I'm scared. I eye her doubtfully, but the midwife nods. I touch his slimy head. He's so real. This is actually happening.
And then he swims.
"Reach down, and pick up your baby."
For real? I scoop him close. A slight cry, a cord loosened from his neck. Those eyes - so alert.
I slump, spent. Relief. I'm simply relieved. I hold, just hold him.
Then a new Dad holds his son while I totter out of the pool, shivering. My purple son warms on my chest under freshly heated towels. This tiny, beautiful person - so tiny. I tuck my arms around him while he contentedly nurses. Moments before connected by cord, now connected at breast.
After a few minutes, I think I'm ready to wash up. I pass out. Someone's putting the most annoying smell up my nose! It pulls me from a deep dream. I'm out again. Why won't that sharp smell leave me alone!
I'm helped back to the bed and sleep.
How was your water birth different?
Want more info on water birth? Try Gentle Birth Choices by Barbara Harper. Or a thorough, beautiful, real story of a water birth on BirthWithoutFear.com.