Water Birth Class

At our birth center, if we were interested in having a water birth, we were required to take a class for it first.  I hadn't decided if that option was the way I wanted to deliver my baby, but I knew I wanted anything possibly helpful to be available to me, just in case.  I’d read a couple of books that described water births and most were very hippie-dippy, but the one thing I read that mattered most to me was that it might not hurt as much. 

At the start of the class, everyone was asked to share the reason why they were interested in a water birth.  All the other women were gushing about feeling empowered or the connection through the water or some other mushy gobbledygook like that.  When it was my turn, I said, “I’ve just heard it doesn’t hurt as badly in the tub, and that sounds pretty good to me!”

The expressions on the faces of the others told me that I did not have the “right” answer and did not belong in “the club.”

You know what, though?  It didn’t matter if I didn’t fit in, because we got through the class and that meant that regardless of my reason behind exploring the water birth option, I could do it if I wanted to. 

Going into labor, I was all for getting in the tub to see if it helped.  My attitude was if that was working and she was born in the water, great.  If not, no big deal.

I ended up laboring in the tub and while I would never say it was a relaxing experience, I was able to relax better than I expected.  So much so that my contractions started slowing down and we had to try all sorts of other strategies to get her out into the world.  My doula, midwife, and labor assistant all commented on how I looked like a hypnobirthing mom (which I wasn't), because I seemed so relaxed and “in the zone.”

As it turned out, Gv emerged on the bed.  It didn’t look like the typical bed birth and gosh, it was a lot of work, but everyone was fine and healthy and we got through it all.  And that’s all I wanted, without any other expectations.  I think being open to lots of different options with the end goal in mind is probably the most helpful advice I can think of when considering your birth plan.  If your heart isn’t set on a specific expectation, then there’s a better chance of having no regrets following the experience.

And if you want a water birth because you’re got passionate mushy gobbledygook feelings about it, that’s okay, too!