My Water Birth Experience

It’s not easy deciding on a photo for a post about water birth.  Most photos show… more than I’m comfortable with.  So, enjoy this picture of my new precious little man!  🙂  Look at those awesome lips.  And enjoy the story about my water birth experience!  🙂

I have a history of quick deliveries.  I was in active labor with my daughter for only a few hours before she arrived.  No time for pain medication of any sort!  I remember asking the nurse for Tylenol (or something!), and she just laughed at me.  I delivered her completely unmedicated, but also completely unprepared for delivering ‘naturally’.  It was not a pleasant experience.  (I actually cried on her first birthday, remembering her delivery, because my memories were so traumatic).

When I became pregnant with #3, I reasoned that I would likely have a quick labor with this baby too, and it might be smart to have some coping skills for delivering naturally.  I’ve also learned a few things about the medications used in hospitals, and their effects on baby, so I wanted to steer clear.

While I loved my O.B., we had moved states and I was starting from scratch.  We decided to look at birthing centers, and I found that I really liked this approach!   I am blessed to be low risk (besides tending towards preciptious deliveries!), and I felt like the birthing center was the perfect balance for me of being naturally oriented, while still having access to medical helps, like oxygen, if needed.

It’s Baby Time!

I woke up at 3:10am with a very sharp contraction.  I’d been having contractions (mostly painless) for days and so asked the question all laboring moms ask: Is this it?  I was 40 weeks and 3 days, and ready to have this sweet baby on the outside of me!  (See my post on naturally preventing preterm labor – this was my first full term baby!  And oh, there are so many pluses to having them full term!)

Ten minutes later I had another sharp contraction, and decided I should get ready to go in case this was the real deal.  By 3:40, I’d progressed to having 4 contractions within a 10 minute span, and called the midwife.  No waiting for an hour to pass with contractions 4 minutes apart!  She told me to come in and I went to wake my husband.  His middle-of-the-night response to my “we’re having a baby!” was to roll over and say, “yes, we are.”  My second prompting of “this morning!” got him moving. 🙂

When we arrived at the center, I was already dilated to 8 cm!  SO thankful I didn’t wait any longer at home!  We walked down the hall to the birthing room and I was already wanting to push!  I desperately wanted a water birth though, and prayed that I would be able to wait until the tub was full.  That was a LONG ten minutes.   Chris held a bottle of Peace & Calming essential oil up for me to smell during contractions, and that helped my body relax a lot!

Finally the tub was full!  I jumped in (well, crawled) and started pushing.  The water took an immediate edge off and my body relaxed even more.  Pushing wasn’t any fun, but I knew that our baby would soon be here.  My little man was born at 5 am on the nose.

The midwife handed him to me immediately and we cuddled.  I love that, over the next few hours, I held him the vast majority of the time.  He latched on to nurse by himself, and was so peaceful.

After a good meal and a nap, we went home!  I still LOVE that we came home just over 6 hours after he was born.  It was such a blessing to be able to recover at home instead of the hub-ub of the hospital.  Two thumbs up for water birth!

Have you had a water birth?  Or would you like one?

P.S.  If you’re local to me, and need a great newborn photographer, Jen Hubbard is your gal!