She tried to distract me from the pain by telling me jokes and playing music. Initially, I wanted an epidural, but I forgot to ask. In the end, my birth companion distracted me so much from the pain that I didn’t even need it!
When the baby was coming, she just kept reminding me, “Imagine what your baby will be like, he’s nearly here”. I grabbed her arm, and I must have hurt her, but she didn’t say anything. She took my pain and she held it for me.
She took pictures and a video just after the baby was born. She washed me. We were together all the way through. She asked me if I needed help and she reassured me. She was like a sister. I feel like it was not a coincidence that we met.
After I had the baby, she kept in touch, calling the ward, asking how I was, how the baby was doing. I spent three days in hospital afterwards and she brought food for me. She picked me up and brought me home. I felt like I really had someone.
Every birth is different. I have had two babies before but this one was more painful. I was so lucky that I had a companion. I don’t know how it would have been if I’d been alone. Even before I had the baby, during the appointments, in lockdown, with children — I always ask myself, “How would I have managed, what would I have done?”
I think this is something that should be introduced to every part of every country. It’s so important to have someone by your side. You don’t realise how important it is until you go through it. When I look back — two children, pregnant, nobody to talk to, moods up and down — I’m not so sure I would have survived without Amma. The love Amma is giving… you can’t equate it to money. Someone being there for you in that way imprints on you for life.