Birth Dates

Arthur’s Birth Story: A Hospital Waterbirth With Doula Support

A serene moment in a birthing tub – Arthur cradled by his mom, supported by her husband, showcasing the empowerment of the Bradley method class.

The anticipation of Arthur’s arrival was palpable. His birth story is one I will always hold dear. I tossed and turned the night before my 40-week midwife appointment on January 25th, a gut feeling hinting that my cervix wouldn’t be dilated enough for the membrane sweep I hoped for to induce labor. My intuition proved correct; at the appointment, my cervix was posterior and only fingertip dilated. Disappointment washed over me, but I aimed to remain patient, trusting that Arthur would arrive on his own perfect time.

natural birth story

Sensing my disappointment, our midwife, Olivia, suggested trying acupuncture, an unexplored natural labor encouragement method. I scheduled an evening appointment, accepting the prospect of prolonged pregnancy while a seed of worry about spontaneous labor took root.

My acupuncturist’s simple homework: get a good night’s rest. Little did I know, this would be my last undisturbed slumber. At 10:30 PM, a mild contraction jolted me awake. Eight minutes later, another followed, and another eight minutes after that. Small pieces of my mucus plug began to dislodge, signaling labor’s imminent arrival.

Nick diligently packed his hospital bag while I tried to ignore the contractions, hoping they would fade. However, they persisted, gradually increasing in intensity. Sleep proved elusive as the contractions prevented me from drifting off between them. I tried to rest but noticed the contractions were growing closer together. At 12:30 AM, I glanced at the clock during a contraction – 5 minutes apart. Launching my contraction timing app, I observed the ominous 5-1-1 pattern persisting until 1:30 AM. Realizing this was the real deal, I informed Nick and decided to contact our doula, Giselle.

Navigating the intensifying contractions, I found myself vocalizing to cope with the growing discomfort. The arrival of our doula, Giselle, brought a sense of calm and support. She guided me through various childbirth exercises, including stair walking, ball bouncing, and rest periods between contractions. As the contractions grew stronger and closer together, doubts crept into my mind. Was it time to head to the hospital, or was labor still in its early stages? The rapid progression of events left me feeling uncertain.

The transition phase hit me with a surge of intense contractions, each lasting up to two minutes long. An overwhelming pressure sensation gripped me, and occasional bouts of vomiting added to the discomfort. It was clear that labor was moving at an accelerated pace. Despite the physical challenges, I remained determined to labor at home for as long as possible.

The analogy of the “serene duck” aptly captures the internal struggle I faced. While outwardly composed, I was paddling furiously beneath the surface, grappling with the intensity of labor and the uncertainty of when to head to the hospital.

Giselle’s reassuring presence and unwavering support bolstered my confidence. She acknowledged my desire to labor at home, observing that my demeanor and overall condition suggested there was still time. With her guidance, we decided to try toilet sitting, a position known to facilitate labor progression.

As I sat there, the contractions became incredibly intense, accompanied by an urgent need to push. Anxiety gnawed at me as I contemplated the journey to the hospital, simultaneously worried about being turned away for arriving too early. Nevertheless, I trusted my body’s instincts and informed Giselle it was time to make the move.

I vividly recall the panic that gripped me as I watched Nick calmly loading the car. His peaceful demeanor stood in stark contrast to the turmoil within me. Little did he know, or Giselle for that matter, the intensity of the storm brewing within me.

The drive to the hospital was a blur of discomfort and anxiety. Every 2-3 minutes, a contraction would strike, sending sharp pains through my body. The tight confines of the car seat exacerbated the pain, and the fear of having a car baby crept into my mind. Amidst the chaos, Nick’s steady presence provided a comforting anchor. He navigated the traffic with practiced ease, his calm demeanor a stark contrast to the storm raging within me.

Relief washed over me as we pulled up to the hospital entrance. Giselle, our doula, materialized like a beacon of hope, offering a wheelchair to ease the journey inside. I sank into the chair, grateful for the respite, but the discomfort of sitting flared up with a vengeance. Opting to walk instead, I took tentative steps, each one punctuated by the relentless contractions.

As we approached the labor and delivery floor, Giselle’s smartphone captured an indelible moment—my profile picture mid-contraction. The image encapsulates the intensity of labor, the tautness of my belly a testament to the power within. Yet, despite the evident discomfort, there’s a hint of serenity on my face, a reflection of the determination and resilience that fueled my journey.

Upon arrival, we were directed to triage, a mandatory step despite the obvious signs of active labor. The phrase “room situation” echoed in my mind, conjuring up images of delivering in the hallway. Anxiety gnawed at me as we waited, the anticipation of impending birth amplifying my discomfort.

A sudden, urgent need to pee sent me rushing to the bathroom, the pressure threatening to overwhelm my control. The relief of releasing the pent-up fluid was profound, a momentary respite in the midst of labor’s intensity.

I was led to the bathroom down the hall, where I proceeded to pee about a teaspoon worth. Suddenly, a powerful contraction hit, and my body instinctively began to push without any conscious effort on my part. This unexpected surge of the pushing reflex left me feeling completely caught off guard. I had hoped to labor down and see if the fetal ejection reflex would naturally occur, but the transition to the final stage of labor was happening swiftly and uncontrollably.

With each contraction, I felt an overwhelming urge to push, my vocalizations changing from low moans to guttural cries. I called out for my doula, Giselle, twice, as the urgency of the situation escalated. She immediately rushed in, her presence a stabilizing force amidst the chaos. Upon seeing my progress, she swiftly exited the room to alert the nursing staff. Within moments, the hallway outside the bathroom was bustling with medical personnel.

As I stood up to transfer from the toilet to the wheelchair they had brought, my water broke with a sudden gush. My chart indicates this significant event occurred at 8:27 am, marking a pivotal point in my labor journey.

Thankfully, an unoccupied birthing room was available, though I suspect I may have jumped the queue in my eagerness to get there! After one intense contraction while leaning against the bed, I was gently assisted onto the bed for an examination. The midwife, with remarkable dexterity, managed to check my dilation and station between contractions, a much-appreciated act of efficiency. When she informed me that I was 10 cm dilated and at +1 or +2 stations, I couldn’t help but exclaim, “Wow!” The realization that I was nearing the end of this transformative experience filled me with a surge of anticipation.

I began pushing in an upright position, leaning over the back of the bed. Amidst the intensity of labor, I vaguely recall Giselle requesting the birthing tub. The uncertainty in the voices of the medical staff as they discussed the possibility of the tub not arriving in time added an element of tension to the atmosphere. Giselle, ever the supportive doula, approached me to prepare me for the potential disappointment of not having the tub available.

Fortunately, the staff managed to work some magic, filling the tub just in time for me to immerse myself in its comforting warmth. Stepping into the tub was a revelation, a stark contrast to the discomfort of the transition contractions. As I focused on riding the waves of pushing, the pain miraculously began to subside. While pushing was still incredibly hard work, even with my body doing most of the effort, I was astonished to find that the pain was no longer a dominant force.

The birthing room was transformed into a haven of tranquility, with soft candlelight flickering and string lights casting a warm glow. The staff’s demeanor was the epitome of serenity, their voices hushed and reassuring. Amidst the intensity of labor, this tranquil atmosphere was a welcome respite, allowing me to focus on the task at hand. I distinctly recall a nurse remarking that she was thrilled to be a part of what she considered the “best birth of the day.” Her words of encouragement felt like a gold star, a validation of my efforts.

As my baby’s head began to crown, a collective gasp echoed through the room. “Look at all that hair!” exclaimed a nurse, her eyes wide with admiration. Intrigued, I reached down to touch the wisps of dark hair that adorned my baby’s head. It was an indescribable sensation, the first touch of my child, a moment forever etched in my memory.

With each push, I felt my baby move closer, gradually emerging from the confines of my womb. Each surge of effort was rewarded by the sensation of my baby’s head lingering outside for longer intervals before retracting. The anticipation was palpable, the crescendo of pushing propelling me towards the ultimate prize.

The birthing tub, once a source of comfort and relief, became a stage for a remarkable phenomenon. As my baby’s hair swirled around in the water, I felt a sensation both strange and exhilarating. It was a surreal dance of life, a testament to the extraordinary miracle unfolding before me. My baby’s hair, dark and abundant, was a symbol of his vitality, a promise of the life that awaited us beyond the confines of the birthing room.

Nick gently lifted our son Arthur from the water’s surface, his cries echoing through the room. At 10:24 am on January 26th, exactly on his due date, Arthur entered the world, a perfect bundle of joy.

As per the midwife’s instructions, I stood up to facilitate the delivery of the placenta. A team of nurses carefully maneuvered Arthur through my legs, ensuring his face remained above water.

Giselle, my doula, played the song I had specifically requested for Arthur’s birth, adding a touch of personalization to this momentous occasion. Nick and I snuggled together, our family of three basking in the warm glow of the birthing tub.

When the song ended, the midwife guided me to the bed to prepare for the delivery of the placenta. After waiting for the umbilical cord to stop pulsating, Nick proudly cut the cord, marking the symbolic separation between mother and child.

I delivered the placenta with just a few pushes, a testament to my body’s remarkable resilience. However, during the repair of a second-degree tear, I felt one of the stitches being inserted. The midwife promptly administered additional lidocaine to ensure my comfort.

Throughout the entire birthing process, I felt deeply grateful for the expert care and support provided by the midwife and nurses. Their expertise and compassion were instrumental in ensuring a safe and positive delivery experience.

Once the initial flurry of post-birth medical procedures subsided, we settled into a blissful period of skin-to-skin bonding. Arthur, our precious newborn, was placed on my bare chest, his tiny body radiating warmth against my skin. This profound moment of connection, known as skin-to-skin bonding, was a source of immense comfort and joy.

Initiating breastfeeding was not without its challenges. Arthur, like many newborns, struggled to latch properly. The presence of the IV in my arm further complicated the process. However, with patience and perseverance, we eventually achieved a successful latch. Each feeding, though demanding, was a cherished moment of bonding between mother and child.

The removal of my IV brought a wave of relief. With my arm no longer restricted, I could fully embrace my newborn, extending my arms to hold him close. This newfound freedom of movement enhanced our skin-to-skin bonding experience, deepening our connection with every passing moment.

Our time at the hospital was a blur of happy tears, sleepless nights, and an abundance of love. The nurses were incredibly supportive, providing guidance and assistance whenever needed. Despite the exhaustion of caring for a newborn, each moment was filled with an overwhelming sense of joy.

Arthur, our little miracle, is absolutely perfect. His tiny fingers, his soft hair, his infectious smile – every detail fills us with an indescribable love. I find myself losing sleep even on nights when he sleeps soundly, simply gazing at his peaceful face in awe.

Giving birth to Arthur was a transformative experience. It’s hard to believe that my body created and brought into this world this extraordinary human being. The pride I feel is immeasurable, a testament to the incredible power of the female body.

We eagerly anticipate the years to come, watching Arthur grow and discover the world around him. We can’t wait to witness his milestones, share in his laughter, and support him through life’s challenges. Arthur is our greatest blessing, a constant reminder of the beauty and wonder of parenthood.


Wanting a natural, empowering birth like this couple? Embarking on the Birth Dates class is not just an investment in preparing for childbirth; it’s an investment in creating a positive and empowering experience for both you and your partner. Take this self-paced Birth Class, to learn practical ways to have an unmedicated birth and be empowered by the birth experience.

Imagine feeling confident, supported, and in control as you navigate the twists and turns of childbirth. Birth Dates is not just about the birth itself; it’s about equipping you with the knowledge and skills to face any scenario with resilience and unity. From understanding your birth options to confidently handling medical interventions, our classes empower you to make informed decisions for the well-being of both you and your baby.

The Birth Dates experience is where birth class meets date night in your own home. it’s the beginning of a confident and connected parenting journey. Start today!

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Sherilee Peters

Owner and founder of Baby Nest Birth Services for over 18 years she has been supporting parents to have empowering births and postpartum experiences. Growing up on a recreational farm in Canada watching animals give birth from a young age is where she had her first realization of how natural the birth process could be. She is a mother of two, a Birth & Postpartum Doula, a Bradley Method Birth instructor and certified placenta specialist in the Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR areas.

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