Saturday's Story: The Birth of Hudson

Saturday, June 27, 2009
Today's birth story is from my good friend Sam at Sailing the Hudson. Sam was our neighbor until a few months ago when her family moved to North Carolina. We miss them!

Our son Hudson was born May 23, 2007 at home. That was two years ago tonight and yet when I close my eyes I can still feel the warm water, hear the gentle voices and smell the flowers. 

The choice to have a home water birth was not an easy one for me and yet I knew for me their was no other choice. I had my daughter in a hospital and though it was a great birth I always knew I would never do it again like that. After her birth I felt unfulfilled and at the same time lucky. And by lucky I mean I had escaped the hospital without a C-Section and still breastfeeding her. It wasn't easy and I don't mean the labor part. We had to fight and I still got the epidural, she still got a pacifier shoved in her mouth and our every action was critiqued by nurses. We also were handed a huge bag full of formula as a gift.

We were living in South Carolina when we started thinking about adding to our family and I was blessed to meet some amazing moms. They were honest, caring, supportive and nurturing. Hearing their birth stories I knew their was no other way, I was having our next baby at home.

We got pregnant, found an amazing midwife and then sat back and enjoyed a great pregnancy. 

The big due date came and we had my 40 week prenatal in our home with our midwife, her apprentice and my mom, now in town for the birth. We were asked if we had any concerns or fears and I did, I was nervous that I had none. I mean here I was about to give birth at any moment and I felt so relaxed, that can't be normal. I believe they smiled and reassured me. I told them to go home and not worry about me this baby wasn't coming any time soon. I was a week overdue, was 4 cm dilated and lost my mucous plug 4 days before giving birth to my daughter and I had not so much as a cramp with this one. Less than 12 hours later I had them on the phone, he was coming!

Back from a late diner out and after trying to put our 2 1/2 year old down to bed for what seemed like hours, I felt a cramp. I knew this was it, why I knew I don't know because it was just a small cramp. So I did want any very pregnant women would do; I got myself a big glass of wine and filled the bath tub. It was 10pm and I was going to do anything to make sure I got a good night sleep before things really got going. Well that cramp turned into small contractions and somewhere between 11pm & 12am, we decided to call the midwife to let her know. We didn't want to shock her with a call at 4 am, after all we had just seen her earlier in the day and I said I had days to go if not weeks. 

This is where things get hazy, I remember trying to sleep, wasn't going to happen. I remember telling Chris I wasn't going to let him sleep. I walked the bedroom and sat on the toilet. I know that doesn't make a pretty picture but let me tell you when you are in labor the toilet is as about as comfortable as it gets. That is unless you have an amazing husband filling a large birth pool up with warm water in your bedroom. Though he had to drag me off the potty to get me in it. At this point we had already called Cynthia and Adrienne our amazing birthing team and they were on their way. Mind you this is about 2am, two hours after all this started. I had been having a really hard time controlling my breath up until now, something I found very frustrating seeing as I practice yoga daily. I am however also a swimmer and once in the pool it all became easier. I actually put my whole face in and exhaled into the water turning my head to take a breath. This really helped me to slow my breathing. It must have also helped things move along because not long after getting into the pool I told Chris to get on the phone with Cynthia and tell her to get here NOW! She was just pulling into the driveway with Adrienne right behind her. I had just told Chris that their was no way I was going to be able to do this much longer. That if she came in and told me I was 5 cm I was done and they could take me to the hospital. Welcome to transition, Cynthia and Adrienne came in, I was 10 cm. They were able to enter the room set up with out ever disturbing me. By the way my daughter, my mom and our two dogs have slept through everything. Cynthia came bearing flowers and Adrienne sat by the pool quietly offering me water between contractions. Adrienne goes to wake up my mom so she can bring in Sailor as Hudson is being born. Within about a half hour of them being there and after many encouraging words in a matter of a few pushes Hudson is born. Cynthia guided him through the water and on to my chest and I fell in love. We sat in that pool and I was overwhelmed with love. Love for him, my husband, my daughter, my parents but most of all for those women in the room. 

I may have birthed a 9lb boy, that's right 9 POUNDS. But they gave me soo much more, it was like I had been born all over again. 

"It's not just the making of babies, but the making of mothers that midwives see as the miracle of birth."

-- Barbara Katz Rothman


  1. It must have been great and different experience for you. Underwater birth means delivery occurs while the mother is submerged in water. In this method, mother and new born child are benefited. But sometimes child has threat of inhalation also. Good your delivery happened smoothly.

  2. What a neat story. Thanks for sharing it.
    I also had a mid wife but had our baby at a birth center. My sister was the midwife! But i labored in the water. It was a help.

    You have a great blog!

  3. P.S. Your little boy is adorable! I love that little grin!


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