Hello, Once Again My Fabulous Tribe.
I hope you enjoyed the first part of this story or should I say I’m sure you enjoyed it because if you didn’t, you won’t be reading right?
So you remember where we stopped right?
Well, my EDDs passed, and to say I was worried is an understatement. I would have you know that I have a very strong hatred for medicine and everything that has to do with the hospital, (I have mentioned that previously in The fight for my life) but for the sake of my baby’s health, I took my routine pills religiously. I tried as much as possible not to miss any pill or doctor’s appointment.By my 8th month of gestation, my antenatal checkup was not longer fortnightly but weekly. By the last week of April, my appointment with the doctor was on Tuesday the 28th which was 4 days after the last delivery date I was given. My doctor assured me that everything was fine after he had checked my baby’s heartbeat and my vitals. According to him delayed labour at this stage was not unusual. To be honest, his words were not reassuring enough for a first-time mum like me. I kept wondering why my baby rejected all the dates given to her and why she just wanted to give me unnecessary stress.
I got home and kept trusting God to perfect everything that concerns me and my baby. My mum and Aunt also assured me that there was no cause for alarm and that labour would come sooner than I expect.
I made it a point of duty to increase my walking exercise to help quicken labour. Everyone in the estate knew me as the girl with elongated pregnancy as I was always walking around all the streets in the estate. I would intentionally climb the staircase at least 10 to 15 times every day because I needed the baby to become uncomfortable with staying inside my stomach and start finding her way out.
On Thursday the 30th of April, after my usual walk around the estate, I called my doctor on the phone and told him that I only had the usual discomfort in my lower abdomen as a result of the pressure from my protruding belly and the heaviness of my body but nothing unusual. As a matter of fact, I started crying on the phone because, people of God, at this point, I was super tired, my tired was even tired. I remember telling my mum that I was tired of the pregnancy and she hushed me loudly that it was a wrong statement to make. According to her if I say I am tired who will complete the gestation for me. She admonished me to mind my language and consciously keep speaking positively.
My doctor concluded that I should come with my luggage the following day being Friday the 1st of May that they would induce labour for my baby to come out. I lied to myself that I felt better and that it was a better option but me, myself, and I knew that I was as petrified as a duck being shot at by a hunter.
Around 10.30 pm on the 30th of April, I was in the sitting room watching a movie on Africa Magic on DSTV contemplating if I should go to bed or finish up the movie when I suddenly became pressed and went to ease myself. I finally decided to sign out and retire to bed around 11 since I was feeling very exhausted and drained for the night. On getting to my room, I started feeling like I didn’t clean up well after using the restroom and this gave me some discomfort so I took some tissue and wiped again.
To my greatest surprise, sleep wasn’t forthcoming so I just stayed in bed pressing my phone after my night prayers and hoping that nature would take its course and overwhelm me. By this time there were lots of activities going on in my stomach and abdomen that I didn’t fully understand. I suddenly felt wet in my private part again and I was wondering, ‘Didn’t I just clean up a few seconds ago?’
I got another tissue and wiped and before I understood what was going on, the wiping became a repeated process for about 30 to 35 minutes. By this time it was almost 1 am and I noticed the pain in my abdomen had increased in intensity. Little did I know that what I was wiping was what is called ‘the show’ which usually precedes the breaking of water that eventually leads to the beginning of the birthing process.
My abdomen suddenly became painfully turgid in an excruciating way that hurt my pelvis, back, and waist all at the same time. I was laying on my side and had to stay still while muffling the cry that was almost bursting out of my mouth as a result of the pain and discomfort I was feeling by clenching and grinding my teeth together. And just in the space of about 5 to 10 minutes, my entire body became calm instantly. I just assumed that it may have been something I ate or did that upset the baby. So I got up and tried to walk slowly around the room to see if it would soothe my system somehow.
The dehydration I felt at that moment is incomparable so I went to the kitchen to get some water and after gulping about 60cl of very chilled water (it even had some ice in it), I thought I had passed all the discomfort for the night. I kept some more water beside me because I was suddenly feeling like someone returning from a sojourn in the Sahara desert. At interval, I sipped some of the chilled water and it didn’t take long before I started feeling pressed so I helped myself to the restroom but by the time I was done, I couldn’t walk back to my bed. I had to stand still for the next few minutes because that excruciating pain had returned and held me on one spot making it arduous for me to make any movement except clenching and grinding my teeth once again while bending my body on the bed from my waist down and kneeling on down.
I kept trying as much as possible not to scream from the pain because the entire house was asleep. I was later made to understand that what I was experiencing is called contractions. This happens when the muscles of the uterus tighten up like a fist and relax. It is the process that helps to push out of the baby. So it comes and goes at interval as the birthing of the baby approaches and when it comes any form of movement is usually hampered, you just have to stay still else you will experience the highest discomfort of your life.
Now after this passed, my body relaxed again but this time I made up my mind to monitor the next time it comes and brace myself for it. I shuffled back to my bed picked my phone to call my elder sister (My Ride and Die) to narrate my predicament to her. While I was whispering the entire incident to her, the contractions came again and I just lay on my side clutching my stomach and this time around I couldn’t muffle or suppress the scream from the pain.
She kept shouting “Hello! Onyi! Are you there? Onyi o gini? Are you okay? Talk na! Have you told uncle? Onyi! Hei God.”
I couldn’t respond to all her questions because the phone had fallen from my hand at this point as I painfully waited for the contractions to pass again. The next thing I heard was, “Mummy! Come oooo! It’s like Onyinye is in Labour oooo! I don’t know what’s happening to her but she’s not talking again!”
I could hear my mum saying, “Nyem phone nu hu. Hello! Onyinye?! Onyi! O gini. Is your uncle there?”
Too bad I could not respond until the contraction passed then I picked the phone and found out they had ended the call so I redialed her number. Immediately she picked I said, “I’m alright now.”
She just replied, “Uncle is already coming downstairs to take you to the hospital.” I didn’t want to wake them from their sleep until I was sure of what was happening to me but my sister had already contacted them when I wasn’t responding.
Before I could even question her for disturbing them, my Aunt and Uncle were at the door knocking. My Aunt just said, “Onyinye I am coming inside!” like a Brigadier General talking to her subordinate without waiting for me to respond. As soon as she stepped in and saw all the tissue paper I had been using to wipe scattered all over the room she screamed, “Onyi, so you have been in labour and you didn’t let us know? That’s the show you’ve been wiping na. Baby will be out any moment.”
Like a flash of lightning, she grabbed my already packed bag from a corner of the room and came to help me up from the bed. “Darling,” she called out to her husband who was at the door, “let’s start going to the hospital. She’s in labour!”
With the aid of my Aunt, I carefully strolled to the exit door while my uncle quickly grabbed his car key from the dining table as he was calling out to my cousin to go and open the gate. Just before I boarded the car, the contraction came again and as usual, I had to stand still. My uncle wanted to lift me into the car but at that moment anyone touching was probably going to kill me. So my Aunt told him to allow me that it would pass. I stood with my legs spread apart, bending my body from my waist down and resting my palms on my knee while screaming at the top of my voice this time around.
I confess I saw God seated on the White Throne with the Angels and 24 elders bowing before him! Little did I know that this was just the tip of the iceberg, the main labour was yet to commence!I think I am pressed again, let me ease myself, we will continue the last part when I return.
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Don’t forget, I love you and I am rooting for you!
Continue to Part 3
Photo credit: Stock, Today's Parent and Mom Loves Best
Photo credit: Stock, Today's Parent and Mom Loves Best
© Onyinye Udeh