I am a midwife, childbirth educator, lecturer, doula, and natural mother of eight children. This is not a medical reference; I do not proclaim to give medical advice. Anything stated here is from personal experience, research, study, and opinion. Each woman has the responsibility to do her own research, consult with her own medical team, and make her own decisions about pregnancy and birth.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Unassisted, Unplanned, Surprise Water Birth!

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim
Photo Credit:  Dr. Fernando Molina, Venezuela

What a blessing and and honor to share this story.  Not only is it an unassisted, unplanned, home water birth, but it's a story of the love and intuition of a husband at birth.  May Allah bless this family.

Note:  The photo is not related to this particular story, it comes from a new friend, Dr. Fernando Molina in Venezuela.  He is a male midwife who attends home water births with his wife as doula.  I find their story inspiring and intriguing.  I hope to find out more about them and share their story soon, insha'Allah.  Now on to the post...Unassisted, Unplanned, Surprise Water Birth!...

Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullah, 
InshaAllaah, I'd like to share my birth story, as I am so happy and thankful to have experienced exactly what I had always wanted:  a water birth; even though I was high risk. Allah is the best of planners! 

Ayah's Unassisted Home/Water Birth

Ayah was born at appx 4:10 am on 11/3/2010. She was born a day shy of 37 weeks but was considered IGUR (severely growth restricted) and was just shy of 4 pounds at birth.

A few weeks earlier I had started to have really high blood pressure and was being monitored very closely. My dreams of a natural birth were not going to happen according to all of the doctors that I had seen. But little do they realized that it is not up to them, Allah does what he wills. They never "labeled" me pre-eclamptic until after the birth as my numbers fluctuated a lot. Sometimes they would be really high and sometimes they would be normal. I had no other signs of pre-eclampsia such as weight gain or seeing things, dizzyness etc…

Back to the birth… I don't know times as I wasn't paying attention so everything is approximate. I'd say contractions started around 12 or so at night. I was in bed and just dealt with them for a while. They were mild at that time. I'd say sometime around 1-1:30am my son wanted to come into our bed (my husband was asleep as well) and I was too uncomfortable to deal with that so when he got in, I got out and started laboring in the living room.

Being that she was a month early, I was in denial that this was the actual thing so I was just "waiting it out" until it stopped. The same thing happened a week or so earlier so I "assumed" it was just false labor.

Contractions intensified, I was timing them and praying in between contractions. They were almost on the dot at 4 min apart lasting 30 seconds each. After an hour or so of that I felt I had to go to the bathroom.... 
Looking back all the signs of “real labor” were there but I was just not thinking that this would be it. When my bowels emptied, that's when I think the light came on that this might be it... so now the contractions were PAINFUL and in FULL FORCE. I dare-say more painful than my back labor with Abbaad that lasted 2 days. I decided to wake my husband and it was around 3am at this point.

I told him that I needed to go to the hospital because the pain was unbearable and she NEEDED to come out – NOW. He got up and started massaging my back and I kept saying, "I need to go to the hospital!  It hurts so bad!"

Little did I know I was in transition!!! He suggested I move to the tub, like we did with Abbaad (alhamdulillah the water helped turn my son from posterior and brought the contractions from the back to the front, where they should be).
So he put the shower on and started filling it. I think I had 2 contractions in there when they seemed to go away or lighten. By this time he was on the phone with an ambulance. He noticed I had relaxed a bit and asked if contractions had stopped and I said I think so... then the pushing started. 
I said, "This is it!... She's coming!"
Within 3 pushes she was out. I was on all fours and just caught her as she came out and put her to my chest and wrapped a towel around her alhamdulillah. He was still on the phone with the ambulance and told them the baby was here. She cried right away!

The rest is just boring hospital stay stuff. I spent 3 days in there, one day on magnesium due to really REALLY high blood pressures when I first got there. The magnesium was by far the worst part. Awful, awful stuff... and I’m so very thankful that I didn’t have to labor with that b/c had I delivered in the hospital they would have had me on both pitocin and magnesium (that's what I was told). They had no beds so they stuck me on a broken delivery bed to deliver the placenta and stitch me up as I had a second degree tear.
Turns out my placenta abrupted – I think that's the correct term and we are just so unbelievably thankful that everything turned out as it did and she is a perfectly healthy, tiny, little girl, Allaahu Akbar!

She's in the NICU right now (this was appx 8 months ago) and depending on how she does with her jaundice test (can't remember the name of it right now, billi ribbon something or other) and her eating she may be home in the next few days. (she ended up in the NICU for a week and was "kicked out" because babies who really needed to be there needed her space, she was perfectly fine alhamdulillah, just small so they let her come home)

So, I got my natural home/water birth, alhamdulelah, mashaAllaah!!! My husband and I made quite the team! Neither freaked out and it was as if we knew what to do, mashaAllaah. I would have preferred to have a midwife there in case something had gone wrong but there is nothing comparable to the feeling of delivering your own child… born right into your hands - alhamdulillah.

Ayah is now a few days shy of 8 months old and is doing great. She is still small, mashaAllaah, not like her big brother who was a chubby baby. She looks like a little doll mashaAllaah and is almost 17 pounds and according to her pediatrician is in about the 10th percentile (her brother was in the 90th).


  1. Wow! I'm so glad everything worked out well for you. Though I've had all of my babies without drugs or interventions, I have never done one unassisted. My husband has been at each birth and with the last one we started joking around that he could deliver our baby if we weren't near my midwife. We carried a birthing kit in the car, complete with cord clamp and suction bulb. Ha ha.

  2. Thank you for your time and comments, Bridget. Who knows, maybe THIS next one will be Daddy Delivery! :)

    Best regards,

    -Aisha, Natural Mom

  3. Thanks so much Bridget. Definitely didn't plan on unassisted but everything happened so fast. If you have another you can always speak w/ your midwife about standing back and letting hubby do everything, that way not only does he get to be part of the process by delivering the baby and clamping the cord etc but in case you have more kids and you are in that situation you'd be more comfortable and he'd have that experience. My mother had very fast deliveries from first contraction to delivery each getting faster with the next child so I wouldn't be surprised if my next (if we have more) would come just as fast if not even faster. Kudos to you for being prepared. I love the idea of a kit and will put something together to have on hand just in case it happens again - GREAT TIP!!

  4. Asalaamu Alaikum!!
    I love this story, Mashallah! I am planning to have an unassisted birth in october, inshallah. This is the second story I've found of a muslimah doing the same (even though this one wasn't planned).

  5. Wa alaikum asalam, EKnuckles,

    You may like to read my unassisted story: http://saudibirthstory.blogspot.com/2010/10/baby-number-eightbabas-birth-story.html

    Dua for your birth, may Allah make it easy.

    Keep us posted and consider sharing your story here! :)

    Best regards,

    -Aisha, Natural Mom