My second daughter was born at home in a birthing tub with a certified nurse midwife. I labored for 27 hours, with only the last three being hard. I slept when I could, ate when I was hungry, drank when I was thirsty. After a light supper labor became difficult to manage with my 2-1/2 year old also needing me. We had arranged for her to go to a friend's house. Labor really picked up after Chelsea left.
My midwife came after my water broke. I was 8 cm dilated. I decided to get into the water at 10:50 PM. It felt WONDERFUL! My weight was supported by the warm water, and relaxation was very, very easy. My first contraction was in the water. As I felt it coming, I got into the kneeling position while holding the side of the tub. That felt most comfortable for me.
When it was over, I sat back down and waited for the next contraction. When it started, I went back to kneeling. Halfway through, it changed to a pushing contraction. The intensity was incredible. It hurt to push, but I couldn't not push. I was a little scared at how fast everything was happening. As the baby was crowning, I remembered to reach down and touch its head.
I started thinking that my baby was almost here, and soon I'd be able to hold it and nurse it. Those thoughts centered me and made the fear go away. I could relax then as my body pushed the baby out. With a little effort, I pushed out the head. I was about to push more, but my midwife said "wait, do it slowly." After a little more effort, the midwife caught the baby and put her into my arms and said "here's your baby."
Then I rubbed its back to encourage it to breath. Water babies are very peaceful and often don't cry. Then I looked and saw that it was a girl. I looked up at my husband and said "Amanda!" And he took my picture, which now sits on my dresser.
After the cord was cut, I got out of the water and sat on a birthing stool and watched the midwife examine Amanda. My placenta came 10 minutes later. Then we got into bed and I nursed her while the midwife cleaned up. I had a small tear because her hand was up by her head, and the midwife stitched me up while I lay on my own bed. Chelsea came back from her friend's house to meet her new sister.
After the excitement wore off, we all went to sleep in the comfort of our own family bed. This is an experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life.