We gave birth to our sweet daughter at Geburtshaus Maja. When I think about the birth, I am above all proud and very grateful. Grateful that we chose this place to give birth. Grateful for the wonderful care we received from our midwife Gesche before, during and after the birth, as well as for Vanessa’s caring representation and the powerful support during the birth from our second midwife Sandra. I am proud because the birth was very long and exhausting and we all – mum, dad, baby and midwife – held out until the end and we were able to experience a natural birth that I will remember forever. And a very positive one at that, despite the extreme experience and feat of strength.
We went to the birth centre for the first time on Sunday night. I had been having contractions all day, which were still easy to breathe through but were still clearly noticeable. When we arrived at the birth centre, my cervix was only 1.5 cm – I was still in the latency phase. We were allowed to arrive first to see if the contractions would get stronger. But that didn’t happen and so we went home again after 2-3 hours to try and get some more sleep.
At 4 in the morning, the contractions became much more intense and the intervals became shorter at 4 minutes, so that we were back at the birth centre at 5.30 am. So we all had a short night behind us and a long day ahead of us. Once we arrived, we had plenty of room to listen to our feelings and do what was good for us. I was in the bathtub several times, on the exercise ball, in various positions in and around the bed and worked my way from contraction to contraction. Our midwife, Gesche, was always there for us from start to finish with full commitment, patience and positive energy. But she also gave us the space and peace we needed. I found that very pleasant. I didn’t feel left alone and yet I could sense for myself what was good for me. Personally, vocal toning helped me well during labour and I also received support from Gesche and my husband when it became more intense. They toned with me and helped me through some very intense contractions.
It was already around midday and my waters just wouldn’t break, which meant that the birth was progressing slowly. Gesche had lots of ideas and patience to get it to break naturally. However, due to my large pool of amniotic fluid, this didn’t want to happen. As a result, the contractions didn’t get any more intense for the last few centimetres of cervical opening that were still to come and my reserves of strength were getting smaller and smaller. So at some point we decided together to open the sac artificially. It was the right decision for us, because things continued to progress afterwards.
When the cervix was about to open fully, our daughter had not yet decided in which position she wanted to be born. She was in the process of positioning herself as a stargazer. This would have made the expulsion phase a lot more difficult and we were wondering whether we would have to go to hospital. But Gesche’s experience paid off here too and she had lots of ideas on how we could get the little one to turn. With different positions, patience and room for my intuition, we managed it together – our daughter turned! We were all overjoyed, because there was no way I wanted to go back to the clinic after many hours of work. Perhaps this absolute determination to give birth to our baby in the birthing centre also contributed to her moving into a better position. Now the contractions could come and the goal was close.
The pushing labour then lasted another 2.5 hours. Here, too, I had plenty of space and room to see which positions were good for me and I was also given suggestions as to what I could try. I thought it was a very nice idea that a mirror was placed in front of me. So I could see directly how the little head moved out cm by cm and I knew that the pushing was having an effect. What an incredible experience! I can still remember exactly how the first hairs of her magnificent head of hair appeared. Thanks to the mirror, I now have a real film of the birth of our daughter in my head – a great memory! Gesche also helped me a lot during the contractions by applying gentle pressure to show me which way to push. That was very, very helpful. Gesche and Sandra – the second midwife who joined us at the end – also had lots of motivating words at the ready, which really helped me through the last few hours of labour.
Our daughter’s heartbeat was checked regularly and was always great. We never had to worry about her health and were able to give my body the time it needed to stretch during the contractions. Fortunately, I was spared a ruptured perineum.
My final birthing position was on the bed, leaning against my husband, the mirror in front of us. We were both able to see the birth of our daughter and will probably never forget these images.
In the end, we were able to hold our healthy daughter in our arms and were just incredibly grateful and happy! About 13 hours had passed since we arrived at the birth centre in the morning.
I am sure that the birth would have been very different in a different place. At Geburtshaus Maja we were given a lot of support, space and time to give birth to our daughter naturally. We would make the same decision again at any time and are very grateful to the team at the birth centre.