My Amazing Home Birth!

Well, at last my baby is here so now I can tell you if the baby is a girl or boy it’s name and all about my home birth.

On Sunday 25th April we were out most of the day at the UCT rugby fields in Cape Town as my husband was running in the Shawco Relay. It was a lovely day so we watched the race and had a braai although it was a pain to keep being asked why I still hadn’t given birth as by now I was long overdue! I think that is one of the most irritating questions, “Are you still here, when is the baby coming?” what the hell do I know I also want to have an insight of the due date lol!

I was feeling tired, heavy with a backache and little contractions which seemed like Braxton Hicks! I chilled that evening after a long leisurely bath and watching a film on TV. It seems funny but after we had finished the film, we were watching the baby move around in my tummy then my hubby gently shook my tummy and asked, “Come on, it’s time to come out now!” Not long after that I felt a sharp contraction and my waters broke, not a gush like you would imagine just a constant trickle then no more contractions. What’s that all about huh!

Nothing much happened after that so we all went to bed although I didn’t sleep very well as I knew baby was on the way and felt apprehensive and excited all at the same time. Around 03:00 I as having very mild contractions so I got up and made a cup of tea, I am British after all and tea is the cure for EVERYTHING! My Mum who was over from the UK came into the kitchen and rubbed my back for me which was aching and I started getting stronger contractions coming every 3 minutes and lasting about 40 seconds.

My midwife was based in Constantia so my husband called her at 04:00 to let her know labour had started and it did cross my mind that she might not make it in time and then all the cynics would say I told you so why did you opt for a home birth when you could have gone to a lovely private clinic. Any way she arrived at 04:00 by which time the contractions were very strong and I was getting quite tense, she calmly ran me a deep bath and I lay there for a good 30 minutes which was so soothing as the contractions felt less intense and I enjoyed having my husband scoop water and run it over my tummy.

Suddenly the contractions started getting very strong, I had to change my breathing and the midwife also called Denise, (that can be confusing during labour I tell you especially as I am half deaf lol), told me to imagine I was climbing a mountain with each contraction. I think I must have climbed the entire Himalayas and Mount Everest then I had the most incredible urge to push so it was all hands-on deck.

My husband found the strength to scoop me up out of the bath while Denise dried me as my Mum was busy looking for an extension lead to move the bedside lamp to the other side of the bed. We wanted soft lights and classical music for our baby’s entrance to the world, not sure why we were moving lamps at this crucial moment, lack of foresight I guess. Once on the bed Denise examined me to discover I was fully dilated and ready to deliver. I had terrific backache so Denise had me get on all fours which helped, then my Mum rubbed my back while hubby was mopping my brow, giving me water to drink and helping me with my breathing.

At this point I turned into a witch and shouted at my helpers because I couldn’t hear them properly, my hubby wasn’t breathing right with me and the wet cloth brow mopping and my fringe was sooo irritating, in fact at this point whatever he did was going to be wrong ha ha! Then that wonderful moment when I was told I could push, it took 11 minutes to deliver the head and another 9 minutes for the shoulders and body which shot out quite quickly and surprised us all. I heard my Mum shout out, “It’s a BOY, it’s a BOY”, as he was put through my legs so that I could hold him then I came up crying with emotion, hugging my baby boy and kissing my husband so relieved it was over and that the baby was so perfect.

My baby boy had an Apgar score of 10 out of 10 and I put him to the breast immediately and had the skin to skin contact while the placenta was delivered.

My other children came in immediately after this and Denise showed them the placenta and sac he was in and after they each had a cuddle and got to meet their new baby brother they went with my hubby to bury his placenta in the garden. I had delayed clamping and when the cord was finally cut I felt a sense of the final link of my baby being attached to me was gone – he was now on his own!

After a period of bonding and once the family had left to have more tea Denise ran me a bath while my husband bathed me and washed my hair. I climbed back into a freshly made bed with … you guessed it another cup of tea and toast. Denise had tended to the baby while I was bathing then once I was tucked up in bed she brought him back to me to go on the breast where he fell asleep totally content and perfect with me on cloud nine!

We named our son, Keagan but as his sisters all spelt it Kiegen in his welcome to the world letters we decided to leave it like that as it was different! He weighed 3.7 kilos, 52cms, 36cm head circumference and was born at 05:50 on the 26th April 10 days past his due date.

I loved that first 48 hours of feeling euphoric and marvelling at every small detail of my beautiful baby boy, his nails, eyebrows and lashes, his hands, feet and absolutely perfect features. I loved my perfect home birth which I fought so hard to have and would not have wanted it any other way, I had my family around me, I was in the comfort of my own home, in my own bed and doing what women have been doing for centuries. We are so beautifully made and the sheer pleasure of the feeling of a born baby all slippery, damp and hot lying at your breast is like nothing on earth.

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