Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Our Water Birth
Many people have asked about Hannah Kate’s birth, mainly because it was a water birth so I wanted to take a moment to share our story. I’m also including a few pictures that are my absolute favorites.
From the time we found out we were having a baby I was amazed at how quickly my body just took over. I didn’t have to do anything to grow this sweet little life inside of me; God had designed my body to grow and carry a baby. It was truly a miraculous experience. Everything she needed she got from my body yet my body was still able to function (but man was I tired!) I was so amazed that I decided early on to attempt to deliver my baby with no pain medications. The thought of an epidural terrified me more than the thought of the pain of childbirth. I have control issues and could not stand the thought of being numbed to the point of not being able to walk.
The more research I did the more I read that water birth was the way to go if you weren’t going to have pain medications. However, I was delivering at a small hospital and I had no idea that was even an option. However, when we were discussing our birth plan with my midwife she asked if we had considered it. I immediately said yes! And we started planning to deliver in the water.
For those of you who think that’s crazy, don’t worry I heard that a lot. But, to clear up some misconceptions, the baby will not swallow water and drown. They are floating in water inside of their mama’s and when they come out they can actually stay in the water for up to ten minutes as long as they are attached to the cord. They also won’t take their first breath until their face hits air so the likelihood of them swallowing water is slim to none. And, my biggest concern was that it was going to be disgusting. But, in reality it wasn’t all that bad or if it was I was so busy I didn’t even notice it.
So, our story. Shane and I tried everything to get our baby girl to come. I was miserable and swollen and ready to have my girl in my arms. It wasn’t looking like she was going to come on her own so my midwife went ahead and scheduled me to be induced. I started the second round of medications on Feb. 21 at 5 am. This really jumpstarted my labor and my water broke at 8:45. When the midwife came to check me I was only at a 4 and she would not let me in the water until I was at a 7. For those of you who don’t know, once your water breaks contractions really start to hurt. So I was determined to get to a 7 and get there quickly so I could get in the water.
Shane and I started walking around the hospital stopping every time there was a contraction. I was still adamant that I wanted no pain medication. And, if I had caved, I was told I wouldn’t be allowed in the water, so walking and moving was the only relief I had. At one point in the hospital lobby a contraction hit and it was so much pain that I literally started throwing up everywhere, talk about embarrassing! We decided to go back to my labor room to keep from showering the rest of the hospital in my bodily fluids.
They checked me when I got back and I was finally at a 7! They started filling up the tub and told me it would take about 45 minutes. So Shane and I got in a rhythm through contractions. We raised the hospital bed as high as it would go and I leaned over. He stood behind me and every time a contraction would hit (felt like they never stopped!) we would rock back and forth and he would remind me to take deep breaths.
After 45 minutes, which felt like 17 hours, the tub was ready. The nurses told me I could get in and let them know when I felt like I had to poop, because that meant I was ready to push. No sooner than I got in I knew it was time. I yelled at them that I was ready to push and they checked and sure enough it was time. The midwife was at her office so they immediately started telling me not to push. Now, you might think that’s easy right, just don’t push. Only it’s not. Your body naturally starts trying to push and you literally have to stop it from doing what its designed to do.
The midwife finally showed up, only two minutes later, but again it felt like a million years. I pushed about 6 times and out popped a red headed baby girl at 11:21 am. They handed her to me and my whole world changed. I’ve had a wonderful life and had some incredible moments but there is no way to describe the feeling when they place your baby in your hands for the first time.
Our birth was perfect. I desperately wanted to do it without medication to see what my body could do and I was amazed. God truly thought of everything and is such an amazing creator. It hurt. Really, really, really bad but at the end of it, I was so thankful that it had all gone exactly like it was supposed to.
**and extra shout out, my husband is a rock star. He was by my side the entire time and was so supportive and encouraging. I could not have done it without him. And, how sweet is this picture of him praying over us. I’m so blessed.