After my first birth I had at Al-nisa Maternity hospital, I knew I needed to have that experience again. Baby Kelsey was a surprise pregnancy and when I found out I was pregnant again, I couldn’t bear the thought of giving birth at a government facility. I knew I needed to have a beautiful birth with her too. I was going to go back to Al-nisa Maternity Hospital, but the fees were stressing me out. I prayed to God every day while driving to work and I said “God you know my desires on how I want to birth my baby, I’m giving it over to you” and thinking about it now, He blessed me with an extraordinary beautiful birth. I never posted on Facebook about my pregnancy, but I commented on a competition post and Catherine, an old school friend, which I haven’t spoken to in years, saw my comment and congratulated me on messenger. She then asked me how would I feel about a home birth and it opened a completely new world to me. She told me about Midwife Crystal and I went on the website and I read Crystal’s story on how she started her Home Birthing journey. She had a scripture verse on her website Philippians 4:13 ‘I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength’” and I started crying. I knew this was God’s hand in my birth plan. I called her immediately 8am the morning, crying. I couldn’t even get the words out through my pregnant hormonal state, but Crystal just waited for me to talk. I felt like a crazy lady but I just knew this was it. This was going to be the way I birth my baby girl, in the comfort of my own home.

So, the home birth journey begins and obviously with information right at our fingertips the research begins. At the time I was doing my prenatal visits with Midwife Leanie (also another great midwife that assisted me with every worry I had) and I asked her opinion on the home birth option. She was all for it, which made me feel comfortable. She was excited for me, which in turn made me excited for myself.  Catherine added me to this amazing homebirth group on WhatsApp and wow, the things you learn on there. Also, the ladies are such pillars of strength when you need advice, or just some encouragement. I met Crystal and what a wonderful sweet, gentle soul, that just brings a calming presence when you’re around her. When planning my homebirth, I always envisioned myself on my knees in my living room… This is exactly how it panned out.

At 38 weeks everything was set up and ready for baby’s arrival.  I had my affirmations on the wall, my candles packed out and my Hillsong musical Playlist chosen. I couldn’t wait for my baby to arrive. At 39 weeks Crystal came for my check up on the 14th of June. I was so worried baby is not coming as I had no signs and I was going to have to be induced. She assured me, like she always does I don’t have to worry. If at my 40-week check-up baby hasn’t come, she will do a stretch and. We still asked my 3-year-old daughter when is Kelsey coming and she said “Friday”. Crystal said Friday is a good day and we all decided that Friday will be the day 😉. Friday morning the 17th of June 2022, 4am I woke up with a tightening feeling but brushed it off as I felt it before and as soon as I got up it would disappear.  I didn’t want to get too excited because every night I went to sleep with the anticipation of baby coming and disappointed when nothing was happening. I stayed in bed till 05:30 then finally got up to use the loo. Hubby was getting ready for work. I came out the bathroom and told my hubby that I think something is happening, because at this time the pain was coming and going. I told him don’t tell anyone yet as I thought I still had time because my water never broke (jokes on me) so he must go to work I will let him know when he needs to come home. I also said I’m not going to let Crystal know just yet because it was so early in the morning. I sat on the couch with my coffee and peanut butter toast and tried to eat while catching my breath from the feeling I was having and timing them on my app as they came and went. I got up and started tidying but it was coming and going at this point. I then decided to call Crystal at 6am. I sent her the screenshot of my contractions timer and she called me back to tell me I need to let hubby know he must turn around, call the birth photographer and she’s on her way. Oh, my soul! IT WAS HAPPENING. Just like that. I turned off my lights and lit my candles put on my music and climbed into the shower when hubby got back. At this time the pain was intense as I needed to breathe it out. Crystal got here at 7am, checked me and I was 5CM dilated ALREADY. I couldn’t believe it. They put my awesome cost-effective shower curtain down on my mat in the living room (Yes, no need for a R300 protective sheet. Learnt this on the awesome homebirth group) I rolled a small blankie for my knees and down on my knees I went. Remembering my research on the “Naked Doula” page repeating in my head “KICO” knees in calves out (Knees in Calves Out opens up the pelvic outlet) the contractions was intense. My whole body rocked with each surge. I couldn’t move except for lifting myself with my arms and then back down again. I had the support of my awesome hubby rubbing my back and reminding me to breathe when I forgot.

My toddler had been sleeping and when she woke up at 8am, hubby needed to tend to her but I was never alone because then the amazing Crystal took over, encouraging me and massaging my back. The absolute best thing was the microwavable bean bag Crystal brought with and put on my back. It was an absolute life saver. It helped so much with the pain. It was so special to have my daughter present. She was showing me her videos on the phone and held me and rubbed my hair. She did get scared when I was contracting but we assured her mommy is okay and baby Kelsey is coming. I took my focus off that and turned my face to my affirmations. My body can do this man. It’s DESIGNED to do this. I am strong and I can do this. My body naturally started pushing… that’s when my daughter was getting a bit upset because my moans intensified and she was worried about me. Daddy being the amazing daddy he is took her to the other room and distracted her with her video’s and sat with her. Crystal being as awesome as she is, was my support when hubby couldn’t be there. I pushed and pushed. I can’t even remember how much I pushed but the most relieving feeling of both my births was when I could feel the crowing because then I knew the time is here. She will be in my arms any minute now. I was kneeling and pushing and felt the urge to poop (I know the worst feeling because your butt is literally out there and who wants to poop in front of someone else) Breathless I remember telling Crystal I need to poop and she calmly and gently told me just relax and let go and that’s what I did. That’s when my sweetypie made her appearance at 09:07am. I went from 6cm to 10cm within half an hour. As soon as she was out, she cried and daddy and sissy came out the room to meet beautiful Kelsey. On the floor I sat with her in my arms while daddy and sissy looked over me at the precious addition to our family. It was so special. Crystal helped me to get on the couch putting another sheet on the couch to birth the placenta while bonding with my family.  I honestly can’t even remember the birthing of the placenta through the excitement. Crystal helped me to latch Kelsey and here we sat in the comfort of my own home on the couch having coffee and biscuits. By the way I’m not even sure if I did poop, I asked Crystal and she said no I didn’t. (If I did and she didn’t tell me the truth I thank her that she’s letting me not die of embarrassment lol)

Crystal’s business partner and husband, Jeremy came to pick her up and meet baby Kelsey at 12pm. Around 3pm Crystal messaged to ask how things were and I told her Kelsey didn’t want to wake to feed. The evening came and I still couldn’t get Kelsey to feed. Crystal dropped whatever she was doing and she was here, checking Kelsey’s sugar levels and helping me latch her again.

Our last post-natal appointment was bitter sweet. I was so blessed to have met Crystal and Jeremy and to have them part of my amazing Birth plan. We said our goodbyes but, luckily, we have WhatsApp to still check-in.

It’s such a big beautiful moment in one’s life to bring a baby into this world and to personally get to know your midwife and create this somewhat bond is very special. Every text message or call got answered. It’s a very personal experience.  I am so grateful to God and Midwife by Nature that I experienced such a calm beautiful and different birth. I want to finish this birth story by saying that, women should not be scared of natural birth because that’s what it is… NATURAL. We were destined to birth babies. God made us this way. We are stronger and can handle much more than we think. Empower yourself and advocate for yourself if you have a specific plan in mind.  Don’t let anyone scare you out of a beautiful, natural experience.

Lastly a special thanks to Midwife Leanie for assisting me more than half way through my pregnancy, Catherine for introducing me to this world, Belinda for the beautiful images captured (SimplyBee by B), Jeremy for your kind emails after every appointment, even though I never replied I always appreciated it and a very special person I will hold close to my heart Midwife Crystal for just being you and having the passion you have. You are an incredibly beautiful soul. May the rest of your Home Birth journey be blessed always. I don’t call it a business because it’s not a business but a passion.