Crowning – Ring of Fire

During the homebirth of my second child, I remember getting into the pool and could feel my daughter starting to work her way through the birth canal. There was a lot of pressure which started to transform into a burning sensation as my body opened up. I was in the birth pool on my hands and knees, staring at the ripples in the water as my husband, who was kneeling over ready to catch her, made movements that echoed throughout the pool. As I started to feel this hot, intense burning sensation my mind immediately started playing, ‘Ring of Fire’ by Johnny Cash. Moments before her head was born I kept thinking to myself, “This is it. I just have to get through this burning and I’ll be done.” Shortly after Emery slid out into her daddy’s hands and the rest is history. All of that stinging was instantly put on the back burner as I discovered my baby for the first time.

Now that I am a doula and work with many first time parents or parents delivering naturally for the first time, I often get asked, “What does crowning look and feel like?”

An anonymous client has given me permission to share these pictures with my followers. As her baby made it’s way out further with each contraction, I captured images of the process.


Amazing, isn’t it? What did crowning feel like to you? Was the pain instantly forgotten as you held your squishy newborn?

-Laney Sweet | Doula


6 thoughts on “Crowning – Ring of Fire

  1. I remember feeling the ring of fire and I shouted to my nurses, ” I’m on fire!” Lol. They all laughed and my husband just looked at me and smiled. I pushed twice and my perfectly beautiful baby girl was born and I forgot instantly about the pain as my baby was born rooting so we immediately placed her on the breast.

  2. Gorgeous photos, thanks for sharing. My 2 vaginal births were both direct occipital posterior. I felt lots of pressure in my bottom, which was more intense than the ring of fire I was feeling. Both came out sunny side up. As a midwife, I also love when a momma tells me she’s on fire. Means that precious baby is going to make an appearance very soon 🙂

  3. To be honest I never felt that “ring of fire”until my fourth child, child birth is one of the hardest things a women will ever do in her life, it hurts like nothing else, but that moment of meeting your child for the first time is such a beautuful feeling and all the pain is put to the back of your brain..that is until the next time, after 7 children I have to say that they are the most precious people in my life, some of them have now given me beautiful grandchildren which I was blessed to be presant for 4 of them…the miracle of birth…yesssss

  4. I never felt the ring of fire with my first (epidural) or second (it must have been overshadowed by the the kick in the groin feeling of my pelvic bones separating while I pushed her out with her nuchal hand). But with my third, I felt it. I didn’t feel that it was as terrible as most people make it out to be. I remember calmly saying to my midwife “this must be the ring of fire everyone talks about.” Then I pushed past it and it was done.

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