Calm Hospital Waterbirth

It was a Monday afternoon, just turning 38 weeks, and I starting having discomfort. I timed my contractions to be 2 minutes apart but only lasting 30 seconds. I called the OB unit to ask what to do, since I was sure it wasn’t labour but the contractions were getting hard to talk through. The nurse told me it was up to me if I wanted to come in, but it was probably nothing. I decided we better head to the hospital, thinking I might as well see, but I told my mom “I’m sure I’ll be sent home without a baby”.

When we arrived at the hospital and were directed to the OB check in, I told the nurses “I might be in labour…?”. They hooked me up to the monitor and I found out the contractions were actually a minute and a half long, but I only felt the peaks. The midwife came to check me (who I was very surprised to see! I was expecting one of four OB/GYN MD’s that work rotating shifts) and she said she had to do a double take because I was 7-8 cm! I was astounded, as were the nurses, since I felt so normal in between the contractions. As long as I closed my eyes and breathed in deeply, I was handling them just fine. I did not fight them.


The midwife saw that I wanted a natural birth from my birth plan and asked if I wanted a water birth, to which I was even more surprised since I was told water births were not allowed at the hospital. She said she is the only one who will do them and she only works one shift once a week, so I was even luckier that she was there!! Shortly thereafter my water broke and I got into the tub. I was labouring for 2 hours before I felt the need to push. Meanwhile I was so bored in between contractions my husband started Netflix on his phone!

I started doing small pushing towards the end some of the contractions to help alleviate the pressure and eventually I felt the immense need to push. I was hesitant at first, because I wasn’t used to have this control. Once I was able touch the top of his head and I felt his hair which gave me the motivation to get him out. I heard gasps in the room as I pushed out his head and the rest of his body and my midwife told me to reach down and catch him.

Silas was born at 6:11pm, after being admitted less than 3 hours prior, and only six minutes of pushing. It was such a magical moment to reach out and bring him to the surface on to my chest. He was covered in vernix and was calm. My husband cut the cord after it stopped pulsating.

My labour was only 3.5 hours and I feel like I couldn’t have asked for a better birth. All of the staff kept telling me I was the calmest patient they had ever seen, and a couple of nurses witnessed their first water birth because of me. I’m so thankful I was able to have this experience, not just for me and my family, but for the hospital staff, in the hope that they can help more women wanting to be in control of their labour.


  • Kim B.

    I would have had a completely different hospital experience if this was what was normal in hospitals. I was told my my nurse that it was hippy stuff and it wasn’t safe. Then me and my family are apprehensive about home births because of the lack of medical help if it is needed. I really wanted to have a water birth at a hospital but there was no hospital that had that option. And only a couple had bath tubs even. Most were showers. I almost had an unnecessary C-Section with my first but ended up having a vaginal birth. Not unmedicated though, since I didn”t educate myself and blindly thought that the hospital staff should be able to help me to cope during a contraction. I couldn’t have been more wrong and instead told me to get the epidural which caused my labor to stop and then be given pictocin to get it going then my hip going out of socket because of being put in a position to turn my baby because she was sunny side up then more drugs to help with the hip pain then not being able to feel my contractions to help my daughter come out. It was the most helpless I have ever felt. I was finally able to push her out when they told me I had to have her within the next 1/2 hour or a c-section or other interventions. That was with 3 1/2 hours of pushing total. If I would have been able to have this experience I think I would have had my one and only natural birth. My son went transverse and had to be taken my c-section and if I have another then it will probably be a c-section because they had to do a vertical cut on my uterus. It saddens me that I am never going to get the birth I wanted. I’m happy that there are hospitals and staff out there that are starting to get it. I will take the hippy stuff any time. It generally works the best for everyone involved.

  • Jo Watson

    I am an Independent Midwife in England and I have about 20 years experience of providing water birth support . It amazes me that water birth is seen as “hippy” in America it is main stream ! The birth pool in the picture is state of the art ! What a waste as it must lie empty most days if there is only one midwife who is happy to use it and she only works one shift a week!

  • teela

    You left me your link on BabyCenter I was asking for inspirational stories of natural birth and WOW. Your story left tears in my eyes. I looks like you had such an amazing experience and you look so happy. I want to do a water birth if my doc will let me I think it would be perfect for me. Thank you so much for sharing your story and letting me journey into your awesome birth. I hope you have a very blessed day.

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