With the birth of my first daughter – Mionette, I had a terrible experience. I was in labour from the morning of 13 June until she was born at 17:00 on 16 June 2013. We had no medical aid, and I had to use a government hospital. The service we got was not all that bad, it was the fact that no one really attends to you while in labour. I had no medication or pain killers during labour and my husband was not allowed to be with me until our daughter was almost born. So when I fell pregnant with our second daughter Amy, I decided that I wanted to do things differently this time.
Throughout my pregnancy with Amy, I have researched the possibilities of a home birth – assisted of course. I searched everywhere for a midwife, and eventually – when I was 24 weeks pregnant found the midwife that assisted me with Amy’s birth. Everyone in our family insisted that it will be dangerous and that we should rather turn back to the government hospital to have Amy there. I listened to everyone’s horror stories and I decided that I was not going to the government hospital. They were the ones that were scared not me.
My pregnancy went smoothly through out, and we decided that the homebirth will be taking place. Amy was due on the 8th of April 2016. From the 8th of April I had bad Braxton hicks, and because my memory was so bad (because of pregnancy brain I guess) I thought I was in labour more than once.
I contacted my wonderful midwife more than once, and she patiently came to our house each time to come and check if everything was okay. And I appreciated that – as we never had to drive to a hospital and we never had to wait for a nurse/doctor to see us.
On the 12th of April, I had very bad Braxton hicks, and once again called the midwife. I think she must have had enough of the back and forth and eventually just left her equipment at my house. She recommended I walk and eat curry – which apparently brings on labour.
I walked and walked and walked, and still no Amy!
Thursday evening the 14th of April, my labour pains really started! The midwife contacted me to ask if she could come and fetch her equipment, as she had another client in labour, I also then informed her that I was in labour. She came to check on me, and my cervix was not even dilated yet.
At 04:00 on the 15th of April, my husband contacted the midwife as my labour had progressed. She came to the house immediately and I was 7cm dilated! I was so happy to hear this, after having Braxton hicks for almost two weeks! My midwife suggested I get into the bath, and my husband made us coffee while we sat chatting – me in tub and my midwife on a chair. It was so casual and relaxed. After the coffee and some more chatting I suddenly had the urge to push. I was in the final stage of labour, and I was going to meet my daughter soon! I started pushing, and eventually Amy’s head was almost out – I had the opportunity to feel my babies head under the water and it was magnificent. All I could feel was this head full of hair this was the most wonderful experience ever! Amy was born at 06:08 that morning, weighing 2.7kg and a healthy baby and I cannot be more thankful for the support from the midwife. I also realized how strong we as woman are! I have had my second baby, with no complications, no medication and no medical intervention whatsoever. Everything was done so naturally, and it was BEAUTIFUL! I could not have done it without my midwife’s help and support – and of course the doula as well!
I would recommend a homebirth or water home birth to all expecting mother’s who are not having a high risk pregnancy. The experience is the most wonderful thing ever. And to be surrounded by loving family and wonderful midwives during your labour gives you the boost you really need during the tough moments. After the birth, I had the freedom to spend my time at home with my newborn as I chose. I slept for a couple of hours afterwards, and then made my mother in law some coffee, and we sat chatting most of the day about how wonderful the birth was. I could also spend time with my 3 year old, and she got to know her little sister from the day she was born! She did not have to wait to see her!