Jiraffing into the Labour room: A travailing woman ( my 16 hours experience )

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Penultimate Saturday was eventful. An unforgettable night of travail. The day started brightly. I’d earlier netted some beautiful goals by helping my team to win the march. My first hat trick since I began training with Akamkpa old stars.

After the match, I got home and saw my wife almost curled and walking like someone having looped ribs. She was in the kitchen with her junior friend, Cynthia preparing some local delicacies. I gazed at her and waved it with a sleight of hand thinking it was the undeniable but infrequent Braxton Hicks contractions she seldom felt. For your knowledge, Hicks contractions are “sporadic contractions and relaxation of the uterine muscle. Sometimes, they are referred to as prodromal or ‘false labor’ pains. It is believed they start around 6 weeks gestation but usually are not felt until the second or third trimester of the pregnancy.”

That said, this change was an inch different from the previous pains. The difference was, she then walked like an old fragile mama having periodic pains on her lower abdomen and at her pudendal cleft. More painful than menstrual cramps.

We thought the pains would relax as usual while we hoped for the much expected. It was already 1900 GMT and the night was fast approaching. The gynaecologist had booked us during the previous antenatal for the coming week’s Wednesday. Here was just Saturday. Three more days or more were there for us. Could it be that the young comrade wishes to come on her mom’s birthday!

As we kept observing, it was done on us that the pains weren’t ready to be palliated. We started bringing out stuff to be used for the main game. Shortly, my father in-law called and offered to pray for her. Being a clergy, l didn’t know what the spirit must have revealed to him. He worshipped; praised God and prayed on phone for 23 minutes. After the spiritual exercise, we’d all things in place and set to move – but we must see the ‘show’ first.

Again, the midwife warned that she shouldn’t come to the hospital until she sees her show. Show is a medical term for a slightly bloody, sticky and jelly. Like pinky mucus that’s discharged into vagina of pregnant woman when the cervix begins dilating. When it shows up, it creates room for the main labour.

Finally, the “almighty show” came majestically! Off, we went! Got to the hospital about 10pm and went straight to the labour ward. We were told to wait at the visitors room. We met two lady being prepared to be delivered of babies. They were almost naked. They spent some hours in the labour room waiting for their cervixes to dilate to at least 9 – 10 centimeters. They were in deeper pains. They shouted , they screamed and they wailed.

The midwives told them to walk around the aisle so that the dilation of the cervix maybe stimulated. Nobody was beating them. But they were crying.

“Jesus o!” “O’ Jesus!” “My God! My Lord! Blood of God! Blood of Jesus! Chai! Wuush! Wawawa! Help o! Hesh! Hesh! Jesus spirit!” . During this period, my wife was crying and reminding God not to forsake her.

While we waited, one of the midwives called her in and interrogated her. She took her into the ward, did their normal thing and then said; “madam, your cervix is just 2 cm opened. We can’t admit you. Go home and return in the morning. By then, much dilation would’ve been done”. “No ma, l can’t go home. It’s late already”, said my wife. ” Ok! Then you’ve to be walking up and down the staircase”, she replied.

We began the exercise. We went up and down the staircases our eyes saw at navy reference hospital. We did that exercise for about 5 hours while still experiencing 2 minutes oscillatory or periodic pains. The pains relax and intensity along period as the cervix contracts and expands . You’re right to call it a fluctuating pain. My sleep was murdered as my eyes bulged out in search of Morpheus.

The time was 5am on Sunday morning, we were formally admitted. Again, she was taken into labour room where a new midwife did the same process the night shift midwife had done. At this time, her cervix was now 6 centimetres (cm). But she can’t deliver at that cm. It must be 9 to 10 cm.

My wife was in severe pains. The main midwife in charge of her lacked the midwifery qualities. Most of her moves worsen the already oblique situation. She was greedy of filthy lucre. Quite extortionate. She was a negation of what Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing science philosophized about health givers. She was unnecessary harsh, rude, impatience, intolerance and lacking compassion.

I stood by my wife as she laid on the bed travailing. My wife was reminding God how she sings in the choir .she asked God if he has forgotten about her. She gripped me with her fist as though she would rip me to shreds. My shirt almost tore. My skin had , had enough of the friction. Because of the unlike terms, l’d heat. Thank God she had a well cut nails – else, I would’ve had the map of Africa tattooed on my body.

I was sent out of the room and barred from entering in except on their request. This time, I was on the aisle. I walked to and fro like the “devil”. I was praying. I’d fears confronting me. I refused to succumb.

The revelations, the dreams and the previous trances stared at me. My phone rang continuously, I didn’t take the calls. I was speaking to the wall as though it has mouth and ear to talk at me or even hear what I was saying. Those stubborn mosquitoes that came to prey on me left disappointed as they’d no chance to pierce their proboscis on my skin as I was constantly on motion.

At this time, the two pregnant women had travailed into success. One was delivered of a bouncing baby boy. The second had triplet, all girls. My wife was the last in the room.

I was as restless as a captain sailing on the enemy’s water territory. It was now quarter pass 12 noon. I’d heard a loud screaming. It lowered it’s pitch. Few minutes later, I walked into the reception and demanded that I be allow to see my wife. As I opened my mouth. I observed I was inaudible and noticed it seemed to rain from my eyes in lieu of the sky.

“oga, please go to the visitors room. No problems! Your wife is ok! She assured me. I did as she advised.

Just as I sunk into the chair, I heard some chilling sounds of an infant. Whimpering; “Neh! Neh! Eh! Heh! ” That must be my boy saying, l’v arrived! He must have said; behold, he arrived successfully! God be praised!

Dedicated to my believed wife Miriam Chika ogar who travailed and absorbed severe pains during child delivery.

Respect to all women!

Comr.(Hon) Ogar Emmanuel oko

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