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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Pregnancy Chronicles 1: How I got pregnant

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LOL! More like “Pregnancy Chronicles” not HOW it happened… *tongue out*

I got married in April and saw those twin lines on Sunday the 1st of June. I still remember exactly how I felt. Thank God, I’m not barren and will not have any problems conceiving. All of my teenage years were filled with trepidation over conception and birth. I was so frightened that I will have to be going from one Pastor to one Gynaecologist about getting pregnant as I had been surrounded with people who had struggled with this and the thought left me so numb with fear. I was also Team #GiveBirth9MonthsPostWedding and I confess that I wept when I saw my first post wedding period *covers face*. I won’t bore you with the details but I scared the hubs who must have been thinking, ‘what can of woman have I married o who’s bothered about not having conceived in 2 weeks of marriage. What will she do in 2 years?’

So yeah, what prompted me to do a test? The hubs noticed a cluster of pimples on my face and teased me about it. Well, I wasn’t finding anything pregnancy related funny so I proceeded to the closest MedPlus and got myself a test kit, read the instructions about 5 times then woke up bright and early the next morning to make sure the first day’s pee wouldn’t be diluted by water, pee-ed on the stick and said a prayer. TWO LINES!!! I repeated the test on the second morning because of false positives and voila!!! A confirmation!!!

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After being excited for a few minutes, paranoia set in: Will I be a good mom? Wait mom lohun lohun…will I miscarry? Will my child have defects and be sick as I had consumed some alcohol the week before? Will I have pregnancy ailments? Will I be fat and ugly with spots and swollen feet? Will my child be okay in there? I couldn’t believe how I became so obsessed with everything and so worried. I couldn’t accept the good news and be happy. I kept reminding myself that anything can go wrong so keep calm and take care of your child.

I ended up having a relatively easy pregnancy but it didn’t start easy. I remember my poor driver having to park on Third Mainland Bridge whilst I proceeded to empty the contents of my insides on the tarred road. I remembered how my colleagues nicknamed me Tsunami because mo man sun gan (I slept a lot), I remember how I would bleed for no reason and was convinced I had hurt my baby. I remember being diagnosed with fibroid and googling fibroids in pregnancy and being worried the growth will squash my baby. I remembered all the people I know who had died in childbirth and was worried praying hard that my baby will not call another woman mother. I remember my first naughty sip of coffee and how my baby kicked so hard after and was convinced that I had made him high on caffeine. So many fears.

All through, my hubs, S, kept me grounded. “Temi, where is your faith?”, he once asked. “You will pray and pray yet worry and worry. Is that not a sign that you truly don’t believe in God’s ability to take care of you?” Those words bore into my core and I decided to trust God and let Him take care of both myself and our child.

Little Peanut

Little Peanut

S wanted a a little cute girl. I was indifferent. I just wanted a healthy child but I sure was happy when I discovered: It’s a boy!!!

It's a boy!

It’s a boy!

To be continued…

Related to my Pregnancy Chronicles is this Question: Why do (Most) Nigerian women keep their pregnancy low key? In my defence, I still went for many weddings and parties and hung out a lot with my big belly. My Instagram pictures (@temiville) were never all bump though and only those with a gift for identifying even a week pregnancy could tell. Some people believe it is fear that people (aye) will hurt their baby. For me, I just didn’t see the need really. Amidst battling with severe morning (make that ALL FREAKING DAY) sickness, I just hardly had any post worthy photos. I did put these one up once though:

6 months gone

6 months gone

I saw this hilarious yet true post once and couldn’t help but chuckle at how much I can relate.

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Before I got pregnant, I remember asking a pregnant friend excitedly “when are you due?” I got daggers in her stare for an answer. Other questions that engender paranoia in preggies in Nigeria include: “is it a boy or a girl”? I have once gotten “It’s a healthy child” LOL! I hated my belly being rubbed though but not for spiritual reasons. I just hated the feeling but I once invited a few colleagues to feel for kicks.

For me, at work, as a newly married lady, I started getting the knowing glances way before I conceived. Every sneeze, cough or (heaven forbid) menstrual pain earned me the “congratulatory look”. LOL! I tried to keep it coded for the first 12 weeks just in case my earlier described fear materialised. I really didn’t wanna hear any “peles”.

One lesson I have learned is to stay grateful for everything and trust God who has begun a good thing to see it through to completion.

Ice Ice Baby!!!

Ice Ice Baby!!!

Gender

Pregnant woman showing off her belly with her unborn son

Pregnant woman showing off her belly with her unborn son

So what your views guys? Would you announce your pregnancy? Would you announce your baby’s sex or would you wait till you have the baby and write “Welcome Princess/Prince”? Do you get irked by those who are clearly pregnant yet hide it or worst still outrightly lie when you ask or send you a 🙂 smiley? I remember one of my very good friends whose bridesmaid I was who outrightly denied being pregnant when I asked yet 4 months after announced: Thank you Jesus for our beautiful son. Welcome to the world!

Looking forward to reading your views…

Temiville.xoxo