Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Home Birth in South Africa

The birth story of my first son in South Africa.

I am a French living in RSA for two years now. I had my first son 18months ago, this is his story, and I am pregnant with a second son, who will also be born in RSA.

One Monday afternoon, I had my 40 week antenatal check up with our midwife, Sharon. I was assured that I was still going to be pregnant for another week probably, and we went home. It was past 6pm, on May 10, 2010.

But guess what... Suddenly, I was in labour! As sudden as lightening, I was struck. I was indeed as ripe as the avocado I had dreamt of over the weekend. The pregnant body was the green flesh, and the uterus, the pit. The avo was soft and creamy, so ripe, and so was I. 

So I got in the bath and tried to eat some pasta, all the while groaning and moaning. Mu husband was busy attending to me, getting the place ready, communicating with Sharon and timing contractions –and gosh they were close already. I must say that he still did find a few minutes in there to film the room and my first dinner in the bath!

By 9pm, after asking if we thought she should come, Sharon arrived, along with our doula. The pool was set up and made ready, and I was surprisingly relieved as I got in and experienced how relaxing it was. The contractions spaced out, I felt like being in a Jacuzzi, delightful.

However, the warm water also made contractions more intense. I could get a break in between, but there was no time to waste it seemed. Whoever was holding the time watch was adamant to get that baby out that night ;)

Before I knew it, things started happening. My waters broke. I got out of the pool for a lil’ help from gravity, got back in, gave a few pushes – and moaning cries – and there was the happy moment! Delivering the placenta was a mere formality after that. My son was born at 00:30am, it all happened within 6 hours!

Today – 18 months later- I forgot about the pain, the gooey details, the adrenaline... All I have to remind me of these is what kept me going and the strength that replaced the fear. It was my husband, who meant the world to me at that special moment, the soft music that filled my thoughts, and the vision I had of my son and I dancing together in his adult days. It was more than enough to let me know that I would make it to the finish line.

My first statement after the birth also reminds me of the shock of this stormy event. I told my husband, “Mon amour, enjoy, this is your only son!” 
It must have been really sore, but somehow I've changed my mind and today, I’m ready to do it all over again...

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