THE DAY I HAD MY FIRST BABY

Fresh from the womb
There were three of us in the rustic labour room. The bed at one end of the room was occupied by a lady whose own meaning of labour seemed to have changed to leisure. Though she carried an exceptional protruding tummy that looked like her baby was going to drop out any second, she was not producing the typical cacophonous sounds expectant women produce when they are on the verge of delivery. She tightly covered herself with a blanket and slept for long hours, only waking up to take bathroom breaks.

Then the plump and fair lady who occupied the bed next to her was our drama queen. After pacing through the corridors in tears, she finally lay on her bed. She uttered all sorts of gibberish and at some point, I had to consciously prevent myself from bursting into laughter. The midwife was not being nice to her either. She yelled, “Why you di make so like say u never born before. Nobi na ya second pikin dis? Abeg respect yaself.” (Why are you acting like a first time mom? This is your second child. Be modest.)
 My labour buddy, who felt like her destiny rested in the hands of the woman in uniform pleaded, “Abeg sista jus take me so ya. I don over suffer for dis life…” (Please, Sister bear with me. I have suffered a lot in this life.)

The tempo of her screams increased and soon the midwife announced that the baby’s head was visible. I had always wanted to experience a woman give birth but no, not on the day I was going to have a baby myself. I’m sure I was trembling at this point. She urged my expectant companion to cooperate and push aptly so she doesn’t jeopardise the delivery. In a few seconds, right before me, her beautiful baby boy greeted the world. I expected to hear the phenomenal baby cry that announces a new arrival to the world but my little friend disappointed me. He just gave a “nye” and that was it. Looks like his mother had done most of the crying for him.
The new mother became my official adviser. She told me, “Just di waka ya.” (Keep moving about). Her advice was aimed at helping me have an easier delivery. So I paced about with no visible signs of pain. My mother kept asking if I was in pain, my response was indifferent. She was shocked. She thought she was about to experience a painless childbirth miracle. She told me she thought she was going to die while birthing me but she was surprised at how I could be so calm in labour.
We had taken a trip to the hospital because my waters broke while I was preparing a delicious pot of Egusi soup for my dad. I was chatting online with Mr. N and cooking at the same time. Talk about multitasking! I kept moving from computer to pot. On one of such trips, I felt a gush of warm water running down my feet to the floor. It partially soaked my kabba (big gown). I had read too much about labour so I knew I had to get to the hospital once my waters broke even if I felt no pain. I rushed to my parents who were seated in the living room and informed them of the development. That was how my father dropped me off at 10:00 pm at the hospital, where I was admitted.
At 2:00 am, the midwife called me and administered a warm enema to me. I rushed off to the loo to empty my bowels. That was when my trouble started. I began to experience depths of pain I could not fathom. I became a semi-mad woman. I was screaming and gesticulating in ridiculous ways. My Mom gave me a look that said, “Now I know you are ready to have a baby.” At a point I began reaching for the bed that was close to me and pulling it towards me. Ask me why I did that. I don’t know. You see why I say I was semi-mad? I was doing anything to relieve the pain but the torture kept increasing geometrically.
My midwife was nonchalant like she had seen too many kinds of labour to be thrilled by mine. She kept telling me to push if I felt like pushing then she will go to another ward. I lost faith in her, how could I be told to keep pushing with no one in sight? What if the baby came out and there was no one to welcome the new life. I cried out for my Mom to come.(She wasn’t allowed to be permanently in the labour room.) When she came, I insisted that she stays by my side.
My malicious midwife came and looked at the area between my legs. With a tone that spewed sarcasm, she said, “You neva just do nothing ya.” (You haven’t accomplished anything.) I was demoralised and felt like my hope of a smooth delivery flew out of the window.
I kept following her misguiding rule to just push. With the constant pushing, something came out but not the baby! It is the thing that you go to release in a closed room when no one is watching. It came out, right there, on the hospital bed, thankfully in a hospital bowl. Madam midwife quickly put it away. I was too engulfed in pain to be embarrassed. After all, I had heard many women release that thing on their delivery bed too so I wasn’t the pioneer of such releases.
After five hours of a gruesome labour and a monster-midwife, a new set of nurses assumed duty at 7:00 am. There was just something about them that made me relaxed and determined. One of them looked at me and said, “You have done a great job. Now let’s focus on getting this baby out.” By this time, the level of pain I was going through was paralysing.

I went to hell and back. I used to think that after experiencing severe menstrual cramps, I will be used to labour pains. Well, I was wrong. The birth pangs were unique, so intense, excruciating and completely out of this world. I felt like I was in a dungeon, tormented by demons with no hope for survival. The worst part was when the baby’s head was about to pop out. Oh my God! It was like I was being ripped apart. Even though words are my buddies, I lack those to use in adequately describing labour pain.
Once the baby’s head popped out, I felt like the off button for the anguish was hit. The terrorising pain ended at 7:05 a:m on that Tuesday morning when my perfect baby girl met the world. Instead of my screams of sorrow, what filled the air was the crying of the teeny tiny human being I had just brought into the world. My heart was filled with joy which I again lack words to express. However, one thing I told myself was, “thank God I have at least brought one child into the world.” I promised myself to never walk down that road. Ever!
I thought delivery was not my talent. How come some women do this over and over again? So while basking in the euphoria of having birthed a new baby, the nurses/midwives came with some medical apparatus to sew my hoo ha. I couldn’t believe that. Sew what? I had a perineal tear during delivery thanks to my reckless midwife and her push anyhow admonishings. So the cha cha needed to be bound. I waited impatiently as stitch after stitch was placed on me.
Then they started pressing on my uterus to bring out blood which was just so annoying. They kept punching on my tummy as though they were going to resuscitate an unconscious person. I screamed, “More pain again?!” That caused the nurse to take it gently on me.
From the labour room, I was moved to the labour ward where I met the other Mami Pikins (new mothers) chilling. I sighted my drama queen labour companion devouring a large bowl of chicken pepper soup. She didn’t look like the same person who said she had suffered too much in life. I settled into my bed and visitors started pouring in to see my new baby.
Few minutes after delivery
The post-partum experience totally deserves another post. So have you tasted or witnessed child birth before? How e be dey? Go and type something down there!
*The italicised portions are in Cameroonian Pidgin English
*Kabba is a big Ankara (African fabric) dress widely worn by pregnant women in Cameroon
*I brought this post forward from August 20, 2015 because the story just never gets old.

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56 Comments

  1. It is not easy to be a mother, I have 3 now. New mummy congrats, Motherhood rocks

  2. Not easy at all, my dear. Thanks for reading!

  3. Oh gosh it is going to hell and coming back. That thing di hot oh

  4. E di hot no be small!

  5. This is so perfectly recounted. You have been added to my short list of writers that can keep me glued to a book or screen.Yes!A first birthing experience deserves to be immortalized in such a creative piece of art.Keep writing sister!

  6. Meshi Mesh . I shidon di laugh oh . no bi easy one at all from de post . still waiting for the movies. anih

  7. Hahahaha Anih! E no easy, my sister. Movies are in the pipeline.

  8. Yay! *dancing zenge for Jesus* I'm glad, I have joined your list of engaging writers. I always wanted to record how my first birthing experience went and thankfully I've done so on my online diary! Thanks for your sweet words, Sis. You always have my back.

  9. It's always a nice thing to read from you. You are such a talented writer who inspires me a lot. Though I've never witnessed labour before but through your experience i have gotten a clue. I also enjoyed your choice of words.Thanks for sharing your experience.More grease to your elbow

  10. Hi Anony, I feel accomplished when I use words to pull my readers into a scenario they never witnessed. That's the power of writing! I'm glad I inspire you… you just inspired me to inspire you more. Thanks for the lovely comment. Hugs

  11. You write very well. You managed to make it funny and vivid. I could almost recreate the scenes in my head.
    The one about the poo made me laugh loud. Hehe.
    Congrats on d birth of your baby?
    When should we expect the next one? All that you are not going back to labour room na lie. Na your type dey born 5. #runs away.
    Have u tried writing short stories or books? You have a talent.

  12. I was laughing while reading this. Started laughing at the "nye" part. Chai that drama queen midwife too, that day wasn't her day lol. and then few minutes after delivery looks like you just got beaten up hehe. keep up oo. i di wait part two ma!

  13. Hahaha Nata, that was the shortest baby cry I ever heard: Nye! The midwife was sleeping when I got to the hospital oo. I'm sure my labour disrupted her sleep so she was mad at me. Lol… the labour was once than being beaten up ooo. Chai I was sweating!

  14. Awww thanks Funmi! Hehehe this story recounts my first birth experience… I have visited the labour room 2 more times! So are not far from the truth oo. I'll tell all my phenomenal pregnancy and birth stories here. I'm working on writing books/short stories… Ehugs

  15. You have scarred me with this oh 🙁
    Cheiii! I'll just have an epidural biko

    http://www.cassiedaves.com

  16. Cassie baby, don't be scared biko. If I can do it without an epidural then you can do it too.

  17. Interesting piece!I will pop anytime from now.I pray for a miraculous childbirth and great composure.Stay blessed…

  18. Thanks Anon! I pray same for you. Have faith in God and do not give up. I wish you the very best…

  19. Lol..that drame queen devouing a plate of chicken pepper soul had me in stitches.
    Good read..

  20. Lol… she was making up for the suffering. Thanks for reading!

  21. Interesting
    Enjoyed read d post.

  22. Nice write up.

  23. Wow!!😱
    You are such an awesome writer,such an interesting piece.I totally enjoyed reading it.

  24. Nana, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading!!!

  25. Vivid images comes to life as I read. No doubt there you are a very gifted writer.
    There is something about the negligent midwife. The likes of her are the reason so many die in childbirth.
    Belated congrats on your child. 🙂
    Baby only cry 'nye'.
    Lol drama queen whey don suffa for life di dama chicken? Na ee lucky 🙂
    Will most def be stopping by and yes get that book going. Very engaging.

  26. I'm glad I painted vivid pictures for you. Thanks for your kind words, Sis. I tell you… drama queen forget suffer enter enjoyment. Hahahaha na e own fine.

  27. What an article,I laughed,cried,read etc,in short I enjoyed it.Thanks.This is your second or no third piece I am reading,I wish I make out time to read more.Such a wonderful piece.

  28. Dear anony, I'm glad you could empathise with me. Make out time ooo, there's so much you're missing on. Thanks for the lovely feedback. I really do appreciate.

  29. Saw your comment on sisiyemmie,com

    I must say that you are a talented and engaging writer. Well done.

    God bless your hands.

  30. Awww your words are so sweet. Amen and thanks so much, dear Anon.

  31. "I sighted my drama queen labour companion devouring a large bowl of chicken pepper soup. She didn't look like the same person who said she had suffered too much in life. "

    Lol. This isn't my first time reading this but this made me laugh out loud.

  32. Laughing my ass off! woww Precious dear you are such an amazing writer. I had a terrible experience giving birth to my second baby. The baby was breached and he came out with his buttock instead of the head. i nearly lost my life,i pushed and pushed no way,the midwife then inserted her hands inside of me and pulled him out.it was a horrible experience, lost the baby anyways. Gonna write a post about that on my blog. Missed you sweetie,thanks for checking on me.
    rosyandchic.blogspot.com

  33. Haha I dey laugh real hard.I poo too ya during my second delivery.well and as for the tearing hmmm first baby I was cut up by midwife for baby to come out.second baby I tear by myself. Third baby..I tear again.I thank God say I born all ma pikin dem with epidural anaesthesia without wc the pain for baaaddddddd
    Thanks for posting

  34. Look who's here! So glad to hear from you, dear. I missed you sooooo much.
    So sorry about the loss of your baby. Looking forward to the post on that.
    Ehugs.

  35. Hahahaha how embarrassing! The things women go through eh.
    Thanks for dropping a comment!

  36. "…. "Nye"….Looks like his mother had done all the crying for him". That cracked me up so bad. My dear childbirth ain't easy. My mum wasn't present in mine as we were not in our home country. She was constantly on the phone with me..and I kept telling her I was taking my contractions well and sailing through labor. She said "you obviously haven't gone into labor yet, cos when you do, you won't even be able to talk and smile over the phone with me". My sister, when it happened. I saw the heavens and the firmament!lol.I was holding tightly to my bed until I pulled my IV-line injected to my wrist. I was induced cos mine didn't start naturally…I Heard it's twice the pain of natural labor.It was fun reading this as always.
    http://www.bubusboulevard.com

  37. Bubu, it's not easy at all. Being induced really makes the pain worse as I hear. At the end of the day when we hold our babies, we smile and forget the torture and temporal madness.
    Thanks for always reading!

  38. I've came across this post and read it twice but didn't wants to comment cos i felt its a girly one which i shouldn't interfere. However i still can't get the thought of giving you kudos out of my head.
    Congrats on your successful delivery and may God answer the prayers of those asking for babies too. Amen

    My First Podcast and Life Lesson For You

  39. LOL Tunde, guys are welcome to "interfere".
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  40. I'm scareddddddd. Shivers.

    The God that did it for you will do it for me. Amen.

    How is baby doing?

  41. Amaka, baby is a five-year old now. Don't be scared, hun. If I can do it then you can!

  42. I'm gonna be a mom someday… And share mine too.

    Really nice narrative flashback.

    http://www.yvonnyblog.wordpress.com

  43. Right Yvonne?
    I hope I'll be able to read that then.

  44. My God! Its as if I was there with you, my body is feeling 'one kin 😭😭 ….
    Its so painfull and now am so scared 😭😭😭

    Good job dear, so strong

    https://funkeolotu.com/2016/08/24/my-best-stories/#more-2394

  45. Hi Funke,

    Ahhh let your body not feel one kind ooh.
    The beauty of holding your baby makes it all worth it.
    Besides to some people, the child birth experience is not as "scary".
    Thanks for swinging by, dear.

  46. Awwww… I couldn't help but laugh at some points in this posts. Some nurses can be so harsh and you start to wondr why they are in the medical field in the first place. Congratulations on your mommy status, it indeed is a great blessing and no easy feat. Should you call your daughter to send her on an errand sometime and she mumbles, just reiterate this story for her. Much love.

    Sorry But I Cannot Go Out With My Natural Hair

  47. Lol, my daughter asked me the other day if giving birth to her was so painful to which I replied, "yes". Then she goes, "well, you'll have to go through that pain again when giving birth to my brother."
    Ha!

  48. The "Nye" sound is really sweet. Congrats being a mom and going through that experience. I miscarriage before and the pain I felt was not a joke. I can imagine how women feel having so many kids. But that is a strength that women beat men with.

  49. So sorry about your miscarriage, dear. I've been down that road too and it was so painful. Women are truly strong.

  50. My labour was ok up until the stitching of the area! I had the nicest nurses. When I kept pushing the number 2! I was so embarassed eh. I kept saying sorry n.a., sorry ma lol. The nurse told my mum " your daughter is so respectful" my daughter came out in no time . Then comes the stitching after the whole clean up in an uncomfortable half bed, with no leg rest. It was too uncomfortable. They stitched me up with no pain killers no nothing!injected water into my honey pot and told me it was pain killers! I swear with each stitch I saw the insides of my ears! I screamed so loud that my husband had to say " shebi she don born? Why them de punish the girl na" lol. I can't wait for another birth.

  51. Oh my! Stitching with no pain killers? I can only imagine the pain.
    Lol at pushing number 2. We understand.
    I love how you say you can't wait for another birth. The experience is totally worth it!
    Thanks for stopping by, Doreen!

  52. lol it's not easy o!For my first I was a semi-mad woman but the second I was more scared than mad.I blogged about my experience for the second plus some devilish matrons from the pit of hell.I honestly do not care to have another baby.I've been scared out of my wits and I no get power biko!
    http://www.cheecheelive.com/2016/04/my-birth-experience-eclampsiaageing.html

    http://www.cheecheelive.com

  53. Pingback: HERE'S WHAT'S UP: BIRTHDAY GIRLS | Precious Core

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