I look at her and I can’t believe she’s mine. Right this moment, as I write my birth story, she’s in her crib next to me and I look at her like she’s…magic. Even though it didn’t feel like it at the time, I’ve indeed created it. My own magic, all mine to love and hold till the rest of time.
I’m not sure where to begin with, but to give you a bit of background I’ll walk you through my pregnancy journey really quickly.
The day I found out I was pregnant, I could not contain my happiness and rushed to the next room to tell Tawa as soon as the test came back positive. Wait, scratch that. As soon as he finished a meeting he had at work. Alright fine, in between meetings, he only had two minutes to absorb the news before his next one.
You can clearly see how working from home was like a blessing to me, because can you imagine having to wait for him to get home to tell him? With my impatience? I highly doubt it.
Anyhow, nausea aside, the only thing that annoyed – and surprised – me during pregnancy was how much I needed to pee the whole damn time. I couldn’t leave home for 15 minutes without having to search for a public toilet -like my life depended on it.
My mood swings were terrible by the third trimester, but it was all worth it and I was so eager to finally meet her.
Apparently, so was she.
On November 9th, one month ago today, I woke up at 2am – once again- to pee, or so I thought.
As soon as I sat down, I heard a little pop, followed by a gush of water. I froze. I wondered if that’s my water breaking, but as I was half asleep I decided I must be going crazy. After all, I still had 6 weeks until my due date. “I must be dreaming”, I kept convincing myself.
So I went back to my room and as I was getting into bed, I realized water was gushing out of me once more, and I did not have any control over my bladder. “IT IS JUST LIKE IN THE MOVIES”, I thought. Right, except in the movies they are usually prepared for it.
I stood there for a minute processing what just happened. That pop wasn’t me dreaming. That was not an urge to pee. That was my water breaking, at 34 + 5 weeks, in Berlin Germany, and I was about to give birth.
I woke Tawa up by saying very calmly “Tawa my water broke”, so he got out of bed faster than I’ve ever seen him get out of bed, and asked me what he can do to help and if it’s a good idea to call the midwife, and I think I let my phone ring twice before realizing it was 2 am in the morning. I hung up and started packing my hospital bag because guess what? I thought I still had 6 weeks to do it.
As soon as I was done with that, I wore a DIAPER to go to the hospital, as I was still losing water and it did not occur to me to call an ambulance for help. I just needed to get there and understand what’s what. Was I actually about to give birth? Would they send me home with some meds and ask me to wait and stay on bed rest?
I was not emotionally prepared for it. I needed time to process, I kept thinking, and time was the one thing I did not have.
15 minutes later, I got to the hospital where I had planned to give birth in December.
They started to monitor me and confirmed I was having contractions, and that they needed to move me to another hospital with an intensive care unit for premature babies.
It felt like yet another slap in the face: not only was I having a premature baby, I also did not have control over which hospital I get to give birth in!
An ambulance took me to the second hospital, where I was examined once again, only to find out I am 4cm dilated – and with a breech premature baby, a vaginal delivery would be a big risk.
The doctor explained to me my options and I decided to naturally opt for a c-section. If I remember correctly, I think they started to prep me for surgery around 6:30 am.
SURGERY. I always need a moment to process this word when I tell this story.
I remember they gave me something to drink for the acid reflux that could happen during the OP, and they took me to have the anaesthesia afterwards.
The anaesthesiologist told me to bend my back and relax my shoulders so she can proceed, and I couldn’t for the life of me get my goddamn shoulders to relax.
I remember thinking “how do you expect me to relax when you’re about to cut me open when I wasn’t even expecting this to happen tonight? Take me back home so I can finish sleeping in peace!”
Then it hit me, yet again, that this is actually happening.
I asked them to bring me my phone, and as soon as I had it, I played some german songs I liked -songs for kids I first learned when I got to Germany- and I started singing them out loud to forget where I am and what is about to happen. To my surprise, the nurses and midwives in the OR started singing with me. It worked. I forgot where I was, I was able to relax my shoulders and next thing I knew, I was ready for surgery.