Twin Home Water Birth

On the 12 of April 2014, my water broke at 6 am. As I stood on my balcony overlooking the sea and watching the sunrise, I knew that it would set on the faces of my twin son and daughter. Every single day for two months prior I had listened to my Hypnobirthing CD at least once a day in preparation for this event, Cape Town’s first twin home water birth.

After 41.5 weeks of pregnancy, I was ready to birth my babies at home despite people’s dire warnings (I had no doctor or gynae so the opinions were not from anyone qualified to make them). The Hypnobirthing course had left me empowered enough to trust my body to do its’ duty and my mind strong enough to know that women were designed to birth their babies, not have them cut out like 90% of doctor advised twin mothers are told to do where I live. The beautiful Hypnobirthing videos left me in awe of how gentle birth can be. The detailed informative material and knowledgeable facilitator answered all my questions and offered up so much information that gynae kept to themselves.

Thanks to the course I knew what was going to happen as the contractions started. With 20 years of yoga practice under my now greatly expanded twin belt, I was used to bearing down on bursts of pain and breathing through discomfort to the euphoria of samadhi. Nothing could have prepared me for this full body experience though! I felt a bit lost for the first 4 hours as the contractions got stronger and the midwife said she was on her way but not in a hurry (WHAT! My babies were coming in 30 seconds is what it felt like!). Then my husband remembered the Hypnobirthing meditation CD and put it on the HiFi and filled the room with the soothing words of Marie Mongan. I sat down for the first time on the couch, held his hand and slipped into a waking trance. Hours went by apparently as I sat on the couch semi-awake with my eyes closed and the CD looping in the background. The pains came on and left, gently now with ever-increasing regularity. I had learnt that this meant the baby was making its’ way down the birth canal. Why wasn’t I screaming? I had been led to believe that giving birth thing was hours of limb tearing torment. Why was I so calm, just sitting on the couch, exhaling with each count as my husband timed the contractions and the midwife sat quietly reading in the kitchen behind me?

I then felt the need to climb into the 800-litre warm portable pool that my husband and the two midwives had organised in the middle of the lounge floor. Ahhhhh… soothing, drifting and bobbing around waist deep as the contractions came on, stronger and closer, but where was the pain? The CD looping still in the background, such a hot day, going into late afternoon by now 4 pm.  Stronger contractions, more bearing down, phew it was hot! I got out the pool and went downstairs to the loo, as I got up from taking a pee a massive gravitational pull hit me, no pain, just the huge urge to push! He was here and my boy wanted out! Get me upstairs into the pool I shouted! Everyone rallied in what seemed like seconds. I was in, on my knees, gripping the sides of the fibreglass pool.  It was quick, painless, I moaned and my body unravelled like a flower and there was baby Skye, 2.7 kgs, underwater looking up. We let him acclimatise for a few minutes then brought this perfect being up for his first gasp of air. What a beautiful little boy! 10 hours of labour…I felt amazing!

Eden should be along shortly. Dad takes Skye, let’s do this. One, two, three…..hours…..four, five…hours… It was 9pm, I was starting to fall asleep, contractions had all but stopped and I agreed to have her water broken by the midwife. An hour later it was back on, full contractions, the CD still looping in the background, still in a trance state, 3.3 kgs of head forced its way down the birth canal. WOW, what an expansion! I was so weak that everyone had to hold me up on my knees to give her room to come down. Beautiful sweet quiet girl Eden Sophia joined us. No screaming, no crying, not from anyone. All off to our bedroom by midnight, calm, quiet and all in perfect health. The new du Preez family went to sleep.

The twins just turned 4 years old and have never been to a doctor and are homeschooled by myself. During the second two years of their lives, I studied part-time to become a Montessori Preschool teacher. Having recently qualified, I have had all my suspicions about peaceful pregnancy, stress-free birth and child-led education exalted and lauded by these two perfect beings.

by Viv