Marissa Heckel, from Ohio, US, had a traumatic experience while delivering her first baby as she felt she was “bullied” about her birth plan and “harassed” throughout labour.
She was determined her second time would be better, so she opted to give birth without any assistance - and after delivering a healthy 9lb 8oz baby boy, she wants to help other mums-to-be feel able to make the right choices for themselves.
“I want pregnant women to deliver their babies the way they want,” Heckel told HuffPost UK. “Whether it be a water birth at a birthing centre, at home with a midwife, unassisted, in a hospital.
“Women need to fight for what they want and not let anyone bully them into changing their mind. All births are beautiful.”
Heckel explained on Facebook that her husband was very supportive of her choice to give birth at home without medical assistance.
She delivered their son in their bathroom after a 36 hour labour - the exact same amount of time she was in labour with her first child.
“Throughout the night of active labor I sought relief in the shower and bathtub but was unsuccessful,” she wrote.
“I chose to endure the pain standing up against the wall. I just kept telling myself ‘the pain is only temporary’.”
Heckle began to transition in the early morning.
“When the contractions and the pressure came my husband was bedside holding my hand,” she explained. “It was actually romantic, although I was practically roaring at this point.”
She moved to the bathroom when she felt the urge to push as staying on the bed felt “too unnatural”.
“I told my husband about my urge to push and asked for assistance to the toilet. I let my body do the pushing. I just sat on the toilet,” the mum-of-two said.
“My husband was worried I’d been pushing too long so I had to reassure him in between contractions that I could feel his head descending (the beginning of the ring of fire).
“Finally my husband said he could see his head. He encouraged me to keep going. He also expressed concern that our son would hit his head on the toilet or fall in (haha).
“I then told him to help me up and that I was going to deliver the shoulders standing up. My husband looked at me like I was nuts, but helped me anyway.
“I stood up, held onto the towel rack and let my body do one last push and he was finally out.
“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!”
Congratulations to the family!