There seems to be a bit of a baby boom across the parenting blogger community at the moment. So many of the lovely bloggers I follow regularly are expecting, due or have a new baby in their first few months of life. Not only is it making me incredibly broody, it is also making me think back to my birth experiences. I have written Kinley’s birth story before and I am saving Ellis’ to guest blog somewhere. Hayden’s is quite a blur of drugs, forceps, stitches and an experience I’m not sure I want to re-live. The one thing I did differently with my second and third labour was to give birth in a birthing pool. Something I now swear by. It is highly unlikely I will have any more children as we have put some permanent contraception in place (I say we, I mean he!) but if miracles were to happen I would opt for a water birth every single time. Here is my list of why I rate water births. Hopefully it will help some of you make a decision when you come to write your birth plan.
5 Reasons I rate water births
Going into labour can be quite stressful. There is the anticipation, the hope, the fear, knowing (or not knowing) what pain you’re about to experience. Mix that with excitement and love, it is easy to get overwhelmed with everything. In my experience each time I sat myself down in that warm tub of water, my body instantly relaxed. Like I was just getting into a warm bath. Everything feels peaceful and it is easy to lose yourself in that moment. Well until the next contraction comes along. But even then, everything is just so much calmer.
Whilst in personal experience, dignity was well and truly lost in the throws of labour, I found each time there is that initial moment of exposure when you are asked to take off you bottom half and lie on the bed. Once I was in the pool/bath I didn’t feel so self conscious, I was completely naked yet felt somewhat protected by the water. If you are worried about exposing your whole body to someone you have more than likely never met, there are some amazing products available that covers you up a little, and even just a bikini top can take away some of those personal worries. I would say though, trust me, when everything gets intense, you really do not care who is looking at what.
Something about the water made me feel so much more in control of my body. My first labour experience was completely alien to me, as it is for many, but I just did not feel in control of what my body was telling me to do. My water births felt totally different. Even though with my second baby I was petrified after my first experience, I was able to control my breathing, my pushes and the pain so much better. My third labour, whilst painful was actually quite a pleasant experience.
Whilst giving birth is the most beautiful thing, lets face it, there will be more bodily fluid in that room than you can shake a stick at. Once I’d got over the initial overwhelming emotions after giving birth to Hayden, I was desperate to hit the shower. All I wanted to do was feel a little more clean and comfortable so I could truly enjoy those first few hours with my first born. A water birth took that away for me. Whilst I was far from ‘clean’ I felt more comfortable. After giving birth to Kinley, I didn’t feel a desperate need to shower until later on at home (we went home 2 hours after he was born). which meant James and I could just relax in the moment before we took him home to his 2 crazy brothers. Let me warn you though, do not look back in that water after you’ve got out!
This one is the biggest reason I rate water births. I’m not too bad with pain, I’m not one to quickly grab the pills when I get a headache and I hated the way the drugs made me feel when I had Hayden. When I got into hospital with Ellis I was offered gas and air, I took two puffs and refused anymore, I hated it. I said I may change my mind later on but I didn’t need to have it. Yes, it bloody hurts, stings and burns but I just didn’t feel I needed anything other than the warm water around me. With Kinley I knew I didn’t want any pain relief. I took nothing at all. The water takes away the intensity, you have something soothing those area’s whilst they are birthing your baby. And the contractions are so much more manageable with the water around you.
I would highly recommend a water birth to anyone that is in a position to do so. I look back at my 2nd two births and don’t see drugs, screaming and feeling yucky afterwards, all I remember are the good moments, because that was all there was.
Did you have a water birth? Or are you considering having one with your next baby? I would really look into whether it is available to you. They changed how I look back on the birth of my children.