Hospital Water Birth with a {Supportive} OB

I’d like to share a story that includes a birth story.

I want to share with you the way that the right doctor can have influence. I will start by saying I didn’t have an OB, I didn’t have a midwife, I choose to use my family medicine general practitioner as my doctor. He was my grandma’s doctor, he is my mom’s doctor, and he is the doctor for me and my siblings and about half of our relatives. He knows my whole family. Since he has known me since before I was born, I choose not to have to find someone else.

So almost immediately after that test said positive I was in his office. Here is the first effect he had on this pregnancy. He thought something was wrong and sent us immediately for an ultrasound. While it was nothing, him sending us for that ultrasound netted my child her first nickname, Speck. Because at only 4.5 weeks pregnant that is all my baby was, that speck there on the screen. And to this day you will only find her online referred to as Speck, and half my friends call her Speck on a regular basis.

I went to my doctor for all my appointments. He encouraged me not to take any medicines while pregnant, even if it meant 35 weeks of throwing up. He got his water birth credentials, even though I am probably the only patient he will ever have used them on, since we are pretty sure he will be retiring here in the next year or two. He listened to exactly what I wanted the whole time. Even though he thought I was kind of weird for wanting what I did and questioned why I made the choices I made. I felt comfortable and cared about at each visit and you might ask why I did even though he questioned me, but his questions made me think and ask myself why. If I couldn’t answer him why I wanted that…did I really want it?

He also provided me with the closest thing to the birth I wanted that I could probably have gotten. I went into labor at a convention. I was 40 weeks and 5 days along and walking around. Looking back, walking around with all that excitement is probably why I went into labor. I can honestly say I thought it was fake. I labored 6 hours in the oddest way possible; I made beaded hair sticks, watched movies, I played cards, and walked around the hotel, before the blood on the toilet paper finally made me ask, blood means not fake right? {my poor husband}

I spent another hour laboring at home in my bathtub upon advice from the hospital and my mom. I declared it was time to go to the hospital when each contraction brought on the dry heaving/throwing up that I had already suffered through for 35 weeks, I just wanted to go long enough for them to make the throwing up stop, then I wanted to come home and go to bed.

I got to the hospital and walked in, albeit very slowly. The security guard decided that a wheelchair was beyond necessary. And much to my dismay, the nurses’ station stated that they needed paperwork filled out because while I had been there earlier in the day for the non-stress test it was now past midnight and a new day hence time for me to fill out the same stinking forms again. After getting to the room and getting in the gown and all hooked up, I declared that just 10 hours ago I was only dilated to a 1 and I just wanted the throwing up to stop and to go home. I let them check me, and was already at a 6, at which point they said I would not be going home tonight. The went out to call my doctor and get me a few things, came back and I was near a 7!!!

So they went and prepared the water birth suite. I walked over there myself, only stopping once. They got me on the bed just as my doctor arrived. And arrive he did complete in his bright red swimsuit! They checked again and I was complete {only 2 hours after walking in at a 6}! Speck was still at a station 0 though. So they decided to break my water. At this point my tailbone was killing me, and I was still getting 2 contractions a big and a little. I asked for IV drugs. {Which only took 3 IV’s to finally get in}

After they broke my water it was determined that it was filled with meconium. But I was still allowed to get in the water birth tub, which apparently was debated. In the tub I felt wonderful. I was told I could start pushing at this point. So push I did. It was so odd, I floated along, pushing away. Speck made it down a bit, but after 1.5 hours of pushing, I still didn’t have a baby. At which point…I was told I had to get out of the tub. That was the worst!!! I was SOOOOO COLD! I was shaking and shaking. I tried another position on the bed. I pushed like that for a bit. They decided that wasn’t working either, and I was getting SOOOO tired. They had me try the squat bar. I didn’t like it, but they said it was helping, so I kept at it.

This whole time my doctor and nurses kept going just out of sight and whispering. I began to fear that I was never getting her out and I wondered how long they would let me keep going, I was sure they were over there talking about how to take me back for a C-section because I just wasn’t getting her anywhere.

They came back and started me on pitocin and sugar water because I had pushed for 2 hours and was exhausted. I got a 4th needle stick then. I was at that point sure I couldn’t do it. I cried, I wanted a nap, I told them I can’t do this anymore. My awesome husband told me I could, the nurse was there telling me I could.

So I got in the traditional position and pushed some more. Finally they said she was crowning, but she was getting hung up on skin. They told me an episiotomy would reduce my pushing a half hour. I said yes instantly. The next contraction they told me to push hard. So I did, I pushed with everything I had left {not much at that point} and out her head came, and her shoulders, and the rest of her too; 3 hours of pushing! They flopped her up on me instantly, and she was crying. Oh the joy!!!!

Apparently I was told to stop pushing, well I didn’t hear them, and it was all just one push to get her out. Turns out she was posterior the entire time, hence all the pushing and the odd big little pattern on my contractions. It also explains my level 4 tear! Yep, they cut me and then she tore me the rest of the way. After they called a specialist in, an hour of stitching, and more drugs than labor had netted me, I was again one whole person with a 7lb 8oz 20.5″ long picture prefect little girl.

Now you might say, well, your doctor didn’t sound helpful at all. He showed up in a swimsuit and thinking about it looking down I remember seeing flip flops on his feet. Pretty sure my birth suit was his idea of a beach! But no one noticed that she was posterior so it’s not his fault that no one tried to turn her. It was entirely his doing, though, that I was allowed to continue to push until Speck came out. The nurses were behind that curtain, telling him that too much time had passed, that I was too tired; that the Pitocin wasn’t doing enough, that a C-section was the only way that baby was going to come out. And he stood his ground for me, and said, “no… she’s a tough lady she’ll get her out.”

Without my doctor instead of a scar below I would have tummy scar. And while recovery for that might have gone quicker. I know that I wouldn’t have been anywhere near as happy with the birth of my first child. So I want to encourage everyone to find the doctor that will stand there and tell the nurses… no she’s a strong lady. Because, heck, we are all strong ladies.


Me and my Speck, 8 hours after she was born. The first time we BOTH got some sleep.


  • Jo

    I never knew that a big and little contraction was a sign of a posterior bub. I had these all along and spent 3hrs pushing before they took me down to theatres for forceps delivery (with a 3rd degree tear, they didn’t give me an episiotomy which I am thankful for) and she turned out to be posterior. I didn’t have any back pain to indicate posterior either. I refused pitocin (syntocinon here in Australia) but my hubby used acupressure on me on my induction points. My girl was at station 2 though, which I think is higher than 0? Wish they’d given me a glucose drip though, that may have helped my energy levels!! Good on you for getting through that. I ended up with PTSD after my birth 🙁

  • Gail Knerr

    Thank you for sharing your strength. We need to applaud these OB professionals who are treating labor and birth as a natural process instead of a medical condition. Be proud of yourself!! You are strong. At the end you mention that you may have healed quicker after C-section… I think you are way better off with tears and stitching even though they burn. As the mother of 6 natural births, ( two hospital (one PAINFUL posterior), four homebirths, one was waterbirth) and then a #7 transfer to C-section because cord presented first. There is absolutely no comparison in recovering from tears and episiotomy as opposed to a major surgical birth. My c-section team was amazing… but the surgery recovery for 4 to 6 months, and my now attempting / fighting for my natural in hospital VBAC with the ‘added risk’ has been traumatic. Just my thoughts on avoiding surgery. Be Well!

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