I’m a planner, a researcher. I like to have control over a situation. When I found out I was pregnant we were still in Malta, but I immediately started looking for places in Cape Town where I can have a water birth. I put hours of research into facilities and doctors, planning my perfect natural birth. I purchased loads of candles, carefully compiled a relaxing playlist, packed my bath pillow and my mother even made me a labour skirt for the bath (I decided this time around I wanted to keep at least a bit of modesty). My hospital bag contained each item I could think of for a more positive natural birth experience, I was prepared, ready and even a little bit excited. We do not want more than two kids so I was looking forward to having the experience one last time.
On the 28th I started having more regular Braxton Hicks contractions and I knew the time was getting closer so I finished up my work and finalized my life as much as possible. On the morning of the 29th my contractions became regular and stronger, but off course as life would have it my daughter also woke up extremely sick.
This day, of all days, was my first lesson as a parent of more than one child (a lesson I could really have done without). Every time Lila was sick I was there, I took her to the doctors and gave her medicine but today I could not take her, I couldn’t be there for her and it broke my heart. Honestly all I wanted to do was cry. Luckily Nana came to the rescue and Lila was more than happy to be spoiled and pampered by her with ice cream for breakfast and jelly for lunch (she had tonsillitis so the doctor prescribed a healthy dose of treats, non-solid foods and some antibiotics)
After a long walk with hubby my contractions became stronger and it was off to the hospital. As soon as they got baba on the monitor they were worried about the heart rate. My contractions were not strong enough and I was only 1.5cm dilated. They didn’t want us to go too far away so after a stretch and sweep (with the hope to help the contractions along) hubby and I went for lunch to kill some time. A few hours later we went back to the hospital but by this time my contractions did not become stronger as they hoped but completely stopped. Once back on the monitor Chrido’s heart rate was worrisome. I was still only 1.5cm dilated, no contractions and his heart rate was going up and down; running to 190 and then suddenly dropping to 120.
The doctor was contacted immediately and upon arrival suggested an emergency c-section. Within half an hour the theater was prepped and the team ready. I was lying there under bright lights, scared to death, no idea what is happening or what to expect. Never for the life of me had I thought it would end up like this. I did not do any research on c-sections. I had no idea what to expect, was it going to hurt, how long it will take, will Chrido be okay, what was it going to feel like? The doctor was amazing, he explained everything to me. Hubby, as always, was super supportive and holding my hand throughout the operation while softly encouraging me that everything will be okay.
With Lila being sick and my water birth turning into a c-section this day started out as not being one of the best days but in the end, it was perfect. Chrido is perfect and when I saw him the first time I couldn’t stop crying. My little boy born at 17:26 on a Thursday afternoon and weighing 3.83kg! (Maybe the c-section was a little bit of a blessing after all)
All this just once again taught me, as parents we can plan as much as we like but in the end not everything is in our control. Chrido’s birth was not as planned but I will still treasure every moment of it for the rest of my life. The only thing that is important is that he is okay, I am okay and he is healthy, gorgeous and oh so loved.
Photography by Sherra-Lyn Breebaart Photography