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!”
Omg! This is literally my birth step by step! Positive GBS and everything hahahah my punk was born within 2 hours from the first “real” contraction , to 3 involuntary pushes. My midwife showed up 6 minutes before he was born! The only thing I remember is telling my mom “I want him in here” (talking about my husband getting in the pool) he got in and thought I was having a really strong contraction until I said “his head is out” lol and the next push he was out! He nervous giggled for a few minutes because it was so fast.. But it was beautiful! My favorite birth for sure! Hees our 4th baby and first homebirth and if we have another it will be home water birth! Oh and he was born at 41 and 1 as well ❤️
Beautiful story! Did you have to bring him in to the hospital at any point to test for GBS?
I’m curious what natural treatment you did for GBS? I’m also positive and doing a Homebirth!!! My midwife can do IV injections of antibiotics but if I don’t have a short labor I’m not gonna have any veins left!!!
Ashley, I love your story, so similar!
LaNeshe, we choose not to bring him in to be tested, I’m confident if we would’ve gone in for any type of testing they would’ve pushed antibiotics on him ‘as a precaution’ and we were confident that we did not need them.
Shannon, I did hours and hours of research trying to decide what would work for us and I suggest any mama going through this do the same. I settled on a combination of garlic, vit c, probiotics, and planned on using hibiclens during labor but in the end there wasn’t time (or need) for that!
I am not sure what you do for GBS and I know how serious it can be but in planning my last 2 homebirths the UK midwifes have said that they can treat you as if they dont know now, and you will have no IV antibiotics even with a positive GBS test and just monitor baby once they are born so perhaps you can also look up UK NHS best practice.
Lovely birth story! Just wanted to add my GBS experience.
I tested GBS positive and took a combination of Grapeseed oil (not necessarily recommended due to newfound info) and another herb i unfortunately forget. I also used hibiclens after ever bowel movement. I was tested again and now negative. Can’t say what worked, but glad it did! You can research and find lots of recommendations – I’d personally say you can’t go wrong using hibiclens as well as whatever else you decide is right for you.
Never heard of hibiclens but I’m currently taking vitamin c, zinc, garlic, and probiotics to avoid testing positive in the first place. Although my hospital’s policy is to at least have a hep lock iv access, my midwife says she’ll sign a release form for me as long as I’m healthy so I won’t have to have a freaking needle in my vein the whole time I’m in labor! Unfortunately that won’t happen unless I’m GBS negative so I’m doing everything I can to stay that way! Any other suggestions would be appreciated!