DWTS Champ Details ‘Primal’ & ‘Feral’ Labor & Delivery

DWTS Update

Heavy A 'DWTS' champ details her recent labor and delivery.

Former “Dancing with the Stars” winner Rumer Willis recently welcomed her first child, a daughter she named Louetta. In a recent podcast episode, she detailed her experience going through labor and welcoming her daughter, and her journey was a rather intense one in many ways.

Willis competed on season 20 of “Dancing with the Stars” season 20 with Val Chmerkovskiy. The experience was very challenging for her, at times, though. As The Mercury News noted, ahead of the finals, Willis explained, “I don’t think I’ve ever worked harder for anything in my life, or loved anything I’ve done more in my life.” Now that she has experienced pregnancy, birth, and becoming a mother, her perspective on that likely has changed.

Here’s what you need to know:

Rumer Willis Was Determined to Deliver at Home

During the June 5 episode of the “Informed Pregnancy Podcast,” Willis detailed her experience with her labor and delivery. Throughout her pregnancy, Willis had her eyes set on having an unmedicated home birth. Once her contractions started, Willis’ labor progressed quite slowly at first, and she found herself feeling frustrated, at times. After more than a day of having contractions, but not getting much closer to delivering, Willis took a long walk with her family, partner, and doula.

Once they returned to her home, Willis’ doula mentioned she might head back to her home for a bit. “I realized, in that moment, that I’m someone who loves to succeed and thrive under pressure. Because I tell you what, not five minutes later, all of a sudden my contractions start picking up again, and it’s like my body and my mind went, ‘Well I’m not doing this a whole nother night again… We’re doing this today. Let’s go.'” Her labor started progressing more quickly, then, and Willis had to work through fear and uncertainty that she could manage the experience. She realized, too, that “The fear was so much more than just the fear of this experience. It was like everything I’ve ever been afraid of. All of the times that I thought, oh, I’m too scared, or I’m too much of a weenie to do big scary things.'” She had to work through that old perception of herself, she noted, and she cried at times.

Willis Says Louetta Is the ‘Greatest Gift of My Life’

A couple of hours later, Willis got into the bathtub and it all started to click for her. She felt as if she became almost a mermaid, where she let her body move through the contractions. After a while, she got out of the tub, and “got into this rhythm with my partner,” of working through the contractions. About an hour later, she felt the urge to push, but her water had not broken yet. Her midwife arrived and they determined that within about an hour, she had dilated from 2 centimeters to 8. The “Dancing with the Stars” winner broke her water herself and proceeded to start pushing. She was in the tub again for a bit, but when her daughter’s heart rate started to drop, they changed gears. Willis moved to a birthing stool and the baby’s heart rate dropped again. Moments later, in just two pushes, the baby arrived.

“It was like I was in this other universe, and I had just transported to this place,” Willis described of those final moments of labor. She felt as if a “warrior mama lion part of me came forward, and whatever I needed to do, it didn’t matter.” The baby’s umbilical cord had wrapped around her neck and body in a “wonky” way as she was born, but she was quickly untangled and handed to Willis. “It was the most ecstatic, joyful moment of my life,” she recalled. Not only did Willis pop the amniotic sac herself, but she also caught her own placenta a few minutes after the baby’s birth. “It was very primal, it was, like, really feral. It was really primal, I felt like I was connecting to this deep power in, like, the core of my being that has always been there, but that I cut off access to a long time ago that somehow got activated somehow during this experience, because it was intense and wild and, just magical.

The “Dancing with the Stars” winner described motherhood as, “The greatest gift of my life,” adding, “I’ve never loved anything more in my life. She’s my favorite person.” While Willis admitted she has an “easy” baby, she still faces challenging moments. She noted, though, when those happen, “I stop myself and I go, ‘But look at what I have. Look at this little being that I have wished and hoped for for so long,’ and that makes everything… it makes even any of the hard moments, it just doesn’t matter.”