My natural water birth story at Genesis Maternity Clinic

I had my first natural water birth in 2015 with my oldest boy, Mbusizwe, at Genesis Maternity Clinic. We loved the service and bedside manner of the staff and midwives and knew we would definitely be back for the birth of our second son, Mziwanda. My first labour was long and exhausting, with active labour going on for 24 hours, so I was hoping for a quicker and easier delivery this time around. Being a new mom back then, I just rode the wave and tried to stay positive while sleeping through contractions over two days, however this time I was determined to have a shorter birth where I felt more in control of the progression. Here’s how we managed to have a natural vaginal water birth once more.

The pregnancy:

18 kg’s later

This pregnancy wasn’t the easiest, with two hospital stays for preterm labour scares due to an irritable uterus causing contractions at week 28 and 32. So I was on bed rest at home until 37 weeks. I decided to start on dates then and had my first cup of raspberry leaf tea on Sunday, the day I hit 38 weeks and after walking up a storm at Clicks Curls. (I’ll share more about what dates and raspberry leaf tea do on my ‘birth preparation’ post). I started getting cramps the next day on Monday, which I thought would go away until I started timing them.

The contractions:

Black husband holding wife's handing during contractions
When the contractions were having me for breakfast!

I alerted my awesome midwife, Lilo Mthembu of ‘Ten ‘n Ten birthing Care’ and she asked us to come in when there were 4 contractions in 10min. I laboured at home alone from 11am until around 4pm, when I let hubby know its time to head home from work. He arrived shortly thereafter and so did my mom so she could watch our oldest, and off we headed to the clinic around 6pm. I was 7cm when I arrived and had lost my mucus plug & a little water breaking, but the baby was still high up and not engaged. I eventually got to 10cm after labouring for a few hours but he was still high up. We walked a bit, did some sitting on the toilet, a few squats during contractions and a bit of pushing in attempts to get him to descend. It ended up with my cervix being swollen and blocking the baby, so she gave me meds to soften it and increase the strength of the contractions thereafter. I got a drip and got into the water for pain management until I felt my body involuntarily start ‘pushing’ baby down, known as “The Fetal Ejection Reflex.”

The Birth:

Midwife holding up black mom while squatting through contractions
Lilo helping me squat during contractions to help baby get engaged. I’m holding onto the tub where we would later on have the water birth.

We went at it for a while until I felt the ‘ring of fire’ and knew the baby was coming. Eventually, the head was out as my midwife scrambled to put gloves on (I’m a silent pusher, not a screamer, so she was busy checking on the drip when everything happened so quickly lol). We could see his little head out in through the water and with one final push he slid out into the world. Mzi came out weighing 2.9kg at 11:15 pm on October 7th. It definitely wasn’t the pain-free supernatural water birth I hoped for because it hurt quite a bit, but I’m glad we stuck it through because we were ready to call the gynae at midnight for an emergency caesarian. God is good 👏🏼 

Black mom smiling after having a baby
Exhausted, but all smiles thereafter. Officially a mother of two.

I got a few stitches in the same place as my previous one, but we’re healing well and happy to have a healthy, happy baby. I really wouldn’t have been able to have another natural water birth without the never-ending support of my husband (despite me almost tearing his shirts in the height of the pain), the patience and professionalism of my rockstar Midwife Lilo and my sister Tudu snapping away pictures that we can cherish for a lifetime. All in all, we need to remember that we’re stronger than we know and with a good team and a great support system, we can do anything. If you’re considering midwife-led natural water birth and a birthing centre instead of a hospital, then definitely give Lilo and Genesis a shout. Mwah!

blogger signature

You may also like...


  1. Refilwe says:

    Can I cry now😭😭😭

    1. Tiisetso Gama says:

      Lol you can. It’s an amazing experience.

  2. I don’t think as women we understand the strength our bodies possess. Good going for not giving up and asking for that epidural lol

    1. Tiisetso Gama says:

      Epidural for who? lol. We really have no idea how strong we are until we’re there.

  3. Mr Mduduzi Gama says:

    This was such a cool evening. Lilo a great help and the Genesis experience was also exceptional.

    1. Tiisetso Gama says:

      We can finally look back and see the good in it past the pain of the day lol. Thanks for everything my love.

  4. Beautiful post!

    1. Tiisetso Gama says:

      Thanks Inga. We really go through the most to get these little ones into the world.

  5. Thank you for sharing your story! Years ago, I wanted to have a water birth and use a midwife, however, 17 years ago in the States, it wasn’t as acceptable as it is now, and my husband was totally against it.
    Again thanks for sharing your experience and congratulations on your new bundle of joy!

    1. Tiisetso Gama says:

      Thank you so much Shelly. I always knew I would take the midwife route because my grandmother was one, but convincing family on a water birth took some doing so I can imagine how difficult it must have been then. Hopefully your kids will warm up to the idea and you can see it come to life in your family that way. Thanks for the reading my story.

  6. Congratulations 🎊

    1. Tiisetso Gama says:

      Thank you Wenchy. He’s been such a blessing.

  7. Kefilwe Matjila says:

    Inspiring. Thank you for sharing ❤️❤️❤️

    1. Tiisetso Gama says:

      Thank you for reading and being a part of our lives. Mwah!

      1. Why am I almost in tears after reading this??!!!!! Wow Poke o strong hey, beautifully written I can only imagine those hours! Boy I’m glad Mzi came through naturally!

        1. Tiisetso Gama says:

          It was defintly a test and a half Tumi, but we pulled through. Im so grateful!

  8. Mamogale Malatji says:

    Beautiful Mommy 🙂 Thank you for sharing..

  9. Beautiful story❤️. So I’m pregnant with my 3rd baby and also using a midwife from Genesis.. still deciding about the water birth.. after reading this I think I will use it🤗

    1. Tiisetso Gama says:

      I’m glad to hear that Mogau! You can do it, and the water makes the pain 70% more bearable I wont lie. Good luck with your journey and birth.

  10. Fikiswa Zulu says:

    Shooo this is so amazing, you definitely a rockstar yourself mami ;). You did well.

    1. Tiisetso Gama says:

      Thanks Fikiswa. The holy spirit came through right there!

  11. […] are I will use them myself since we have a newborn in the house. (Check out my waterbirth story here.) Mbusi is in bed and tucked in by 8pm, but even though the door is closed, we would sometimes walk […]

  12. […] but the pro’s far outweigh the con’s; and ensuring he was vaccinated since birth was important to me. Coupled with the fact that Mbusi goes to school, it was a no brainer in order […]

  13. […] believe that our bodies are wondrous works of art, allowing us to experience the magic of life, and that they deserve to be loved and looked after in the same manner they look after us. From […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *