When my wife told me that she wanted to give birth in water at home, I told her that enough was enough. That who she was carrying was also my child and that a birth is a serious thing and we would have no experiment in this case.
She waited, and little by little she made me read articles, brought me to the course of Ditta and even skeptical as I was I could not find a point to argue. Everybody I was talking to was rather normal and everything made quite some sense.
Why having to be in hospital treated like a sick person for an act that is as natural as life itself? Why stay lying in bed or why going more and more often for C Sections?
The last convincing thing was the video of an actual birth in water, watched during a very relaxing holiday. I was surprised to see that the child instead of being born with a cry almost wakes up, in an element very similar to the one where he spent the last 9 months. It was logically a less stressful experience.
Despite getting more and more into the idea I found almost no support around me, everyone, apart for my father, told me that it was a dangerous and an ill thought idea. We went trough with it anyway.
Technical things: the pool is very easy to inflate and deflate, with a very cheap electrical pump, the water comes in with a hose that can easily be connected to any tap in the house with a click system. It will go out with a sucking pump. The water stays warm for much longer that I expected and one can warm it up like when you spend a lot of time in the tub. You can monitor the temperature with the floating thermometer that you would buy anyway for the child.
You can buy everything in one of the big stores.
We bought a pool for two, my wife wanted me to go in with her when she’ll give birth, I hoped she’d be joking or forget, and is basically like any other child oval pool. There’s only a Plastic layer that stays over it so that after the birth one can throw it away with the inevitable little things left in it.
I met Andreea, the doula, only once, over skype, before actually welcoming her in our apartment. Very sweet looking and relaxed, definitely somebody that gives you a good feeling. With Alexandra they agreed that the child would have told them when would have been the right time to come. I felt more and more less sure of the entire thing, but in Italy we say fatto 30 facciamo 31…
A week before the birth (we later discovered) Andreea comes, she lives with us and she waits… a bit awkward. I wonder how she does it all the time. Like a psychologist she must probably shield herself from all this intimacy wasted on strangers… she’s generous, like somebody with a mission and the right vocation for it.
After a false alarm two days earlier and a “nice” argument, that for once I didn’t drop just because she was pregnant, Alexandra was “pissed off” enough to start labor. At braking of waters around 1:00 a.m. I am a bit panicky and start moving around the bed trying to be useful in a moment when you cannot really be.
I called Andreea that cool and smooth, tells me to calm down, that she’ll prepare things!
Back in bed with Alexandra suffering more and more often, I wait. Around 7:00 AM the pain is too much and she asks to go in water.
My whale looking, but amazingly beautiful wife, is finally in the pool, surrounded by few candles, having a stranger that massages her back in what it seems a much needed and an amazingly soothing massage. All is very odd I never felt so out of place in my life and I love the fact that Andreea is in charge.
Around 11:00 Alexandra asks me to go in with her, she hasn’t forgotten after all. So, feeling as ridicule as you can get, I shyly keep my underwear and I go in as well. First I sit behind her then I literally keep her in my arms, laterally, like a very big child. In that position she starts really getting there. And I feel every muscle pulling and stretching.
My wife is not a whiner I must say but also she was transfigured, I thought what can I do if she cannot make it?
We did have plan B. A month earlier we went to check out a private clinic with child emergency 15 minutes away from us and the doctor made a very good impression. The agreement was to call him when the labor started, my wife’s gynecologist was on call as well and also the biggest emergency public hospitals in town is even nearer than the private place. So we are crazy but not too much.
Alexandra is at the fatidic moment when she says I cannot make it anymore, she’s really exhausted and I feel helpless. The Doula tells her that she’s already seeing the head, I think she’s lying to cheer her up as I have a rather good point of view and I see nothing… Also because nothing is bloody opening, I was expecting the thing to be open round like a pipe… instead nothing. Why the doula keeps on saying we are already there????
When she gives the final push I understand that indeed the head was there, I was already seeing the top of it but all was a bit blurred and I did not realize. I was expecting the head of a child coming out, children that I am used to see, instead the little awfully dark pink creature coming out has a cone-like head… Nature smart enough made it “missile” -shaped so it can shoot out easier. Why nobody ever told me? Is this private knowledge only for women?
One last push and Sofia came out. Despite everybody being convinced she was a boy she came out the splendor of a beautiful girl with 2 rounds of umbilical cord around the neck. But… wasn’t this the most common cause of C section? Instead in water the kid was simply flipped over and put on the mom’s breast and covered with my wet T-shirt. I could relax a little and all finally downed. We have a girl!
As much as I enjoyed it I was very happy the experience was over as it was intense. But to be able to be there when Sofia came, makes me happy and feel good, more involved almost more entitled to have my word with her.
It is definitely the craziest and most amazing experience of my life at today and if you are not too tense, do it.