My Fabulous Tribe!
Welcome once again. Back to my delivery gist. If you missed the previous episodes, you can read it up here before you proceed.
After I boarded the car with my uncle and aunt, we headed to my Uncle’s family hospital which was closer than the hospital where I had registered. The ride to the hospital had me contracting and relaxing at various intervals. My Anambra man kept calling and stayed on the line with me all through reminding me that he loved me and was convinced that I was strong enough to pull through. He had come into town the previous day after he informed his supervisor that his pregnant wife was due for delivery.We arrived at the hospital around 3 or 4 am, I am not sure of the exact time, and with my Uncle’s family card I was checked in and my vitals were taken. The doctor on duty spoke with my gynecologist on the phone and he was brought up to speed about my medical and pregnancy details.
By this time I was already dressed in a hospital robe and laid on my side on one of the beds in the delivery room because laying on my back was very uncomfortable, felt like an enormous load laying on me. A nurse came to check me and asked that I lay on my back and spread my legs. (I had stopped wearing panties about 3 months earlier, you know I don’t even like wearing undies)
How do I describe this checking process? Is it the fact that I have to lie on my back, raise my knees and, spread my legs as wide as possible or, that a human being had to put her hands into my vagina and pass her fingers into my vulva to check how wide it had dilated to know if it was enough to accommodate my baby’s head for entry into this world?
My people, the pain no be here!
I shouted, “Jesus! Mummy! Daddy! Nonso! My Lord! My God!”
(By the way, My Anambra man's name is Chukwunonso, he won an award for perambulation that day in the hospital. Lolz)
Which one did I not call? Remember that I had not been doing matrimonial jangolova as I should so that place was almost like a desolate piece of land in Badagry Lagos that buyers were not considering since Lekki-Ajah is a more happening place. (Just kidding)
The nurse checked and explained that I had dilated only 3 cm so I should relax that I still had a long way to go. I asked her how far I was supposed to be dilated before I can push out the baby, she said it was supposed to be between 9 and 10 cm. Hmm. She further said it may take up to 4 or 5 hours to get to that point.
Hello! Are you kidney me?!!! Kuku kee me!
My aunt told me that I should not panic since I had already come this far that she was sure I could finish it. She started rubbing my back because that place was on serious fire, the pain there did not have part 2! My waist felt like it was going to disconnect, the upper half of my body was not in alignment with the lower half of my body. By now I had removed the rubbish hospital robe they gave me and was as naked as a newborn, who cloth epp for labour?
The dehydration came again and I asked the nurse for water and she politely declined.
Wait oh, is this not witchcraft? How can your patient be thirsty and you say you are not giving me water? Did my village people send you? Abi you are using me to catch cruise. Shey you dey whine me ni?
I begged this nurse in all the languages of the earth, even in Hebrews. She later allowed my aunt to let me take a sip of about 1 cl of water. According to her, if I consume too much water, it could disrupt the process by filling up my bladder unnecessarily.
For every contraction, I called out all the names of my family members, Cherubs and Seraphs and other heavenly beings, I even called the prophets of old. Then I started begging the nurse to come and check me intermittently. She would tell me to relax that she would do it in due course.
My people, around 6 am my Mum and Hubby arrived at the hospital, okay, it felt good to see them but since they could not take away the pain they should just getat!
Several hours later when I was about 9cm dilated the nurse announced that it was time to push. In her words, “Madam, it’s time o. All the energy you have been reserving since it’s time to channel it into pushing your baby out. I can already feel her head with my fingers.”
Just look at this nurse! Which energy? Reserve where? Me that all my strength has finished and I am looking for who I will borrow from. Why do you think I have been calling all the names of my family members?
“Mummy, ike agwulam!” I cried out looking at my mother with helplessness all over my face. (meaning I am exhausted)
“Mbanu! Onyi I told you never to say that. Your baby is almost here. You have already been stronger than we expected, you can’t lose that strength now. You can do it. I had you and your 6 siblings. God strengthened me to do that. Call Him now and He will strengthen you to do this. Do you hear me?” Mum squeezed my hands as she declared this audibly.
I think that was all the booster I needed at that moment as I whispered, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Oh God, give me the strength to push my baby out!”
The doctor and nurses were already in position and the moment I heard ‘Push’, I gathered momentum and all the strength I didn’t have and gave it a shot!
“Madam, you are trying but you can do better. We can already see your baby’s head. Once you feel the next contraction, give another push,” the doctor remarked.
People of God, let me not lie, I was tired. I started crying and shouting, “Jeeeeesuuuuusss!”
The doctor said, “No, you don’t have to shout like that, it will drain all your energy. Just focus your mind on bringing out your baby. Jesus is with you already and He has given you strength so use that strength and act like you want to push out a difficult pupu!”
The contraction came again and I pushed, I say I pushed, with every breath in me, guess what?
The baby didn’t come out! Lolz.
We tried about 2 more times before her big head made its way out of my tiny vagina! Then I heard, “Madam, don’t stop, it’s only the head, continue so that you don’t suffocate your baby!”
You say what? Suffocate? After almost ten months? No way!
Immediately, I gave it another shot and that was it, my baby slid out followed by the placenta!
Praise the Lord!!!
The first thing the doctor did was raise her so I could see while holding her legs together, “Congratulations Madam, it’s a girl!” Then he placed her on my chest.
Time of birth 8:05 am on the 1st of May, 2009, birth weight 4.4kg.
Children of God, that moment, Nothing. Else. Mattered.
I forgot the contractions, excruciating pain, discomfort, sleepless nights, backache, elongated stomach, stretch marks, or even my widened vagina. Nothing, absolutely nothing else mattered.
My baby was in my arms, alive, and healthy. I was overwhelmed with indescribable joy as tears began to pour down my cheek. Then my mum whispered into my ears proudly with a fat smile on her face, “Onyi, you are now a mother!”
Reality check! My life has not remained the same since then!
|My first child and I|
I hope you enjoyed my childbirth experience. I am sharing this with you as a proof and reminder that nothing is impossible. If a crying kiwi like me could push out a baby of 4.4kg, I don’t think there is anything you can’t do as long as you put your mind to it.
My second child was an entirely different experience and I would share it subsequently but I would like to hear from other mothers what their childbirth experience was like. Do well to send me a mail via firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow me on Social Media platforms; Facebook Onyinye Nwaozor Udeh, onyiluvsu on Instagram, and Tory Teller on Twitter.
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Photo credit: Tommy's, UChicago Medicine, Babyology, Texts From Last Night, HerFamily.ie, and FirstCry Parenting.