I woke up to a little discomfort in my lower belly and as a routine, I went to the toilet to ease myself. It was fifteen minutes to eight in the morning. I was not shocked when I saw the mucus plug as my aunty had prepared me in advance. I knew it was time for me to go to hospital. My sister Pam was around and I told her. We got ready for hospital and by ten in the morning we were there. I was not in any pain whatsoever, just some occassional cramp like feeling that did not last for five minutes. I underwent a vaginal examination(V.E gives me the creeps!), I was only 2 cm dilated. The nurse incharge booked me for admission and predicted that after eight hours or so, I would have been fully dilated. Pam was there by my side throughout the day and went out to get us something for lunch. I remember the nurse joking that I did not look like I was in labour but the bloody show was enough proof. My mums sister popped in later in the day to check on me and we talked. My aunt who is a retired nurse also visited. She brought along with her chips and bhajias and encouraged me to eat as I would need the energy later. So far I was still not feeling anything. She told me to walk along the corridors and climb the stairs. I did just that. She later left as it was getting late.
Eight hours later I was only 4 cm dilated. I was told I had mild contractions that took long to progress. I even forgot I was in labor. Women were writhing in pain some crying, some scenarios were funny it cracked me up. I would get lost in other peoples pain and only came back to my senses when I felt some little pain. My childhood friend Belinda aka Belcose also comes to see me and we joke and laugh alot. It was almost eight and no sign of baby coming. Belcose had already left and I urged Pam to go back home to get some rest. It was evident baby was not coming anytime soon. After so much persuasion she finally left but implored me to keep her updated. I promised I would. I got time and nothing to do. I decided to keep myself busy by logging into my facebook account just to pass time. At twelve midnight I was 6 cm dilated, the midwife advised that if after two hours it had not progressed to 10 cm being that I was a primi, I would be induced. At 3 a.m I was put on oxytocin drip. I was not myself!
I could not believe I had the strength to laugh at other women in the same predicament not knowing what awaited me. It was the longest time in my life. When the first few drops trickled, I felt nothing, suddenly the pain picked up. I would stand, sit, bend and even try to sleep on the bed. Nothing would ease the pain. After twenty minutes the pain was unbearable. Strong Emma could nolonger bear it. I remember shedding a tear and asking the nurse to remove the drip. It was too much! Suddenly I told her I wanted to use the ladies room and kept insisting, that is when the drip was removed and I was taken to labour room. The Medical Officer in charge was a young man of Indian descent from Aga Khan University Hospital. He was very friendly. He instructed me on what to do and I followed the instructions to the latter. He then announced the baby was big he would proceed to do an episiotomy. I asked him which one specifically, lateral or median, he looked surprised and responded lateral. I was well read. Actually I had been reading my dad’s gynaecology and obstretric books. Finally baby came!
It was exactly three thirty in the morning. My girl came out sucking her thumb and she cried! I forgot the pain I was when she was placed on my belly for bonding. I wanted to know her Apgar score and it was indeed impressive. A 9 and later 10. As I was being stitched(satured) the midwife took her to clean her. My baby weighed 4.3 Kgs. I texted Pam later and told her how her eyes were just as my dad’s. She replied immediately meaning she was awake. I managed to sleep for two hours then Pam came early at 6 a.m. I named her after my late mum Eudia. My Alicia Eudia is now seven years old and this far God has been Ebenezer.
To Pam, I lack words to thank you for having been there for me when I felt I was alone. You stood by me and took care of me like you would to your own daughter. You saw to it that I was comfortable and took care of Alicia and I until I was fully recovered. May your cup overflow. I love you big siz. God bless.
To all the single mums, remember that joy comes in the morning. You may feel like you are all alone, but remember God has good plans for you. I cannot promise it will be easy, but at the end of the day it is indeed worth it. May your tears be wiped and may you find comfort in Christ.