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|What people had to say:|
The truth is, no testimonial can ever hope to even touch on the sanctity of experiencing a “spiritual birth”. How could I possibly explain, as a father, what it feels like to have the silky soft hair of my baby’s head stray gently through my fingers during the very earliest stage of a water birth? Is it not something surreal to stroke your wife’s back with one hand, comfort her with kisses and gently hold our baby’s head in the palm of the other while awaiting the next contraction? When the shoulders popped out our appointment with relief seemed ever more tangible yet those vivid moments have been indelibly engraved upon my being : such awareness, such an awakening. One almost feels guilty sharing it. The first contractions bring small pieces of hope and excitement but the very last one sweeps you away like a car in a tornado – a baby, head to toes came into (our) being. Afterwards we lay in the water, Anna with her head on her mother’s chest and did nothing for minutes. Best bit of nothing I’ve ever done. I had the honour several minutes later to cut the cord and within 24 hrs my wife was resting at home back from Mowbray Maternity.
That was our second birth with Marianne who somehow manages to stay very present and yet when we were enjoying our moments of ecstasy together I wasn’t even aware she was there. What is the terminology for this – master? That goes very much for Ruth too who was simply brilliant – completely confident, reassuring and is of the spirit that beholds the sensitivity called for. This was a professional birth in every sense only thankfully it never actually had to feel like that. A “spiritual birth” is surely not only about the birth alone but a celebration of birth itself.
I never took the time to thank you for being there and making both my birthing experiences so amazing. I could not have asked for anyone better to be there with us. Your advice and councelling before both births helped me deal with personal and spiritual issues that made my birthing experience much more powerful and allowed me to be in the moment. With yanu (now almost 4) you guided me and kept me calm, and within 4 hours he was happily lying on my chest. Lila (now almost 6 months) was born and delivered by my husband before you got to us as it all happened within 45 minutes! It was an amazing experience and i managed to stay completely calm and centered. Without you we would have never known she was in distress. After realising she had difficulty breathing properly you handled the situation with such calm and love that i not once was worried. You tried everying you could and eventually we had to take her to Mowbray maternity (on a really bad stormy night!) where she spent 5 days. You made sure everyone there knew how we prefer things to be done and assisted and supported us with so much love and concern. I am forever grateful to you for doing what you do, u are an angel. I wish for everyone out there to have amazing birthing experieces and giving their babies the gift of a gentle, natural, spiritual birth into this crazy world we live in***THANKYOU***
Marianne, just quickly checking in - just wanted to let you know - I have never been happier: our amazing baby boy is snoozing while we listen to Oasis and have the fire going. Gareth and I have no words for how amazing you and Ruth were at our baby's birth. Helping us and supporting us through our natural home birth has allowed us to be in our comfortable home gently introducing our baby to his new life. There is so much love and happiness in this home - much to your and Ruth's credit. Thank you! And lots of love!
Aaaah Marianne, I actually can't say thank you enough. You helped me in achieving my biggest goal in life and that was to deliver my baby naturally. I always knew that my body was capable of doing so, but doctors thought otherwise with my 1st pregnancy (had to have a c-sec). Thank you for telling me to stay active until the end and to believe in myself and for believing that I could do it. You were amazing and I am so grateful!!!!
Thank you dear Marianne, for playing such an intimate role in delivering our little Clara Rebekah on Tuesday morning 25 October 2011, a VBAC without anaesthetic. I cannot tell you how thankful I am to have discovered you! Every pregnant woman should know about you.
I am thankful for all your wonderful advice, along with your loving care, bringing restoration to women to actually love their own bodies and appreciate God's intricate creation. You've made me feel very comfortable and it was easy to form a bond with you in a short time.
Some of the great tips you've given, was to do regular exercise and be watchful of what you put in your mouth. I loved walking out Lion's Head at 40 weeks at your recommendation, it made me feel so relaxed afterwards that I did it again.
Your natural birth workshop was SO informative, it made my husband & I realize the importance of oxytocin, the love hormone, and how medical intervention most often leads to the baby's detriment.
I appreciate the loving tender way in which you respect your patients. I'm looking forward to be your patient again with my next pregnancy, this time my approach will be aligned with yours from the outset.
With much love & appreciation for you xxx
Going through pregnancy can be very challenging, esp. when you live far away from home where your folks are not around and where everything works so differently from home. It took me whole five months to figure out that you have to fight to give natural birth here in South Africa...esp. when you are ‘already’ 36 years old. This is how I met Marianne and her assistant Mandy at that time. I heard about Marianne in a pregnancy yoga class.
These ladies really boosted my self confidence, reminded me of the natural powers of our bodies in pregnancy and the strength of our motherly instincts. All of a sudden I felt safe.
When the big day came it turned out to be two big days...36 hours of labour. What can I say? They were the best 36 hours of my life. I think I never experienced so much love and support before, it was amazing.
Giving birth to my little Annuschka with the support of Marianne and Mandy will always be the most precious memory in my life....and I guess Annuschka also enjoyed it, she is such a happy baba.
James recently said mumma!
Whenever he is hungry or tired or just sees me, he starts saying 'mumma'.
James is also showing signs of wanting to crawl but he has not gotten the co-ordinations of it just yet. He has got so much energy,he is always wanting to jump! I'm surprised that those legs can hold all of his weight, after jumping he tries to wriggle his way out of your arms so that he can be on the floor to attempt crawling, he is really keeping me on my toes but i love every minute of it,except when he wakes up at 5am for a feed and wants to start playing and jumping, but then he looks at me and gives me the most loving gorgeous smile and I can't help but forget about the lack of sleep. He is truly a blessing!
I would also just like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being such a huge support to me in my pregnancy and the birth,you helped me experience one of the most beautiful experiences, even when I honestly didnt believe that I would be able to give birth to James.
I hope that I can be such a huge support to other pregnant women when I am a trained doula, as you were for me.
You really helped open my eyes to the beauty and sacredness of birth.
lots of love,
I never thanked you for my amazing experience. You assisted me in giving birth to Ahlia Boje in 2006 that Saturday-morning 10:00 June 19. Thank You, she is a Blessing!
Our beautiful boy is 2 years old already, and a calm and very happy child. I KNOW that his birth played a huge part in his development and his character. Marianne was so supportive throughout the pregnancy and birth, and was much more than we expected. I remember her phoning me countless times just to find out how I was feeling physically and emotionally. She gave above and beyond her 'medical duty', because what she does means so much more to her than just work. And it shows. Thank you for being a part of our lives during the most breathtaking experience. We love you and hope that you will join us again for another birth soon.
Marianne delivered both my babies. My son was born at home. He had a hard time coming into the world: he didn\'t breathe for eight minutes, while the fabulous Marianne literally brought him back to life. I never thought he was dying, but the other people who were there wouldn\'t let me do the second one at home. They were afraid: I wasn\'t. (It wasn\'t the home birth that caused the complication. This happens all the time. The hospitals only see the one bad birth in the thousand good and normal ones. We should feel sorry for them.)
The hardest part was actually seeing him afterwards in the hospital. Pallotti refused to give us a bed, even though I had a pre-admissions number. If you don\'t give birth on the allotted day, that\'s it. Through Marianne\'s desperate string-pulling, we eventually got into Cape Town Medi-Clinic, which was absolutely fantastic to us. Deon Smith is, quite literally, an angel.
They put him on ice for 72 hours, and hardly let us touch him for fear of driving his temperature up. Cold prevents any potential brain swelling. But we\'re fine. It turned out that my kids just have small fontanelles, not squidgy brains. But some random passing gynaecologist thought it was his place to tell me that THIS was why home birth was frowned upon. I\'m glad he said that. It gave my misgivings about The Establishment a focus.
My second baby was eleven days late, and the placenta was starting to calcify. Marianne supervised the Proglandin-induced delivery (Quick! But so goddamn sore!) at the hospital in her usual generous and methodical way. I\'m glad she was there for the second one too. She said that she wanted me to experience how it should be. And we did.
Once again we both thank you for an amazing birth experience.Seems like yesterday that I was floating and swinging my hips in the water going through calm breathing, to a bit frightened of the strength that my body has, to totally excited to finally hold the little girl be both waited so long to meet. It’s the first time I’ve seen Sean cry. He really is flawed at how beautiful it was. He found it just as empowering to have been part of it. Yay, for involved fathers!I must add that having you there really made me feel so secure. Sean did too, but you being there for my second child was so comforting. Knowing that you are there and know what you’re doing, talking to me, cracking little jokes, helping Sean with little jobs, and fully secure within yourself at the beauty of nature and letting it be. Anyway, we both thank you from our very core. And I meant what I said – I would do this again and again if I could… but I do have to stop somewhere reasonable (I would love 3 – hehe)…
"I chose Marianne to be the midwife at the birth of our first child. I am not a fan of unnecessary medical intervention, and I knew that I wanted a quiet, calm home-birth where I would be able to do what came naturally to me during the intense experience of labour. Marianne was the perfect person to help me realise my ideal for such an important moment in my life. I needed someone who was professional and who inspired confidence and who I could trust to guide me successfully through this huge challenge.
From the beginning Marianne was warm, calm and a strong and stable presence. Instead of trying to push a certain viewpoint on me, she waited for my cues and responded with information and suggestions of books I could read that would resonate with me.
During the labour Marianne listened to what I needed, instead of trying to impose any rigid formula, and gave me the freedom to follow my birth plan. She was gentle and quiet, allowing the natural process of birth to unfold, and when she did give me guidance, it was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment.
Soon after the birth a complication did arise but Marianne handled it with absolute calm and efficiency, and my baby and I were both perfectly healthy and safe - without having to leave our home.
My first birth was such a positive experience that I was thrilled and relieved to hear that Marianne would be able to help me birth my second child as well. The second birth was even better than the first, and my husband and I will always remember Marianne as someone whose calm, efficiency, deep knowledge of, and reverence for the natural process of childbirth helped to make one of the most important events of our lives beautiful, tender, calm and safe.
I can confidently recommend Marianne as a guide and a friend through your pregnancy and birth."
Hi Marianne, my mind is only now starting to come back to earth after a really mind blowing course on Saturday...now I know why you call it Spiritual Birthing - I think each and every participant had a spiritual experience there.. and you were the most gentle of guides... Thank you so much-you have changed so much of my thinking and attitude to the birth process.. I can only be a better doula as a result of spending this precious time with you... And the gang!! Much love, Claire xoxo
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