From the beginning of my pregnancy I knew I didn’t want to be lying on my back on a hospital bed when it came time to deliver. I was already very interested in water birth from my previous pregnancy and had my heart set on it this time round. Due to hospitals in PE not accommodating actual water birth and me being pregnant for the first time, the birth didn’t go as planned. The whole experience was not what I had expected and I wanted a more personal experience this time around. I had to go with the traditional way of giving birth. St Georges Hospital do have baths but you are only allowed to be in it while your dilating which to me defeats the whole point of water birth.
I started refreshing my memory by browsing the internet for stories on water births and every story of a successful water birth was so moving and relaxing. Relaxing, I know sounds impossible when you’re in labour. I then started looking for places in South Africa that cater for water birth, that was impossible as the only places that had water birth facilities and actually performed water birth were Cape Town and Johannesburg. So I decided to have a home birth and use the bathtub as my ‘birthing pool’. I now had to find a midwife to help with the process. To my surprise when I was reading the Think Local I came across a message from a Lady who had just had a water birth at home and she was thanking Healthy mom and baby Clinic for the amazing experience she had. So I knew these were the ladies for me. I got their e-mail address of the internet and e-mailed Margreet Wibbelink. She agreed to a water birth at home and the ball started rolling for the preparations. I carried on surfing the net for a better alternative then my bathtub and came across a website for a midwife in Port Elizabeth that hired out birthing pools. Awesome!
So the midwife was sorted and the birthing pool was sorted, now to relax and enjoy the rest of my pregnancy. As the due date draw near my husband and mother were becoming anxious about the home birth. This was due to the fact that the hospital was 20 minutes away and what happened if complications arose and we and to travel to the hospital before anything could be done. So I had the idea of having the water birth at Life Isivivana Private Hospital, As Margreet was very familiar with the hospital due to her working for them in the maternity ward on the government side. The hospital was very excited and accommodating about the whole processes.
Now all we were waiting for was little Taylor-Jane to grace us with her presence. After two false alarms she decided Friday early evening was the perfect time. I arrived at the hospital at 11:00 pm and was already 5 cm dilated. They stared setting up the pool immediately, we had a few minor hiccups but everything fell into place. I got in the pool as soon as possible; the warm water automatically relaxed every muscle in my body which was fantastic for the contractions. Due to your body releasing natural pain medication and the warm water being so calming, I found myself in a trance like state. One hour went by and I was 9 cm’s dilated. Another hour went by and I had this sudden urge to bear down and push. I moved onto my knees and lent over the side of the pool. I had to try not push as there was still a lip on my cervix and Margreet didn’t want me to tire myself out by pushing when my cervix was not completely open. I tried to not push but my body was screaming push and it was more painful trying to hold back. After a few of these urges I decided now is the time to push. I push four times and her head popped out. Margreet and the nurses helped me onto bum and I delivered the rest of her body. She was automatically brought up onto my stomach and I let out a sigh of relieve as it was all over and baby Taylor was in my arms where she aught to be.
The whole experience was empowering and I would recommend this form of child birth to everyone.