“O ti mu o!!!!!!!” my sister shouted from the room after she saw me suddenly go down on my knees almost immediately I got up to pick my cake mixer from the dinning table. “You can’t go to church o… Henrietta, take (wraps 10k in my hand), take Uber to the hospital and tell the doctor how you’re feeling.
Prior to this Sunday, 8th of July… The day before was supposed to be my last antenatal session. At 39 weeks and 4 days, I was anxious to meet this little bundle of joy that had been growing and making me eat like a crazy person. I did makeup, wore a new dress with my favourite leggings – because nothing else fitted at the time and requested a ride to my hospital and feeling like the flyest yummy-mummy-to-be! So I got to the hospital, did my routine check ups and my doctor asked if I was ready to deliver. I smiled and said “God will help me.”
We did another scan. Baby girl again for the 4th scan. I was so sure, so ready to meet my mini me. I said goodbye to the nurses.. “Hopefully this week” Doctor Kola said as I exited the hospital building… So the Sunday episode wasn’t expected. I baked on Saturday but to decorate on Sunday Na war.
I got to this hospital, amidst false contractions, me that had makeup on and dressed peng the day before… I wore a pink bra top and a pregnancy gown that my friend Tessy had given me with a big sweater on top it. I wore my hair net and my bathroom slippers because honestly I was feeling like I was running mad. I held my belly -as if it will make the contractions stop- and went through that episode till the doctor came.
“Madam Labake…” he said.. “what happened? Weren’t you here yesterday?” He asked. “I don’t know how I’m feeling.” I said …I can’t sleep, I can’t do anything, I’m running temperature and my belly is rock hard but after minutes, it becomes normal.
“Hahaha” he chuckled. “Those are only false contractions. Madam, you have to go back home. I don’t want to do a vaginal examination to trigger anything. And your due date is still till July 11th. Today is 8th, so calm down.” He said to me.
Hey God, I started crying.. me that was forming baddest from day 1, the tears started trickling down my eyes. I convinced him to please check me and he agreed. He checked me and insisted I was not ready yet. With disappointment, I requested another Uber home. Still in the false contraction mood, I lay down to sleep, ate little and the contractions started all over again. I was supposed to do a photoshoot with a friend but I cancelled the shoot that day and slept.
Monday morning and I couldn’t go to school because I felt so sick. Tried to eat but the smell put me off. I drank tea instead.. Minutes after I threw up on the rug and the contractions started again. I had called “Baba Habeebah” (my baby’s papa’s name is Habeeb so since we found out we were having a girl, we started calling her habeebah ) earlier that I felt really somehow and couldn’t eatand requested that he get me pineapples -as I had read that it induces labor very rapidly. He got home and brought the pineapple. To induce labor, I took 2 pieces and stopped. The contractions got harder and we’re coming closer together. It went like that till 3 in the afternoon. Around past 4, I called doctor Kola and this was our conversation.
Dr k: Did u see blood?
Dr k: Did u see the mucus plug?
Dr k: Did u see water?
“Then don’t come yet. Keep yourself hydrated and drink ORS suspension for dehydration.” He concluded.
I was getting tired and cranky. The pains were closer. The screams were louder and my belly had dropped from the normal round and perky and was sitting on my thighs. Good thing!!!! My baby was coming down. My cousin called her mom and told her how I was feeling. She hurried over and said “give me dettol, water and cotton wool let me check what’s happening.
Finally that episode passed and I could lay down. I placed my hand over my belly as another contraction was about to start. She went all in and screamed “Ori omo yii to wa nita o!!!” (the baby’s head is coming out o!!!) she said. “Ile Loma bimo yii si o” (she has to deliver this baby at home). My brother came in and said “No matter, please she has a hospital”. I called Baba habeebah to come meet us at the hospital since he couldn’t get home in time to drive us there. The ride to the hospital was the longest. We passed the shortest route but the baby’s head kept descending more and more. I felt like they were ripping my legs apart from inside my stomach. Mama asked me to close my legs and NOT PUSH.
Around past 5, we were in Ogba traffic. I was using my legs to push the passenger seat chair while screaming because the contractions got worse as she kept descending. I literally turned the chair to the break pad.. I would push it and stretch along as I pushed the chair with my legs closed. My body wasn’t mine again. I couldn’t even use pain killers if I wanted to. This pain was maddddddddd!!! I just kept drinking Eva water. My throat was dry also.
As we approached the hospital gate,The midwife and my brother held me on both hands.. They raised me to climb the small stairs leading to the reception. I got inside and the doctor said, “take her up immediately.” I got upstairs like a snail and then the original contractions started hooking me.This time around, I couldn’t even contain the pain anymore. I removed my Abaya and the bra top I was wearing.
Then doctor Kola came. “Let me check how many centimeters you’re on now. Please you people will have to excuse me.” He said to Baba Habeebah, my brother and others in the room.. Finally after 2 minutes, this storm calmed and I could let him examine me. “6 centimeters. “I’ll check you again once it’s 8pm.”
I was seeing silhouettes, not people anymore. People became black and white. I stopped seeing color and I kept checking the time till 8 o clock. Soon, I was asked to go to the prepared Labour room. I slowly and gently got there. I was asked to lay down, given set of instructions for the procedure. “take plenty breaths. Breathe with your mouth if you feel breathless and push only when I say.” I heard him but those instructions weren’t registered in my brain.
“So push madam” He said.. I screamed!!!!!!!!!!!
He tapped me back into reality, “Madam you’re just screaming, you’re not doing anything.”I screamed back at doctor Kola “Please I don’t know what I’m doing. Please teach me how to push.” Finally the midwife said, “Hold your legs and look at your abdomen. Close your mouth and give a long hard push.” There was no going back. I did exactly what she said. I made sure of that. After a long push, that I felt that I had finally gotten the hang of it, Doctor kola tapped me again. “Madam your baby will get tired with what you’re doing. Push madam.”
I opened my mouth and started crying. He said push again. Before i could push till the end I heard “klamklam” the sound of the surgical scissors. Jesu!!! Whatt!!!!!! Before I could understand, I just heard “klamklam” again and the pain went straight into my brains.
The pain management drip wasn’t working for me. The 2 shots of pain relief on my thighs were not working either. I cried and with the last push, she came sliding out with her sac still intact. He clamped the cord and slowly removed her. Omo my coloured vision returned instantly… I saw plenty black lush curly hair! OMG I was so tired but very excited!! But she wasn’t crying so much and they wanted to hear the long cry so they kept tapping her. Oju MI o gba (my eyes no fit collect am) beating my BIG baby.
When they were cleaning her body, I watched and I saw something black under her Bombom. “Ahan aunty nurse what’s that”? I asked.
“Aunty your baby is a boy o.”
“No o. She’s a girl o.”
“Aunty he’s a boy o.”
I was happy and confused at the same time. I just lay there lifeless and tired while they took my Bomboy to clean and dress him. I laid there grateful for the safe and speedy delivery and then the doctor came back “I have to leave you for a moment. He’s not crying well but he’s going to be fine ” Whattt ! Before I could utter a word, he had disappeared. So I had this remaining placenta in me and the clamped cord still dangling from underneath. I prayed and then he cried. I was relieved.
Later, Doctor k came in with sutures and said it was time for death part 2. the stitching. I just told my sister not to go. To hold my hand through everything. I felt everything. As if they were seeing clothes in my brain. I cried, I screamed, there was nothing I didn’t endure just to go back to see my baby boy. I asked who was with him so he won’t be lonely. I was told my younger sister and his father were playing with him. I felt relieved. I thought the doctor had finished o. Till he said “remaining the second side.”
I walked back to my room. Yes!! I had enough energy to walk back. I saw him briefly and my heart was doing Gish Gish Gish Gish.. I was hungry! I was asked to shower, use a pad, eat, then come to see him. I quickly did everything. I got to the room, lights were on him and the neonatal oxygen mask. I was wondering why then the doctor said his breathing became shallow and his lungs were collapsing. I was weak in the knees. The doctor said the baby was tired from all the pushing and needed time to bounce back. Okay o! “
My baby looked at me with one eye opened. OMG, his eyes were everything! He had his father’s skin (afin people), he had his nails, his hair, his nose Only thing he had that was mine was my lips. I was ecstatic. I didn’t even take a picture. I looked and fell in love. I was lost for words and I just kept smiling like someone they’ve were toasting..
Next morning, the doctor came to check how I was bleeding. He said it was normal. I asked about the baby’s health and he said he was getting better and we might go home that day. That morning passed. Afternoon came, my family members were becoming many in the hospital. Ahahn what’s happening. They said I’ve been discharged. Ehen where’s the baby? They said we’d pick him. We need to go first. That’s when I started crying. “How can I go home without a baby?” I screamed at them. “Today, I’m not going anywhere!”
My brothers convinced me. They told me that he was fine and when he was stable, they’d allow me see him, cuddle and all. I believed them and so I went downstairs, collected my drugs from the pharmacy and went home. We got home and my landlord accosted me. He didn’t know they had tricked me home. He looked sad and said, “Adupe pe omi Lo danu.” (Thank God the water only poured, the clay is still intact) I was confused!
My Aunty quickly signalled to him and he cut the conversation there and disappeared.
I got upstairs and saw plenty people. Saw my father, his wife, my brothers, everyone! I started crying. It was true. They had tricked me home. They had buried him without letting me say goodbye. I was mad with rage but I was calm. “Aunty Ronke, he’s still in the ICU, let’s go.”I said to my aunt. she turned, looked at me and said, “There’s no baby anymore and there’s no ICU.”
I wanted to die! I had to sit down to process this news. There was no point. He had been buried. But the only thing was THEY took a pic before they put him to rest. That was all? 1 picture to make up for 9 months and my 1 day crazy madness over giving birth? I did not understand. I needed more. I needed it to be a dream. Nightmare. To wake up to him next to me and everything I had had in pile up for this boy. I wept day and night because I was shattered
Thank God for Grace. 2 weeks after, I wrote my final exam and guess who’s graduating! Me!!! When life gives you lemons, maximise the use and make more than lemonades.
It’s 3 months now. ‘God has been faithful and he still is! .
Today, I made my Baby proud! I passed my Exam!
Written by Labake for Diaryofanaijagirl.ng