Few things in life are as emotional and amazing as witnessing the birth of a child. Even though babies are born every minute of every day, it's still mind-boggling to me. Our bodies can grow an entire human, push out that human — and suddenly there's this whole new person in the world. Honestly, I never get tired of watching birth videos. (I cry almost every time, too.) And Bekah Martinez's video of her unmedicated water birth is so powerful.
On Friday, June 21, the former Bachelor contestant shared an 8-minute video of herself delivering her first child on YouTube. If you remember, Martinez welcomed a baby girl, Ruth Ray, with boyfriend Grayston Leonard on Feb. 2, according to E! Online. As USA Today previously reported, the first-time mom opted for an unmedicated water birth. And based on photos Martinez has shared, her mother played an important role during her long labor and delivery.
In the video, Martinez starts off by sharing a few tidbits of information before the labor and delivery footage began — while lying down nursing baby Ruth, no less. She notes that she labored at home for 28 (of the 31) hours before heading to the birth center and having the photographer begin taking photos and video. At this point, Martinez was already 9 centimeters dilated.
"I labored mostly at home," she explains. "So what you're not seeing is just those hours and hours in my bathroom, throwing up, getting in and out of bed, trying to sleep."
One final disclaimer warns viewers about the nature of what they were about to see. "If you're uncomfortable seeing birth, blood, body hair or nipples, please think twice before watching or commenting," the message reads.
Beautiful, right? I'm not crying ...
Seriously, though. I'm so impressed by this first-time mama's strength and determination. (Thirty one hours is a long time to be in labor!) And although she does let out moans during contractions, and repeatedly says, "this part is hard," with the support of her mom, boyfriend, and birthing team, Martinez made it through like a champ. And her Instagram followers seem to agree.
One person commented, "OMG how did you not scream during contractions & especially crowning?! We you doing hypnobirthing? My contractions were terrible even with having my doula by my side, I could not handle it."
To that Martinez answered, "Water DEFINITELY helped but I think a slow, long labor kept things manageable! It never felt too intense but I’ve heard friends with much shorter labors say otherwise😬."
Another Instagram user wrote, "The birth video is so beautiful I fully cried. Definitely so exciting to watch such a calm unmedicated natural POSITIVE birth as I get to the end of my pregnancy with hopes of having the same experience. Thank you so much for sharing this!!!"
Yet another person declared, "You are a f*cking super hero! thanks for sharing your story!!! More positive birth stories need to be told! 🙌🏻."
One person summed up my thoughts exactly, writing, "Does anybody else ball their eyes out every time they watch a birth video?! That moment when mama lays her eyes on her baby for the first time 😭What an amazing moment, thank you for sharing it with the world!! You were so calm and collected, such an inspiration. I also love how your mom was such a big support for you along side your partner💗."
I can't say that my four labor and deliveries were as zen as Bekah Martinez's unmedicated water birth. But that's okay — everyone is entitled to their own birth plans and preferences. What I can say is her birth video is empowering AF. And I'm sure plenty of first-time expecting parents who are hoping for a similar experience think so, too.