The founder of Misspetite Nigeria Blog, Emeh Achanga, welcomed her first child Jasmine Atabong Obadele, on the 3rd of April, 2016.
Recall that Emeh recently spoke on her experience with post-natal depression and how it led to the crash of her 2-year-old relationship with her baby daddy (read here).
The single mom-of-one’s down-to-earth narrative of her before, during and after childbirth experience is so heartrending.
Push, push..the nurse screamed in my ear. I summoned all my strength, breathe in, breathe out, I pushed and screamed.
Madam, you have to push harder if you want this baby to come out..It’s been 12 hours of labour. You really need to push..
Boo boo, please try ok! Push…You know that vacation I promised you, if you don’t push how do we get to go..I saw him look at me pleadingly.
Oh yes! The vacation.I had made him promise to take me on vacation once our baby girl is born..I needed it. That was enough motivation for me to push harder.. I pushed and I could feel her, yes my baby was coming she was here.I felt her head pop out. Oh my God, Oh my God… I’m actually having a baby. I’m giving birt ,naturally. I”m about to become a mother.
Just one more push for her body to come out…I heard the nurse say.
I had no energy left in me, but I just had to see my baby girl.. So I pushed, it was the most painful experience of my life, I felt her come out of me. I felt fluid running down my thighs. It was warm. It just kept gushing..I was waiting for my baby to cry. Where’s my baby? Where’s Jasmine? I inquired with tears in my eyes..You are supposed to place her on my chest with the blood and all. I’m supposed to bond with her….Where’s my ….
I took my hand to feel my belly, it was still swollen. Why is my belly still swollen. Didn’t I just give birth? Someone answer me… I’m supposed to snapback like Hollywood stars.. Kim K remember?
Someone give me my baby. I screamed..My scream tore through the house and I jolted myself up. I looked around me, there was no baby, no nurse and I definitely wasn’t in a hospital. I was in our bedroom, I was alone. It was a dream.It felt cold. Did I wet myself? Omg, I just wet myself. My worst nightmare. I had read a lot about it. My pelvis was getting weak and I would need over 100 daily kegal exercises to get my vjay back in shape.I jolted out of bed and I felt the rush. Hot liquid gushing down my thighs, to the rug. It has happened. My water just broke and I was going into labour. That part of the dream was real.
Boo boo come..I screamed ….Calling for Deji. He rushed in with apprehension..
Look..I said, pointing at my thighs… Oh my! Your water broke. We have to rush to the hospital..
Oh my God labour? I was scared. I wasn’t feeling any pains yet…I jolted to the bathroom.
Boo boo just throw on your clothes lets go..
Nooo, ha..I have to have my bath first. I can’t go in to labour like this…I said rushing towards the bathroom.
10 minutes later, we were at the hospital. It was Sunday. We walked into the hospital front desk. The nurse looked bored and uninterested. Probably didn’t know it was an emergency as she took her time to look for my file.
Hello, can you hurry up! My water just broke… I said
Oh really? She replied looking at me in shock…Yes I know, I didn’t look like someone in labour or close to, I was 37 weeks 3 days actually.
Besides, I couldn’t blame her, I kind of looked fab for a lady going into labour. At this point, my whole outfit was wet as the water kept gushing. I was getting scared. This means the protective sac was gone and my baby was now susceptible to infection.
2 minutes later, we were ushered into a doctor’s office. Oh, we have to keep you on admission and give you some drugs to stall the baby till it gets to 38 weeks. Also we have to prevent infection as the protective sac is gone. Your baby is not full term, the young doctor said.
Oh wow! But I was on admission two weeks ago. In fact, the hospital placed me under observation and gave drugs to help stall premature labour. The thought of passing through that again wasn’t appealing.
But, we had no choice. We agreed. As a nurse was leading us to the private ward, we were called back for a scan. The senior doctor was around and had seen my file. He was familiar with my file.
As I lay down with apprehension in the scan room. He broke the news.
We have to perform an emergency Ceaserean operation on you. Your baby is still breech. Her head is still near your rib cage and her buttocks is at the opening of your cervix. There is no way you can give birth naturally.
The fact she was breech wasn’t news, but I was told during the last scan that she had turned and was properly positioned, head down for birth.
No way I was going to give birth naturally just like a Hebrew woman. I, who couldn’t stand an injection, let alone get cut to remove a baby.. No way. I would wait for labour.
Madam, this CS has to be done before you go into labour which is a few hours from now as you are already dilated, the doctor reminded.
I looked at boo boo. He was already considering it. He asked for the cost to which they replied…
What! No way, I would give birth to this baby naturally, I insisted.
The doctor smiled. 5 minutes after putting us through the dangers of trying to give birth to a baby like mine naturally, we were reluctantly convinced CS was the best bet.
Boo boo was asked to bring all the baby things and mine too. Thank God we had bought them all. He was given 10 minutes to rush home and back.
As he left, I was shivering, scared shirtless. What if I sleep and don’t wake up. What If I lose my baby. What If I don”t bond with her. What if they swap my baby while I”m sedated.
I wasn’t going to fall asleep. I needed to be awake.
Two nurses came in, told me to strip and they gave me a green hospital robe. As I stripped, they inserted a urinal sac in me while commending me for keeping it trim down there.. If they weren’t married I would have thought otherwise…(side eye)
As they started prepping me, a woman who just went in to labour started screaming, hurling pain induced insults at her young husband who tried unsuccessfully to comfort her. Her screams were out of this world and for a split second, I was happy I wouldn’t have to go through all that.
The nurses kept telling me how most women prefer CS because they get to avoid labour pain, no risk of getting their vaginas cut in order to remove a baby, no loose vjay and so much more.
So, I won’t feel any pain? I inquired..No you won’t..They chorused.
I was jolted back to reality when the doctor said it was time to move me to the theatre. My heart started beating fast. I mumbled a sorry to the young lady shrieking in labour pains… silently thankful once again, I got to escape that.
Then I was led into the theatre, I saw boo boo arrive with baby things, we didn’t even have time to talk …it was a split second moment and I kind of wondered, what if that was the last time.
Oh well, Once in the theatre, the doctors had their masks on. It was the most scary sight I’d seen. They asked me to strip and there I was in all my naked glory.
I lay down on the operating table and started to pray. I thought of all the possibilities, waking up, not waking up, my baby, my blog, my family, most of who were not aware I was about to have a CS.
They tied my hands to each side of the operating table.I just felt like a sacrificial lamb…I felt them all staring down at me.
Then the senior doctor said, ‘in a few minutes, it will all be over, You would be a mother. We would give you anaesthesia and you won’t feel a thing. First we have to pray.’
Oh that comforted me. Atleast they believed in God. One minute later, I felt a cold sensation sweep through my veins. I was going numb. Don’t sleep.. Don’t sleep.. I reminded myself.. Whatever happens, do not sleep off.
Can you see us? I heard the doctor mumble..
I could but I was too weak to say a thing. Nod if you see me. I felt my lids closing. I was falling asleep. My dream of giving birth naturally, hearing my baby cry, feeling her heartbeat, looking into her eyes, I would never get to witness that.
And I realised, maybe I wasn’t luckier than that screaming lady in labour. Maybe I’m missing out on the most important moment of my life. I heard the doctor ask for scapel as they marked the area to be cut…Did they know I could hear them? Were they aware I could feel them cutting through me?.
wooooohhhh whoooohh ahhhhhhh woooooohh…Who was screaming ? whooosh whoosh… I was in a tunnel.. I was going down, screaming. They were tugging at my belly. It was gentle at first, now, it was vicious.
I was howling…I could feel myself howling. I could feel my soul watching over my body. That tug, that pull. They were pulling my insides.
It was a guttural sound. I turned my face to the right, then I saw eyes watching me through the glass door. Those eyes looked familiar. How did she get here? Why was she peeping? That was Christy…my bestie…She wasn’t supposed to be there but I was glad she was. It was comforting.. Could she hear my screams?
I saw a doctor rush towards the glass door. He had seen her. He poked a scapel towards her and she bolted.
We were alone again… I was back in that tunnel, going, distant, very distant. My screams were getting farther and farther, then I saw him….My beloved dad.
Yes I saw him smiling at me. I placed my head on his shoulder and felt like a baby again….I wanted to tell him I was so sorry he didn’t get to see his grand child. I wanted to ask him if he was proud of my choices but as I opened my mouth to speak, I heard that cry.
A baby was crying. Was that my baby? I had to go back.. I love you daddy, please never let go I said. He smiled, I was running back into the tunnel, towards the sounds of her cry.. That was my baby, I had to see her cry. The faster I ran, the more distant her sound. I was tired of running.
Then I felt it, PAIN. They were sewing me shut. Was I supposed to experience this? I felt them sewing the edge of my belly. I was awake, but my hands were clasped by my side, my eyes too heavy to open. I just felt them sewing me shut.
I started howling again… I needed to sleep…I couldn’t be awake while they pulled my insides. She has been screaming like this all through, I heard a voice say.
Yes strange..I guess people react differently to this.
Another voice said; they were right! I could hear myself screaming. We were on a corridor, I could see faintly, I saw a grey shirt, Then I saw him close to me. I could see faintly, the worry in his eyes, It was a face I’ve known so well. At least for close to a year now.. Oh I was back to life.
Stop screaming.. I told myself but I couldn’t help it.
Boo boo..Boo Boo. I’m here. You are fine. Jasmine is fine I heard him say faintly.
However, I was trying to figure out why his head looked so big and he had a big eye on his forehead…(Maybe the illuminati was real after all)
He kept talking to me, boo open your eyes, I”m here, You are fine. I was struggling to keep my eyes focused… everything was blurry.
I love you….I said. I hadn’t said those words in along time.. But I was glad I said it…..I was scared I wouldn’t have that opportunity.
I love you too, he replied with joy. He always said those words .
That didn’t change the fact his head was big and his eye was still in the centre of his head.
I was wheeled into a room and I felt many hands gather around me as they heaved me off the stretcher onto a bed ….it was PAINFUL
Then I saw my friend Christy, standing next to boo and his in-law Femi. They were all so worried as I kept screaming and howling.
Then I started speaking in a voice I couldn’t recognize ..A mixture of American,British and Jamaican accent ..
‘Where the hell is my baby, what the hell is going on here? Why are your heads so big mehn. Shit ..Gerraouthere mehn.. Damn nigga.. where my laptop at? I need to blog mehnnn..Damn..’
I could see them laughing. My new accent shocked them. I was shocked hearing myself speak like that, but I couldn’t control it..
The pain I felt was intense.. I screamed.
‘Don’t worry, we will give you pain killers and the pain will subside, a nurse said while fitting drips on my arm, injections and all.’
Then it hit me. I hadn’t seen or held my baby..”My Jasmine’” Where is she?..I said as tears streamed down my face…Boo boo hurriedly brought her from the baby cot next to me and placed in my arms.
It was a painful experience. Nothing like I had imagined. But she was so beautiful. Everything right and innocent. I created life and nothing mattered anymore.
Then I heard her cry. They said she was hungry and the nurses said I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed as I had no milk yet. So boo boo was given baby food and thought how to bottle feed her.
I watched him bottle-feed her change her diaper. I watched him do all the things I fantasized about doing. The tears streamed down my face.
Was I a bad mum already? Did I let my daughter down? Was it my fault she was breech? Was my insistence on blogging non-stop, lack of sleep the cause of my CS? A thousand questions ran through my mind as the drugs rushed through my veins fighting to put me to sleep. I reminded myself, don’t sleep Emeh. Don’t fall asleep on your baby.
I fought the urge to sleep. My will to watch my daughter, though helpless and unable to move was all the motivation I needed to be awake.
I watched him place her in the baby cot next to me. I could hear her heartbeat. Did she know I”m her mother? Did she know how much I loved her ?
I felt the tears runs down my face…I felt depression envelope me as I made a silent vow to spend the rest of my life proving to her how much I love her. I wouldn’t feel less of a mum because I didn’t go through natural birth.
Instead, I would relish and cherish each moment. The blessing of having her, of being alive, not all women are so lucky. I was lucky, I had a daughter, a loving family, a man who was there for me. (Though for one who didn’t believe in love and marriage, it hasn’t been easy ..I must say )
Oh yes! I had to appreciate that fact… It’s been a year of intense emotions.
Then I recalled, in April 2015, our paths crossed. In just a year, my life changed ….Wow..We met on a Sunday in April 2015 and had our daughter on a Sunday… April, 3rd 2016. What a divine coincidence.
It was time to talk to God. The same God I talked to the day I saw him….It was time to thank him.
As I did, She was crying again..I watched boo boo pick her up, change her diaper, bottle feed her. Then my mind flashed back to the last Sunday of April 2015… A Sunday just like this.
I walked into church and there he was …..I told God, that man right there is my husband. He would later tell me he told God I was his wife the moment he saw me walk in….Looks like God answered our prayers.
I smiled, content in the fact my life was finally taking shape. I was a mother now and that’s what mattered. I fell into deep sleep and I can swear it had nothing to do with the anaesthesia.
I would later wake up to realise my life, my world would never be the same again….Giving birth was just the second stage..Was I ready for the 3rd stage?
One week after childbirth I was finally discharged from the hospital.. Took this selfie before we left (who eyebrows help!!lol)
To be continued…
Photo credit: Misspetite