This post is part of our Grace for the Pregnant Mom series. See all the posts here.
With our first child, my husband and I decided that we wanted to have a natural, un-medicated birth. We also planned to give birth in a birthing tub full of luxurious water (aka, have a water birth). Now that we are embarking on our second labor and delivery, we are still convinced we want to have our baby naturally and this time at home. But this time, I’m not interested in a water birth.
Why I’m Not Planning a Water Birth This Time Around
1. I want to be more grounded. While floating in a birthing tub of water is wonderful, and for most people wonderfully relaxing, it just isn’t for me. I never felt fully grounded while laboring in a pool of water. I’m more of a shower person. I might give that a try this time.
2. Getting out to pee is brutal. It might just be me, but when I was in labor I thought I needed to empty my bladder every five minutes (yes, of course I’m exaggerating). Seriously, I was so concerned that I was going to pee in the water (or worse…) that I kept getting out to go to the bathroom. That was frigid, y’all – like getting out of the pool in the middle of winter! Plus I’d rather not have to lift my legs that high (or at all) during labor while a baby is hanging out at the entrance. Just sayin’.
3. I need my husband. When I was in the birthing tub, we just couldn’t get comfortable together in order for him to rub my back and talk me through contractions. The positions were never right and it was more frustrating than relaxing. I kept floating up and away from him. He ended up being disconnected from my mental processes of labor because I needed him to rub my back. My mom was my coach, which was not our plan, but it went beautifully anyway. I just love my husband and know he’s my greatest earthly comfort. I sort of want him more present with me this time around.
4. More mental freedom. My labor was fast and furious (4.5 hours from start to finish). Relaxing in the tub for a water birth is what I had planned and that’s what I did. Looking back, I wish I had allowed myself more freedom to get out and move around. I might have found better positions to cope with the labor pains. Once I was forced out of the tub to actually push my baby out due to oxygen levels, I found I actually liked being on all fours and had my munchkin out in a jiffy. I have to wonder how long I was forcing myself to push in the water when I could have come on out and not dealt with low oxygen levels in the first place!
I’m not planning to have a water birth this time around. I’m not really planning anything at all. I’m giving myself freedom to listen to my body and work to find the labor positions that work for my baby and for me.
I think water birth sounds wonderful, and I have many friends who have thoroughly enjoyed their experience. I do think having a water birth is a great option for giving birth naturally, and I would highly recommend looking into it. However, I should have kept my personality in mind when I set out to have a water birth.
I don’t regret my birth, and we did have a wonderful, wonderful experience. But I look forward to seeing how this labor and delivery goes with baby number two without a firm idea of what kind of birth I want to have.
Did you have a water birth? What was your experience?
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the post in our series, Grace for the Pregnant Mom.