Our Home Birth by Brent Palmer

There seems to be a divide in the birthing community as to the best way to bring a child into this mad world; should it be the ‘safe’ clinical surrounds of a hospital or the warm comfort of home? We chose the latter. But beware, if you think bringing home a new TV and getting it out of the box is hard, well this is nearly as hard

Of course I am in no position to be speaking about the hardships of child birth because all I did on the day was stroke my wife’s back through the contractions while she dug her fingernails into my flesh, bearing her teeth and snarling ‘You did this!’ Despite this I have so much respect for my wife Lesley, I wouldn’t even be able to consider the levels of pain and discomfort she went through; quite frankly a big poo puts me on my nerves and I always scream out loud, no matter where I am. Once the Blue Route mall staff had to come and break down my cubicle door. That was embarrassing but also cool because I was at primary school with one of them. Small world

An hour before my son Samuel arrived; I was still edgy and pacing; offering Lana the doula and Sandy the midwife drinks; “Teas anybody? Rooibos? Ceylon? Anybody?” The main reason I was doing this was because my mother trained me well; also whenever I feel nervous I offer people tea. My dentist hates this about me. However my feelings of uselessness were about to change when Sandy approached me in the kitchen, and informed me that Lesley had dilated to six centimetres and assured me that Samuel would be arriving before midnight – at home! I absorbed this information, felt a rising panic within me before asking if she wanted some tea

That conversation took place just before 6pm and Samuel arrived at 6.42pm. In those forty two minutes; Lesley sat in between my legs on the fold out bed and pushed as hard as she could, while I screamed. Then Lesley looked and me; said ‘Do you mind?’ and I let her get on with it. Wow! That was undoubtedly the most beautiful and surreal moment I have ever experienced, second only to seeing Duran Duran at the Good Hope Centre in 1993. Good concert, questionable acoustics

I am a recent convert to witnessing babies being pushed out on fold out matresses in guest bedrooms but only because I didn’t think it possible before. I think it’s an awesome way for a kid to come into the world; I mean childbirth is not a necessarily a medical condition like my piles problem for instance; making me stand and scratch inside my bum while typing this email  … here at the Spur

When I reflect now on the whole experience, I would say it just felt normal. When I fully allowed myself to be present it felt incredibly safe; this was made so much easier knowing we were in the safe hands of Sandy and Lana. These women are so efficient, they could run a small country. Their political slogan would read, ‘Push for jobs! Push for houses! Push for education! Push!!!’ We have so much respect for them and felt absolutely safe in their hands

In fact I discovered that the most risky thing about our home birth was a week later when we got a bill for 2k from the doctor who wasn’t present and didn’t even know we had had our baby. They were probably playing golf while I was screaming and my wife was pushing. They got two grand and we got the hole in one and a beautiful baby boy

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