Every mama is different. The birth plan that worked for you might not work for someone else—just ask Alexandra Breckenridge.
The Virgin River star virtually visited The Kelly Clarkson Show this week, where she told the not-so-pleasant story of giving birth to her “humongous” son, Jack, via water birth.
“My son was huge. He was humongous,” the 38-year-old mother of two recalls. “And I feel like the hippies lied to me,” Breckenridge joked, “because I was watching these documentaries about these water births and I was like, ‘Wow, I can do that. I can do that! I wanna do a water birth.'”
The actress found a hospital that allowed water births, but it wasn’t the serene, empowering experience she was hoping for. After her water broke at 5 am, contractions came on strong. “My husband’s like, ‘Watch TV, it’ll be hours, it’s your first baby,'” she remembers. “No, no, no.”
Alexandra Breckenridge Shares Regret Over Water Birth Decision
By the time she made it to the hospital, she was 9 centimeters dilated.
“I push for two hours out of the birthing tub screaming bloody murder, and I was like, ‘He’s stuck! He’s stuck!'”
“I was waiting for someone to be like, ‘Oh, we have to take him out of you via emergency c-section!’ But I was like, ‘Nobody’s coming, and I’m still pushing.'”
The This Is Us actress admitted that the tub “didn’t really seem to make a difference, unfortunately,” and by the time she “finally got him out,” her newborn baby weighed 9 pounds.
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So what did she do when she gave birth to her daughter, Billie, the following year? “I got an epidural,” Breckenridge says with a smile. “I did. And it was a beautiful experience, magical. I should have listened to my two friends; two of my best friends had babies and they were like, ‘Girl, get the epidural.'”
Clarkson, who has two kiddos of her own, praised Breckenridge’s decision to get an epidural.
“There were several different ideas of what should happen when you’re giving birth, and I was like, ‘If God intended for me to not have drugs and not have help getting this out, then he wouldn’t have had me born in 1982,'” the host quipped.
“‘What can you put in here to make it less hurtful?'” she adds, stretching out her arms. “I was like, ‘Give me everything! The baby will be fine.'”
Each person’s path to parenthood looks a little different. What works for one woman might not work for you—and that’s okay! However you choose to bring your child into the world, whether that includes a waterbirth, an epidural, surgery, or something else, we support you, mama.