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Today I continue my story about my first pregnancy. Be sure to catch up on previous posts about my pregnancy journey if you haven't done so already.
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Days turned to weeks, weeks to months. My due date was around the corner and I finally accepted that fact that my husband wouldn’t be around for the delivery of our first child. While my parents and siblings were extremely excited about the arrival of the baby, I was dreading it. It was lonely going to the doctor’s appointments on my own; I felt like a single mother. Seeing other couples at the hospital walking hand in hand made me feel sad. I just wanted my husband by my side. I was such a mess, I fought with every member of my family (*covers face*). I felt like my parents were being overbearing; a particular issue from the past caused my sister and I to clash…and it lasted for a long while; I complained about my other sister not giving me enough attention. The only person that escaped my wrath was my brother. I was an emotionally wreck. I definitely did not handle the situation well.
During the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I had the most amazing doctor; he was definitely God sent. He was encouraging; he answered all my questions and showed genuine care and concern. My due date was fast approaching and the baby did not show any interest in coming on time; I guess she was waiting for her daddy also (*smiles). I was told if the baby didn’t come by a certain time after my due date, I’d have to be induced. I heard so many horror stories about induction and I didn’t want any of it.
Lo and behold, the day came and I had to be induced. I had mixed emotions; overall I was glad to finally see the little human that had been taking up residence in my womb for over nine months. I got up very early (around 6 am). I did my normal daily routine, showered, brushed, etc. My hospital bag had been packed for some time, so I grabbed it and was ready to go. I was told that I couldn't eat anything, so I was praying for a short labor and delivery. I already told my father to purchase the first meal that I would eat as a mother; it was Jamaican food- oxtails, rice and peas, cabbage and fried plantain.
When I got to the labor and delivery department, I was welcomed with warm smiles. Everyone was so nice and friendly. I was instantly hooked to a number of monitors and given oxygen. The first method of induction that was used was a pill that was inserted into me; after a few hours, I wasn’t progressing so the doctor inserted another pill. I was barely dilating, so I had to play the waiting game. Thankfully my parents and siblings were around to keep me company. My husband, pastors and in-laws also called from time to time; encouraging me and praying with and for me. I was at peace, trying to take it all in and enjoy the process.
At one point, a nurse came in and asked how I was feeling. I smiled and said that I was good. She responded, “You must not be having contractions yet with all that smiling that you’re doing.” She proceeded to check the monitors and said, “Wait! You are contracting, don’t you feel that?” I was shocked and responded “No…” She looked at me like I was crazy and looked back at the screen, “You should definitely feel this one, this is a big one and it’s gonna hurt.” When I responded in the negative again, she just shook her head and walked away. I just smiled, I released my faith for a pain free delivery and it was happening! When the nurses asked if I wanted an epidural on several occasions, I denied it. I wanted to have the baby “naturally” plus I felt absolutely no pain, so there was no need.
There were a number of times when the nurse would run into the room because the baby's heart rate would drop. I would had to adjust my position, only for them to find out that she was sleeping for the most time. The nurse would say "Your baby sleeps alot!" However, when I wasn’t progressing, they decided to try another method of induction. They called in the balloon method. By that time, I was tired. I was tired of the constant checking of my cervix without any good news of progress with dilation; I was tired of playing the waiting game. I agreed for them to go ahead with the balloon method. The doctors were running shifts, so a new doctor had to insert the balloon. Only for the rude doctor that I vowed wouldn’t delivery my baby to show up. I was not happy! She proceeded with the procedure and that was the first time that I felt pain, and it hurt so much! I screamed out in distress as tears ran down my cheeks. My sister later told me that I said, “I want my husband!” I defintely did not want that woman around me again.
After that bout of pain, I lay back on my bed and grabbed my “Supernatural Childbirth” book; I started reading the confessions and praying the scriptures from the book. In no time, I was back to normal; no more pain and then I started dilating. When I was told that I was 6 cm dilated, I was happy! Finally, my baby would soon be here!; well, she didn’t come as fast I thought she would. At one point, I was just tired and hungry. I was only permitted to chew ice and take a few sips of water. The nurses came again and asked if I wanted an epidural, they encouraged me to go ahead since my labor was progressing. I asked my mom what she thought and she said that I should get it if I wanted; she did it while in labor with my siblings and me. So, I obliged. I was a bit nervous because I heard that if you moved during the epidural procedure you could be paralyzed. The nurse stated that my heart rate started to increase once the doctor came in and told me to relax. The anesthesiologist was so nice and reassuring; he asked if he could have some medical students in the room and I agreed, I love being of assistance with educating people. In a few minutes it was done.
The first thing that I noticed was numbness, especially in my lower limbs. I could barely feel anything; I wasn’t sure if I liked that. When the evening had come and there was still no baby, I was upset and drained. I was told that I was 8 cm at one point, a couple of hours later another doctor came and said I was 6 cm. One of the nurses told me not to worry because that doctor’s fingers were tiny. I didn’t understand what was going on; I just wanted my baby in my arms. Dinner time came and my dad and siblings decided to devour the Jamaican food that was supposed to be my celebratory meal; I had to plead with them to eat it outside of the room; the aroma of the food was irresistible. The food was calling my name and I unfortunately could not answer. My father and two of my siblings ended up calling it a night and went home. While my mom and one sibling stayed back. I tried to get some sleep but to no avail, the constant checking of my cervix plus being uncomfortable didn’t help.
Around 4:00 am, the doctor with the tiny fingers came back and stated that I needed an emergency C-section. She stated that I had an infection and they were concerned about the baby. She held out the consent form and asked me to sign it. I told her to give me some time to talk to my husband and she was annoyed; she walked out angrily. I spoke to my dad and he said “Just let them do what they want to do and get it over with.” My husband was reluctant but told me to go ahead. The last thing that I wanted was a C-section, I was disappointed. I eventually signed the papers, asked my sister to accompany me and waved goodbye to mom as tears escaped my eyes.
To be continued...
With lots of love,
- Bunmi Adebiyi
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