I want to start off with this: God sees the desires of your heart! My first birth was an emergency C-section. I really wanted to go natural the first time but couldn’t get past 7 cm. I was scared to death of birthing, which was probably why I couldn’t dilate any further. When I fell pregnant again I really wanted to try go natural again, but this time I realised I wouldn’t get it right without going to the midwives. A VBAC was intimidating, but with some reassurance from Heather Pieterse and of a friend who had had a VBAC with Midwives Exclusive I believed I would be able to do it.

My contractions started lightly Sunday morning, but was very irregular, Heather told me to relax and try get some sleep and if it was 3/4 min apart we could drive through. By Monday morning I was half hour apart and convinced it would happen that day. By the evening my contractions progressed to 7 minutes apart but not a minute closer. I decided to try get a good night’s rest. Tuesday morning I was back to 30 minutes apart and feeling discouraged. My body was starting to feel strained from having had contractions every few minutes for 2 days. By the evening I was 7 minutes apart again and this time the contractions were much stronger. Afraid that if I fell asleep my body would go back to 30 min, I timed my contractions until 3:30 the morning. Not a good idea! By then they were still only 7 minutes apart and i was exhausted and fell asleep still feeling the contractions. Wednesday morning I was back to 10 minutes apart. By 10 am we went to see Heather and she said I was 3 almost 4 cm dilated but that my body was very tense. Still only 10 minutes apart we decided to call the physio Nicolette Raats to come try get my body to relax and it did the trick! She aligned my hips and got my mind to relax too. Within an hour I was 3/4 min apart and ready to go to the hospital.

When I arrived a hot bath was ready for me and what a homely feel! Heather and her back up midwife, Anina, did a wonderful job to make me comfortable. From then on I had the support of the midwives and my husband and I was progressing well. The poor assistant was such a sweetheart, pushing my back with every contraction, she and my husband weren’t allowed to leave my side! My birth felt rough. My body was exhausted from having had 3 days of pre-labour and I was very relieved when Myra Xané was born 20:11 the evening. She was perfect in every way, but my body felt sore and tired. Apart from a water birth , another desire for the birth was to have a photographer capture it. My husband and I have been together since High School and we had the immense privilege of having our matric farewell photographer, Yolané Bayards, contact us and ask if she could photograph our birth. And wow! Her photos are incredible. I think having birth photos is almost better than a pregnancy or newborn shoot. Immediately after the birth all I could think of was I wasn’t sure if I would want to do this again, but looking back at our birth shoot, I am filled with awe and so much emotion. It completely changed the way I viewed our birth. It truly was a special and beautiful birth regardless of how tired and sore I was afterwards.

View the photos here: http://yolanebayards.com/birth-photography-welcome-world-baby-myra/.

That, and the fact that I could pick-up my toddler so soon after my birth made the pain and exhaustion worth the while.♡

To Christ all the glory for this birth. He had met my hearts desire. I believe everyone that was part of our journey was sent by Him, from my VBAC friend and her birth story, Heather and her assistant, Anina, the physio, to our photographer – all of them were part of his plan for us and my husband and I are ever grateful for their part in it.

Physio Therapist: Nicolette Raats 0825732527

Photographer: Yolané Bayards 0837913690