Can anyone share their waterbirth stories?

(106 Posts)
photographerlady Thu 24-Jan-13 10:18:29

Anyone willing to share the ins and outs of their labor while having a waterbirth. I keep reading up on it but would love to know the nitty gritty first hand.

I laboured in the pool for 3 hours from about 5cm dilated, but then got hauled out for the last hour due the pain when getting out of the water was awful and made me realise how much the water was helping - I was gas and air throughout. The last hour was a bugger on dry land and I really wanted DS to be born in the water but he was safer out.

imip Fri 25-Jan-13 20:08:36

I vomited in the pool so much while in labour with dd2 that I had to get out of the pool. I ended up with emcs. All up, I've had four sections. Oh well. They are here and they are safe. Each first look at them has been magical.....

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 25-Jan-13 20:17:45

I had a water birth with my youngest. It was so much better than the other births from a pain management and feeling in control perspective

WillPenn Fri 25-Jan-13 20:19:50

Both my DDs were born in the water, first in hospital and second at home. The moment I got in with DD1 (at the midwife's suggestion) there was no way I was getting out. I was about 6cm when I got in and she was born after about 40mins in the pool. Had gas and air. I found being able to float on my back/in a sitting position very nice. After that, I really couldn't conceive how I would give birth on dry land so we hired a pool for the home birth and I spend about the same amount of time in the water again. I did do a poo in the water with DD2 but my wonderful DH scooped it out! TBH I wasn't really in the right state of mind to care or be embarrassed!

Awwww my waterbirth with DC3 was the easiest of my four, it was lovely. Think I was around 6cm when I got in but progressed very quickly from there and she was born about 40 minutes later. I was induced due to my heart being a bit unhappy with late pregnancy so I was being monitored fairly closely (BP & O2 sats every half hour or so) but even with that, I still felt left to my own wee private space.

I wish I'd had one with DC4 but I thought I knew everything and maintained for the last 6 hours of labour that her birth was imminent because that was the point where DC3 had been born wink

FrameyMcFrame Fri 25-Jan-13 21:46:46

I did about 3 contractions in the pool then had to get out. felt like I kept floating around and I couldn't stay still and concentrate. also, I kept worrying that I would not be able to reach my gas and air mouth piece...

I had a water birth with DD (my first) back in June. It was at a midwifery unit rather than the local hospital cattle market though. They have about 3 births a week there so it was pretty much guaranteed it would be available. (Have you looked into any units locally? I really would recommend them, as we had three midwives all to ourselves, it was like being in a hotel!) I think you have to have had a fairly trouble free pregnancy, a good HB/blood pressure and be pretty low risk.
I went to the unit at 3pm, after having contractions all morning (and on and off the day/night before) it was 40miles away so was quite worried about leaving it too late.
When we got there I was examined and was only 4cms, so was encouraged to go for a walk around the grounds for an hour or so. It was a lovely warm summers afternoon!
I was in "established labour" by 8pm, and stayed as active as possible, I wanted to really try my pain threshold and not give in too soon iyswim? They began to fill the pool around 11, and while waiting I started on the gas and air.
Getting into the pool was the biggest relief from the pain, and I was more comfortable than I had been my whole pregnancy.
I gave birth at 10.20 in the morning, and stayed in the pool the whole time (occasionally getting out to be examined and go for a wee!!) it was the most incredible experience, that pool was my bubble that no one could invade. My mum and 20 y/o (extremely body conscious) sister could also sit in the room chatting too me without me without awkwardness and come and go as they pleased. I found labour a lot slower than I expected and I don't think I would have been able to do it on dry land. When it came to pushing my body just took over, she was born in the water and placed straight into my chest while OH cut the cord.

Gosh, it's made me a little emotional. Really hope you get that water birth OP, it really is magic.

WocketInMyPocket Fri 25-Jan-13 21:54:10

I got in at 5cm and then labour slowed down to a standstill and had to transfer to hospital - whether it was due to the pool or not I'll never know but I do think that I got too hot.

Other down side is that you have to take off your TENS machine, so not sure I'd do it again.

Oh and I didn't poo (had managed to expel prior to getting in) or tear (just grazed apparently so no need for stitches) although as it felt like I'd just given birth to the stern of the Titanic and was convinced I'd need stapling up!!! I have no doubt the water definitely helped that.

I had DD2 at home in a pool, and as far as giving birth goes, it was lovely! I get some kind of weird mental paralysis when in labour and I really struggle to move. I can't stand, I can't walk, I can't move myself about on a bed. This made DD1's birth very traumatic, flat on my back on a hospital bed.

With DD2 I was on the sofa when the midwife asked if I wanted to get in the pool. I said yes, but that I would need help. So she and DH helped get me undressed and into the pool. Wow, it was amazing! It was so much warmer than I expected it to be, and I could move about freely. DD2 was back-to-back so the MW kept asking me to change positions to help get her out. And it was so wonderful being able to just float into new positions! Out of the pool I wouldn't have been able to do that.

It was nice having that rest with DD2 half out, knowing she was safe and snug under the water, and then the sensation of her floating free and lifting her gently up through the water to snuggle on my chest. All very peaceful and gentle.

If I were to do it again I'd probably get out before delivering the placenta (I chose a natural third stage so there was plenty of time to get out) since it got a bit messy at that stage. But otherwise, it was fantastic and I can't recommend it enough.

trixymalixy Fri 25-Jan-13 22:21:41

I had DD at home in a pool. It was great for pain relief, but it did slow things down. At one point the midwives made me get out and walk up and down the stairs, and then DD appeared very soon after.

I wore a tankini top, whoever it was up thread that asked.

Jo124 Fri 25-Jan-13 22:34:13

I am just making my birth plan and had thought that I wouldn't like a waterbirth cos I thought it would end up like some kind of weird grim soup by the end... this thread has totally changed my mind! I love how often the word cocoon has been used - and the thing about being in control - one of the things i'm scared of is not being in control of the whole thing - my MLU has one pool so i think it's pot luck if it's available. also I think it would be cool to feel like a manatee smile

redbobblehat Fri 25-Jan-13 22:54:23

i ended up with a 4th degree tear

Alicadabra Sat 26-Jan-13 00:08:43

I've had two water births and would highly recommend them, especially if you're the kind of person who finds baths relaxing or soothing.

I agree with those who say the pool adds a slight separation from the rest of the world. Considering that there were three other people (MW, student MW and DH) in the room the first time, plus another MW popping in and out, it felt very private. I could move around much more easily in the water, and it just felt good.

I had a slight tear (no stitches) each time but the second one was mostly due to the speed with which DD2 arrived - I don't think anything could have prevented that from happening!

In terms of clothing, I'm normally very self-conscious but by that point so many people had examined me that I had had no modesty left and just wanted to be comfortable so went in the pool naked. The midwives have seen it all before. I was also surprisingly unphased by the tiny bit of poo, as beforehand I'd been really anxious about it. In fact, it was quite funny so eased the tension (in any case, it's good practice as dealing with poo will be a BIG part of your life for the next year or so!grin)

One thing I hadn't thought about beforehand was that the water would wash off the blood and gunk from the baby. I'm sure I wouldn't have been bothered if they hadn't been 'washed' but it was kind of nice that they were (hope that doesn't make me sound like the kind of person who's really neurotic about cleanliness - it's just one of those random thoughts that popped into my head when I first held DD).

The one bit I didn't like is that you have to get out of the pool to deliver the placenta. I was still quite wobbly so getting out was a bit tricky. Also, I was comfortable and didn't really want to get out, and certainly didn't want to let go of my beautiful baby in order to lug myself back into 'the real world'!

Alicadabra Sat 26-Jan-13 00:11:47

Just noticed that I'm not the only one commenting about clean babies. Phew!

5madthings Sat 26-Jan-13 00:29:51

You don't have to get out to deliver the placenta, I didn't, midwife happy for me to deliver it into the pool, then they clamped the cord and cut it and she just fished it out if the pool.

tried it and it did nothing for me so got out again. I think it is mainly because I like hot baths and it felt lukewarm to me. I couldn't use the tens machine which did help.

I wanted one so badly with both mine! first time the pool wasnt available, second time (boxing day!) it took us an hour to drop off our toddler and drive through a rain and hail storm to the hospital (bloody car broke down) and as I walked into the room I said 'pool!' emphatically. They started the water but the nice MW asked me to hop up on the table while it filled so she could examine me, and suddenly I had to push and DS2 was born 15 minutes/three pushes later! grin

The pool LOOKED lovely. I gazed at it while they stitched me. . . I am not having any more but if I were it'd be a home wb. I've done one long labour with all the drugs and one under 2 hours with none, and infinitely prefer the latter.

Primafacie Sat 26-Jan-13 07:03:14

zzzzz "I absolutely hated it, but I was forced into it by the MW, who refused to give me the pain relief I wanted unless I tried it. I am still furious about it, and felt bullied and violated by her attitude. It was my fourth birth, she was 9lbs10oz and back to back. Luckily I labour very fast so it was over quickly but I am full of sadness that my last birth was so awful. I try hard not to think about it."

Me too! It was my first birth and I was forced into it by evil triage MW who refused to give me painrelief.

For my second one I had an epidural which was the Best Thing Ever. smile

Alligatorpie Sat 26-Jan-13 08:49:03

I had dd2 in water. I went into the bath to labour while the MW filled up the pool for the water birth and I had her in the bath.

Very fast, very painful, and i still tore, but she was out in 3 pushes ( and in the sac)

I would definitely do it again if I was going to have another child ( I am not)

scarlettsmummy2 Sat 26-Jan-13 08:58:00

I had a water birth for dd2, it was lovely! Got in at 8cm, baby out less than half hour later! Highly recommend it!

lollystix Sat 26-Jan-13 10:46:01

Had 4 babies - last 2 in water. Did it with the hypnobirthing CD in my head that I'd done both times. Much calmer, less painful experience but no drugs allowed.Was a big tens fan to point of getting in water and was worried about losing the tens but once in water there was no way I was getting our. Delivered both in the water butt naked and to be honest I couldn't have cared less. MW sitting on the loo and DH over the side holding my hand. Amazing - I would highly recommmend it.

easylife73 Sat 26-Jan-13 11:37:07

I had DS2 in the pool at the hospital. DS1 was born with me flat on my back after hours of monitoring and was quite stressful. Felt very out of control. So with DS2 I almost refused to go to the hospital at all, but panicky mother persuaded DH to force me in! Nearly didn't get to use the pool as someone else wanted it but we got there first. Also I was very shaky and shivery and had been sick - apparently my body goes into a kind of shock state during labour, happened with both of them. Midwife was reluctant to let me in the pool while I was in shock, but wonderful DH put his foot down on my behalf.

Once in the pool the relief was amazing. Thought I would be embarrassed about being naked but just stripped off and got in and never gave it a second thought! With hindsight I wish I'd put a top of some sort on as we can't really show the first photos to many people as my boobs are rather on display in them!! Had gas & air and felt like I was in my own little world. Midwife asked several times if it was okay for student midwives to come and watch for a bit..."Whatever..." So chilled! The contractions did still hurt, but sort of felt like they were happening to someone else, or that I was removed from them somehow.

Seem to remember a little net being used at one point, but very discreet. DS2 was born in the water, still in his sac. Don't remember seeing him come out TBH but that could have been because my ginormous bump was in the way! Got out to deliver the placenta as that's what midwife requested...it was a bit grim walking across the floor trailing blood behind me...looked like something from a horror film grin.

Altogether a wonderful experience that if I was going to have another I would definitely want to repeat...can't recommend it enough. Also, just to add, I'm not normally a bath kind of person...I get to hot and lightheaded, and was worried this would be a problem with a waterbirth, but wasn't like that at all, just lovely. DH says he felt a bit redundant though, so maybe I should have made more effort to involve him. I say go for it...like someone else said, if it turns out you don't like it you can always get out.

sophe29 Sat 26-Jan-13 12:32:13

I have had both my kids in a birthing pool. I can highly recommend.

With DD I arrived and was about 3-4 cm dilated so they started filling up the pool while I got undressed during which time I rapidly dilated to 9 cm and staggered into the pool. The relief was was immense when I finally got in.
It was a bit awkward at first to find a comfortable position but there were lots of options and I quickly settled. At first I was wearing a baggy maternity nightdress in the water but this quickly got in the way so in the end I was naked. Birth was painful but not unbearable and I didn't tear as at that point Id been in the water for about an hour and a half.

With DS I arrived at the hospital and was again 3cm so got into the pool. My contractions had been a bit sporadic but as Id dilated so fast with DD I didnt want to stray too far. We sat in the room for 4 hours with me in the tub. Not much was happening so they got me out and re examined me and I was still only 3 cm. They said I would have to get dressed and go for a walk or something. I think my body knew this was not an option and again I rapidly dilated as I got off the examination couch. I was stuck between the bed and the pool unable to move and going through Transition with DS about to make an appearance. My MW and DH literally picked me up and chucked me back into the pool. DS was born less than 20 min later and with 3 pushes.

With both births the worst thing was being examined afterwards for tears etc. I had to be out of the pool (obviously) for this and therefore had absolutely no painkillers on board. It was excruciating- much worse than either birth had been. Thankfully the water had softened everything nicely and I had grazes only in each case.

After each birth, the pool was drained immediately by the midwives. A bit of blood and poo was left in the bottom of the pool. I had a shower in the en suite bathroom and they cleaned up baby and weighed them and did first feed, tea and toast etc. For my first labour I was staying in overnight, so was then transferred to the post natal ward. For my sons birth they didn't have any beds at first so I begged to go home and stayed in the birthing pool room. Whilst waiting to be discharged all my family came to meet the new arrival and had to put up with the sight of the remnants of birth lying at the bottom of the pool. I kept trying to get DH to rinse it out a bit. My DD was fascinated and wanted to take a closer look! It was amazing to think she had been born in the same spot only two years earlier!

If you go for a pool birth I can recommend wearing a small vest top in the pool and remember to bring a dressing gown in case you get made to walk around for a bit and for straight after the birth as you will be freezing.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Sat 26-Jan-13 15:29:27

For me, the pain relief the warm water gives is indescribable.

Remember that you if you don't like the water you can get out. You can still labour in the water and birth on dry land.

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