Sitting here with my newborn napping on my chest not only gives me comfort but time to rest and reflect. Two weeks ago, I welcomed my daughter into the world. It was the most intense, powerful experience of my life. And decide to share my baby’s birth story. Though I didn’t have a medication-free birth as I wanted, I feel no shame, only empowerment. I still accomplished something wonderful as all mothers have – bringing life forth.
My original due date was March 27th, 2019, so you can imagine how annoyed I was to still be pregnant when that day finally came. As a first time mom, I had heard it all ranging from “the baby will come early” to “you can be pregnant up until 42 weeks with your first”.
Luckily, on the morning of the 29th, I went into labour naturally.
The contractions were pretty bearable at 5-7 minute intervals so I was surprised to be told I was already 3 centimetres dilated at the hospital. My fiance Joe and I walked around for about an hour and that increased to 4 cm so I was able to be admitted into labour and delivery.
From this point, labour went pretty slowly with me only progressing to 5 cm after several hours. Then the doctor informed me that my bag of water was bulging and probably in the way. He asked if I would like my water broken and I froze. I wasn’t exactly thrilled about having a weird tool jammed inside of me. (For those of you who don’t know, when they break your water they use a small hooked instrument.) Because of my reluctance, he gave me an hour to think about it and upon his return, I decided to go through with it.
Once my water was broken, the floodgates opened literally and figuratively. I felt so much relief that I instantly cried. But those tears soon turned into tears of pain. While in the bathroom with Joe, a contraction hit me and I remember yelling “don’t touch me!” when he tried to help me back into my gown.
After I was back in bed, I dreaded every contraction that followed. They were so strong I could hardly talk through them, only groan and gasp. I laid stuck on my side with a peanut ball between my knees. It felt like I was being slowly and repeatedly stabbed in the lower abdomen. I probably would have suffered through the pain if my mom hadn’t encouraged me.
“It’s okay if you need to get the epidural.”
And she was right. It was and it is okay. I was so determined to prove a point to myself of not needing any pain relief that I failed to recognize that I was overwhelmed.
Getting the epidural was scary and for the hour-long wait it took to get everything prepared, all I could think was ‘I’m about to get stabbed with a needle in my spine’. However, the contractions were so bad at that point that the needle felt like a light poke in comparison.
The epidural worked its magic and though I could still feel slight pressure, I was able to sleep comfortably until it was time to push at around 2 AM. This is where things got real. Not only did the epidural start wearing off, but I had no energy after many rounds of pushing. I pushed for 3 whole hours. 3 hours of sweat, blood, tears, and screams. At multiple points, I even tried to give up, proclaiming “I can’t do this.”
And I’m totally convinced that if it wasn’t for my support system and a lovely duo of doctors I wouldn’t have been able to go on. Not only was I exhausted physically, but mentally I was drained.
Finally, the moment came. All I remember is screaming at the top of my lungs as I pushed and hearing everyone exclaim as my daughter emerged. I was in shock when they laid her on my chest. She was so beautiful and big. Oh, and she had a mane of hair. I was still very much in pain, but the longer I looked at her, the less I could focus on anything else. And it’s still that way. She is the centre of my world.
Anani Noelle Green was born on March 30th, 2019 at 5:22 AM. She weighed 8 pounds 1 ounce and was 22 inches long.
Read Betül’s twins’ birth story here.