I had literally just gone to bed at 2am. I had been busy pre-pooing the mop that is my hair and watching Santa Clarita Diet. I was very happy to finally be in bed. No sooner had I closed my eyes, than mother came into my room and turned on the lights, “Your sister’s water broke. She’s gone to hospital.” And then she left. Y’all! I have never jumped out of my bed that quick!!
When my sister told me she was pregnant, I cried. Nooo. I sobbed. Woi. It was on video call and I was looking I don’t know where and then she produced a picture of the ultrasound and I just lost it!! I cried for so long!! See, my sister is the sort of person who only deserves the very best and really shouldn’t have anything less. And thus the journey began!! My sister was carrying my best friend!! I decided. I’d call her every single day to talk to the bump. I never let her lift anything. Honestly, if I could carry her I definitely would have. We spoilt my sister rotten!! To make matters worse, whenever I’d talk to the bump, the baby would kick!! Aaah, that was officially my baby!! My Toto!! Towards the end of her pregnancy, I wasn’t allowed to talk to baby that much because she would kick and punch and move and squish her mummy’s lungs! Of course, I didn’t listen and I was always right there making noise!!
So at 4.15am, I jumped out of bed with my shower cap and satin bonnet on my head and changed, cut up some fruit and packed them, sorted out mother’s outfit because she was in a bit of confusion. Then I remembered my hair was in a state and I grabbed a couple of scarves and I remember thinking “Wow, Toto could not wait till I was looking beautiful surely!!” On the way I texted my brother, my cousin and bestie. The support team. I felt ready. I just didn’t know what exactly I was ready for but I wasn’t nervous one bit.
We got to the hospital at like 5am and all the security guards were looking half asleep, some were actually asleep. And we went up and began to ask where my sister was. Literally my mum was asking nurses “I’m looking for my daughter.” And I was like sis, they don’t know who your daughter is please! And so I talked for her and told them my sister’s name. and we found her!! And she was laying there smiling and talking, excited to see us. She was getting contractions, mild ones. And she’s a good girl, she was timing them on an app on her phone. Baby Centre is what the app was. So when the pain came she’d quietly start the timer on the app and close her eyes and then stop it. She was doing good. I, on the other hand, was very sleepy.
At like 9.30am her doctor came to check on her. Whoosh. The checkup was too much!! Okay, so he had to check how far she had dilated right, and that’s done with fingers. And then, he had to break the rest of her water (there’s hind water and forewater in there okay! And so her forewater had already broken and so the doctor had to break the hind one) with a ki hooked apparatus. And that now activates pregnancy. Or something. (please if I’m saying the wrong thing forgive me, I was on two hours of sleep and I probably wasn’t comprehending very well!!) So yeah, then he said labour needs to be activated with medicine. So the nurse came and gave my sister a drip thingie. And my sister told me, “Don’t have sex, its not worth it!!” Loool
In a few minutes after the drip, the contractions came again. Yo! You don’t know pain till you’ve been in labour. I do not care how many bones you have broken!! Labour is in a category of its own. And after every contraction my good sister would say, “Don’t have sex!!!!” haha I was just there like bruuh! People yell at their husbands please! Why is it me??
And the contractions got worse. Y’all!! did you know sometimes people throw up during labour?? I did not!! I was like huh?? Wait what?? So you’re in intense pain, and then you’re still vomiting!! Woooow!! So when the contractions came, she’d do the breathing we had learnt in Lamaze class. (Okay, now what’s that?? Its, classes for pregnant women that help to understand how to cope with pain in ways that facilitate labour and promote comfort. Yes I googled that. And so like there’s breathing techniques and tu movemments and tu exercises that can be done during labour.) And my sister, clever girl, remembered everything she had learnt and was breathing right and finding the positions the Lamaze lady had said she should be in. So it was me, Mother and brother-in-law. Taking shifts to hold her and rub her back and remind her how to breathe.
But my girl was in PAIN. I have never seen anything like it. At one point I sat across her as her husband held her and we looked each other in the eye and tears just started coming out of mine!! Because damn! I wanted to take that pain away even just for kidogo, but I couldn’t and the pain was but a means to an end. Again she kept saying “DON’T HAVE SEX!!!” I left the room to call my big brother because yoo! I needed strength.
One of her favourite positions when she was in intense pain was to be on my back. I’d lean over bending and supporting myself on the hospital bed, and she’d put the pillow on my back and lean on it. and then I would rock gently back and forth. That was a profound moment for me. I was literally holding up my big sister. I was her support and I was a tiny bit of comfort. I was holding it down for her. I was being her strength. And those hours of me rocking my sister back and forth have really really changed me. It was so intense and so beautiful and it was nobody else but her and I when we were there rocking back and forth. And it was the least I could do, but for her it was everything. That was our moment. Sister, sister. I will remember it and treasure it for the rest of my life. She still managed to say don’t have sex. Lol
And then the pain got too much and she was now nearly screaming. My quiet calm sister, who had borne the pain as silently as she could, was now starting to scream. Y’all! I was afraid!!! So a nurse came to check the nether regions and indeed it was time. They rushed her to the delivery room. I stood outside. Only two people were allowed in. so her husband and Mother. I sat down and for the first time realized that I was exhausted.
A nurse walked into the delivery room and came back out. And I asked her how it was going in there. Do you know what this human being with a tattooed unibrow said to me??? “we’re both outside here, how should I know!!” I got angry. ANGRY!!! I looked at her like she was dumbest person I had ever met and then decided that she was, and calmly said that I’m only asking because she was in the room. Then I texted all the insults I had in my head to my cousin as she told me to calm down. It wasn’t working so I texted more to bestie. Raggedy useless woman.
And at 4.30pm Mother came and called me and told me to go say hi to my niece. I entered the room!! Please, please!! Movies liiiieee!! Honey, there was so much blood everywhere I was like what in the world happened here!!! But then I saw my baby over there really crying and I forgot the bloody scene. And I went up to my sister who looked absolutely exhausted and I hugged and kissed her and then started crying as I told her I was proud of her. Y’all! I really cried!! Haha. Between seeing my sister and then the baby!! I was a whole mess!! A whole one!! and then I talked to my little girl. Who was still crying as she was being turned upside down by the doctor who was checking her. I welcomed her into this world and promised to always protect her. My best friend was actually here.
I don’t know what I expected labour to be, but I know that wasn’t it. But I must say it’s one of the most profound experiences of my entire life. I have quadruple respect for my big sister. She’s a queen. A warrior. A goddess. Just absolutely wonderful. Child birth is a miracle. Honestly. And motherhood is a whole other adventure!! But I’ll let her tell that part of the story as soon as she’s ready!!
S.O for Probably Asleep