I put to bed few days ago and I feel excited about this opportunity to share lessons from my labor experience with you. I will be sharing with you five life lessons I learned from the labor room.
Every pregnancy is different, every labor is different, every delivery is different and every baby is different, I know. I have stopped seeing occurrences in my life as being normal and usual. I have come to own my story that whatever I go through is supposed to help somebody that may find themselves in a similar situation sometime someday. This is why I share my experiences and life lessons easily and freely, because I know that someone somewhere will catch something from it. I hope you catch something from these five lessons that I learned from the labor room.
Weeks before I put to bed, I had been having constant contractions, such that it would come so regularly in a day that I would think I would put to bed that day. But it’s called Braxton Hicks contractions; it comes like regular contractions, but it just comes and goes, it is a false labor. Some women have this from their 7th to 8th month. But I began to have mine from 36th or 37th week. By the time it was close to the expected date of delivery, I was thinking that the baby would come early, because my first son was born at 38th week; I was hopeful that this baby would come early as well. But by the 39th week, nothing happened, 40th week, nothing happened. So the doctor advised that I had an induction. I was skeptical but I knew that I had to go with what was best for my health and for the baby because it is said that the older the baby gets in the womb, the more the fetal death rate. The funny thing was that the constant contractions that I was having few weeks before was nothing compared to the active labor I fell into within 30 minutes and the result that came from it.
The article is about the preceding occurrence, the labor itself and the delivery.
LESSON #1: Seek professional help
When things are not going as smoothly as they should, in whatever area of your life, seek help, I mean professional help. Don’t assume that you will find the answers on google. Don’t assume you will get the answer from someone’s mouth anyhow. Whatever you have to do to get this help, seek it and get it. Of course, it comes at a price but be willing to pay because the result you will get will be far more than whatever it is that you have been struggling with. The result you will get will put you in a better state of mind than you would have been if you had remained in that place of problems. Don’t just hope, get help. I had to seek professional help to know what was happening. It was 40 weeks already, I went through series of tests and everything was fine. Fetal heart rate was normal, my blood pressure was normal, everything was fine, but the baby was taking his time. However I was becoming more uncomfortable. To sleep or even breathe was getting more difficult, I couldn’t sleep or eat, I suffered heart burn, everything was becoming unpleasant. I had to seek help, and I got help. The help that was proffered, I didn’t like it as it was an induction.
LESSON #2: Your fears are not real
My fear was that it would be painful, that I would go through stress. I had started nursing that fear. I spoke with different women who were my friends and they gave my different stories. Some said “In 5 minutes it would happen”. Some said “Hey! I spent 24 hours, the thing did not work. I went through so much pain and I still had to go for a caesarean section.” I became so scared, hearing about the caesarean section. Later on, I told myself that I had been hearing different stories and I did not have facts about my fears (which was the more reason why the fear had its hold on me).
What did I do? I went on to do my research and I found out that every woman reacts differently to induction. So I made up my mind that I would own my own story; I would face my fears, and I would meet the very best of the process; and that was what I did. The moment the induction began in the early hours of the day, I began to do the things I knew I would do normally. I held my coaching calls; I had clients who had booked me. I held two coaching calls that day, I read the book I had with me, I watched videos, like I would do normally. Most importantly, I bonded with my husband. He was around throughout, we had time to gist, reminisce and we bonded more.
My point is whenever you have anything you are afraid of, face it, get facts about it. Ask yourself if truly you want to be held back, if the fear of the pain that you envisage is worth more than the joy, more than the peace, more than the result you would get. Ask yourself these questions.
That was what I did and I saw that it was not worth it. Getting rid of the inconvenience I was facing, the health challenges that may come my way and the uncertainty was worth whatever pain I would go through in those hours. That was it. So I held my coaching calls, did the things I should have done and everything went well eventually.
LESSON #3: You need a support system
Don’t get it wrong. Don’t even think that you can do everything all by yourself, no you can’t. You need to have a support system; whether it’s your husband, your wife, your kids, in-laws, your parents, your siblings, etc. You need to have person(s) who would be pillar(s) around you in times of trouble. You need a support system. If you don’t have, get one. One way to get one is being one to somebody. Yes. Reach out to someone and be a support system to them. I had a friend, she was my chief bridesmaid during my wedding, she was also my prayer partner. During that period, I had to reach out to her more often, “Pray with me, Tayo. This is what is happening.” Even the gist we had was encouraging. I also had my husband with me. We would chat, gist, play, and get angry. Everything was happening, but I was not by myself. This helped me to a large extent to be normal.
You need to have a support system. It does not have to be those you expect it would be from. It must not be your parents, or spouse. It must not be people that you expect. Reach out to someone and get support. It is important that you do
LESSON #4: The process may be painful, but the result is surely worth it
When the induction took place and within 30 minutes, the contractions came heavily on me, I was like, “Oh my goodness, Oh, this is it!” The contractions were so real.
There was one thing I had promised myself not to do, which I didn’t even do for my previous baby and that was shouting. I knew that shouting would amount to nothing. I have come to realize that it’s best you channel your energy towards productive things only. So don’t engage in unnecessary crying, chats, whining, complaining and all that. Rather go through the pain, with the assurance that the result would be worth it. In my case, the moment I was moved to the delivery room and I was told to push, I told the midwife that, with the next contraction, I would push out my baby. She said yes. I wasn’t a first time mom anyway. I held on again for the next one to happen. The moment I did the first push, I felt the head come out. Then instantly, I did the second push with that same contraction and the shoulders came out. All the pains, stomach upset, etc; everything came out with the baby. There was this ease, peace, serenity that fell upon me, on my soul. I had this joy. I just knew that it was over. For a moment, I could breathe. I looked at him and said” Okay, na you be that? Is that you?” It was awesome!
My point is that the process most likely is painful, but the result is worth it. So go through the pains. Don’t shout it, don’t sweat it, don’t over analyze it, and don’t cry over it. Go through the pain, because the result is going to be worth it.
LESSON #5: When all else fails, your faith will make you whole
After the baby had come out (he came out some minutes before 8am). By 8.05am, we were still trying to get the placenta out; 8.10am, we were still there. The midwife asked me to cough. I tried to push and she told me not to push, but to just cough. By 8.15am, we were still there. The midwife began to sweat in the air-conditioned room. She then asked the nurse to call the doctor. The doctor came and said that the placenta was adherent to the uterus. I had heard of such cases; the placenta can’t be cut off, because once the placenta is cut off, the bleeding would be unmanageable. One of the options is to carry out the uterus in totality, so as to avoid bleeding to death, or Cesarean section would come up straight.
In my mind, I was thinking, “I had this baby within 30 minutes, I mean, I almost had this baby in the normal room (I felt the baby’s head there and I was just rushed into the delivery room), why would the placenta be taking almost 30 minutes as well to come out?” I had to turn to the only person I know that could do it, the only person my faith was attached to and that I held on to. I said, “God, do this.” The midwife sent for the gynecologist. He was not around. By 8.25 am, I saw the midwife hold her gloved hands together and she said a prayer, I could hear her muttering for about one minute, and she said in Jesus name I pray. I replied amen.
This is not me imposing my faith on you. This is me saying that there is always a Supreme Being whom if your faith is attached to, you faith would move mountains. She just pressed my tummy from the top all the way down. Without me coughing or pushing, I felt the whole lump of placenta and blood come out at 8.30am. When the nurses came in, the midwife told them that everything was fine. Then I was cleaned up.
The very fifth lesson I learned in the labor room is that when all else fails, your faith will make you whole. That is it.
I hope you learned something from these five lessons that labor room. I advise that if you are in any of such situation, try to go through these five steps. I know that every labor is unique, every baby is unique. But I have stopped taking my experiences for granted. I know that somebody somewhere will benefit from it.
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If there is one thing I would miss from being pregnant, that would be the VIP treatment I get. When I’m on the queue, I get preferential treatment. At home, I can’t sweep, I can’t bend, I can’t move heavy things, I can’t stay for too long in the kitchen, I miss all that. But hey, I got the joy of my baby now.
So I am ready to sacrifice all that for the joy I get when I hold my baby.
Thanks for being here!
Have a good time!