Its been nearly a year since I gave birth to my sweet boy and have been meaning to write about my birth experience for a while now.
When I found out that I was pregnant after a few years of trying and some infertility issues, I knew only one thing, and that was that I did not want to give birth on my back on a hospital bed with an epidural in a horrible hospital delivery room. So, when my Gynaecologist suggested Origin Maternity hospital at my first check-up as an option to give birth I jumped at the chance almost immediately and took their weekly tour that very next Friday. Once there, I was totally hooked, YOU CANNOT walk into ORIGIN and come out wanting to give birth anywhere else.
At 16 weeks pregnant I went for my first pre-natal consultation with the midwife and this is where my journey began.
I had a rough pregnancy, emotionally, physically not so bad, only high blood pressure and a fear of pre-eclampsia, but other than this everything went smoothly, the origin midwifes and my gynaecologist took very good care of me and all was on track for a beautifully planned birth.
While meeting with Sydney (The General manager of Origin Maternity) and co-owner of Grove and de Beer Midwife practice, we found out a few things, 1) Sydney himself has been a (male) midwife for the last 35+ years, he has delivered more than 30 000 babies, and one of those babies in 1983 at Addington hospital in Durban, South Africa, was NONE other than my very own husband. We were extremely excited by this news as well as the possibility of Sydney not only delivering my husband 33 years ago, but also my son. It was a special moment finding this out. (One that would later make the news).
On the 5th of March 2017 in the early hours of the morning around 6:00 am, my water broke, we called Origin immediately and they kept us calm and told us what to do and when to come into the hospital preferably during the active labour stage. However, my contractions would come and go, not constant. They returned that evening and came on strong, eventually at 4:00am I returned to the hospital with contractions getting much stronger and closer and once I got there my contractions stopped again, eventually at 9:00am on the 6th of March we had to unfortunately help labour along to bring on the contractions.
At this stage I was still on track to a beautiful, UN-Medicated, serene, water birth ( yes water birth, origin have the most amazing water baths to give birth in) , but BABY had his own plans, at around 13:00pm, even though the contractions were very strong my son’s heartbeat dropped too much at each contraction and we suspected the cord was around his neck and I had only progressed to 2cm dilation after all this time. The gynaecologist decided I needed an emergency C-section. I was DEVASTATED, out the window went my plans for natural birth, my birth plan totally down the drain. However, for the safety of the baby we had to do it.
I was rolled into Origins on-site theatre, with my husband, Sydney, a few midwifes, my gynae, the paediatrician and the anaesthetist in tow. Unfortunately, the anaesthetist could not insert my spinal block after numerous attempts and in it was then decided I need to put totally under. I was scared, this was probably the scariest moment of my entire life, I wouldn’t be awake for my birth. I cried and cried and cried. I was beside myself with grief, yes grief, like I was losing apart of myself. I remember Sydney winking at me giving me some assurance and my gynae assuring me and my husband holding my hand as I drifted under.
And at 14:31pm my son was born, I think I was only woken up from the anaesthesia after 4:00pm, but the moment they put my son in my arms was the best feeling of my LIFE! Even though I was HEAVILY medicated and drowsy I was in HEAVEN. HE was heaven, I was home and he was home in my arms!
After the birth I was taken care of like a queen, the highlight of my stay has to be without a doubt the impeccable care of all the midwives and the stupendous support, care and advice received from Origin’s Advanced Clinical Midwife Specialist Henny de Beer, Henny is an absolute gem, she has an amazing knowledge of all things baby and birth, she offers advice so freely and in such a loving manner, she is the MOM of Origin, but also its HEART. She is my hero, my husband says I have a Woman-crush on her, I won’t deny it even for a second!
Origin had to unfortunately close for a few months, and under new ownership re-opened in February 2017. I was the first one at the hospital after it opened again, I had the whole hospital to myself. It was amazing. The service was amazing, the rooms were amazing, and the people are totally amazing!
After leaving Origin, I developed Mastitis after a few days, Harriet (one of Origins midwifes) did a home visit and consultation because I was too weak to go to a doctor, she offered invaluable advice and care as well as organised over the telephone a script with the Gynae. Even after I left the hospital I was taken care of!
Here’s a letter I wrote to Sydney/Henny and the midwifes and staff at Origin Maternity Hospital after I gave birth;
I need to say firstly to Sydney, thank you for being there every step of the way, we couldn’t have asked for someone better standing with us through our journey! I can’t even explain how much it means to us that you were a part of the birth and a part of our lives, who could have ever known that you birthed my husband and was there with my son too. Your knowledge, skill-set and abilities are OUT of this world! Thank you so much for all that you do and all that you are. I am beyond blessed to have met you!
To Henny, you my darling are something to be treasured, I praise you constantly to everyone I know, your honesty, sweetness, assistance and caring nature is a part of my life that I can NEVER ever forget! You were born to do what you do! I cannot thank you enough for all your advice, thoughts and praises! You are so pure of heart, what a blessing you are to all! Your words of wisdom are constantly in my head, I am a better mother and person because of it! I am your greatest fan and am always in awe of you and I’m sure many many others can say the same, Thank you always!
To sister Harriet and Andri, Thank you for being with me through my pregnancy journey, from 16 weeks and beyond! To Harriet I can’t begin to explain how much it helped me when you came to do a house visit because I had mastitis a few days after birth and was at my lowest, you picked me up and helped me through! To Andri, you are super super special! Your care and comfort and advise throughout has been unquestionably the BEST! Keep on being the caring person you are! And thank you for putting up with my husbands jokes!
To Stefan and Angelica, you two are the absolute sweetest! Your smiling faces and friendliness always put me at ease, I just love that you are so efficient and helpful with anything and everyone who walks through that door! Origin is so lucky to have you both! – Don’t let them forget it!
To Heike and Rehana, thank you for being with me in the beginning when labour started and for your support and encouragement when things started to get rough and emotional! I couldn’t of done it without you!
To sister Eloise, Yolanda and Susan for your care both before labour and after, your kindness, help and all around assistance was super, I am forever and always grateful.
Lastly, although I could not have the natural birth that we hoped for, I have come to realise, 1) It wasn’t my fault that I couldn’t do it and 2) Sometimes baby has a different idea… but after all is said and done I have the most amazing little boy, he is just everything, I grow more and more in love with him everyday! My journey to be a mother for the second time has been tough, long, emotional and hard, however I now have the most beautiful bundle of joy, thank you for all for being a part of it!
Keeping on doing what you are all doing, I am blessed to have given birth at origin and being a part of your facilities has been the experience of a lifetime. I can’t thank you all enough! You all are such gifts to the industry! I cannot give you 5 stars for my experience it’s just too little!!!!
All the best to you all. May the origin- way beliefs and ideology live on forever!
Lots of love,
Nicole, Kevin and Kieran McEnderry
WHY Origin though? Here’s my top 10 reasons;
1) They are a family-orientated and family-focused hospital.
2) They have the most amazing Rooms, The king size bed in the room I was in was so comfy, my husband and I slept like babies in them
3) They EMPOWER Woman and encourage natural births.
4) They support V-BACs
5) They offer total care – antenatal and postnatal.
6) Their birthing suites are impeccable and 10-star! Including the bed, décor, linen, cots and birthing baths.
7) World class equipment i.e the only hospital in Africa that offers a wireless Cardiotocograph which monitors the babies heart rate during contractions so that you aren’t tied down
8) Mother-led birth – you decide where, how you want to give birth, on the bed on the floor, in the water bath. Of course with their guidance. You are not restricted to giving birth on your back!
9) State of the art theatre in the event of C-Sections.
10) HIGHLY qualified handpicked midwifes.
Nearly one year later, after they have re-opened, Origin is still thriving, diversifying, growing. This world class facility is in my opinion ONE of a kind, the vision that Sydney and his team have is something I can’t even put into words. So, to all mama’s looking for the best place to bring your child into the world choose Origin, if you are looking for luxury, 5-star experience, 5-star food, 5-star advice choose the best, choose Life, the ‘ÓRIGIN’ of life.