Birth Stories:

Morgan Hannah Booysen

Little Morgan was preparing me for her arrival for quite some time before the actual day. I was 2 cm dilated2 weeks before she arrived; progressing to 3cm the following week. I remember my pelvis being very sore and uncomfortable and having lots of false labour pains. I kept thinking; maybe today is the day! I tried to keep up the walking and used a heat pack daily those last 2 weeks to try and ease the pelvic pain. I stayed in touch with Ginny; chatting almost daily, and she even offered to come to our final few gynae appointments in preparation for her birth. I worked up until the Friday before she came; I was so relieved to finally be able to sleep in! But on the morning of Tuesday 4 June; I was awake early with Morné, who was getting ready to go to work for a 5:30am client. I remember having some mild back pain: a sensation I hadn’t quite experienced before. I remember reading somewhere that a hot bath would ease any false labour pains: so I ran a bath, but the pains didn’t disappear. I made some tea and was busy packing away laundry when I experienced my first mild contractions. We had gone for a maternity photo shoot the week before and I hadn’t yet posted the photos on facebook. I thought to myself, “We can’t have the baby without our preggiephotos being on facebook!” I managed to do some invoicing for the practice which I had been postponing, post some photos of our pregnancy shoot, and phone Ginny to say I thought I was in labour and I was on my way! I drove myself from Howick to her house in Hilton @ about 7:30am in the slow lane of the highway; half thinking in the back of my mind that I wasn’t quite convinced this was the real deal. I had 3 mildcontractions on the drive over there. I arrived; she checked me out and confirmed that I was in labour! She was calm and cheerful, and I instantly felt like I could relax because I knew I was with someone who knew what they were doing and would take control of the situation. I got into the bath and the warm water really helped to relax me. Ginny helped me to breathe through each contraction, and before long, my hubby was by my side (having left work and cancelled the rest of his clients for the day after Ginny phoned to let him know our baby was on her way!). In his calm way, he sat with me through each contraction, helping to use the contraction app on Ginny’s I-pad to time them. After some time in the bath I got into the bed with the electric blanket on, by this time I was about 5cm dilated. I had a cup of tea and some toast; we chatted and relaxed in between each contraction. We decided to leave for hospital at about 10:30, arriving at Medi-Clinic just on 11:00. Ginny took me through the labour entrance (thankfully, as I had no idea where to go!), and calmly into the labour ward where we were greeted by the best mid-wife I could have hoped to have on duty: Sister Elmarie. She checked me out and said I was 6-7cm dilated and it was too late for the epidural. I was pleasantly surprised at this point because it had felt relatively easy up to now and I was happy at how smoothly it was progressing. We went for a walk; I was wearing Ginny’s red gown and my fluffy pink socks and purple slippers. I remember thinking: “I hope I don’t see anyone I know!” Sister Elmarie checked me again just before 12 midday and suggested we break my waters as not much was happening. Morné went to grab a bite to eat at the coffee shop, and after he left, she broke them at 12:10. The change of pace was instantaneous! In two enormous contractions I was overwhelmed by the need to push. Ginny phoned Morné, he came rushing back, Sister Elmarie checked and said the baby was ready! They hadn’t called the doctor yet as I don’t think anyone thought it would all happen so quickly! I remember her phoning Dr. Dhavarajsaying, “you better get here quickly the baby is coming out!”. My hubby in his calm way, took up his post by my side, Ginny was helping behind me applying counter-pressure, and he held me and supported me through every difficult contraction. Having him support my forearms as I lay on my left side propped by on my left elbow, helped immensely. He talked me through the breathing and told me exactly what was happening on the baby’s side, with Ginny’s help. I remember the gynae walking in with the words, “Well done Mom! Well done Dad! Let’s get this baby out!”. He was very focused on me having the best birth possible and even asked me which position I would like to birth in. Being relatively comfortable on my side, I was happy to stay in this position. He coached me so well through the pushing stage, telling me when to push and when to stop, that baby Morgan came out without any intervention, apart from his guiding hands. I remember feeling huge relief as she came out! I remember my husband exclaiming: “She’s here!” with tears in his eyes, and I remember looking down to see her on the bed in the doctor’s hands. I felt a huge rush of relief that she had arrived safely and quickly, and that the hardest part of the labour was over. Having Ginny, my husband, and a wonderful gynae who was very focused on empowering me, made my birth experience a very positive one! Although the last 40 minutes were very hard, I knew it was going to be worth it. I didn’t once feel fearful or scared, and having my very own doula with me every step of the way, encouraging me and supporting me, made for a unique birth. When I think back on how little Morgan arrived, I feel proud and happy. I don’t look back on the birth with any feelings of trauma, regret, pain or anguish – because I was able to do it my way, with the best support possible and I know that is largely due to our choice to have a doula. Ginny made it possible; she worked so well with our gynae, she was calm and confident with the hospital staff, and she supported Morné and I every step of the way. Morgan Hannah Booysen was born at 12:55pm. They brought her directly onto my chest, and allowed me to bond with her. After some time,Morné cut her cord, and she fed for a little bit after finding her own way to my breast. She was quiet and alert. The hospital staff (under Ginny’s guidance) didn’t take her away to bath her or weigh her – they turned the lights off and left Morné and I to bond with our little baby in the labour ward – such a special time. Somehow amongst all the activity, Ginny managed to take some lovely pics – had it not been for her, we would’ve have remembered or thought to do so. Thank you Ginny! It was truly one of the most wonderful experiences of my life!  Morgan came when she was ready and looking back on it as I write this: it was a perfect day from start to finish!

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What I Do

I am living my dream while working with mums and babies. I see mums when they are 34 weeks pregnant and then go to their homes once they go into labour. I stay for the full duration of the labour and after the birth I assist them with breast feeding. I do another visit after the birth to see that all is well and to help where I can.  Mums are always welcome to call me in the event that they have any questions, whether before or after the birth. I am passionate about my work as a doula and I care and love all the families with which I work. Once you have been present at a birth you feel part of the family and it’s wonderful to hear news of the new baby’s life as he or she grows.

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