When I was pregnant, I knew from day one I wanted a natural childbirth. I was scared. But eager to have one. I took Gamper birth classes and my fears disappeared. I was now looking forward to giving birth naturally. A few days to my due date, I texted a good friend of mine whose due date was two days before mine. She told me she was in hospital and had just been induced. I was in shock because her due date was still a few days away. I explained to her that I had experienced some back pains for a few days now and they got worse that morning. But as usual, I passed them off as Braxton Hicks contractions. But she insisted I get checked just to be sure everything was fine. (This conversation happened before she got into active labour) So I took her advice and rushed to hospital to get checked. As I sat at the clinic waiting to see a doctor, I thought of timing my back pains. Funny enough, they were regular at 20-minute intervals. But I still didn’t think much of it as labour. I thought I was just being paranoid.
The doctor checked me and said I had not dilated. BUT, she thought that I would be in labour and not dilating since my pains were regular. So she told me to check in to the labour ward for induction. That’s when my fears started jetting in. I called my husband, told him I couldn’t check in alone. He rushed to the hospital, and as we were walking to the labour ward, we met another doctor – one of the three I saw regularly during my clinic visits. He asked me what the issue was and I explained it to him. He thought I should seek a second opinion, saying that he would want to know the source of the back pains before induction. So he called the resident doctor at the labour ward to check on me. That doctor advised that I go for a scan first before induction. All this time, I knew this was it. The big day is here! After the scan, I had dinner casually while my husband rushed home to get my things. My mother and in-laws came over to see me and wished me well. I told them to go home as I knew my labour would start much later. I sat there alone, watching the lady opposite me try and deal with the pain. She had just been induced. I started going through my Gamper classes in my head, trying to remember all the breathing styles.
Then the doctor came and gave me a shocker. He said the scan results showed no fetal movements and I had to go for an emergency c-section. I panicked. Not because of the c-section. But because my baby was not moving. I called my husband and told him to rush back as I was going into theatre. I even forgot about my desire for a natural birth. I just wanted to know if my baby was ok. Long story short, she turned out fine. The umbilical cord had been wrapped around her neck twice. And the rest of it pressing against her head. It was a miracle that I wasn’t induced. And a miracle that I went to get checked for my back pains. It didn’t matter to me that I didn’t go through the labour pains. It didn’t matter to me that I didn’t do a natural birth. As long as she was healthy and strong, I was good. And no, it did not make me less of a mother that I didn’t undergo hours of labour. So I salute all mothers. Whether you gave birth naturally or not. Whether you underwent a c-section by choice or not. Whether you have adopted or chosen to take up a child as your own. You are a wonderful mother and I salute you!