It’s been just over SIX weeks since the most important moment of my life.
It felt like every other morning, I had yogurt and muesli, showered and rushed off to the hospital for my check-up. As with every other check-up, we expected to be in and out within an hour and spend the rest of the day binge-watching series and eating everything in sight.
“Ha!” The Universe knowingly exclaimed.
Upon arrival, I was strapped to the CTG and the nurse asked me whether I was in any pain – I was not – the nurse confusingly accepted my answer and called my OBGYN.
She looked at the CTG results and asked the same question – still no pain.
“Ah, okay, well you’re in pre-labour, look at your contractions”
After performing the internal exam (yes, internal, very much internal), it was clear – our baby girl had no intention of travelling down south, she wanted to take an alternate route.
We’d be having a C-Section.
After 9 months of reading about how vaginal = good and C-Section = bad, it’s hard not to panic. Luckily, I trusted my OBGYN entirely and looked towards the positive – she’d be the one operating on me, there was time to assemble a team of choice unlike in an emergency.
“We can do it now, if you haven’t eaten”
Well, thank goodness for the yoghurt and muesli, I needed the time to process and so the operation was scheduled for that afternoon, after Jumuah (Friday afternoon prayers) as I needed all the prayers I could get.
My husband looked at me with a face filled with equal excitement and shock, “We’re meeting our baby girl today”
As scared as I was, that was all I needed to hear.
He called our families and ran off to get the hospital bags that were about 98% packed and so our Whatsapp chat history was filled with me explaining what was lacking and where he could find it.
In the mean time, my mom popped in to see me, she wasn’t actually allowed to, but told the hospital staff she was simply dropping something off (she was).
The nurse walked in and looked at her suspiciously.
“It’s my mom”, I said quickly.
“Oh, I thought it was your sister” she replied nonchalantly, while handing me my hospital gown.
My mother giggled with delight, “Can I get that in writing?”
Really, mom? You have time for JOKES (I couldn’t help, but laugh).
The nurse then causally proceeded to shave my nether region and it was the first of many moments where I realised there was no place for shyness and modesty.
The next few hours flew by as different medical practitioners visited me to explain their part in the delivery. It would be a nine person team, ten along with my husband. THIS WAS A BIG DEAL.
I signed form after form, stating that I accept these life threatening risks – What choice did I have?
What choice did I have?
What choice did I have?
Suddenly, in the short hour my husband slipped out to pray, I was overwhelmed with PANIC.
I kept thinking, “Uhm, actually, no, I don’t want to do this, I’m just going to go home. I’ll just be pregnant forever”
Whilst simultaneously overheating and frantically fanning myself. I even texted my husband, “I’m getting warm” and I’m not sure what I expected him to do since he wasn’t even there.
He arrived on time, and changed into his scrubs, which was a novelty for us since we have watched Scrubs about 7 times from start to finish. Time well spent, of course.
It was time for the spinal block and I remember my eyes filling up with tears as I admitted the obvious to my husband:
He reassured me and reminded me, that after 9 months, today we’ll meet our daughter.
Wheeled in and leaning off the side of the operating table, my OBGYN held my hand and told me to keep my back slouched- as soon as the anaesthetist touched my spine, I instinctively straightened it and was again reminded to keep still.
Before I knew it, I was flipped onto my back and something I was dreading, was over.
They let my husband in and put up the divider.
And then I realised I could still feel my toes.
“I CAN FEEL MY TOES. I CAN FEEL MY TOES” I whispered urgently to my husband, “TELL THEM”
“She can feel her toes” he told them, to which my OBGYN replied in a sing-song voice, “She may be able to feel her toes, but she won’t feel any pain”
I felt her pushing on my abdomen, much like when she checks the positioning of my baby.
“Have they started?” I asked my husband.
He peaked over the curtain and said, “Kind of”
Within a second of his reply, I felt a shift within me and heard her cry as her little lungs took its first deep breath.
My OBGYN popped her over the cover and in front of me, for me touch, were 10 tiny toes, covered in my blood. I cried and cried. Those were my baby’s toes. I GREW those toes inside of me.
She was placed on my chest for a second, for a photo and then she and my husband were whisked away – he’d be getting a real skin-on-skin session and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous.
The next few minutes were spent closing with my OBGYN talking to me as if we were at a hair salon and she was finishing up my new blowout. I was trying my best not to pass out.
Within 30-40 minutes, the whole thing was over and I was wheeled out, Grey’s Anatomy style (When they lift you from the operating table to your bed, they really do count to three as a team and then lift!) – I watch a lot of series.
I was wheeled into the maternity ward and heard my name being squealed, my entire family was sitting at reception, I have no idea how long they waited, but my heart exploded.
Once I was in my room, still drugged, still sleepy, my husband and baby joined me and I felt a feeling that can only be described as “magic”, I became a mother, just like that.
I knew then that she was mine and I would be hers forever.