Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Friday, 21 September 2007

HVBA2C here in Cape Town :)

So we have had our first proper planned VBA2C* here in Cape Town and not only that, it was a HOME birth too!!!

The lady contacted me in March/April when she first found out she was pregnant asking about the possibility of a VBA2C and whether I'd be prepared to support her, and I have been ever since. We have corresponded - from across the country - almost daily since, and her and I have learned almost all there is to know about VBA2C. It's been quite a journey.

She came down to Cape Town at 35 weeks and we finally met in real life, although we felt like old friends already. We have had many phone conversations too.

We found her a midwife to support her, and because no gynae would we were planning to do early labour at home - MY HOME because I live close to the hospital and her mom's home is nearly an hours drive - and then go through to a local government hospital for the actual birth (it's more complicated but I won't go into everything here and now).

Here's a brief summary of what happened with the labour and birth:

She started having mild contractions on Monday and was leaking fluid. She was examined by the midwife and found to be in early labour and with a 'high' leak. She laboured for several hours and then things slowed down and then stopped.

This pattern repeated over the next few days, on and off, but the leaking stopped. She was seeing the local midwife regularly, and both her and baby stayed well and healthy throughout.

I saw her on Monday and again on Wednesday, and she was looking and doing great and practising with the TENS machine when she was having contractions etc, but doing really well. She has stayed calm, and positive and confident throughout this entire journey, She is a real lady. So lovely.

She had a routine hospital appointment yesterday, and the hospital were getting twitchy and wanted her admitted right then for a Caesarean right then. Saying baby would 'never cope with contractions'. I told her to just 'nod and smile'. We didn't want to tell them that her and baby had been happily coping with contractions for days already, else they would have panicked more. She insisted on leaving and said she'd think about the Caesarean. But the hospital staff really scared her and used the 'fine if you want to risk your baby's life' tactics, they told her her baby was losing weight, didn't have enough fluid and wasn't strong blah blah blah etc ARGH!

She saw the midwife again last night who assured her that all was still well.

This morning I spoke to her at just after 8 and she wasn't sounding that happy any more. I asked what was wrong, and she said she was having some strong pains, and was tired and couldn't rest. Her voice changed and I said 'What's wrong?' I suddenly realised, and said, 'Are you having a contraction right now?' she said yes. I told her to phone the midwife because it was the first time she hadn't been able to talk through contractions, and that's a sure sign that things are hotting up.

I had a meeting from 8:30 - 9:30. At 9:00 she sent an SMS saying she wasn't coping and was yelling during contractions (I missed this because I was still in meeting - an interview!!!). I phoned as soon as I could at 9:30 and got the midwife. The midwife was with her at home and said things were definitely happening, and soon. She said they'd called an ambulance to transport her to the hospital, but she didn't think the ambulance would get there in time. She told me not to head out there (far) because I wouldn't get there either and they may have left already by then etc. So the plans to do early labour at my house were out the window.

I so wanted to be with her, but I was a good 45-60 mins away.

Anyway to cut a long story short.


She gave birth at 10:18am to a baby boy at HOME with a midwife in attendance.

(Incidentally on Monday night I dreamed that she gave birth to a little boy at home with the midwife and that I didn't get there in time, and for 2 months I have been telling her I think she will go into labour at 39 weeks and she did. So all my intuition about her has been spot on.)

I am a little disappointed that I wasn't there for her, but much more than that I am thrilled that she got what she wanted and DID IT. and I know she was well cared for and supported by the midwife.

I went to see her and she is so blissful, feeling shocked, elated and very happy. She can't believe she gave birth next to her own bed with her 2 young children right there watching. She was half laughing and half crying and can't believe it herself. She is breastfeeding well and is over the moon. She said she only saw her previous 2 babies the NEXT day after birth, so is revelling in snuggling with her new born, and she is a complete midwife convert now too. She LOVES her midwife :)

I am so proud of her. She has got what she wanted despite massive odds against her.

Just sharing some happy new on a Friday.

*Vaginal Birth After 2 (previous) Caesareans


  1. Wow!! How exciting! Such a pity that you missed it though. Well done with all the support you gave her though.

  2. That is SO wonderful!!! So glad she could do what she wanted and she had the support to realize she could.

    Just a question though - why could she only see her other two a day after the birth?

  3. Hi Melany, To be honest I don't know, but I have heard a lot of people say that, so it's not uncommon. Many people say they had to beg to see their babies after being in recovery for hours, and some have to wait till they can walk again so they can go see their babas in the nursery. So sad :(