The pregnancy that led to the birth of my second baby was pretty easy unlike the first one. I only threw up twice during the entire pregnancy. I felt really good.
|This is me during my pregnancy
It was a time of travelling and having fun.
|At Down Beach, Limbe
You see, I wasn’t a “poor thing” like I was with my first pregnancy.
So I knew I will have a pretty easy delivery. Here is how the whole thing happened:
On the first day I felt excruciating pains while doing my house chores. I bore them for a while and when I could no longer take it, I asked my younger brother to accompany me to the hospital. That night at about 1 a.m we trekked to a clinic on the same street where we lived. It was interesting to see night life taking its course in the bars on that street. I’m sure I saw a few drunk people displaying their talent but I was minding my business with my big belly.
I went to the hospital with so much certainty that I will come back with my baby. This was not a first pregnancy
and I heard countless stories of how subsequent childbirths
were easier. My friend Akwi narrated to me how her aunt had a labour that lasted only twenty minutes. As a trained midwife, she had delivered herself at home while looking through a mirror. Stories like that motivated me.
I had pictured myself having a very speedy delivery. Here I was faltering on the black rocks that characterised that street in Buea to the private clinic that was about half a mile away. My younger brother, Desmond hopped along with me, hope-filled. He bothered me with many questions when the pregnancy was in it’s final weeks
. One day, he reached home when lights in the living room were off and immediately thought I had gone to have my baby. When he saw me, he exclaimed, “Pre, I thought you had gone to give birth.”
With the burdens of the third trimester
weighing me down, I sternly warned him, “Des, stop asking me about giving birth! You keep putting pressure on me. Na weti?”
That had calmed him down a little but I could still see the hope in his eyes whenever I said I felt pains in my tummy. So this night wasn’t just my night to offload but his night to witness the birth of the baby.
We checked into the hospital and I got checked by a midwife whose name I later learned was Magdalene. I’ll call her Aunty Mado. Aunty Mado said my cervix was 2 centimetres dilated. When it’s 10 centimetres dilated, baby will come. She advised me to climb and unclimb the stairs at the clinic severally. I obeyed her religiously. By dawn, there was no baby. There was an exhausted Desmond, a frustrated me and a toddler caught in between.
On day two, we were home and I continued with my normal activities amidst contractions. I hung in there thinking the contractions were helping dilate my cervix.
The third day, there was pain and more pain. Desmond and I went out to do some last minute shopping. I went to my favourite baby store and bought some cute flip flops for myself. I went to an American shop and purchased can drinks for entertaining the guests who will pour in once the baby arrived. I went to the bank and withdrew money for hospital bills. Then I called my friend Akwi, in the neighbouring town of Mutengene to come give me some assistance. My sweet friend quickly landed in Buea with her own baby who was barely a year old. She was at my house to make lunch and help me with house work.
Everything was in order and all I wanted was to give birth and carry my baby. My hospital bag was packed and the contractions were stronger. I went to the clinic once again where I met another midwife on duty. When she checked me, she revealed I was 4 centimetres dilated. Then she questioned me,
“How come you have only moved to 4 centimetres when records show you were already at 2 centimetres the other day?”
People, there is no answer to that question! How was I supposed to answer that?
“I don’t know.” I replied.
She looked at me disapprovingly.
I went back home that evening, leaving my bags at the medical clinic. I was frustrated to the bone. My friend Akwi, told me not to worry. Why was I contracting and not giving birth? Talk about labour with no fruits! I gave up (almost). I told Desmond to go get my bags from the clinic. In tears, I said
“I am not going to that place again!”
I stepped into my bedroom to have a rest. There, some kind of strength overpowered me. I took a bath and announced I was going back to the clinic. It was night and Aunty Mado was on duty again. She checked me and revealed that I was 6 centimetres gone. That was progress.
I started parading the clinic premises so I could make the passage for the baby open more yet my parade proved futile. Each time I entered the labour room, my contractions ceased. It was like there was some force in the room that stalled everything. How else do you explain the fact that a woman in active labour, who has been moaning in pain gets into a room and rather gets sleepy and actually sleeps. When she gets out of the room, the pains are excruciating. How do you explain that?
I had been praying for a good delivery and all that but this time, I started praying… desperately. Being in labour for three days was not a bundle of koki
and prayer was my only way out. I walked the clinic premises this time, trying to open the passage for the baby with prayers. My prayers were loud and fearless. I didn’t care if anyone was watching me or listening to me. I wanted that baby out. Now.
I prayed, told God all sorts of things. I prayed until I lacked further words to say. At some point, I could only groan. My brother joined me to pray. By this time, I also had my aunty who had come to the clinic to stay with me on request from my mother. We all prayed together. I could see my aunty and my brother dozing off. I was so weak from the loud prayers yet prayer was my only hope.
At some point, I felt peace in my spirit and a certainty that I could enter the labour room. The labour room, which had stalled my labour before felt like what it was- a labour room. I could feel the baby coming. I screamed like someone with a rope tied around her neck, ” I want to poooo!” Aunty Mado took me to the delivery room. I could barely walk there. As soon as I got there, I birthed my baby girl, a 3.45 kilogram baby at 2:45 a.m that November night. As soon as she was out I lifted up my voice thanking God for a safe delivery against the odds.
And the girl grew in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and with man.
We named her Salma. Salma means perfection… it also means peace. God has perfected everything concerning this girl.
|Salma at 10 months
The evaluation after birth revealed she was already turning blue- getting tired and almost dying due to the frequent contractions. She is now three and each time I look at her, I remember that prayer works. The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects. If I have ever doubted the potency of prayer, the birth of this girl defeated my doubts. Prayer works.
What is that situation that stares at you in the face like there’s no hope? You can face it in prayer. Persistent prayer, prayed with great determination works!!!