"So, like, how does that work?": Explaining Out-of-Bed Birth

By Jill

A friend of mine was asking me about my birth experience at the birth center. She wasn’t really clear on how an out-of-bed birth works because it’s really not something that’s reinforced… anywhere. Popular literature for pregnant women provides plenty of sketches of different positions in which they can labor, but what happens when a woman is ready to push a baby out? The typical midwife goes to the woman and throws down a few Chux pads. The typical doctor tells the woman to get back up on the bed and assume the position if she happened to have left the bed in the first place.

I told her I labored on a physio ball for a few hours, then got in the tub, where I went from sitting during contractions to lying down between contractions, then felt like squatting and as the baby was crowning, my midwife asked my husband to help me stand up. I put one leg on the edge of the tub and felt the baby spin out. It was freaking glorious feeling. I wouldn’t trade those twenty or thirty ridonkulous transition contractions for anything in the world if it meant that I would have had been unable to feel that.

[And yes, I would have traded the feeling for any necessary intervention needed to save my life or my baby’s. Can we just assume that’s a given at this point and move on? I have.]

She listened and paused. I raised one bent leg as I was talking as a demo (because a reenactment of putting one leg up on a tub is necessary to avoid confusion, I guess).

She asked, “Like the guy on the Captain Morgan bottle?”

I laughed and exclaimed, “Exactly!”

My laughter was really hiding my embarrassment that I was also wearing that hat and nothing else.

Have a great weekend, everyone.