Pregnancy Chronicles 3: And unto us, a son was born

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Pregnancy

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!!!

Preggo

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 :).

Baby Boy

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,

E’s mom.xoxo

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Reader Post: The Quest for Marriage by Ginika

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I had danced in front of audiences a few times before, but this time was different: I couldn’t hide behind anyone; it was just myself and two friends on stage. I was terrified. We walked out of the small changing room in a Hall at school. All three of us were just about to go on stage to perform a dance routine that we put together ourselves for an annual event. The entire time, before we went on stage, I was thinking of our performance and hoping that we would do well. The time finally came… and then it passed. It ended with the audience cheering and applauding. That was a really nice boost of confidence. I was so relieved, more because I didn’t have to worry about it anymore, than because they loved it.

As we walked off stage towards the changing room, two young men pulled us aside. They
introduced themselves as Olu and Ugo. We chatted with them for a bit and then we parted ways. After the conversation, all I could think about was how Olu sounded so arrogant. I was very irked by this man and the words that came out of his mouth. He made a really bad first impression. We got to the changing room, changed into our regular clothes and went back out to the hall to enjoy the rest of the event. The night turned out pretty nice – good food, great people, nice atmosphere.

A not-so-long while later, one of my friends that I danced with sent me a message, saying Olu asked her if I hated him. I just laughed and told her to tell Olu to reach out to me directly if he had something to say to me. He came to my church quite often, so I knew I’d see him soon. A few days later, he followed me on Instagram, but didn’t say a word. Weeks after that, he stopped by at my church, he approached me, we exchanged pleasantries, then he asked to confirm my number. I told him what it was. He had already gotten this from a mutual friend, who visited from another city, a few weeks back.

Did I explain how he got my number? I guess not. A friend of mine who went to the same
University as myself came to town to visit. He used my phone to make a call to avoid long distance charges. He happened to make this call to Olu. Olu saw my number (caller ID) and saved it. My friend went back home a few days later… then out of the blue, I get a “Hey” text message at about 10pm. I was already asleep at the time. So I woke up to the text from a number that wasn’t on my contact list. I dialled the number on my way to work. I hate not knowing things, so I had to figure out who this was. The phone rang, Olu picked up, and then I said “hey, who’s this?, I got a text message from you last night”. Olu responded with

“Oh sorry, I sent the message to the wrong number”.

We ended the call.

That explains how he got my number. Thus, when he approached me a few weeks later, he
asked to confirm my number because he already had it. As you probably guessed already, another few weeks passed by before Olu decided to reach out again. This time he asked to have lunch. I didn’t cook that week and I figured that a casual lunch wouldn’t hurt; so I obliged.

We got to the restaurant, placed our orders and sat down to have lunch. The food wasn’t bad at all and Olu seemed pretty nice. We chatted about a few things, but he kept going on and on about marriage. He talked about how most of his friends are
either married or about to get married and he felt so much pressure being around them. I couldn’t really relate. I do have a few friends that are married, but most of my mates aren’t.

As it turned out, the lunch date wasn’t too bad. So after that I thought to myself “He is not as bad as I perceived him to be initially, I guess we can be friends”.
He reached out again…and again… and again… and we started dating.

He’d cook for me, we’d go places together. He did a good job catering to me so it was easy to see that he really cared about me. I definitely loved knowing that. One day he said to me that he thought I hated him. I told him I never did and do not. That I
didn’t know him enough to hate him. I just didn’t like his attitude and that he always came off as an arrogant person to me and I am not a fan of such people. Then I mentioned that I have seen another side to him that I never saw before and that my perception had changed.

As the days passed, we’d talk, but it seemed like we talked less and less each time. I mean we could have a hour-long conversation and not learn anything new about each other or learn to understand each other better. The more we spoke, the more we talked about the things in our lives that had to do with our careers. Actually, the more we talked, the more I got lectures about how I was doing in my career. The whole time I thought to myself “I can’t believe I have someone like this who cares so much about me that he would put in so much effort and try so hard to help me move forward and up”. But, these conversations were always about what I needed to change, what I could work on, what I was doing wrong, never what I was doing right. I overlooked this.

When we did not have conversations about my career, it was usually quite formal and short compared to how it was initially. Less outings, fewer conversations, more ignored phone calls and messages. We discussed our frustrations and how things had gone downhill so quickly, but nothing changed. It only seemed to get worse. I overlooked this.

One day, we set off to have lunch with a friend of his. We went over to a Vietnamese restaurant, I believe. We sat down, chatted for a bit and decided to place our orders. Before we did that, he told me what I should order. He didn’t even bother to ask what I wanted. Did he care? I guess not. Sometime after, I mentioned that I felt he was controlling; He disagreed with me. I overlooked this as well.

Eventually, things ended. Before this happened, I actually dreamt that it would. This was God giving me a sign and telling me to let go ASAP. But guess what? I disregarded His sign. Bottom line is I overlooked a lot of things that I was not ok with, because of the things I held unto. Did I hold unto love? Did I love this man? Did I see this as my happily-ever-after? Maybe… Maybe not…

The truth is I didn’t love him. There was never a connection at such a level. There was mutual likeness. He was very much into me and he showed it… at the start… and I fell for what I got from him… at the start. I remember praying every night for peace and harmony and for things to get better and to get to a point where I didn’t have to keep praying the same prayer over and over and over again. I prayed to God to end it if it wasn’t right, regardless of how it ended and for him to enable me to accept it. But I still held on tight to what I knew wasn’t love. Even after God had revealed to me that he wasn’t right and that it will end. I still held on. What exactly did I hold unto?

Almost 10 years ago, I remember having a conversation with my friends back in secondary school. We talked about our futures: our preferred careers, how we’d like to live, and getting married. I remember saying I’d love to get married young. I even remember the age I mentioned; I said I’d love to get married at 23. So I held unto my word. I held unto my word from years back when I knew nothing about relationships, nothing about what the right foundation for a great marriage is, nothing about life after the ceremony called a wedding. I held unto my word and assessed everyone that approached me; age was always a factor. He had to be a certain number of years older in order for me to take him seriously.

I convinced myself that the older the man, the more prepared he would be for marriage; the more willing he would be to get married in 3 years or even less; the more stable he would be, financially and career wise. So, I held unto my word despite the fact that things were not right, despite the fact that I was unhappy, despite the fact that I wanted true love and I didn’t have it with him, despite the fact that I wanted a friend and a lover, despite the fact that I wanted peace, despite the fact that my goofiness was unacceptable to him, despite the fact that I had to kill a part of me to please him, despite the fact that I was talked down to, despite the fact that my opinion was usually dismissed and disregarded, despite the fact that I was in pain, despite the fact that I was belittled, despite the fact that…

One thing I have learnt from this experience is to always trust your first instinct. I had a negative perception about him initially. I thought he was arrogant. I may have been wrong about that, but I wasn’t wrong about knowing that he wasn’t right for me.
A man will do anything to get a woman he really desires. He doesn’t even mind leaving himself behind, taking on a whole new persona just to get you into his back pocket. Marriage is a lifetime commitment. Would you rather get married young and be unhappy or get married later than you expected and live happily?

Before getting into any relationship, put God first. Pray to him, and if you don’t get an answer immediately, pray harder, seek him harder. If it’s meant to be, it will be, so why rush it? It is a lifetime commitment, so you will be together for life, happily. So, please wait. Do not rush into anything because of the unrealistic goals you may have implicitly set for yourself or because everyone else around you is married or getting married. Love is much more important than an early marriage.

As for me, I still hold unto my word of getting married early. I’ll still like to of course. But, the difference is that now, this doesn’t control me. I know what matters now. I know what I need to focus on now. And this is my happiness.

***

This is a beautiful post written by an MCLA reader, Ginika. I hope you enjoyed and learned from it. Have a blessed week ahead.

Temiville.xoxo