When I was pregnant with my daughter, I really wanted to do a water birth, but being inexperienced and clueless, I kept my thoughts to myself.
When I became pregnant with Buddy in summer of 2007, I wanted a different experience than I had with my daughter. I sought out a midwife rather than a doctor and I made it clear I wanted to do a water birth (unbeknownst to me in the beginning that this would be an at home water birth).
My pregnancy in general was great with Buddy. My midwives were great. The whole experience was so much better than it was the first time with my daughter.
It took some prep work to make sure we had everything we needed on hand for an at home birth. We rented the birthing tub (a portable hot tub) from a local company and set it up in our bedroom so that (a) it could be set up in advance and (b) I could have some privacy during birth. I was really excited about the entire pregnancy, how well things were going and birthing at home in the water.
Tedious, but I have to share this part of the story. Oh, and keep in mind that his due date was May 1st.
On Thursday the 24th of April, I went to pre-natal yoga. It was the first time I had ever done yoga, but all of my friends were attending yoga and I felt left out. So two of them came with me to pre-natal yoga. (Yes, I think I was crazy to attempt yoga at 9 months pregnant, but hey- I did it all!)
Friday night I had good, steady contractions, but nothing consistent. Saturday, we went swimming like we always did and again, good, steady contractions, but nothing consistent until labor set in at 3am Sunday morning (the 27th). I got up about 3am having contractions and pain. I attempted working through it until I had to get hubby up at 4am. He called the midwives and they stated to just work through it and they would begin to get ready to come our way.
Around 7-8am, another call was placed and I was told I could start laboring in the water if I wanted to. I jumped at that chance! The water was so calming and relaxing and the contractions felt like nothing at all. I was good to go!
At this point, I still have no recollection of timeline. I know at some point they had me walk around the block which was a task in and of itself. I would take a few steps and then hunch forward in so much pain from the contractions. When I got home- it was back in the water for some comfort.
I recall at some point trying to push, but wasn’t getting far. I recall forcefully breaking my water outside of the tub on a birthing chair and then back in the tub to push. I remember them telling me that he once was low and getting ready to come, but since my water broke, he essentially got sucked back up. I was once making progress and now there was no progress. And the horrible back pain I was experiencing at this point- he had flipped so he was facing my back rather than facing up like he should have been.
At this point, I was told to stop pushing (regardless of the severe need to push) and that a decision had to be made. I could make the decision to try and continue birthing at home (which no one knew how that would progress) or I could go to a hospital (at which my reply was I wasn’t doing anything outside of that water without pain medication).
This was roughly 5pm. I had already been in labor for 13 hours and I was exhausted. I couldn’t go much further. So we loaded everyone up and drove the normal 30 minute drive to the hospital in like 15 minutes with me still in labor in the front seat.
Upon arrival, I was brought into a room and changed into a gown. (Please imagine all this through horribly painful contractions. Looking back, I must have looked pretty funny!) I was told I had a 50/50 chance of delivering naturally or by c-section and that I could have no pain meds until they took some blood from me.
I finally got the doctor to listen to me and informed him I was a strep-B carrier. Since I had not been given antibiotics to prevent passing this to my baby, a c-section was now going to happen. (At this point, the only thing I wanted was this baby OUT!)
So they wheeled me off to the operating room, gave me my spinal in the midst of a painful contraction and from there on out I was in heaven. I literally told them that I was fine now and they could take their time.
My little Buddy was born some time after 8pm via c-section weighing in at a whopping 9 pounds 15 ounces.
While I did not have my dream water birth, I must admit, I was pretty proud for what I had gone through and to be honest, if I wouldn’t have had a c-section with Buddy, I would attempt an at home water birth again in the future. Unfortunately, birthing at home is not allowed in Arizona after having a c-section.