A water delivery, part two

Lilith's Water Birth
Image by rabble via Flickr

Part one is here - A water delivery

A water delivery is completely different from a land-based delivery, when everything apparently moves faster at the moment of delivery. In water, it is exactly the opposite. The baby is left to deliver itself into the water, and is only touched when it is completely out of your body. The pool is like an extension of your womb, so the baby does not start to breathe until it breaks the surface. This means there is no rush to get the body out as soon as the head has crowned. Nature can simply take its course. They allow 15 minutes before they will assume there is a problem and intervene.

Anyway, my baby’s head came out, and kind of floated in the water like a balloon between my knees for nearly 10 minutes before the rest of his body slipped out. As we had read up on the subject, and been to a waterbirth evening at the hospital, we knew there could be a significant gap between the two stages. The 10 minutes seemed to last forever, and time seemed to have stopped still. Had we not known to expect this, we might have been a quite anxious, I think. Instead, it was a wonderful surreal experience that we will never forget.

Afterwards, I had a small tear, and had three stitches. I have to say that having these sewn was the worst part of the whole day. Within 24 hours of having our new baby boy, I was telling everyone how wonderful his birth was – I know time makes people forget how painful childbirth is, but it certainly wasn’t that in our case: it truly was the most amazing experience I could ever hope to have.

One other thing I would say is that our son never went through that “new baby” shrivelled look in his first few weeks. He went straight on to the settled baby stage, and was very alert yet placid from the moment he was born. Also, he is a very happy, calm and amenable child, on the whole. Personally, I believe a lot of this has to do with his untraumatic entry into the world.

Not surprisingly, I would (and do!) recommend a home waterbirth to anyone unless their pregnancy indicated complications.

Morag Gaherty

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1134202412 Morag Gaherty

    Oh goodness, I had completely forgotten about this – is part 1 on Mums or on Birds? Perhaps a link would help.

  • Marydw757

    Thank you for the link Morag, much appreciated

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