“I had feared birth all my adult life. When I married, I still wasn’t sure I would even have children. 5 months later I became pregnant and when I did the test, those two lines filled me with a suffocating fear which I lived with for 6 months. I found Irene when I was 12 weeks pregnant, and this magnificent woman changed my life. She held space for me.

When I came to her she was overbooked (as she often was) yet after meeting with me, hearing my fears, she decided to take me on. Much to my relief. I could see that this midwife not only loved God but also trusted Him in her work.

She took me from demanding a hospital birth complete with epidural to being at peace about a water birth in Papakura. Irene was amazing like that. Somehow when you knew that she trusted God, it meant we could too. When my first was born, he was blue and she needed to rush him off. I distinctly remember sitting in the pool with the water draining away thinking “this might be it! I might have gone through all of this and I might lose my baby!” In that moment, I felt God speak to my heart that He had already seen this moment, even before I conceived. And I felt Him saying to me that he would be there no matter the outcome. Immanuel. God with us. His presence was strong in that room, and part of that was due to the prayers of Irene, my Mum and my husband.

Since she passed away, I’ve been reflecting on the most significant thing she taught me. I’ve arrived at this: “No matter what you do to earn your bread, you can still view that job as a ministry. There are ways to share the love of God that may seem small, but can impact an entire community!”

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