The first staff midwife to birth her baby at Genesis Clinic!

Roald Nieuwoudt, born at Genesis Clinic on 3 August 2010

birthjurietPrivate Midwife, Juriet Nieuwoudt, was (at that time), the first staff midwife to birth her baby at Genesis Clinic! Here she tells her baby’s birth story.

I wasn’t particularly looking to fall pregnant again as I already had 3 kids ( more than enough according to me), as well as that  I had recently started my own midwifery practice. So juggling the practice, being a full time staff midwife at Genesis as well as being a mom was more than enough for me. But as luck would have it something else was written in my stars than what I had intended.

Initially , I was quite embarrassed about being pregnant yet again and only told my husband. What I found though was the longer I kept quiet about it , the more difficult it got to “disclose my status”. Every time I thought it was a good time to announce my pregnancy somebody else would spill their beans before me. First it was our unit manager Tamzin and then my business partner and colleague Nicolette. When I got to my 12th week of pregnancy I had no choice but to tell the hospital manager. When I told her that I had some news, the first thing she said was:” Please don’t tell me you are also pregnant”. The news didn’t go down too badly and life went on from there.

I had my first 3 children with Growth Spurt (Sandi delivered all of them) and I really needed my trusted midwife, colleague and friend to deliver this baby as well. But Sandi had given up private practice when Growth Spurt moved their  practice to Genesis and this was a huge problem for me. I phoned my friend and told her that number 4 was on the way and I really wanted her to birth this little Nieuwoudt as well. Sandi agreed to come “out of retirement” for the delivery of my little one. But seeing as she was working full time at Linkwood, we had to work out a plan B for in case she could not come out for the delivery. So I kept on seeing Growth Spurt for my ante natal check – ups and I had arranged that if I could not get hold of Sandi I would phone Henny directly and we would work out an alternative. So with all my ducks in a row , I continued my pregnancy without much problems (Except for the ever present heartburn).

I was due to start my maternity leave on the 1st of August, but as it was a Sunday and I was working the Saturday, Tamzin could not find anyone to work in my place on the Sunday. So she asked me to postpone my maternity leave to the 2nd and I obliged.

I finished my shift on the first and was grateful that my maternity leave had finally begun as I was quite exhausted. On Sunday night at midnight I started having contractions about every five minutes and I decided to just keep an eye on them for a while as I wasn’t going to wake every one up for a false alarm. About two hours later the contractions tapered down and I finally managed to fall asleep again. The whole of Monday though I was not feeling myself. Just utterly exhausted and listless. I slept till about 11h00 and then went about my daily routine with much effort. Finally it was time to go to sleep for the night and I was relieved. I had slept for about an hour when I woke up at 23h00 with contractions and I thought, “oh here we go again. Another night without rest.” I timed the contractions for about an hour until 00h00 and then decided that this was not another false alarm, but the real deal. So I woke my husband up, phoned my parents to tell them that we were bringing the kids over and got all our bags together and in the car. As Murphy would have it I tried getting hold of Sandi and her phone just rang and eventually went to voice mail. When I could not get hold of Sandi I phoned Genesis and booked a bed and I thought that if worst comes to worst one of my colleagues would be the lucky one to deliver my baby. Then I phoned Henny as arranged and she told me that Linda (her partner) was already at Genesis with another client so I could just go through.

While dropping off the kids at my parents house Linda phoned me and asked how I was feeling. I was coping pretty well at this stage. She said that I should just let them know if anything changes in the car so they can run the bath for me before I arrive. Half way to the clinic my contractions started getting quite intense and I was sure that I was going into active labour, so I phoned  Genesis and told them to run the bath so long. We finally arrived at Genesis at about 01h00 and I was still able to crack jokes (So I think my colleagues Tegan and Nicola were not convinced that I was actually in labour). Nicola told me after the fact that I would just get this far off look on my face when having a contraction and when it was gone I would say “oh that was a tuff one” and just go on as normal. I had prayed very hard for a quick labour this time around as my third child’s labour was a long and dragged out event and I knew I would not be able to cope with that again. So I was quite relieved when Linda checked me and I was 5 to 6 cm dilated. We did a short CTG tracing of baby’s heart and I promptly got in the bath that was ready and waiting. What a relief to get in the water. It just feels like you are on another planet when you get into the water. It is so soothing, but at the same time my contractions now really started getting quite intense. So being the sissy that I am, I told Linda that I needed Pethidine and Aterax. I think she thought I was kidding and for about 10minutes she just bluntly ignored me. So I said to her “ Linda, I was not joking. I really need something for the pain” She eventually obliged and I had my pain meds.

Approximately 10 minutes after she gave me the pain relief, I had the urge to bear down. When Linda checked I was only 7cm dilated, but as I gave a push my cervix just disappeared and I knew that I could now give it my all. What a nice feeling to be able to push and bring my baby out into this world.

Listening and doing what Linda coached me to do with the crowning of the baby’s head took a lot of effort as the desire to push was so intense. But I knew that I had to listen carefully to her instructions if I wanted to avoid any tears.

At 01h48, my precious baby boy Roald Nieuwoudt (Meaning: famous ruler) slipped into the world and into his mommy’s heart. He weighed in at 3,35kg and was perfect in every way and I was so happy that my wish for a short labour had been granted. Unfortunately I sustained a skin snick and Linda had to give me one stitch as I was bleeding (quite disappointing as I had been intact with my last two babies, but at the same time not the end of the world).

At 05h00 my phone rang and it was Sandi. She had forgotten her phone in her handbag in the lounge and never heard it ring. When she woke up to go to the loo, she realised she didn’t set her alarm on her phone and went looking for it. That is when she got my message that I was in labour. But in the end all’s well that end well.

After being back at work I needed to do combined statistics for Genesis for the whole of 2010 and when going back into the maternity register I found it quite amusing that the first entry in the register for August I was present at the birth and the entry after that was my birth.