A First Time Mom

I woke up on Monday the 27th of November 2017, with a desire to clean the house and so that is what I did, I cleaned and vacuumed and washed, I even ironed, I hate ironing by the way. By the time evening came, I had excruciating back pain and I had been having Braxton hicks contractions the whole day. During that night I kept waking up to go to the bathroom, during this time I kept wondering to myself thinking that my baby is going to arrive sooner than I expected because I had been feeling very different.

On Tuesday morning, I woke up feeling very different and unusual, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I had plans for the day with family members but I ended up cancelling my plans because I wasn’t feeling myself and I felt extremely tired. The whole day I was exhausted and so I decided to go and nap for a little while, this was at 13:00 in the afternoon. I woke up at 14:30 with shooting pain in my lower abdomen, almost like severe period pains and then I realised that this pain may actually be contractions and not the usual Braxton hicks contractions I had been experiencing. I then decided to phone my mom and let her know what was going on. I still assumed that it wasn’t labour because my water hasn’t broken and I did not have a show of blood so I assumed it was probably just cramps.

My mom told me to let my midwife know and find out what I should do. I first decided to have a warm bath and take 2 panados and wait and see if the pain got better… it didn’t, it got worse. After my bath I let my husband know what was going on and that he should come home. I then contacted my midwife, Veronica and let her know what was going on. She told me to come to the clinic and do a stress test.

So we left for Genesis at around 16:00 in peak hour traffic, I’ll never forget that ride, sitting in traffic with painful contractions not to mention going over all those bumps… definitely not fun. We arrived at the clinic at 17:00 and I let one of the staff members/ midwives, Ayanda know what was going on and that Veronica had told me to come for a stress test.

Ayanda showed me to a room where she told me to lay on the bed and she strapped some straps to my tummy and had some machine monitoring the baby’s heartbeat. She told me she would then see me in 20 minutes. After 10 minutes of monitoring, I felt a severe contraction coming and next thing my water broke all over the bed. There was fluid everywhere. It was the strangest feeling, it felt like a balloon of water had popped inside of my tummy. Then it was clear that I was definitely in labour. Ayanda helped me and assured me that my water breaking in the bed was perfectly fine and that I must not to worry.

Just then Veronica came into the room. I was very relieved to see her. She chatted to me and asked me some questions and also checked to see if I was dilating and I was… already 5cm. I was then shown to my room where I would be staying over and birthing in it was named Calendula. My husband at this time went to go get some snacks for me. I waited and laboured for another 2 and a half hours which felt like a life time. The pain was very intense.. nothing I had ever experienced before. The contractions were very intense at this stage.

Veronica then arrived after I had settled into the room and my husband also arrived with lots of snacks to eat, not that food was on my list of importance at the time. My contractions continued to get more and more intense and I began shaking and shivering because I was getting so cold and unfortunately did not pack in a jacket. My parents phoned my husband to see how I was doing and so we asked them to please bring a jacket and some clothes.

Veronica checked again to see how far dilated I was and I was 7cm at about 20:00. I then started getting these urges to push, it felt like I really needed to make a number 2. It was the strangest thing , I kept saying to Veronica that it really felt like I needed to poo, and Veronica said it is your baby’s head! It was the strangest feeling.

So at around 20:00 I got into the birthing bath and began pushing. It was painful but over so quickly. My little girl was born at 21:22 that evening. It was such an emotional, beautiful and empowering moment. New life is truly such a wonderful and special blessing. I can remember as soon as I pushed my baby girl out and Veronica have her to me I just grabbed her and I sobbed tears of absolute joy. My own flesh and blood here on my very hands, I couldn’t believe she was finally here. It was such a beautiful moment. My husband got to cut Grace’s umbilical cord and she got to lie on her daddy’s chest while I was been seen to after the birth. I then was immediately able to breastfeed and have skin to skin contact. We spent the night together as a new little family and we were cared for by such excellent staff members.

As a first time mom I do believe I had a positive experience and I would not have changed a single thing. Genesis is amazing. I never once felt like I was in a typical hospital. I am so very grateful for the amazing experience. I do plan on having all my babies at Genesis.

A HUGE thank you to my midwife, Veronica as well as Marilyn, Ayanda and Martha. You ladies will forever have a very special place in my heart.

Claire Krause