Second time mom here. My first born was born via water birth after 8 hours of unmedicated labor. This time, I had planned a home water birth. My plan to have a home water birth with a midwife had been changed just a few weeks before my due date. The midwife I had didn’t want to do the water birth because she wanted to make sure I didn’t tear. So I had planned to have a “land birth” at my local hospital.
On April 26th 2016 I woke up; 40 weeks pregnant. I was then convinced I would be pregnant forever. I started my morning routine. I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions fairly frequently and did not think they would soon turn to the real ones. Boy was I wrong!
I had started getting a little pain with each contraction around 8:30am. I jumped in the shower to see if they would go away – sure enough, they didn’t. I filled the bathtub and focused on my breathing. I ate a bagel and drank some iced coffee until they became about 6 minutes apart, and then got out of the bath to get ready to go to the hospital.
My husband loaded the car with bags and the car seat and made sure our 20 month old was also ready to go. I got dressed and did my hair, stopping to breathe through my contractions when they would start, and carrying on with my tasks when they would finish.
We arrived to the hospital at 10:45am. My husband and I were taken to triage where I was confirmed at 5cm and in active labor. My contractions got stronger and closer together. I knew we would soon meet our sweet Eleanor.
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After about an hour of being monitored in triage, we were taken to our room. I was unfortunately stuck in the hospital bed for about a half an hour, attached to a fetal monitor, until the nurse told me I could walk freely around the room and bounce on a yoga ball. Whilst on the bed, my baby’s heart rate would drop as I had a contraction, but this did not happen when I remained upright and active.
My husband and father in law were there massaging my back to help alleviate some of the back labor pain I was having. I breathed deeply and slowly through each contraction – both putting them behind me and realising they were moving me closer and closer to meeting my little girl. I could not wait to see my daughter meet her little sister and see her Daddy become a father all over again.
I felt the need to have the nurse check me again, because I thought my water might have broken and I was feeling a lot of pressure. She had me get back in the bed and checked me. I was at 8.5cm. My daughter went out of the room with her cousin at that point because it was getting close. The nurse walked out after checking me and I had another contraction.
I breathed through it and put all my effort into staying focused. It felt like there was a fire on my belly and back and the pressure was strong. I started to have another contraction and it led me to have the urge to push. I started pushing and yelling for my husband and father in law to call the nurses because it was time!
The nurses scrambled in and she checked me again, and then unnecessarily began to call for an emergency delivery. It sounded like a stampede of people running in. I felt another contraction and started pushing again and my water exploded! The nurse asked me to stop because the cord was wrapped around Eleanor’s neck. She got the cord unwrapped and gave me the okay to push again. I pushed hard and long, and before I knew it, little Miss Eleanor was being placed on my chest at 12:36pm. She was purple and crying and all I could do was smile and laugh. I was so happy that she was finally here!
My husband held my arm and stared at her with me and told me what an amazing job I did. It was an amazing experience. It is such an empowering feeling to know that you can trust your body to do what it is meant to do and to let it! After having a water birth I was so upset that I would have to have a land birth, but it ended up being another amazing experience.
Thank you for reading Jessica’s birth story! This is Jessica’s second birth story, you can read about her waterbirth here Would you like to ask Jessica anything about either of her birthing experiences, or would you just like to leave her a comment to let her know what it meant to you to hear her empowering stories? We’d love you to leave your comment below. You can read more empowering birth stories, or find out how to submit your own here Or, send me an email at email@example.com