Special birth stories / posebne porodne zgodbe

Na Facebooku se je za letošnji adventni čas pojavila spletna stran, kjer je bil “adventni” koledar obarvan čisto babiško. Vsak dan se je namreč objavila druga porodna zgodba, druge ženske, iz drugega kraja/države. In zdelo se mi je primerno, da jih zberem in delim tudi na svoji spletni. Povezava do FB strani kjer so v originalu objavljene zgodbe.

Our first Advent Birth Story 1 – Ireland 

As a midwife I have had the privilege of being present at many births including homebirths. I longed for the home/water birth experience for myself but felt it was something I would never be able to experience. I was expecting my 3rd baby. I had an elective section for my 1st baby (breech) and a baby (born before arrival) on my second; so quite a checkered past! From 37wks I had on/off contractions and false starts!

Then Thursday 17th of December (40 +6) I woke up, brought the kids to school. My husband and I decided to go for something to eat. I felt one or 2 twinges in the restaurant, nothing new there. Arriving home, I kept busy, I felt some more twinges – but these were different, or just mind tricks! All the false starts had shaken my self-trust! Then at 19.00hrs I got a good strong one and said to my husband to put the boys to bed. My midwife was in England on a training course and not due back to Dublin until 20.00hrs. I contacted my second midwife 19.45hrs and told her although things have just started, I felt they are intensifying quickly and were now 4 mins apart. My second midwife was on her way and my other midwife would come straight from the airport.

After the call I had to get onto my hands and knees over my birthing ball, my husband got straight onto ‘pool duty’ and put ‘The National’ on for me to listen to, the only lights were that of the Christmas tree and he got some lavender burning, a purely magical scene. I thought ‘wow’ this is really it, welcomed each surge and felt so excited. Each one was manageable, I kept relaxed with breathing, imagining my baby boy moving down to me (practicing what I preach!).

The midwife arrived at 20.25hrs, so gentle and calm. I felt relieved to have her with us. Surges were 3 mins apart, intensifying and I could really feel him moving down. I got in to the pool. Oh my, was it absolute bliss! I just felt my body melt and it was exactly what I needed. My other midwife arrived at 20.50 and I just said to her “what good timing, I’ve been waiting for you!!” I obviously was waiting as I started experiencing expulsive contractions, wow were they powerful! I new I was so close as the girls were telling me but felt like I couldn’t take much more! Then he arrived at 21.03, born in the water and as his body came out I lifted him up in to my arms… oh the high, the joy, sheer elation, I will never forget. I truly felt like a warrior.

My husband kept me so focused, encouraging me, I felt so close to him. Our 2nd boy then woke up; he was just adorable as he peered in over the ledge of the pool like it was Christmas morning! I couldn’t believe it worked out so perfectly. I had two fantastic midwives who just allowed the whole process to go on undisturbed. They were true masters of the hands off approach. I admired and loved our shared trust in a mother’s own ability to birth.

* Any views or opinions expressed in this story are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the editors : Deirdre, Ans, Jenny. The Advent Birth Story Project cannot guarantee that this message or any attachment is virus free or has not been intercepted and/or amended. Thank you.

Story 2. From USA to my 3rd birth in England

I did my Hypnobirthing exercises daily. I ended up overdue by 42 weeks and longed it out, avoiding appointments to be induced. I woke up with mild stomach cramps. My fiancé left for work and my son was being looked after by our lovely babysitter downstairs. I hung out on my own in my bedroom, eating lightly, drinking water, feeling chilled, in control.

I used the surge breathing and visualisation exercises. My fiancé came home and by 8pm the surges increased. We called the hospital and we decided to go in. I remember the car going over speed bumps.

After a consented exam the midwife said “wow you are 7cm!”. I really wanted a water birth and so I got in. The small problem with having a previous Caesarean is the continuous monitoring, it was interfering with my zen zone as they had to fiddle with the wireless adaptor around my belly.

A 2nd year midwifery student tracked my pregnancy as part of her studies and had been with me through numerous appointments where we had sat chatting about babies, birth and beyond while waiting for my appointments. I had text her earlier that day to let her know the labour had started. She brought some lovely led candles for me which just made the room ambient, I forgot I was in hospital!

Labour progressed, midwives continued to struggle with the monitor and asked me to get out of the birth pool so they could monitor my baby better. At 9cm the OB wanted to break my waters, I said “no let’s wait and see if they go naturally.” There was lots of activity with doctors and midwives which was distracting. I decided to get an epidural. My partner stepped out the room as he hates needles.

My befriended student midwife stepped in and winged it, helped me to stay focused and relaxed. She was amazing. My waters partially broke, there was meconium in them, then they lost baby’s heart rate, I remember the OB telling me they had to get baby out now and it would need to be a general anaesthetic.

I remember being calm and breathing. They rushed me to theatre and performed a crash caesarean. I woke up, my baby was next to me.

My student midwife dressed him in his little outfit I had carefully chosen a few days prior. The next few days were blurry but he and I were alive. Although I was quite poorly, I could not believe I had sailed through something pretty traumatic with a sense of empowerment.

Looking back, my baby’s birth wasn’t the option I would have chosen but it was the hand that nature dealt me. Hypnobirthing helped me. I always knew there was a chance of another C-Section. Hypnobirthing training enabled me to stay in that quiet place within us all where you really feel the strength of your spirit.

So many people helped, inspired and taught me. I wanted to thank: my partner and my love, my student midwife is now a final year midwifery student (probably the only woman who has and ever will see my Uterus)! Thanks to my hypnobirthing teacher, my 2 children who welcomed our new baby into our family and all the kind and caring midwives who are passionate about what they do.

I am still “learning to Dance in the Rain”, but am enjoying the journey!

* Any views or opinions expressed in this story are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the editors : Deirdre, Ans, Jenny. The Advent Birth Story Project cannot guarantee that this message or any attachment is virus free or has not been intercepted and/or amended. Thank you.

Story 3. Ireland 1984

The 21st December 1984 was a long day despite being the shortest day of the year.

Long, because I spent most of it hiding the fact that I was in labour, a long slow labour which suited me fine because I was preparing for Christmas. Our first as a married couple and as parents.

It was my mother-in-law who twigged that I was in labour and my then hubby and I were sent to the GP for confirmation. Strangely enough, I wasn’t worried or nervous.
I was 20 years old and very naive looking back now.

I should have made my hubby come to the maternity hospital with me. But I was ok, when he had to stay at work and his mammy came with me. I was shown the pre-labour room but I couldn’t settle to lie on a bed as the pains came stronger. I must have done enough walking to have walked the length and breath of Ireland. But suddenly I met the ‘BOSS’ and she made me stay on the bed once I was transferred to the labour ward. Labour was eventful and a whole new ball game for me.

I was bursting to push but warned not to. I was told to be a good girl while I was checked and rechecked like the Christmas dinner which I was determined to be home for. The baby wanted to come but wasn’t coming, so like Santa Clause, doctor appeared all dressed up in his festive finery. From that moment the air in the room was electric with motion. My baby was coming with help from him and the midwives.

The last time I was in stirrups was as a child riding my friend’s pony. Despite the pain, all I could do was grin. Everyone moved so fast: it was like the movies, light, camera action. But instead, the words were ‘forceps’, ‘suction’ and ‘PUSH’. I pushed and pushed as I felt life leave me.

My first born was swung around to me by the Doctor who grinned while saying “It’s a little Lady”. The Little Lady made her presence heard by crying until she was put to my breast. The midwives were awesome and helped me get used to Motherhood but insisted Christmas Eve was way too early for me to leave. But I wanted us to be a proper family celebrating our first Christmas together so I wore the lovely ladies down. Christmas 1984 was celebrated at home and Santa brought a doll to our new arrival.
Thanks for giving me the great opportunity to share my birth experience.

* Any views or opinions expressed in this story are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the editors : Deirdre, Ans, Jenny. The Advent Birth Story Project cannot guarantee that this message or any attachment is virus free or has not been intercepted and/or amended. Thank you.

Day 4- our fourth heartwarming Advent Birth Story comes from Switzerland #Adventbirthstory

My first contraction I felt one morning just before I had a pregnancy check-up with the midwife. I mentioned that we might see each other soon. My husband came to pick me up at the midwife’s birth centre and together we rode on our bicycles up to the “house” -mountain of city. I strolled up this mountain, while my husband was riding on his bicycle beside me. Sometimes I had to stop and breathe a bit into my belly. The whole climb I had to do this maybe about seven times.

At the top we met a friend. Together we ate together a bratwurst, enjoyed the sun and the view, and talked about searching an apartment in the city, and much more. In the meantime, I was forced to be silent in order to be able to concentrate on breathing in and out. After being there for a while, I wanted to descend again. My husband drove down-hill, while our girlfriend and I went down by foot. Down below I realized that it was going to be serious. We called the midwife and rolled the bikes directly from the mountain to the birth centre. During the contractions I had to stop and bend over the steering wheel. In one of these steering wheel breaks, a woman passed by on bike and stopped. My husband thought, “What does she want?”.

But it was our midwife, and thus we rode on with the three of us.
Having arrived at the birth centre, the midwife made the suggestion to go to the bathtub rather quickly, perhaps also because I carried some of the smell of the mountain. In the tub, I kind of lost my perception of what went on. I can only remember that the contractions were so strong that I only screamed, or rather roared. Who invented to cope with this by breathing? The midwife tried to get me down with some homeopathic medicine and Bach rescue drops, but the pains were not waves anymore, but they were more like tsunamis, and then those of the very nasty sort. So I got myself through screaming from contraction to contraction.

The tub was my safe cage, I was the wild tiger.

My husband, who was still in his biking clothes and the midwife were sitting there, both were quite calm. They just let me do it. When I thought for the first time, “So, and now it’s enough!”

I also felt very distinct need to push.
The need to push was confirmed with the next contraction. The midwife then thought that I had to come out of the tub, while I would need ground under my feet. Even though she was right, I climbed out of the tub grumbling. I knelt on a mat, felt how with every contraction the little one was slowly on his way down.

Very few contractions later I felt the head being born. And another contraction later the little one came into the world with intact membranes and the umbilical cord around him. A little later, the midwife gave me the little one, who had a slightly blue color, between my legs. I looked at him from head to toe. Thought, it looked quite funny and sympathetic. It was all very quiet around me. There he was. Incredible!

Welcome small man! It is wonderful to have you with us.

Day 4- our fourth heartwarming Advent Birth Story comes from Switzerland #Adventbirthstory

My first contraction I felt one morning just before I had a pregnancy check-up with the midwife. I mentioned that we might see each other soon. My husband came to pick me up at the midwife’s birth centre and together we rode on our bicycles up to the “house” -mountain of city. I strolled up this mountain, while my husband was riding on his bicycle beside me. Sometimes I had to stop and breathe a bit into my belly. The whole climb I had to do this maybe about seven times.

At the top we met a friend. Together we ate together a bratwurst, enjoyed the sun and the view, and talked about searching an apartment in the city, and much more. In the meantime, I was forced to be silent in order to be able to concentrate on breathing in and out. After being there for a while, I wanted to descend again. My husband drove down-hill, while our girlfriend and I went down by foot. Down below I realized that it was going to be serious. We called the midwife and rolled the bikes directly from the mountain to the birth centre. During the contractions I had to stop and bend over the steering wheel. In one of these steering wheel breaks, a woman passed by on bike and stopped. My husband thought, “What does she want?”.

But it was our midwife, and thus we rode on with the three of us.
Having arrived at the birth centre, the midwife made the suggestion to go to the bathtub rather quickly, perhaps also because I carried some of the smell of the mountain. In the tub, I kind of lost my perception of what went on. I can only remember that the contractions were so strong that I only screamed, or rather roared. Who invented to cope with this by breathing? The midwife tried to get me down with some homeopathic medicine and Bach rescue drops, but the pains were not waves anymore, but they were more like tsunamis, and then those of the very nasty sort. So I got myself through screaming from contraction to contraction.

The tub was my safe cage, I was the wild tiger.

My husband, who was still in his biking clothes and the midwife were sitting there, both were quite calm. They just let me do it. When I thought for the first time, “So, and now it’s enough!”

I also felt very distinct need to push.
The need to push was confirmed with the next contraction. The midwife then thought that I had to come out of the tub, while I would need ground under my feet. Even though she was right, I climbed out of the tub grumbling. I knelt on a mat, felt how with every contraction the little one was slowly on his way down.

Very few contractions later I felt the head being born. And another contraction later the little one came into the world with intact membranes and the umbilical cord around him. A little later, the midwife gave me the little one, who had a slightly blue color, between my legs. I looked at him from head to toe. Thought, it looked quite funny and sympathetic. It was all very quiet around me. There he was. Incredible!

Welcome small man! It is wonderful to have you with us.

Story 5. Dads homebirth story – England. #adventbirthstory

On March 11th 2008, my wife was pretty busy. About two weeks later than expected, she was giving birth to our son at home with two midwives caring for her and me hanging on for dear life. We (i.e. my wife) had decided on a homebirth because her experience of hospital birth hadn’t been all that positive because of demoralised staff, there being nowhere near enough of them. We rented a “birthing pool” in which our elder son learned to swim. The emptying and filling had given me something to do. I think I should hold some sort of record for draining-cleaning-filling-warming of birthing pools.

And so it came to pass, our beautiful baby was born in our kitchen. It was with relief and joy (but mostly relief), we saw our baby. My wife was magnificent and all was pretty good – I know it is easy for me to say. It was a bit messy but yes, there he was.
And then all of a sudden, I noticed he was turning blue and didn’t seem to be breathing. Some years previously we had had the terrible experience of seeing our first baby die and so I cannot explain the feeling of seeing our new baby look so ill. Surely not again? At this point, our midwife took charge: laid our baby out straight, put his arms by his side and I really honestly don’t remember what else she did. I do clearly remember that she was calm, decisive and focussed. We knew this was serious but that she was in charge, competent and dealing with the situation. Within moments, he started breathing and the blueness disappeared. And today he is a delightful, robust, funny, clever, beautiful 8 year old.

And so to my thesis. We thanked our midwife for this as well we might. At least I hope we did. But why we didn’t make more of a fuss of her and praise her to all and sundry I do not know. We kept in touch for a while, but time passes and she has moved on to carry out research that will help other midwives and women giving birth. Over the years, she has helped so many women and I am quite sure it was always with the same calm, assured professionalism. Along the way, I have no idea how many lives she has saved but she will have done so many times. How many of us can say that? But that night, she saved more than our baby’s life. We frankly owe her absolutely everything.

I am guessing she would say that she was just doing her job – and to a certain extent that may be true. We needed her there to help my wife and to be there in case of emergency. Which is what she did. I imagine she would say that any Midwife would do the same.

Birth Story 6 – Germany

My story is one of serenity. The day before my due date my husband had a tennis ball hit his ear and it had snowed. Our streets were glittering white under the glorious winter sun when I walked to have a pregnancy massage.

I thought, this would be a wonderful day to be born!

Unfortunately, in the afternoon my mom called me to say that she had admitted my 90-year-old grandfather to hospital because of his worsening heart condition. What a sad turn of feelings!

The next morning, I felt some contractions but I still went with my husband (off sick due to a noise trauma in his ear) to meet my sister for brunch. She hadn’t known about my granddad yet and we were trying to console each other. As we finally returned home, I felt like I was really going into labour. I ran a bath while my husband had to do some work calls. It was definitely going to start that highly anticipated moment of giving birth!
I lighted a scented candle, heated up my thermo and started breathing with the labour which suddenly came in one minute gaps. I just about managed to call my midwife to tell her that our appointment today would be a long one. When my husband came out of his call he decided to have her come immediately. I was already in that delirious state of not caring much about my surroundings. After about 6 hours, a pot of honey and many repetitions of Buena Vista Social Club our beautiful daughter was born!
We went to bed exhausted, happy and a bit nervous about the first few hours alone with the baby. Our midwife came back every morning and evening for the next three days to help me with the breastfeeding. Once she even tried to fix my husband’s ear trauma with osteopathy. He of course had gotten worse with me screaming into his ear when he was holding me during the birth. Despite many struggles, some fever, tears and the news that my granddad would not live into next week, I have never felt so loved, cared for and genuinely happy as during these magical first few weeks. Even now when I think of it, I am overcome by this tender feeling of serenity. I cannot even express the gratitude and admiration I have for the midwives who are facing a lot of difficulties in my country. I hope my daughter will still be able to enjoy such good care when she has children one day!

* Any views or opinions expressed in this story are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the editors : Deirdre, Ans, Jenny. The Advent Birth Story Project cannot guarantee that this message or any attachment is virus free or has not been intercepted and/or amended. Thank you.

Birth Story 7 – A Legal High in Ireland (Circa 1990)

High as a kite from surviving the drive on the road, filled with potholes, navigating the bends at ‘Who Knows Where’…

I argued my point with the security man who kept telling me to calm down. He was full of wisdom of first babies arriving hours after mammy presenting at the hospital, but his face and actions changed when I roared
‘baby is coming and it’s my 4th’.

I was bundled into the lift and straight to the labour ward.

I got even higher on the lovely gas I was given because I refused medication (after being brought up by a woman who floated on the stuff for depression).

At one stage I thought the cry from another baby was mine…
but no such luck. I never really put much thought into how midwives were trained until after the birth.

A trainee midwife helped me give birth, but I was asked first if I would mind another nurse joined the birth. In the throes of childbirth, I didn’t care who came and I didn’t recognise the name. But when she arrived I did recognise my old classmate from national school. She was willing to leave if I was uncomfortable having her there but sure it was fine.

I was on my legal high and she was with me when my son was born.

* Any views or opinions expressed in this story are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the editors : Deirdre, Ans, Jenny. The Advent Birth Story Project cannot guarantee that this message or any attachment is virus free or has not been intercepted and/or amended. Thank you.

Birth Story 8 –Working with a Midwife in the USA

Picture the scene: a mother, exhausted more than she knew possible, reaches down to take her baby from the surgeon she was determined never to meet. Tears and camera flashes from her family members who surround her at the head of the bed, as a proud mother becomes a proud grandmother.

Two weeks before, visiting her midwife in the front room of her home in a suburb of Atlanta, explained to me why she had chosen a different path from the regular Georgian mother. In the state of Georgia, to see anyone other than a hospital obstetrician during your pregnancy, birth and postnatal period was considered out of the ordinary, ‘hippy’, even unclean. Any midwife with a CPM qualification (Certified Professional Midwife) was technically acting illegally in the eyes of the state government, and disgustingly in the eyes of it’s population. Through personal sacrifice and outstanding belief in normal birth however, CPMs ran small home practises throughout the area by jumping loopholes in the law. It was in one of these practises where this woman (a registered nurse) had chosen to have her baby.
‘I don’t think you understand. At my local hospital, they have up to a 70% induction rate, and a 50% c-section rate. I don’t want that. I know that my body can do this. I know it can, and it will do it better at home. Women have been doing this for millions of years. I can do this.’ She had told me intently. A well-rehearsed speech that she must have told everyone who had questioned her choice of birth, including her apprehensive looking mother in the corner. There was no denying that this was a well-informed woman. She could quote statistics from all over the world to support her arguments for a normal home birth. And that was what she was going to have. No ifs, no buts. Her strength of mind was admirable; however, anything but that would have been a failure in her eyes. ‘I can do this. And I will.’ Were her parting words to me as she left her last antenatal appointment at 41 weeks pregnant.

So this is why, as I watched this woman take her baby from the surgeon, after 30 hours of long, hard, labour with little progress, I held my breath. A day and a night of fierce determination, of following her birth plan to the letter, of inspirational strength until the very end. Of regular examinations, of changing positions, of sighs and encouragement and eventually an unhappy baby. All amounted to this. The very last thing that she had wanted.

As I finally let go of my breathe, I looked to her and her new baby girl, ready to comfort the heartbreak and the disappointment of not achieving her goals.

Heart-breaking smiles. Goals achieved. Pride in her eyes. ‘I did it.’
I learned a lot that day.

3rd Year Student – England University

Birth Story 9 – Spain

Hello My name is … I am a midwife …
Even today after 21 years of work, and even if it seems a lie, I still feel excited about each birth, and thanking the parents who share them with us. With them and through them I learned what I know about obstetrics, breastfeeding, postpartum care, links … I am also a mother; and it was thanks to entering this profession that I saw possible that I am also of flesh and blood and could be a mam …
And so I get to have 3 children each one more special: with the first being in the delivery room I said to the father ‘not born because it has no name … and we gave a name. The delivery of the second was very fast, since I arrived at the hospital until baby was born, only an hour! I kept saying: I can not … I can not … and today, a teenager, I hear you say I can not think and of course I listen so much …

And the third: an easy delivery, with anesthesia, a girl to measure, neither too big nor too small, surrounded and cared for by people who love us …
And that day was for us the starting point … from birth to another kind of life with which we had not counted … With our baby, the family was “born” to another unknown reality. At six months we started a route itinerary that leads to today … they diagnosed a generalized developmental disorder …

We were born in a reality different from what the social context considered normal, and that at that time did not have enough tools to help us live with joy day by day. We were born into a context of sadness, of unrecognized anger, which, without being conscious, clouded the joys of everyday life.

We were born in schools with good intentions, and with little experience in these subjects, and in the problems of behavior that sometimes are associated because they do not understand. We were born to a health system that could not give us answers, tools or strategies.
Good or bad, who knows? … And we begin to grow in parallel worlds, knowing different realities, also normal, but that do not identify themselves as such.

… And again every day we are born and celebrate the progress. Learning to thank for what we have, for the day to day; By the people that day by day helps society to be born a new change of look towards the (dis) capacities. To give thanks because they are born and grow near our professionals who accompany, transmit information, tools and strategies to those who surround it to That the reality of many is easier day by day.

And every day is born a situation to celebrate, a smile, a progress, a talent, an opportunity.
And LOVE is breaking through and reborn in hearts that forgot one day to give thanks to life.
Thank you!

* Any views or opinions expressed in this story are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the editors : Deirdre, Ans, Jenny. The Advent Birth Story Project cannot guarantee that this message or any attachment is virus free or has not been intercepted and/or amended. Thank you.

Birth Story 10 – Uganda

…. And one of the trainings was training about preeclampsia and eclampsia. So since then, and I have been here many years, and seen many mothers (..). But, because they had a lot of beliefs and misunderstandings about this condition of eclampsia.

This training helped me and I gained confidence that one time when I was on duty and they tried to say I was demanded. I phoned that there was one, who was bleeding from the mouth, and the legs were solid. And I had to take over, and I examined the mother, and I found that she had a high blood pressure; of 180 over 140. So, they give us, from having convulsions from home, but they did not understand it. So when I checked her… I found I recognised the condition, as eclampsia. 

And before I was trained, I would wait for the doctor to come and administer drugs. But this training helped me that I could not wait for the doctor, so I phoned him, I started. I commenced the IV line. I gave lots of magnesium sulfate as for every day as I learned…

Then I continued preparing the mother, and explaining to the relatives. They were confused, they did not believe that this condition is treatable in the hospital. They thought that yes, come, let’s take her to the hospital, but did not know about that condition the mother had.

So today, now I am an expert. Then I phoned the doctor and the doctors also responded. Then they took the mother for having a primary caesarean section. And after that, the mother was able to get the baby, and we continued the management on her. Continued the medicine dose; the magnesium sulfate for another 24 hours.

And I felt so confident when the doctor came, and also recognised the same symptoms as I had recognised. I was really happy that I was trained, in this many ways. Classifying and recognising preeclampsia and eclampsia.

I thank the people who trained us, and them who sponsored us being trained, and the doctors also, for identifying the midwives to be trained. I am so grateful, and really I feel happy because I am also mentoring my fellow midwives.

These days in labour suite, you look after mother, you work for doctor, and what is possible for the mother as the doctor comes.
I am so grateful for this training.

* Any views or opinions expressed in this story are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the editors : Deirdre, Ans, Jenny. The Advent Birth Story Project cannot guarantee that this message or any attachment is virus free or has not been intercepted and/or amended. Thank you.

Birth Story 11 – Lebanon

Hello, I am a midwife, I work in birth center for refugees with nongovernmental organization.

I would like to share with you all, a real story I experienced during my daily duty that broke my heart. A story of a child mom who has only 12 years old, facing with tears the pain of labor contractions, and afraid to experience the pain of delivery and vaginal exam. When I first checked her, she asked me with her frightened innocent voice “Aunt, please don’t painful me”. She touched my heart…. I am about to deliver a child from a child mother! Then, I started my psychological role of midwife that keep the mom calm and accept the pain of delivery, I tried to help her relaxing and take a deep breath with her. I told her that she’s in the same age as my daughter and Thank I will take care of her. After a few time of admission, she started to tell me her tragic story; she was forced by a 24-year-old man, and exposed many domestic violence and insults, even from her husband’s parents, were she wished to die to get rid from this misery, till she flees away to her mother’s home.
She told me so many stories, her husband used to put shoes in her mouth and hit her hard during her pregnancy until her fetus died… I referred her to the mental health specialist of our center to help me supporting her psychologically during delivery and labor. Then, the little victim trusted me making all necessary manipulations to deliver her. After all hard work, I successfully made her relax, and I accomplished my mission giving birth of her dead baby.

The point that shocked me that she was great full to now her fetus is dead. She told me that she wants to live her “CHILDHOOD”, not “MOTHERHOOD”, she wants to make her school duties and get her education, instead of maternity duties. Then, I explained for her the importance of family planning as soon as possible to prevent any unwanted or early pregnancy, at least in her earlier age. I encourage her joining school, and explained for her the child’s rights.
But the most thing affected me when she mentioned for me some understandable words during I was delivering her, the mental health supporter told me later that the innocent child said “I wish you were my mother”.

Please mothers, please fathers, please all, you can change the world even indirectly, our children is a blessing from God. Be aware to prevent children from any type of abuse.

* Any views or opinions expressed in this story are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the editors : Deirdre, Ans, Jenny. The Advent Birth Story Project cannot guarantee that this message or any attachment is virus free or has not been intercepted and/or amended. Thank you.

Birth Story 12 – Comfort of a homebirth with cancer

I was very lucky to have a very straight forward and uncomplicated pregnancy with my third baby. Unfortunately, at 26 weeks I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma in 2 sites of my right breast.

Whilst my pregnancy remained uncomplicated, I then fell into a rollercoaster of emotions and hospital appointments. At 32 weeks I had a mastectomy. Pathology showed that I actually had 4 tumours not the originally thought 2 and I was scheduled to start chemotherapy a week after my baby was born. Having cancer is a full time ‘job’. In the beginning I was averaging a minimum of three hospital appointments a week. All I wanted to do was spend time with my family. None of the health professionals I came across had really dealt with a pregnant lady with cancer before, with the exception of the gynaecologist. The phrase ‘1 in 2000 pregnancies’ was quoted a lot.

Thus a home birth became increasingly important to myself and my husband. I didn’t want to explain why I wouldn’t be breastfeeding. I didn’t want to be around other ‘normal’ mums whilst in a heightened emotional state. Frankly we had had enough of hospitals. Most of all we didn’t want our baby’s birth tarnished by the cancer. We were lucky enough to have our beautiful baby girl at home uneventfully. It was a much more emotional time than my previous two deliveries because of all we had been through. The worry of our baby surviving my having a general anaesthetic and of course as I held our beautiful baby in my arms I was extremely aware of my own mortality. It was so much nicer and cosier to be tucked up in my own bed with my husband and other children to cherish this incredibly private, emotional family moment. We could weep openly at home. The other benefit of a home birth is that you can have a bacon butty in bed immediately after!!!

I became aware of Mummy’s Star, a charity dedicated to women and their families affected by cancer during pregnancy shortly after a birth through my midwife, when I was 36 weeks pregnant. It was then that I realised that I wasn’t alone. There were other families going through similar times to ourselves. That in itself was a huge support.

* Any views or opinions expressed in this story are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the editors : Deirdre, Ans, Jenny. The Advent Birth Story Project cannot guarantee that this message or any attachment is virus free or has not been intercepted and/or amended. Thank you.

Birth Story 13 – Spain and midwives

This is not the story of a birth; this is the story of two accompaniments. When my companions, my teachers and, at the same time, my midwives welcomed my daughters.
One was the midwife who tells a woman that she is not dilated enough to stay at the hospital, but was also the midwife who was happy when, four hours later, was able to admit her.
The other, was the midwife who, with an amused smile, attended to a husband. He would show her the panties with his eyes wide open, she said “That’s the mucus plug”.
The midwife who respected the baby and that moment so unique, she did not separate her from her mother. She just smiled and said “She’s perfect”.
Another midwife, who was surprised at how fast the second birth was going on and was glad to be able to be there when the baby was born.
And another midwife, who looked into the eyes of an exhausted woman and told her that it was time to push even if it burned.
All these details are part of the two most beautiful stories of my life. Midwives, every day, are part of the most beautiful story in the life of a woman; she will remember these details and remember her midwife.
Make her memories the best possible, as my midwives did.

* Any views or opinions expressed in this story are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the editors : Deirdre, Ans, Jenny. The Advent Birth Story Project cannot guarantee that this message or any attachment is virus free or has not been intercepted and/or amended. Thank you.

Birth Story 14 –An Australian Midwife’s Story

Yesterday, I saw a post on Facebook from a woman I was introduced to eighteen years ago
That long ago a warm and wonderful social worker told me we could make a difference, and so we began a young mum’s class (14-22 years), finding our way as we travelled. In a small room at the hospital, a first for our small country town in NSW, we climbed the learning curve of trying to provide a needed service for those young women with often chaotic lifestyles and sometimes little support.

Very early I met her, and all these years later I count her as a dear friend and a mentor on believing in self. At 20, she had large clear eyes and a slight build, she’s tiny really, wickedly vivacious, yet a young woman whose previous birth had been a torrid extended labour and a traumatic caesarean birth after an unsuccessful forceps at sixteen.
Thankfully she had shaken off her abusive previous partner and found love with her fiancé, but now pregnant again the fear from the previous birth had paralysed her and the scheduled date of her next caesarean approached. She needed to greet this new baby with joy not fear and could I help?

We only had one meeting before the day but we took our time, decided on the most important choices, and planned the way it would be. As her midwife I would not leave her side, her man would be there, we would play the music they had chosen as her baby left the womb, and we would include her in everything she missed out on before in a rushed emergency general anaesthetic.

The birth went well, as did the next a year later, and the next. But between those births, and marriage, and study, she had become a family support worker. A champion of young mums and we laughed and supported each other as we supported many amazing, and beautiful young mums, many whom I count as friends today. Since then she has been to uni, her man let her down, and her marriage ended, and she moved away, but her beautiful children adore their mother and what did I read on Facebook?

She wrote “My gosh I think I live with the next Einstein! Well done on all your incredible hard work! Proud of you!! I’m so celebrating this!  😊
1st Engineering, 1st physics, 1st software design, 1st Math, 2nd chemistry, 2nd extension math, Faculty Science and Information Technology Award for 2016 Mathematics Faculty Award for outstanding achievement College Principles Award for Excellence in the Preliminary Year. And a great heart!”

So I wrote – Like his awesome mother – but agreeing a fabulous man in his own right – congrats everyone xxx
She wrote. “Awe thanks, lovely!! And like his awesome midwife  Xxx”

I had to laugh with delight. How blessed are we to be a part of the lives of such special people!

* Any views or opinions expressed in this story are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the editors : Deirdre, Ans, Jenny. The Advent Birth Story Project cannot guarantee that this message or any attachment is virus free or has not been intercepted and/or amended. Thank you.

Birth Story 15 – Newborn Saves Mothers Life (South Africa)

In SA today we have a horrific hair raising figures of which indicates maternal and foetal death rates, this can happen so quickly and not one but two lives are at stake when taking on a labour case. Today I want to tell you how strong a child can keep a parent, how strong a baby can keep a mother in times of trouble. During my training towards becoming a professional midwife, I had the privilege to work in a very rural clinic setting, where in our city there are only a few places left where government patients can be admitted when in labour.

As I was busy with immunisations and discharges, there was so much noise accompanying into the ward that I went out to quiet them down, not knowing what I was walking into would change my life forever.

There she was non-reactive, unresponsive, cold and clammy – a woman who just became a mother for the very first time, fighting against leaving her child an orphan. She apparently called the ambulance and they came when she was dilated to 8cm, already by this time when the clinic was not even in close range, she began bearing down and in 3rd stage of labour passed. Her baby was kept on her skin to skin as this forms a direct bond and relationship between mother and baby and prevents hypothermia.
As they were approaching the clinic this Mother was bleeding actively the smell of iron and emergency overwhelming, as soon as we took the baby form her to put on the Meco she lost consciousness. Myself and two other student midwives were running around seeking help our supervisors was out on tea break. And suddenly it was like God sent an angel in.

My lecturer/preceptor came in through the doors automatically seeing our faces she knew there was trouble. She had to do bimanual compression of the uterus. The blood was still gushing out, on her request we had to re-examine the placenta and saw that there was pieces missing which means there are retained products which was missed by the ambulance delivery team. After drugs and oxygen was administered we fixed this woman for emergency transfer to a tertiary hospital where she would be treated.
What was so amazing throughout this whole procedure and everything being done she remained unconscious till the moment we placed her baby on her she reacted immediately as if she knew her responsibility and she had to fight for a bigger cause then herself. These two kept each other alive and in that moment I realized that which Agatha Christie says “a mothers’ love for her child is like nothing else in this world, it knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path”, yes even Death I tell you!

Both of them proved science wrong and survived through the power of unconditional love.

Festive Greetings, Midwife SA.

* Any views or opinions expressed in this story are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the editors : Deirdre, Ans, Jenny. The Advent Birth Story Project cannot guarantee that this message or any attachment is virus free or has not been intercepted and/or amended. Thank you.

Birth Story 16 – Unexpected Breech Homebirth

In February a week before my due date, at 2am, I woke suddenly and jumped out of the bed, my water promptly broke and gushed over the floor. I woke my husband who was still sleeping in the bed. He asked if I was sure I didn’t just wee. I went and called my independent midwife to let her know.

She decided to come over right away to check the baby. I had started to get waves of period pain. My midwife suggested I try get some sleep and that she’ll be back later in the morning. She left and my husband went to sleep. I couldn’t sleep, the pain was worse while lying down. I laboured in the shower and on the bed.

After a couple hours my husband text my midwife to tell her the contractors were stronger and painful. She came back to our house around 7am. I soon hopped in the pool which was wonderful, I laboured on my knees, leaning over the side of the pool, my husband and midwife provided counter pressure on my lower back. We let my support people know we were in labour, one friend arrived shortly after. At some point the pains became different and stronger, I could feel my body pushing a bit with each contraction.

Suddenly I felt the baby’s head drop very low and the pushy feeling became overwhelming. Totally swept away by the sensations, when my midwife said, I think the baby is breech! The baby had done a poo straight into the pool.
The baby was starting to emerge, the bottom first with the legs up along the trunk. With every contraction a little more of the baby came, one released at leg at a time, then one arm, the other arm was wrapped around their neck, I couldn’t push past it.
My midwife asked me to stand, I did and she assisted the birth of the arm. With just the head to go I gave one last almighty push and out came our baby. I got out of the pool as the midwife manoeuvred the baby and we sat on the floor.

She was handed to me, grey, floppy, not breathing and beautiful. She looked like her Dad straight away. I gave her a rub on the back, blew air in her face and talked to her. She made some gurgles. I put my mouth over her mouth and nose and blew a tiny puff of air and her lungs opened and gave a cry, opened her big blue eyes and looked around. She quickly perked up, becoming gorgeously pink. We got settled on the couch for some skin to skin cuddles and a breast feed. My second support person and the second midwife had arrived just as she was being born. She was born at 12pm, after a very quick second stage.

She was only a tiny 2.8kg, but absolutely perfect. It was a whirlwind labour and a memorable birth for everyone. We managed to capture some amazing photos of her breech arrival which have been shared on social media.

* Any views or opinions expressed in this story are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the editors : Deirdre, Ans, Jenny. The Advent Birth Story Project cannot guarantee that this message or any attachment is virus free or has not been intercepted and/or amended. Thank you.

Birth Story 17 – Time Stops (Spain)
Feeling tired, fatigued, fearing… but also euphoric, in love, tender…
Ambiguous feelings mixed together in a so unique moment of my life, as a woman, as a mother…

A unique but memorable time forever. September 8th, 2016, 1:30 a.m.
You are jumping to the world for the first time, yelling, crying as a warm welcome. Your eyes full of life, connect with mine.

You look us for the first time with an intense glancing, all of innocence, but curious as well. You get to my chest and keep staring at my eyes. You have big eyes and very open.

I feel the luckiest person in the world. It is only a few moments, but they are so intense. It is like, everything, absolutely everything, all of a sudden, stops.

Nerves have gone away, fear and fatigue have disappeared, and are now euphoria, love and tenderness.

Women who have become mother say the feeling of love for your son can not be compared with anything.

You do not really know what this feeling is until you become a mother.
Now I do.

* Any views or opinions expressed in this story are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the editors : Deirdre, Ans, Jenny. The Advent Birth Story Project cannot guarantee that this message or any attachment is virus free or has not been intercepted and/or amended. Thank you.

**** Birth Story 18 – Slovenia, Croatia at Dawn.

This birth was bestowed upon me as a truly inspiring surprise.
One rainy autumn night I was awoken by a phone call from one of my midwife colleagues. As it likes to happen, two of her women went into labour simultaneously and she needed a midwife to step in. So I headed off to an unknown lady in the company of a doula. Not knowing the woman well and being a new grad, I was having mixed feelings at first but they were soon replaced by inexplicable inner peace. It was the woman’s second pregnancy and the labour started at night with regular contractions. Since the doula and I needed quite some time by car to reach her home, we first communicated with her on the phone. The woman was so unusually undisturbed and calm; she even ensured us we would be there with her just at the right time.

When we stepped through the door of her apartment, we were welcomed by an atmosphere of dim light, calming floral fragrances and a warmhearted hug by the woman and her partner. There was a toddler sleeping in a family bed in the adjoined room. I checked the baby’s heartbeat and together with the doula we prepared everything for the birth as silently as possible. Interestingly, I felt no discomfort not knowing the woman and had no need to spoil the atmosphere by asking too many questions. I just wanted to observe the strength and regularity of the contractions, so I sat down and followed the labouring woman. She was standing, walking and leaning to the kitchen table.

Every time a contraction came, she started dancing with her baby. The longer and harder the contraction, the more deeply she danced. I have hardly ever seen a woman so intuned with her body. Her contractions were regular and were quickly getting stronger. When the baby’s head was rotating inside the pelvis, she swayed her hips like in a state of trance. Her partner followed her lead and supported her movements. The woman was strong and gentle at the same time and radiated immense confidence. The dance lasted about an hour and a half; meanwhile, the toddler was sleeping. Those were truly sacred moments and I felt privileged to be there.
Then the amniotic sac bulged out and broke which caught the woman by surprise. Me and my partner reassured her and said that the baby might follow soon. She was squatting and her partner supported her from the front. When the baby’s head was coming down, she instinctively put her hand on her vagina and slowly welcomed the baby out. It was a gorgeous baby girl born together with the first rays of sunlight. Soon after, her brother woke up and couldn’t hold his excitement. The placenta followed naturally.

The light of day finally opened us up for laughter and chatter over a cup of tea and juicy tangerines. I returned the next day to witness another welcoming scene. The mother was just cooking tea when I arrived. The baby girl lay naked on her mama’s bare chest warmly wrapped up in a sling. She was pinkish and calm and had milk close by.

It did not come to me as a surprise, though, that they had named her “dawn”.