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I gave birth to my first child (a boy) at the Midwives Exclusive birth house in Rietondale in 2014.

My water broke at 10:35 that morning and I was at home for 5 hours while I dilated up to 5cm. I went to the birth house and 3 hours later my son was born by way of a water birth. No pain medication or complications.   The midwife had been extremely calm and guided me through the pain, not pushing me in anyway to speed up the process and as such my body naturally progressed. It was a beautiful birth.

In February 2018 I gave birth to my daughter in the same birth house but the story could not be more different…

I started having contractions at 3am on the morning of 23 Feb. Throughout the day, the contractions came and went. At 18:30 the pain start to increase little by little.   At 00:45 we left for the birth house but I had only dilated to 3cm and my water had not broken. I was in the birth pool for 3 hours, by 4am I tried to lay down on the bed and get some rest while my husband and the midwife took a quick power nap, I could not lay down as it was too painful so I went and sat on the toilet.

By 5am, I had only dilated about another 1.5cm, still my water did not break so the midwife broke it artificially. By this time it was already after 7am.

A week prior to my the birth I’d been sick with flu and as I had been in labour for more than 24hours, my body was so weak, they gave me an electrolyte drip.

By about 8am I was only 7cm so the midwives discussed an augmentation to stimulate / speed up labour with us.   The augmentation worked differently with my body, giving me continuous pain and not waves of pain with breaks in between. I hung over the side of the birth pool screaming in pain and could not move at all as the contractions felt like they never stopped.

I was only 8cm dilated and my baby was getting tired.

We had to do something as the pain was already unbearable.

The midwives and my husband helped me to change position and turn over and he supported me in a squatting position, while the midwife tried to help the cervix over the baby head so she could be born as she was getting tired.   By 9:30 am my baby girl was finally born after 30.5 hours.

I have a high intensity for pain but this was the worst pain I had ever felt.   I am certain that if I did not have the calm environment of the birth house and the assistance of the caring midwives I would not have been able to do this naturally and with no pain medication…

All and all, I would not change a thing.

Later that day we all went home proud and healthy after a long intense birth.

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