When you think of giving birth, a certain montage probably runs through your head, full of yelling, hours of pain, and agonized pushing. That makes sense, given that childbirth can in fact be an arduous process for many women. But it can also be unbelievably serene, as evidenced by a water birth video that’s going viral because of how much it flies in the face of the conventional idea of childbirth.
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Lisa Marie Sanchez Oxenham is the owner of Sacred Journey Midwifery located in Anaheim, California. She often uses her Facebook page to introduce brand new babies to the world and post videos of women’s birth experiences.
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One of those videos has captivated millions of viewers. In the viral clip, a woman named Audra and her partner sit in a tub filled with water. According to the Mayo Clinic, being immersed in water during childbirth may help with pain and vaginal trauma, although it’s a less common practice in the United States than it is in parts of Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
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At the start of the video, Audra is holding what looks like a mirror between her legs, and Lisa Marie offers to take it so Audra has her hands free. Smart thinking, as the baby’s birth comes a mere 20 seconds later. After Audra sets the mirror down, silence takes over the room. Then, she furrows her brow, says, “Oh god,” and starts breathing rapidly (the one technique many women have told me was basically their saving grace while giving birth).
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Audra soon lets out a little exclamation, bears down, and out pops the baby. Seriously, he just slips right into the world. Audra starts crying and cradles her son to her chest while her partner looks on with the absolute sweetest look of awe on his face.
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In the video’s caption, Oxenham writes, “A midwife’s role is fluid, providing whatever is necessary for each individual birthing experience, although almost always that role is simply to offer the gift of quiet.” Check out the sweet clip below (it’s just barely NSFW and very worth it):