Sarah Shahi: How I Handled My Home Birth

There was no last-minute bag packing or rushing to the hospital for Sarah Shahi when she went into labor last July. Instead, after realizing that her water had broken, the actress grabbed her purse and her husband and headed out to enjoy their last day as a pair.

“I told my husband [Steve Howey], ‘I want to go, I don’t want to sit around and wait for the labor,'” she tells the February issue of Pregnancy.

After stopping for breakfast, Sarah got the urge to shop. “I was having contractions as I was walking through the shoe department,” she laughs.

“And then we went to American Apparel and we went to the liquor store — I bought a bottle of brandy.”

Calling it a day around 4 p.m., the couple returned home to begin to prepare for the arrival of their baby boy.

“I had a home birth because I really believe in the body’s natural ability to give birth. The medical profession has kind of warped women’s minds into thinking we don’t know how to birth and we need doctors and epidurals and Pitocin,” she explains.

Determined to welcome her son into “the world in a really loving, peaceful, warm environment that we were all very familiar with,” Sarah opted for a water birth assisted by a midwife.

Amidst tunes from Bob Marley and Frank Sinatra, as well as Salt-n-Pepa‘s “Push It,” the former Life star’s vision was fulfilled when William Wolf was born.

“The lights were dim and we had the heater going, so it was nice and warm,” she recalls. “[He] came out into a tub of water and then my husband brought him up for air,” she shares.

As for the new mom, a few extra minutes were needed to completely comprehend the experience.

“I was kind of shell-shocked when he came out. I was like, ‘What the f–k just happened? Oh my God, what do I do?’ And my midwife said, ‘Sarah, you need to turn around and hold your baby.’ It was much easier when he was in my belly.”

Click below for what Sarah wishes someone had told her about delivery and why diaper changes are “epic.”

While Sarah is quick to point out that she wishes someone had mentioned “that it feels like the baby is going to come out of your butt” — a part of the birth she calls a “shocker” — the new mom says the entire experience left her with a sense of utter happiness.

“I never thought I would be one of those wacky chicks who say, ‘I loved my labor,’ but I loved every part of it,” she reveals. “It was the best day of my life.”

The first few months with baby boy, however, were not as peaceful. Up with Wolf “every 60 to 90 minutes to feed him,” Sarah couldn’t help but think, “This is torture in some countries — sleep deprivation!”

Despite the lack of shuteye, the new mom says she would do it again just to see her son, now 8 months, smile.

“Every time he would … do something that would show off a bit of his personality, it was all worth it,” she notes.

“Everything he does is just epic to me. When he poops, I’m like, ‘Yay, you pooped!’ I never thought I’d be so excited about poop, but I am.”

And while the world of dirty diapers and feedings is still new to her, there is no looking back for Sarah.

“I can’t remember my life before Wolf. I look at him and my heart completely skips a beat and melts and time stops and all that stuff,” she raves.

Source: Pregnancy; February issue

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