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.

smee Fri 25-Jan-13 12:25:42

I got into the birthing pool at the hospital after being in labour already for over 24 hours. It was lovely in terms of easing pain, but I ended up just v.hot and wrinkled so got out after two hours and found I was no further dilated. Would definitely try it again though.

purplewithred Fri 25-Jan-13 13:14:18

waterbirth at home. Great birth, but just as good was putting it up some nights for a few weeks beforehand and having a lovely comfortable laze in supportive floaty warm water.

My body INSISTED on getting OUT NOW NOW! to deliver. but it was lovely to have for the labour.

mummyharper Fri 25-Jan-13 13:29:04

will be stalking this thred, currently debating water birth too

AmberSocks Fri 25-Jan-13 13:56:13

i had 2 waterbirths,one in hospital oe at home,both were amazing but home had the edge.

One thing i didnt like was both times i had to get out the pool quite soon after giving birth because they werent sure how much blood id lost,it can look like a lot in the water,it was ine both times though.

I didnt poo either,i think i did all that in early labour.

was in labour around 2-3 hours both times and was in the pool for most of it,got in at about 8cm as thats how far i was whe the mw got here to examine me.

I caught my babies myself,it was amazing and lovely and i would recommend it to anyone!

I read somewhere that they can put something in the water to stop you going wrinkly? Does anyone know if that's true, and if hospitals do it as standard?

Also (sorry to boycott the thread) what did you wear in pool?
I thought I would prob be more comfortable naked as if I had a t-shirt or tankini top on, and i ever needed to get out pool for the toilet or examination etc then I would get cold quickly. Is naked easier to then just chuck a dressing gown or towel round you when you get out?

PerchanceToDream Fri 25-Jan-13 14:17:06

OP, I was 37 hours into a 38 hour labour and I'm still bitter about that when I got in to deliver DD, so yes, 10cm and definitely onto the pushing stage. This wasn't through choice - a pool became available at the 11th hour and was rolled in. My labour was horrendous but getting into the pool was the most amazing relief (albeit because it co-insided with the pushing rather than transition). I was on my knees facing the wall of the pool for the main but once DD's head was nearly out they spun me around so that I could see her being born (so, sat down on my bum but kind of tilted upwards and knees bent). Babies do that lovely thing of slowly turning their heads round before the shoulders come out and I have to say it was the most magical experience of my life, seeing DD's little face turn round underwater. It's an image I'm going to take to my grave and the most wonderful thing imaginable. I'm so grateful to my midwife for suggesting I turn round.

Tip: I actually found the water quite hot - I don't know how they regulate these things - and I asked the midwife if I could have more cold. She said no, that's the temp the baby needs it to be, but luckily I had a little spray bottle with me and DP was able to spritz my face with it throughout.

Good luck!

PerchanceToDream Fri 25-Jan-13 14:20:13

LOLZ @Littlemissexpecting. Really you won't care about going wrinkly or clothes, but FWIW, I wore a long T-shirt, but yes, naked is also good, like I say, I was very hot.

stargirl1701 Fri 25-Jan-13 14:21:53

I had my dd in the pool in Sep. I was nervous about taking my TENs machine off, as it was helping, but as soon as I got in it was fine. I spent 4 hours in the pool. The sense of weightlessness really helped. I delivered in the pool and was the first person to hold my baby.

I did poo but I didn't notice at the time (I asked DH recently). The only downside was a sore chin the next day from resting it on the edge. Take a flannel to help with this.

It was amazing. I actually quite enjoyed my labour and birth experience. I felt empowered. grin

stargirl1701 Fri 25-Jan-13 14:23:41

I was 8cm when I arrived at the hospital. TENs machine and birth ball at home really worked for me!

I had DS at home in a water pool I got from eBay and bought new liner for.
I used it a lot during a three day labour.
Went into labour Friday and had baths and walked and stamped about.
Sat afternoon sat in it, very hot water,zoning out and contracting.
Very exhausted but found water slowed it down. Got out and drained pool. Used TENS.
Finally had 9lb baby on Sunday morning in it. Water was a bit tepid second time around but liked the privacy - midwives arrived about 4am and wanted to exam me but I was in transition and wouldn't get out. Then started pushing whilst they sat in other room and wrote notes about how I wasn't cooperating and they might be justified in leaving!

They came in as could here something was different, DH me and my fab doula were all knackered by then!

Monitored with handheld Doppler and looking for the purple line as I squatted and was on all fours. Gave gas and air but I didn't use it properly until I was stitched up later - when you push it is hard to use the gas properly because you breathe differently. I didn't actually try and push,my body just went into spasms that delivered the baby.

Baby swam into my arms and then I got out of the pool and delivered placenta very efficiently without injection into a bucket.

I tore but I am still very glad I had our baby at home in the pool.
Afterwards we got into bed and had tea and toast.

The toast was the nicest thing ever eaten.

MikeOxardInTheSnow Fri 25-Jan-13 14:29:34

My hospital has lots of pools and advises that anyone who wants one can have one. But when I got there they said there was only enough staff for one person to be having a water birth and someone else was already having it. I ended up with an emergency c section anyway. Good luck.

PerchanceToDream Fri 25-Jan-13 14:30:50

"Then started pushing whilst they sat in other room and wrote notes about how I wasn't cooperating and they might be justified in leaving!"

LOVE IT

Smugfearnleyshittingstool Fri 25-Jan-13 14:40:35

I had a Maternity unit water birth and then a Home water birth, both lovely experiences that I'd recommend to anyone. I have also looked after many women having water births and generally find that if you enjoy water for relief in late pregnancy, ie lots of baths! Then you'll love it for labour.

naomilpeb Fri 25-Jan-13 14:54:54

I had a water birth in the MW unit for my second.

The pool took so long to fill up that I only went in once the urge to push had started, but DS took ages to come out, so I was in for quite a while.

I too found the warm water really soothing. And DS swimming up to me was amazing. I actually found the height of the pool wall really good for pressing down on when I was pushing.

And yes, definitely what others said that it felt more private. But then DD two years before had involved what felt like 100 medical professionals so it wouldn't be hard!

DD1 was a waterbirth
Laboured and delivered in the pool (was in there for about 5 hours in total so they had to keep refilling for warmth.

Very positive experience for me - with no pain relief, the warm water was the most relaxing thing you could hope for and as soon as i got in I didn't want to get out.

I was naked and that was fine. I agree with the poster who said it helped me feel in control and a little dignified (bits all underwater)

The most amazing aspect though, had to be the actual birth. DD took a few contractions to get out so there was this extraordinary few minutes where the head was out but not the body. Her eyes were open and she was just starting up at me through the water, then she came out completely and swam straight up to me. I will never forget that moment and I get butterflies thinking about it now seven years later.

And bonus upon bonus, she looked clean grin

curryeater Fri 25-Jan-13 15:58:24

I had two babies in water and like the other posters on here, the memories of them are haunting - in a good way. I can relive those amazing moments with absolute clarity.
I would not have stayed so calm without the water, it really helped me stay on top of the contractions. (mostly -with a little tantrumming in transition) This meant that I was completely focused and aware at the moment that each baby was born.

Nitty gritty:

If you get in too soon and the MW thinks it is slowing down your labour, she will make you get out again, which I would think might be a bit cold and annoying in the short term. (didn't happen to me)
If you have the pool at home you are guaranteed to have water, but not in a hospital or MLU. Without the water I don't know if I would have coped so maybe have a pain relief plan B if not at home?
I had dc2 in a MLU and was told I was not allowed in the water till I had had a trace for an hour. This was painful - being still and flat on my back in full labour. I was ok because after dc1 I had the firm and absolute belief that the water would solve all my problems and I just had to get through that one hour. Came as a surprise to me though, don't know if this is standard.
Whether at home or in hospital you can be naked in the pool as there will be no one else there but your partner and the MW. I didn't think I would be, but that is what was obviously expected and that is what I did. No one will stop you wearing clothes though if you want to.
You might poo. Oh well. Only at the end though when you are about to have your lovely baby and get out anyway.
you can still do anything you want in the water. My lovely MW brought me toast from a trolley when breakfast came round, about 2 hours before dc2 was born, in case I was flagging. I nibbled it over the side of the bath like a cow. It's not like a swimming pool where you are cut off from civilisation!
Of course: if you don't like it, all you have to do is get out. It's not like an injection, where if it makes you feel sick, you're stuck with it.
We had our dc1 in a pool in the dining room at home. dp said a few days before, "are you allowed to give birth in rented accommodation?" I said, "What's he going to do, put it back in?" you do need to put it on a ground floor though unless you are very very sure about the floor. (There is numerical info about weight-bearing stuff that comes with the pool. We just decided to keep it on the ground floor)

SilverSixpence Fri 25-Jan-13 16:17:19

I just had a waterbirth on Wednesday. I was already fully dilated when I got to the birthing centre, and thought I had missed my chance but the lovely midwife said there was still time to fill the pool if I wanted it. By that time, the pool didn't really make any difference to the pain but did feel more comforting and it was easier to move around and change position than on dry land.

The actual birth was a great experience, I could see baby's head in the water and with the next push she turned and then with the following contraction I gave birth and lifted her on to my chest myself. It was amazing to see it happen despite the pain which was no different to with my first dc (birth on bed).

The water was really comfortable and warm, they checked the temp regularly and topped up as necessary. It was also surprisingly clear even at the end, despite the fact my waters hadn't gone until I actually gave birth to her.

NekoChan Fri 25-Jan-13 17:01:26

I had a WB and I would definitely recommend it. It was a lovely experience. As other posters have said you feel like you have more privacy- the midwives sat quite far away so my partner and I felt it was just the two of us.
The contractions were more painful when I got out to go to the toilet a couple of times so I'm sure the water helps.
It was a little bit freaky when my DD's head popped out and she had to stay there under the water until my next contraction pushed the rest of her out but I figured they wouldn't offer water deliveries if babies sometimes open their mouths under water!

OneLieIn Fri 25-Jan-13 17:03:18

Agree with everyone!

DS born in a pool at home, no checking on how dilated I was, the mw just said get in when you want.
What I would say is when I got in the contractions suddenly upped a notch or two in intensity, but the relief I felt was immense. Hardly any pressure at all.
Massive poo, so have a sieve ready and a dh who doesn't laugh too much
Agree it felt hot, I drank so much cold water, made dh fill a bowl because THAT"S NOT ENOUGH
And leaning over the edge of the pool was the perfect position to grab onto DH and hold him by the belt giving him a massive wedgie
Fabulous!

Bringing my DS out of the water was still the most wonderful moment of my entire life. I will never ever ever forget it.

PerchanceToDream Fri 25-Jan-13 17:09:36

"It was a little bit freaky when my DD's head popped out and she had to stay there under the water until my next contraction pushed the rest of her out but I figured they wouldn't offer water deliveries if babies sometimes open their mouths under water!" Yes! DD's head was out but under water for what seemed like ages until the next contraction. With her little glassy eyes open. Freaky but so beautiful!

grumblinalong Fri 25-Jan-13 17:19:54

I had WB with dd (DC3) and it was amazing. I can clearly remember the first moments after birth but can't really with my DS 1&2 who were born on dry land.

The pool is really warm, I was shivering and shaking before I got in (even though it was the hottest day of the year) and getting in the pool stopped that.

Only things I'd warn you about are I had to keep standing up for them to listen to the baby's heartbeat with one of those microphone things (?!) because the underwater one was very wonky and kept crackling. Also during the crowning stage the MW brought out this mirror on a long stick and a big flashlight to see if everythings coming out properly. Although that could be because I insisted the room was dark, as couldn't I stand the light. I was only vaginally examined once during the 4 hour labour and IMO that can only be a good thing grin.

zzzzz Fri 25-Jan-13 17:29:52

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. sad

LadyLaMer Fri 25-Jan-13 18:28:30

DD1 was a water birth. I've always been a bit of a fish so it was perfect for me! I was induced so wasn't sure i could use it, but as i laboured naturally post-pessary they treated me as if i'd turned up in labour! Was in the pool from 5cm, about 4am-8:30am.

DH and DM had to hold me up between contractions at the end, as I was so tired i kept blacking out. MW pretty much stayed with me and left me to it.

Couldn't do the same with DD2 and DS as i was induced on syntocin. sad

sixofus Fri 25-Jan-13 19:20:41

Hi there, I have had four water births and I think that they are marvellous! The two best things about water births are the blissful distracting warmth and the ability to move about freely when you are at your most cumbersome. Another bonus is that your baby is given a bit of a wash on his or her way up to be held, so are really quite clean when you get your first glimpse of your little angel! I also think that the warm water can slow labour a bit, which I liked, because it was less of a shock when the birth actually happened and I don't think the contractions were as intense. Good luck!

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