This is a birth story by Vee, a 20 something master’s graduate, wife, and first-time mom;
“Okay so how many of us have watched YouTube videos about women and their labour + delivery stories? They’ve honestly been my guilty pleasure. I always watched them and thought.. wow anything can happen and how I so do not want to experience that pain! Menstrual cramps are more than enough. Low and behold, on May 7th 2019 at 8:56pm, I gave birth to my handsome beautiful baby boy..
So let me just say that my pregnancy was 10 months, yes I went the full 40 weeks. I had no morning sickness, very little nausea, gained 30-40 lbs and it wasn’t until the very end that I started to break out with acne on my face, but I had horrible bacne throughout my pregnancy and got stretch marks at the end as well. Over all, my pregnancy was good, I was very tired at the beginning (towards the end too!). I experienced pelvic pain 4 weeks prior to giving birth, I honestly felt like I was going to be split in half, that was so painful. But I embraced this as I knew it needed to happen to get my baby boy in the right position for me to push him out.
Okay so I was literally about to embark on the curse – you know the curse that God gave Eve for eating the forbidden fruit??
“To the woman, He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and conception; In pain you shall bring forth children;…”
Genesis 3:16 NKJV
We ain’t even gonna talk about the rest of that verse – “Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.” *eye roll* Can I roll my eyes at God? Not God, Eve? Honestly, while having contractions I told my best friend I can’t wait to meet Eve, but we’ll get to that.
Right, so I honestly prepared for this by doing research, praying and embracing the fact that although I had this curse on me, my body was created to do this and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13). I also should add that I did have painful periods so I was a little used to what was coming, emphasize on little.
Okay so I titled this my positive labour and delivery story because as a pregnant woman (S/O to you if you’re pregnant!) we read so many things – sometimes negative things about pregnancy. I remember being 18 weeks pregnant and typing this into YouTube to see if my progress was the same as other women and it was not.. Some women who had their pregnancy unfortunately end early literally posted these details online and it would just pop up in your face, on Instagram too. This was so horrible for me to see. Also, I would click on a YouTube video of a labour + delivery story and it be horrible! The woman is in labour forever, she’s induced, emergency c-section, the list goes on. My advice is, if you’re pregnant and preparing to give birth, know that everything may not go as planned and stay positive – read positive stories/videos and don’t let people’s horror stories scare you! With that said, my labour was positive, my delivery was positive so this is a good read.
They say to do a lot of walking to bring the baby down, I started maternity leave in the middle of April, weather was nice so I did a lot of walking. My best friend got married on May 4th – I was a bridesmaid. I was literally huge, of course it was a whole day event, walking, photos, longgg day to say the least.
The wedding was on a Saturday, Sunday was just restful I guess and Monday morning.. they started. What is they? THEY were my contractions! Felt like regular period cramps, sommin light, NBD. As nighttime came, I told my husband, “babe, I bet you, I won’t sleep tonight.” Ok, bet, I didn’t. All night I tossed and turned, in anguish, my stomach continued to cramp, contractions got longer and closer together. I got tired of guessing, I thought it’s 2019, there must be an app to time my contractions. There was, downloaded that. On Tuesday, before my husband left for work, I told him I think today’s the day, he shrugged, SMH.
[READ also: “I was diagnosed with cancer at week 15” – Cherron Williams’ pregnancy during cancer story is a must read]
As the day progressed, my contractions got more intense, my mom said if I could manage, I should drive myself to the hospital. (My husband works for public transportation and would not be accessible right away if I called, I also did not want him missing work for false labour as he is a new hire). So I got myself together, ordered my hot cakes from McDonalds via UberEats and had a bath. By the time I was ready to go, my contractions were far too painful to drive. I ordered an Uber, I got to the hospital (Humber River) at 2pm. (My Uber driver was really nice, helped me with my bags but was talking too much during the drive and took the long way to the hospital, smh.) I went straight to the maternity ward, signed in, had some nurses hook me up to the machines, baby’s heart rate was good.
So finally the OBGYN comes, (not mine, it was her day off BOO!) and it’s a man, double boo! Anyway, he checks me “OH MY GOODNESS.” Umm sir? Mi know sey mi good but dat ah fi mi husband, not you! Okok, jokes aside, this man is like, “You’re 6cm, you need to be admitted, you’re in labour” OKKKKKKK, so gyal dem are really giving birth? I called my husband, he’s like so there’s a chance you can have the baby while I’m at work? I kindly said yes, and requested his presence immediately. I tried to stay positive and light because I knew I’d need my strength for later.
I was sent to my labour room, a big fancy room, bed, couch for the fam, TV (Raptors played that day and won – 2019 WORLD CHAMPS!!). Contractions intensified, anesthesiologist came by, informing me that I can take my epidural. Here’s how my birth plan came into play – all natural, no epidural please! Side note: all my nurses were Jamaican, they told me di pain only ah go get woss. Okay? I can manage.
It’s 6 something, at this point all of my family arrives, my other best friend and of course my husband. I’m still allowed to drink water and ginger ale so I’m peeing frequently. My contractions have continuously gotten worse and the little bit of time I have in between them, I use the restroom. On 2 occasions I need my husband to help, after using the bathroom, I nearly fall to the ground from the pain of the contractions. Epidural time? Nope, not me. I was gonna champion through it. I could hear my grandmother and her stories of back pain from the epidural, my mother was also encouraging me not to do it. But my best friend was like “Vee, seriously? This pain, I couldn’t.” This is when I tell my best friend that I can’t wait to meet Eve, I was literally half dead going through my contractions. Mind you I’m still stuck at 6cm dilated.
I’m literally in agony, squirming and turning in the bed from the pain, I start to make loud noises, and my Jamaican nurse comes and basically tells me to: top di naise! (Stop the noise). Stop the noise? Am I not a woman in labour? If I can’t make noise now, when? Ok so I had enough now, nurse, what are my options for pain relief aside from the epidural? Morphine. “It naw go work” The nurse was telling the morphine shot that I would get in my ass wasn’t going to ease the pain. Did I care? No. Gimme the drugs. I got it at 6:30. I asked how long it takes to work. 15 minutes. I watched the clock. Felt every contraction. It’s now 6:45, I felt the exact same. WTF? Ok forget this. EPIDURAL NOW. There’s no way I’m going to go through all this pain and still have the strength to push this baby out.
At some point, they had to break my water (this is what triggered me to take the epidural as my contractions would intensify once this was done). I was also encouraged by my Jamaican nurse to take the epidural because every time my uterus contracted, I would tense up and the baby’s heart rate would drop – big no no.
I was terrified of this needle, but my best friend’s cousin told me that the pain I’d be enduring would be worse than the needle going in my back. Mind you the anesthesiologist had been by several times annoyingly inquiring as to when I would take the epidural because women allllways say they’re going natural and then cop out. Yes that was me! So I lean forward on the edge of the hospital bed and they prepare me to put the epidural in my back.
SIGH, about 20 minutes later, I feel the contractions but they’re not painful. It’s after 7pm, my Jamaican nurse has gone home and another younger Jamaican nurse comes in. This nurse is fresh, fresh as in she just immigrated here not too long ago, her accent is heavy but she is much more pleasant than my earlier nurse.
“Okay Venita, it’s time to push” What?? Already? I had honestly been in and out of sleep after the epidural. Thank God! This part went by fast. But was kind of difficult at first. Difficult because I had to re-learn how to push lol. I’ve seen too many movies about pushing and it’s nothing like that. You basically have to push as if you’re doing a bowel movement, but you’re on your back and you can’t get up, and you can’t feel anything waist down due to the epidural.
So yeah, I pushed for 30 minutes. My mom on my right, my husband on my left. My mom was coaching me, “you’re doing good Venita, come on use those muscles.” Okay, then there was: “I see his head Vee! He’s coming!” My husband said this with glee, there was the talk of how my baby has so much hair. One final push and he was out! My beautiful baby boy came into the world weighing 7lbs and 5 oz. The end! Lol nottt, life has clearly just begun, I’m a mommy now. Glory to God.”
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