In asking around of a few of my friends for stories & commentary on Water Births, I got the following fantastic story from a good friend of mine from South Africa regarding her water birth experience. I’m posting it here with her permission, as a great example of a Scientology family and their reasoning & decisions which resulted in a fantastic product and an awful cute little boy:
I decided on a water birth after researching my different options. As a baby is in water in the womb I agreed with the theory that it was better for the baby to come out into water and then gradually come out of the water, as opposed to coming straight into the cold open air. The water you’re in is warm and after the baby’s head has been lifted out of the water, the body remains submerged. My husband and I stayed in the water with the baby for as long as we wanted. I got out for my stitches and my husband remained in there for a while longer with the baby.
For me as the mother the water was soothing for the labor pains. In the water you can also be in whatever position is easiest for you to deliver. In my case, my husband was also in the water with me and that helped a lot. I definitely advise this because in the end I had to lean back and needed the support of him holding me. We had a big tub and there were cushions on the bottom of it so that it’s soft (cushions were underneath plastic lining).
It was in the privacy of our own home, which I liked (although there are some very swanky birthing places you can go to which saves the mess from being in your house) which was comfortable for all of us, and of course I had the lights dimmed way down so there were no bright lights in the baby’s face.
This set up enabled me to be FULLY in control of the environment – there was no speaking when it wasn’t absolutely vital. My midwife wasn’t a Scientologist but she was definitely a social personality and I indoctrinated her fully on what I wanted.
After the baby was born I was stitched up at the house. Again, a competent midwife knows what she is doing in this area and takes care to ensure it’s done properly. I am of small build, my son was over 8 pounds and I tore in 3 different places, requiring 10 stitches. A friend of mine who had her baby in the hospital one week prior to me having Boston; she wasn’t stitched up properly and had a lot of problems afterwards…… You don’t want an incompetent doctor (or midwife) who doesn’t do this properly. Not everyone tears and there are things that can be done to avoid this but my point is that it’s important to have a midwife who REALLY KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING AND CARES and doesn’t treat you like you’re just another body on the chain. This is just as important as the “water birth”.
Within an hour after the birth I had showered in the comfort of my own home and my son and I were fast asleep in my bed. What more could I ask for?
The doula that I hired to work with my midwife (and the doula was a Scientologist) cleaned up the house and broke down the birthing pool and all that, so if you want to do this number in the house you do have help.
I didn’t have any drugs (pethodine was brought in case I wanted it but I didn’t and neither did my baby). I’m not going to say it “didn’t hurt” as it seriously did, but I’m glad I went through that in that environment as opposed to another.
I think anyone going the route of a midwife/home birth needs to have a midwife they fully trust i.e. that has a proven background and knows what they are doing. A proper midwife will know if you’re 100% fit for a natural birth or not and this is key as you obviously can’t have anything go wrong while you’re at home but moreover there are things you can do in advance to prepare your body for the birth. While we had a chosen hospital and that “emergency” route was set up if needed, I definitely wouldn’t have wanted to be in a car traveling for 45 minutes while something was going wrong in labor.
A lot of people in South Africa get cesareans. In fact one of the hospitals near us is called Caesar’s Palace. The doctor’s find it more convenient and “Too posh to push” is a common problem here. If it’s absolutely necessary, a ceasar is obviously the greatest good and saves lives, but at the slightest “potential problem” a lot of doctor’s will tell you you can’t have natural and must have a cesar, as you probably know already. If you have a midwife from the BEGINNING of your pregnancy with whom you’re doing your pre-natal classes and who is doing your check ups, then she can give you exercises and what not to ensure that the baby is fully turned, isn’t breach and so forth – problems that result in being cut open, which could have actually been totally avoided with different exercises in the first place. From what I observed with my friends having babies, their doctor/gyne didn’t dedicate this much time, care and effort to this very personal and important experience.
For example, sitting in a normal chair on your butt at the office (like me), promotes the unborn baby into a certain position in the womb that is not necessarily ideal. My midwife had me sit on a big ball for a certain amount of time each day so that my pelvis was pushed forward and the baby was eased into the position it needed to be in. I kept the ball in the office and pulled it out every day and swapped my chair for it.
It’s these kinds of particulars that a midwife will help out a woman who wants to go natural and/or water birth.
I could go on for ages as you can see, but there’s some data for you. Hope it helps. Here are some photos too. See that Sophie with me and my dog… Wouldn’t someone rather experience labor in that environment than another?!!