Birth ROCKS Stories #2: The Birth of Baby Simone

Mum Kate Kleyn, living in Cyprus found out she was pregnant age 23 with her fist baby Simone. Kate had a natural birth despite a seventy percent caesarean section rate in Cyprus. When I fell pregnant with Simone I was 23 years old, just moved out of my mom and dad's house with my fiancé of 8 years and we were starting a new life together, becoming independent. I was working at a lawyer's office at the time and found out that I was pregnant on New Year’s Eve. I started feeling a little queasy for a few weeks before and there was no sign of my period, I kept denying that there was any possibility that I was pregnant, as I have had irregular periods in the past. My breasts started to hurt as well and I kept thinking to myself, ‘my period is coming, I just know it.’ On New Year’s Eve 2008, we went to a party after work during lunch time; we all went in my boss' car and, unfortunately, the whole way there I felt really sick. When we arrived we dished up and sat down to eat, I couldn't really eat and some of the smells were making me feel nauseous. I remember I excused myself from the table and went to the toilet, were I vomited and then washed my hands and face and looked at myself in the mirror ’You are soooo pregnant Kate’ I thought to myself, I had finally accepted that this could be possible. When I looked into my eyes I saw me but I also saw another soul, it was a very strange experience, I somehow knew that someone else was inside of me, another little pure soul! My dad was sitting on the opposite table from where I was sitting and all I kept thinking was ’Oh! My god how am I going to tell my parents that I am pregnant?’ Being the oldest in the family and had just started my life being independent and now finding out un-expectantly that I was pregnant was just crazy! Everything was happening really fast! I went back outside and just couldn't wait to get home to my hubby and go and lay down...I felt so sick and was exhausted. I just kept looking at my dad, waving at him and saying to myself, ‘You are so going to be a grandfather!’ Later on we left and I got into my car and started driving off to go home. When I arrived home I just went to bed to lie down because I just felt so ill. My husband was stressed out and adamant to go and get a pregnancy test, however, I was still in denial. After a lot of conversing, he finally convinced me to go, as long as I didn’t see the results :) So, off we went on an adventure to purchase a pregnancy test. Now on New Year’s Eve finding a pharmacy that's open in Paphos is a bit difficult, but we did find one and went home. I took the test and off I ran into my room, my husband sat waiting for the result, and when he saw it he just looked at me and ran into the kitchen to pour a glass of whiskey! I knew straight away just by his look that I was pregnant and now it was official. I didn't tell anyone, I kept it to myself until I confirmed it with the doctor, however I did tell my sister, who came with me to the doctor for support. It was New Year’s Eve and I went to bed at 10:00, while my husband stayed up to welcome the New Year with his brother, I felt so ill that I couldn't stay up. My pregnancy with Simone ran very smoothly, apart from my morning sickness that lasted until 12 weeks, which was horrible. I carried on working at the lawyer's office. After my first trimester, I started Yoga classes which really helped me focus and relax. I tried to go every day and on the days that I couldn't make it, I would practice at home. I had done Yoga before, so I knew quite a bit about it. Meditating and bonding with my unborn baby was just amazing. My Yoga teacher was great! I was the only pregnant lady in the class and she looked after me, she sometimes would play some hemi-sync music, which is said to stimulate the brain in different ways, Simone used to kick around like crazy when she heard it! I carried on doing Yoga until 37 weeks. I was due in August and believe me it is really hot in Cyprus during the summer time, how I did it, I don't know! When summer started I also began swimming in the sea every day! It was so nice, a lot of people used to think that I was crazy. They used to look at me really strange, as if they have never seen a pregnant woman on the beach or something, as if it was gross! I didn't care, I loved my body and my baby and I loved being pregnant! I made sure that I ate very healthy too. Sometime during July, I took early leave from work and started my maternity leave, as it was too hot and I was getting big! My finance’ and I decided to get married as well, just a small little wedding. It was so strange. The year 2009 was the year of the OX, which I am and so is Simone as she was born that year. We got married on the 24th of July, Simone was born on the 24th of August and a week later I turned 24! It was indeed the luckiest and best year of my life :) The last week of pregnancy I was getting really big and tired, but still carried on swimming, doing my Yoga and walking a lot. On the 23rd of August me and my husband went to the beach, we spent to whole day there, it was so nice, he dared me to swim up to the buoy’s (balls) and back. I remember saying to him “are you crazy?”, but I did it! I swam all the way there and all the way back! My Braxton hicks started becoming a little more intense, so we decided to go home to relax. That night, I started taking my homeopathic remedies and drinking my teas. Something inside of me said ’get your sterilizer out and sterilize your bottles and stuff.’ I did and then we went to bed as we had a long and tiring day! I'm sure that big swim helped me go into labour. At around 4:30 in the morning I woke up in bed with water leaking, I thought I had peed, but couldn't be bothered to get up. Then another gush of water and I got up to go to the toilet. As I sat on the toilet some more water came out and I had some blood! I knew the baby was coming.... I took a deep breath and calmly walked back into the room. My husband was still sleeping, all I did was nudge him softly and he jumped out of bed and shouted “the baby is coming!” It's as if he knew, he felt it, I told him to relax and calmly just call the doctor to see what we shall do. The doctor told us to leave and head for the clinic and he would be there around 6:00am. So we got our gear and started to head down to the clinic, being a first baby and not having much experience, we didn't know what to expect. When we arrived at the clinic, my water kept gushing and my rushes were getting a little stronger and longer. I was sent upstairs, where the nurses put me in my room and gave me an I.V and an enema. I wanted to walk around which I did for a while and then the doctor came to check me, I was still only 2cm dilated, he told me that I would give birth around 6pm. I sat calmly in my bed as my rushes were not very strong and just occasionally getting up and walking around. Around 12, my rushes felt really strong and I was really feeling them now! I kept walking around and felt the urge to sit on the toilet. Next to the toilet there was a heating rail for the towels which I kept holding on to and squeezing. I remember my husband telling me that I nearly pulled it off the wall. My husband was very supportive, but he was also panicking a little and didn't really know what to do for me, so I just told him not to worry and just let me be! He did and that helped the situation a lot! I felt very psychedelic and high, I was in a trance, the doctor and the nurses kept on coming in and out the room, I felt a little violated with them looking at me and hovering around me, I don't think they had a lot of natural births, so it was quite a big thing for them to see. Most of the women have caesareans in my country. Me, I chose a natural, drug free birth, which was awesome; but when the time came, I did find myself screaming for drugs, I believe that this was during transition. At this point my mother came and she held my hand and helped me through it. The doctor came at 1:15 pm to check on me, I was around 5-6cm dilated and he told me that I had a long way to go yet. He left and told my husband that I would have the baby later on in the afternoon and that he was on his way to go have lunch. My husband came back into the room and I wanted that baby out right now, so I squatted and imagined her coming through. My rushes were very strong now and I felt very alert of my surroundings, I suddenly had this urge that it was time and I said: “I need to push.” My husband just looked at me and I said to him, "Go and call someone, I need to push now!" He went to call the doctor and a nurse came in to put me in a wheel chair to take me downstairs to the delivery room. This procedure is very wrong I believe, because it is very difficult for a woman to just hop into a wheelchair while she is in transition, be taken into an elevator and then flipped onto a bed in the delivery room. The doctor came rushing into the delivery room and he said to me, "that was quick.” I remember being put on the delivery bed and I was holding my husband's hand really tight, I would not let him go, the nurse and the doctor were telling me when to push, but I knew myself when to push. I pushed my baby out in three big pushes; it was an amazing and ecstatic feeling! Simone Angel Kleyn born on the 24/08/2009 at1:32pm, weighing 2.800kg. As soon as I saw her I just started crying out loud,’ my baby, our baby.’ I wanted her now to hold her and cuddle her, but the doctor took her to the other side of the room, quickly checked her and then gently placed her in my arms! She was born with her eyes wide open, staring into this world and looking around, as if she was looking for her parents! The feeling was amazing, to be looked at by this beautiful soul in such a way as if she was saying ‘hi mom and dad, I'm here, I'm glad to be here with you.’ My husband and I were holding her and loving her together as a family while I delivered the placenta and the doctor stitched me up. My family was outside the delivery room waiting, and when we finished they took us back to my room, where I was given my child to breastfeed and bond with. Later in the afternoon I had many more visitors, friends and family. I couldn't believe that I had become a mother. The feeling was absolutely amazing and scary at the same time. I was afraid to go home; I didn't know what to do or how to do it. I knew deep down inside of me that my mothering instinct would kick in eventually and that I would soon get into it. The staff at the clinic were all very nice to us, they let my husband stay with me in my room in the other bed overnight and didn't charge us extra for it. During this time we both sat in the room with our baby, admiring her. There was so much love that filled the room and the bond was very strong. This blog is adapted from the revised edition of Birth ROCKS by Cheryl MacDonald, available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

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