I decided early on that I wanted to someday have a large family. I know it sounds crazy, but at the ripe old age of 10, I fell in love with the idea of having lots of kids after seeing the original 1968 version of the movie Yours, Mine, and Ours. Over the years, I never wavered from my dream of having a large family.
Lucky for me, the guy I married was not opposed to the idea, so it came as no surprise to us when I found myself expecting our seventh child at 37 years old. We were just as thrilled and overjoyed at the prospect of having our seventh baby as we had been each and every time we realized one of our other kids were on their way.
We planned on giving birth to this new baby in the comfort of our very own home. Delivering our babies at home was definitely not a new venture for us. We had already given birth to four of our other children safely at home, and they were amazing experiences.
We decided to try our first home birth when we discovered we were expecting our third baby in 1985, a decision we didn't make lightly. Our two oldest children had been born in hospitals way back in the 70s when pre-birth enemas and barbaric episiotomies were routine. As horrible as those experiences were, they were not the reason we decided to try our first home birth. We decided on having home births because we believed the hospital births had caused harm to our first two children.
When I finally went into labor with our seventh child, it was stop and go labor that went on for about 24 hours. This baby's birth was taking much longer than any of our other children's births had taken and we were concerned. Even though the baby showed no signs of distress, we decided to head over to the hospital just to be on the safe side.
After that very bumpy car ride, I was having some pretty intense labor pains. We probably could have turned the car around, went right back home and had a wonderful home birth experience, but we decided to continue on to the hospital anyway.
Once admitted, the midwives helped me into the Jacuzzi, with hopes that the warm, soothing water would relax me. Once my body was submerged, I suddenly felt the overwhelming urge to push. There was no stopping this baby, and there was no chance of me ever getting out of that tub.
After a hefty push or two, out popped my beautiful baby's head, right there in the water! She wasn't even fully born yet, but she opened up her eyes and looked around at all of us. I was a bit shocked and a little concerned she might drown, but the midwives assured me she'd be just fine.
I pushed a few more times, then guided her tiny, little body up and out of the water where she then took her very first breath — a magical experience. Even though our home birth hadn't happened as planned, our baby was still born in a very calm and peaceful manner, and I now had the distinct and unique experience of giving birth to my baby unassisted, for the most part, underwater.
I realized that where I gave birth wasn't the important thing. What really mattered was that our baby had arrived safely and she was perfectly healthy. All 9 pounds and 14 ounces of our gorgeous little blessing had finally arrived.
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