Black Women Birthing: Epiphany's Home Birth Story

I had a successful home water birth on June 8th! So this story is fresh! I went into labor on June 7th around 8 pm. I had an appointment earlier in the day to have an ultrasound. My midwife suggested that I get an ultrasound to check the baby’s fluids and to make sure everything is fine and to make sure I would still be cleared to have a home birth. Once the ultrasound was over I went for a non stress test. The non stress test revealed that I was having contractions every 5-7 minutes. I laughed it off because I couldn’t feel a thing! Now looking back I should have known that I would be in full blown labor later on that night. And that is exactly what happened! After my son’s birthday party I started to feel uncomfortable cramps. I began to feel them regularly so I called my midwife and informed her. She told me she would be leaving her office at !0 pm to make her way to my house. By the time she arrived at 11:15 pm I was in full blown active labor! I was rocking on my birthing ball, which helped a lot, to alleviate some of the pain during contractions. Once my pool was filled with enough water to submerge me, I jumped in. OH, the relief that I felt once my body hit the water. I read a lot about water helping with pain during active labor. From my own experience those moms were not lying! My pain was still intense but I was able to cope better in the water than when on the ball or couch. I also told myself repeatedly during contractions that I was ok and that I can and will birth my baby.

After a while in the pool i decided to lay on the couch. My doula and midwife helped prop my leg up. A few contractions later and my water broke. I laid there for a few more contractions then made my way back into the pool. I cannot remember who helped me in. Less than 30 mins later my water broke, I felt the pressure to push. My contractions got much stronger and earth shaking. At one point I was close to crying because of the pain. I was squeezing the hell out of my doula’s arm! Then I felt my son crowning. On the next contraction, I gave one long, hard push and out he came! He was born under the water. I delivered him on my hands and knees since that is what my body was telling me to do. Gravity certainly helped him glide down my vaginal canal. He was attached to his placenta until it was delivered 30 minutes later. His father cut the cord and then me and my new baby laid around for a bit under a towel. I relaxed a bit until I felt the need to pee. After peeing I rinsed off quickly in the shower. By the way a detachable shower head is absolutely amazing for washing off your vulva and vagina after birth. I felt soooo much better once that water hit me.

Eventually, after weighing and checking my son, the midwife and birthing assistant left. My mother and doula got into an argument during my birth but that is a story for another day. Its safe to say my home water birth was a success because I birthed my child the way I wanted to. I took control of my body and birth. I had my son on my own terms and it was truly a liberating and powerful experience.

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All birth photography by steaphanie mei ling

All birth photography by steaphanie mei ling