I tossed and turned in bed again at 4 am that Saturday morning when my bladder told me that I needed to take a trip to the loo. As I stood up, I felt a trickle of water run down my thighs. That was it! I knew the amniotic sack had finally opened up. It was not a gush like with my first delivery but I had read one book too many on labour. So I knew sometimes the water breaking won’t be dramatic every time. I was excited to be finally close to having my baby. Being a few days overdue was not like a huge bite into a coconut cupcake (P.S. I have a love affair with coconut). It was rather like taking a peek into the promised land but being unable to get into it.
The trickling of the water didn’t come with any strong contractions so I wore a sanitary pad and went back to bed to get fidgety and call it sleep. The definition of sleep had changed in these last days of pregnancy. It consisted of turning, quarreling with the bed, quarreling with my bladder for asking me to pee all the time, quarreling with my chest for the frequent heart burns then finally giving up on my ‘enemies’ and standing up to continue with the day.
I became a semi mad-woman during my first delivery
and an uncompromising prayer warrior during my second delivery
so for this third delivery, I did everything I could to have a stress-free experience.
First, I bought Supernatural Childbirth
, a book by Jackie Mize
that narrates how a woman prayed her way into painless deliveries. I wanted that to be my story so I prayed the prayers attached to the book diligently.
I signed up for two pregnancy apps, Baby Centre and I’m Expecting or something (can’t remember the exact name). They are like Facebook groups for pregnant women. I was constantly connecting with women who had due dates that were close to mine and learning from them. The next crazy things I did were suggestions from my pregnant ‘delusional friends’.
I drank Raspberry Leaf Tea. I was told this would make labour quick and easy so I drank and drank. Though the taste was nothing to write home about, I really enjoyed it. Baby didn’t come.
I danced like a mad woman. I was told dancing will bring the baby on. So when Mr. N and the girls were in bed, I hobbled from one end of the living room to another, my tummy following along. I called it dancing. Ha! Baby didn’t come.
I won’t even tell you the other things I did. But I did EVERYTHING I had heard of or could think of to bring the babay. But… baby didn’t come.
So this morning, when I felt that trickling, it was like hope stirring at me in the face. At dawn, I made a quick lunch for the house: some flavourful Rice and Fish Stew while breathing through contractions. At about 11 AM, I called my very kind-hearted friend, Jeena to come take my kids from me so I could go in to the hospital.
When she took the girls, I stood in my living room and danced. But this time, I didn’t dance to bring the labour on, I danced because someone I trusted was going to babysit them. I literally moved rhythmically because finding the right person to babysit had been difficult. God proved how good He is by bringing this woman who loves Him into my life at the right time.
Mr. N came home from work and off we went to the hospital. As the car drove off, my contractions got stronger with the shaking of the car. We arrived the several storey huge hospital building in Saint Paul, Minnesota at about 2 pm and made our way to the floor where the birth centre was located.
I was checked into a labour/delivery room. Boy was it cozy! I had the room all to myself which means there were no fellow drama queens
. Installed on the wall was a flat screen TV with cable channels. The walls looked freshly-painted and the room was devoid of the epic hospital smell that would make you want to throw up. I felt like I was in a hotel. The bed was small and adjustable to make me feel comfortable. By the top of the bed was a computer which the nurses used to enter my hospital data. Then there was a toilet for me in the same room and a large window that offered me a nice view of the city.
I was given a johnny gown (hospital gown) and asked to swap the clothes I had on for it which I did. Next, was the routine check by the nurse. She asked me a few questions, one of which was if I wanted to have an epidural to make labour easier. I declined because I hated the thought of being paralysed from my waist down for the sake of an easier delivery. She sent her hand into my hoo ha to check how dilated I was. She announced that my cervix was two centimetres dilated. Hearing this was disappointing because I expected to be much closer to ten centimetres which is the final point before baby comes.
After the check, I asked if I could walk in the hospital corridors. The friendly nurse, a middle-aged woman agreed. So with my big belly, weird hospital gown and Mr. N (who probably had no idea what he was doing) I started going upandan (up and down) the corridors. This attracted a fair share of onlookers who must have thought I was high on something. I didn’t really care because I wanted to exercise properly and get the baby out. I didn’t want to stall labour by lying down.
An hour later, I was four centimetres dilated. An hour later, I moved to six centimetres. The nurse who had been checking me all along had a close of shift. A calm-looking girly nurse who was about 5 months pregnant herself took over. At this point, my contractions were no longer something I could walk through. I was lying in bed, sweating profusely and uttering gibberish.
The nurse who had become like some sort of a sister to me held my hand and gently rubbed it through the intense contractions. At some point I was under the illusion that she was my long lost sister who had found me. How she turned out white and me black was what was confusing.
I listened to gospel music to take my mind off the pain that came with the contractions. Mr. N sat by the bed on a recliner chair, rubbing me and sometimes battling sleep due to exhaustion from work.
Time went by, contractions increased and I got to 9 centimetres of dilation. My nurse turned sister handed over to another nurse who looked fierce and choleric. Yet she exhibited the same care her predecessors had shown me.
It was in her hands that I had my baby at 2 am that night. I screamed, “the baby is coming!” She insisted on checking how much cervix I had left. I said, “there’s nothing there!” I hated the several cervical checks they kept doing. She checked anyway and affirmed that I was right. The doctor came in a rush and with one push, I birthed a healthy 7 pound 13 ounces baby girl, black, beautiful with a head full of hair. Immediately, she was placed on my chest for us to bond.
Mr. N cut the umbilical cord. We prayed and thanked God for His beautiful gift to us. Mr. N having this labour room experience for the very first time was totally priceless and just the most beautiful thing.
I was moved into a postpartum room which was a lot similar to the delivery room. There I was given a menu with the freedom to order as much food as I wanted in a day. I kept ordering all kinds of food after two hours intervals. Trust me on that. After all, it was njoh.
Two days later, after being checked constantly by doctors and nurses, I was discharged. I was placed on a wheel chair and wheeled out of the hospital.
I have shared with you all about my pregnancies and deliveries because these stories are worth recounting. I would say that no two pregnancies or child births are the same. No matter how much you get pregnant, there would always be something different to face. All the same, it is a beautiful experience. Thank you for reading.
Have you read all my pregnancy diaries? Check them out here:
Whew! I have written quite a bit about pregnancy. My next move is to write for those TTC (Trying to conceive). If you tried for a baby for several years and finally conceived or you are presently trying for a baby, please send us your story at email@example.com. There is tremendous power in storytelling. Stories are more powerful than the greatest lectures! So if you have a story that needs to be told, don’t hold it back because that is all someone needs to hear. Send an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a fulfilling week!