NATALIE’S HOME WATER BIRTH STORY
A little bit of background for you, I had a medicated (epidural) hospital birth with my first baby. This time around I wanted to stay out of the hospital and away from medication as much as possible. I did tons of research and watched about a thousand home birth videos and I’m not exaggerating! I decided I wanted to attempt a water birth as well. So let’s go back about a month ago to when I was 38 and a half weeks pregnant.
June 27th, 2017:
My husband and I drove to Victoria, BC to pick my mom up from the airport. She was coming to stay with us and help once the baby came. The drive is about 3 hours each way and on the return trip I started having consistent Braxton hicks contractions every 5 to 7 minutes. I didn’t think much of this because with my first pregnancy I had this happen almost every day for 2 weeks before going into labor for real.
June 28th, 2017:
The next day we ran some errands, I was still having painless but consistent contractions. I went to bed a bit early because I remember feeling quite tired, I was awoken around 4:30 am by a contraction more painful than the previous lot of them. I was able to lay back down and fall asleep for a few more hours and when I woke up I was still having these semi-painful contractions. In my mind I thought these could still be Braxton hicks because they didn’t seem painful enough to be real labor.
I started timing them around noon and they were very irregular, but getting more intense. My mom convinced me going to Walmart and walking around was a good idea…I wouldn’t be surprised to see myself of one of those “People of Walmart” accounts because by the end of our shopping trip I was really having to breath through contractions.
Once we were back home I continued to time the contractions but I noticed that every time I’d sit down they would slow down, and so I still wasn’t convinced this was real labor. Around 4pm or so I called my midwife just to give her a heads up and fill her in on what had been going on.
She came over about 30 minutes later and checked me, at that point I was 4 cm dilated. She told me to keep doing what I was doing and that she’d check back with me soon, so I walked around the apartment and bounced on my birthing ball until about 6 pm when my midwife came back. At that point contractions weren’t too close together but they were much more intense.
I was checked and was at 6 cm, the midwife then asked my mom and husband to start filling up the birth pool. To ensure I kept progressing as well as I had been, I was encouraged to go walk the stairs at my apartment complex. It only took me walking down one flight of stairs to pick things up, I started having very strong contractions every minute or two. At this point I knew things were getting serious, all I wanted through contractions was counter pressure on my back. (Which my husband so kindly provided.) I was only walking for about 10 minutes when I decided to go back inside because I was ready to get in the tub.
I got in the birth pool just after 7 pm and let me tell you that water felt incredible! Although the water took the edge off, I started having contractions that were more intense than anything I had felt before and I started to feel like I was going to be sick. I threw up and that apparently is a common sign of transition. And this may be TMI (that’s birth for you) but the action of me throwing up actually pushed the baby down the last little bit, and he was crowning after that. I had one contraction and his head was out. Then with the next contraction at 8:03 pm when Walter Hugh Wilder was born! So all in all it was two hours of active labor!
I feel so blessed and proud to of had the birth experience I did. I know many moms attempt or want to have a home or water birth and aren’t able to for one reason or another. I had moments leading up to labor that made me doubt wether or not I could handle the pain, and I would start to let fear creep in. But I truly believe the female body is so incredible and knows exactly how to birth a baby, and I took comfort in that. Birth, no matter how it looks for you is something to be proud of!