I wanted the most natural experience as birth is normal part of nature… Home-birth was the best experience ever.
I come from a family and society where most births were caesarean and it was unheard of in this time to give birth at any place other than a hospital. Birth was thought of to be something medical and that birth at home was for the olden days.
When I found out I was pregnant, it was a surprise and after a bit of a rocky start my pregnancy progressed well and Thanks to The Almighty I had no complications.
The first step was to decide which doctor I’m going to go to for my check ups and delivery. I have a passionate aversion to hospitals and always have preferred alternative natural treatments and health care professionals to medical doctors. Knowing a few ladies who have had successful homebirths for 3 and 5 kids each respectively, something was born into my heart and I told my family I was going to do home birth.
I knew nothing about the procedure at this time but it’s the decision that my heart felt at rest with. I was hoping for everything normal. My hubby was very supportive and in fact very glad that I chose this option. My mother, who has had 4 ceasars out of 5 children also supported my decision, but being a mother she did have concerns.
The next step was to find a midwife, the lady who had delivered the ladies I know was no longer practicing but after a few enquiries and referrals, we were directed to a midwife, but unfortunately after the first appointment it turned out that she and I were scheduled to be giving birth around the same time. Thankfully she referred and set up my next appointment with my current midwife a brilliant lady from J-Bay, Margreet. Happy at having found someone at last and that my dream seemed to be unfolding finally, we drove to the peaceful coastal town, a mere 30 min from PE, for the first check-up with her. All went well and thankfully continued well as baby grew and pregnancy progressed. We were happy with what she had to say and I was very soon very happy and comfy with her as my midwife.
At 36 weeks on a Sunday night reaching home late after a braai, I just got into bed and I experienced a sharp cramping in my stomach, which continued. When I checked it appeared the show had begun. This was the first sign of labour. It was a shock to see red too, having not seen anything for about 9 months! Going back to bed I told my hubby and we both started getting excited. The pain came aprx every 10min going down to every 7 min. Somewhere in the early morning I sent a message to Margreet, telling her what I had experienced. She was super fast and a light sleeper too apparently, as she called back within a few min and after asking questions and establishing my progress!
It turned out I was still in very beginning stage. Our doula would come at 7am to do a check up. As the morning grew I became increasing uncomfortable and pain got worse. But what was a better place for me to be feeling like this other than my home?? I was super comfy in my on home and in my own personal space. I could rest as I wished, which was on the bouncing ball mostly, as it helped ease the pain. Around 5am some water burst! My mom, my brick, came around 6 am and our doula, Michelle, was there soon after. After doing an internal around 7am, which by the way is more horridly painful than the contractions and the birth itself 😉 I was only 3cm dilated. It was very disheartening all night aprx 6 hours and only 3cm!!!
But then she helped me do what I believe as a miracle…. breath.
I was supposed to have a training session with her that week but labour came before the appointment!
So, for the next few hours it was 1, 2, 3, 4 in….. and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 out. Or along those numbers, memory failing right now. But what this teaches you, it to relax. It makes your body relax. It lets your body give into the contraction. You can actually feel your body opening. Whereas when I had remained tensed all morning with the contractions, my body could not do what it needed. I tell you, it was like a miracle. Within the next 5 hours I was 9cm!
When Michelle left for a few hours, my hubby and mom took turns to support me, rubbing my back which was aching by now, helping me by counting for my breathing. I could not focus on breathing correctly without assistance. The pain started getting much worse. I could barely walk and sat on the bouncing ball mostly before going to the bed.
Around 12pm Margreet came. By then I wasn’t too aware of my outside surroundings, more so of the consuming pain and a downwards pressure. Another internal showed I was about 9cm dilated. Yay! Now there was something happening.
I cannot be sure what happened around me in the next 3 hours, memory very hazy. .. I didn’t want hubby to stop rubbing my back, it was damn sore. I was on the birthing stool next. And Michelle had returned. Somewhere after 2pm Margreet did another internal and broke some more water.
I was fully dilated. My body was ready to push. By 3:20pm we had a beautiful healthy baby boy, 2.46kg. A sweet bundle of true joy. A few stitches and warm shower later I was trying to feed my baby and although slightly shaky, very much better already!
I cant say I was afraid, not before and not during birth. It was what I wanted and Thanks to my Almighty He gave me the wisdom to decide something against the norm which by the way is thee ultimate natural and normal humane way and the strength & health to have a normal home birth. Almost 4 years later, with a very much bouncing bundle of limitless energy, I write this story of my birth. All details as best I could remember. Whenever the time may be, I’ll go the same route again without thinking twice. If you have a healthy pregnancy, go for it! Its an experience you wont regret ever!