My First Birthing Experience – Efua’s Story

Posted on Posted in Pregnancy Experience

Name: Efua
Age: 28
Number of kids: 1
Hospital & country of delivery: North York General Hospital, Toronto-Canada

What your journey to becoming pregnant? Was it easy?
Ha! When my husband and I were trying to get pregnant the journey seemed tough, but looking back I would say it was not that bad. I guess it just didn’t happen as quickly as we thought it would.
You grow up hearing that as soon as you have unprotected sex you can get pregnant… so fast forward to June 2015 when after 6 months of marriage we decided we were ready to start trying. I was traveling in August that year, so we decided to start after my trip and of course we expected it to happen quickly. It didn’t.
First of all, my cycle was starting to trip up, not by much, but if you’re not having sex every single day of the week and you are monitoring your cycle, it can get frustrating (by the way monitoring does kill the libido.) There was always heartbreak and disappointment whenever I saw my period, and for some reason whenever it was supposed to be “go time”, my husband and I found ourselves having a stupid argument or two, which meant no conception sex. It started to become a science.
The stress of trying to conceive combined with the stress of work had me putting on weight. Imagine going to work and dealing with colleagues making their own comments about how they think you’re pregnant when you’re not. It was seriously annoying, especially when you’re trying.
I would say it took us five months to conceive. For three of those five months we missed the conception window. It wasn’t until my husband and I took a vacation that we were finally able to conceive.

Did you deliver on your expected due date? Which hospital did you use and what did you think of their services?
I was two weeks overdue because I wanted to give my baby a chance to come on his own. He didn’t. I ended up having a scheduled induction to push out my 9 pound 11 ounce beautiful baby boy. I delivered at the North York General Hospital and the doctors and nurses at their birthing unit were all so attentive and amazing.

What was your birth plan and did it go according to plan on the D-day?
Birth plan, no birth plan…. I was very “go with the flow” and I’m glad I didn’t stick to a rigid plan (I get disappointed easily when my heart is set on something). The one thing I wanted was to be able to push the baby out. I would have loved to have a completely natural birth without medication, but thank God my heart wasn’t stuck on that because it took about 17 hours from the time I was hooked on Pitocin (synthetic hormone to cause contractions) till the time of birth.

What was the birthing experience like?
Two weeks after my expected due date, I went in for a scheduled induction. I got to the hospital around 10 am and the nurses and doctors did their regular checks – my blood pressure, the baby’s heart rate etc. Then the doctor on call came in to do a cervical check.
The doctor stuck her two fingers in me and went all the way up to my cervix to see if I had dilated at all. If there was no dilation she would put this pill like hormone to get the process along. I was two centimetres dilated and I was excited. Now the doctor said, she was going to do a cervical sweep to get dilation going some more. The sweep was basically the doctor circling her fingers in my cervix, to separate the sac and expand the uterus a bit. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but it was terribly uncomfortable. She brought her fingers out with my bloody show and basically said I shouldn’t worry and that I should walk around for a bit while they got a room ready for me. I was encouraged. I had a lot of vim and was hoping to walk around to get my cervix dilating. My husband and I took a long walk around the hospital. I even “ran” up and down the stairs several times. We walked to Ikea. If you’ve ever been to Ikea then you know it’s a maze.
We finally got back to the hospital at about 2 pm, but it wasn’t till about 3 pm that I got a room. Around 4 pm the doctor came to check up on me to see if I had started having contractions. Nothing. So they hooked me up to an IV. They gave me Pitocin to start contractions. I wasn’t feeling anything for a while, so the doctors decided to break my water to get things along an hour into it. I was still moving around even with the IV, It wasn’t until 10 pm that I started feeling the contractions. It felt like a bad period. In the middle of that I had to go (number 2). Gosh it was so uncomfortable and I could feel the head was moving down. Contractions were coming every three to five minutes, I thought, “This is it.” It was a lie! When they checked me at 10:30 pm I was only 3 centimeters dilated. Since 10 am!!!! I lost my vim and quickly called for the epidural because at that point I was exhausted. I took it and dozed off in while the nurse monitored me. I thank God I took it because it wasn’t until 12 hours later the next morning that I was ready to push. I had dilated 10 centimeters and the baby’s head was down. I started pushing and thirty minutes later my baby was out. Thank God.

What fears did you have during labour?
I was scared that the baby wouldn’t come and I’d have to have a C-section.

When you saw your baby for the first time, did you have any specific emotions?
I was lost…. I was pushing and I expected it to be a while, but all of a sudden he was out and I had to hold him. I was lying down, he was hanging in the air, and he was heavy

What are some of things you didn’t know about labour that you ended up finding out the hard way?
I’m not sure anything really came as a surprise. I had read up on almost everything. I guess you could say it was mostly experiencing the whole process.

Is it all over after the birth? Were there additional experiences or weird reactions you think are worth mentioning?
It’s definitely not over. It’s four months later and I’m still leaking fluid down there. Six weeks post-partum I started itching like crazy around my waist and bum area. That went away after a month. Also, I had a second degree tear so it took a long while to heal.

What was the most challenging thing you experienced during the whole process of pregnancy, birthing, and the aftermath?
While I was pregnant it was the constant heart burn and tiredness. I was on meds during childbirth so that was easier. As for the aftermath, it would be healing and breastfeeding which is hella painful but gets better after a couple of weeks.

Do you have any tips for expecting mothers?
I used to ask a lot of people about their birth stories. Eventually, when it was my turn it was nothing like I expected. Just trust God, listen to the stories but don’t let the stories scare you.

One thought on “My First Birthing Experience – Efua’s Story

  1. congratulations Efua! I am glad everything went well and you are now one happy family. I find your piece very interesting because the subject on having challenges in getting pregnant and infertility are hardly ever discussed or even mentioned because of our culture or maybe because of the fear of being judged or being frowned upon. I read somewhere that even with very fertile women the chances of getting pregnant is just about 30% during ovulation, so you can imagine the rest that have medical challenges. Your article throws light on the fact that sometimes it’s not instantaneous when you plan to get pregnant. It can take time (longer in my case) but now others will know they are not alone. It could be nothing at all or due to medical challenges but the more we discuss and educate each other people with similar problems would be encouraged or even persuade them to seek medical assistance.

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