Giving birth to Nina was an unforgettable experience.
It was a completely different experience from giving birth to Nathan. I’m not sure if my birth stories were so memorable because they were completely natural labors (no epidural, zero drugs), but what I do know is that these experiences have brought me closer to my sisters, my mom and my husband.
Giving birth to Nathan was a beautiful and thrilling because my first birthing experience. With Nathan I was in was in labor for 37 hours and the contractions felt unbearable. It’s rather normal to assume that on my first birthing experience I would have been fearful at the thought of pushing, but it was quite the opposite for me. I never once feared the ring of fire, as they call it. In fact, it was extremely surprising to me that I felt strong and fearless. I never questioned whether I could go through with it.
However, giving birth to Nina was an opposite experience.
First of all, the gender was unknown to all of us so that in itself made the birth experience that much more exhilarating.
And secondly, I thought it would be a piece of cake this second time so I felt invincibly ready…………………………………..Boy, was I wrong!
I arrived at the maternity center with my mom, Nathan and my husband at about 4 a.m. The midwife proceeded with a vaginal check and to our surprise I was 5cm dilated. We were so pleased that I was halfway dilated because to me that meant that I would dilate rapidly to 10 cm, which meant a quicker labor of course. Soon after my midwife checked me, she asked me to choose the room that I wanted to give birth in. I chose the blue room and we hurriedly unloaded our things and settled in.
The hours passed, and it was about 10 a.m. when my two sisters arrived. You don’t understand. My sisters have been my personal doulas (lol) for both of my births and their presence have made both experiences extra special. I don’t know how I would’ve done it without their emotional and physical support. My sisters were my greatest comfort in the moments when I felt like giving up. Not to belittle or depreciate my husband’s presence, but as women at that moment we shared something in common, the gift of birthing.
This second time around, active labor, seemed tolerable, however, mentally I felt weak. It was so different from Nathan’s birth experience. This time I allowed fear to consume my thoughts. Many times, I doubted whether I could go through with pushing my baby out. I was fearful at the thought of the baby tearing me. The fear was so intense at one some points that I would fight the pain instead of ease into it.
There was a point, where I became so worried at the thought of the baby coming out of me, that I contemplated having someone take me to the hospital for a C-section, but those thoughts were quickly deleted from my thoughts through the encouragement that my sisters provided me. Their words would always bring me back to reality. Having my son there helped tons as well. Listening to him pray for me provided me with the boost of solace that I needed. I knew I had to be strong for him and the baby that was on the way to making his or her appearance to our world.
I had to get this baby out no matter what!
It was about 8:00 p.m. when my midwife walked in and told me that it was time to push. I didn’t want to lay down to push because it felt uncomfortable. So, I decided to try to push while sitting on my husband’s lap.
Oh, was I happy, but secretly terrified inside.
The contractions came and as soon as I felt the urge to push, which feels like the urge to take the biggest dump of life, all I wanted to do was get into my pushing zone. I closed my eyes tight and screamed out of pain as I pushed as hard as I could each time.
With each contraction I would close my eyes tighter and tighter. I remember my sister holding on to me and I clearly recall her telling me “Mari, her head is out!” As soon as I heard those words I felt this new wave of courage to push harder. All I could think of was coming face to face with my baby.
I wanted to know if I was going to be holding my princess or prince.
What a special moment it was on that last push!!!
I felt the baby’s head come out and then the rest of the body, literally slipped out. I was in bit of a shock and immersed in a trance of joy. I grabbed my baby, we were all crying and all I heard was…
“It’s a girl!!!” My husband kept repeating it.
We were all so elated and in tears. I looked at her face and knew her name was Nina.
My mom opened the door, and I think I’ll always remember the image of tears running down her face, and an expression of glee I had never seen in her before. We told her that the baby is a girl. She was ecstatic! She ran out to tell my dad who was waiting outside.
As they cleaned up my baby girl, while I was still carrying her, they had my son come into the room to cut the umbilical cord. He was confused, but he understood that I had pushed the baby out into our world. So, it seemed like a natural experience for all of us. Not sure if he really paid attention to all the bloody mess that was underneath me, but I he seemed happy to finally see the baby we all talked so much about.
Once, they cut the umbilical cord and transferred me to the bed so that I could breastfeed the baby. I was happy that the birthing experience was coming to its end, all that needed to be done at that point was to push out the placenta and get stitched up if needed. My midwife asked me to push one last time as soon as I felt a contraction coming, to remove the placenta, but none came. That’s when she attempted to pull at it and when she did it didn’t budge. She concluded that the placenta was stuck.
I freaked out!
I felt a lot of blood leaking out of me and I remember asking her, “is that blood that keeps pouring out?” I was fearful because I don’t recall having so much blood rush out of me at my first labor. It was then that she told me she would have to call an ambulance and take me to Jackson North Hospital because if she pulled out my placenta and I lost more blood I would need a blood transfusion.
The ambulance came, and my husband accompanied me while my sister followed us to the hospital. Both Nathan and Nina stayed with my mom.
I remember arriving at the hospital not knowing what would happen next. It was comforting to see my midwife as she arrived shortly after we did. Just knowing that she was there made me feel safe and confident that everything would be fine.
I recall losing a lot of blood and blacking out. I found out my iron level was extremely low. Critical even.
As soon as the doctor came in and removed my placenta I was extremely relieved to know everything was finally over. In the end, my placenta was out, I only got 1 stitch and I was ready to get some rest.
The next day I woke up anxiously waiting to get back to the maternity center to see my daughter and son.
Once I was reunited with my daughter as well as my son, all was better. Within a few hours after that, I was able to go home with my tribe.
Although I experienced many moments of fear and doubt throughout the entire birth experience, I knew deep in my heart that God had a plan, so I knew that all would be fine in the end.
Now, it’s January 2, 2018, 7:10 p.m. and I’m feeling blessed and grateful to be a mommy to two cute cubs.
Thank you for reading and God bless!
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