Hieronder het verslag van doula Jacky Bloemraad-de Boer, zoals zij dat na een bevalling aan de moeder gaf. Het verhaal van je bevalling is toch een prachtig cadeau op het kraambed! (een doula is: 'een coach die een vrouw ondersteunt tijdens de zwangerschap, de bevalling en de periode erna. Indien gewenst is de doula gedurende de hele bevalling aanwezig, hoe lang een bevalling ook duurt. Een doula wijkt niet van de zijde van de bevallende vrouw en is uitsluitend gericht op haar welzijn, door haar te masseren, te verzorgen, te bemoedigen en door gewoon aanwezig te zijn... Een doula geeft geen medische ondersteuning, zij begeleidt uitsluitend vanuit haar kunde en ervaring.'- geciteerd uit Vrije Geboorte. Deze doula was tegelijk ook verloskunde student, vandaar dat ze enkele medische handelingen uitvoerde.)
At 08:30 - On Saturday the 22nd of May you sms me; "Hoi Jacky en Michelle, ik ben nu rustig aan begonnen met m'n weeën, gisteravond heldere druppels, vanochtend rose, nu helderrode druppels. A ..." To be honest I am anything but surprised even though you are only 39 weeks + 5 days. I sms you back to say, great and that I will hear when you wanted me to come.
At 09:17 - I feel the need to hear your voice (just to check). I phone and you answer the phone in a clear and happy voice. You and Diana were having breakfast and there is lots of laughing going on. At this stage I discover that instead of Michelle (vroedvrouw, A.M.K.) reacting to your sms, her back-up has called you to discuss things. You seem unconcerned about it at this stage.
You get a contraction; it sounds quite strong but very short – it is actually interrupted by something Diana says and you end up laughing half way through. Having heard this I feel comfortable with not being there as yet and say again that you must call immediately if you want me to come.
'You get a contraction; it sounds quite strong but very short – it is actually interrupted by something Diana says and you end up laughing half way through.'
10:03 – Diana calls: could I please come now?
10:30 – I arrive. Diana opens the door with a big smile. She says you are well into your contractions and that they seem to be coming close together. She has gotten the birth pool ready and seems to have things wonderfully under control. I love her already!
You are on your bed, the curtains are drawn, you are on hands and knees: head low on the bed, bottom in the air, knees spread wide. As I walk in you get a contraction; you make deep moaning sounds, and take short, strong breaths. The contraction is more than a minute long and you need all your concentration to work with it.
“I am feeling very stoned”, you tell me. Your head goes back down into the bed and your face disappears under your curls. I get you some water, ask Diana to fill a hot water bottle and then the next contraction is already there; they are 3 minutes apart and strong.
10:50 – You get into the birth pool (with these contractions I am not afraid that it may be too soon). You sigh with relief as you lower yourself into the (very) warm water. You are on your knees in a Japanese squat, hanging over the side. The contractions are coming in long powerful waves every 2 minutes and you make deep guttural sounds with each one. I am sitting in front of you, pushing the acupressure points on your hands.
You are suddenly very hot. “One bucket of cold water in!” You demand. I also ask for a cold cloth for your face and Diana rushes off to get both. You hang onto the side, relaxing between contractions even though you only have around 1 to 2 minutes to do so.
11:00 – I phone the midwife. It is Sophie-Anne; Michelle is away for the weekend. We discuss what to do. She is just arriving at a postpartum visit so we decide that I should check your dilation and get back to her if needed and otherwise she will come after her visit.
11:15 – I check you while you are on hands and knees in the bath. You have 6 to 7 cm with a thin well-effaced cervix! Your baby is nice and low (I think I feel the membranes even though you thought that they had broken) and his heartbeat is perfect.
You are very, concentrated but calm. There is much burping and then good deep sound during a contraction. You are in a wonderful rhythm, you know exactly what you want: “One bucket out, one cold in!” you command. In fact it is like a perfectly composed symphony; you conduct, we play, there is no misunderstanding and no confusion. You have changed sides of the pool and now I place a cold wet towel under your head and arms and you disappear into you own world.
'In fact it is like a perfectly composed symphony; you conduct, we play, there is no misunderstanding and no confusion.'
11:35 – I place 4 acupuncture needles in your calves. These are for pain management. During contractions I am still pushing on the acupressure points on your hands.
11:45 – Sophie-Anne arrives. You are vaguely aware that she is there and we just continue the ritual of breathing and moaning through each contraction. It is quite obvious that you are in transition. You say “Fuck, nee!” and then in the very next breath we lock eyes and you say “JAAAA, ja, ja”.
'You say “Fuck, nee!” and then in the very next breath we lock eyes and you say “JAAAA, ja, ja."'
12:00 - I slip away and phone Michelle to check what she is has in mind. She is out of town and feels horrible about missing your birth. She asks me to call Bea to see if she will come. Bea does not answer her phone. I come back and take my place in front of you.
12:30 –In the middle of a contraction your breath catches and it becomes clear that you are just about ready to push!
12:35 – I quickly check you and find that you are fully dilated. Just then Bea calls me and I discuss with her whether she should come or not. To me it feels okay as we are and that for Bea to come now would only disturb the perfect balance.
I light a candle and bring it with me into the birthing room. You look up and call out, “BEA!” I say yes, she is here too.
12:45 – As the contraction hits you, you shout, “POEP, POEP, POEP!” and so you start to push. You stay as you are, on hands and knees in the bath, hanging over the side. I sit in front of you with a rebozo (doek die ook voor een speciaal soort massage wordt gebruikt, A.M.K.) around my torso and you hold onto the ends and pull with each wave that takes over your body.
13:00 - Sophie-Anne sees a bulge of the amniotic sac (de vliezen) emerging from your vagina during each contraction and within minutes it is staying visible between contractions as well.
Your baby is doing well. Every time I put the doptone onto your belly (I can’t see what I am doing as you are on hands and knees in the pool and I can’t find the heartbeat immediately) you say, “down a bit, to the right” and I’ll be damned if we don’t get a clear heartbeat every time!
'Every time I put the doptone onto your belly (I can’t see what I am doing as you are on hands and knees in the pool and I can’t find the heartbeat immediately) you say, “down a bit, to the right” and I’ll be damned if we don’t get a clear heartbeat every time!'
13:15 – You are pushing beautifully but the contractions are a little short and so we move you onto the birthing stool in the pool because although it is going very well we feel you might need the change to improve the progress.
13:30 – I place an acupuncture needle into your head and with the next contraction you push like a champ and the baby’s head is born.
13:35 – Helder is born into the birth pool. He swims back towards you and then you gently lift him out of the water and up to you. His eyes are wide open and he looks at you while deciding whether to take his first breath. We rub his tiny feet and dry his back and head and then he murmurs and takes his first breath. You are in awe. He is so perfect. You hold him close and then put him down onto your knees to get a better look. He is calm and clear (helder). You get to know him while holding him on your lap and we wait for the placenta. Helder takes to your breast but not for long.
13:50 – We cut the umbilical cord.
14:00 - I give you some Angelica (it is said to bring the placenta like an angel) and take Helder from you as he is getting a little cold in the cooled down pool and I would like to dry him while Sophie-Anne can see if you can birth your placenta.
14:04 – Your placenta is born. You have done it!
After this you go to lie in your bed and Helder drinks at the breast like a prof!
I check Helder (he is perfect) and Sophie-Anne checks to see if you need any suturing. You have not torn at all! There are slight grazes on your labia but the rest of your vagina is beautifully in tact.
Annemieke, you had a dream birth. Not because you were lucky but because you choose for it, you educated, empowered and prepared yourself. You trusted in your body and you stayed true to your feelings and your intuition. This is something you should not look on lightly. Be proud and claim this powerful birth, it is truly yours.