Barbara H's Waterbirth Story

I wanted to have a water birth with my first child but the h ospital's tub was broken. When I was pregnant with my second child I was excited to learn the h ospital birthing center had gotten a new tub.

There are 6 OB's and 3 CNMs in the practic e I used. My OB is more progressive than the others. She had recently visited some free-standin g birth centers and was impressed with what she had seen. Two of the CNMs were very interested and eager to assist with a waterbirth, but had some concerns regarding the legality of it. I had come to an agreement with my OB and the 2 CNMs that no matter who was on call when I went into labor one of the three would come to assist me.

I began labor around 3 PM on 12/1/97 (9 days past my due date). Around 7 PM I had some bloody show. I was 3 cm when they did the first check. They would not let me get into the tub until I was more than 5 cm dilated.

(Note from Karil - Dr. Odent strongly recommends this, since if you get in too early the warm water may slow the labor. It is important to wait to enter the tub until dilation is 5-6 cms.)

I did yoga, sat on the toilet a lot and did lots of deep vocalizations and visualizations of my cervix opening. Around 9 PM I asked to be checked again and was 6 cm dilated, so they began to prepare the tub. I got in it around 10 PM and it felt like heaven!! All the muscular aches that I did n't even realize I had suddenly melted away.

In the tub I was able to flow easily from o ne position to the next. I practiced my yoga and focused all my energy on my cervix opening and letting the baby begin his decent. Soon I began to push. My husband joined me in the tub and got behind me so I could lean against him. I had a pillow under my buttocks to lift them off the bottom of the tub (a recommendation from my OB). I hooked my feet up on the edge of the tub and Kar en, my dear, wonderful CNM kneeled on the outside of the tub.

The lights were dim and gentle sounds of Mozart filled the air. The warm water helped to open and relax all my perineum muscles so that I only tore slightly as my baby gently left my body and entered the warm water. I o nly had to push for 10 minutes. Karen lifted him out of the water and laid him on my chest. "IT'S A BOY!!" I shouted in joy. My husband reached around me and cut the cord. After awhile, Karen asked me to get out of the tub to deliver the placenta. When I sat on the edge of the bed my placenta came flying out and Karen caught it. We all had a good laugh. I held Christopher while she put a few stitches in. When he was ready I nursed him.