giving birth

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

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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.

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(photo: Getty Images)