It all started on Saturday night. I had a few cramps, but nothing major, I thought that it was the fatigue and the weight that had caused the cramping. I told Darren that I had some pain, but I really felt fine. On Sunday morning I was exhausted, so we decided to skip the church service, and livestream the service from home.

I went to the bathroom, as I usually do when I wake up, and there was a bit of a “show”. I felt a little freaked out, and I didn’t want Darren to panic, so I didn’t mention anything to him about it – yet. But every time I went to the bathroom, the show was there. Nothing hectic, nothing painful, just pink stuff. (Side note: Darren and I didn’t go to any pregnancy/birthing classes, we watched a lot of stuff on YouTube and felt prepared enough for the pregnancy and birth). I called him to the bathroom to tell him that the show had started. We both looked at each other, like, “so what now?!” we couldn’t remember what we had learnt online! Thank goodness we hadn’t spent that R2k on the classes, because we would have forgotten anyway!

39 weeks pregnant and waiting for our baby.

A quick search on Google put our minds at ease, and because I wasn’t feeling anything, we carried on about our day. My Doctor had said that if Ezra hadn’t arrived by Sunday, we should go for an NST. So we had some lunch at Wimpy (a regular pregnancy craving from our second trimester) and went to the hospital. I was nervous and emotional driving to the hospital, I love my husband so much, and for all we know we would stay the night at the hospital and come back home with a baby in a day or two.

The NST went well, and the nurses said “You aren’t in labour, if you’re smiling like that, this baby won’t come tonight or tomorrow.” So we went home, relieved that all was well with Ezra and myself. Fast forward to about 21h30, we got ready for bed, but I just couldn’t get comfortable. If I laid down, it was way too uncomfortable, and sitting on the bed didn’t help either. So I sat on the stairs in our room. It felt a lot better, but the pain was coming and going – little did I know these were contractions. I kept thinking of what the nurses said, and I thought it was just discomfort. Half an hour later, I realised that I couldn’t do this alone, so I woke Darren up and told him to put on our “labor playlist”, that consisted of my favourite “Jesus music”. The music really helped, I would sing when the pain was gone and it was a great distraction – by this time, I knew that it was happening, there would be a baby soon.

Us and our music moved to the lounge, where the couch was lower and more comfortable for me, and every time I felt a contraction, I’d lean forward and Darren would firmly rub my back and that helped relieve the pain. After some time, I remembered that I have this app on my phone, it times your contractions for you – that was really the Holy Spirit that reminded me about that app. I started timing the contractions – six minutes apart, and about a minute long. After four contractions, the app said to grab my bags and get ready! I jumped up, and told Darren that its time to go! So I went to the kitchen and grabbed my bag of hospital snacks (priorities, obviously!) and went down to shower and get done.

Darren and I were quite relaxed, we both had showers and got ready to go. By the time we jumped into the car, the clock read 2h00, and I still felt ok, I felt like I could do this. God was so good to us, and honoured everything that we had prayed and asked for. I said that I will not be that woman that is wheeled in on a wheel chair to go to the maternity ward, and I didn’t. I walked in there holding my husbands hand.

By the time the nurse checked how far along we were dilated, I was concerned that they would say we’re only 2cm, and send us back home – but she told us that we were already 6cm dilated – praise God! Sister Genevieve (the midwife) had said that she wanted to put a drip in for me, but I wasn’t comfortable with that. I had decided that I wanted to give birth without the pain meds (epidural, etc), so I was weary of having a drip in. She assured me that it was only for hydration purposes, and if I decided that I wanted a pain killer, they would put it on the drip. So we were doing this thing, natural – just the way we had prayed and asked God for – I was terrified, but I felt ready.

They were convinced that Ezra would only come later that morning, and told me that my Doctor would be in at 7h30. But about 45 minutes later, they came in and told me that they were taking me to the labour ward, and Darren would meet us up there. We got there, and they manually broke my water – not long after that, Darren walked in, wide eyed and bushy tailed, so excited to be wearing scrubs! Soon after that, the pain intensified, and Darren was with me all the way, rubbing my back, helping me get comfortable – as comfortable as you can be while in labour! He was incredible, and I would never have been able to get through the labor the way I did had it not been for my husband.

The urge to pee was real, but sister Genevieve didn’t want me on the toilet, even though I was drinking so much water! Eventually she caved and let me go. Soon after that we were back on the bed, feeling like.. I can’t even describe how I felt – lol! I felt like I needed the toilet again, and I begged them to let me go to the toilet. She said that I was 8cm dilated at this point, and if I went to the toilet, I could have my baby in there. But they let me go, probably because I was persistent lol.

In the bathroom, I felt a fever come over me. I was sweating profusely, but sitting there gave me so much relief. The Doctor walked in – not my Doctor though, he was off sick this weekend, and this Doctor was on call. She sounded nice. I couldn’t see her from the toilet door, but she told me that I couldn’t have my baby in the toilet! So they got some ice for me, and I made my way back to the bed. The Dr checked for Ezra, and that was really painful. She asked if I was ok, and I didn’t feel like I was, the pain was intense now and I felt like I needed some laughing gas. So I asked for it, and they laughed at me!

The Doctor said “You’ve done so well up until this point, why do you want to give in now? Besides, there’s no time for laughing gas now, it’s time to push! I can see your babies head, come see dad!” I screamed NO! I didn’t want Darren seeing what was happening down there. I needed him by my head.

I wasn’t even ready.

She told me to push when I felt the pain – I told her that I need a minute. The pain came, and I screamed. I did what I thought was pushing. She was very firm with me, she said; “if I can hear your voice, you aren’t pushing. Now grab the back of your thighs, and push!” The pain came again, and Darren encouraged me so well, he believed that I could do it, and I believed that I could too. In my head I kept telling myself; “You can do all things through Christ!”. I pushed as hard as I could, once, twice, and by the third push Ezra was out and on my chest.

Nipples, look at his nipples! was my first thought, lol! His eyes were wide open and I just couldn’t believe that our sweet baby was out, and so quickly too. It felt like 10 minutes, and thank God it was that short – God was so merciful towards us – I felt like Ezra and my body did all the work. I had prepped mentally and Spiritually from the moment I decided that I wanted a natural birth.

Ezra came out at 04h27, weighing a healthy 2.8kg, and 50cm long. Soon after they checked Ezra’s vitals, he had to be taken to the neonatal ICU because he had some fluid on his lungs and wasn’t breathing normally. What a horrible experience having him away from us for the entire first day of his life and having to sleep without Ezra for the first night, but he only spent one night in the ICU, thank God for that, because my heart wouldn’t have been able to handle one more night of Ezra in the ICU. By midday on Tuesday, he was out of ICU and we were given the green light to go home.

 

So, if you’ve been following my blog for a while, you would know that I try to find a lesson in every experience – and this experience was really a supernatural one for me – so many people discouraged me and told me not to have natural birth. People told me that I wouldn’t be able to handle the pain, or that I should just have a c section because it’s more controlled and I’d know when baby is coming, even that I would do anything to get the baby out of me ASAP.

But I saw the hand of God throughout my entire pregnancy, and more so during the birthing process. Every prayer was answered, and the desires of my heart was met. All I can say is, this experience has given new meaning to the scripture, “fearfully and wonderfully made”. How great is our God for allowing one human to house another? People often ask how it feels to have made a baby, but the truth is, we didn’t make him – God did. And as my friend Nastassja says, we truly are God’s greatest miracle, people.

Ezra is truly the greatest gift, and I am so in awe of God for trusting Darren and I with this precious life. Now more than ever, we’re walking on the water and trusting the Spirit of God to guide us on the enourmous responsibility of being parents to this precious soul.

Thank you for stopping by.

Arlene.

4 comment(s)

Hi Arlene, I gave natural birth to both my sons 23 & 18 and it was the best experience ever, I also didn’t want anything for pain until it was to late. But I would recommend it to anyone who are able to do so. God has blessed Ezra with the best parents to raise him. Stay blessed.

That’s amazing Jennifer, well done! The birthing process is serious business. I take my hat off to anyone who has had a baby, no matter how it was done. Thank you for reading 🙂 blessings!

Hey Arlene, it was so nice reading your birth story, its good to hear positive natural birth . What did you do in the weeks before to prepare for the birth? I’m currently 32 weeks pregnant and would appreciate any advice on how to prepare yourself for natural birth.

Hi Janine!

Thank you so much for reading 🙂 Honestly, I prayed and set the desires of my heart before God. I also made a “vision board” with what I wanted for our pregnancy and baby. That was material things, characteristics that we would like our son to have, and also what I wanted for the birthing process. I really believe that God honoured us, and granted us the desires of our heart regarding the pregnancy and birth.

I also did a lot of research on youtube, pintrest and the baby centre app helped a lot as well. Connecting with friends that had recently had babies also helped ease my nerves, and also created a place for me to vent and also seek advice from real moms that had been through everything I was going through, before.

In terms of my body, I drank a lot of water, and did my best to eat as well as I could. Darren and I would also take walks daily, and I rested, stayed away from stressful situations and slept as much as I could. I honestly believe that all these things helped me stay calm while in labour, as well as now that baby is here.

I hope that this helps! All the best for your last stretch, you can do it!

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