Atlanta Birth Center Waterbirth : Caleb

Gorgeous waterbirth at Atlanta Birth Center’s Fire Room

I love it when the mom writes the blog post for me. It’s her birth, so I feel it should be her story to tell, from her own perspective.

“Maegan was our doula + birth photographer and it was one of our best decisions! From the beginning Maegan spent so much time getting to know us, our needs, hopes and desires for our birth. The care and attention we received pre-delivery, during labor and delivery and postpartum was amazing. She’s fun, caring, flexible and great during birth. She really knows her stuff! She gave me so much help during labor. Also, the photos we received from the birth are incredible. I’m so glad we found Maegan and had her to help us during this process! I highly recommend her and I’ll definitely call her for my next baby!”


I wanted to write down my birth story so that I could remember it forever. It was the hardest and most painful day of my life AND it was the most rewarding. I woke up Sunday morning with some mildly painful cramping in my lower abdomen, about the same pain level as a typical menstrual cramp. I went about my normal morning hoping that these weren’t just Braxton Hicks but that today was the day.

Derick and I had breakfast, Sunday waffles, and hung out around the house. We watched a movie while I bounced on the med ball and the cramps grew stronger.


Around 4pm I suggested we go for a walk. Very quickly the cramps intensified and had a definite rhythm to them. They were about 5-6 minutes apart and were lasting about 45-50 seconds. I had to stop and breathe through them during the walk. When we got back home they were 4-5 minutes apart but I knew it wasn’t time to go to the birth center yet. We notified the birth center and our Doula.

I wanted to watch another movie to help pass the time. We decided on Harry Potter. I only made it to, ‘You’re a wizard, Harry’ before I told Derick to pack up the car… it was time to go. We got to the birth center around 9 pm and my contractions were very strong. I wasn’t able to talk or walk through them.

They monitored the baby’s heart rate for about 30 minutes but unfortunately I was only 1cm and had to go home. I was given a shot to help me sleep between the contractions. I highly recommend this to mothers. Even though I woke up for each contraction I rested between them and that helped to conserve my energy and pass the time. Once the medicine wore off we headed back to the Atlanta Birth Center.

When we arrived I was nauseous and threw up outside as I was walking in. Once inside I was checked again and I was around 3cm. This isn’t enough to be admitted but the midwife allowed me to stay for observation. It was close to 1am and she said that if I progressed then I could stay. My doula was there and she had me try many different positions to progress the labor. First I was in the shower on my hands and knees, then the toilet, then standing up and ‘dancing’ with Derick.”

Derick was amazing! He was right there with me through every contraction. Around 330am the midwife checked me again and I had progressed to 4-5cm. She gave me another shot and I labored in bed for a few hours and rested between contractions.

Around 6am the medicine wore off and when the midwife checked again I was at 7cm! At this point I was able to get into the tub! 

I labored in the tub for a while trying different positions but after an hour or so I was still only at 7-8cm. I got out of the tub and went back on the toilet, which was the most painful position for me.

I don’t know how long I labored on the toilet but whenever we checked again I had progressed to close to 9cm. That was great news! I got back into the warm water and soon I started to feel the urge to push. The midwife could feel the baby’s head very close to the opening and she even let me feel it too.

To me pushing is the best and the worst part of labor. It was the worst because it was the most painful but it was the best part because I felt the most in control and like I was playing a more active role. I would hold my breath and push as hard as I could and Derick would count to 8 then I would take a big breath and push again. I could get about 5 pushes per contraction.

I only had to actively push for about an hour. At 10am my midwife told me that she thought I could get the baby out in 10 more contractions so to me that was about 50 more pushes. I remember thinking, ‘Okay, let’s get this baby out by 10:30.’ Plus I was getting hungry at this point. Sure enough the midwife was right! The final push that brought Caleb into this world outside the womb was excruciating to say the least, the most painful moment of the whole delivery, but it happened right at 10:27am like we predicted! I was in total shock when I saw him! I couldn’t believe he was here. I couldn’t believe I just did that. I couldn’t believe it was over. I couldn’t believe how exhausted I was. I couldn’t believe I was finally holding the baby! It’s all incredibly overwhelming.

We got to hug and love on Caleb for about 15 minutes in the tub and Derick cut the cord. We got some amazing photographs from our doula as well. When it was time to get out of the tub Derick held Caleb for some skin to skin contact and I delivered the placenta on the bed. We swaddled Caleb and had some more photos taken.

Post delivery I had a postpartum hemorrhage. I ended up losing about 2L of blood, triple the normal amount. It was an emergency situation and the midwife had to give me 2 shots, oral medication, and go in to scrape out blood clots from my uterus. It was extremely painful for her to do this. It was as excruciating as labor pains. It took about 15 minutes to stop the bleeding and get me to a stable place. I ended up needing IV fluids due to the blood loss. Fortunately, my midwife was amazing and acted quickly and appropriately.

I also had a first degree tear which was repaired at the birth center.

Our midwife noticed that Caleb had a tongue tie when I tried to breastfeed him the first time. The lactation consultant came to our room right after birth to evaluate Caleb. She diagnosed him with a tongue and lip tie.

We ended up taking him that week to the Tongue-Tie Laser Center of Atlanta and he had surgery that Friday to repair the tongue, lip, and cheek tie! This surgery ended up helping him a lot with breastfeeding but it was a very stressful and difficult process for us. It required multiple doctors appointments, OT appointments, and at home mouth stretches every 3 hours for a month.” 

“I used Dr Alyssa Carter at One Point Physical Therapy for pelvic floor recovery.



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Atlanta Birth Doula + Photography Woodstock, GA