Hewey's Waterbirth Story

My first child, Emma, was born December, 1994, in the hospital. It was a long labor, with posterior presentation, stadol, internal fetal moniter, tearing, etc. The staff and doctors were great, but I knew the second time around that I wanted to do it differently.

I had a wonderful second pregnancy. Lots of Braxton Hicks contractions toward the end and even some false labor . . . but finally the morning of May 21st the Braxton Hicks felt different. We had planned a home birth with a certified nurse midwife, my husband and two close friends. We had read a lot about laboring in water and had borrowed a small hot tub from my parents which we set up in the back yard.

We spent most of the day walking. We have a great two mile walk from our house to the Yellowstone River. If I stopped walking for too long, the labor would stop too. At about 7 or 8 PM that evening I thought it had stopped completely. I called my midwife and she said if contractions slowed down I could take some chlorophullum, a homeopathic form of blue cohosh. Between 8 and 10 PM she had me take two tablets every ten minutes. Boy, did that get things going! During my last walk to the river the contractions were coming every two minutes, but they were still not very intense. I was chatting and laughing the whole time.

We got home at 10 PM and I called my midwife. I thought things were really rolling. When she got to our house at 11 PM I was only 4 cm's, and that really bummed me out. So Wendy, Kelley and I all got into the hot tub. Pretty soon after that my water broke. The contractions became more intense, but because of the water I was able to stay completely in control of each one. My husband was up near my head, my friends were at my side and Roberta, the midwife, sat at my other side.

It was a beautiful night with a full moon. All of a sudden, I had a strong urge to push. I tried to keep from pushing but I couldn't. Roberta checked me and I was only 5 cm's! That was at 12:45 AM. The unbelievable part was that Sophie had not even come down into the birth canal yet, she was still floating! I was very upset about this and for a split second I thought that I would end up in the hospital with a c-section, but thanks to my wonderful support team and to the water, I was able to keep going. I gently pushed with each contraction and when Roberta checked me again at 1:00 AM I was 10 cm's! (in just 15 minutes).

At one point Roberta said to me "You aren't getting out of this tub, are you?" and I said "No way." So with another push Sophie's head came out and I could touch it under the water. Her shoulders got stuck just a little bit and took a couple of pushes to get out. But out she came at 1:14 AM (just 29 minutes after I was only 5 cm's dialated). She was immediately placed on my chest and wrapped in towels. She was just beautiful. She just looked at all of us with great big eyes. It was all wonderful.

We got out of the tub to deliver the placenta, then Roberta stitched me up. I did tear because her shoulders got stuck. The most wonderful thing was after everyone went home; then Lee, Sophie and I just crawled into our bed together. We were already home. It was an amazing birth!