I was at the end of my 41st week when I visited Ester on Friday - 21 July 2018. We made the decision to induce me the next day as I had tried everything natural to coax my little boy out of his warm little nest. Ester gave me tablets to take through the night. The next morning we took our two furkids for their last walk as only children, I had very light cramps, but I thought nothing of it as being overdue made me imagine a lot of things and I didn't want to get excited for no reason.
We drove to Genesis. Ester examined me and informed me that we would change to a different option of inducing at 12 if nothing else has happened by then.
She then suggested that we do one last thing - something that seems to make all the babies that are birthed at Genisis, make their appearance, we took a long walk to Zoo Lake, a very long walk. There are a lot of shortcuts to Zoo Lake but Ester decided to take us on the scenic route, through lots of quiet streets, which would lead us to Zoo Lake at last. Of course this did the trick ! We hardly started walking when the cramps started getting stronger, I said nothing as once again I did not want to excite my husband or mother who joined us on the walk. I am sure Ester was aware of what was happening, but even she didn't make a fuss because she knew her plan was working and also she knew that I would get all excited if she informed me that my first stage of labour had started.
We decided to have a small breakfast at Moyo, everyone else may have had a small meal, but Mama Bear was ravenous and even ordered two meals, I had to stock up on energy for what was about to happen. We even had two African singers serenade me with a blessing for my baby, that was so special. After breakfast we had to return to Genisis as I would be induced at 12, once again we skipped the shortcut and took the long way around the park.
Back at the birthing suite, I was nesting and chatting with my mom and husband, we even contemplated on having a nap. Ester had gone "to call my gynea to discuss my progress" . Ingeborg, my birth photographer, of One Heart Photography arrived - We had not called her, as we knew it could still be a while until I went into labour, which means Ester made the call. I even felt bad that she was there "so early" and that she would be spending her whole day at the clinic, waiting for the birth. At that time I did not suspect anything as I was focused on getting my room sorted and breathing through the mild contractions while bouncing on the gym ball. Only now do I realise that Ester knew that I was progressing but knew that I wanted "to go with the flow" without knowing too much.
The contractions got stronger with time but I could still breath through the pain, and chat and laugh with my mom and husband. Ester was monitoring me throughout - keeping her poker face. If she had announced with a big smile on her face: "Alma you are in labour, you are .....cm dilated, your baby will be here soon," I would have freaked out. But this is how well Ester knows her clients and sticks to their birth plans.
At about 2 o'clock the contractions became very strong and I tried to move around to get a more comfortable position, I moved to the bed, Ester tried to rub my back, my husband tried to do his part, but nothing was helping. I started crying and asked my husband to pray for me - it was then when we realised, this is it!
Ester did one more examination and started to prepare the bath as I felt that this was my last resort for the pain, I quickly changed into my "birthing outfit" and could feel "something dropping down and adding pressure to my cervix. I told my husband, the baby is coming and got into that bath. What a relieve! Water birth was never my plan but I am so glad that I had the option.
My water only broke when I got into the water - my husband was fascinated. It might have been an hour or two of extreme pain AND hard work - when you are birthing, you lose all sense of time - and my baby boy was born.
I will never forget the moment captured in this picture, I was hunched over the side of the bath, birthing on my knees, just as I felt I couldn't anymore, Ester spoke for the first time as I asked her how much longer - she answered with "Two more pushes" and then I heard the most beautiful words: "Kyk Alma, hier is Aden - Look Alma, here is Aden". I turned around and she placed my baby boy in my arms.
22 July 2018 - 15:54 Aden Leon Wauts was born. 3.7kg.
I always said I wouldn't cry - well I did, it was such a special moment. I am so thankful to God that I had the birth I prayed for, I know there are so many mommies who wished to have had the same experience that I had.
Thank you Ester for supporting me through my labour, I wouldn't have had it any other way.
To the moms reading this, remember each birth is special and different, even if your birth does not turn out as you hoped it would, remember, you are strong, you are special, you are loved forever because you are a mom.
Photo Credit: One Heart Photography (Ingeborg Sonnichsen)