Birth story - Sascha and baby girl

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My first two births were completely different. My first was 2 days long and ended in a ventouse delivery, the second was quick and I ended up giving birth in the lift on my way to the delivery department of my hospital.

When I was 31 weeks pregnant I emigrated from the U.K. to South Africa. In South Africa they have a really high percentage of c-section births. Around 80% I was told. I was really worried that although I had already been through 2 natural births, I may be pushed towards a more medical birth during labour.

I found an amazing private midwife company that supported natural birthing and decided to try a home birth this time. Many people questioned my decision, especially in South Africa. This is where the digital pack really came to my aid. I had many wobbles over my decision and kept wondering if it would just be easier to have a hospital birth. The videos helped calm my nerves and confirmed my original decision was best for me. I practiced my up breathing and listened to the positive affirmations track regularly from around 30 weeks.

I woke up at 2am Friday morning (41 weeks), with what I thought were Braxton Hicks. I had been having Braxton Hicks for months, some nights they were really strong so at first I didn’t think I was in labour. I sat in bed trying to sleep and realised that they might not be Braxton Hicks as they were at regular intervals of 10 mins. By 4:30 I got up and had a drink and a snack in case this was it. Moving around increased the surges to every 5 mins, they were short and I only had to do a couple of up breaths before it was over.

I messaged the midwife to let her know I could possibly be in labour and asked me to let her know when the surges got more frequent or more intense. At this point I woke my husband to let him know today could be the day. Whilst he organised our 2 girls breakfast and got his mother to watch them in another room, I put on my headphones and turned on the positive affirmations track. I listened to this track on repeat for 2 hours and it helped so much. It meant I didn’t allow any negative thoughts or panic to enter my head. All I had to do was concentrate on my breathing and the words.

At 6am I messaged the midwife again to say the surges were now every 3 mins and increasing in intensity. She said she was on her way but suggested I take a birth to slow things down until she got there. I preferred to be standing and didn’t think birth was imminent so I remained standing but stopped walking around the bedroom and I found the surges came closer together if I moved around.

The midwife arrived around 6:45am. I was able to chat with her in between surges but by now had to concentrate on my up breathing.

At 7:30am the midwife asked if she could examine me to see how I was doing? Third births can have a long early labour and if that was the case for me she would have come back a bit later. I didn’t mind being examined so I said yes. Although as she was doing it I did think how upset I would feel if she said you are only a couple of centimetres dilated.

Thankfully she told me I was fully dilated, I couldn’t believe I was able to get to this point comfortably with just up breathing and positive affirmations. The baby was still high up but I knew from my second birth that once my waters break the baby moves down.

With the next few surges my waters broke and I was soon bearing down and birthing the baby. There was a point when the head was nearly out where I had a wobble and said I don’t think I can do this anymore. But I knew that was tiredness and the fact that it was nearly over making me feel this way. My midwife assured me that I would be meeting my baby very soon so I concentrated on my down breathing and my baby was born.

I couldn’t believe I had done it at home. I was able to get in my own bed and have skin to skin with my daughter. Then take a shower in my own home and get into my bed. My other 2 daughters had just finished breakfast and got to come straight in and meet their new sister. Such special memories.

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I 100% recommend the digital pack regardless of which type of birth you plan for or end up having. Thank you to the positive birth company team for creating an affordable and invaluable birthing tool ❤️

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