Baby Ben’s Water Birth
I am so thrilled to share my experience birthing Ben. He seemed to want to take his time getting here (I wasn’t thrilled about going past my due date), but he sure wasn’t poky in labor. He was born only 5 ½ hrs. after my water broke. I was able to deliver at home in a birthing tub with a Certified Professional Midwife. It was such an incredible experience!
I had been having strong, uncomfortable contractions for almost a week, but they were never very regular. Knowing that my mom was flying home soon & I needed the baby to arrive while I still had help, Dotti, my midwife, swept my membranes around noon. When she examined me, she said I was dialated to about 3 cm, but not all that effaced. That afternoon, I had strong, irregular contractions like always. Then at dinner, I had a really intense contraction that was strong enough to break my water. My five year old son, knowing what that meant, started bouncing off the walls. He got to call Daddy who was at a late meeting & leave a message about coming home (we saved the message- it is so cute to hear the excitement in his voice). In the first 30 min. after my water broke, I called Dotti, but only had one or two contractions. They did start to pick up after that, but we were so busy finishing dinner, picking up, & getting the kids in bed that we didn’t take the time to time them until after 8 when the kids were asleep. We filled the birthing tub, covered the bed, and tried to get things ready. By 9:00 we called the midwife to update her that contractions were about 4 min. apart and very strong. She and her assistant arrived quickly.
For me, it helps me relax through the contractions if I stand, hold onto something, visualize my cervix opening, and rotate my hips. When that was starting to lose it’s effectiveness, I used the birthing ball for a little while to lean forward and rock through contractions. My husband rubbed the small of my back. The full, warm birthing pool was looking more and more inviting all the time. Dotti checked me to see if I was progressing enough to get in. I was dilated only to 5 cm., but much more effaced. Though I had originally planned only to get in the tub once I was around 7 cm, I decided to get in anyway and was sure glad I did because it felt WONDERFUL relaxing in the warm water. I also transitioned really fast in the water. After about an hour, I got out to go to the bathroom. Another cervical exam (the 2nd and final check while I was in labor) revealed that I was at 9 cm! I got back in the birthing pool. I had several more contractions that were really tough, but then I felt one that really made me think “I can’t do this”. But, when the midwife heard the way I was moaning during that one, she said “your body is pushing”. And I thought, “so it is…I better help it along so this doesn’t hurt for long.” I was on my hands and knees in the water & pushed through that contraction. He came really quickly- I just couldn’t believe it. He was very pink, weighed 6 lbs. 8 oz., and figured out nursing as soon as we were in bed.
Having a baby is such a surreal experience. This is my third & I still think it’s so miraculous, it is hard to fathom, really. I was so glad my mom was able to be part of this birth. And my husband was incredibly supportive & encouraging me all the way through it.
Both of my previous births took place in hospitals. A natural birth at home was extra special for me. It was relaxed and quiet. I felt more in control and so loved and supported. I am so thrilled the birth went well and am pleased at the way our other two children have welcomed their new brother. We can’t believe how blessed we are!