A 10 pound waterbirth!


I am eternally grateful that we have been given permission by the mother to share the following series of pictures! However, please be warned that the following pictures include graphic images of a baby’s crowning and birth!! Beautiful pictures…amazing pictures….but graphic nonetheless.

This little girl was her mama’s first born – born in her bedroom in a birth pool after a fairly fast labor and weighing in at 10 pounds even.

VERY soon after mom starts pushing, we see the baby's head peaking out.

Baby's crowning

Fully crowned

Mom feels the head as it slips out of her body

Head is out...we wait for her to feel the urge to birth the body

After the head is out, we waited for a minute and a half before she pushed…and mom pushed and baby didn’t come.  Mom pushed again, and baby didn’t birth.  I reached in and felt the shoulder and could feel it locked on the pubic bone – so I used 2 fingers and pushed the baby’s shoulder up and swept it around and past the pubic bone.

As the shoulders are born, dad reaches in to catch his baby...

I help keep the head from dropping back into the water as dad lifts her up and hands her to her mama

I feel the cord and baby's heartrate is slower than we want it to be. I unwrap it from the baby's foot and wait while mom loves on her baby and stimulates her. The blurring is from the vernix and amniotic fluid - I did not edit these picture in any way and this mother did not tear at all.

I monitor the baby's heartrate through the cord...which stayed in the 80-90 range and baby got 'dusky' in color as you can see in this picture. My apprentice got the oxygen ready, mom talked to her baby, I felt the heartrate return to normal and baby pinked right up. Apparently all she needed was her mama's voice! But can you imagine how different this could have been if we clamped and cut the cord right away? No thanks!

A perfectly pink baby just minutes later....gorgeous!


  1. Crys wrote:

    Many thanks to the family for sharing this amazing photo story! congratulations to them on this beautiful birth

    Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 11:20 pm | Permalink
  2. Nikki wrote:

    It was a beautiful birth! Mom did awesome and dad was cool as a cucumber. It was a honor to be there.

    Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 12:29 am | Permalink
  3. Kate C wrote:

    Yay to the family that allowed us to document the birth of their baby! What a beautiful birth!

    Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 12:39 am | Permalink
  4. Joyce Cunningham wrote:

    The most beautiful of all miracles! Thank you so much for sharing this story of your daughter’s birth. Best wishes to her and her new mom and dad!

    Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 7:36 am | Permalink
  5. Sheridan wrote:

    Amazing, love the pictures. How great mom was willing to share!

    Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Permalink
  6. Katie wrote:

    These are amazing! Thanks to the new parents for sharing, and CONGRATS!

    Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 11:35 pm | Permalink
  7. Cherise wrote:

    This kind of sharing is SO great – the hurdles and all. Thank you!

    Monday, May 24, 2010 at 12:17 am | Permalink
  8. Lea SAenz wrote:

    AMAZING… priceless!! great story!!

    Monday, May 24, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Permalink
  9. Kerry wrote:

    I so appreciate being able to see these beautiful photos and please thank the family for all of us. 🙂 Kerry from Hypnobabies

    Monday, May 24, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Permalink
  10. Tiffany wrote:

    Fantastic birth – love seeing pictorial birth stories. I have a family who took tons of pics so am awaiting her pictorial birth story 🙂

    Monday, May 24, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Permalink
  11. Tanya Hauer wrote:

    awesome awesome awesome!!!!

    Monday, May 24, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Permalink
  12. Allison wrote:

    Thanks for showing a baby that comes around without panicking. Moms voice can do wonders!!

    Monday, May 24, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Permalink
  13. Nic wrote:

    Simply lovely! I have always (I’ve had 6 so far, #7 to come soon) been on the other end, NEVER able/allowed to see what was going on ‘down there’; I wasn’t even allowed a mirror so I could see! I cannot thank enough this dear woman & her DH & care givers for allowing us to view such a miracle in progress!

    Monday, May 24, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Permalink
  14. Ameya wrote:

    Beautiful! I tried to have a waterbirth but I overheated, and when he came out on the bed, he was apparently very blue (i was almost blacked out, i can’t really remember) but the midwife (at a hospital) ignored my wish to not cut the cord due to the color, cut it and whisked the baby off to the special care unit for the next 3 days. How I wish we would have gotten the time & chance like this! How great. 🙂

    Monday, May 24, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Permalink
  15. Wendy wrote:

    Thank-you so much for sharing these amazing photos. The commentary is poignant – let this message reach a health care provider: please do not cut the cord right away and let the mother bring her baby back into being.

    Monday, May 24, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Permalink
  16. Hattie wrote:

    Thank you for allowing to have your pictures shared. I am actually looking forward to our baby’s first birthday, as it will be born in the birth pool. Congratulations.

    Monday, May 24, 2010 at 10:06 pm | Permalink
  17. Thank you to the mama for being so open and giving to share these photos. I am honored to have viewed this moment. And what a great lesson!! My daughter was nearly exactly the same story. Waterbirth, low pulse, and all. Thank God for smart well trained midwives!

    Monday, May 24, 2010 at 10:43 pm | Permalink
  18. Sue wrote:

    Thank you for sharing your story! I’m due in 2 months.

    Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 12:39 am | Permalink
  19. Sarah wrote:

    CONGRATULATIONS and THANKYOU for sharing. I wasn’t able to have home water births. Wasn’t available when my first was born and my second was an 6wk prem emergency c-section But I am a full proponent of home birthing and particularly water births. My sister had the privilege with her second. This story just gives me the best ‘yummy’ shivers 🙂

    Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 5:46 am | Permalink
  20. Tini wrote:

    How empowering! I have had two totally different birthing experiences–one horrible, medicated induction and one unmedicated, natural hospital waterbirth. Im not pregnant but I am pondering a home waterbirth for our third and trying muster the courage.

    Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 7:52 am | Permalink
  21. Jennifer wrote:

    Beautiful! How ironic that I look at these pictures on the 6th birthday of my little water birth baby! Brings back memories…I did it all myself and it was wonderful!
    Thanks for sharing this!

    Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Permalink
  22. kami wrote:

    beautiful pictures! what a miracle to see the process unfold.

    Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 10:35 am | Permalink
  23. What beautiful pictures. I have been present at 3 hospital births, and 2 home births, home birth wins hands down. Thank you so much for sharing these.

    Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Permalink
  24. Sara wrote:

    This makes me wish I had gone with my instincts and had a water birth at home! Well, I’ve wanted to ever since she was almost born at home in the tub but then we went to the hospital like we were supposed to 🙁 Great pictures!

    Thursday, May 27, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Permalink
  25. Erika Obert wrote:

    Our last was a 10# home waterbirth too. 6 hours from start to finish.

    Monday, June 7, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Permalink
  26. Damaris wrote:

    really beautiful! thanks for sharing!!

    Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Permalink
  27. Joy Chapman wrote:

    THANK YOU!! This is BEAUTIFUL! What a wonderful “mom”ent! I wish that with our next one I have the opportunity to do a water birth!

    Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Permalink
  28. Kristin wrote:

    My son was 10.5 pounds! He was my first and I also gave birth in a aqua doula with three midwives by my side! Glad to know I am not the only out there having big babies!! He only looked like a newborn for a week. He is 5 months now, in 12-18 month clothes and size 4 diapers! Time flies!!

    Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Permalink
  29. Kristy wrote:

    So beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

    Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Permalink
  30. Lee-Ann Davies wrote:

    This is the reason I am training to be a midwife and why I am so passionate about midwifery! love it! xx

    Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Permalink
  31. thank u for sharing this special moment congrats on the birth of ur baby hope baby brings u joy for years to come just like mine totally amazing xxx

    Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Permalink
  32. Lola Dash wrote:

    Awesome.. and that was beautiful.

    Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 7:57 pm | Permalink
  33. Joyce Moxley Thomas, MHA, CPM, LM wrote:

    Could you please explain how you resolved what sounded like a “sticky” shoulder. Or was it an outright shoulder dystocia? Thank you!

    Friday, June 18, 2010 at 1:01 am | Permalink
  34. elfanie wrote:

    I wouldn’t call this shoulder dystocia as I’ve dealt with shoulder dystocia and this was too quickly and easily resolved….after mom pushed with no visible effect twice, I gave some slight traction to the head when she pushed again to see if the anterior shoulder was presenting. It was not. So I inserted two fingers to check shoulder position – it was retroflexed and I could feel it hooked on the pubic bone, so I used one finger to press the shoulder up while I used the other finger to flex the shoulder and rotate it about 10% out from the pubic bone.
    Baby came easily and gently at that point. It was 2 minutes from head to shoulders, but only about 15 seconds of that was I interfering at all…

    Friday, June 18, 2010 at 8:47 am | Permalink
  35. This is amazing! Congratulations!

    Sunday, June 20, 2010 at 8:47 am | Permalink
  36. Thank you so much, this is so beautiful. I’ve shared your link on my website http://www.birthroutes.com

    So beautiful

    Sunday, July 18, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Permalink
  37. abbie wrote:

    Such a sweet story! Great job to momma and midwife! It was amazing to see the pictures, having 2 babies makes you wonder what everyone else gets to see. Absolutly amazing <3

    Friday, January 7, 2011 at 1:49 am | Permalink
  38. Melodie wrote:

    Absolutely amazing pictures. Thank you for sharing. It brought tears to my eyes. 🙂

    Friday, January 6, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Permalink
  39. Jennifer wrote:

    Love this birth story! I’ve had two hospital births, one was in water. My DDs should also got stuck. Not sure if it was true distocia but I can tell you that whatever my MW did to remedy it was uncomfortable for me. Once she did it though, DD came quickly.

    Friday, January 6, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Permalink
  40. malee wrote:

    That baby is blue, and looks still cianotic after the “few minutes” (look at his lips). Where you waiting 5 minutes to see what happened? You were very, very, very lucky the kid made it alive. Less then 100 bpm and you gave him no oxygen. Are you kidding me? Of course it wasn’t YOUR kid.

    Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Permalink
  41. Emily wrote:

    What an incredible series of photos. I’ve honestly never seen something so beautiful.

    Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

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