Hospital Water Birth {Membrane Sweep Experience}

I had my first child when I was 20 years old. I was the typical ” I will be so drugged up” young girl. I was pretty much terrified to have any sort of pain. However as time went on, and the later into my pregnacy, all it took was one person telling me that I couldnt do it. From that point on, I was going to do it 100% natural. As I did, all three of my children.

I was only able to have one water birth. I thought since he was my 3rd child that he would come early. Well, I was wrong. I had been to my midwife the week before, had my membranes stripped, and sent home for it to work, well it didnt. Came the following week, I was 39 weeks 6 days. She did it again, and again sent on my way waiting for contractions.

I woke up about 3AM to go to the rest room, where I felt a familia gush of fluid ( my 2nd child my bag or waters just leaked for a day ) I immediatly knew that unless I started labor on my own somehow Pitocin was in my future, which made me nervous for my water birth. We got to the hospital about 9:30 AM on 9/20/12. We tried a few methods to jump start labor, I would have some pretty bad contactions but nothing that stuck, he was coomfortable and simply didnt want to come out.

About 6:00 PM I was hooked up to the wonderful medicine Pitocin… which I was also given in my last labor and delivery. I was praying it would just quickly jump start labor and I would be good to go. I was finally able to get in the water around 10:25 and at 7 cm. The best feeling ever, was turning that nasty IV machine off and getting in the warm water. From that second on, with in 25 minutes I went from 7 to 10 and welcomed my third healthy son! 8 LB 1 OZ 20.5 inches long Mr Ethan!!

I will definatly do a water birth again if we have any more. I will however, go against the membrane stripping as I think that is what caused me to leak the fluids in my last two pregnacies.


  • Christie

    this is a beautiful story, i would love a water birth! i do have one question though, why did they do a sweep at 38 weeks? is that normal? ive never heard of it being done before 40, serious question not a criticism

    • Laura

      Unfortunately, it’s common for medical providers in my area to say “38 weeks is term, let’s go!”. Some of the midwives in town will do one at 39 weeks, but most will wait until 40. Sad, how much of a rush everyone is in!!

      • Susan B

        I also had a membrane sweep a week prior to my due date. He was my 4th. Didn’t work immediately, took several days, but the birth was not er…laborious.

    • Heather

      It’s an unwise practice… I don’t know why docs and midwives (and moms) want to force their babies to come before they’re ready…

    • Corine

      I membranes stippied at 39 weeks, but I had been in labor all night and it was just coming and going but not really sticking. I was sooo tired but couldn’t sleep. She said it was one way they might be able to get things moving…it did, and I was greatful for it.

  • Aimee

    Why are the midwives doing stretch and sweeps before 40 weeks? I’m also amazed that you were allowed to have a water birth after being induced with oxytocin! In Australia this would not happen as you would be hooked up to the drip through the whole labour and also continuously monitored with a ctg. Good on you for having the birth you wanted!

  • Beth

    I had a membrane sweep done at 38 weeks by an OB (my midwife worked under him, she went on vacation so when I showed up for my visit I saw him) but I had no idea he was doing it! I honestly thought he was having a hard time reaching/feeling my cervix. I was 3cm dilated and my bag of water was bulging out of my cervix so I probably would have gone on my own soon anyway but I am still upset he didn’t even ask me if it was ok!

  • Lia

    Just thought I’d mention that you never HAVE to have a s&s, you never HAVE to be hooked up to an IV drip, you never HAVE to wait until you’re a certain dilation to hop into the tub. It makes me really sad when you mention finally unhooking yourself from the IV drip like they would have thrown you in the basement and thrown away the key if you’d insisted they’d taken in out sooner. It’s just saline, you could have been drinking water with the same effect. I also find it interesting that as soon as you were finally ‘allowed’ to birth naturally, without being ordered around and hooked up to unnecessary machinery your labour progressed naturally and quickly.
    You can be completely in control of your own birth, and the more in control you insist on being the less medical professionals will dictate YOUR birth experience. As long as bubs heartbeat is beating along nicely, there is no need for anything else other than when you ask for it.

    • Shannon

      The only issue here is the stories that cone out of women literally being held down while procedures are done to them against their consent. This is hardly a new issue, lime someone above said, she thought she was having a check done and then on seeped without her knowledge or consent.

  • Marcia

    My OB called it stripping the membranes. I was 40+ weeks. X😍 at 3:30 pm. I felt no contractions but could see them at 10pm. At 11:50 l had a huge godh of amniotic fluid and my contractions stated. By 2:30 am l was completely dialateď and pushing. It was my 1st pregancy so it took me a bit to get the knack of pushing,
    My 2nd labor was 16 years later, lated90 minutes ang my doctor only got one glove on! For my last child, even though l was an RN with10 years of L&D experience, l did not expect it to be so quick. My contraction started at 2:30 am,never got any closer than 5 minutes apart, and l delivered my daughter in bed at 3:10; 12 miutes after l arrived at the hospital.

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