My birth story
Happy birthday Nathaniel.
Sitting here in the hospital for the third time this 3rd trimester, the IV in my arm hurts and is uncomfortable. I watch as the colorless mixture runs cold into my blood. The Foetal Doppler is connected to my belly. I sit in silence listening to his heartbeat. I always look forward to listening to his heartbeat.
I have been having contractions since last night. I went to bed quite late. Woke up at 2am this morning to clean the house. After I went back to bed. I woke up at 10am as contractions began to rise. My husband is in Botswana. At 12 o’clock, I called my father, the contractions where not going away but rising slowly. My panicking father drove me to the hospital once again. We went straight to floor 1, maternity ward. The sister confirmed the contractions. Baby is coming.
They set up a room for me and there I lay. My mother had traveled for work as well. I was trying not to stress as this would worry my baby. But who would hold my hand during birth? I screamed in my head for the 30th time. I cannot do this on my own. Thoughts run through my head. This is the last time I will be pregnant. The last time I will feel his kicks inside me.
I will miss him inside. The bond and secrets we shared while pregnant. I stand in the mirror and took one last picture of me pregnant. I engross every last moment. He frantically turns inside me, letting me know that he is ready to see and hug me now. It’s time. It’s the 1st of May. His due date is 8th May.
Sad and stressed, my husband informs me the bad news.
His boss won’t give him time off for the birth of his son. My mom is calling. My dad is confused. Until it hits my husband. He calls my best friend to come. We sit together. I am silent. Keeping myself calm as a thousand thoughts run through my head. Atleast someone is here. As labour slowly progresses, unfortunately Clarissa can’t stay the night because of hospital regulations. So she leaves. I did not sleep. My mucous plug runs out at midnight. This is really happening.
Every few hours the midwife bursts in my room. Taking note of my blood pressure and checking the baby. Can you still handle the pain? Yes, I respond. She checks the IV and leaves. I pass out at 4am. At 7am the midwife wakes me again. Breakfast time. At 9am the doctor comes in. He is making rounds. Checks everything and asks questions. I am still at 1cm dilated. My water breaks. Doctor is alarmed, I have to do a c-section plus I have a low laying placenta. My world crushed. I heard the pieces of my heart break.
Natural birth was all I wanted and prepared for.
Anything could go wrong via c section. My husband was not there neither was my mom. I felt a little less than a woman. My body is failing me. It’s supposed to naturally know what to do during labour. My husband called and my voice broke. In tears I told him my fears. He assured me that no matter how the baby came out, as long as mom and baby are fine.
That’s what matters. Be strong for baby. He was crushed he couldn’t make it for me and his son. Picking up my pieces, Clarissa came. C-section scheduled for 2pm. I was moved to the operation room. The helping nurse explains that half of my body would feel numb as he injected the epidural in my back. I had to be awake. The epidural fes strange on my body. It’s as though my body is made of balloons with water in side.
They drap a curtain across my chest so that I shouldn’t see the operation. The moments after felt like my equipment in my body is being shifted and carried out, then put back later. Then I heard my son’s first sharp loud scream. My son screams. He doesn’t cry. The room went silent. My son is a different shade of color from me. My son was weighed and cleaned.
They show him to me. Tears run down my cheeks as it finally hits me. My son is born. Clarissa took him to another room for the Apgar test as instructed by the doctor. While I need to be stitched up. I am then taken to a new room for mothers who just had a c-section. I wait for an hour or two to finally hold my baby. He is beautiful, so tiny, fragile and completely perfect. He is my son.
His name is Nathaniel Mapalo.
My husband and I chose this name as it means God has given a blessing. (Nathaniel – God has given, Mapalo – blessing). He was born on the 2nd May at 2:30pm weighing 2.7kg. This is my birth story. The days following where priving of pain, sleep, cries, exercise and food. Immediately the epidural run out, I was encouraged to take a walk. My legs where wobbly and my operation hurt. I could not laugh or bend. Luckily the midwives where immerse help. They took care if baby for me. He lay by my side. They bathed him. And only took him away if I requested to sleep.
I stayed in hospital for 4 days. I was given some pain killers and suppositories. Nathaniel wouldn’t latch right and my milk did not come out. Only on the fourth day on my way home I was engorged. It took a while for both of us to learn to breastfeed. He kept latching wrongly and he would give up and cry eventually. But we kept trying, till he did it. He would soon forget how to latch and its a process again. I went to my mother’s house to stay when I was discharged.
Finally, my husband met his soon for the first time when he was about a week old.
Within a month I was healed and ready to go back to my home with my husband. Everyday since then has been a wonder and teaching. I learn my son, myself as a mother and my husband as a father. It’s almost a year. I would not change anything about what happened. When he was born, I forgot about everything and not giving birth naturally. I was just glad I finally met him, could see, touch and hold him and he is healthy. That’s what matters to me.
I am glad and grateful for having Clarissa by my side. Every gift I have received, everyone who visited, every word of advice and encouragement, everyone who gave me a minute to get myself in order, every smile I received from my son, and those random hugs. I am grateful to God for provision, for strength even during those many sleepless and tiring nights. I am grateful for the wonder weeks app that helped explain Nathans moody days.
I am grateful for my mom groups. I am grateful to my husband for sticking by me and co-parenting. And for giving me a break, for his love, patience and understanding when I lose my shit and for encouraging me to be the greatest mom. For standing by me and holding my hand when I can’t go further. I am grateful to my family, my father, mother, brothers and sisters who embraced me and where there for me, for their encouragement and excitement whenever I share about Nathan’s new thing a thousand times. I am grateful to be a SAHM and walk every milestone with my son.
In conclusion: This is my birth story. Let go of all the expectancies and preparations that you have of birth. Pregnancy and birth are complicated and unpredictable. Enjoy and embrace the moment. Cheers to a year and many more blessed years to come. Happy birthday Nathaniel. Happy first year. May God continue to bless and keep you. Daddy and I love you. God loves you too.
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