Birth Stories:

Christian's birth story told by his Mum.

Christian’s birth story

Photo: Christian one of my sweetest doula babes!

It was through default that I landed up in Candice Roberts rooms some nine months ago, 8 weeks into my pregnancy. However, after 5 minutes in her consulting rooms, I knew I never wanted any other Gynae. Both Dave and I were so impressed by her calm, nurturing and down-to-earth approach that we immediately felt completely at ease about the journey that lay ahead.

During one of my visits with Candice, I was given Ginny’s details as someone with whom I could do an antenatal class. That’s where it all began… in the lounge of Ginny’s house one weekend in December, where Dave and I were given an inkling of what we would encounter during the birth process. At that stage I had very little knowledge of what a Doula was or what a Doula did. Over the next few weeks, I did some research and, having lost both my parents and knowing I would need much support in the months that followed, I decided to ask Ginny to be my Doula.

Although right up to seven months into the pregnancy I was adamant I wanted a natural birth, due to various reasons I changed my mind and opted for an elective caesarean. I asked Candice if I would be able to watch the caesarean being performed, and she explained a relatively new concept of a natural caesarean - the closest a caesarean can come to a natural birth. Before the baby is taken out of the womb, the ‘curtain’ is taken down, and the mother can watch the baby being gently and slowly lifted out. I was thrilled and grateful to be able to have this option, and immediately agreed.

I remember calling Ginny thereafter, and telling her I was sure I would be fine without her services for the birth itself, it being a Caesar, but knew that I would need her afterwards. After chatting a bit longer to her, I decided that perhaps she should be present for the entire time I was in theatre too. Every day since then I have been thankful for making that decision.

Before Dave and I knew it, the morning of the 27th February 2013 had arrived. We awoke early, both filled with excitement and a great deal of nerves. We arrived at the hospital at 6:00am, and made our way to the reception desk. That was when Ginny swept in, took over, and led the way to the maternity ward. Her calmness and confident assurance in what lay ahead immediately set me at ease. Whilst Dave filled out admission forms, Ginny helped me to answer the one hundred questions, many of which I would have had no idea how to answer without her, that I was being asked by various nursing staff.

I remember feeling completely overwhelmed by a multitude of emotions whilst being wheeled down to theatre, but was so thankful that I could have both Dave and Ginny there for support.

The atmosphere in the theatre was fantastic; happy, joyful, relaxed and calm. I was blessed enough to not only have a fantastic Gynae, but a brilliant Anaesthetist too, to be a part of this magical day. With East Coast Radio pushing out the tunes in the background, the big event began. I had Dave massaging my head, Ginny taking photos and a recording, and staff happily going about the theatre proceedings. Once Candice had done all the necessary incisions, she waited for the curtain to be lowered and for Dave to support my raised head before proceeding.

Our first sight of Christian came as Candice gently lifted his head through the incision. The natural, or skin-to-skin, caesarean gave both me and Christian an experience of birth that was the closest to a vaginal delivery. My little guy was lifted out slowly and calmly whilst I watched in awe. Candice held him up for me to see, and words of congratulations to him from the staff bantered about the theatre. Of course Christian decided that as he arrived into the world, would be a classic time to have his first big wee, which spurted all over the theatre table! I watched my calm little guy, who along with Candice, quite happily waited for his umbilical cord to stop pulsating before Dave was given the special opportunity to cut it.

Christian was officially born at 8:20am, when his little body was entirely out of my womb. After the cord had been cut, he was taken only for a few minutes to be overseen by the Paediatrician, before being placed skin-on-skin on my chest. Within seconds, Christian had found his way to my breast and latched immediately, in fact his latch was so fast and so strong that the Anesthetist said he had never seen anything like it. I had often been made to believe that Caesar babies are traumatized by the events, however Christian was completely content and calm, as was I. It was a beautiful and unforgettable experience.

Being at Alberlito Hospital, which practices Kangaroo Care, Christian stayed on my naked chest for the rest of the day. (Well I did have to share him with my husband!) Nurses at the hospital even encouraged Dave to take off his shirt and practice Kangaroo Care too, which he happily did in the big reclining chair in my ward. During my entire stay in hospital, Christian was never swept away to the nursery (unless I requested an hour shut-eye), not even when visitors came, which is the standard practice in so many hospitals. I am thankful to have been given such a wonderful start to our lives together.

Ginny was an incredible support and provided so much love and care, sitting quietly in the corner of the ward the ENTIRE first day, alleviating any anxieties and answering all the questions that we had about our new arrival. The birth experience was so overwhelming, that Dave and I had forgotten many of the amazing little moments that occurred during the process. We are so grateful that Ginny recorded it on her iPad. Looking at the recording now, we can laugh and smile at the magical memories that were made, for example, we even know that Christian was born to the song “Funky Town” by Lipps Inc., which was playing on East Coast Radio at the time he entered the world.

Throughout my pregnancy, I was very aware of the high probability that I would suffer from post natal depression. I believe it has been due to Ginny’s support as a Doula that I have been able to cope so efficiently with even the toughest of reflux days. I know without a doubt that the birth and early motherhood journey would have been a very difficult and different one had it not been for Ginny’s incredible presence, love and support. Research has linked adequate support post birth to a decrease in post natal depression, something which I entirely agree with from personal experience!  She has continued to be there for us daily, and Dave and I have been amazed by her unselfish, giving nature, ready to help anywhere and everywhere she can.

I think a Doula presence at a birth should be compulsory. I’ll most certainly be using Ginny for number two! J


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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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