When I first heard about Sarah, I was in Beijing, China, facing with anxiety the delivery of my first child in the coming months. Of course I was to give birth in an international hospital, but nevertheless, being so far from friends and family, surrounded by people who barely understand English, would have made anyone nervous. Sarah was no less than a lifebuoy for all the pregnant women there. From the start I was impressed with the amount of knowledge and experience in such a young midwife! Then she told me about her work in the Philippines, I was even more willing to hire her.
My husband and I first met Sarah when attendng her pre-natal course at the hospital. I knew the course would be helpful to my husband, but I discovered more benefits for me. It opened my eyes on all the possible way of giving birth. I felt I finally knew enough to choose a natural delivery. I knew I’d need the help of Sarah in this one, as natural deliveries are not so common in this country.
Then it all started in the heat of a night, as I broke waters during my sleep at 1 am… (you might want to use a waterproof mattress protector just in case). The poor soon-to-be father had been in bed for barely an hour after a late night work! Thanks to all the precious information given by Sarah, we did not panic at all. I stayed lying trying to relax, and one hour later mild contractions started. This is the moment when you cannot help becoming a little nervous… So we text-messaged Sarah and felt so grateful having someone to talk to in the middle of the night! She comforted us and explained quietly at what stage we should call her back, and that she would check on us the next morning. In the end, thanks to Sarah’s experience and guidance, we waited quietly at home, I even went out walking a few times. And what could have 36 terrible hours waiting in a hospital room shrank to only a rough 24 h – more than enough if I may!
After checking in, when things finally got serious, Sarah partnered very efficiently with the Hospital Chinese staff. We could rely on her totally and just focus on the birth instead of struggling to understand the staff and the medical issues. Because we knew she was there to protect our interests. My husband also was exhausted, and worried: Sarah’s presence and support had been very important for him, and helped him support me better. Although she didn’t get much sleep either! Unfortunately the dilatation was not happening fast enough. The OB and the staff had been waiting for as long as they could, but safety comes first: so I was injected ocytocine (oxytocine?) to speed up the contractions. It worked very well and I had such “beautiful” contractions I could not handle the pain and exhaustion any more and asked for epidural. Sarah, again, totally backed up my choice and made sure the staff understood the request. She comforted me and my husband so well during these tough hours, I don’t know how I would have gotten through without her.
I actually think that in most other Chinese hospitals, without the help of the right midwife and the right doctor, I would have end up with a C-section. Instead, I pushed my daughter out in this world and that is such a beautiful and intense feeling you can only call it a miracle. And there she was, our tiny little lotus, so beautiful with her eyes wide open… and hungry! Sarah was here again to support a good start in breastfeeding, patiently repositioning the baby and showing me the way.
Sarah’s help made a huge difference for us. Now we live on two different continents… but I hope to have a second child in the coming years, and my first wish is to find on the way a midwife as competent, kind and supportive as Sarah.