Jessica Van Der Merwe, born at Genesis on 2 July 2011
My name is Bernice Van Der Merwe, I gave birth to my second daughter Jessica on the 2nd July 2011. Having birthed with Growth Spurt at a previous Active birthing Unit, I had no doubt in my mind that my second child would arrive into the world in the same calm, peaceful environment as had my first daughter 7 years previously.
We attended all our ante natal visits with Growth Spurt, did tours of the Clinic with our daughter who would be with our family for the arrival of her new sister. Knowing what an advantage an active birth would be for all of us, I looked forward more and more to the birth experience at Genesis, with the tranquillity of the rooms and looking forward to birthing in the gorgeous baths available, also knowing that we would all be able to be involved in this experience and welcoming Baby into the world as a sound happy family unit.
My first daughter was late and even after stretch and sweeps and been 6cm dilated I was induced twice before I began with active labour, and when my waters were broken she arrived 2hours and 20 minutes later. We all planned for a rather quick labour but expecting that I should I go into labour naturally would still have a few hours of labour which I knew I would choose to do at Genesis as opposed to labouring at home (being Boksburg). On the evening of my due date, my waters broke with a huge contraction. This happened at about 19h20, being at a friends house celebrating her sisters 40th she rushed home, to pack my car (all goodies were ready and waiting) and get hubby ready so that we could all move onto Genesis. It was probably not much more than 30min later when Julie and hubby arrived, and I noted that the contractions were arriving rather quick, but not too intense. I opted to get to the clinic as soon as possible as I gather a 6th sense was warning me that time was not on my side.
We left Julie’s house, hubby, Brodigan and now labouring Mom with bags just after 20h10 and made our way to the Clinic. The minute I placed my bum into hubby’s car the contractions went from not intense to “wow I am gonna die”. Fortunately all roadworks were clear and we made headway, I started having contractions literally every 1 – 2 minute, and by the time we were heading down the M2, I was having to raise myself off the seat during contractions. Taking Jan Smuts offramp I asked hubby to humour me and slow down and drive through all red robots, as I was wanting whatever drugs could be offered (I was planning a second drug free, totally natural birth). I don’t recall alot of the drive down Jan Smuts and when hubby dropped me and Brodigan off at reception, and I swung my legs to get out of the car, I knew I was in serious trouble. We arrived at the Clinic at 20H40, managed to get into a wheelchair as I almost collapsed at the staircase. My midwife advised en route that she would be at the Clinic within the next hour, and so the Clinic midwives were forced to rush me wheelchair and all into a room (hubby was still trying to park the car). I told them that baby was coming and was told no ways as all the tests etc had to be performed. As we rushed into the room, the taps were opened to begin filling the bath for my water birth. I again told them baby was coming. My midwife starting rushing for gloves and monitors etc, when she realised I was beginning to birth in the wheelchair, underwear on and all. They managed to get me out of the wheelchair and I fell half on half off the bed as no ways was I gonna make the bath which by now had about 1cm of water in. As I swung my legs onto bed and had my panties removed the head starting delivering. Through all this chaos hubby walked into the room to discover the chaos in the clinic was in our room and walked in to watch his daughter’s head being delivered, and the complete look of shock on his wife’s face. My midwife stopped the head being delivered on that first contraction but Jessica was delivered on the second, time of birth been 20H42.
Our daughter who was always going to be part of the experience but was waiting for my friend Julie to ensure she was OK and not been frightened by everything was the only person in the room witnessing the full albeit exceptionally quick birth experience. Julie arrived at the Clinic a whole 3 minutes after us and while asking for me was advised that I had just delivered a baby girl, the shock resulted in a humorous argument at reception as she could not believe that the Bernice that had delivered was me as I literally had just arrived.
We then ironically battled and very unsuccessfully battled to deliver my plancenta. After syntocinon injections, breast feeding, painful manipulation and tugging of the placenta my fantastic gynae Dr Jivkov was called and an “emergency” procedure was scheduled to remove my placenta in theatre. I ended up having an epidural for this procedure and was totally shocked after the near birthing of Jessica in the car to having to endure an epidural to remove the placenta was abit of a shock. Through even this experience, the fantastic staff and atmosphere of this amazing clinic still had me in good spirits, and baby and I slept skin to skin when I came out of theatre.
The staff are fantastic, the way we get treated and looked after is fantastic, the food is excellent my daughter who was with me the whole time was involved and included so much as a family unit, I wouldn’t change anything at all. I will gladly recommend Genesis Clinic to any Mom and Dad to be who want a birth experience that makes them feel involved in the birth of their child and where this is not treated as a clinical medical procedure. Some hotels do not offer the facilities offered by this fantastic Clinic and their dedicated staff.
Bernice Van Der Merwe