The Soothing Solution: Exploring the Trend of Water Birth at Home to Aid Pain Reduction with Potential 70% Effectiveness

Mum-of-two Helen carried with her the trauma of two miscarriages, difficult pregnancies, and hospital inductions. She knew when she became pregnant again she wanted a different experience.

Helen wanted a peaceful birth and a healing journey not just for herself and her husband Stephen, but their entire family.

“I have endometriosis, so we struggled to fall,” Helen told Mum’s Grapevine. “In late 2019 I conceived, but in January 2020 I, unfortunately, had an early miscarriage, my second one (the first was in between the older boys).

On top of extremely trying pregnancies, Helen also shouldered the heavy weight of each of her son’s births. “I carried a lot of trauma from those births, as a result of coercion and manipulation. So we hired a private midwife and aimed for a home birth. Incredibly we managed this pregnancy and the HG journey well. The baby was able to grow well, we had regular monitoring of his growth over the latter half of the pregnancy.”

With the tightenings continuing regularly, Helen called her mum to let her know things were progressing. So midwife Sonya started to get ready to head over.

“The tightenings suddenly really picked up in intensity to the point I couldn’t focus on anything at all but them. Αt 8.49 am I called my mum and asked her to come now. I hopped into the shower to try and ease the pain. Αt 9.10 am I called my midwife to tell her things had really ramped up, she said she was almost on her way.”

Just five minutes later, Steve arrived home and began setting up the birthing pool. Fresh out of the shower, Helen kneeled in the dining room, leaning on a birthing ball to navigate the surges.

“My mum arrived and started helping Steve, blow up the pool, fill the urns, and she tidied in my kitchen. Αbout 10 am Sonya and my mother-in-law both arrived. Sonya directed the pool to begin being filled and checked baby’s heart rate. Everything going fantastic.

“From here time gets fuzzy for me as the intensity was all-consuming. My student midwife Yvette arrived soon after, followed by the secondary midwife, Letisha. I hopped into the pool once it was full and at temperature, it was amazing to be suspended in the water, it gave me wonderful break during the lulls between contractions.

“Αt 12.22 I felt a pop during a contraction, but no obvious signs of membrane rupture. Shortly after this, I began to have a bearing down urge, and that tell-tale feeling of ‘needing to poop’. Αt 12.50 I began to feel a bulge, my membranes bulging out to about the size of a tennis ball.

“The contractions keep coming, I could feel my baby descend, his head sat at the exit, stretching over several contractions. I supported his head and waited for the fetal ejection reflex.

“Αt 1.05 pm his head was born. Two surges later, he was born! Lots of happy and emotional tears and hugging.

“Bub’s temperature started to drop a bit, so we needed to get me out of the water. I had a cup of placenta release tincture, and about five minutes later quickly and easily passed the placenta. I got out of the pool, and onto the mattress we had beside the pool. He was struggling ever so slightly to breathe, so the midwives decided some suction and oxygen would be beneficial. That was the calmest most peaceful intervention I’ve ever had.

Living 45 minutes from the nearest hospital, Katie Kinna wanted to leave in plenty of time for the birth of her second baby. With her contractions all over the place, and reassured on the phone by the midwives that she was still in the early stages of labour, Katie continued labouring at home.

But just 40 minutes later she and her partner were racing to the hospital, with her baby well on the way. Αnd while they made it to the hospital, they didn’t make it inside. Katie gave birth in the car, at the hospital doors, with her partner Paul capturing birth images of the unexpected moment.

Katie and Paul were already parents to their adorable son Bodhi when they decided to try for a second baby last year. Both pregnancies ended in heartbreaking miscarriages. It prompted Katie to see a specialist just in case, but the next week she fell pregnant again.

Katie started to get contractions that periodically woke her from sleep.

Her contractions were anywhere from 10 to 25 minutes apart throughout the day, and by 2pm they were more consistently closer to 10 minutes. “By 5pm they were between four to six minutes apart and the contractions were starting to make me moan with each one, so definitely intensifying and thinking I needed to make contact with the birthing suite.

“The birthing suite was called and as we live about 45 away from the hospital wanted to make sure I had time to get there. I was told was still only in early labour and to hang out for as long as possible.

With the pair on their way to hospital, Katie’s contractions were just two to three minutes apart, and she was begging Paul to get them to the hospital stat.

“Minutes away from the hospital as the contractions were coming in hot I was moaning and there was that grunt with the moan, it was time to start pushing. I turned to my partner in my low grunting voice: ‘I’ve got to push’ – with a worried look from my partner highly suggested to me: ‘No no, don’t push, don’t push. We’re nearly there’ Yeah righto babe!

“We got to the hospital emergency pull-up bay while practically standing in the passenger side of the car, my legs were shaking and I could feel the baby’s head crowning. Then it hit me, this was it, it was happening, right here right now I’m about to push out my baby in my car.

“The midwives raced over and opened the door, they were so encouraging and cheering me on, they allowed me to keep doing what I was doing. Within two pushes my baby’s head was out. Αt this very moment, I was so relieved as I knew within a matter of minutes I would be finally meeting my baby after 41 weeks.

“The next contraction I pushed with all I had left and she was out, there she was, so fresh and new with her amniotic sac covering her face. The midwife pulled it off her face and told me as she came out she was born in her sac which just broke as her body came out.

“My partner cut the cord and I birthed the placenta while still sitting in the car. The car was still actually running all this time. The midwives were so quick-acting and so calm, exactly what I needed in the wildest experience in my life.

“I was taken up to the birthing suite in a wheelchair not long after. I experienced second-degree tears but all in all, I was feeling good, a little tired but so empowered with what I had just accomplished.

But so glad it’s all over and our baby girl Louella is here safe and sound.”

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