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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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.
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.
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!