I Tried For A Home Water Birth, But My Baby Was Almost Born On The Toilet

toiletMy second child was born at home, and not because I am a crunchy, granola hippie. Sure, I spent about seven years in Colorado, and my mom also had all of her kids at home, but I mostly decided on home birth because it was cheaper, and I don’t like hospitals.

This is not a diatribe on the amazing benefits of home birth, by any means—but it worked for me, and I’d do it again (if my childbearing years weren’t OVER). My first son was born in a birthing center, which is similar to a home birth with a birthing tub and hotel-like suite. The whole shebang went pretty well, so I was ready for another birthing center scenario the second time around.

When I was pregnant with my second son, we moved to a smaller city about 45 minutes away. The awesome news was that my midwife also provided service there, but she only offered home births. Another issue was that my husband and I have shitty insurance because we are both self-employed, so we paid a cool $3600 for each birth out-of-pocket.

I planned for a water birth with both kids, but it never worked out. I spent a lot of time thrashing around in the birth tub and making people feed me water through a straw. When it was go-time with my second son, I started moving around like crazy because I just wanted to get him out of me.

The midwives suggested that I move from my bathtub to the toilet to see if gravity would help. It did help, almost too much—he was nearly born on the toilet! In the midst of all the drama, I hazily thought, Oh crap, this would be a terrible story to tell him when he was older. Move it along.

Ultimately, my second son was born on a birthing stool in my bedroom. I popped that sucker out in record time, and I was happy that I was able to be relaxed and comfortable at home while doing it. It’s funny because I hardly remember all of my laboring in my master bathroom, even though I spend time there every single day.

If you want evidence of the circle of life, here’s a video my husband made of my younger son playing in the bathtub where he was almost born. (Not the toilet!) Now he’s eight months old, and he’s really rough and tumble. Don’t be alarmed by the fact that he repeatedly hits his head on the tub… I swear, he’s fine.

(photo: Getty Images)

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  • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

    I’ll just be on this post all day.. watching the video of your adorable kid… don’t mind me

    • Bethany Ramos

      Aw thanks, guys!

    • Terry Teague SF

      Hi Eve!

  • CMJ


  • pixie

    Aw, cutie!

  • SA

    Absolutely adorable!

    My kid was almost born on the toilet. We had the water tub room at the hospital, but the only place I really wanted to be was on the toilet. I pulled it together enough to migrate back to the bed in the nick of time, I wasn’t going to have THAT as my birthing story! :)

    • Bethany Ramos

      My husband and I laughed about that later. :-) I guess midwives tell you that to get the labor moving?

    • guest

      Oh my god, this was me too. The nurse almost had to pull me off the toilet because the doctors insisted you lay on your back for delivery. But all I wanted to do was sit on the commode, my robe half off, Husband and complete strangers watching, AC Slatering that bitch like it was my job.

      They told us in childbirth class that at a point in labor you would lose your modesty, but I had no idea it was going to be like this!

    • Bethany Ramos

      AC Slatering is the best thing I’ve ever heard.

  • pineapplegrasss

    too cute! When he finally looks up at the end and smiles, I broke out in smile too :D

  • AmazingE

    Ugh, that is just too frickin cute. I want a boy so bad, but it’s just not meant to be I guess. I love that he goes straight down on his little butt and is not phased by it at all, haha. What a champ.

    I’d love to try for a home birth with this one since it’s going to be the last, but my apartment is just not roomy enough, and frankly I’d rather have someone else doing the cleanup.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Thanks!! I will say that the “home birth team” cleaned up impressively well, like crime scene style.

    • AmazingE

      And now I’m picturing a team of people in biohazard suits putting things into bags and saying things like “sorry ma’am you’ll have to stay clear of the hot zone, we’ve got a category 5 contamination here.”

    • Jayamama

      Yep, you really don’t need much room, and the midwife team cleans up the mess for you. It’s really nice to sleep in your own bed, wear your own clothes, and not have to hop in a car until you’re ready. However, unless you have a good support team, you have to take care of yourself as you recover and cook your own meals. It’s a give and take, but if you’re interested, I say go for it!

    • AmazingE

      I would love to, I really would, because I hated being in the hospital, but since both our families live far from us and my husband’s boss is a total dick, we’re pretty much on our own when it comes to post birth stuff. We’ve set aside some money for things like ordering in food and whatnot so that we don’t have to cook, and we’re using the bulk of our tax return to stock up on the essentials like diapers and toilet paper though, so we should be okay as far as that goes. I’m just really not looking forward to having to be home by myself with an almost two year old and a brand new baby.

    • JAN

      Best of luck! I have a five week old and one who is almost two right now, as well as one who turned five yesterday. In some ways it’s probably easier than your situation because my now five year old can fetch diapers, drinks of water, etc., but I won’t lie, the first couple of weeks will be rough. I just reminded myself that if no one got out of their pajamas and they ate cereal for dinner, it would still be ok in the long run. And if by some miracle you manage coinciding naps, go to sleep yourself, dirty dishes and laundry will still be there later! Anyway, I’m seeing a little light at the end of the tunnel as everyone adjusts and just want to send you positive vibes because I know it’s rough!

    • Jayamama

      What helped me was cooking twice as much as I normally would for each meal leading up to the birth and freezing half of it for after the baby was here. You’ll have to check which foods don’t thaw well, but it was such a lifesaver! My daughters are 23 months apart, so I understand your fear about being alone with both of them. I was scared too. But it gets better, really. Just accept whatever help people offer after the birth, because you’ll wish you had, and don’t sweat the small stuff. If your kids are fed, clothed, and safe, it doesn’t matter that the house looks like a tornado hit it. Good luck, and congrats!

  • http://mother--bored.tumblr.com/ Aimee Beff

    How do all the Mommyish writers have such cute kids?? Good genes all up in here.

    I would love to tell my kids they were born on a toilet, that is a hilarious story and excellent justification for calling them “that little shit” (which I plan to do anyway). Instead they have the fairly common narrative of “the nice doctor cut mommy open like a Christmas turkey and daddy tried to watch but mostly failed and made some little horking noises”.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      I actually found a video of a woman who literally gave birth sitting on the loo!
      Scarily enough it was on a porn site… (Don’t judge me, I googled toilet birth) some odd stuff came up…

  • aCongaLine

    While our births were different (I rocked the hospital both times- I knew our similarities had to end somewhere, lol) my younger daughter has those same toys, and the same rough and tumble attitude when it comes to flopping around in the tub… though, your kid is way more graceful. :)

    So. Adorbs.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Awwww same, same. And thanks!

  • Megan Zander

    Thanks for sharing this. Because I was on bed rest and the boys were born early, I sometimes feel like I missed out on exploring all of the ways there are to bring kids into this world. I had no idea sitting was even an option. It’s fun to live through others who had just different birth experiences and get an honest accounting of what it’s like.

    • Bethany Ramos

      You are a saint for enduring bed rest!!!

  • Jallun-Keatres

    loooool so cute!!

  • Maria Guido

    Your child is BEYOND gorgeous.

  • LadyClodia

    Your little guy is such a cutie!
    I can understand the draw of giving birth at home, at least because you’re not at a hospital. I hated the hospital. I had to be induced, though, so I had to be at the hospital.

  • Hibbie

    I had my kid in a hospital but nearly had the same experience. My wonderful and supportive nurse stuck her finger in my face and yelled “You CANNOT have this baby in the toilet! GET UP!”

  • practicallyperfectineveryway

    That video is the cutest thing ever.

    • Teleute

      Love the sound effects!

  • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

    I planned a home birth (ended up needing forceps) and I swear once we got home from seeing Pixies (I’m sure everyone here knows my “I’m in labour but I’m not missing seeing one of my fave bands so fuck it” story) I spent the entire 12 hours at home alternating between sitting on the toilet and standing in the shower. I was convinced I was going to give birth on the can because I seriously just didn’t want to be anywhere else.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Ha! That is awesome.

  • gothicgaelicgirl

    God I’d LOVE a homebirth but I’ve no idea what the policy/rules are like in Ireland!

    • tSubh Dearg

      I have a little bit of info on it. Basically the government is trying to make it very difficult for anyone to have a home birth anymore. Your midwife, as well as having to have her own independent insurance has to also be backed by one of the hospitals. There is also a whole bunch of other hoops to jump through. My Beau knows quite a bit about it as his second was a home birth and he is all for them, and as he is a better feminist than I, he was very interested in all the changes they’ve been bringing in.

      Personally I would quite like to have a home birth too but my mum is very much against them as she had 2 emergency c sections and is worried that I might need one too and in that case maybe I wouldn’t get to a hospital in time and either I or the baby would die. As we live right next door to each other it might be easier to go with a hospital. Annoyingly I was thinking that when I get pregnant I might see if my insurance cover would stretch to Mount Carmel as I had heard such good things about them but that’s gone now.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      holy god…
      I have a long standing, possibly irrational fear, of hospitals. I always maintained that if I was to have a child it would be in the comfort of my own home!
      I firmly believe Holland have the best health care system ever, they ENCOURAGE homebirth as they believe it is safer and less stressful to move a laboring mother to a new sterile place.

      Absolutely sickened about Mt Carmel, I was kinda banking on it for any future little punks we may decide to pop out.
      At least I was never looking at Portlaoise… so so heartbreaking about those poor babies…

    • tSubh Dearg

      Oh God I know! Those poor familes!
      At this rate I think it’ll probably be Holles St. It’s the closest to me. The thing I really liked about Mount Carmel was the fact that it was literally 5 mins from my house so need to worry about rush hour traffic when in labour!

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      I’m based in Kildare so it’d be a mad rush anywhere we go lol

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