– From traumatic to very beautiful
Since I keep hearing of traumatic birth experiences, I feel deeply on my heart to share my own experience because I found a way how delivery can be a very beautiful, faster, less painful/ more bearable experience. I believe every mother can prepare herself for a rather positive experience of delivery.
1st child: Josephine Okekeni
For my first delivery I thought, well when I visit a birth preperation course and follow all the instructions the midwife gives, then I will be prepared enough. So the day came when I woke up in the middle of the night with contractions. I looked at the clock to observe how often they were coming and as they became more regular and intense, we decided to drive to the hospital. On arrival, the doctor immediately examined me and told me that the Cervix was only 1 cm opened, that we still had a lot of time and we could even go home… But since we had just driven 30 minutes and feeling nervous (being our first child), we decided to stay. I was sooo nervous that my body tensed up making every contraction even the more painful and as a result delayed the opening of the Cervix. Thank God that I was the only prego in the Maternity ward on that day so atleast I could freely move around, which did not really helped me to relax, and this time felt like forever. I had to take some painkillers in between. At midnight there was a shift change for the midwives and the midwife assigned to me came in stressed and seeing how exhausted I had become, persuaded me to do a Peridural Anaesthesia (PDA) so that I could rest a bit and regain strength for delivery after a long day. I had to succumb to her persuasion even though I had no idea what that would mean. I had to sign a paper that if anything went wrong, it would be at my own risk. That was a bit scarry. But finally after I got the PDA, everything went well and I could sleep for about three hours. Then at sunrise – it was already 24 hours spent in the hospital. Another shift change brought in new sets of midwives. This time, a younger and very energetic midwife was assigned to me and also, my Cervix was wide opened. The Midwife helped to “break my water“ and this led to stronger contractions. Because of the PDA, my left leg was numb so that the Midwife had to hold it up to enable me push while lying in bed. The Midwife gave me several instructions so that at 11am, after 30 hours in the hospital, our wonderful baby girl Josephine Okekeni was born. We stayed for three more days in a family room together in the hospital before we were released to go home. It was a baby-friendly hospital, so they supported me a lot in breastfeeding and bonding as a family.
2nd child: Charlotte Okpunyi
When I started to prepare for the 2nd birth I noticed that the fear of delivery was stronger than the excitement for the baby. At the same time my midwife abandoned me when she didn’t have enough women for the birth preparation course – afterall for my good. So I had to find my own way, which felt in the beginning quite frustrating because I only had 6 more weeks before delivery and I felt so alone in this. But then I cried out to God and started browsing for resources that would help me to prepare well and finally, I found a very good book that a christian lady recommended on Youtube. This book is what I want to share with you now:
Authored by Jackie Mize and called Supernatural Childbirth. It’s a book with a lot of positive testimonies of childbirth, some with mostly practically no labour pains. The last pages contain prayers and proclamations. The woman who recommended this book also shows a video on how while she was on her way to the hospital was so full of life, positive, excited, and praising God. She documented how she experienced a very beautiful almost pain free delivery and that got me also very excited for my own. I started reading the book and kept thinking I had enough time to read all through.
My due date was the 25th of December and we had a very lovely family friend who blessed us with a date-night while she babysitted our little daughter. We chose Friday the 9th of December so my husband and I could go to the cinema and afterwards to a greek restaurant. During the day I felt some light contractions but not like serious ones. While eating in the restaurant they got stronger and stronger but then I just joked about it saying what if we have to drive straight to the hospital after the date. Around 10:30 p.m. we made it home and chatted a bit with our babysitter. Josephine was sleeping by then and I noticed that the contractions were somehow getting more intensed. I decided to lay down to relax to see if the pain would reduce. We already sent the babysitter home but I told her please leave your phone on in case we need to call you back this night. After briefly lying in bed, I noticed that it was actually getting serious now. Unfortunately, we couldn’t reach my friend again so my husband had to drive me to the hospital while our little daughter kept sleeping alone at home. At the hospital the Midwife examined me immediately and seeing that my Cervix was already 7cm wide, she panicked also because she still had to fill in some paper works for me. At the same time she sent my husband home to take care of our daughter. Even though the Midwife was so stressed out, I was calmed and relaxed. After less than one hour, with some few pushs, our second girl was born, there was a litte labour pain, again in bed without any complications.
3rd child: Elyon Ocheri
For the 3rd child I wanted to have an even better experience. The third baby was as heavy as the first child and my experience was very beautiful, self determined, and fast without the need of much help.
I had already a good experience with the book. So this time I was totally positive about it, no fear left. The only challenge was what to do with our two kids at home. This time I came across an article about good labour positions, saying straight ones are the best and lying in bed is the most contradictive one, where the baby can’t flow well causing more pain. But this is a position that doctors encouraged since it gives them more overview and control. Through that new information I definitely wanted to try a different position. Briefly before delivery I also did some breath exercises with my midwife. This time I just used the book for prayer and some proclamations with the last pages which really helped. When the day came with contractions in the morning I prepared for hospital and made sure that the kids were ready for kindergarten. We also had informed some people (as a back-up plan) who could take care of our girls if it would happen at different times. I also imagined which times would be best and my biggest desire was that my mom would be there for the girls. On that particular morning when the contractions were getting stronger, I called my mum. She immediately confirmed that it’s happening and that she will take the next train to us. At this moment I realised that we had to make ready for the hospital. This time the pain was more in the back, which was very uncomfortable, especially sitting in the car. But most importantly we made it to the hospital on time. I had two midwifes who attented to me, cause I was considering a water birth. They hardly needed to help me. I followed my instinct. Mostly processed the labour on a mat with a gymnastic ball. And since I was very heated up, I hardly could hold my husband. But when one strong contraction came I had to grap his hands and the water broke in that glorious moment. The contractions intensified and I pushed about 3 or 4 times till the baby was out. This was the most beautiful delivery I ever experienced, so self-determined, with cheerful music in the background and so smooth. Even the midwifes thanked me afterwards for allowing them the honor of witnessing such a beautiful childbirth.