Birth Story

The 4 November 2015, late afternoon I could not believe it for the very first time peeing on a stick and the result was positive. I had in my life peed on a few sticks but always negative. Luckily we had one for the morning as well. Good grief I am pregnant I know nothing about pregnancy; I quickly rushed out to PNA and bought the first book I could find about being pregnant. I followed up with my GP and my blood results confirmed I was in fact going to be a Mommy. The excitement the joy. Oh my life was sweet. Wanting to see my little spec I made an appointment with my current gynaecologist. Sitting waiting for over 3 hours to see her, to go in for 5 minutes being told she guessed I was about 5 weeks and if I experienced any form of bleeding I should contact her rooms immediately. Being pregnant for the first time I was panic stricken did she see something on the scan for her to ramble on about bleeding, which in my mind meant losing my baby. I said to myself she will not be taking my money again. So I moved onto another gynaecologist. Who was pleasant enough but told me he only delivered at the Glynwood Hospital which was not my hospital of choice. I then moved onto my good old faithful gynaecologist who was at the Parklane the hospital I wanted my baby delivered at. I recall a very good friend of mine sharing stories about what she had learnt in her baby classes a few year back and I was so intrigued and interested in them. Having lost my mother in November 2013, I thought I would like to learn about having a baby because I had no clue. I then started attending Sister Hettie’s classes on Tuesday evenings; I fell hopelessly in love with them and could not wait for the following week.
I did not know much, but all I knew was I wanted the best for my baby, I wanted natural birth and I wanted to breast feed and that was it. In my classes everything was confirmed how my birth choice was the best for my baby.

My next gynaecologist appointment I made it very clear I wanted natural birth. Right there that is when my fight my struggle started. The deception and the untruths. My then gynaecologist started trying to brain wash me “you can’t have natural birth your baby is far too big to have natural birth.” If you are determined about natural birth I will send you to the mid wives at Genesis Clinic. My last appointment with him was when he said right next check-up we will book your Caesar bed. I was totally shocked as I thought he understood what I wanted. I took it upon myself to contact the mid wives at Genesis clinic. I was so very mad and thought these doctors do not have my or my baby’s best interests at heart. Who are they to decide my fate I was visiting the mid wives feeling happy and positive about giving natural birth my hospital bed was booked Then came 36 Weeks it is compulsory to see a gynaecologist to secure him as a backup in case of an emergency. I just remember feeling so defeated, he also went on to say how my baby was far too big to deliver naturally. His head was way too big. He listened to how I wanted natural birth then said okay come back at 38 weeks then we can make a final decision. 28 June 38 Weeks he said he will not be the backup doctor for the mid wives if they proceed with a natural delivery my baby is far too big and it’s too risky. My heart was shattered, I was done. I said okay if I have to have a Caesar I want to wait until my full term 40 weeks before he is delivered and I want him on the date his due date 10 July. This doctor tried to convenience me that my baby was too big and needed to be born at 38 weeks that was the breaking point I was so angry I could have spat fire. Taking the news back to the mid wives they were also shocked at his decision. They asked me do you want to see one more doctor. They have one more option. At this stage my husband had, had enough he was petrified at this stage. So I said okay we will do the Caesar then. Something said push on, one more try. Going to see Dr Mia was the most rewarding doctor visit of my life, he said to me there was space, I could deliver naturally my baby was big but not that big. I almost burst into tears. He agreed to be the backup doctor for the mid wives. I had won my battle. He just said please do not go over 41 weeks otherwise there could be complications. I could accept this and trusted him. The endless hours of prayers the endless hours of exhaustion the long travels from Boksburg to Johannesburg. Thank God for my loving, understanding husband who was so patient but I knew was so very scared I was making the wrong decision. So now we waited for me to go into labour. I did ever trick in the book, went for reflexology, and drank cranberry leaf tea. Blew up balloons. Ate pine apple had sex. I was nearing 41 weeks. The mid wives checked me out there was a possibility that I was not ready to even have an induction. My cervix was not right. First check I was not ready. Wasn’t looking good for my natural birth a few days later the mid wives gave me the okay so a decision was made I would have an induction on Thursday 14 July. I accepted that. I think I was booked for 6am the morning of 14 July for my induction. I woke around 4am and had these pains I said to my husband I think I am in labour I kind of knew what it felt like because I had experienced false labour a few weeks earlier. He said no man must be your nerves I said yes you are probably right. I had this major urge to go to the toilet and make a number 2. On arriving at the hospital I told the mid wife what I was experiencing. She said right let’s take a look. So all the checks were made she said Mary-Ann you have gone into spontaneous labour you are 2 cm dilated. I cannot give you and induction we are going to have to let your body do what it needs to do. I was in shock seriously. She said it could take a number of hours why don’t I go home and relax time the contractions, she would be in touch later. We said okay then got into the car and went home. While driving home I felt the pains getting stronger, got home at about 7.30am / 8am man these pains were coming fast and strong I remember not being able to sit or stand it was very sore, I was leaning over the couch trying to breath I said to the hubby I am going to lay down on the bed its very sore. Man oh man they were. I said call the mid wife I am getting scared think we must go back to the hospital. I heard her saying how many minutes are the contractions apart, I said I don’t know I am to sore I have not managed to time them. I had this app I was going to use. I could not really walk to the car. I made it to the front seat with a hot water bottle and I lay down. It was now around 8.45 and traffic was bad, I recall having the urge to push, but I didn’t I knew I must not push I recall my husband driving in the emergency lane to beat the traffic I said please hurry hurry I need to push. (Just like in the movies) I was timing the contractions on the app. They were roughly lasting about 60 seconds and were 2 / 3minutes apart. We got to the hospital my husband frantic to the security guard my wife is in labour we were shown to the front of the hospital door, does she need a wheel chair, I said yes I don’t think I can walk. As we got there so did the mid wife I said I feel like I need to push she said that’s wonderful news. Got to my delivery room which was so lovely having back ache needing to push she examined me and said Mary-Ann you are nearly fully dilated. Let’s get you ready. Listen to your body push when you need to. She explained this could take some time, she said can I break your waters to speed it up. I said okay if you need to. Not too happy because I wanted my body to do everything on my baby’s times as she was walking toward me to break my waters, then there was this massive gush below my waters broke naturally. I was almost crying I could not get over my luck. So here we were pushing in agony I said please can I have some of that gas to help with the pain the mid wife said no it’s going to slow your labour down you can do it push. After what seemed like forever exhausted hot and at my end. I cried out please cut me get him out I can’t push any more I can’t do this anymore. To being told you can and you will. I remembered all that the gynaecologists had said my baby was to big he is going to get stuck. I was in a panic this huge amount of fear, I was crying please my baby is going to get stuck he is too big. They reassured me he was not in distress he was perfect all was going well his head was there my husband said his head is there. So I pushed and pushed then, that split second he was out. My first words were Thank You Jesus. My baby boy, placed on my chest was perfect in every way tears of joy. Feeling the umbilical cord pulsating. Hearing my baby cry. Those first few seconds I believe I had a glimpse of heaven. My husband, the mid wives who admitted they had their doubts looking at me and just praising and acknowledging my fight, my hard work, my miracle. Looking back it honestly seems like a story from the movies.

My son was born at 10h55 14 July 3.6 kg,s 49 cm long and OFC 34cm.

All I heard my entire pregnancy was how big my baby boy was he was going to be over 4kgs. And how massive his head was.

I was not going to accept that I could not have natural birth it was how God intended it. It was the best for my baby. Honestly I was more petrified to have a Caesar than the pain of natural birth. The thought of an unnecessary operation and having a catheter really freaked me out and I was not having it. Why everywhere else in the world you are made to deliver naturally but in South Africa it is a no. I would not accept that my doctor won over what my baby wanted and needed to enter this world. I saw 4 gynaecologists during my pregnancy that I was not happy with and tried to convince me it was not safe. Then I had 1 decent honest doctor and mid wives. After my delivery I stood up walked over rinsed myself off. I was in no pain what so ever, I did not even need any stiches. I was perfectly perfect.

I was in labour for about 6 hours. It angers me that I had to have such a big fight for what should be my choice and my baby’s choice that comes first. Not when its convenient for the doctor so their lives are not disrupted.

I listened to my inner voice who I believe was the lord leading me every step of the way. I have no regrets and I would fight that fight all over again for the end result I hold in my arms every day.

I believe my mom was there with us in the delivery room helping me along

There are words to express how grateful I am that I attended my baby classes and met Sister Hettie. That I educated myself, because if I had not I would have just accepted what was being said.
I have maybe one regret, I was so focused on the delivery I never wrapped my head around afterwards. I wish I had focused more on the breastfeeding, I just thought it was going to be so natural and I would not have any problems with it, but I did. I am still breast feeding now my son is 18 weeks today, but it has not been without a lot of pain, discomfort and agony. My breastfeeding journey has not been easy, but I have managed it and it breaks my heart thinking of ending it in the near future.

All in all I believe I had a difficult road to my birth but I had the most amazing, happy, blessed, positive birth story.

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