The minute I found out I was pregnant for the first time, I started doing research about pregnancy and mostly about giving birth. I guess every woman who falls pregnant gets to a point where they want to find out how their vagina will get affected by the condition they find themselves in. As I was doing my research, I fell in love with the idea of documenting my whole birth story and I had my camera and cameraman ready for the births of my sons.
Unfortunately, none of my plans to document my labor and birth experience materialized. All I managed to get were a few last-minute pictures of me pushing Rotondwa out. I guess my husband was a bit more relaxed this time around.
I was hoping to give birth around the second week of December, when I was 38 weeks pregnant, simply because that was the case with Rofhiwa. I tried almost every method available to induce labor, without any success. You can read about how I tried to induce labor here.
So on the 23rd of December 2019, a day before my due date, I decided to stop Googling anything related to inducing labor or birth stories. Rofhiwa had been visiting my inlaws since the beginning of December and I was missing him a lot. We decided to go pick him up to go see the Christmas lights decorations on Lawley street, but we got a storm alert just as we were driving out. I was so tired of waiting on this baby to come and was missing Rofhiwa so much that I wasn’t going to allow a storm to keep me in the house any longer.
We arrived at my mother’s place at around 6 pm and the first thing she mentioned was that my face was swollen up. I then realized that my feet were also swollen up and I thought it was either due to the distance we drove or it was an early sign of labor. I went on to go watch tv and spend some time with the kids.
At around 8 pm I felt like I was wetting my pants so I ran to the bathroom to go have a look but it had stopped by the time I got there, so I just wiped myself and went back to the tv room. It started again just a few minutes after I sat down and I rushed to the bathroom again. This time it was more liquid than the first time, enough to wet the tights I was wearing. I knew right then that my water broke.
This was supposed to happen while I was home so that I could do the dramatic reaction and shout “TOOTHBRUSH” as I run to the room to change into clean clothes. Everything that I needed was packed and in the car except for my toothbrush so I told my husband and Katleho (my sister) that I will shout toothbrush when my water breaks so that we can remember to pack it.
Ohk, back to my water breaking… I was very calm about it and even planned on hanging around for a little bit longer because I didn’t want to go in too soon only to be sent back home. However, everyone else insisted that we leave immediately. We arrived at the hospital just after 9 pm and I was still fine, with mild contractions that were 7 minutes apart.
I got admitted into the same room as the one I was in with Rofhiwa and it brought back some painful memories. The first vaginal examination was a bit discouraging as the nurse said the sample she took of my water tested negative for amniotic fluid, that I was only 2cm dilated and that the baby was still very high. Those were the words that sent mommies-to-be back home on so many birth story vlogs that I watched. They were the same words I wanted to avoid by allowing labor to progress while I was at home.
Luckily for me, I was told to walk around and hop a bit on the birthing ball for the baby to move down, something I’ve had been doing every day for the last 2 weeks. The nurse predicted that I would give birth at around 4 or 5 am the next morning. So I told my husband to rest a bit so that he’ll gather enough energy for when active labor starts. The contractions were now closer together and the pain was on a scale of 7/10. With every contraction, I would just say words of affirmation and try to focus on the end prize as I held onto whatever was within my reach.
My contractions became excruciatingly painful from about 1:30 am and I tried to hold it out till 2 am when the nurse was initially supposed to come to examine me again, but I just couldn’t bear the pain anymore. I had decided not to get an epidural but the pain was just too intense so I asked if I could still get it. The nurse then called my doctor to find out which pain medication she could give me so long to help relieve the pain a bit but she had to examine me first before she could give me anything. At that point, I was losing my mind as I was trying not to focus on the pain and also trying not to give in to the need to push and also not to pinch so hard that I hurt the baby.
Am I the only one who thinks that the gas we get apparently for pain relief doesn’t help at all? I remember dropping it on the floor because I just felt like it was doing the opposite of what it’s supposed to do. Anyway, that nurse quickly realized that I wasn’t just being dramatic for nothing. The baby was ready to pop out and there was no time for us to wait for the doctor.
I was expecting the birthing process to go on for a bit long but to my amazement, my baby was out after three pushes. At 2:33 am my husband took the picture that would help the nurses to determine the time of the birth of our son as they had forgotten to check the time. Rotondwa Tshilidzi Musehani was born on the 24th of December 2019, weighing 3,43kg.
It was the most beautiful moment ever. I felt like such a superwoman having gone through such a painful procedure (with no epidural) to give birth to such a beautiful blessing.
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