I started on this journey of motherhood, a young girl of 23 years, not knowing what I was doing or what to expect. I had my first child in my island home of Barbados. Just a year into my marriage. I wondered how will I know when it is time to go to the hospital? What do contractions feel like? I read about it and tried to prepare myself as best as I could. Then one day the pain hit me. Now I get it, contractions feel like unbearably extreme menstrual pains. Geez, how hard was that to explain.
We went to the hospital and there I’ll stay in horrible pain, alone (they wouldn’t let my husband in, until it was time) in a room filled with other lonely women in unbearable pain. No one came to check on you. You’re just alone. I repeated the bible verse “I can do all things………” and sang songs to help me get through the pain. Eventually, after hours of waiting for someone to tell me what the heck was going on, why hasn’t the baby come yet. I asked the midwife on duty, how will I know when the baby is ready to come. I can’t remember exactly what she said, but it wasn’t that enlightening.
Well, I figured it out. It was when my unbearable pain became torturous. They finally allowed my husband to come in. Then him, the midwife and I went into the birthing room. Where I gave birth to baby number one without any pain medicine once so ever (it wasn’t an option), four days before my 24th birthday. I tried to pull my husband’s none existing hair out. I told the midwife I changed my mind and I didn’t want to do this anymore. However I did it anyway and there she was. The most beautiful little thing.
A year later we moved to America, and I became pregnant with baby number two, a little under two years after that. This birth experience was so much more relaxed and peaceful with the introduction of pain medicine-The Epidural (one of my most favorite man-made things). I went to the hospital in the middle of the night, after my contractions started and I was about 2 cms dilated, they sent me home. Just a mere few hours later, after having something to eat, taking a shower, then taking a mile long walk to my OB at our neighborhood clinic. I was about 5 cms dilated and she sent me back to the hospital. They made me walk up and down the halls to get things progressing. Later I had my epidural and then I felt calm and at peace. I felt my water break, like a gush a water just poured out of me. I called the nurse, and ready set go, it was time to push and I pushed until baby number two arrived. My first son.
Baby number three, was not as peaceful or relaxed. It was a scary and sad experience. It was a scheduled C-section to deliver my (at risk) son about 4 weeks before his time, in order to try to save him from dying. I felt nothing, because my whole bottom half was numb. When they took him out, he made one small cry, then I never heard him cry again. A minister baptized him then and there, then off to the NICU he went to be hooked up to a machine to help him breath. He died five days after his birth.
Baby number four, was an unplanned labor induction, because the doctor believed my son was at risk due to how low my amniotic fluid was (by the way-all my pregnancies have had that issue). I had an epidural later, but I may have had it too early, because by the delivery time, I was feeling the full force of labor pains and I couldn’t bear it. Nevertheless, I got through it, thanks to my husband’s support and encouragement. Having him there to hold my hand and talk to me, helped immensely. Baby number four was born on his due date June 20th, the official first day of summer. What a summer gift.
Baby number five was a scheduled induction (for the same reason as above) that never happened. We were scheduled to come in at 8 on a Friday night, which we did, but we didn’t get out of the waiting room until five hours later. Labor & Delivery was having a really busy night. During those five hours, we watched a lot of episodes of “Love it or List it,” and met a really interesting Latino family, the kind that you’d see on t.v starring in their own reality show. They made us laugh, and made at least an hour or two of the wait go quicker.
By the time, we finally got into a room (still waiting to get the induction started), about forty-five minutes later, I started having contractions and things started to happen on their own. No induction necessary. I had a nurse on duty, that kept putting me back in my bed, whenever I tried to walk around. This made contractions even more intense. I learned from experience, that walking helps ease the tension a little bit. My epidural took so long, that by the time I got it. I enjoyed it for less than an hour, then baby literally pushed himself out, with no help from me at all. Thank goodness, the doctor and nurses were nearby and ready for action very quickly. That baby was coming whether we were ready or not.
Last but maybe not least, baby number six. Past his due date, another attempt at an induction (not scheduled) mucked up by my baby’s desire to come into this world on his own terms. Before, we could get the induction started, I started to have contractions. I met my very first labor ball during this delivery, which the nurse put between my legs as I laid down in an awkward position for a while. Later, I had my epidural that seemed super strong, because I felt absolutely nothing. I was even worried I might not feel when the baby was ready to come. That epidural, made me feel happy (like drug happy).
Then something happened, but what, I’m not sure. I felt something very subtle. As I was about to call the nurse to ask her to check down there to see what was going on, she knocks on the door and ask me if I was sure I wasn’t feeling the urge to push. I wasn’t but I did tell her I did feel a slight something. She goes to check and immediately puts a baby on my chest. Then calls for help. The doctor and other nurses come in, they do what they do, and all is well, a healthy 8 lb baby boy is here.
What an amazing journey I have been on to bring my beautiful children into this world, each birth story as different and the same as their personalities. Thank God for these children, thank God for his divine love and care. Don’t matter the circumstance, pain or no pain, he has given me the strength and the love and support of my husband to get through it. I’ll always remember, how much I’m blessed.
May I raise Women of Virtue and Men of Honor.