I had been told that a typical pregnancy is between 38 to 42 weeks. By 36 weeks, I was fed up! Totally tired and just couldn’t wait to meet the little Prince. I was tired of the constant abdominal pains and difficulty getting in and out of bed. It was such a process. I couldn’t remember when last I saw my toes! I was also tired of Baby kicking me at will and just wanted to hold him. By 38 weeks, I had started taking long walks with S and jumping up and down, taking the stairs two steps at a time and squatting, anything to get the ball rolling.
At my doctor’s appointment (at 39 weeks), I was told I was zero cm dilated and 60% effaced. My doctor got worried and said that for how low I was and how big my baby is, he expected me to have started dilating by now and that he suspected that I would be unable to give birth unaided. According to his assessment of me and from his 35 years of practice of obstetrics and gynaecology, he believes my pelvis is too small for my son’s head. I stared blankly and asked him to speak to me in plain English. He says, “Ma’am, I would like you to prepare yourself for a caesarian delivery”. As at that point, that was the very worst verdict as I had been praying for the past 9 months specifically against that. I know it is not a big deal but it was such a major issue to me and I had spoken to God that I did not wish to be operated upon and that I deliver the way my mother did me.
On one of our trips to the mall, I felt a sharp pain which was very different from the ones I had been experiencing all through my third trimester. It stopped me in my tracks but I dismissed it and later mentioned it to S. We then went on a long walk trying to kick Baby out! By this time, I was 40 weeks and fed up of my big belly! Totally and completely! At my doctor’s appointment, it was discovered that I still wasn’t dilated- 0% nothing, nada, zilch. At that appointment, I was booked for a caesarian section on Friday the 13th of February, I looked at the paper and said “I reject it in Jesus’ name! My child will not be born on Friday the 13th!” LOL!!!
During my time away, I attended a wonderful RCCG church and decided to go for a Praise Night on Tuesday evening. At the event, I kept dancing, komole-ing, rababa-ing, all sorts. I danced and danced and danced totally excited and I could feel Baby dancing along as well. At about 10pm when we got home, I felt all sorts of feelings-from pains, to liquid dripping slowly to all sorts! Whoa! The time is no longer ‘nigh’. The time is now!
I told S and could sense a little bit of excitement in his eyes. My mom was beside herself with excitement. I must confess, I was actually scared. I had watched birth videos online and shivered at the thought of being stretched that wide open by Baby’s head. But the thought that it just had to be done kept me going.
We all prayed and proceeded to the hospital. By this time, the pain had gotten so real! It was coming consistently every 5 minutes and coming so strong. It felt like my worst menstrual pain multiplied by 1million. It was intense but I refused to cry. I winced, squirmed, grimaced, groaned but never shed a tear.
At the hospital, I was taken to triage and registered (international passport and all). By this time, I felt like ‘wow, how do people voluntarily elect to have more thank one child. I was in pain. I thought it could get no worse until the nurse comes in to check ‘how far dilated’ I was. I looked at her blankly expecting her to at least consider my agony and go easy on me. No, she went for it like someone fishing for a lost ball and involuntarily, I slapped her glasses off. Gosh, that stuff was brutal. And to top it up, she announced, ‘you are 1cm dilated’. I was like ‘what?’ After all this pain? 1cm alone??? This was roughly 11:20pm. I was wheeled to L&D i.e. Labour and Delivery.
At L&D, I kept getting asked “are you sure you don’t want an epidural?” I kept responding in the negative. In my mind I thought “I am a strong woman, I don’t need assistance to do what God ordained to be a natural act.” So I endured. At 2 am, I was checked again and lo and behold, I was still 1cm. The L&D nurse was way gentler than the triage lady at least. At 4 am, still 1cm. At 7 am when my doctor came, still 1cm. By 9 am still 1cm. At this point, I was no longer just groaning, my voice had received volume and my arms were moving back and forth whenever the contractions commenced. S looked on helplessly and kept asking me: Temi, are you sure we shouldn’t just believe the doctor and do the CS?” The Doctor had had only just a few moments ago reiterated that my pelvis was too small for Baby and I had to have a CS.
I was tired and looked harassed. I was too weak to think and bam, another contraction hit me like a dirty slap on the face. I still refused to do it and decided to labour for a little longer. At 10am, I asked to be checked again. I was so hopeful as the contractions had become even stronger and more intense. The doctor came to check me again and this time added, “We can’t keep checking so as not to introduce bacteria into your cervix. We also would like you to know that if this continues, we would have to take you in for an emergency CS as your baby could get tired any time from now. I held my breath as he checked and waited for the answer, praying for at least a change however small just to prove the doctor wrong and to encourage me. I mean, how can I have a small pelvis with these truthful hips of mine. “Ma’am, you’re still 1cm, no change”. I looked into S’s eyes and decided there and then that maybe God’s will is for me to have this procedure.
The anaesthesiologist came in and administered the drugs to numb me from the waist down and with a little tear dropping, I was wheeled into surgery to have Baby. This was about 11:40. I could feel the pressure but no pain at all. And at 12:09, he was lifted out of me. At first, he was quiet and I kept asking S, why is he quiet, whats going on? Then out of nowhere, I heard his cry and couldn’t help my sobs. They brought him to me and he was the yellowest creature ever. He was so tiny and I could nt understand why all the doctors called him big. The sweetest thing EVER was born. I immediately forgot all about the CS drama and was so grateful to God. My joy knew no bounds. I was in awe as I still am. Life took on a new meaning as I became a mother at 12:09pm on Wednesday the 11th :).
Thank You Lord for our son. He has brought so much joy and I am so grateful for the confidence reposed in us in entrusting us with such a precious gift. I pray for all to experience this joy. To all waiting on God, may He give you your babies. For those who already have their kid(s), may God protect them and may He provide all you require in giving them the best. Our children shall outlive us. They shall bury us at a ripe old age with their own grandkids in tow. They shall not be named amongst miscreants but will be named amongst the great people of their generation. They will do greater things than we did. They shall not die young. They shall not be sick. All will be well with them and us.
This experience also renewed my admiration for my folks. They have really done well.
It was really tough sharing this and I battled internally that I was being too open. However, I have some lessons to share through my story:
a. Prayer against CS: God doesn’t need to be boxed. I had asked that I didn’t want a CS and prayed the Hebrew woman prayer but I had one. Does that make Him a liar? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Does it make me unrighteous? NO. Does it mean it was His will? Most likely as I prayed and committed all to Him.
b. Epidural: Perhaps, this is not such a bad idea after all lol. I’m glad I experienced labour o but next baby, I probably will have the epidural administered from my house if possible. LOL. No need for super woman tins. There’s no award for the woman who experienced the greatest pain.
c. Pelvis: Erm, I’m still not convinced I can have the hips I have and yet have a small pelvis. lol. But I guess the pelvis is a bone not the fleshy hips.
d. Babies: They are so adorable. Now I don’t frown at mothers when their babies cry in planes, church or other public places. I can empathise.
e. Help: Let people help you with your baby and sleep. I refused to let him out of my sight and could not sleep when they took him to the nursery. lol. Don’t be like me o. Rest well.
f. Breast milk: That thing has no control. By the third day, you will feel like watermelons were inserted into your boobs. Trust me, not pretty!
g. Your hubby: He is so easy to ignore at this point. I mean, you have done your part boo, let me focus on this precious little thing! But no, include you husband all the way. Give him little tasks and trust that he will accomplish them. Don’t worry, momma, you husband won’t choke your baby with his big burly hands and no, he won’t drop the baby either.
h. Maternity Leave: Use it well. But plan well for when work resumes so you won’t go into shock mode when you have just two weeks to the end of maternity leave and you have no plan in place re: taking care of baby.
i. Helpers: Be it your mom, your 2nd mom aka mom in law, your sisters, your nanny, be nice and kind and remember that usually they are acting out of love. So don’t keep referencing Baby Centre when mom decides to make baby sleep on his stomach.
Finally, enjoy your pregnancy, take pictures, enjoy motherhood, stay prayerful and grateful!
Have a lovely week,