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The current c-section rate in South Africa is at high of 2 out of 3 babies. Some hospitals have c-section rates of 90%.  It is very scarce to hear of a woman who’s had a vaginal birth and if you do, they’ve had an epidural.  Me on the other hand, I didn’t want to be one of the women who has a c-section or an epidural or any kind of medicine.  I feel God made us a certain way and we were built to have babies.

The woman’s body is fantastic!!!

I’ve had 3 vaginal births, two in a small old hospital abandoned by the doctors and to only be run by nurses and nurse-midwives. Because we are now a third world country (we used to be a first world country), the hygiene is terrible and if you want better you have to go to a private hospital (which is very expensive and has a higher c-sec rate) and my last was a home birth (sort of unassisted, had a lady from church there who used to be nurse but is now retired) with my husband.

Here follows my story…

With my first I didn’t know better than birth is a painful, traumatic experience but if you want a baby, handle it or have a c-section!!!  I didn’t know about home birth except that my mother-in-law had one with her fourth baby and probably would have been too afraid to have one at that time. I did know that I wanted a vaginal birth with no pain medications (didn’t have any extra knowledge except that it felt right and was too afraid of being cut open). Well had my beautiful baby girl at this small abandoned hospital with no medications, but felt traumatised after 18 hours of on/off labour, a nurse telling me when you feel your about to die then you’ll have your baby, screaming my head off, an episiotomy without my consent and fainting because they forced my placenta. But at least I had my baby.

But year and half later we wanted a friend for or girl and tried for a second baby.  I had a terrible pregnancy and dreaded the thought of birth and labour. My sister-in-law lives in the US and had her second at home and got me thinking.  But I could not find a midwife in my area and unassisted birth was too weird at that point. This forced me to this small hospital again (still better than any other hospital). So I had my second daughter, birth was a panicky, painful experience again but got through (again 18 hours on/off). But at least I had my baby.

I met a wonderful on social media on a home school group, she runs a vbac group is SA and she inspired me. I fell pregnant again. I started doing my research, I learned a lot!!! From unassisted birth to water birth to how to have a breech baby. I searched for a midwife but there was still no midwives in my area (they are still very scarce in SA). But my husband and I decided if we don\’t find one we will do it unassisted, there was no way I was going back to a hospital. We go to a small home church group and told them what we were going to do (there is 3 nurses, one retired and the other two still in business) wow did I get it “it so dangerous, do you have a back up doctor” and on it went. But I just gave them the facts. The lady which is retired saw this as a challenge and volunteered her services to me.

39 weeks and 2 days:
I felt very sick the night before and was nesting like crazy.  I felt this baby was going to come as off 36 weeks.  I carry very small (8 weeks smaller than what \”they\” say I should be), the baby felt cramped in there, she was low for weeks with painful braxton hicks, and on top of that had spd (not extreme but enough to make me cry sometimes) from around 16 weeks.

The day she actually came was the first day from 36 weeks I thought she would not come, hehehe!!!  The morning we went to church everyone asking when I think the baby was coming and the usual, I had braxton hicks all day but ignored it due to having had it for weeks. The started getting painful but still ignored it. At 8 o\’clock that night my husband said I was going to have this baby tonight, but I just said it is braxton hicks (but sort of thought it may be labour. My parents-in-law came to pick up the kids at round 9 o’clock.

 My husband informed the lady from church (we will call her Lady) and started setting up the pool. I knew it was labour now but thought it was still hours away. My husband wanted Lady to come but I said it will still be hours and didn’t people around me. After a while I agreed she could come. Well at 2 minutes past midnight I gave birth to my beautiful little girl in a half filled pool, delayed cord clamping and the best experience of my life!!! I did have problems with the placenta releasing and took some cytotec after 3 hours and it helped.

There was still pain but nothing traumatic and no panic just bliss and an amazing experience.

There is so much more to tell you but I will type forever. All I can say is, that God intended birth to be at home in your own nest and that being calm, without fear and in a position that comes normal to you. You will cope and have a positive experience.

Thank you for reading my birth story (essay!!!)

The Boerwoman