I was huge! I was really tiny when I was younger and I tried my best to gain some pounds. Then, it seemed weight just was not for me. Now, I was begging the weight to slow down.
I waddled around the house and wondered how I was going to become trim again after I had my baby. I ran into a former classmate who did not recognize me. This was not just because I was bigger, I was also darker-the foundation I used before I was pregnant was now three shades lighter than my skin tone. There were hyper pigmented patches on my neck and hands. Please, let us not even refer to the stretch marks, yuck! What a woman had to go through!
At this point, the bouts of insomnia had stopped. It was as though my body sensed the many sleepless nights that lay ahead. My sleep was interrupted only by the numerous trips to the loo. With a pillow in between my thighs and one under my head, I was quite comfortable; thank God. Braxton Hicks contractions started and sometimes they were serious enough to convince me that labor had begun. They would intensify and gradually ease out. My sister and some of my friends were pregnant too, so war stories were shared. (Fine, that’s extreme).
Sometime during late third trimester, a friend called me and asked if I was having an elephant like pregnancy. He felt I had been pregnant forever. Believe me; that was exactly how I felt. Time moved like a snail. My bags were packed since the 36th week and I carried them with me every time I went for antenatal class. I was hopeful.
I wanted to have my baby right away despite warnings from my friend turned sister who had just had her baby. She was so exhausted, she wanted to put him back in her uterus and love him there. I was tired too. I wanted my baby out asap! So I walked and walked. I walked in the mornings and evenings. I increased the amount of walking I did daily. (I have repeated this ‘walking’ several times to indicate how much walking was done: LOL)!
One morning, I woke up and went for my usual morning ‘walks’. I had this intermittent lower abdominal pain that was not too different from the Braxton Hick’s contractions. It was slightly more severe. Finally; I hoped. I did not want to raise any false alarms and send everyone into frenzy. I had a hurried breakfast, took a shower and got dressed.
I made up!
I drew perfect brows, applied foundation, eye shadow, eye liner and lipstick (oh yes, I slayed). I did all this while timing the pain I felt, just to be sure. The contractions gradually became more frequent and intense. My husband took me to the hospital. My mom’s eldest sister and my sister went with us. My aunt taught me how to pant and breathe to make the contractions easier to bear.
The doctor took one look at my picture perfect face and laughed. He was prepared to send me back home. Examination however confirmed active labour. After a short while, I saw stars. It felt like I moved in and out of consciousness with the conscious period filled up with excruciating pain. God bless all mothers! My aunt and sister prayed, sat, paced and hovered around my husband and the doctor. Hubby prayed and encouraged me- truth, at some point I didn’t hear some of the things he said. I just wanted the phase to pass.
“Push, keep pushing. Sustain it!” the matron said. They were all saying things around me. I was not interested. (Baby come out already)! At some point all I could hear was “sustain it”. If the doctor, the matron or my husband had said ‘‘sustain it’’ one more time, I was going to scream.
I heard someone say “see the head, ” and then a few seconds later, I heard my baby cry. Phew! It was over. I felt a weight on my trunk. The matron dropped my baby on my chest.
My baby was here and I could not take my eyes off him.