Helen's Waterbirth Story

Audrey Jean Lennon was born at 4.30 PM on February 25th at home in water. We had a wonderful homebirth with no problems - I wouldn't have changed a thing about it, so I feel very lucky.

Labour started at 1am with mild crampy contractions that were every 5-6 minutes, like clockwork. It was 15 days before my due date so we were a bit surprised, but I had been having some show for a few days so I had an inkling that something was up. I had a miserable cold at the time so the midwives were a bit concerned about my stamina and tried to slow it down so I could get some sleep, but she was determined to come that day.

We cruised through the first 12 or so hours of labour. I spent some of the time in the bathtub doing low moaning through the contractions and was able to sleep between them. By lunchtime I was 6 cm and from that point on I became much more focused and serious. The midwives had been around since 9 AM and were busy getting the tub ready. After lunch they suggested I go for a walk to move things along. After the walk I was dying to get in the water. Finally at 2 PM they let me get into the birth pool and it was heaven. By 4 PM my water still hadn't broken so they had me get out of the tub to examine me. The bag was bulging right out and I was fully dilated! While Karen was checking, the water finally broke. While Karen and Sara topped up the tub, I had a couple of contractions in the bathroom. They really took me by surprise because of their intensity. I couldn't wait to get back in the tub!

Yes, it was at times painful but I knew it wouldn't be long now. I was trying not to push because it was all happening so fast. My body was doing it anyway - I was just along for the ride. Pretty soon we could see the baby's head in the mirror and that made it all worthwhile. I knew then that I could do it. A couple of contractions later her head emerged and it was SO amazing. I knew the worst was over and I reached down and touched her for the first time. Her head was so soft and I could even feel her two tiny ears.

I saw later on the video that the cord was wrapped around her neck, but at the time I didn't realize it. Sara said it was OK since it wasn't tight. At 4.30 PM she came out into the water in a moment that seemed to last forever. She looked incredibly peaceful and content as she emerged.

Karen handed her to me and I put her on my chest. She was gorgeous! I had expected her to be all bent out of shape and blotchy but she wasn't. We hung out in the water and she started to breathe and make a few noises. Her dad cut the cord. He cuddled her while I delivered the placenta and cleaned up. I had an intact perineum which I had been hoping for. It was so natural and so amazing, I still can't believe it, almost three months later.

At birth Audrey Jean weighed 6lbs 5oz and was 48cm long. Her Apgars were 9 and 10 and she nursed contentedly within half an hour. As I write this she is a happy and healthy almost 3 month old baby who gives us constant joy and lots of smiles.