I was wondering if after all this time you would like to read this blog post to go over everthing.
They say time between posts is supposed to bring us closer. I find that hard to believe…. because I haven’t done much posting.
I have been procrastinating writing this post because my main focus has been on getting to know our new baby girl and adjusting to parenthood.
Our baby girl is growing fast and with a fast accumulating sleep debt its hard to believe that our baby is now over a month old – time flies when your a new parent.
That being said, I think its now time for me to share my birth story.
For those who have not had children, don’t let this post intimidate you. I am sharing my story to give you an insight on my birth story – knowledge, no matter how irrelevant it may seem to you at the time – is power.
I finished full time employment in week 38 of my pregnancy, so I had a solid two weeks at home – to nest. It will be fun they said. The first week was very difficult as I was suffering separation anxiety from work. Weird I know, most people would be thrilled to be at home, sleeping in, watching day time TV and relaxing. With me? Well you are dealing with someone who has worked in some capacity from the age of 14. I was missing the action – you know the hustle and bustle of corporate life. Most of all I missed the idea of getting up in the morning and getting dressed to the nines and going somewhere. At home I cooked, cleaned and watched copious amounts of ratchet television.
By week two at home, I was willing the baby to come early (week 39) to cure the boredom. I kept myself busy by getting my hair done, massages, pedicures, wax appointments, creating a belly cast and brunch outings with friends.
None of these activities quenched my thirst to be close to the work action, drama and politics.
Two nights before I went into labor my husband became fearful that the baby was going to come. Why? I was cleaning everything, really getting in there – think pantry, fridge being cleaned from top to bottom, vacuuming and mopping daily etc. etc. – nesting as they say.
The night before going into labor I decided that I didn’t want to deliver the baby with the grey crotchet braids that had been installed a week earlier. I joked to hubby that knowing this baby, the night I undo my crotched braids, I will go into labor the next day. We laughed and laughed and laughed.
To my horror that is exactly what happened. With my hair in buns wrapped under a scarf as I slept. My water broke around 8am in the morning on Friday 20th November 2015.
At the time, I really wasn’t sure if this was the real thing. I second guessed myself and was a little paranoid that I may have just peed myself. *eyes wide open in shock* Then I remembered the content covered in the prenatal classes and I knew it was real. Promptly I shook hubby who was dead to the world next to me to wake up. When he heard the news, he didn’t say a word – he simply jumped out of bed and ran to have a shower. I was a little bit in shock given the day we had been waiting for was finally here. My bags were already packed so I decided to have a shower and do my make up for the labor. Pain is no reason to not look your best.
After getting ready, I decided to call the hospital to update them on my situation and to let them know that we were on our way. Contractions at this point were not painful nor were they that close to each other so the midwives advised that I stay at home until midday. That was still 3 hours away.
To pass the time along I tried to eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast – but the adrenaline was rushing through me and my appetite was gone. I managed to devour a whole bowl of fruit, but that was about it. That took about 30 mins.
With about two and half hours to go, I removed and stored the 3,000 plus photos on my Iphone so that I could take lots of pictures and videos during the birth process. I checked my hospital bag to make sure that everything I thought I would need was there. I also spent some time watching the 24 hour news channel. Basically anything that would distract me from what was ahead of me.
As I was lounging on the couch I happened to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Its only then that I realised that I was still wearing a scarf on my heard, hair in buns underneath. A mild panic came over me as I made my way to my hair suitcase. Yes my hair suitcase! I went there looking for a lace front wig that could pass as my own hair. I settled for a curly bob – figured that would be suitable to meet my new born baby. Truth be told I just needed something….anything.
It was around half past 12 that we headed out the door on our way to the hospital. On the way to the hospital, I convinced hubby to stop by McDonalds so that I could eat my last ever Big Mac burger before the arrival of our baby girl. After devouring the burger and fries in the hospital car park we arrived at the birth centre. Its there that we filled out the paperwork, were allocated to our birth suite and got ourselves settled. It was now around 2pm and the contractions were starting to make their presence felt.
It felt like I blinked and 8 hours had passed. The contractions were looking me right in the eye and testing my limits.
I guess my mum was a little nervous given the time passed and at around 10pm my mother arrived from interstate for some moral support. It had now been 14 hours since labor started and I wa still at it.
The contractions were now coming thick and fast, yet I perservered. For those who are yet to experience labor contractions the best way to describe it is like this – its like being kicked in the back by a dinosaur then having an elephant trample your stomach. No exaggeration.
I was in labor for a total of 26 hours and at the 18th hour I requested some epidural – at this point I was beyond exhausted and just didn’t have the energy to endure the pain. The application of the epidural was not only uncomfortable it was painful too – but with the epidural I managed to have some composure and get some much needed rest in between contractions.
In the early hours of the morning our baby girl had some bowel movement and was now facing head up, making the delivery complicated. It’s at this point the doctor and midwife made the decision that I would have an emergency C- section. This was not something I was looking forward to. I was absolutely shattered as I thought I would be able to give birth naturally – especially after a 26 hour effort.
The thought of having surgery, let alone the healing process had tears streaming down my face. Up until now I had never been in a hospital let alone had an operation – so to say I was scared was an understatement.
As the doctor assembled the theatre team, I lay in the birth suite not saying much, looking at the ceiling basically throwing myself a pity party. Hubby was beside himself didn’t really know what to say or to do to console me. Its only my mum who simply stated, “you better snap out of it, if they don’t operate it puts the baby’s life and your life at risk“. This was the sound of reason I needed. As those words marinated in my mind The pity party came to an abrupt end and I plucked up the courage and strength to face whatever came my way.
As they wheeled my bed into theatre I remember counting the lights above me. Call it a coping mechanism, maybe even a way to fight back tears. When I arrived in the theatre I was surprised by the number of people that were there (at least 18 people) and the high level of lighting in the room. A heaven for those wanting to take selfies with optimum lighting. Had it been a difference circumstance I would have been thrilled to be here – snapping away.
One thing that I thought was really sweet was that each of the 18 people in the theater came and introduced themselves to me and let me know what they would be doing in the process. I guess as a form of distraction and reassurance that I was in good hands.
Our baby girl Tasima Ariah Sigauke arrived into the world on Saturday, November 21st 2015 at 9:19am weighing 3.25 kilos. Hubby was by my side through out the whole process literally holding my hand.
Seeing her for the first time, I was in oar. I could not believe that I created her and she came out of me. Weirdly I thought I would have cried tears of happiness and relief, but I didn’t. I just stared. It was like an out of body experience. Even though I was laying in the theater room it was the best day of my life.
I had worked myself up so much about the operation but to my surprise the C- section was completed within minutes. I was cut open, the baby was retrieved and I sewn back up in 17 mins. I was conscious yet sedated from the waist down through out the whole process. To describe a c-section I would say its like when you have a big handbag and are rummaging at the bottom of the bag to find something. Your body is the bag and you are the one being rummaged.
I was discharged from the hospital the following Monday after a three day stay in hospital. Recovering from a c- section was challenging with a new born demanding attention, but I was lucky to have my mum and my husband who were by my side every step of the way. Thankfully I have healed from the c- section and have gained my independence once more.
At times I am sleep deprived but my days are now filled doing the best job in the world – being a mother to Tasima and watching her grow and discover the world.
I debated about writing this post given that its such a personal experience but I hope my reflection and experience somehow inspires some of you to NOT fear the birthing process, and instead embrace it.
At this moment I would like to thank the doctors, midwives and nurses from Canberra Centenary Hospital for Women and Children for their exceptional care.
To my husband and mother, you are the wind beneath my wings.
Lets start preparing for baby number two! 🙂