30 images of beautiful wild water birth and a mother’s powerful journey of giving birth underwater

Homebirth in Royal Oak, Michigan.

Birth stories are love stories. They are stories of strength and perseverance, they are transparent and vulnerable. We should be sharing our birth stories – talking about our birth stories and supporting those who are willing to share their story. My dear client, Jenna, wrote her birth story to be shared on my blog. We hope you read it, share it, and find inspiration in it. Thank you, Jenna.

“I had about 2 weeks of pretty tough prodromal labor. Contractions that I could time for a while and that would become intense, but never stuck around long enough for it to be true labor. I was exhausted and a bit discouraged but I knew my body was doing important work to prepare for the real thing.

I went to see my midwife on Wednesday 7/13 at 3:00pm. I was super exhausted, so I knew I wanted to ask for a (membrane) sweep…maybe that would kick contractions up a notch and make them stick around. When my homebirth midwife, Heather, checked me I was 3cm dilated and my cervix was extremely posterior. She did a membrane sweep and told me to go hang out on my hands and knees to try and turn baby from the posterior position.

I came home and cleaned the house some, finished laundry, showered and got the 2 big kids ready for bed. Contractions were coming, but I was convinced it was more of the same prodromal stuff so I brushed it off. Around 7pm I had some bloody show, so I knew baby would likely be here at some point in the next 24 hours. – I put on my hypnobirthing tracks and went to bed, knowing it wouldn’t be a full night of sleep.

Around 11pm I woke up to pretty intense surges. They were coming consistently around 7-9 min apart and they were definitely tougher to get through. I kept listening to my tracks and breathing through them. My husband got up to make us food and watched tv with me. We enjoyed one another’s company while navigating the waves for a few hours when I started noticing I wasn’t able to stay still during the surge. Around 2am I called my birth team.

 

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Our doula and photographer arrived around 2:30am and the midwives around 3:15am. By this time I had moved into my birth space (our guest room) and had my worship music on. I was still managing contractions fairly well with the help of Janice and Jake and was still able to find a bit of relief in between them.

Around 5am my 2 year old woke up and wanted to nurse and that really kicked things into gear. By 5:30 I was asking to be checked again and remember telling my team “I’m not finding any relief in between”. Heather checked me and I was at 6cm 90% effaced. I was afraid I still had hours and hours left, so I was hesitant to fill up the tub. Janice Rex Weaver, my doula, reminded me that the tub was there to help manage my “pain” and I should use it. Thankfully I listened because when I got in around 5:45 it felt soo good.

I labored in the tub with my worship music for about 45 minutes before the contractions were one right on top of another. Almost no relief in between. I remember telling myself “this is transition. It has to be”. I knew from my previous baby that when it started to feel impossible is when I was getting super close to holding my baby. I was doing my best to stay calm, but it was growing more difficult. By this time both of my children were awake and gathered around the pool with my husband. They calmly sat and watched me, as we had done a lot of preparing for birth. They knew the loud noises I was making were nothing to be afraid of. I looked at my midwife and said “I have to poop” and started to get out of the pool…she super gently responded “you can get out if you want, but I think that’s your baby”. When she said that, something clicked in me and I went into an “I can do this” headspace. I totally accepted the desire I naturally had to bear down and began to push. I placed my hand between my legs and began to “talk” to myself and baby. “Come on” and instinctive roars for the most part. I felt my water break and minutes later I could feel baby’s head. I had never experienced the ring of fire with my other 2, but I did this time! It wasn’t necessarily painful…Just a super noticeable burning sensation for a few seconds right before baby’s head was born. I gave it a few loud roars and her body came shooting out (at 6:47am). My midwife handed her to me and I had instant relief. I was totally fine. We did it! She was here!

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Birth is challenging, of course, but it’s a beautiful and generous challenge. A challenge that you CAN prepare for. A challenge that doesn’t last forever and ends in a miracle. Even after what I would consider my most challenging labor/birth, it’s something I want to do again and again and again.

 

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Michigan Home Birth Team

Midwife: Heather Lemanski

Birth Photographer: Jennifer Mason Photography / Ashlan Marie Photography

Doula: Janice Rex Weaver

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