Having a baby was not what I thought it would be like. Giving birth rather felt very surreal. Maybe I thought I was going to sail through it, looking ravishing and delectable. But looking back on the birth of my angel, Naomi, I can’t help but be thankful for every single moment – both the imperfect and the perfect aspects.
On the 4th of July, I attended a wedding with my husband at the Ajah axis of Lagos. We live in Ikeja, so it was quite a distance. I remember just wanting to stay back at home and sleep, as I was a bit tired.
I wasn’t due until the 17th of July, and I just didn’t expect that my baby was going to come ahead of schedule.
We got to the party after a lot of running around, and I just didn’t feel like eating. Despite the variety of inviting food placed in front of me – the small chops, the roasted fish etc, nothing appealed to me. On a non-pregnant day, none of it would have gotten past me, but of course due to pregnancy, I had a change in appetite. This is actually one of the things I detest about pregnancy.
As I was eating just fried meat and drinking a lot of water and juice I had got up to pee twice. Time was far spent, and we decided we didn’t want to stay late at the party. I felt the urge to pee again, and so I let my husband know that I’d need to use the bathroom one one last time before the long drive back. As I got up, I felt a warm slimy liquid flow down between my legs, I prayed for the ground to swallow me because I thought I was peeing on my self. I walked further down the hall, the same liquid gushed out again, this time much more. A lady walking behind me suddenly tapped my shoulder and said:
“My dear, I think your water just broke”
I looked down at my tummy, parted my legs in a hurry, and put my hands between my thighs. I looked back up at her and all I could utter was:
I rushed into the toilet, sat down to actually pee and yes, only then did I actually see the “water”. Its smell and color was different, it wasn’t awful but different.
Leaving the bathroom, I rushed over to my husband and told him what was happening. The look of fear on his face, is something I will never forget. He would have carried me if he could, but lifting a pregnant 90kg lady wasn’t very feasible.
He wanted to drive straight to the hospital and drop me off since the hospital was in Ajah, then head back to home to get my hospital bag. I became very strong headed, and said I was going home to get my bag, probably take a shower before going to the hospital. I looked smugly at him telling him that the baby wasn’t going to come for another 9 hours so we were safe to go back home. He argued, I shouted, he caved in probably not wanting to argue too much with his wife gushing out liquid all over the car.
When he got home, he ran upstairs, got the bag and started parking, he had help from his sister, who was another rock i could not have lived with that day. I strolled casually to take a shower. I put one leg in to go into the shower, I had never felt such pain in my life before. I screamed so loudly that our neighbors came out. I ended up not having that shower. Served me right anyway.
Next thing I knew, I was being bundled into the car and taken to the hospital. He made the trip from Oregun to Badore, ajah in 45 minutes. It’s the fastest I’ve ever seen him drive before. He beat every traffic light and every police officer trying to stop us, while his sister was practicing those annoying pregnancy techniques with me and rubbing my back. It was 7:45pm.
I was ready to push her out of me, but the doctor gave me a surprise by telling me I was just 3cm dilated, and I had to get to 10cm. I obviously had a long night ahead of me. The pain got worse and worse, more frequent too. I cried till I could cry no more. 5 hours later, I was so sure I was already there. Nope! according to the the doctor, I was just 5cm dilated and my cervix was yet to be dilated or something – I was in too much pain to really understand what he was talking about.
I became a bit restless, and started walking in pain climbing steps and jogging lightly. All the while, my husband was watching me with teary eyes. I couldn’t even talk to him, I wanted nothing more than to tell him not to worry, i loved him and to punch him at the same time for putting me through this.
Fast-forward to early the next morning. It was 6am and the doctor came in, midwives and nurses ushered me into the hospital room. I’m thinking it is finally time to do the deed. But yet again, he said “No” and murmured something about my cervix. I felt myself giving up and rolled over to my side, looked into the reflecting glass and said:
“Jesus, you put this baby here, it’s been 12 hours and I can’t stomach this girl or this pain, please help me and just open my cervix and give me the strength to push”.
In exactly 20 minutes, the doctor comes back and tells me it was time, he could see my baby crowning. He asks me to push like my life depended on it. I push the first time with a loud shriek. No baby, just small poop, LOL. My husband flies into the room and grabs my neck and my arm, I was too tired and I was getting scared. Then he looked me in the eyes and said:
“Look at me babe, I’m right here”
Time for the second push! I gave it my all, and I felt this one because the pain that flared from my vagina to my brain was awakening. On the third push, she slid out of me with a loud cry. I lay back and tears came rolling down my cheeks. I was laughing because as quickly as my husband came in, was as quickly as he left to go and be with his daughter.
They brought her to me and I couldn’t just hold back tears anymore. 5th of July marked the beginning of a beautiful new chapter for me. I just kept saying,
‘welcome Naomi, welcome…..’