“Maggie, the big thing about birth is you have got to trust your midwife/doctor.” This was the advice I was given by my best friend and mother of 3 while I was figuring out the logistics of where and how and who will deliver my first born. And how true they were!! You see faith/trust counterfeits fear, and that is in my experience a huge factor with birth.
Birth without fear was written as a logo for the midwife that delivered my first born. How fitting. That is how I experienced my 2 homebirths. Crazy how such a “scary” and painful experience can also be so magical, so special that you actually look forward too and want to do again. I think mostly we should thank the hormone, oxytocin. The love hormone that you experience when you feel comforted and safe… the opposite of adrenaline. That is the hormone that you need for labour. And in my experience the best environment is at home with a midwife you can trust… also trusting the way God created your body to give birth to your baby. And trusting God!!
Its with a sensitive heart but also a passionate heart that I share my second birth story. Sensitive because I know each birth is different and special to every mommy, no matter if it is C-section or normal… but passionate cause what I experienced was so amazing and empowering and I wish that for every mother-to-be….
We are missionaries to Indonesia, but decided to come back to South Africa for the birth of our daughter Salome. After praying about it we agreed that the best option for us was to do a homebirth at my brother’s house. He is not married and offered us the use of his house. That way Simeon our 2-year-old could stay at Grandma’s place which was close by. We were also really excited about the fact that a very well qualified and experienced midwife lived just around the corner. We had met her on a previous furlough and we had a good relationship. She agreed to help us with the birth seeing it was my second birth and I had a normal, healthy pregnancy.
Salome was due for the 20thof January 2017, a Friday. My son had us waiting 6 days passed his due date, so we were all wondering what Salome was going to do. BY the 16thI started experiencing Braxton Higgs pains. But just as I wanted to get excited they stopped and didn’t continue. The Friday morning it started again. I went to town and as I was busy shopping I noticed the pains continued coming and going. By noon I started to time the pains. Every 30mins. By 15h30 they were about every 15mins and not too intense. But the big thing they kept coming. 17h00 I had my midwife come over to check on me. We both agreed that things seem to be happening but we still have time. Because it is my second birth I had a rough idea what to expect, I was much more relaxed. We had a long-appointed coffee date at18h00 with school friends that we decided to still carry through. We got home around 20h00 and at that stage the pains/contractions were about every 15/20mins and still not too unbearable. I texted my midwife to keep her up to date on the progress and decided I would try to sleep a little. But within the next hour things started intensifying. From about 22h00 sleep was out of the question with contractions every 10mins and also increasing in pain. To such an extent that I would roll out of bed and be on my hands and feet, bent over, to breathe through the contraction. At 00h00 my husband went down to his brother to tell him that he should move to the outside flat. I kept timing the contractions which were intensifying continually. At about 01h45 I decided to also go down to the house where we had set up the birthing pool. I also texted my midwife. The contractions were between 5-8mins apart and really intense by now. Margreet, my midwife, came immediately. I was 6cm dilated. We filled the birthpool and I got in as soon as possible. It was all quiet and peaceful just me, my husband and our midwife chatting and every 5mins or so I would just breath through a contraction. I made sure to relax and rest between contractions. At some point I could feel my body wanting to start pushing. Margreet checked me and said I should try to restrain from pushing a little longer because I wasn’t 10cm dilated yet. Boy was that hard!!! My water hadn’t broke by this stage so she suggested that she would do that to speed things up. I got out of the pool and after the water broke I had another contraction. Ouch!!! That was probably the most painful part of the whole labour. I quickly got back in the pool and after about 3 contractions and not pushing, I decided to push any way. And as I started to push I felt the baby’s head coming through. I called to Margreet saying that she is about to come through. With the next contraction I pushed, then leaned back in the pool and the next moment Salome was born. What an amazing feeling to hold that little one in my arms for the first time 04h20 that morning. I got out of the pool and sat on the bed, and within minutes she started nursing, the umbilical cord still attached. Overwhelmed with love for this little girl and deep gratitude that it’s over and all went well. Gently Margreet cut the cord, tended to me and then weighed and dressed Salome. I showered and dressed and then nursed Salome again. Tired but thankful!!!
To me the two midwives that delivered my babies are heroes. Love them so much. So thankful for their attitude toward birth, their encouragement and help and even prayers! Their confidence in the natural way of giving birth are so empowering and such a huge help… they helped me trust… trust the way God made our bodies and trust them. So amazing! Wouldn’t trade the experience and privilege of becoming a mommy for anything in the world!