Home Waterbirth After Ovarian Cancer

Thank you Jess for your beautiful story!

I had my first child in October of 2011 at home surrounded by my family and midwife.  It was 18 hours of hard labor with 3 hours of pushing before he decided to finally show himself to us!  He was perfect! 22 inches and 8.14 lbs!! It was probably the craziest, hardest, and most awesome experience of my life up to that point!

A couple short days later I began to get really sick.  I have never been hospitalized in my life prior to this and had chosen to have my son at home in an effort to avoid the hospital, but a week after his birth, found myself in the ER with severely low hemoglobin, a fever of 103 and a swollen belly.  Needless to say I felt pretty crummy. I have always been a healthy person, and thought feeling bad the week prior was from giving birth.  I felt like I was letting my son down because of how tired and sick I felt.

2 weeks later I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer with a 7 lb 19 inch tumor growing in my belly.  The next few months were so hard.  After surgery, during which I begged my doctor to try and save my other ovary because my husband and I wanted more kids, and then 4 months of chemo, I found myself postmenopausal.  I was unable to breastfeed during the chemo which was devastating to me because that was something that I had really wanted to do.  I tried to pump so I could pick it back up after chemo, but wasn’t producing milk.  I think my body was just going through so much that was the last thing it wanted to do!

3 months later after chemo, to my surprise I found out I was pregnant again! God does miracles and I truly feel like that’s what happened.  My oncologist couldn’t believe it.  I couldn’t believe it! 12 days ago I gave birth to our daughter.  At home in the water, again surrounded by my awesome husband, family and midwife!  This time in under 5 hours with less than 4 mins of pushing! Our daughter came in at 8.7 lbs and 21 inches, just as perfect as her brother!  I am amazed at how good I feel this time around, however it also makes me sad to realize how much I missed with my son in the beginning.  No lazy days of pure cuddles for him, I was just too sick.  At the same time, 2nd chances are so sweet!  He loves his new sister, and we are now all enjoying cuddles together!

homebirth after cancer
homebirth after ovarian cancer


  • mollie

    Wow! I understand what you mean by a 2nd chance with the postpatrtum time. Both of my births have been wonderful, undisturbed, midwife-attended experiences. However, 12 hrs after my first son’s waterbirth, he was found to be breathing very fast-too fast to even latch on to nurse. We ended up in our local hospital’s nicu, he wa s5 days old before i could nurse him again, and he came home at 13 days old. NOT the postpartum babymoon i’d expected!! 19 months later, i was pregnant again. After a fast 4.5 labor, in which we got to the freestanding birth center and he was born in the bathroom 10 minutes later (birth tub half filled!), we snuggled into be dand he nursed for 2 hours straight! And 6.5 hours later, we finally got to experience taking our baby home and having that 2 week babymoon, all day/night cuddles, nursing on demand and not worryong about pumping or tube feeding, getting to experience the sleep/eat only cycle of a newborn. The first week after ds2 was born, i also felt sadness at finally realizing how much i’d missed with him and i kept having flashback moments of where we were at during ds1’s first week. I’m so glad you got your second chqnce, and so quickly! Just amazing! 🙂

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