I’m so excited to finally share my water birth experience with you! With my first child, I planned for a water birth, but after 3 days of labour (read my birth story here), I had to go to the hospital to move things along. I’m so happy that this time around things moved much more quickly and I was able to have a water birth. I’m so grateful I got to experience the birth I was hoping for.
For some reason with this second baby, I was convinced she would come early. The first reason I was convinced was because I went into labour with my son a week early. The second reason was because I was trying to manifest it because I didn’t want to deal with the stress of being overdue. The third reason was that I started having Braxton Hicks contractions really early. I was so convinced she would come early that I started my maternity leave at 38 weeks. Leading up to this point, I was super stressed out that I wouldn’t even make it to the 37-weeks required to birth outside of a hospital.
In the end, all of this stress was for NOTHING as it usually is.
At 4 am on my daughter’s due date I started feeling contractions. They woke me up, but I was having so many Braxton Hicks contractions I wanted to make sure these were real ones before I woke up my husband. At 5 am I decided it was time to wake up my husband. We started to quietly put the wheels in motion to get ready for labour. I really didn’t want to wake up my son but inevitably we did. Everyone kept telling us that the second labour is super fast so we also called my in-laws and asked them to head over to care for our son and dog so my husband could be with me while I laboured at home.
Around 7:30 am my contractions picked up a bit at this point and I no longer wanted to make conversation so I headed up to my room.
I laboured in bed practising the Hypnobirthing Breathing and decided to video chat my mom, she is a hypnobirthing instructor. I really enjoyed chatting with her and my sister between contractions. During contractions, I would stop talking and breathe while she coached me. It was very relaxing. I was also super happy that I wasn’t experiencing back labour so I actually got a break between contractions.
At 9 am we usually walk our dog and I was determined to join my husband, son, mother-in-law and dog. Walking is something I didn’t do my first labour because I lived downtown and I was too embarrassed to be labouring surrounded by businessmen in suits.
I wanted to walk because it is supposed to speed up labour. Spoiler alert, it really does!
After walking for 2 minutes I decided I couldn’t handle it. Contractions were harder to breathe through while standing and I didn’t think I could keep going so I headed home. Then after that contraction passed, I changed my mind and caught up with my family again. At this point, I was leaning on my husband moaning through each contraction. I can’t imagine what I looked like! Apparently, my husband was getting weird looks from people we passed.
After the walk, I just want to lie down and get into “the zone”.
I thought I would maybe watch some Netflix while I was at it. Once I was lying down my contractions really picked up. It started to feel like active labour. After timing them for 20 minutes, I confirmed that it was definitely active labour and time to call the midwife. My husband called and was told that it was time to go to the birthing centre.
I was really worried about the car ride because it was the worst part of labour with my son but the thought of the huge birthing tub was enough to get me in the car.
We left for the birthing centre around 10:15 which was excellent timing because we had to drive across the city and in rush hour it would have taken a really long time. I took Rescue Remedy before getting in the car and had everything ready to make it as comfortable as possible. I started the drive listening to my Hypnobirthing relaxation, but I was feeling high energy so we switch to my pump-up playlist which has all of my fav high energy songs. During contractions, I would lift myself up because it did not feel good to be sitting.
The drive actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
This should have been reassuring but I was worried that it meant that labour was stalling. With my first, it picked up and dropped off so many times that I was worried this was happening again. When we arrived at the Birthing Center my husband dropped me off at the front and went to park. While I was checking in with the guy working the desk, I had a contraction while the poor guy was trying to ask me for my name and information. I couldn’t talk so he said something like “I’ll just go get your midwife then…”.
Before getting into the water my midwife checked me and I was 8 cm!
I was SOOOO happy to hear this. With my first labour, the furthest I got was 7 cm. This also gave me hope that things were moving forward. It was such a relief to be in the tub. The hot water feels so good and it supports you so you can be in pretty much any position that feels right. I am so grateful for my water birth experience.
During the whole labour I wasn’t sure if my water had broken or not.
With my first, my water broke before labour even started. It wasn’t the big gush of water that you see in the movies, it was a slow trickle. This time I really couldn’t tell but I got my answer at 11:20ish when all of a sudden, my water broke in the tub.
It was like a balloon popping and felt SO WEIRD!
Soon after my water broke, I starting feeling pressure near my tail bone, this is a sign that it was almost time to push. My midwife started calling and texting the backup midwife and there was a shift in energy in the room. At this point, I was ready to switch to the calming playlist I created for the birth but I didn’t want my husband to leave. He was hunched over the tub stroking my back and arms and it felt so comforting. I ended whining “I want the other playlist but you can’t leave…” He ended up racing across to the room to his phone to quickly change it.
While I was labouring at the birthing centre I really didn’t have time to get into the birthing zone.
Things were moving so quickly that as soon as I was ready to get into that mindset, something happened and threw me off again. I was also SUPER whiny the whole time, complaining a lot. I was also saying the most random things and at one point realized that I sounded like my toddler. My friend explained it really well by saying that women in labour are like drunk people. It kinda makes sense, you are usually naked, have no inhibitions, and no filter.
My first pushing contraction totally caught me off guard. My reaction was WFT was that!?!
I had never experienced one because by the time I was pushing with my first I had an epidural. Let me tell you, pushing contractions are something else. They are the most involuntary thing I have ever experienced; it was like my body knew what to do and was going ahead whether I liked it or not. It was intense, to say the least. Full disclosure, I pooped in the tub. Most women poop during labour so they have a net on hand to fish it out. According to my husband, it was a “cute poop” … he was lying of course.
Luckily, I only had to push for 15 minutes before my daughter was born.
The best part was that I got to catch her (with some help from my student midwife) and bring her to my chest. Once my baby was born, I got to chill with her in the tub for a few minutes before moving to the bed to deliver the placenta. I remember feeling such relief once the placenta was delivered because I knew that nothing else had to travel that path again! We did an hour or so of skin to skin and she latched really easily which was so awesome. I had a minor tear that required one stitch, I guess I should have taken the perineal massage recommended by my pelvic floor physiotherapist more seriously…
A few hours after delivering my baby girl we headed home. We were only gone for a total of 5 hours which is totally crazy considering we had to drive across the city. All I wanted to do when I got home was to eat a burrito and go to sleep. I got my burrito; it was a huge mistake because it made me so gassy which is super uncomfortable when everything is raw down there.
I tried to sleep but I was too excited about my baby girl and couldn’t stop looking at her.
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