The hardest part of my last trimester was the waiting game. As a first-time mum, I really didn’t know what to expect. Would my water break? Would she be early? Would labour be quick and fairly painless or would it be like my mum’s when I was born, with 48 hours of pain and pushing? (If our little one’s anything like her mum and dad, I thought the chances of that happening were good.)
As we journeyed through our pregnancy, my husband and I decided on a few things – an epidural was a must (I’m no wonder woman) and that we’d like a natural birth but that we’d ultimately trust our doctor to make the decision. We didn’t know if we were going to welcome a little girl or a boy into this world, which added to the excitement and anticipation.
At 38 weeks, my amniotic fluid looked a little low and there was calcification of my placenta and my gynaecologist wanted to keep a close eye on this. At our 39-week appointment, he announced that they would induce me that night as the amniotic fluid was too low and the placenta was no longer doing its job. We’d trusted him wholeheartedly from the beginning and did not question this. Finding the right doctor was, for me, probably the most important decision during my entire pregnancy and I’d urge all expecting mums to find one they trust and are comfortable with. Plus, my focus was to have a healthy, happy baby
My hospital bag was already packed and we were ready. So began 13 hours of labour after induction. In all that time, very little happened in terms of the progression of active labour and dilation. That was when we decided, on the doctor’s advice and for the sake of our baby, to do a C-section. I remember the doctor saying OK, guys, let’s do this and looking at my husband who was nervous, slightly panicked and, in fact, looked like he was the one about to give birth. We didn’t have a doula. My husband was that and more. He was kind, calm and loving and in the delivery room it felt like it was just the two of us in our own world. The environment was very relaxed and my gynaecologist has an incredible sense of humour. He chatted to my husband and his fantastic team about football and at one point practised welcoming our baby with Hava Nagila. Although we’re not Jewish – not that he minded – it did make me smile.
Probably the biggest lesson I have learnt, is that we can’t control everything in life and giving birth is definitely one of those things that we simply can’t predict or dictate. All you can do, is to educate yourself and keep an open mind.
Our beautiful baby girl, Noa, was born on Thursday 5 July at 16:40. She weighed 3.01kg and was 48cm tall. She came into the world screaming with arms outstretched – it was quite the entrance, really. Seeing her face for the first time is the greatest blessing of my life and equally, seeing my husband’s at the same moment.
Every woman is different, our bodies are different and our birth plans differ but my main focus was to have our baby delivered healthy and happy. How this happened became less important as time went on. Listen to your baby and your body and most importantly, trust your gynaecologist. You’ll hear and read so many opinions and it really becomes a case of too many cooks in the kitchen. Tune out the noise and make the best decision for you. We trusted in God to deliver our baby to us, created in His image and perfect to us in every way. And this He did.