Terje's Waterbirth Story

I had had a constant stream of pre-labor contractions since September 1st, but when I got up on September 12th I didn't feel any of those any more. Then I felt a labor contraction at 9 AM, then again at 9:04 AM and another one at 9:30 AM. I had an appointment at the OB/GYN that morning at 11 AM to get an ultrasound. Dirk was at home and we decided to keep that appointment, because I didn't really think that real labor had started. Everything seemed to be allright with the baby, the cervix was very soft, but there was no dilation yet. Estimated weight from the echo:10 lbs 9 oz. We went back home, where I had more and more contractions and the frequency increased. At 4:30 PM I called the midwife, but assured her that she didn't have to come yet. She said she would call me back at 7 PM.

Dirk had put the birthing pool together and filled with warm water. At 6:30 PM, the contractions got much stronger and I went into the pool. Wonderfull!!!!! First I didn't feel any contractions any more, then I got them on top of each other. Everything seemed to go much faster. I was able to handle the contractions really well in the warm water and did not want to leave the tub anymore.

When the midwife called at 7 PM I asked her to come over to find out whether I had made some progress. I was convinced that the cervix would still be totally closed. She arrived 7:40 PM and found me at 6cm. Wow! I hadn't expected that. One of our friends would film the birth, but I hadn't called him yet, because I wanted to be sure that this was really it. My oldest daughter called him after the midwife did the internal exam.

At 8:13 PM, I was at 8 cm and the midwife asked her to call again, because things were moving fast. (I loved hearing that). When she checked me the first time, she couldn't tell yet, whether the baby was going to be born today or tomorrow, but now she knew it was going to be today. She said she could tell by the strength of my contractions.

At 8:50 PM, I was at 10 cm with a little lip, so I could start to push carefully. My water broke at 9:03 PM. When the pushing contractions got stronger, I found it too hard to push half sitting in the tub. The midwife had a low birthing pail with her, she put it in the tub, so that I could sit on it. In this way, my lower half was still in the water.

Pushing went much better that way and at 9:29 PM, Terje was born. A beautiful baby weighing 5220 grams, 51.5 cm long and his head was 37 cm. After a few minutes, I was back to sitting on the bottom of the birthing pool, I tried to let him latch on. He took my nipple and did some sucking, but didn't really drink yet. About 2 hours after his birth, he started to nurse better. That night I frequently tried to latch him on. I couldn't sleep anyway, after all the emotions. He didn't latch on any more, but he did stick out his tongue every time. He slept the whole time, made some peeping sounds. The next day I also tried regularly, but with the same result as during the night. In the afternoon he latched on well, but it didn't go easily. He really had to learn it first.

We ate some of the placenta. Delicious!!! And very healthy too! In short, a dream of a birth!!

-- Carine