Thandeka and Bryan
It was roughly 5am, and two days before our boy’s New Year’s Eve due date, when my wife shook me awake and said, “Ke nako” (It is time). I promptly told her it was too early and rolled back over to re-enter lala-land. Soon enough a sharp contraction hurt her and I was up like a gunshot as she screamedat me to go get the birthing pool set up (we had only picked it up the day before, thank God!).
After the obvious call to our midwife, next we texted our birth photographer, Marysol, who insisted we call her right away no matter the time. She actually arrived before our midwife, and was thrilled at the amount of light in our downstairs room as the day was breaking. As a man, I couldn’t care less, but was indeed grateful for an extra hand to get everything in order for our first home birth. Our first birth in hospital went so smoothly that we felt, along with our midwife, a home birth was not too risky and would put Thandi much more at ease through the whole process. The one major condition was that I had to make sure no unnecessary people were around (not that easy when we have both our families visiting for holidays). At least my parents visiting from USA were able to quickly come and take our very active daughter away, after wishing us the best. Meanwhile, we had Thandi’s sister with two young children upstairs, and they somehow managed to stay up there without much noise throughout the day.
As the midwife arrived and started setting the scene with all her equipment and assuring us all was in order, I tried to make sure the atmosphere was conducive to complete relaxation so that all would be picturing the opening of a beautiful blossom in springtime. The key component in this for my wife was some calming worship music of her choice in the background, and getting the pool water at just the right temperature. After the contractions had been a regular three minutes apart for some time, they gradually started lengthening again, so that the midwife advised Thandi to get out of the warm pool and see about stimulating our sleepy boy again. This involved her unceremoniously pacing laps around our small (thankfully enclosed) backyard, which I was quite astounded she could do at all. I was praying this wasn’t going to all be a false alarm when, around 9:30am, her waters broke as she leaned over our dining table just outside our backdoor. Ah, what a relief as we all knew there was no turning back now, and this was the day our son was coming into the world! Through all this, Marysol was catching every angle. For my wife, it was great to have this third person be able to record the event and have myself be able to fully focus on her and her needs. Overall, other than a scary moment when the midwife could not get our boy’s shoulders out and I had to help her quickly get Thandi out of the pool for the final delivery, it was a beautiful process. We would both highly recommend a home birth, as long as you have a doctor or midwife there to direct things and affirm that everything is on track.
As the family all came in a few hours after the birth, the look on our baby girl’s face as she first met her baby brother was truly priceless and filled our hearts with such joy. Truly, children are the greatest blessing in this world, straight from the heart of our loving Creator.
All images copyright by Marysol R. Blomerus of www.capetownbirthphotography.com and are shared with permission of the family.