My pregnancy and birth journey
I have decided that the only fair way to start this blog would be to tell you about my own pregnancy and birth journey
When I fell pregnant with Zac I was only eighteen years old,I was young and really naïve. Zacs father was my first real boyfriend who had lots of other girlfriends. I remember going to the doctor wondering why I’m sick and her telling me I’m pregnant, I was sad at first but after telling my parents who were really supportive, the excitement kicked in. I had no idea what was in store for me with pregnancy or birth.The first three months involved lots of throwing up which completely confused me as I know woman speak about morning sickness but what I seemed to have was all day sickness for three months, I remember thinking I thought this was the cute easy part, me wearing bigger clothes just looking cute,fat and eating but this was not the case as I couldn’t even hold a sandwich down. Soon the all day sickness ended and I would be able to start focusing on the positives, the fun part like picking a baby name, I decided on Zacariah as that name is in the Bible plus I was obsessed with high school musical ( yes my son is going to kill me) and Zac Efron was cute, what was I thinking!
I thought being a mom would be all cute and fun, me dressing up my kid and him being all cute next to me fashionable and that was it, I did not think about nappies or school or money. The good old care free days. My sons granny supplied me with everything I needed, a cot and baby bath and all these things, she gathered second hand things from family and bought some things too. I still lived with my parents and I remember decorating my room with baby things as Zac and I would be sharing. I was super excited to have him in my life, I would sing to him and pray for him, I felt an instant deep connection to Zac even while pregnant, I was just so in love with him, I think being so young it just felt like we were all each other had and he just meant the world to me. My thinking and everything started to change, I started reading loads of books on motherhood to help prepare me.
I remember waking up one morning at like six am knees pressed into my tummy just being in pain,I was eight and a half months pregnant. My mom came into my room and said excitedly it’s time to go to the hospital, we packed my bag and left. I lived really far from the hospital, we did not have medical aid and decided to go to a free clinic in a hospital as my dad was friends with one of the top doctors. We drove and got there and they told me it was time as I was having contractions, as time passed the contractions got worse, I could not believe the pain I was in was even possible, it felt like my insides were tearing apart, it was so painful, it would come and then go, I did not do any prenatal classes and I was not prepared at all, soon the room was full with patients and the midwives were coming in and out the room looking very annoyed at the mothers in pain, I don’t know why but sometimes nurses are just so horrible like why do you even do your job if you have to look at me like I’m ruining your day, yes my body is breaking but you moody, no one was showing me how to breathe or what to do or how to cope with the pain or even just to explain to me what is happening, they just assumed I knew, I did not understand anything about what was happening with these contractions and why my body needed to go through this, all I understood was that a baby was coming. My mom told me to try and walk with her to bring the contractions closer together, she held my hands and we walked, I could barely walk, I was sweating and I felt like I was losing consciousness. The pain was unreal, eventually they called me in and said I was ready to push, they layed me on what looked like a silver metal platform with a white sheet on and they told me to push , I had no idea that u needed to only push during contractions so I just pushed and pushed , I held my moms hair and just started throwing up, you know when you are just so drunk that your head falls to the side and you just start puking, that was me in labor, my head just kept dropping to the side and I just kept puking. Zacariah’s head finally started showing and the nurses decided they were going to have tea while I was pushing as nothing was happening, even though half his head was out. I screamed at them that he is coming and I’m ready and they made their way back in eventually, I pushed and pushed and I tore and tore and Zacariah was born. I was relieved and happy, all I wanted to know was if he was okay, they hit his bum and he let out a cry, I cried with joy and they put him on my chest as they stitched me up, I didn’t even care or feel a thing, this was a free clinic and they didn’t offer any pain relief, I just gave natural birth without any medication. What a super mom God I am. The next few hours I didn’t remember much, I remember coming back to my bed after giving birth and all the other moms clapping as they all heard my screams and I guess saw how young I was, I remember sleeping and being in so much pain.
Raising Zac was amazing, even though I was young and single I really gave it my all and I believe I did pretty well. Zac and I have an amazing bond and I know we always will.
My husband and I were newly married and we decided it was time to try for a baby, we spoke to Zac our older son about this and he agreed with excitement saying aslong as he is getting a brother and not a sister as to him brothers are more fun to play with, my husband and I laughed as we secretly were hoping for a girl as we had our boy with Zac already. After months of trying I fell pregnant, I actually took so many pregnancy tests that I gave up taking more until one day my husband called me from England as he was working there and he suggested I take a test, I was at canal walk having lunch with my friend and we joked and said let’s take a test together, hers came out negative and mine came out positive, I think we were both delighted. I looked down at the big seafood platter in front of me and things made sense.
My husband and son were so excited to have a new edition to our family.
My husband loves to shop and he came home from England with a huge suitcase full of baby things, a lot of them being pink, wishful thinking but we didn’t care we were just so overwhelmed with joy, we were going to have a baby.
We had medical aid and we made an appointment with a doctor at Christian Barnard, our first appointment was amazing, I could not believe how quick everything went and how friendly everyone was, this was definitely not the free clinic where you have to be there before six am and you wait hours to be seen. We literally got there and the doctor saw us and we left, I was like this could be good, I like this living. She even let me ask questions. My husband seemed to be amused by me.
As time went by like after six weeks I had the worst all day sickness, I threw up all the time, nothing smelled nice and I could smell everything. I could not keep anything down and everything even car rides made me puke, I puked so much that I became afraid to eat, I just didn’t want to be sick anymore, I even lost weight and became the skinniest I have ever been. I hated pregnancy, being this sick put me in a bad space, I became depressed, all I did was sleep, I didn’t want to get out of bed, I just didn’t feel well, I tried every medicine and every trick and nothing worked, I was throwing up in malls and in restaurants and even in pikn pay, I felt embarrassed as I was not really showing so no one knew it was all day sickness they just assumed I’m some sick weird girl, I remember a Uber asking me if I was hungover, he got one look from me as I explained that I was pregnant and he apologized profusely, poor guy, don’t think he will be asking anyone that again. Anyway during this time my husband was in England working, my mom moved in with us and she contacted him to say she was worried as I was just not eating, also having all this time to myself everything about my first pregnancy came back to me and I became overwhelmed with fear, fear about birth, picking up weight, stretch marks and all sorts of things.
My husband who is a big believer on overcoming your fears and not giving up and pushing through who always says do not be a ostridge and put your head in the sand found these bands online called mama sea bands and they were pink, I love pink, the way these bands work is with using pressure points, they have these two points that push into your wrists and you wear them and they work. You can buy these bands on take a lot. When my husband gave these to me, I actuallly looked at him like he was nuts like why would I wear these and do you really think this is going to work and he said just wear them and try and I did thank goodness. He also decided to book us a trip to Zimbali in Durban, he brought Zac and my mom along and we spent two weeks there in the most beautiful house. Zimbali is an amazing resort filled with different restaurants and pools and clubhouses, you travel around the resort on a golf cart and you surrounded by jungle and monkeys. My husband is smart and this completely got me out of my rut. I started eating and I started swimming and my belly started showing and I started feeling excited again.
We got back to Cape Town and we decided to change doctors as we lived closer to Panorama hospital, we loved our doctor but she was just way to far and considering I didn’t have my driving license yet the best option would be to be as close as possible to my birthing hospital. We chose to see Dr. Venter at Panorama hospital, he really was amazing and very supportive. He was also all for natural birth with no medication and that is exactly what my husband and I wanted. We chose this as we didn’t want our baby coming into the world all drowsy on meds and I also wanted to be fully aware of everything that was going on and also fully capable after birth. Plus if I did it once I could do it again.
I was in my third trimester and all I did was read and shopped, my husband and I shopped a lot for baby, I don’t think there was anything that this baby didn’t have.
The third trimester was the best, all I did was eat and oh how I could eat, even more than my husband sometimes, I was putting on the pounds and I didn’t care, I was just so happy to be healthy and have a healthy baby growing inside me.
We decided to do a prenatal course at the panorama breastfeeding clinic where I met sister Amanda, this woman is my angel and a godsend. The breastfeeding clinic is this amazing facility filled with midwives who are encouraging, friendly and supportive, they say things like well done mama you did so well which honestly is something every mom and pregnant woman needs to hear, at the breastfeeding clinic there are just so many moms of all different ages and races and each one is going through her own experience, everyone is just so supportive and friendly, it really is the best environment for any mom to be in. Everyone is happy to lend a helping hand. My husband and I did the prenatal course which was once a week for I think about six weeks, in this course sister Amanda explains everything from pregnancy to giving birth to taking care of baby after birth, she helps your husband help you during birth by teaching different techniques, it’s also amazing because you both become so knowledgeable and when the time comes you both know exactly what is happening with your body and baby. This course was amazing , totally worth it and taught us so much, we were so grateful to sister Amanda who also let us know about future baby classes we could attend , she also gave me her number and said if I have any questions I can just ask her, which I do, I always have questions, I message sister Amanda so much asking so many things and she is always happy to help at any hour of the day and her advice is always spot on. I trust this lady with my life. I will dedicate a whole page to this clinic because I honestly could go on forever about how amazing they are but right now let’s get back to my birth story as it needs to end soon as this already becoming longer than expected and everyone’s loves to read but not that much!
One day I wouldn’t get out of bed , I was not in a lot of pain but I just did not feel well, I just layed in bed and held my tummy and slept the day away, my mom told my husband we should go to to the hospital, we took my bag and off we went, we got to the hospital all excited and the midwife said it’s beginning but best you go home and time your contractions and come back when they four minutes apart. We came home and I decided that’s I was not giving up, I wanted to give birth and I wanted to give birth now, I got on my bouncy ball and I just bounced and timed, eventually at four am my contractions were four minutes apart. I woke my husband up and he was ever so happy to take me to the hospital we got there and she said I had only dilated one centimeter but I could stay as it was my second time coming and I think she knew I was just going to come back every hour. So we stayed and got cosy, I put on my pink fluffy gown and I walked with my husband up and down the corridor and the contractions got heavier, they were so painful but I just kept in breathing like sister Amanda showed me and my husband kept rubbing my back the way sister Amanda showed him and honestly it helped so much, the back rubbing seems small but oh my word it does the world of difference, eventually ten hours had passed and the pain of the contractions was insane , I wanted to cry , they checked and they said I had only dilated two centimeters like are you kidding me, the midwife who was amazing came in and by this point I was throwing up and sweating and just in so much pain, I could not imagine going on for any longer, she decided she was going to break my water and that’s when everything just happened so fast, my contractions became so close together and so painful, I grabbed my husband and bit his hip, he says he was seeing the real life exorcism, the way my body was moving, the pain was unreal and he was scared for me, he thought I was going to die, the midwife rushed in and he said okay let’s just try pain meds and they started with gas which I didn’t like as it just made me feel worse, I would cry during a contraction for a epidural and then when the contractions was fine I would refuse one, my husband stuck by my side and stuck by our birth plan, he said no epidural , I would scream at him and then thank him, poor guy but he stayed and just rubbed my back, eventually the nurse rushed in and started changing everything and setting up and she said it’s time when you feel like you need to push just push and I did, I screamed and she said put your chin down and and push and push with with your bottom and that way you won’t scream and you will be getting the job done, my amazing doctor rushed in and everyone supported me and encouraged me and said push you have this and you’ll be okay and you can do this, my husband held my hand and I pushed and Elijah was born and I think we both just burst out crying.
As soon as Elijah came out, I felt no pain, I did not tear, thanks to the Kegals and perennial massages I did and to all Sister Amanda’s wise and helpful advice.
My beautiful baby, Elijah, was born and I was wide awake and fully capable to take care of him.