This Fierce Mom Refused to Let Anyone -- Especially a Doctor -- Help Her Give Birth

Mom giving birth in bathroom
Mariah Franson/Facebook

Before giving birth to her second baby, Marissa Heckel knew that she wanted things to go very differently than her first time around. After feeling bullied during her hospital birth three years ago, Heckel was determined to deliver alone. This meant no doctors, no midwives, and not even a doula was going to be there for any of it. Heckel was going to trust her baby and her body and not let anyone assist, or oversee, or get in the way of her natural process. 

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Although her baby boy was 14 days overdue, Heckel tells CafeMom that she didn't see a doctor. Instead, she believed in her body and baby to do what was best. This meant that she patiently waited in hopes that things would go differently than they had at the hospital, and the only people who were home when she finally gave birth were her husband, 3-year-old daughter, and dog. "When I was delivering my daughter in the hospital, I was forced into getting 'checks' I didn't want. I hadn't urinated in hours and was also forced into getting a catheter while awake to relieve my bladder," she tells CafeMom. "It was extremely painful to have a catheter put in during contractions and the removal was just as bad. During my stay at the hospital I was also bullied for my choice to not vaccinate."

During her first delivery, Heckel made it clear to doctors and nurses that drugs were not a part of her birth plan, and instead of feeling supported, she ended up feeling completely disrespected for her choice not to take any pain medicine. "During my labor I felt as though one nurse tried to break me down. She asked me over and over and over if I wanted to just get the epidural even though I denied," she says. "I have nothing against hospitals or midwives, they just aren't for me. Midwives are often a better option for most but their constant need to check for dilation is unnecessary and something I wouldn't allow."

Mom giving birth in bathroom
Mariah Franson/Facebook

More from CafeMom: Why This Badass Mom Fired Her OB Mid-Contraction

This meant that Heckel both labored and delivered without any medical supervision. "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," she wrote on Facebook. "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." 

Heckel labored with her son for 36 hours -- the exact amount of time she was in labor with her daughter -- and this time, she tried taking comfort from a hot shower, bath, pressure standing against the wall, and her husband. "My husband was very supportive the entire time as he respected my body and my choice to be in a stress free environment," she wrote. "It was actually romantic although I was practically roaring at this point."

Heckel says that after she started to feel her water gush, it later happened four other times but she still never worried. She tried to stay in bed when she first had the urge to push but it felt too "unnatural." Instead, she continued to follow her body and moved to sitting on the toilet. "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)," she wrote. "He also expressed concern that our son would hit his head on the toilet or fall in (haha)."

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Marissa Heckel/Facebook

Heckel then made the executive decision to move again and 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," she wrote. "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!!"

Her healthy baby boy weighed 9 pounds, 8 ounces, and her placenta delivered itself 20 minutes later. "He's no average sized baby as my husband is so tall (6ft7). So if you're afraid or thinking you can't do it, YOU CAN!!!" she wrote. "Do not fear, our bodies were made for this!"

More from CafeMom: This Is Why Wives Change After Becoming Moms, for the Men Who Don't Get It

Although some can't believe that she did it on her own, Heckel insists that she never put herself or baby in danger because they always had a backup plan to call for an ambulance if things didn't feel right. Now at seven days postpartum, Heckel has already seen a major difference in her recovery.

"My homebirth healing time has been amazing! I did not tear due to letting my body push for me and have already had a significant decrease in my bleeding. I was literally walking up and down our stairs an hour after my birth," she says. "For my hospital birth, I tore and ended up with stitches. It was a second degree, I bled for weeks, and was unable to get on my feet after the birth."

Heckel originally shared her birth story in a closed homebirth group on Facebook, but since it's gone viral, she hopes that people understand her decision to share it. "The meaning of my post is to empower women to do what they want for themselves and not to let any influence their decision. I want less bullying for women. This does not necessarily mean I want women to do more unassisted births at home," she says. "This also doesn't mean I don't support women who have had cesareans. I support all birth and want women to know how powerful we truly are!"

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