Baby girl Tayla, born at Genesis Clinic.
Our journey to Genesis started, I think, as many other mothers has… with a recommendation. As a first time mum, I wanted to experience every little milestone, step, moment and decision that pregnancy would present to me. I envisioned the moment I’d become a mum to the full and was delighted and nervous for what the next 9 months held. My partner, bless him, was happy to go along with whatever I wanted as long as it didn’t involve too many hormonal over the top moments! We originally had a Gynae, but wanting a more personalised experience and to be around a family of practioners who loved the miracle of pregnancy and birth as much as we loved experiencing it, we were recommended to and moved to Genesis. One visit to the clinic and we were sold. Picking a midwife was equally as easy, when we met Jeanell and Hennie from Growth Spurt… we felt right at home.
Tayla was an active and intuitive baby right from the word go. My instincts told me from early on, that this baby was ready for the world. I had a very easy blessed pregnancy and she was ‘engaged’ from about 6 months. Drama free, not totally weight gaining free, and happy… the months went by easily. I absorbed pregnancy information like a sponge, fascinated by what was happening to little Tayla in the womb and learning about my body, really for the first time, as a woman. I became a mini encyclopaedia and ran a blog on all the funny and insightful things that happen to us women during pregnancy… so I thought also, come the big birth day, I’ll be ready!
I was 39 weeks and during our weekly check-up, Jeanell noticed that Tayla’s heart rate was quite high. We weren’t too worried as she’d always had a rather high heart rate, but Jeanell hooked me up to a monitor all the same just to be sure that she was doing ok. Half an hour later, her heart rate sitting at around 160 beats per minute, we were happy and I went on to work. I was preparing my handover, being one of those mum’s who like to work to the last, and was feeling the pressure a bit. That day in particular was quite busy with my handover and the expectation of a mad dash to the airport the following day to fetch my mother who was coming in from Australia for Tayla’s big entrance… which we believed to be a week later. Granny’s dream was to see me in all my pregnancy waddling glory before Tayla arrived. Later that day, Jeanell called me back to Genesis to check out Tayla’s heart rate… she just wanted to make sure that she was doing ok.
So Duane picked me up around 3:30pm from work and off we went back to Genesis. Tayla’s heart rate had climbed to 180 beats per minute and while there, it peaked at 190 beats per minute. She was really unhappy. Duane and I just stared at each other, stared at the monitor and willed everything to be ok. About an hour later, Dr Mia came to see us and to really, give us the good and not so good news. Her heart rate was a big concern, but he didn’t want to Caesar us then and there. He believed that perhaps the cord was stuck somewhere and that Tayla was in distress about it, but we still had a window period allowing her a few hours to find her way and unravel herself before it became an emergency situation. He told us to go home, fetch our packed hospital bags and come back to Genesis at 7pm that evening. If she was still unhappy and her heart rate did not settle, he’d book us into Park Lane for an emergency C section.
Well, there was the drama that the pregnancy had so far been free of! Our families were anxiously waiting for news and when this news came… there was quite a bit of concern around us waiting to see what her heart rate would do… but we trusted Dr. Mia, Jeanell and the Genesis team and we waited. We went home and got ready to go back. I’ve never seen my partner Duane move so fast! His heart was possibly in competition with Tayla’s and he had us packed and ready to go in 15 minutes. I on the other hand… tried to be as calm as I could. Reminding myself that if I panicked, Tayla would panic more… so I rubbed my bump and spoke to her, telling her to relax and that we love her and everything was going to be ok, but she must relax.
We arrived at Genesis at 7pm on the dot, with his mum and aunts meeting us there, the worry over this blessed baby. Got hooked up to the monitor and viola, baby’s heart rate was 145 beats per minute. Happiness! We stayed for an hour and were released home at 9pm with a happy Dr Mia, a happy baby and relieved family members all round.
The next day, I went in to work, after much lack of sleep from the day’s activities, and prepared for my last day. I noticed around 2pm that I was having what I thought were Braxton Hicks fairly regularly, but didn’t pay too much attention to it. My boss was teasing me that those were the real labour pains… but I just thought, so soon? Nah… wouldn’t I ‘Just Know’? Duane fetched me around 3pm to go to the airport to fetch my mum and I told him about the Braxton’s. Out of curiosity, we started timing them… and lo and behold… they were regularly apart… just like the real thing. I refused to get worked up, especially coming off the back of the previous night’s drama… but sent Jeanell an sms to tell her what was happening. She agreed, it looked like labour… but we’d just take it easy and see what happens. So we fetched my mum and went off to dinner.
The contractions started getting really intense and while staying in constant contact with Jeanell and Hennie, we established around 7pm… ok… this was it. The real thing. Tayla had an almost birth day yesterday, but today she meant business. She’d had enough was ready to come out and say hi. I really thought that when this moment arrived… I’d be ready. I’d planned it in my head so many times, watched DVD’s, read books, gone to antenatal classes and spoke to other mums… but when it came I was totally unprepared, scared and truthfully exhausted from the night before’s drama. I remember willing her to just stay put for just 1 more day… just 1 day… so I could sleep and then, I swear, I’d be ready for her tomorrow lol.
We didn’t have any snacks or drinks, but the staff at Genesis were amazing and kind and gave us Gatorade, muffins and sweets. My mother, having missed out on my whole pregnancy, wanted to be with us every step of the labour way… but I had to say no. The last thing I wanted was a room full of people, I only wanted our midwife and Dua
ne and a little peace in-between. I planned a drug free labour, but the inevitable happened and I wished for them! I didn’t have them but really… really wished, wondered, asked (very impolitely) and got annoyed with myself for not planning on drugs as a back-up! The yoga breathing went out the door too. By 2am my contractions were coming 2 minutes apart and I was only 4 cms dilated… agony! Duane was rubbing and massaging my back through contractions, but when I saw our midwife Hennie, I could’ve cried with relief. Hennie took control and showed Duane how to push into my back during a contraction and told me it was ok to sleep during contractions… I was exhausted. I remember sitting there and thinking… darn movies always make it look so quick and easy! What a rip off, when this is over, I want a refund on all those Hollywoodmovies I watched where a woman gives birth in 2 minutes flat!
Fast forward to just past 5am… 9 cms dilated and time for the tub… the water was heaven… every minute or so. I was too tired to keep my eyes open. And when it came time to push… I can honestly say, without Hennie and Duane, I would’ve not got my baby out the way that I did. Duane was my strength and motivation … and Hennie my driver and my guide. Tayla arrived at 6:15am with her eyes wide open, staring at her parents and no crying until the water was drained from the tub and it started to get cold.
To the Genesis family… thank you. For your guidance, expertise, kindness and just everything that makes a first time mum, a scared mum and a happy mum have so much unfailing faith in you. Dr. Mia… thank you for being the Doctor you are… there are others who would’ve taken the opportunity to Caesar me during Tayla’s distress and with reason, but your faith and understanding of babies meant that we could deliver her the way that we had hoped to.
Hennie, Jeanell and the Growth Spurt team… thank you. You empowered me as a mum and a woman. Your warmth and passion for your occupation made every visit sheer happiness. I know that without you, my pregnancy would’ve been a different experience. Really, I feel truly blessed to have you deliver our baby.
Tayla is everything I imagined her to be and then some. She’s a little intelligent feisty loving happy light that shines on us and I’m thankful that her first experiences of the world were with her parents at her side, enjoying the love and warmth of Genesis. Thank you for everything.
Duane, Odette and Tayla