Brynn's first photo - National Hospital in Bloemfontein

Maternity at National Hospital Bloemfontein



On 2 August 2016 at 6:27am my daughter, Brynn Lenya Letley, was born at the National Hospital Bloemfontein.  This experience was so different from the birth experience I had with my first born at the same hospital.

Brynn's first photo - National Hospital BloemfonteinClinic visits leading up to the birth

This time around, the clinic in Langenhoven Park, Bloemfontein, was a much pleasanter experience.  They have a new nurse on duty there.  She is highly motivated and skilled at administration and management.  She has implemented so many systems since arriving to work there.  They are now running on an appointment basis, and there are always a minimum of two nurses on duty.  I am happy to report that the clinic is now well run.

4:15am – Contractions started

I woke up at 4:15 on the morning of 2 August 2016 and went to the bathroom.  While there, I noticed my first contraction.  Since I have been through this before, I timed it to see when the next transaction happened knowing that contractions closer than 20 minutes apart meant I had to get to the hospital.

Well, my contractions were 15 minutes apart.  I woke my husband, who took our 16-month old to his parents and packed the car.  I suppose my contractions actually started while I was sleeping so I didn’t notice them until they got close together.

5:15am – Water Broke

Just as I was about to leave our bedroom and go to the car, my water broke.  By this time the contractions were about 7 minutes apart.  I changed clothes and we rushed to the hospital.

6:00am – Arrived at the hospital

At 6:00am we arrived at the hospital.  Once again I followed the green line on the floor to the maternity ward and we went to the nurses station.  By now contractions were about 5 minutes apart.

The nurse took me into the examination room and checked me out.  She checked the heart rate of my baby, and timed my contractions.  By now they were 4 minutes apart.  She told me she was going to check if the delivery room was available and left.

Mark stayed with me in the examination room and timed the contractions.  In less then 5 minutes, the contractions were at 2 minutes apart.  He went to call the nurse.

6:27am – Brynn was born

The nurse came back and told me that I was going to have my baby in the examination room.  I am not sure if the delivery room was busy, or if it was being cleaned because somebody had just given birth there, but either way it was unavailable at that exact moment and my baby was going to arrive any second.

The two nurses instructed me on what to do, and within 5 large contractions my baby was crying.

My first question was “Girl or boy?” and the nurse replied “You can tell me”.  She lifted the baby so I could see, and I was thrilled to know for sure we had a little girl.  Mark and I took one look at her and we knew without a doubt her name should be Brynn Lenya.

The nurse placed Brynn on my bare chest while she went to find something to cut the umbilical cord with.  That is how fast Brynn was born, the nurse didn’t even have time to get a clamp and blade for the umbilical cord.

And, most thankfully, the placenta soon followed and was out.  No complications, unlike with my son.

The rest of my stay at the National Hospital Bloemfontein

They took Brynn to do the standard checks for newborn babies (weight, height etc.), and I was put in a wheelchair and taken to a ward of 6 beds.  All the ladies in the ward had babies with them.  Brynn was brought to me soon afterwards.

The nurse had done some checks in the examination room already, and a doctor arrived in the ward about an hour later.  She was a young doctor, and I am assuming she is busy with her intern years.  She checked me and Brynn.  She was very happy with both of us and told me that we could go home at lunch time.  She actually said she would have let us go home immediately, but hospital policy is to keep natural birth cases a minimum of 6 hours after the birth.

God answered my prayers

As some of you know, I am a Christian.  For a few weeks before Brynn was born I was praying for 5 things.

  1. My baby would be born quickly and without complications
  2. My baby would be healthy
  3. All my work would be up to date before her birth so I didn’t have any nagging loose ends while on Maternity Leave
  4. I didn’t need to sleep over at the hospital
  5. Mark and I would agree on her name when she was born

God answered ALL of these prayers, and he went over and above the call of duty.

  1. From start to finish, the birth took 2 hours and 30 minutes, there were no complications.
  2. Brynn is healthy
  3. I had finished all my work by the previous midday and had spent the afternoon doing less urgent work.
  4. I was released from the hospital 6 hours after Brynn was born
  5. Mark and I took one look at her and immediately agreed on her name.

Final thoughts on the Maternity ward at the National Hospital Bloemfontein

Once again, I want to say that the staff at the hospital are amazing.  5-star staff working in a roadside motel.  The bedding was clean, although there were no pillows.  The equipment is old, but in acceptable condition.  The toilets have been fixed since my last visit 16 months ago.

I can confidently say that if you are planning to have a natural birth (without pain medication), and there are no complications, you will be perfectly okay having the baby at the National Hospital Bloemfontein.



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