My daughter Csenge's* birth in 100 pictures
A lovely home waterbirth after  5 hours of fairly easy labor. Second baby.

*: The ancient Hungarian name Csenge is pronounced "Chengeh" and means "ringing" (of a bell)

Part 1
(the first four hours of labor)

Budapest, the 29th of May 2001

"When a child is born, the whole Universe has to shift and make room..."
                                                                                (Stephen Gaskin)

Here's the story as I wrote it in a post to my friends on an Internet birth forum: 
At 0.45 AM I woke up to a nice big menstrual cramp-like contraction, but did not want to keep my hopes up until 4-5 more contractions hit, at 10-15 minutes' intervals. I began setting things up quietly. After a while, I woke up Zoltan. He was sleepy, but excited and relieved at the same time, as he had been at least as concerned as I, about having to go back to work before our baby was here. Our friend Laci, who was to videotape the birth, was called at 3 pm. Between contractions, I began to cook cottage-cheese dumplings. It's Laci's favourite dish and we had been joking about me cooking it for him during labor. I thought it was funny to do exactly that. I still had plenty of time between contractions, so it was easy. I leaned over the countertop in the kitchen and had Zoltan gently stroke my back during each contraction. Meanwhile, Laci did his job videotapig me and helped Zoltan setting up the birthing pool. We kept the lights and our voices low and it was all very peaceful. Around 4 AM, contractions came every 3-6 minutes and got more painful, but I could still completely relax between them. I called our midwife to let her know I was in labor, but told her not to hurry, as I thought I still had time. Well, she instinctively decided to come right away (she didn't tell me about this until later). Had she not done that, she'd probably missed the birth entirely - I had no idea it would go so fast! By then, I urged Zoltan to finally get ready with the pool and got in as soon as a few inches of water were beginning to pool at the bottom...

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Zoltan, cleaning the pool

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Cottage-cheese dumplings, being cooked between contractions :o)

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I'm really proud of Zoltan for finding and using the birth massage oil without me asking for it. It was a good idea! Most men are much clumsier when it comes to birth.

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He is gently stroking my back

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There was pleasantly much time for rest between contractions

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I really think that one of the main reasons why the birth went relatively fast and easy was the fact that I labored almost exclusively in upright positions.

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Calling the midwife

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Go finish setting up that pool, I want to get in NOW!

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Is everything allright, honey?

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It's easier together

Part 2

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