Waterbirth: Rockets, Jellyfish, and Oneness

It was a lazy labor.

I was in the kind of giddy euphoric state that you feel when you first realize it is happening – full of excitement and unable to sleep, but telling myself to relax and get some rest so I could be at my best for the marathon I knew was coming.

After five hours of this laid back labor, I was predicting that it might go on for days. It was barely labor at all, really, as I drifted off between contractions. It wasn’t heating up the way my first did.

It was slow and L-A-Z-Y.

I paced around, sat at my computer desk, lounged on the couch, and got on the phone to chat with my Mom and tell her that her granddaughter was on her way.

You can imagine my surprise when half an hour later, I was standing in the bathroom… legs clamped shut. knees locked. barey able to form the words “closed! closed! I want to wait, wait, WAIT!…” hoping that our midwife would arrive any minute.

You see, I didn’t trust my body to be doing the right thing. How could I be 10cm already with such a relaxed and peaceful labor? I was sure it was too early to be feeling her descend.

The holding back was painful, perhaps in large part due to the self doubt I was experiencing.

I felt like a rocket was going to take off and eject the lower half of my body from the upper half.

As my legs crumpled beneath me with each contraction, I was sure that part of MY BODY was getting ready to leave me.

When our midwife arrived, she reassured me that my body wouldn’t do anything it wasn’t ready to do. On the next contraction, I felt my water break and realized my baby’s head was crowning.

My midwife quickly checked the temperature of the water in our birth tub and told me it was okay to get in. (Note to self: next time, fill the tub beforehand and use a mixture of hot AND cold water.)

As I submersed my body, I took a few deep relaxed breaths and she just slipped out.

I imagined that she was a jellyfish swooshing out of me – not the kind with stinging tentacles – the crystal clear, barely there kind that is almost indistinguishable from the water, undulating and floating effortlessly in the sea.

I had to touch her to know that she was real – that my baby had arrived.

How is it that a tub of water was able to ease the transition from our previous state of oneness into our eminent state of separateness so smoothly?

Was it the gentle buoyancy?

The relaxing warmth?

My fears melting away because my midwife was present and had told me it was okay to proceed?

Perhaps it was because WE ARE WATER- both my daughter and I.

Like a drop of water poured from the pitcher into the pond, my daughter and I were one, and when she left me, she also joined me.

I look forward to this journey with you, Annalise.

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