July 13, 2011
That morning I woke up feeling unusually tired. I had been packing my hospital bag little by little the last one week and it had only been two days since I’d had the horrific false labor and I wanted to be prepared just in case it was time. That day, my mum-in law (a very special woman in my life) offered to take me to hospital when I woke up. She had heard my wails despite the distance between the main house and my husband’s SQ…(My husband is the lastborn in the family and still lived in the family house). Being the first son to bring a grandchild into the family, my baby’s arrival was impatiently awaited.
Rompers, check, shawl, Check, Diapers, Check….changing clothes for me, check. Crap! I realized I hadn’t bought tooth paste, a brush and some soap. Tired as I felt I had lost confidence in leaving the house, but I loved walking so I called my brother and he agreed to walk me to the nearest convenient store. I bought the stuff and quickly returned to the house. Evening came and I still didn’t feel settled. Agitated I kept checking my bags, cleaned my lesos and walked around the house looking for something to occupy myself with.
Suddenly, my plug flushed out and I rushed straight to the bathroom. I knew it! This uneasiness wasn’t uncalled for. What mom told me to look out for was here and I knew Baby’s arrival would be soon. I was due in 6 days but alas, not even doctors can be exact with dates!
Labor pains were progressively increasing and pacing up and down the house wasn’t doing me any good. I thought to call my sister in-law for last advise. She works in a hospital and has 3 kids. Clearly, she must know something! I thought to myself. “Start counting the minutes between the contractions.” She advised. “They usually start from 30minutes, count them down to 7minutes, and then go to hospital. I began counting…crap! They were spacing the 7 ‘f’ing minutes already! I got very anxious and poured myself a second cup of tea (I love my tea. Still do) then I called my mom. I continued pacing the house. Justin, my husband was in class. He was doing his final semester and we had agreed that I’d call him in case Baby decided to check in so we would meet at the hospital.
We rushed to hospital, though I wasn’t in a hurry myself. My mom and mom-in law were. I kept wondering how this whole experience would change my life and wasn’t sure I was ready to be a mother. I wished, for a moment, that I’d go back home and continue being pregnant till, well till I was ready. But baby didn’t care if I was ready or not. It was ready to meet me. My moms checked on me frequently as I sat uncomfortable in the back seat. I would cringe in pain and get lost in it while they listened in silence, till the pain subsided. Mom-in law was driving.
Soon I was walking into the labor ward where I was warmly welcomed by the painful cries of other to-be mothers, most of which were screams of actual delivery. This would be confirmed as the screams would die immediately a new born would begin to wail. Other pregnant women walked around aimlessly as their labor pains would mysteriously disappear after their arrival at the hospital. One asked me for a Nokia charger, which I didn’t have, and she marched out and into the next room. My two moms strangely reacted differently to my now very painful contractions. Mom-in law looked like she was in worse pain than I was. I could see her face fold till her eyes closed and she would then beg me to hang in there..I wondered how she managed four rounds of merciless torture. My other mom also went the four rounds and she looked the part. She didn’t look the least pitiful and to some point, I thought I saw a proud smile at the corner of her mouth. “How is it?” she kept probing to which I’d answer not too bad to. I told them how I’d bravely bear the pains to the end without a scream, and they both shared a knowing look. How I wish they had told me to my face what a dreamer I was. I was glad though that they were not there, hours later when I screamed my lungs so loud the doctor rushed in, thinking I was ready to push.
My husband never left my side though. He rubbed by back to my orders and was almost as exhausted as I was. I could see him struggle to hide his pain whenever I cried and he did everything to make me comfortable. He even bought me fries and chicken which I happily munched away amidst my moments in hell. He was later asked to leave so I could get yet another check up.
I was close, and doc asked me to save my energy for the pushing part, which I obviously never heeded. I screamed through the next hour I had to myself and then suddenly, I got an urge to push. I thought it was poop so I began pushing it out. Then I remembered doc saying to call out if I felt an urge to poop. So that was it? My baby was to come out like poop? I mean seriously?
I called out and he didn’t take long. He hastily prepared the tools on the bed then urged me to push. I did. “I said push!” he shouted and I did again and again and again. I was worn out and baby wasn’t out yet. “I’m afraid your baby is tearing you, so I will have to slice you just a little bit to make way.” He warned. I didn’t give a damn. I told him I wanted this thing out of me. I didn’t have any more energy left in me.
‘Push!’ Doc urged on. I did and felt the knife make its way through my flesh. Before I could yelp, I felt a huge release from my insides, followed by a sharp screech and it wasn’t me. The doc raised my wailing baby upside down and smiled. “It’s a girl!” He announced “Welcome to the world young lady. You are in Kenya.” He said, then quickly wrapped her and handed her to me and continued cleaning up. It was time to spread the great news.