to convince me just to take a bath in the tub first, to see if it really was labor this time. I said no. I knew this was it. He filled the tub and I got in. It was heavenly!
We put Friends on the computer and we actually watched it right up until transition. The water got my contractions closer together, not further apart. They were 3-4 minutes apart almost as soon as I got in, then 2-3 minutes. The DVD player shut down and I told Chad to leave it off. I remember sitting in the warm water, with the windows open. It felt so good, and I could hear the crickets chirping outside, and thinking, "This is the way to do this. I don't want to be anywhere else."
Transition was intense and painful but less confusing and scary than it was with Maddie, by far. I never felt out of it or confused like I did with her birth. Soon it felt better to bear down than to relax, and Chad thought I still hadn't gone through transition but I was already pushing! He was blown away to realize how quickly things were going-he'd hardly had to do any work yet.
My water hadn't broken yet, after quite a few pushing contractions, but I could feel her head right there. I allowed the overwhelming urge to take over at first, then forced myself to breathe through and slow down, with Chad's help. I felt her head trying to come out but the bag of waters was still there. I thought, I wonder if my short, bitten nail could break the thing. I touched it, barely, and it popped. Then I could feel hair and that was all the encouragement I needed. I wish I could describe what the rest of the birth was like but I don't really have the words. To know that we were doing this, totally our way and that it was going so quickly and smoothly, was just really amazing. Chad and I just looked at each other in awe of what was happening. We felt completely connected to each other, to the baby, and to the entire process as it unfolded exactly the way it was meant to.
Chad couldn't believe how far along I was already. He thought we'd have hours left. I pushed, gently, through crowning, which took several contractions. I did my own perineal support and could tell exactly where I needed to put pressure to keep from tearing. Crowning was intense but so cool! I could feel the baby trying to help me, pushing with her feet and trying to get out too. Her head and body came out in one contraction, and Chad said "Reach down!" I caught her myself, and pulled her up to me. The cord was around her neck but she was already crying and breathing just fine. I unwound it, and she nursed within about 3 minutes. It was so incredible!
I thought the whole pregnancy that I was having a boy, so it was a little surprising to find out she was a girl! But I knew before she was even out-I changed from "he" to "she" unconsciously-I remember saying to Chad, "The cord is around her neck."
The water was a little cool so we got out pretty soon. I sat down on some towels on the floor, and plop! Out came the placenta. That was easy! I bled less than I did with Maddie and was much less sore. I didn't tear, except for a little skidmark I can't even see (but could feel when I used the bathroom for about the first day). She was born around 3:23 am, after just about 4 hours of active labor. We didn't check the time right away but that's pretty close. We called all the people who wanted late-night calls, and Chad's mom came over for a little while to meet her. She went home and we went to bed for a couple of hours. It was so nice to be finished with birthing, take a shower in my own shower, then cuddle up in our own bed. Maddie slept through the whole thing, and this morning she was SO excited to meet her little sister!
We had lots of visitors our first day with her, and that was nice too-no cooking and everybody brought me stuff! We weighed her Sunday afternoon, and she was 8 pounds, 1 ounce. We also finally came up with her name, Grace Alexandra. My recovery with Maddie amazed everyone I knew, but this recovery has been insanely easy. I was out shopping with Chad and my 2 girls on Tuesday. I wasn't sore after the first day postpartum, and my milk came in in under two days. That took 5-6 days with Maddie, and I'm 100% convinced it was the interruption in our home life that caused the delay.
Having just Chad and me present for the birth is the best thing we've ever done. I wasn't at all afraid-I just knew everything was fine. We were the only people there when she was conceived, and it felt absolutely 100% right that we were the only people there when she was born. I was able to listen to my body completely, without anyone to depend on but myself and Chad. Chad was wonderful-he helped me remember not to push too hard, and he was my anchor during transition and pushing both physically and emotionally. Her birth was intense, sometimes painful, very hard work, but definitely one of the most incredible things I've ever experienced."