Ashley G. shares the story of her third son’s quick home water birth, attended by two quick-moving midwives. Tomorrow, read her husband’s version of events and find out just what he was thinking when he received a one-word text from his wife: pool.
“Riley’s pregnancy was physically very easy but emotionally, it was another story. There were ups and downs throughout. At first we started with a local midwifery group and were planning on a birth center birth. After my husband got a new job our insurance no longer covered birth centers and we didn’t think we could swing the out-of-pocket expense, so we switched to an in-network hospital midwife. After a couple of mostly uneventful appointments we got the results for the Group B Strep testing: positive.
I cried. I knew that meant an IV with antibiotics and a hospital stay of at least 48-72 hours. And I knew I needed to get back home to my other two boys as soon as possible. After researching online for hours, I told my husband, “I wish I could just birth by myself in the closet!” Within an hour he was home and we had decided that we were going to make a home birth work financially, continuing with natural treatments for GBS. We ended up going back to the midwives we were seeing at the beginning of the pregnancy at 37 weeks. That weekend we bought all of our home birth supplies, rented our birth pool, and were ready for our baby to decide his birthday!
At 41 weeks, I was ready but not antsy that our baby was ‘late’. I went to bed, got up a few times to pee and slept mostly ok throughout the night, no contractions, just normal uncomfortable pregnant sleep… I woke up at about 6:00 to pee again and saw one tiny drop of blood on the toilet paper. I went back to bed for a bit and felt some tightening. I started timing contractions around 6:45, and found they were 8-10 min apart lasting about a minute but not intense.
At 7:30 I woke Aaron up to tell him I was getting in the shower and that I wasn’t sure if it was the real thing or not. I told him to rest in bed since both boys were sleeping with us and I thought they’d wake up if we all got out of bed (thankfully, he didn’t listen!).
I got in the shower and the contractions got closer together. By the time I got out they were four to five minutes apart. As I was in the bathroom getting dressed and working through contractions I texted Aaron and told him to call the midwives and doula. The next text was simply, “pool”.
I made my way downstairs to where our birth pool was set up and filling (thankfully, inflated already!) and laid on the couch for a couple contractions. Then I moved to the floor. My body started pushing on its own and my water broke in a huge gush. It felt like a balloon popped in my crotch.
Aaron called the midwives again because they weren’t here yet; AnnMarie said she was two minutes away. The pool was still filling but when she arrived AnnMarie helped me get in. I moved to my knees, leaning over the edge. The water felt so good. Tricia, the other midwife, arrived just after I got in the pool.
I let my body push and with a couple of involuntary pushes his head was born. I pushed his shoulders out and pulled him right up onto me. Baby Riley was born at 8:48am. We stayed in the water until the placenta was out. Aaron did skin-to-skin and the midwives cut the cord while I got out of the pool and settled on the couch for a little while. I had some minor lacerations but no tears so no stitches required.
We headed back upstairs and settled into our own bed to rest. Riley’s birth was so very different from the hospital births of our first two boys, so calm and cozy and our whole little family got to cuddle up into our bed and be together right away. We were so happy to be home!”