Lucas' Waterbirth Story
Faith and I have known each other for years… Since I was a geeky 12-year-old who decided I was never having babies because there was absolutely no way I would ever let anyone put an IV in my hand. Then, when Faith began her midwifery training, I discovered I had a natural curiosity for home birthing, and spent much time researching it.
I’ve always been interested in things off the beaten path, so a few years later, after Faith had graduated and was a midwife, and when I found out I was pregnant in January 2011, a hospital birth didn’t even cross my mind.
I had a very easy pregnancy, which I completely attribute to the healthy nutrition and exercise Faith insisted on. I never had any water retention or swelling, even though I was pregnant throughout the entire summer. I remained active and comfortable all the way until the last few weeks before birth.
Whenever I experienced discomforts like heartburn or painful stretching, Faith spent much time researching herbal supplements to relieve my complaints. Of course, once you’re nine months pregnant and the size of a small whale, even herbal supplements can’t do much to make you feel “normal” again. But all things considered, I feel like my pregnancy was a very easy and healthy, and I definitely feel that this is thanks to Faith’s advice and strict guidelines and diet and fitness.
My husband was very supportive throughout it all, but he was definitely nervous about the actual birth. His biggest fear was being in the way and feeling helpless. During prenatal appointments, Faith and Cathy, her assistant, always made sure to answer any questions Tim had and tried to make him feel more at ease about labor and birth.
However, it wasn’t until the childbirth class that he really started feeling confident about it. Faith and Cathy made sure to really explain the birth process to the fathers using props and dolls. They had us moms get into labor positions on our birth balls, and showed the dads how to provide comfort and relief through massages and support. After this class I saw a huge change in Tim. He was confident about his role in labor and began to really look forward to the birth and his ability to help me through it.
On the day I went into labor, I was out grocery shopping in the afternoon, when I got that strange feeling like “I need to hurry up and go home. This is the day.” I quickly put it off as my imagination because I knew first-time moms almost always go overdue, and this happened 5 days before my due date.
That evening at around 7:30 pm, my water broke over the toilet (woot! good place!). I texted Faith, who advised me to go to bed and get some rest, because my contractions weren’t likely to really kick in until early morning. I waited for my husband to get home, and prepared to go to bed. It was around 9pm when contractions started, although they were irregular.
However, it only took about 20 minutes for them to get strong and painful— but I was determined not to be a typical first-time mom who makes her midwife come
way too early, so I decided to stick it out on my own. I got into the shower to make the pain more bearable, telling my husband that this is definitely going to take a long time still, and it would be silly to call the midwife so soon.
Thankfully, he didn’t listen to me and called Faith anyway. She arrived at our house around 11pm. The contractions were strong enough by this point that I couldn’t talk through them. I was glad my mom had arrived a little earlier and helped me through them. By midnight, the birth pool was set up, and I asked to get in.
The rest is a blur, and I don’t remember much because I was mentally unprepared to handle the pain. It was a quick labor for a primip (first-time mom)– only 5.5 hours from the first contraction to the time Lucas was born– so the contractions were incessant and strong. Faith and Cathy did
everything they could to make me as comfortable as possible, but I was simply not prepared for such an intense labor experience. I had pictured a perfect YouTube birth– relaxing in the tub, classical music playing, peacefully breathing through contractions... in between chit-chatting with my midwives and husband; all in joyful anticipation of the baby who was about to be born.
By the time I was ready to push, all I knew was that I wanted this to be over NOW.
I pushed with every ounce of strength I could muster during every contraction
and Lucas was born at 2:44, after only 19 minutes of pushing.
I did need suturing after the birth, thanks to my overzealous pushing and
Lucas' elbow position, but my midwives were able to do that for me and then I got to soak in a delicious herbal bath before sinking into my own bed to snuggle up with my gorgeous baby boy.
From that moment on, I felt like I could do anything. My birth was not the picturesque experience I had envisioned, but it was so empowering and beautiful in its own right.
Rebecca went on to have a second home birth with Faith (read the story and see the video here), and then attended her sister in law's hospital birth a few months later.
Through her own birth experiences and also being at her sister in law's birth, Rebecca realized she wanted to pursue becoming a midwife herself.
She began her training in September, 2013, when her second baby was only 5 months old. Along with her academic program, she apprenticed withFaith until she graduated as a CPM in March, 2016.
Shortly after graduating, she delivered her third baby, also with Faith (see the video here), and now has a private practice as a CPM.