There are so many aids during the process of labour and childbirth that will eases the pain and discomfort during the process.
One of the options that I have chosen on all of my pregnancy experiences has been the use of water relief.
There has always been a sense of feeling of serenity, relaxation and peace for me when it has come to water.
I feel calm and almost transfixed in watching and moving around in it and this has been my biggest reason to choosing......
''The Water Birth''
If you have ever been through the wonders of labour and giving birth then you will understand that there comes a lot of pain from contractions especially and these can sometimes become quite unbearable but not unmanageable.
Some woman feel the need to use pain relief in as many natural ways possible including gentle movements, breathing techniques and yes that is right , water where as others go for the Epidurals which numb everything from the waist down.
On the run up to the actual delivery of baby, you may find that a soothing relaxing bath or massaging shower is all you need to feel at calm but some woman decide on going the whole way by actually delivering the baby in the water just like I did.
Sometimes water births are not an option though.
If you at high risk in your pregnancy and need closer observation and monitoring then it may not be possible to have a water birth especially if there are electronic devices needed to measure yours or the baby's progress throughout the labour.
Also if you are opting for pain relief such as epidurals which numbs your lower body and limbs it is also not a great idea in case they need to move you so it is best to say out of the water .
One of my reasons as well as many for a water birth was the fact I do not like taking any sort of medication, I do not like unnatural remedies and for me water seemed one of the most natural aids I could choose from (although gas and air was a huge help also in the pregnancies).
Some people only use the pool for pain relief but some also use it to deliver their baby into also which I have done 3 times now and hoping for a 4th this time round .
Delivering in the pool itself is actually more uncommon than I originally thought as it was found that only 6% of births recorded last year were that of water births.
Unfortunately my home from home midwifery care delivery suite was closed down at Bishop Auckland Hospital and is no longer open for me to have my son in as I did with the others .
It is such a shame as the care I received from the midwives and everyone else there was of the best care for both me and my children and I felt so well looked after.
It scares me a little knowing I am now being put into new hands , those who I have not met before in a place where I have not had any births before and I am hoping this does not make me feel anxious as I have done before.
I am sure they will take care of baby and me and when I visited the consultant on Wednesday he assured me they would .
I was relieved to find that there are a few pools available at Durham University Hospital , a lot bigger than the ones I am used to so my husband can join me once again (this time without being burnt by being squashed up against the tap end, my way of getting him back) and be there as close to baby and me as he possibly can helping us through the whole thing.
Don't feel scared to ask for your husband or partner to be in the pool with you, they want you to feel comfortable and as calm as possible through out the whole thing and if that means having someone else in the water with you then I am sure most will welcome the extra help.
The midwives we have spoken to regarding partners in the pool have told us it is very uncommon but an amazing thing to do to have both parents to be in the pool together experiencing the whole thing together.
Birthing partners in the pool need to be clothed, my husband wore swim shorts but as for us mummies to be , well you can do whatever you like, some choose to be totally naked , preparing for that skin to skin moment as soon as baby is born , for me , I felt that a long nighty covering my modesty would be suffice although there is no time for modesty in the birthing position lol.
I have worn the same nighty in the same pool through all of my births , this time it will be in a different pool but we feel the nighty is a symbol of reassurance , birth and luck for us so it will be worn once again this time to.
Being in the water means that your weight is being supported a little more and it can make moving around a lot more easier and freely.
I find being enclosed by water gives me a small sense of privacy and I don't feel ''on show'' as much as I would expect laying on a bed would have me feel.
I always seemed to feel more relaxed as soon as I got into the water and for the mummy to be to be relaxed it can sometimes move the whole process along quicker and speed things up.
My way of describing baby entering the world through the experience of the birthing pool
'' A gentle transition of life entering the world more calmly''
Each time has been different, all births are but the birthing pools have been the biggest part of the whole experience for me and they all made me enjoy the process as much as I possibly could without the feeling of being drugged or sedated although it can get quite warm in those pools so I had plenty of fresh cold water on the side for me to sip .
I did not jump straight into the pool, the later on you leave it the better and so at the beginning I merely just bounced away on a birthing ball until I found pain relief was definitely needed.
During your time in the pool, they do try to leave you be without prodding and messing about with you as often as they normally would and simply keep topping up the water and measuring the temperature .
Birthing pools need to be a certain temperature , you can not have it to hot or cold for baby entering the world so they try to keep it at 37°C.
Using the birthing pool in the hospital is not just the only place you can have a birthing pool experiences, in fact if you are feeling brave and again a low risk pregnancy, you may want to opt for home birth where you can hire birthing pools but please ensure they are safe and fully licenced .
After having all three babies in water , I have come to the conclusion that I most certainly wish for another water birth with my son and again with my husband in the pool with me.
Luckily I have been low risk with my pregnancy as with all of the others and the water pool and gas and air has been all I have needed .
I am hoping this time around will be the same.
I can not say it any other way but when I had to push I knew it was time and when that time came , I felt comfortable and calm knowing the midwife was there to help as baby slowly releases from the birthing canal , the midwife simply eases the baby towards you so you can hold your baby straight away .
Some people worry about baby being in the water but you need not worry.
Baby does not take its first breath straight away and it is a change of atmosphere that has them do so , so because it is all gentle transition baby feels calm and does not inhale any water.
You do not leave baby in the water , you get it as soon as it is born .
You have waited for so long to see them that you simply want to hold them in your arms as soon as possible .
We had our camera at hand for the midwife to take a picture as soon as our baby was was born the last time but after a quick ''Pull yourself together moment'' , we were helped from the pool, my husband dried and got himself ready while they seen to me .
I was layed on the bed to deliver the placenta and be checked over , ensuring everything was all ok then left to enjoy my new born with my husband.
I have to admit , all 3 water births were an amazing experience, I don't think I could have done it any other way .
I would say I am almost addicted to them now as they helped me so much ,not that I plan on having any more just to experience them any more but I merely would not know what to expect if I was not in the pool.
Here is to having a 4th water birth with this child and I am hoping the experience will be just as amazing and magical.
What are your thoughts on Water births?