The Birth Interview Project consists of 17 simple questions designed to help mothers process their birth story & share it with others. All mothers are invited to take part in this project. Born out of Joy’s desire to help women discover, process and express the feelings surrounding their birth experiences, The Birth Interview Project strives to offer a platform for mothers and readers alike to share and be heard, to search and to discover, to identify and to heal, and to exhort and remember. The views and opinions expressed here are unique to each woman who takes part in the Birth Interview Project and may not reflect the values of the blog author.
*Editor’s Note: This is Rachel’s second birth interview that she has shared with us. To read her first interview, an unmedicated birth center birth please click here.
Please give a brief description of yourself, and what number baby/birth you’re sharing with us.
My name is Rachel I’m married to my high school sweetheart & we have two lovely daughters who I stay at home with.
What was your due date, and what was your baby’s birth date?
Due date was October 16th, our daughter arrived on September 29th
What was your baby’s weight and length?
Sophelia August was 8 pounds 20 3/4 inches long.
Please give a brief, one paragraph synopsis of your birth.
I woke up in the early morning with constant horrible back pain that nothing helped. After a while the pain broke up into contractions & I called the midwife. I woke my husband & labored in the tub & on the birthing ball. I threw up several times. The midwife Susan arrived & started setting up. She had me take a tablespoon of honey to stop the vomiting, it worked for a while but I gagged it down because I hate honey. Our 2-year-old woke up & my husband got her dressed, fed, & occupied in her bedroom. Susan’s assistant arrived & Susan checked me, 8 cm – hopefully enough time to set up the birthing pool. After the 3 of them fiddling with faucets they finally got it set up & filled. Our first daughter checked it out but then returned to her room. I climbed in & my husband applied counter pressure for my back labor (another posterior babe) & Shonda (the assistant) applied a cool cloth to my head. My legs & hips also hurt with the contractions, I labored in the pool on hands & knees during contractions with counter pressure, sitting on my knees breathing & relaxing in between them. Every once in a while I would hang over the tub & throw up into a bowl. During a contraction my water burst & I announced it. Babe had spun from posterior to LOA right around then. Susan checked me & said I had a bit of a cervical lip but she could push it back when I was ready to push, I was ready so we did. 1 minute after my water broke & 4 pushes & she was out into my hands, no ring of fire & no tearing. 11:41am, a bit over 4 hours of labor. Our first daughter came to meet her new sister but was still uninterested. Our new babe had a really short cord so she rested on my belly until we were ready to get out of the tub & birth the placenta on the birthing stool while I nursed her.
What did you do to prepare for your labor and birth? Did it help?
I read books, articles, watched documentaries, came to each appointment with a list of questions.
What did you like about your birth experience, if anything?
I loved the birthing pool, I loved the calm relaxed atmosphere, having our older daughter there (even if she didn’t care), & being able to crawl into my own bed afterwards with my new family.
What did you not like about your birth experience, if anything?
I didn’t like vomiting.
What surprised you about your contractions/labor?
I was surprised the water didn’t work as well as I had heard/expected (possibly because of back labor?) & that I could feel it so much in my legs. I was shocked it took so long for my water to break.
In reflection, would you do anything differently, either before the birth, during or after?
Afterwards I would have encapsulated my placenta. & next time we might just go unassisted, our birth team was wonderful but I think just us & having my husband catch would be great too!
What do you remember the most about your birth?
The calm in between contractions & feeling my baby come out of my body into my hands & lifting her out of the water.
How was your birth experience different from what you imagined it to be?
I didn’t think I’d feel it in my legs at all, that was a new sensation. I also didn’t think I’d be throwing up, but I should have known because I had been throwing up the entire pregnancy.
What were your immediate emotions about yourself and or your birth experience after the birth?
Birth “high.” I felt amazing & accomplished.
How would you describe your recovery?
Great, I never tore & was walking around the neighborhood a few days later with my baby in a wrap. The whole week after she was born I had my birth “high.” We tried for intercourse at 5 weeks & everything felt great down there, wonderful recovery.
How has your perspective of your birth experience with your daughter changed in the last 3 months since the first week of having her?
My perspective of my birth experience with Sophelia in the last 3 months since she was born hasn’t really changed, everything was great & amazing.
Did you learn anything about yourself through this experience?
That my body has birthed two beautiful baby girls naturally, & that I have so much strength in me.
Would you recommend having a natural childbirth or medicated childbirth to other women?
I would always recommend natural birth, & may even lean towards the home waterbirth experience.
Any further thoughts, comments or advice you would like to share?
I highly recommend listening to your body & moving how you feel comfortable. & the water birth is amazing, & home birth is wonderful.