Birth. A journey every mama experiences so differently. 💕 My first born, I walked out feeling so empowered. But this second one.. I felt completely defeated.
My oldest girl, I was 18. The day before she was due, my waters had broken. She was taking her sweet time though and we ended up getting induced. Those contractions were gnarly, I ended up having an epidural. I found pushing manageable. I ended up squatting and out she came haha. I was up and about within a few days and fully recovered in just a few weeks!
This time around, 8 years later. We were older, set up and finally ready to have another. It took us a year to conceive - which was odd, considering how unplanned and easy I got pregnant the first time as a teenager haha. This time I had a natural labor, I wanted to feel it and fully experience it. I stayed home as long as I could. Once we were at the hospital I had a bath and rocked on the ball calmly battling through contractions. They were just as painful as I remembered haha. About 6 hours had passed and my midwife said I had been progressing beautifully and I was now fully dilated. I felt so proud of myself. Once it came to pushing, I was tired but I was ready.
After an hour, I didn't feel right. My contractions were slowing down which was confusing, as baby felt like she was right there trying to come. Another hour went by, and I tried every position but still nothing. My midwife had to get me on the bed (which I originally wanted to avoid) But she needed to help me out down there and figure out what was going on. Things started to escalate and I felt myself pushing so hard for what seemed like forever, it was such a strong and unnatural pain. I remember thinking about my first child birth - it definitely didn’t feel like this.
In the last 15 mins before she was born - it got worse. We discovered baby’s head was angled and stuck under my pubic bone. I was being monitored but suddenly we started losing her heart beat. The energy in the room changed, my midwife was rushing to get a drip of hormones in my hand to boost my contractions, I think baby was too far down for an emergency c-section. I remember my midwife running out yelling for help from other nurses. My eyes were closed most of the time trying to get through the pain, but it didn’t stop me from sensing all the panic in the room.
Suddenly something in my body…. had cracked.
A loud and long crack. I remember pausing, everything went silent, I couldn’t breathe. I opened my eyes looking at the ceiling and the tears just started streaming down my face. I felt this pain, so excruciating I went numb. I thought my hip gave way, but it was actually the front of my pelvis. It had separated.
I remember turning my head to look at Kouma (daddy), crying and shaking with absolutely no fight left in me. He too heard my body break, and felt my leg drop as he was holding it. I thought that was it. Struggling to even just speak, I told him I can’t do it. At that peak of the moment I truly believed our baby was gone.
But then my contractions INTENSIFIED, thanks to the quick thinking of my midwife and the hormones she gave me. My body started to push, that sudden increase of hormones was painful but it was exactly what I needed. That physical reaction sparked the last bit of fire left in me, I remember thinking to myself ‘Ok Sam we have no choice but to push for dear life’ - Literally.
My body and I started to finally sync - and strongly! We went beastmode and within minutes my baby girl was finally born. Holding her for the first time was the most relieving emotion I had felt in my whole life.
After the birth of the whenua, Kouma, baby and I were left in the room. We were finally able to catch a breath. We both just cried.
Tears of both joy and shock. A beautiful labor to end up so frightening.
Both still crying, Koumz kissed me and joked.. “maybe no more kids after this aye!” We both laughed.
I could tell I had freaked him out though, he admitted how helpless and scared he felt for me. But he was my absolute rock, even more so afterwards... I was not prepared for the rough road of postpartum recovery that was to come. For both of us. A story that’s still in the making, that’ll I'll need to share another time.
It’s been 2 months now, my pelvis (pubic symphysis to be exact) still hasn’t fully healed. BUT it’s been progressing incredibly on its own. I can’t believe it. I learnt this wasn't an unnatural injury when it comes to carrying and childbirth. But it still took me a long time to mentally be ok after that. In the beginning I couldn’t talk about it without crying, I felt so disappointed in myself. The first few weeks I would panic every time I had to move, and I would literally feel pain every time I replayed the birth in my head. The physical recovery and hormones was a whole other level. But we kept soldiering on, knowing it will get easier. Nurturing my newborn was the easy part. 🤍
It took time but I started to turn that trauma and guilt into gratitude. The more I had accepted what happened, especially knowing the outcome could have been a lot different. I know I am very lucky to have my beautiful girl. We have started physiotherapy and the more I learn about my body, the more I am in awe of it. I feel proud. It literally made way to bring my baby safely into our world. How crazy is that.
Despite still being broken, I feel the STRONGEST I have ever been.
To the mums -to-be who may be reading this, don’t let this one story scare you. My girls are the best things to have happened to me and I would do this all again if it means I have them, and they have each other. Birth and pregnancy is the most POWERFUL experience a woman can go through. You don’t truly realise how strong you really are. Have faith in your tinana, your body. Accept every birth and woman is different, and when you need to light that fire inside of you... just remember…
We are wahine.
Our body was created for this purpose - to give life.
Trust it ❤️