"I always knew in my heart I wanted a natural birth, I just had to get the courage to do it and all it took was meeting Lori. My mom introduced me to Lori and I was blown away, which gave me the courage to say goodbye to my OBGYN. I had wonderful appointments with Lori as she is so kind and I felt like she was my therapist. She answered all my questions and concerns. We could talk for hours. She is so passionate about being a midwife you can see it when she smiles, it radiates out of her.  

 

I watched YouTube videos of water births and knew that is the kind of birth I wanted; peaceful natural birth surrounded by people who had gone through it before. It was July in the hot summer of 2016. My contractions started at 9:30 pm on Sunday, July 17th when I was 38 weeks. My due date was July 29th and my son was a little early, so this was a big surprise. I had never had consistent contractions before so I knew in my heart it was time. Lori helped calm my nerves and suggested I try taking a bath then sleep through them. I only slept for a couple of hours but it was very intense so I squirmed around and stayed awake to cope. At 3:30am, I sat on the toilet and my mucus plug broke with some blood, so that confirmed to me it was the real thing and I was in early labor.

 

I was at my mom’s house, she and my 7 year old brother was sleeping. I woke her up and she helped me finish packing and she made me breakfast. I used a free app on my phone to help me time my contractions. Contractions felt very intense and painful but they are what you’d expect if you mentally prepare for birth. My husband and I met my mom and midwives at the birthing home. When I arrived, I felt a lot more at ease and cried when Lori arrived because I don’t think I could have done it without her. I paced around and tried all kinds of positions. We played music, I drank some water and orange juice, and ate some food to help get in some protein and get some energy.

 

I had very low energy since I couldn’t sleep that night. You just ride out the contractions in any way you can. I eventually got cranky and everything bothered me if it was out of place. My hair was bothering me and I wanted a shaved head. I could still talk to everyone in between contractions and it helped me when they were keeping the conversation going. I avoided getting into the tub for as long as I could because I was hoping I’d get in the tub and just push him out. When I finally asked her how dilated I was and she said about 7-8 and I was like, “Oh man, hurry up baby get out of me I want to meet you.” When I got to 9 cm dilated, I was pretty excited but I was feeling violent at this point since it was very intense. I was waiting for my water to break, but it never did. Lori said that would make contractions stronger so I’m glad it didn’t.

 

I had random urges to push or like I was pooping a couple times. That’s when I got in the water. It was very warm and relaxing so my contractions slowed down a little. I was so exhausted and relaxed from the warmth of the water. I took mini naps and had short dreams. Then I awoke and remembered “Oh yeah I’m in labor”. I’d yell and be very mad. I asked Lori and the others things like “you’ve had kids, so you’ve done this?” The hard parts where staying in squatting positions during the peak of contractions. The thoughts that ran through my head were “I was born to do this”, “it is not stronger than me because it is me”, “this is only temporary”, “I’m getting closer to meeting my baby”, “all these women have given birth”. I also remember I kept looking at Lori for reassurance and if she left the room during a contraction I'd freak out a little. I was so happy I had made it that far without giving up because in my mind I said there is no other option.

 

Fast forward to when I started pushing I remember it being very hard to do after I pushed once because it’s like I forgot how to breathe and what to do. The contraction just took over and was basically saying it’s time to push. I was so happy but I was getting frustrated since I thought I would only have to push a few good times and he’d come out. But I kept on pushing and then Lori said to feel that head. At first I didn’t want to but when I did I got so happy and it gave me more energy to keep pushing. Everyone was cheering me on and telling me I was doing great. They were trying to help me in remembering how to breathe and push down. I also remember pulling on my mom for support in squat to push. I had to do multiple positions to push and push. Soon I was actually getting his head to stay in place instead of going back in after pushing. I can’t remember but at this point I was so in euphoria, I was spaced out and then…. I was feeling the satisfying burn of pushing him out!

 

Lori was right there to catch him as for me it was so fast and surreal. She took the water sack he was in off of his face and feet since it didn’t break during birth. My husband was in tears it was so amazing. All that pain was worth it and after baby Micheal came out I wasn’t in pain and I would definitely do it again because they are little perfect angels! He was perfect in our eyes and it was so incredible that we just had a baby. I was so glad to hear my son’s first cries. I was so in love with him and so glad we made a safe, natural, peaceful birth.

 

The first things I said to my son was “oh baby” repeatedly and then “oh that’s a good cry I love that”, “look at him aww you’re beautiful.” As my husband was silent in awe, he nearly passed out. My son Micheal peed and did not like the bright flash from the camera but it was so peaceful, nothing that the hospital could ever have provided.  Later my husband got to cut the umbilical cord after it stopped pulsing. I was so relieved he was finally here and just in awe. I was tired but I got a burst of energy from him coming out. I tried breastfeeding immediately because I wanted him to latch and get the colostrum out so the breastfeeding could begin. As you should expect with a natural birth the latching came with ease, my little boy was sucking away. About 15 mins later I pushed out the placenta, and good thing too I wanted out of that tub. When it came time to stand up and get out of the tub I realized how tired my body was, especially my weak legs to hold me. How different it felt to not have my baby in my belly and how my stomach was like Jell-O. I was in some pain afterwards with cramps when I lay down on the bed.  

 

It was so amazing to begin this magical journey of being a new parent especially exactly the way I wanted it, a natural beautiful birth. All the intensity and “pain” was worth it, so happy we made this happen." - Racheal

First Baby: Water Birth, Born En Caul

© 2019 Lori Gibson, CPM, LM, MBC, Moonlight Birth, LLC

 

All images are used with permission of the respective photographer and subject. Site photography credits include: Becca Bond Photography, Lisa Foy Photography,  Hannah Schroter, Ann Norment of Ann's Photography, Two Little Monkeys Photography

  • Instagram
  • Grey Facebook Icon