Tom Brady stood by Gisele Bündchen’s side during both of her at-home water births, but the supermodel has revealed that both he and her doctor wanted her to go to a hospital the first time because they feared it was ‘too dangerous.’
In her new book, Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life, the 38-year-old admits that she ignored her doctor’s warning and husband’s wishes when she insisted on giving birth to her eldest child, Benjamin, in their bathtub in 2009.
‘The doctor told me that it was too dangerous for me to have a home birth,’ she recalls. ‘He said that Benny was in an unusual position, my hips were too small, and the odds just weren’t in my favor.’
Birth plan: Gisele Bündchen had at-home water births with her children Ben and Vivan, despite her husband, Tom Brady, being uncomfortable with the idea. The family is pictured in April
Pure joy: The supermodel (pictured with Vivian in 2013) says giving birth to her children at were the ‘two most extraordinary experiences’ of her life
It was during that four-month checkup in Los Angeles that the obstetrician advised her to schedule a C-section.
Memoir: Gisele, 38, opens up about her at-home water births in her new book
However, Gisele insisted that she was going to have her children at home. She wasn’t going to let anyone talk her out of it, not even her husband, Tom.
Gisele claims she has ‘always dreamed of giving birth naturally, at home’ and has been wary of hospitals ever since her twin sister, Pati, developed double pneumonia when they were ten years old.
A few years before she became pregnant with Benjamin, she became interested in water births following a meeting with a woman named Mayra who was studying to be a midwife.
Mayra told her that the ‘most soothing way for a newborn to enter the world was into water,’ and the conversation stuck with Gisele.
When it was time for her to make her birth plan, she shunned her doctor’s warning and did what she could to get her husband on board.
Plans: Gisele (pictured pregnant with Benjamin in 2009) explains in her book that she ‘always dreamed of giving birth naturally, at home’
Wary: The mother-of-two admits that Tom, 41, wasn’t thrilled with the idea because he thought it was dangerous
Fears: Gisele says she has disliked hospitals ever since her twin sister, Pati, developed double pneumonia when they were ten years old. The sisters are pictured in July 2017
‘Tom wasn’t enthusiastic about a home birth either,’ she explains. ‘Only after I had him watch a half-dozen natural-birth movies did he finally agree.’
However, she admits that it is possible that Tom only agreed because he ‘just didn’t want to have to watch one more natural-birth video.’
Through further research, Gisele consulted with a midwife named Deborah, who was confident that she could have a successful home birth.
Mayra, Deborah, Tom, and her mother were all with her during her 16-hour labor, which took place in her Boston home in December 2009.
She was surrounded by candles and Krishna Das was playing in the background, but she admits her plan to give birth in her bathtub was not well thought out.
Support: A doctor told Gisele it was ‘too dangerous’ for her to have an at-home birth, but she refused to schedule a C-section. Her mom, Vania (pictured in 2004), supported her decision
Setting the mood: Gisele (pictured with Vivian in 2013) was surrounded by candles and Krishna Das was playing in the background during both of her at-home births
Dedicated: In her book, Gisele (pictured with Vivian in 2013) reveals that she breastfed each of her children until they were about two years old
‘I’m five eleven, and the bathtub was, well, not a whole lot bigger than that,’ she explains.
Gisele spent the last three hours of her labor in the tub, as people took turns replenishing the hot water.
The model says she focused on her breathing, and while she typically prays to her guardian angels, she ‘went straight to God’ during her labor.
‘When Benny arrived, I felt, but not for the first time in my life, that I was somehow outside my own body experiencing the moment from two different perspectives,’ she explains.
‘I was watching my son be born from a distance, and yet at the same time I was totally in the experience of giving birth to him,’ she adds. ‘I’ve always wondered exactly how that could be happening.
‘Maybe it’s because at the moment the veil between the earth world and the spirit world gets thinner. I don’t know—all I know is that it was magical!’
In her head: Gisele (pictured with Vivian in 2017) became interested in water births after meeting a midwife who told her it’s the ‘most soothing way for a newborn to enter the world’
Selfless: The model says giving birth was ‘the death of me-ness, of ego, of putting myself and my own needs first’
Family photo: Gisele is also stepmom to Tom’s 11-year-old son Jack (right), his only child with Bridget Moynahan
Gisele had a similar birth when she and Tom welcomed their daughter, Vivian, three years later, but this time, she purchased a birthing tub that came with a water heater.
The tub, which was nearly seven feet in diameter, was big enough for Tom to be in there with her when she gave birth.
Gisele writes that giving birth to Benjamin and Vivian at home were the ‘two most extraordinary experiences’ of her life.
‘I felt like Kali, the Hindu goddess of time, creation, destruction, and power, a feeling of invincibility. I could chew rocks in half! I could split mountains in two! I could divide oceans!’ she explains, noting that Kali is also linked with death.
‘When a baby is born, a mother takes a step backwards. A part of her dies. It was also the death of me-ness, of ego, of putting myself and my own needs first,’ she recalls.
In her book, Gisele reveals that she breastfed each of her children until they were about two years old.
She made waves in 2013 when she famously shared a photo of herself breastfeeding Vivian while getting primped and pampered by her glam squad.