Archive for September, 2015

LEARNING ABOUT NATURAL BIRTH

Like the saying goes there is a first time for everything, I have actually gotten inspired to blog whilst in traffic ! Gasp

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I normally do this at home on our comfy sofa with the husband giving me side eye wondering if im writing or on Facebook..okay most times the side eye is warranted because I will be on Facebook or reading other people’s blogs to ‘ get inspiration” and thereafter end up procrastinating some more and going to bed with the promise to blog ‘ tomorrow’ because I need to think more about what to write. Well thats my process, eventually I do get inspired and I am able to share something.

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So the topic that has been bearing on my mind for a while now and it started with a question I kept asking myself. What happened to natural child birth? I have many mothers around me and from the observations I have made even from joining pregnancy support groups on social media is that the majority of women nowadays bring forth their children via Cesarean section. The stories all sound the same and as I am now in my third trimester , I began to get worried wondering if this was going to be my story as well. Prolonged labor, no dilation, the process of labor induction begins, still no dilation leading to an exhausted mother and a distressed baby, finally the mother is rushed to theatre for a c-section. Now if you are a first time mother like me and you repeatedly hear the same narratives from countless women isn’t that a reason to feel anxiety? Wasn’t there another way?

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Throughout my pregnancy my OB/GYN has repeatedly reassured us that despite my fibroids I can still birth this child naturally and a c-section would be the last resort. I want a natural child birth I want to experience the journey as it was intended with minimum medical intervention as crazy as it may sound. I began to discuss it with my husband and in our quest to learn more about natural child birth we were introduced to an amazing woman named Lucy Muchiri , a midwife by profession. She runs a birth centre called Eves mama ( Find them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/evesmama?pnref=story ) and basically offers midwifery services for expectant mothers.

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When I first heard about this birth centre my skepticism was on overload, my hubby on the other hand had an open mind. I mean who has ever heard of a birth centre? What is a mid wife? Isn’t that someone who births women in the rural areas where hospitals are scarce? My ignorance was soon silenced after less than a mere 30 minutes of meeting her.

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We walked into the birth centre on a Friday afternoon and asked for her, we introduced ourselves indicating that we had a mutual friends who had been raving about her and had been insistent on us meeting her. She told us about herself explained that she was passionate about walking with expectant mothers throughout their journey upto the birth of their children. We also shared our frustrations as to how expensive giving birth had become. I rarely hear anyone give birth for less than KES 200,000 Even when you have a maternity cover it eventually runs out during the pregnancy period and by the time of birth you end up with a newborn and a huge bill incurred .

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I also shared with her about my fibroids and the pain and the discomfort and anxiety they had caused so far. I had just completed my bed rest and admitted to her that even after all the hospital tests and doctor appointments I still didn’t completely understand what fibroid degeneration was. She explained it to us and I finally understood what had been happening within my uterus. For the first time in my pregnancy I experienced complete peace and understanding. I remember thinking, there is nothing wrong with me, this is normal it happens to other women. The baby and I will be fine.

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The talk was also accompanied by a tour of the facilities. The birth centre is in a homely environment with different rooms where the births take place. There is a place for the fathers in waiting to chill if they so wish (George was happy that there is wi-fi ,typical ..)The most exciting part for me to see was a birthing pool. After watching water births on Youtube I was always fascinated by how soothing and peaceful water births looked. Something about the water has always soothed me and as much as the labor experience is painful I believe the environment one gives birth in can help minimise the discomfort of the process.

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After our tour she informed us that I was now entering my third trimester we were on time to sign up for a Birth essentials program. These are five sessions that she facilitates that expectant mothers AND fathers attend to learn about what to expect during labor. It incorporates interactive sessions with a group of midwives and a doula with the use of visual aids,videos and learning physical exercises to prepare the woman for birth, recovery after birth, breastfeeding and childcare.

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We have only attended two sessions in a group setting and have learned more about pregnancy and birth than I ever have in my many years on this planet! I became acutely aware that during our doctors appointments ,not once have we discussed what to expect when my time to give birth arrives. I kept wishing I had met her earlier in my pregnancy journey ,maybe it would have been easier. But then again its never too late, I haven’t given birth yet and I believe my difficulties have given me empathy and a greater respect for women. We go through a lot to bring forth a child whether naturally or via c-section. What I am happy to continually hear during the classes is that a woman’s body was created to birth and when the time comes my body and the baby will know what to do. I am praying everyday that I will be able to have a natural birth . To experience the miracle of laboring and thereafter forgetting the pain once I hold our baby for the first time. So help me God!

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So if you are an expectant mother or father check out the links pasted here and go on this journey of acquiring knowledge with me , after all INFORMATION IS POWER.


WHILE I WAS AWAY

Hello friends ! It has been a while since I sat down to blog . Three weeks to be exact. I feel like life took over and I became numb and got overwhelmed and unable to put my thoughts down . I have the kind of temperament where my personality sinks into itself when hit by life’s storms. I check into self-preservation mode and just go through the everyday motions to get through each day.

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My pregnancy has not been an easy one, I have gone through a roller coaster of emotions and been on bed rest enough times to last me a life time. But like I am always told pregnancy is not an illness , it’s a natural process. Women before me have survived it, and the ones after me will continue to do the same. So I have to plough through this experience, keep on moving, and wait to experience the miracle of child birth when I finally meet this little human living inside my belly.

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Incase you haven’t caught this from my previous posts, I have 5 fibroids . In the past three weeks, I went through a process called fibroid degeneration. If you google the term this is the first hit that comes up;

The following is excerpted from: http://www.fibroidsecondopinion.com/fibroid-symptoms/

‘’Fibroids are living tissue, and need blood and oxygen to survive. If a fibroid grows quickly, blood vessels feeding the fibroid may not be able to grow fast enough to supply the new tissue with enough blood and oxygen. If this happens, the fibroid undergoes a process called degeneration, or cell death. As the cells in the fibroid die, chemical substances are released that cause pain and swelling in the uterus. This pain may be severe but is not usually associated with any serious problems. If these chemical substances from a degenerating fibroid reach the bloodstream, they may cause a low fever. As some of the fibroid dies, the blood supply to the rest of the fibroid will be enough to keep it alive and healthy. At this point, the pain will go away. This process may take a few weeks. When pain develops in a woman with fibroids, examination by a physician is important to help figure out the source of the problem.

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If you have a degenerating fibroid, a heating pad on your abdomen will be comforting, and pain medication should provide relief for a few days or weeks until the pain begins to subside. In rare instances, a fibroid on a stalk (pedunculated fibroid) can twist around on the stalk so that no blood can get through the stalk to the fibroid. If that happens, the entire fibroid begins to die, and the pain becomes very severe and surgery is usually necessary to remove the dying fibroid..’’

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So that is what I went through. I experienced severe pain for days on end. In fact the first night I experienced it I was sure I was going through pre-term labor! I managed to wait until morning where I was taken to the hospital for an immediate checkup. I was worried that the baby was coming too early. I only relaxed once I saw the ultra sound and our baby was fine ,and the cervix was closed. Eventually the doctor I saw was able to diagnose the source of the pain and sent me home with pain medication and instructions to spend two weeks on bed rest. . This was a good thing because the nights were long as I tossed and turned and looked for an escape from this pain . The painkillers couldn’t get rid of it completely as they were mild for the sake of the baby. So I would spend the night tossing and turning , and sleeping during the day. Went back to work a week ago and the pains although still there are not as mind numbing as before.

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I will end this post on a positive note. The journey is almost over , 10 weeks to go! Wuhooooooo  

As much as I still have mini panic attacks when I realize we aren’t done shopping for this baby,

the excitement I feel when I imagine meeting this child surpasses any anxiety or stress or even pain I have experienced in the last few months.

It is well .

Until the next post.

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