“Family bonding at its apex”

By Leeanne Lombard

My name is Leeanne and I was born and raised in South Africa. We just moved to New Zealand a few weeks ago. I live with husband Paul and my two daughters. River is three years old and Willow is four months old. I love all things child birth! I love talking about birth, giving birth, encouraging other women along their birth journeys.

I have had two natural/home births myself and love to share my stories. I had an incredible birth team – our midwife duo Cheryl and Christine, my parents, our photographer, my husband, Paul, and our 3-year-old daughter, River. River was so encouraging and having her there definitely helped me stay focussed and grounded in each moment. My mom and dad were present for the births of both my girls and I wouldn’t have it any other way! They were such a wonderful support and it was one of my proudest moments ever for them to witness the birth of their granddaughters. My midwife duo were phenomenal. It was very special having our photographer, Lauren, with us. She captured some magical moments and I will cherish the photos forever!

My second daughter was due the 21st March, 2019. I was a week overdue when she finally decided to come! 29th March was her birth date. I was 41 weeks pregnant, ready to meet our second baby girl. We were ready; our birth pool was set up and we had all the linen savers and old towels you could imagine! Our plan was simple – we had our lovely midwife, our birth pool and we were waiting for babs to come when she was ready. I am a firm believer in as little intervention as possible. I was happy to wait this out and so was my midwife.

Thursday the 28th March 2019, I was 41 weeks pregnant today. The night before I had had a terrible sleep. I was uncomfortable and sore. My hips and my lower back were so uncomfortable that I had tossed and turned for ages. This morning was no different. I was sore so I phoned my chiropractor and booked an appointment as I thought that my back was out and needed an adjustment. That was when my runny tummy started! I was horrified, I had now picked up the stomach bug that my husband had just had the week before. I was 41 weeks pregnant, with a stomach bug and what was either a broken back or I was in labour. Yet, as most women are, I was in denial that it was labour, and convinced that I had somehow broken my back during the night. I had to cancel my chiro appointment as I was running to the loo every ten minutes! I phoned my parents who lived just down the road and explained that I was feeling very sorry for myself – a really sore lower back, stomach bug and the cherry on the cake, 41 weeks pregnant with no end in sight.

I needed to get out for a bit so myself and my 3-year-old met my parents at the coffee shop just down the road from my house. Finally, I had some sympathy!! My mom was convinced I was in labour; I was convinced I had picked up the stomach flu. Coffee didn’t last long as my stomach had different ideas. I just was not feeling myself at all, a bit achy, sore, back pain, running stomach and generally a bit off. Nonetheless, I went home and decided I needed to cheer up and carry on with the rest of the day. The day passed by as any usual sort of day would; my husband was away for work that day (about 4 hours’ drive away). By the time the afternoon approached, my tummy bug had subsided and I just had sore hips and lower back. I called my husband and told him not to panic but there was a slight chance that I may be going into labour in the next few days.

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