The birth is videoed from dancing in labour through to examining the placenta. The early part is quiet and calm as I danced through a couple hours of labour with headphones on and eyes shut to create a sense of privacy as I had many family members and friends in attendance. This is almost boring to watch! The second stage was very quick (video in real time) but very intense. I always experience 'fetal ejection reflex' and have very short pushing (just a couple pushes, hardly controllable) but this baby didn't 'shoot out' after the head emerged as others have. I screamed uncontrollably, this was the most painful pushing experience I've had. My midwife possibly unhooked his shoulder- I sought her help with my eyes as I thought I was pushing him into the bottom of the tub. Likely if I would have pushed instead of screamed (my body pushed, I screamed) or put a leg up he would have emerged, but in those moments I'm merely holding onto a runaway train. Despite the pain there was no tearing. The only other birth that was a wild as that was with my daughter who had a nuchal hand and was the next biggest child. The others I've been able to control a bit more through panting and self-coaching, although they are quick and intense.
The morning of the birth I had a hint that 'today was the day' with a tiny streak of blood, barely noticable. Contractions continued as they had for days. By early afternoon I had another spot of blood and knew it was time. I asked my family to come, but requested they stay outside until I was labouring more. By 4 it was starting to pick up gently, and by 5pm I was upstairs labouring with the music.
My sister who was absent watched via live video on the cell phone.
Thank you to my amazing photographer who also took the video, Sarah Chaloux.
Graphic content for language, mild nudity and blood.
An example of a drug-free home waterbirth attended by midwives and family. For the purposes of educating about natural birth, and how music and dancing are natural pain-relievers and useful in labour and birth. I've participated in a 'Dancing for Birth' session at a conference and used the videos at home. On the wall is a print from 'The Mandala Journey' from Amy Haderer, who's work has been very special to me over the years and pregnancies.