Labour & Delivery

Is Free Birth for You? This Mum Tells Her Unassisted Birth Story


No drugs or doctors. No midwives or monitors. And no dramas, whatsoever!

This mum’s “free birth” story is a must-read, especially if you are considering a home birth for your bub. And the photo? Priceless!

***Warning: This post contains a graphic image that some may find offensive. ***

We’ve all seen those stories of women who unexpectedly give birth at home, in the car, in the front of Target. Sometimes when the urge to push comes, there is simply not enough time to make it to hospital.

But for Marissa Heckel, the decision to give birth to her second child at home, without any medical assistance or equipment other than a toilet and a towel rack, was premeditated.

home birth marissa heckel
Image via Marissa Heckel

DIY birth. No doctors necessary.

After an unpleasant hospital birth with her daughter three years ago, Marissa dared to do something different the second time around. Instead of relying on the assistance of medical professionals, Marissa relied on herself.

As Marissa explains in a Facebook post that has since gone viral, “I decided to stay at home and deliver my son upon finding out I was pregnant. 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.”

The power of Mum

For 36 hours Marissa laboured at home, relying on her husband to help her through the contractions. When she felt it was time to push, Marissa headed to the bathroom where she sat on the toilet and “let my body do the pushing”.

“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) Finally my husband said he could see his head. He encouraged me to keep going,” Marissa says.

“He also expressed concern that our son would hit his head on the toilet or fall in (haha). I then told him to help me up and that I was going to deliver the shoulders standing up. My husband looked at me like I was nuts but helped me anyway.”

As Marissa felt her son’s head descending, she stood up, clung to a towel rack and delivered her son herself. All nine pounds and eight ounces of him!

“I stood up, held onto the towel rack and let my body do one last push and he was finally out,” she says. “I’ve never felt so powerful and accomplished in my entire life. Our bodies truly are amazing!!

Meanwhile, her stunned husband stood by her side, snapping an unfiltered photo of the proud new mum.

home birth marissa heckel
Image via Marissa Heckel

Wearing nothing but a smile, Marissa cradles her 4.3 kg newborn and looks every bit the home birth hero that she is! Seriously, someone give this woman a medal! And possibly a mop for the cleanup.

Don’t fear birth

“If you’re afraid or thinking you can’t do it, YOU CAN!!!,” Marissa writes alongside the dramatic image. 

“Do not fear, our bodies were made for this!”

home birth in toilet
Image via Marissa Heckel

Of course, free birthing isn’t for everyone. But it certainly worked out for Marissa!

Looking for more incredible birth stories? Check out the mum who gave birth on a Qantas flight.

Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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