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Rumer Willis on breaking her own water during ‘feral’ birth with daughter Louetta

“I think there’s a photo of me and I just have this look of shock and surprise on my face.”
/ Source: TODAY

Rumer Willis is detailing her daughter Louetta's "primal" and "magical" birth.

The new mom divulged all in a two-episode interview on the "Informed Pregnancy" podcast, hosted by chiropractor Dr. Elliot Berlin. In it, Willis walked listeners through her unmedicated home birth. She was with her boyfriend, Derek Thomas, a doula and a midwife as well as mom Demi Moore and sisters Scout and Tallulah Willis.

Rumer gave birth on April 18, five days after her estimated due date.

"I was doing everything," she said. "I was eating all the pineapple, I was eating all of the dates. I was trying to have sex, I was trying to do pretty much everything in every book that you could ever find. But I think it was kind of a test from the universe and just patience and also trusting her again, and just being OK with whatever timing was going to be right for her and not trying to rush."

According to the Cleveland Clinic, eating dates may help induce labor by softening the cervix while an enzyme in pineapples can "help get the bowels moving" although it's not recommended to eat while in labor. Having sex, said the organization, probably won't impact labor.

Rumer recalled feeling frozen with fear during labor.

"I was sitting with everyone outside, and I was just crying," she said. "And I was just saying, 'You know ... I don’t know if I can do this. And this is the birth that I want. I want to do it at home. But I just don’t know if I can do it. It was really a kind of ... psycho spiritual experience."

"It was really a kind of ... psycho spiritual experience."

Rumer got into a birthing tub where "the contractions were getting really intense, like getting to that point where it’s the overwhelming pain," she said, adding, "I start moving in the water. Like, I don’t know, some sort of sexual mermaid.

"I let go, I actually let myself surrender to ... what was happening. And my body ... just downloaded what to do," she said.

Later on, Rumer got back into the water and began pushing.

"And then (the midwife) was checking me and felt my water bag bulging, but still not popping, which was wild," she said. "And so I was like, 'Well, should we break it? Do you want to break it?' And she goes, 'Well, you can.'

"I was like, 'What? Are you serious?'" said Rumer. "OK, because I reached my finger up and I’m feeling and it was crazy. Yeah, I can totally feel this little bag ... it feels like a water balloon but with a bit tougher skin.

"She just said, 'OK, on the next contraction, just push against it with your finger.' And I popped it and I think there’s a photo of me and I just have this look of shock and surprise on my face."

According to Dr. Kiarra King, a board-certified OB/GYN who did not treat Rumer, an amniotomy, the process of artificially rupturing the water bag, typically happens in hospitals or birth centers, which are highly controlled settings. It should be noted that many patients have spontaneous rupture of membranes before the onset of or during labor. 

“If someone is in labor or coming in for an induction, we have already confirmed the presentation of the baby (whether it’s head down or breech) and that we don’t feel anything unusual behind the water bag, such as the umbilical cord or an extremity,” King tells TODAY.com. “Regardless if a baby is breech or head down, if a woman breaks her own water bag in an attempt to induce labor, there is a possibility of infection, injury to vaginal or cervical tissues or cord prolapse, which is an obstetric emergency.” 

King surmises that Rumer was in advanced labor and that her water bag was positioned right at the vaginal opening. Generally speaking and while under the supervision of her midwife, it could have made the water bag more amenable to breaking. 

“In general, however, I would highly caution against doing so,” she says. 

Rumer said Louetta’s head came out with one push followed by her entire body. Thomas and the midwife caught the baby, "and it was the wildest thing," she said.

"So she had a cord wrapped around her neck, but it was also wrapped around her body ... almost like a prom sash ... But then as soon as they untangled her, she was in my arms," said Rumer. "It was the most ecstatic, joyful moment of my entire life. And I just started sobbing with joy."

Feeling supported by "this lineage of females in this tribe of women" meant everything to Rumer. "Being able to witness me going through that process and bring her into the world was something that I will treasure for the rest of my life."

Rumer is enamored with Louetta.

"I’ve never loved anything more in my life," she said. "She’s my favorite person. And, you know, it’s challenging. And again, I feel like I’m saying this, I realized that I am very privileged to be able to take the time off to be able to spend with her. And I know that that’s such a gift that not everyone has the ability to do."