Sunday, March 27, 2011

Why I Love Water Birth: part 1

I first heard of water birth when I was a teenager.  My first thought was "That's crazy!  Won't the baby drown?!".  I really didn't think of it much more until I was married and we were expecting our firstborn.  The first midwife we interviewed told us that she almost exclusively did water births.  She told us that water birth was a lot gentler on both the baby and the mom.  "For the baby, the difference is like waking up at your own leisure on a Saturday morning vs. being woken up with an alarm clock on Monday morning."  The baby is born from warm fluid into warm fluid, and is gently lifted up to the air, and the baby is not stimulated to breathe until he/she comes in contact with the air.  The warm water helps mom relax, and her body opens up more.  The warm water is also great pain relief, and allows the mom to move to different positions effortlessly.  We were impressed with all the benefits she shared with us, and decided to go with a water birth.

Our first birth was at home.  My husband (Matt) and I were in the birth pool together.  Isaiah was crowning for an hour.  Our midwife kept close watch on his heart rate and skin color which was fine, and Matt played with his hair.  After 4 hours of pushing, Isaiah was born into his daddy's hands.  Matt passed him to me, and I lifted him up out of the water.  He was big!  9lbs 8oz, broad shoulders and big chest.  No wonder he took so long to come out!

Baby #2 was also born at home.  Things went a lot faster this time.  I knew I was in labor around 11:00pm and she was born at 1:30am.  My mom called our midwife, Matt got the pool ready, and I was laboring on the toilet, tailorsitting on the floor, hanging on people. . .  I couldn't wait for the pool to be ready!!  Finally, it was warm enough and full enough for me to get in.  Ahhhhhhhhh. . . .   instant relief!  My sister acted as my doula, and my sis-in-law was there to take care of Isaiah (then 2 years old).  Matt and I were in the pool.  My midwife would not tell me when to push.  She said I would tell them when it was time to push.  Suddenly, one contraction caused me to bear down!  I told my sis-in-law to wake up Isaiah.  He wanted us to wake him up for the birth.  She did.  She told him that the baby was coming.  He got up, unzipped his pajamas, and started taking off his diaper, and climbing in the pool!  My midwife said it was fine.  So, we let him in.  Within 6 minutes of the first pushing contraction, Ana was born into my own hands.  Matt was holding Isaiah, my sister was right outside the pool next to me.  With one hand on my sister's shoulder, and one hand on Ana's head, I told everyone when she was crowning, when her head was out, and brought her up out of the water when she was born.  She was pink and looked so little at 7lbs 4oz (2lbs less than her brother was!)

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