"The Birth Of My Dreams:" Felicity's Home Water Birth

The following words are excerpts from this original blog post by mama Diana, "a Dominican woman, mother of two, marrying the love of my life, and lover of all things beautiful."  

There got to a point where I was exhausted and sore. I screamed and I threw a couple of F bombs while Andy whispered encouraging words to me.

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I was in so much pain, when the midwife went to check the baby’s head I slapped her hand (which I was so embarrassed about afterwards) Andy calmed me down when I felt like I was losing control, he rubbed me, and told me that I was going to do this and that I needed to trust myself.

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I cried and then I started to push for another twenty five minutes when I started feeling the head coming out, and it was such an insane and intense sensation, the shoulders were finally through and I went to grab my baby, but I was scared she/he would slip out of my hands so Robyn and placed her on my shoulder.

I felt such a sense of relief and accomplishment in that moment.

I thought she was a boy because I touched the cord and thought it was a penis lol when Robyn opened up her legs and showed us she was a girl I just started crying tears of joy. We had got our little girl, and she was so perfect and so beautiful.

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We conquered something that day and there wasn’t a dry eye in that room. I’m so happy that I got to experience the birth of my dreams, and I’m so blessed to have shared it with the people I love the most.

Photos and video: Moments By Michelle Marie

To submit your story to the blog, email content to empoweredbirthproject@gmail.com with "submission" in subject line. If you want your Facebook and/or Instagram handle linked in the post, please include them as well (it's also perfectly okay to submit anonymously). Photos, videos, or links that provide readers with more information about you or your experiences are also welcome! 

A Reservoir of Strength: Homebirth With Velamentous Cord Insertion

My name is Amanda MacGillivray and I had a beautiful home birth in a pool with my son almost 3 years ago. I am very grateful that a movement like yours exists because it's my firm belief that if society had access to pictures and videos of birth in all of the ways it happens, they would feel more confident when it's their turn that it's not a one size fits all experience. 

As a first time mother who chose to have a home birth early on in my pregnancy, I received a lot of support, but I knew it wasn't full. There was a lot of underlying fear and doubt that I couldn't "handle" it. I chose to not let it into my space and believe that my son and I could do this together. 

I had all of these ideas of how I wanted my birth to go. I basically wanted a ton of friends and family there, music, candles and to be continuously massaged and talked to by my husband. My son had other ideas. 

It was all me and him, and when my labor started I didn't want to be touched at all and I didn't want people around. I was in a deep trance the whole time and it was the most connected I've ever felt to another person and I feel he was in control more than me. In fact, throughout my entire labor I got very distinct visions of him getting into a spaceship on another planet and preparing for "take off". He was so confident putting his helmet on and pressing buttons telling me he would be there soon and I felt I already knew what he looked like. Far off in the vision I could see earth which was his destination. 

From the time I started having my first contractions to the time I watched him push his own body out of mine in the birthing pool it had only been 4 hours almost on the dot. I had very little pain throughout and when my midwife checked me to tell me I was 10cm dilated and could push at any time, my pain had already dissipated completely and I had thought my labor process stopped entirely and would have to start over! I made the effort to push which didn't hurt at all, and when his head pushed out all time stopped and his beautiful head just suspended in the water and his hair flowed back and forth and I knew it was all real. After who knows how long I felt his little shoulders shimmying, I barely gave a push and he slipped out like a bar of soap. In fact I don't even remember if there was a last push. I just remember feeling his shoulders and as if he was doing the pushing. 


Then he was out and my husband had the honor of touching him first and placing him on my chest right away. 

It was my choice to believe that my own birth could be different. That I could defy my own and other people's fears and also to treat my growing son like he was already a man and had a say in his own birth as well. 

I chose to let go of my ego and expectation of a pleasurable, painful, short, long, complicated, easy etc. etc. birth because whichever adjectives would come to fit my experience would happen no matter what and I would still learn. I was blessed with what I consider to be an ideal birth being short and very little pain in my own home with my closest family members around, but I plan to remain without expectation the next time around as well. Just because I had this experience happen this time doesn't mean it will happen next time. It's most important to honor the process, acknowledge your child as an individual and not let your or other's fear guide you.


Interestingly, after the birth of my son my placenta wouldn't come out. It took a couple of hours and after trying light tugging, a small dose of Pitocin, and pushing, nothing would get it out except a birthing stool. To my midwife and midwife assistant's amazement my placenta was a velamentous cord insertion and they even gasped when they saw it as if it were an urban legend. Apparently it's a very rare abnormality that is potentially dangerous because a sack forms around the placenta and blood vessels grow into the membrane. When the baby is being born it can potentially burst through the membrane, break some blood vessels and therefore cut off the oxygen supply. It didn't happen to me, but my midwife got a cool picture of it!

My experience is a reservoir of strength I can pull from whenever I need it and has given me a love and sense of power I have never known.

To submit your story to the blog, email content to empoweredbirthproject@gmail.com with "submission" in subject line. If you want your Facebook and/or Instagram handle linked in the post, please include them as well (it's also perfectly okay to submit anonymously). Photos, videos, or links that provide readers with more information about you or your experiences are also welcome! 

I Birthed A Blog


Welcome, friends! This blog has been four years in the making. It was like a stubborn, overdue baby refusing to be born (oh yeah, that kind of happened to me too). It's about damn time. Happy Birthday, Blog!

Perhaps you have been following me on Instagram @empoweredbirthproject. I started documenting my journey there because, in all honesty, I was already addicted to those colorful little squares and I thought it was better than no documentation at all, even though I didn't expect much to come from it. What happened next took me by surprise-- I stumbled upon an incredible community of beautiful, loving, supportive people. Or rather, they stumbled upon me. People from all walks of life from all over the world. People like YOU.


Thank you for following my journey, for laughing and crying with me, for sharing my ups and downs, and for showering me with positivity and support. Instagram will always have a special place in my heart... a comforting little cyberworld nestled among my smartphone apps that gives me a daily dose of hashtagged inspiration. But there is so much more I need to say and share. There is so much more work to be done to fulfill what I set out to do for Empowered Birth Project, and that can only be accomplished on a broader platform... right here.

Here I will share the intimate details of how I prepared for a planned unassisted home birth and how it ended in an emergency cesarean delivery. I will candidly share my process of recovery and healing. I will use this platform to help bring my film project to life. And here we can discuss, share, inspire, and empower as we honor the bonds of our sisterhood and support each other in our collective journey through life.

It sure felt good to push that first blog post out. Now I'm going to take a nap. Stick around, folks. There's so much more to come!