Are you searching for home water birth stories? If so, you’ve come to the right place! Today I’m going to share my daughter Maggie’s home water birth story. She was my first baby, so obviously my first home birth too.
Maggie’s Home Water Birth Story
Leading Up to Labor
Saturday night into Sunday every time I woke up to go to the bathroom, (which, come on, we all know that’s a lot of bathroom breaks by the end of pregnancy!) I noticed that my lower back was aching. Nothing really extreme and I wasn’t having contractions at all. At this point, I was 10 days over my due date.
We went to church and I started having some contractions that were slightly more noticeable than my previous Braxton Hicks contractions, but again, nothing that was very extreme. I do remember leaning over towards my husband during the service and telling him not to get his hopes up, but that it felt like maybe something was trying to happen in there. Of course, being so far over my due date, I knew something had to happen soon anyways!
My Water Breaks!
After church (it was Palm Sunday!) we went to eat lunch with my in-laws at Applebees. Then, eager to bring our little girl into the world, my husband and I went to the mall to see if we could walk and get my contractions to pick up and turn into something. At that point, I’d say I was only having maybe 2 contractions every 45 minutes and they didn’t hurt at all. We were at the mall less than 10 minutes and right outside of JCPenney my water broke–big time! No trickle, absolutely no warning, it just popped!
I was so surprised! We’d learned in our childbirth class that labor very rarely starts with your water breaking. I never dreamed it would happen to us that way! I found it absolutely hilarious that it happened at the mall (I guess some people would have been mortified, but I couldn’t help but see the humor in it). So, I was laughing so hard the whole time. And with every laugh, I’d have another gush of water, which of course just made me laugh harder. Luckily for me, I had worn jeans to church because they were soaked. Almost wore my dress pants and they wouldn’t have held all that water! *The first two pictures are after my water had broken, once we were back home.*
So, my water broke around 1:40. We got back home, called our midwives, (I had 2) and started to get stuff ready around the house. My contractions actually started to be steady and noticeable around 4. By 4:30 they were 2 minutes apart and starting to be a little uncomfortable.
Labor Really Sets In
From then on, my contractions came every 2-3 minutes for the rest of my labor. For me, it was NOTHING like they had told us labor would be like in our childbirth class. It was just nothing, nothing, nothing, BAM, 2 minutes apart and good strong contractions. There was no gradual buildup.
Now, they did get more intense as I got farther along, but I never had those 10-minute or 5-minute contraction breaks like they had mentioned when we took Bradley Childbirth classes.
From 4:30, when my first midwife arrived, I lost all sense of time. My midwife checked my progress when she arrived and I was at 1cm. My husband and I turned on That 70’s Show (one of our favorites!) and watched it with one of my midwives between contractions.
I would have double peaking contractions, then a 2-minute break. The birth tub was ready and I was happy to get in. Such relief! I dreaded every time I would get out to go to the bathroom because the contractions were so much stronger outside of the water. They were a lot more manageable in the tub.
I remember at one point I went to the bathroom and afterward my midwife checked to see how I was progressing before I got back in the tub. I was only at a 5 and I thought, “5, oh my gosh, you’ve got to be kidding me–only 5?” How can I go on?
It wasn’t much later that she checked me again and I was at 7cm. I got back in the tub and a few contractions later I told her I wanted to push. She checked me and gave me the go-ahead to push but encouraged me to take it slow. No sooner had she said that, that I got a contraction that I really don’t think there is any way I could not have pushed.
According to my husband, I pushed for about an hour and she was born. I have no remembrance of the time though, as I said. It did not feel like I pushed for an hour. Felt more like 10 minutes to me. I actually LOVED the pushing part of labor. The contractions were not as intense or as frequent, and it felt like such a relief to push. My sweet daughter Maggie was born in the water at 1:14am, less than 12 hours after my water broke.
So, that’s Maggie’s home water birth story! I definitely did not realize I was in labor as long as I was. When they told me it was 1:14, I was SHOCKED! I thought it was around 9pm. I remember when they called out the time I said, In the morning?!?!
The best part about giving birth at home is the time that followed! I was handed my little girl right away. We moved onto my bed where we stayed for the next hour, just getting to know each other and she nursed while my midwives cleaned up the birthing tub and anything else that needed done. After our hour of bonding time, my midwives weighed, measured, and did a complete exam on Maggie, and then her daddy got her dressed for the first time. It was such a peaceful, sweet time that I’ll never forget.
My husband was my rock and I’m so glad I had him by my side. I can’t remember him ever leaving my side for the entire time I was in labor!! I feel like having a natural, drug-free birth strengthened my marriage. It was wonderful! The original plan was for him to catch our daughter, but I had such a death grip on him that one of our midwives did that for us.
I personally wouldn’t describe my labor as painful. The only time I came close to being in pain at all was when she was crowning, and that just felt more like burning (but again, not that bad). I feel like a better way to describe labor for me is just that when the contractions hit, nothing I could do could make me feel comfortable. It’s hard to explain but it never felt like excruciating pain–just very, very uncomfortable!
The only thing I would change about my first labor and delivery I really have no control over–my early water breakage! I hear that labor is a lot more comfortable when you’re water is still intact!
Are You Planning a Home Birth?
Are you planning to have a home birth? My home birth experiences have been wonderful! You might be interested in checking out my blog post about how to prepare for a home birth for tips before the big day! A home birth can be such an empowering, amazing experience!