The Home Water Birth Story of Taylor

August 17, 2021


I arrived at Nichole’s house at 8:45 PM. Andrew and I were at a game night with some friends when Nichole texted me, and while I was disappointed I wasn’t able to stay, I knew Nichole needed me, and I was excited to be there.


Nichole was laying on her bed on her left side. It was quiet, her boys were in bed, her mother was in the kitchen reading a book, or her phone - I couldn’t see which - and Eric was holding her hand, gently caressing it. Her master bedroom had been transformed into what is probably best described as a spa. I could hear inspiring worship music playing softly from the speaker on the dresser. Her birth pool was fully inflated, with a bouquet of hydrangea flowers behind it, a candle softly murmuring behind that, emitting the most delightful and soothing smell, and on either side of the flowers was a pink baby’s sleeper to one side, and a green one on the other. Everything had been prepared with intention to make Nichole and Eric’s birth atmosphere as relaxed, serene, and spiritual as possible.



Nichole’s doula, Alyssa (Cherry Blossom Doula) came shortly after that, along with her mentee, Jeannie. Eric continued to brush a loving hand back and forth across her back and kissing her face. She continued to move about the room intermittently, from the bathroom, to the bed, and to the birthing ball, all while Alyssa provided encouraging words and counter pressure to her hips and sacrum.


At 10:07 PM, the midwives, Caitlin and Cayla arrived. They arranged their things as Nichole continued to meet each wave with deep, cleansing breaths.


Not much later, at 10:22 PM, with the urging of her doula, Nichole and Eric went outside for a brief walk and some time alone. This didn’t last long as it was very warm, and they came back in just a few minutes later.


At 10:49, Nichole’s surges began to pick up in intensity and she began to sing. Low notes as she focused on relaxing her body and giving herself over to the surges, allowing her body to do what it was created to do. The midwives began to fill the birth tub with water about an hour after that and Nichole gratefully entered into the water.



At 12:07 AM, Nichole and Eric kissed one another and wished each other a happy anniversary. It had been 6 years that they had been together. What better way to celebrate than with a living, breathing reminder of that love?


The surges continued. Nichole continued to sing through each one. There was some bloody show at 12:51 AM, but Nichole knew that this was normal. To be expected, even. Each heart-tone check showed that baby was continuing steady and strong, even as the surges lengthened in duration.


“Come down baby. Please.” Nichole gently pleaded at 2:06 AM. She knew that things were progressing as they ought. Though the physical toll of labor was beginning to wear on her tired body and mind, she welcomed each wave. She focused on the encouraging words of Alyssa and Eric and the feeling in the room could only be described as sacred as the worship music filled the air. God’s hand was on this birth.


3:26 AM

“How are you feeling, Nichole?”

“So done.”


4:01AM

More bloody show.



It was time to push at 4:39 AM. No one told Nichole this. She simply listened to her body, and allowed it to happen. No one coached her, or told her when or how. She sat up on her knees and placed her hands down on her baby’s crowning head. The baby’s water hadn’t broken yet, but at 4:45 AM, it ruptured on its own.


I stood with my camera at her front recording each deep and shallow breath. Each powerful moan and grunt, each surge brought Nichole and Eric’s baby that much closer to being in their arms. Eric held his gloved hands ready to help Nichole receive her baby and to announce the “girl,” or “boy.”


And then, as the next surge came, Nichole took a few shallow breaths, breathing out quickly, like she was blowing through a straw, then began to moan. The moan grew in intensity and I could see the baby’s head slowly emerging from the birth canal, and then an arm. It was hard to say if the arm came out with the head or immediately after, but Nichole’s body gently birthed her baby into the water at 4:52AM.



The baby only stayed submerged for a moment before Nichole and Eric lifted it up into Nichole’s arms. The excitement, pride, and gratitude in that room was palpable at that moment. Everyone basking in the glow where Nichole, Eric, and their new baby were the center.


“I feel balls,” Nichole declared, and sure enough, Eric checked himself and announced, “It’s a boy!” Later, Nichole would say, “Looks like Mama’s still the queen in this castle!” Nichole and Eric were now the proud parents of three little boys.



As the sun rose and the morning grew brighter and brighter, the boys awakened to meet their new baby brother, a moment that is always near to Heaven in my experience. The midwives did their checks, Alyssa made sure Nichole had something to eat and drink, and everyone helped tidy up while the Pach family began bonding with their new little one.


It’s always a little difficult for me to leave this moment. It’s pure love. Unselfish to the very core. Nichole literally gave her own blood for this child, and for those other two brothers now, staring wide-eyed and smiling with wonder at their new brother. But even though it’s hard, I know how special and sacred this moment is, and it’s time for me to let them have that moment to themselves. I turned back one more time to look at them before I left, and what I saw can be described in one word.


Joy.




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Susan is a doula, birth photographer, and videographer serving Mesa, Arizona and surrounding cities in the East Valley including Chandler, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Scottsdale, and Tempe. Considering a birth documentor for your birth? Visit susanjoyaz.com and leave an inquiry!

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