A mother who gave birth to her son, unassisted while in her own bathroom, has said the experience made her feel 'powerful and accomplished'.
Marissa Heckel shared a photo of herself cradling her newborn baby boy to Facebook just five days after his birth – and explained the reasons why she’d chosen to deliver him at home.
‘Three years ago as of September I delivered my daughter in a hospital drug free,’ Marissa wrote.
‘After a horrible experience being bullied about my birth plan and harassed throughout my labor, I decided to stay at home and deliver my son upon finding out I was pregnant.
‘My husband was very supportive the entire time as he respected my body and my choice to be in a stress free environment.
‘We opted out of a midwife due to my stubbornness. I simply do not like anyone trying to tell me what is best for me or my baby.
‘Finances were not the issue in my case. Going unassisted was more of an opportunity for me to prove to others that God made our bodies to birth-that hospitals were never the norm.’
The result, Marissa said, was that she delivered her son in her own bathroom after a 36-hour labour.
‘Throughout the night of active labor I sought relief in the shower and bathtub but was unsuccessful. I chose to endure the pain standing up against the wall.
I just kept telling myself "the pain is only temporary". In the early morning I began transition. Not exactly sure how long it lasted but it seemed to be a few hours.
‘When the contractions and the pressure came my husband was bedside holding my hand. It was actually romantic although I was practically roaring at this point.
‘Somewhere during the time period my water gushed all over our bed. Five different times. When I felt the urge to push I attempted to stay in bed but felt much too "unnatural" for me.
Heading to the bathroom, Marissa said she sat on the toilet for a while before finally changing position for the birth.
‘I stood up, held onto the towel rack and let my body do one last push and he was finally out,’ she explained.
‘My husband stood there in shock taking all the pictures. I've never felt so powerful and accomplished in my entire life.
‘Our bodies truly are amazing!! My placenta delivered itself after about twenty minutes. Our son was 9 pounds 8 oz. 22 inches long with a 36cm head.
‘So if you're afraid or thinking you can't do it, YOU CAN!!! Do not fear, our bodies were made for this!’
This article originally appeared on New Idea.