Right from the start, it seemed only logical to me to go to a birth centre for the birth of my first child. Firstly, I had never been in hospital myself before and secondly, I think it’s right and wonderful that the pre/post-natal care and birth can be accompanied by one and the same person.
My son was already 11 days past his due date. If I had planned a hospital birth, I probably wouldn’t have had this freedom. The next day, we wanted to give the contractions a boost under supervision, but they came on their own that night. Our midwife advised me to breathe in the contractions at home, in familiar surroundings, for as long as possible. Many hours later, the next afternoon, this no longer seemed possible and we were already expected at the birthing centre. The hours there were very intense for me, Gesche stood by me with a great sense for distance and closeness at the right moments. My partner let me squeeze his hand, I felt well looked after and welcome. I also had enough space to breathe and try things out. Nevertheless, things didn’t really want to progress. The cervix only opened slowly, the baby wasn’t moving enough into the pelvis, the amniotic sac shouldn’t be opened because of a streptococcal infection and I was getting more and more exhausted. After 6 hours of labour in the birth centre, it became clear that I would not be able to avoid a transfer to hospital. Sadness, powerlessness, frustration and the loss of my motivation began to set in. But I relied on my trust in our midwife and indeed: once I was admitted to the delivery room and felt like I was hanging from a thousand tubes with an epidural and a drip, I realised that Gesche had made the absolutely right decision for us. That I wouldn’t have made it without medication. After 6 more hours, our son was born with the help of a great, competent, caring midwife.
In retrospect, I am glad that I was able to get to know both birth centre and the hospital without any hardship and that I was able to rely on the midwife’s expertise and that help was close by at the right time.