My Birth Journey : From excitement, to horror to a miracle

Now I understand the saying “Faith like potatoes” There are times in your life that you have to literally be brought to the end or what you think may be the end before a type of strength wells up within you and then a miracle happens before your eyes. This is a place only God can dwell –  where there is light and hope and courage, a work being done that we don’t understand but by just believing in the things we can’t see, miracles unfold before us.

2018 was already going to be a life changing year because we were expecting our first baby.

Counting down the days to meet our baby girl

I had it all planned out from the beginning, I guess that’s human nature right?– how I was going to give birth, how I was going to lose my postpartum weight, how I was going to spend my days with my new baby… But what happens if things don’t go according to plan?

Proud mum to be

My pregnancy was overall healthy and I pushed myself to be fit, strong and engaged at every milestone. I accepted my body changes and I pushed myself to prepare a perfect environment in my tummy for my baby to grow.

It was an amazing journey to see this little life grow inside me and know that I was soon going to be a mom – a time that I have been waiting for my whole life.

My amazing baby – smiling in my tummy

I went into labour on the 5th of January 2018  at 3.30 pm – a very hot and humid Friday evening. We made our way to the hospital by 7pm and knew this was it – our baby girl was on the way.

I knew from the very beginning that I wanted to have a natural birth. I drew my courage and certainty on this decision from the fact we were designed to do this from the beginning of time and secondly that I came from a lineage of strong and determined woman where my gran had 4 natural births and my Mom had us three girls with no pain relief and pushed us out with sheer will, love and determination.

Long night – Smiling between contractions

I was in labour for 18 hours! My husband held my hand and helped me breathe through each contraction. Being the holiday period, there were no anesthetists available and by midnight I reached 5cm without pain medication. We were told by the nurses that there may not be anyone who could administer an epidural for me. After laboring for 12 hours with breathing, back rubs and hot water baths, I was finally relieved with an epidural at 3.30 am. I was ready to push my baby out at 9am -10 cm dilated. I brushed my hair and refreshed my face because I knew that my baby would be entering the world at any moment, ooooh I couldn’t wait. My husband and I squeezed each others hands and were just so excited at this point, despite the exhaustion of the hours that passed. I was most looking forward to seeing her face, looking into her eyes, holding her in my arms and having skin on skin contact with her when she was born.

Another 2 hours slipped by and I wasn’t able to deliver naturally – the doctor said that I tried my best even with assistance with a vacuum the baby was stuck. I was given 5 minutes from that point to push one last time and then rush off for an emergency C- section.

My contractions were 30 seconds apart and my epidural was turned off before we tried for the delivery. I was in agony and had a c-section 40 minutes later. In that grueling time between the pain, the chaos of getting the medical staff around me on a Saturday morning, I started to slip further and further away and told my husband that I feel myself slipping away.

He was strong for us – held my hand and kept encouraging me. Moments before I was entered theatre, between my screams of pain we said the Lord’s prayer. At that time the anesthetist arrived and we were ready for my spinal block – So at this point I had had an epidural, attempted a natural delivery for almost 2 hours, received assistance with the vacuum and finally had to go through the spinal block because my epidural at that stage had worn off. (the nurses were saying that I had it all – every type of birth process)

Every second from this point was crucial and the baby needed to be pushed back into my uterus and out of the birth canal, the gynae had trouble finding her.

They finally got her out and I remember asking the doctor of the baby is okay – she said “We hope so”. The baby was limp, lifeless and silent when she got out. The pediatrician tried to resuscitate her.  What seemed like an eternity we thought we had entered our worst nightmare where our little girl didn’t make it. After many attempts of oxygen been pumped into her lungs we heard a small cry! She made it!! It didn’t quite hit me at that stage this little perfect being, a fighter, survivor was mine This was the most amazing sound that I have ever heard in my life. I thought I would be able to hold her but she was rushed to the Neonatal ICU.

I was delirious, numb with pain, not knowing what just happened. I passed out and woke up in my ward an hour later. I opened my eyes and saw my mom beside me. She said that my baby is being attended to in ICU and we still need to hear from the doctors about how she is doing, my husband was in the ICU with her. The doctors explained to us that the baby had lost oxygen when she was born and she needed to be monitored and tested for any sign of neurological dysfunction. Receiving this news was so scary and seeing my baby go this was the next step in my birth journey – all we could do was be strong and believe in the best outcome for her development and health.

I saw her for the first time at 6pm that evening. She was strapped to machines and had drips and cords running through her tiny body – I was not allowed to carry her – everything felt so disjointed and the sequence of events to that point was a rigmarole of emotions.

First time seeing my baby

We named her Eden Leia. It’s symbolic of God’s promise to us. A paradise of things to come – She is our delight, our heavenly child. God has blessed us so abundantly in this time. Eden’s tests have come back all clear – she has passed all cranium scans and apgar scores. She has fought through the 5 days of ICU and is still fighting now as she is receiving phototherapy for jaundice which is common in traumatic birth cases.

Eden’s courage, tenacity and feisty spirit in her very first hours of life has taught me that things will come our way that we don’t expect, that we don’t have time to plan for or make sense of. It’s in times like these that all we can do is fight and persevere and know that life has beauty in it through every day we have, no matter how hard it is.

Our miracle – in my arms for the first time!

 

We cannot wait to just love on our little miracle and start living as a family. Eden’s birth story has given me a new lease on life and everytime I look at my baby girl I am reminded of God’s unfailing promise to us that he will never forsake us. He has got our backs in ways we don’t even realise – just dig down deep and have ‘faith like potatoes’

"That’s what faith is–believing without seeing, knowing something is happening on a level that you can’t see–not needing to see it to know God is handling it for you.  You believe in your heart and just trust somewhere “potatoes” are growing just for you" - Nina Amir

Be blessed,

Priyanka

 

 

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