water
Life

My birth story, at home and in water

I have two children, a boy and a girl. My son was my first and my daughter is two years younger.
With both my children I had positive birth experiences and I want to share them with you in the hope to encourage you.

Now, in this post, I might be oversharing but I have a purpose in mind: I want to show you that childbirth is natural and beautiful.

If you’re reading this post as a soon-to-be parent, let me encourage you that having a baby, giving birth, is a beautiful process. It can be ugly, yes, but I’m sharing my story because¬†,my daughter’s birth couldn’t have been more relaxed and more beautiful.

 

First-time parents

As first-time parents, before welcoming our son, we had heard all the bad stories about births that there are. I didn’t dare to give birth anywhere else than the hospital.

It was a positive birth experience though. We had a private birthing room, I was able to walk around and take my time. The only downside was that I had an induction but even that was bearable. I didn’t have pain relief (I actually forgot about them).

For my son’s birth, we had decided to hire a doula to help us understand what’s going on. It was the best decision we had made because it gave us the confidence to deal with the induction in a positive way.

When it was time to talk about the birth of our daughter we hired a doula again.

 

Assistance during labour and birth

We found a doula relatively quickly who would assist us during the birth of our daughter (we couldn’t hire our original doula again because she lives 20.000 km away).

Upon meeting our doula we talked about home births and she suggested to look into a private midwife who assists with home births. And so we did.

We meet and hired a private midwife and started getting ready for a home birth.

Now, this might all sound very clear-cut but let me assure you that it wasn’t. We had a long list of questions when we met the midwife, from ‘how does it actually work’ to ‘what happens in an emergency’. In particular, the ’emergency-question’ was a pressing one. I guess we had heard too many stories of births gone wrong to not worry about it.

We got our questions answered and we felt like we could do it, having the baby at home without seeing the inside of a hospital.

 

Labour started

My labour started the same way as it did with my son, my waters broke. That was on a Thursday morning. We made the obvious phonecalls: midwife, doula, family, work. And then we waited. The midwife came and went, the doula came and went, contradictions didn’t come and nothing happened.

That night I got a bit impatient. Nothing had happened all day and my contractions hadn’t gotten any stronger. In fact, I had hours without any. I didn’t sleep well that night.

Friday was similar in that respect. The midwife checked in but wasn’t worried about the lack of progress and I tried everything to get labour started: walks, oils, even ‘shake the apple tree’. Nothing.

Friday night was the worst night and I was almost ready to go to the hospital to ask for an induction.

On Saturday I had had enough and we decided to quit waiting and to have a normal day. We went out for breakfast, we went to the playground and the beach, and we enjoyed the day with just the three of us.

On Saturday afternoon the midwife checked on me and the baby and told me that the head is engaged. Labour could kick in that night, that was her guess. Well, my baby girl wanted to be a Sunday baby so she waited until 7 o’clock the next morning to make a move.

 

The birth

Sunday morning, I woke rested from a good night’s sleep.¬†I was at home, sleeping in my own bed, and on my way to my own bathroom. Labour really took off in the shower.

The doula and midwife arrived and made sure I was happy. They fed me muesli bars and energy drinks.

I continued to walk around, hanging onto people, furniture, and door frames every now and again. I went into transition hanging onto the edge of my bed.

Both my doula and midwife ushered me to the pool at this stage and my husband changed into his togs. It was time!

My daughter was born underwater at 10:30 that Sunday morning.

 

The best part of a home birth

After my daughter was born, I got out of the water and into my bed. The midwife put my baby girl in my arms and we just snuggled. It was the best feeling! There was no rushing around, she wasn’t taken from me for any testing, and I was in my own bed.

We both went to sleep.

In retrospective, the best part of the home birth though was the uninterrupted labour. For the entire time, I had no examinations and no interruptions; I got to go at my own pace, doing what I wanted to do.

I was in charge!

There is a saying that a woman in labour should be treated like a queen and I really felt that.

If you are thinking of a home birth, I encourage you to do it. Find a midwife and speak about your concerns. I think that childbirth is often seen as a disease rather than a normal part of life. Find someone to encourage you to follow your instincts. It’s worth it, for you and your child!

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