19 December 2012

Remembering the birth of my child, the beginning of my life as a mother, of our life as parents, makes me weep with joy every time. Home birth was a given, I cannot remember us even discussing a hospital delivery. I was so extremely lucky, with supportive friends, understanding family, generous experts and the fact that we lived in the right place at the right time. 
First, there was Mrs Ritchie, a retired nurse/midwife who phoned one day and offered free-of charge ante natal classes to both of us. There was a vague connection, a friend of a friend who knew her as a midwife in Nigeria during the Biafra war. There we sat on the carpet in her sitting room and practised breathing and afterwards she poured the tea and offered home made cake.
Then the midwife, pragmatic Helen who had delivered babies out in the sticks of West Cork for 40+ years, she charged 50 pounds for her services, which included three ante-natal visits (the scheduled six were cut short because of the premature delivery) and four weeks of daily post-natal care incl. a pint of milk from her Jersey cows every day. 
And then the doctor, this calm man who had delivered babies all over the place, he charged us nothing, not a penny, for the entire ante-natal care and all the back and forth during labour, incl. staying with us for the final 15 hrs of labour throughout the night. In the end R planted a walnut tree in his garden.

1 comment:

Ellena said...

Oh Sabine, you make me relive the birth of my 7year old grandchild.
I am so proud of my daughter's decision to give birth in a birthing center away from a hospital. Her final 15 hours of labour traumatized me to no end. The midwife suggesting "let's stay on the bed, let's go into the bathtub, let's try it sitting on the toilet, let's try the birthing stool, let's go back into the tub, into bed - the boy was born while she was sitting on the edge of the bed and only after a second midwife had joint the party and after I saw one midwife giving an odd look to the other midwife when some green colored stuff was presenting itself and after a pair of scisors appeared and the ambulance was called and had arrived. I heard afterwards that ambulances coming from a birthing center are not welcome at hospitals. The relatively easy birth of the second boy healed my trauma.
As a side note. I was 20, my Hungarian husband 32 when I started labour. He dropped me off at the hospital and went home to sleep.