On Water Birth

Friday, July 10, 2015

Child birth is no light activity. It's one of the hardest thing that you'll ever physically have to do. I had not known much about water birthing, and it was quite a coincidence that I had spoken with a particular friend about her experience, and she mentioned it, and I thought, oh that is intriguing. I was planning for a natural child birth with no real action plan of what will happen on go-day; and you know what they say about failure to plan (planning to fail). So when I started talking to my friend, it hit me that the water birth would be an excellent alternative to the epidural. She also told me about the hospital she gave birth at, North Fulton Hospital in Roswell, Georgia. I had never heard of this hospital and it was also a lot further then the hospital that I had originally planned to give birth at. 

I went on their website, and on their maternity services page, they mentioned natural childbirth and water birth. That for me was a real testament of their viewpoint on child birthing. You see, I had asked my original OB/GYN how long they would let me labor for before they would have to give me the epidural. She told me that they would give me 6 hours. I was flabbergasted, and nervous! I never hear about women giving birth in less then 6 hours. My friend labored for 22 hours!!! And I just had a hunch that it would take me just as long, if not more. So I really feel that a good hospital with a natural focus is the beginning of a successful water birth.

After my decision to switch hospital, I also had to switch OB/GYN as they did not deliver at North Fulton. My friend really liked hers, so I switched to hers, Isis OB/GYN. I went with the midwife versus the doctor. I have read and heard that going with a midwife decreases your chances of a C-section. And although I don't have the experience of a doctor as this was my first, my midwife was superb during labor. During my labor, there was a crucial point where I broke down and I did not want to go with my birth plan. My husband, seeing me in pain, wanted me to just be okay. My midwife with her experience, knew that I would regret not going through with my water birth. She asked to see my birth plan, and she encouraged me to stay the course. Her words of encouragement gave me strength. Her time that she spent with us, and her instructions during the push session was everything that I needed during that very, very hard time. So for me, a midwife was what I needed. If you can't get a midwife, a doctor that you are comfortable with, and that understands your plan, and is willing to give you the time will also work. It took me 15-20 minutes of push time, and I labored for 16-17 hours. 

A written birth plan is super, super important. Child birth is such an experience, and you should have the right to have the experience as you wish. And if you wish to have a water birth, put that all in writing. You'll need it in your weakest moment. There will be times that you will just need the quick epidural relief, and without a birth plan, nobody will know your desires. 

If you have other family in the room, make sure they are supportive of your choice, and encouraging. My husband couldn't stand seeing me in pain, but having a good midwife will cure that.

During my push session, I could still feel the contractions. I followed my midwife's instruction, and pushed when my body told me to. In between contractions, I closed my eyes, and felt so much peace and calmness. It was the weirdest thing, but most amazing calm that I had ever felt in my whole life! Because of the water birth, I definitely felt like Mason was much calmer after birth. I also felt like my healing process was a lot better. 

With all of that being said, your baby's health is the most important thing. I had a plan, but I was ready to do whatever it took to get Mason out safely, whether that be epidermal or C-section. Thankfully, everything went as planned, and I was able to have the birth that I wanted for Mason and for myself. I believe that was all because of the planning that took place, and the experiences of the hospital and my midwife. If you are interested in a water birth, contact your hospital and talk to your OB/GYN. I had to take a class in order to be able to have a water birth, so plan in advance for that. Good luck, and if you have any other questions, please let me know! This is a huge experience, and I want you to have the best experience!


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