Water birth at Andaluz of Portland, Oregon
Priscila and her family are originally from Brazil. Brazil has a voluntary C-Section rate over 85%.
Priscila felt drawn toward having both her babies vaginally and unmedicated. Her first child was born in Brazil, where she labored as long as possible at home before going to the hospital.
With her second baby, she chose to give birth at Andaluz Waterbirth Center in Portland, Oregon.
She wanted to be surrounded by her birth team, encouraging people to stay in the room with her, apply counterpressure, and even letting her son get into the water with her!
Priscila: “I prepared a bag of clothing for the entire family, a carry on bag full of food that I’d like to eat during labor (in case it was much longer than it was), toys for my son, a coffee machine (I like a very specific way to drink coffee + milk) and decorations for the room. Even though I ended not eating what I carried (nor drank coffee!) it was helpful to have everything ready for the moment to go to the birth center.”
Her 5 year old son, Alvaro, blew up and released balloons to the entertainment of the entire birth team.
Priscila: “It all started on a sunny November 19th, 2019 – my husband’s Birthday. In the morning I felt something was different with contractions. In the evening my water broke, from that moment on everything changed.”
One of the best things about having a baby with midwives is intermittent fetal monitoring.
She bought items from home to decorate their room at Andaluz.
Priscila created this beautiful painting for Olga with love. Every member of the birth team received a beautiful custom handmade pad of paper that Priscila created with Olga’s name on it.
Time seemed to stand still as she relished the last hours her son would be an only child.
Squatting seemed to feel best to Priscila during contractions.
She would lean on her husband Anselmo for support.
The birth tub was ready and she climbed into the warm water.
Alvaro wanted to get in too!
He was cracking us up, asking if his sister was here yet and checking between mom’s legs.
No splashing, Alvaro.
Well, what about blowing bubbles?
Priscila’s labor started on her husband Anselmo’s birthday! They brought his cake and candle along and we all sang him happy birthday. Their daughter was born after midnight, so they don’t share a birthday after all.
Who doesn’t like to eat cake in the bath?
Priscila’s phone facetimed her family in Brazil the entire labor and birth.
The nitty gritty work of bringing forth life.
Ever wondered what a mucus plug looks like?
Look! It’s my mucus plug!
Her doula put pressure on her lower back during contractions.
Breathe baby down.
Leaning into each wave, supported by her incredible husband.
Holding space and connecting in between waves.
Priscilla’s birth affirmations written in Portuguese.
Low light birth photography capturing the ambiance of the room.
Tiny birth doula.
Midwife Tracy taking vitals.
Midwife Serenty applied counterpressure to Priscila’s sacrum.
You’re so close to meeting your baby.
Pushing was the loudest part of her birth, and Alvaro put his fingers in his ears.
Pressure on her sacrum helped her cope with each contraction.
They brought a GoPro to capture under-water footage!
Midwife Tracy passed baby through Priscila’s legs to the front.
Reach down and pick up your baby.
“I did it!”
Father and son admiring Priscila, her strength, beauty, and the smallest member of their family.
The most beautiful baby in the world.
She’s finally here!
Checking out her placenta.
Priscila used handfuls of water to keep baby Olga warm.
Alvaro was absolutely enamored with his baby sister.
Fresh baby next to her placenta, still connected to the cord.
“Feel the cord, it’s still pulsing!”
The umbilical cord turns white with delayed cord clamping, indicating all the blood transferred to the baby from the placenta.
Still connected to her placenta, baby Olga was placed skin-to-skin with her father.
Priscila said, “it was very reassuring to give my daughter to her father to do skin to skin while my midwife Tracy evaluated my perineum.”
Alvaro, age 5, had the honor of cutting the cord.
Midwife Tracy of Andaluz Waterbirth Center waited until the cord was done pulsing before disconnecting baby from her placenta.
The fine, tiny details of a brand new baby.. the dimples in her shoulders, the tiny folds of her arms, the beautiful hairs on her head.
Papa helped support baby Olga in the shared family bed to breastfeed.
Proud papa discovering his daughter for the first time.
Side-lying nursing came naturally to her immediately.
Proud big brother.
Now a family of four!
8 lbs 1 oz / 3.650 kg
20 in / 50.8 cm
Natalie Broders is a birth photographer, birth filmmaker and birth doula located in Portland, Oregon. She lives on a farm with her husband and 2 kids. They raise chickens and love to garden. Natalie loves babywearing, cloth diapering and is passionate about her work as an advocate for birthing people. She had one of her babies at a birth center and her second baby was born at home, in water.