Nicole’s Water Birth Story


Nic and Theo in birth pool 2

Well I had best document this while it is still reasonably clear in my mind. Theo is now 1 week and 1 hour old. I know in a few more days I won’t remember much at all.

We all went to bed early Saturday night because I just knew it was time.

My waters broke at 3 am. I woke Doug up and he had a coffee and sprang into Dougie-action-man mode, packing, repacking, folding clothes and moving furniture. I went back to bed. Contractions were getting pretty strong by about 5 am so we let the midwife know.

By 7 am we were all awake and everyone was excited. My contractions slowed and we decided a walk on the beach would be a good idea. When we got home food and rest was all I wanted. I went back to bed and my contractions stopped.

The midwife Tracy came for a visit at midday and she said because my waters had broken I would either have to be in labour or be induced at the hospital before 18 hours (of waters breaking). Luckily contractions started again at about midday and by 3 pm we were off to the birthing centre. I think we had 4 or 5 stops, in the 20 mins it took to get to the hospital, so I could stand to have a contraction.

We got settled into our room, Doug got busy getting the pool ready, which we had hired and brought along. There was a birthing bath at the centre however we couldn’t guarantee it would be free. My midwives, Sara and Tracy arrived. Labour was in full swing. I rotated between the fit ball, walking and the shower while Doug filled the pool. I hopped in the pool at about 4:30 pm. It felt so good.

I wasn’t fully over my cold yet and couldn’t breathe through my nose so once I was getting strong and frequent contractions I was having trouble getting enough oxygen into my lungs. Breathing was so laboured and I was so thirsty constantly.

The intensity increased quickly and I was getting suddenly hungry. It had been about 5-6 hours since I had eaten. Doug had some fruit for me but it was too difficult to try to eat between contractions, it was all a bit quick. Instead I had some cold milo and few bites of a biscuit. More water.

The pain was started to get really intense and I was flooded with memories of birthing my first child Gabrielle…and getting stuck at 9 cm for hours and hours and the anxiety that came with this. The pain was the same. The midwives continued to encourage me and told me I was progressing well.

My breathing was really hard and I must have been having trouble getting enough oxygen. My face and lower arms felt a bit tingly and numb. Doug says I was hyperventilating a bit.

The pool was so good because I was able to go from being on my knees during contractions to easily laying on my back to rest briefly before the next one.

At around 6 pm I was reaching transition. It was tough. I did mention the “E” word, “Doug! I really need an epidural!” Both the midwives and Doug and said in unison, “Oh, well too late!” Within minutes I wanted to push. This was all new to me as I never got to this stage with G without the Epidural. I remember feeling a bit panicky and wanting to quickly try and push before I was ready. The midwives calmed me down.

I leaned back against the pool edge and breathed. The pain changed from intense contractions to sharper birthing pain. I could feel the baby’s head. The midwives both remained hands off but used a torch to see what was happening. They encouraged me to push and catch the baby on the next contraction. And I did. He slid out like a big bumpy sausage and I scooped him up and gave him a cuddle. He was just lovely. He opened his eyes and gave a sweet little cry. He was a lovely size, long arms and legs and little bit of fair hair. It was 6:27 pm.

We let his cord remain attached for a while until it changed colour and I started getting more contractions and needed to get out of the pool. I then birthed the placenta naturally and lay down in bed with my boy.

He was weighed and measured and the midwives said we could go home or be transferred to the maternity ward. We decided home it was. Doug raced home to get an excited big sister and grandma.

G came in and said “Where’s the baby Mum?” and then checked my belly giving it a few good pokes admiring how soft it now felt. She then focused her attention on the little baby and stroked his head.

It felt so good to be aware and able to move around after the birth so I could hold and feed bub. We all went home and stared at the baby. Everyone was on a bit of high and didn’t really want to go to sleep.

The midwives visited me daily to examine Theo and me. They are simply amazing.