It’s Rowan’s birthday week at our house and I thought I would kick it off by writing about his water birth story.
Rowan’s Water Birth Story
Three weeks before Rowan’s due date, I drove down the 5 Freeway to Orange County to await his arrival. I was 29 weeks when Brady and I packed up and moved to Fresno, CA. As weird and complicated it may seem, I decided to keep the midwives I had while living in Orange. Twice, I had driven down for appointments and as a team, the midwives and I planned to have me drive down at 36 weeks and 6 days. Brady stayed in Fresno to work and had planned to drive down on the weekends just in case.
I ended up in the worst traffic on September 1st, 2015 driving through LA while having the most uncomfortable back pains. Somehow, I was on the road from 10:30 am – 5:30 pm for a drive that usually took four and a half hours with a stop.
I walked into my parents’ house and immediately took a shower, hoping to feel better. I didn’t.
I just had an uncomfortable, something wasn’t right feeling that would not go away.
I called the midwife hotline at around 6:30 pm and left a message complaining of not feeling comfortable and horrible back pain. Allison called me right back told me to get back in the tub and drink a large glass of water. Maybe I just needed to relax a little. I agreed to call her back in an hour to check in and let her know how I was doing.
Somewhere between the bath and calling Allison back, I thought my water broke as I was climbing out of the tub. TMI, but I remember sitting there on the toilet naked talking to her about how I didn’t feel any contractions, but I had a overwhelming need to poop. I won’t tell you what she asked me to do next, but I was the most clueless pregnant person ever. I don’t know if I didn’t read or ask enough questions, but every time my midwife would ask a question, I would ask “what would that feel like?” Seriously, I had no idea what a contraction was and I still don’t.
At 8:10 pm, Allison decided the best thing was for me to meet her at the birth center, just to check things out. This is where the night gets interesting.
Let’s Get Down to Business
My mom was still at a meeting not answering her phone; my dad, was still working or at water polo practice or something. The only family members at the house were my brothers, (then) 18 years old and 16 years old. I looked at my 18 year old brother and I would like to think I said, “Please drive me to the birthing center, your nephew is coming.” But I probably was more crazy looking and sounding.
As we backed out of the driveway, our dad shows up talking on the phone, waving dinner in our window. We yell at him that we’re going to the birth center and that he needs to bring the car seat. Our dad looked at us like there were no words coming out. So, we just left without confirmation from my dad about a car seat or if he was even coming.
The drive was a blur. Thank God for GPS since I was the only person that knew where to go.
I called Brady to tell him to get the dog and jump in the car.
My dad called confused at why I had to go to the birth center at 8 o’clock at night. But we did convince him to get in the car to meet us. Somewhere on the 405 Freeway, I yelled at Micah to just drive faster. At 8:45 pm, we pulled into the parking lot at Beach Cities Midwifery Long Beach. Thankfully, I didn’t have freeway baby and sacre my baby brother for life.
By the time we arrived at the birth center, I was starting to feel the pains that childbirth can bring and to be honest, I still don’t know what that means. Micah had to help me out of the car and into the center. Alison did her thing and told me “the baby is coming now, where do you want to do this?” Um. I was a 10, folks. Rowan was not playing around.
“The tub, please,” I said. I ended up in the tub naked. Usually woman will wear a bra, swimsuit top, or a shirt, and there I was naked. There’s a part of me that hates the fact I was naked. I can’t share any photos from my water birth experience.
I was ridiculously calm during this whole process. It might have been survival mode because Brady wasn’t there to speak for me.
Speaking of Brady, he was called on speaker phone. And at that point, he hadn’t even left the house. He didn’t believe that the birth was happening so quick, let alone so early. I wasn’t there, but I’m assuming he got in the car quick after hanging up.
Water birth is weird because I was basically floating while I pushed. And I don’t remember the pain once I was in the tub. Yet, I do remember thinking “why did I decide to have a med free birth? That was the stupidest thing ever.” So, I think I was in some pain or maybe just tired of pushing. I may never know.
Rowan is here!
Rowan Koa was born into water at 9:11 PM. 6 pounds, 13 ounces, and 19 inches long.
No one believed I was in labor that night, not me and not even my midwife. She honestly thought that the birth would happen after midnight once she told me to come in. Brady didn’t believe me. My dad didn’t believe me. My mom thought my dad and brothers were playing a joke on her. But when they held up the phone, so she could hear Rowan crying, she started driving.
The most important thing, however, Rowan was surrounded by love from the moment that he swam out into the world. He stayed with me on my chest for an hour. I even cut the umbilical cord myself. Both sets of grandparents and my brothers were there to welcome Rowan with open arms. Phones were ringing with phone calls, text messages, and face times. It was late, but the big extended family all had excited words and couldn’t wait to meet Rowan the next day.
I don’t remember the exact time Brady arrived at the birth center. It had to be around 12:30am on September 2nd.
We sat together on the bed for the first time as a family of three and everything just felt right.
Also to add to my craziness, I went back to my parents house at 2 o’clock in the morning.
If you’re wondering, I am working on a post about why I ultimately chose a water birth. Hopefully, I’ll have that up next week some time. So, come back and check that out!