“I did not plan to get pregnant……” says 29 years old Mother of 2 kids.
Hospital & country of delivery ? Lister, Ghana.
- What your journey to becoming pregnant? Was it easy? Did you have any miscarriages or did you have to go through any fertility treatments to get pregnant? (Please share your experience and emotions about it and what helped you get through it)
Answer: I did not plan to get pregnant (both times)…I’m terrible or rather lazy with contraception. My pregnancies were not easy. My body changed drastically; excessive water retention, something called Pelvic Girdle Pain (which affected mobility and later informed my choice of delivery). I am also Rh-; so the need to get my shots in a timely manner, etc. Honestly, I did not have time to deal with my emotions while I was pregnant; I just went through the motions because I knew a baby was coming and there was no place for my feelings of stress, discomfort or pain. I had a mission and I had to do the best I could to complete it. The joys and relief and all the pent up emotions came after…..way after. After babies were finally healthy, strong, and fit.
- Did you deliver on your expected due date? Which hospital and where you happy with their services?
Answer: I chose my due dates both times because they were C-sections. My 2nd delivery on the one hand was brought forward than my initial chosen date after I had a sudden encounter with hemorrhoids. Can you believe it? Just at the last moment…came in the piles! I delivered at Lister. Honestly, I wasn’t happy with the antenatal care because the queue was always long and the visits very short and rushed. For a first timer, i wasn’t happy about that; but for my 2nd, I appreciated the speed of the visits. It was like…”is baby fine?”…”yes”..”ok, see you next time”. But during delivery, they were quite professional and the nurses and midwives very friendly, helpful and attentive
- What was your birth plan and did it go according to plan on the D-day?
Answer: In my dreams, I would have opted for a water birth. If such existed in Ghana. But remember I told you about PGP? so the decision was made for me to have a C- section. And if I was in doubt, baby was in breach position anyway
- Tell us your birth experience
Answer: Lights, camera, action! Lying sprawled on the operation table surrounded by men and medical equipment, naked (at one point) and vulnerable and completely surrendered. What else can I say? But it was over in half an hour and then the real work of recovering from surgery while simultaneously caring for a newborn began.
- What fears did you have during labor?
Answer: When I thought I would have a normal birth; I actually wasn’t scared of labour. I was ready….waiting. I think by that time your body is just ready to get the baby out. 9 months is a long time of not being able to scratch certain places, or sleep, constantly peeing, waddling instead of walking, wash/clean your toes by yourself, etc.
- When you saw your baby for the first time, what emotions did you have?
Answer: Relief…that they both had ten toes and fingers, normal brain, beating heart.
- What are some of things you didn’t know about labour that you ended up finding out the hard way.
Answer: For me and my C-sections. …the cathita….what a discomfort!
- Is it all over after birthing? Are there any weird symptoms or experiences we should know about?
Answer: I retained fluid in my body for months! And my nipple ducts sealed shut even though I was producing milk.
- What’s the most challenging thing you experienced in this whole process pregnancy, birthing and the aftermath?
Answer: Honestly, the whole thing was challenging. But maybe more so for me because I didn’t expect half of what happened to me. I hadn’t really been close to any pregnant woman. And everyone seemed so happy and joyous on the outside about the whole process. Plus, the popular symptoms like morning sickness and spitting didn’t happen to me. I found out a whole multitude of symptoms the hard way.
- Last tips for expecting mothers
Answer: Be prepared. Research. Remain calm. If you are spiritual, pray continually. Get a good support system…surround yourself with positive, helpful people. And don’t be afraid to ask questions and demand answers. Trust your instinct and listen to your body. It knows best. If something feels off, it most likely is. My first born had rolled herself into a corner of my womb, hadn’t moved for hours, I felt something was off, the first responding resident doctor thought I was overreacting when I arrived to check on it…..I delivered that day on doctor’s orders. And thank God I did!