Every birth is different, and we asked our MamaMagic community to submit some of their own birth stories. We had an overwhelming response, and we are sharing a few with you all.
“I was very reluctant to share our story, at first, but I do think that our daughter’s story is one that deserves to be shared.
Only one out of ten babies are born premature and it never crossed our minds that our daughter would be part of this statistic, but on the 23rd of April, pre-eclampsia shook us into a different reality and we quickly had to adjust our dream. I had this vision/ideal of what pregnancy would be and how I would take my newborn home after a short hospital stay. Oh, how I dreamt about taking those Pinterest-worthy photos of my perfect little newborn, never thinking that it might be so different.
Instead, I was rushed into theatre for an emergency c-section and our daughter was taken out. I got to give her one kiss before she was rushed to NICU.
My husband took our daughter’s first newborn photo and to be honest it is heartbreaking. It is anything but the traditional cute photo where our bundle of joy lies snug in her customised swaddling blanket. Instead, our daughter was lying naked, in a nappy too big for her, “swaddled” in machines.
The pain of seeing our daughter like this, far exceeded the pain of being cut open. No amount of morphine could numb the pain of our reality.
For five long weeks, my heart ached for my child, visiting the hospital three or four times a day and having to leave her at night without being able to hold her until she fell asleep. I quickly realised that I was not in control of ANYTHING, I was left vulnerable, a ‘victim’ of circumstance. I felt that I had failed my daughter and that I have been too ‘weak’ to carry her to full term. I thought it was my fault that she was not living the life she deserved. I know now that this is not true.
I believe that our heartache and pain were not in vain. What a privilege it is to have been able to meet our daughter 2 months earlier than expected, and she is perfect.
Having a premature baby will push you further than you have ever been pushed. Having a premature baby will wreck you emotionally. Having a premature baby will teach you something about faith reflected in the eyes of a miracle.
I have learned so much. Our daughter taught me about being strong even when all the odds are against you. Most of all I learned that control stands in stark contrast to faith. “
- Bianca Fourie
“Just after 37 weeks at around 12 am, I felt pain… It felt different, and there’s no false alarm with this feeling. So I started counting and timing the contractions. After the 4th contraction, they were coming at 20 minutes apart. I went and had a warm bath, tried to relax. In between contractions, I ate my dates.
When I got to the hospital at 2 am, the nurses checked me and placed the heart monitor and contraction belts on; I was at 5cm already.
About 30 minutes later, nurses sent my hubby to open up my file. As he left, I told the nurses I wanted to push. It had been the same with my first baby. Both then and now, the nurses told me ‘Okaaaaaay. I’ll check, but I’m sure you are not yet at 10cms.’
The look on the nurse’s face was a look I will never forget. She was in shock. I was fully dilated at 10cms and she could feel the baby’s head. They called for my husband, and all he could think was ‘NOT again… !’ because the same thing had happened with our first baby. The second had been an emergency c-section.
By the time he got to the delivery room, I was ready to push… DOCTOR wasn’t even there yet.. but after a few pushes, I was done and tired…
But so happy to have had a fast natural delivery third time round.”
- Nuraan Salie
“Labour, for me, as most women who have been through it will tell you, ‘ain’t what it seems in the movies with some deep breathing, a loud scream and the next moment a baby is in your arms.’ Nothing and no one could have prepared me for what I experienced. Even though I had my partner with me every second of the way for both my deliveries, I bet even he won’t even be able to imagine the excruciating pain I experienced.
The contractions started off like what I normally experience during menstruation, a slight, yet heavy pain, here and there. I thought to myself, ‘Ah, I can do this,’ but eventually it evolved into something more dramatic, like a volcano erupting inside me or, at the very least, a giant hand squishing my abdomen from the inside. As extreme as this may sound, it’s no lie. At that very moment, all I could say was ‘bring on the epidural, I can’t take another second of this, despite having previously confidently decided with my partner that I would not risk having an epidural under any circumstances. Finally, of course, in the face of my distress and helplessness, my partner caved in and signed me up for the epidural. Once the epidural kicked in, I experienced some relief, but I was still drowsy from the previous pain medicines and injections I had received to help with the process. I remember wanting to sleep when the doctor announced that it was time to deliver.
13 whole hours of labour later, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, my firstborn.
Three years later, after I experienced almost the same kind of labour for nearly a day and a half after an induced labour, my second-born came into the world. Another beautiful baby girl, born via c -section.
Now I am a very lucky mum of a 5-year-old and an almost-2-year-old, and even though I just relived birthing my children, all that pain and chaos is now water under the bridge. All I see and feel is the overwhelming love that I have for my children and the unconditional love they have for me, and I realise that it was entirely worth it! ”
- Neethasha Ramnath
I ate pitted dates from the 36th week of my pregnancy because I was told that they make labour easy and fast. At 00h10, on 25th April 2021, I woke up to empty my bladder and came back with a dull pain under my belly.
I tried to sleep, but the pain increased in intensity and frequency, so I took my hospital bag, and myself, off to the hospital, where I successfully delivered my baby boy at 04h15, weighing 3100g.
This was my second baby, so indeed I believe that dates made my labour easy and fast, no perineal tears, no suffering. #birthstory
- Sizakele Glenrose
“It was just after 12 am on Wednesday, 27th February 2019, that I started having contractions. They were nothing like the ones I had experienced in the two weeks prior; they were more painful and closer together – I could barely move. They started while I was asleep in the hospital bed, which had already been my home for two weeks. I pressed the bell to call the midwife and told her that I was in a lot worse pain than I had experienced before. The nurse put the CTG on me to monitor the contractions, my baby’s heartbeat and activity.
Whilst all this was happening, I was crying in pain, screaming and biting into my facecloth. I was trying very hard to be as quiet as possible because there were sleeping moms and newborn babies in my ward, but the pain was unbearable.
When the midwife came back, I grabbed her arm and every time I felt a contraction, I squeezed it. I told her that I felt like I needed the toilet and wanted to push, and she confirmed that it was time to call my gynae. The gynae asked the midwife to prepare me for theatre, and notify the anaesthetist, paed and the assistant doctor (my GP of 25 years) and my fiancé. I was worried about my uncontrollable shaking, but the midwife reassured me it was just part of going through labour.
When I phoned my fiancé, he politely told me he would call back later. I told him there was no time for that and that the baby was about to arrive. He said he was ON HIS WAY! I wonder what would have happened if he hadn’t answered as he rarely answered the phone at night. He had been preparing to wake up at 4 am to be with me at 5 am for our C-section at 7:30 am. Whilst waiting for him to arrive, I phoned my sister-in-law, my best friend and then my Godmother in the UK, to tell them the baby was on its way.
When my fiancé arrived, he changed into theatre clothes and then he and the midwife helped me into my gown. While we waited for theatre staff to come and take me down to the theatre, we took selfies and made our broadcast list to update everyone once the baby arrived.
The anaesthetist introduced himself, explained everything and helped us sign the documents before the theatre staff arrived to fetch us. I was moved slowly from my hospital bed to the theatre bed and covered with warm blankets.
When I arrived at theatre, my GP reassured me that everything would be fine and I was once again transferred from my bed, this time onto the operation table. When I saw my gynae, I joked with him that the baby really loved these morning meetings (I had been admitted to the hospital a week before about 2 am because of premature labour). He explained what was going to happen; the staff put up the drip and then I was sitting on the side of the bed, hugging a pillow, with my fiancé and GP at my side whilst the anaesthetist injected into my back.
Once I lay back on the operating table, I could feel absolutely nothing from my ribs downwards, and then a screen was erected between me and my bottom half. I asked them to put it higher to hide my reflection in the light. My fiancé watched everything and reassured me the whole time. The anaesthetist asked how I was feeling and when I told him I was tired, had a slight headache and was very hot, he gave my fiancé gauze to wipe the sweat off my forehead.
The gynae, anaesthetist and GP chatted about a holiday while they cut me open, and suddenly, the anaesthetist told my fiancé to get ready to take photos because they were about to pull the baby out. My fiancé took as many photographs as he could. You would imagine that these photos would be gruesome, but they are not; they are the most incredible and amazing photos ever.
The paed came over to me and placed my baby on my chest. I kissed my baby girl and posed for a photo with her, but I was a bit worried that she was not crying. They assured me she was fine and took her away to be checked whilst stitching me up. However, when I heard my beautiful baby girl give her first cry, I burst into tears myself, not only because it was so overwhelming but also because the one person I most wanted to meet my baby girl was not here. Her granny had passed away four days earlier and although granny had so badly wanted to meet her granddaughter, her illness was too much for her to fight any longer.
Eventually, my baby was returned, and the anaesthetist took a few more photos before my fiancé, and my baby girl were taken away to NICU. We knew she would be in NICU as she was premature and that she might need to be connected to machines. When I finally got back to my ward, my fiancé told me that my baby girl was perfect and had not had to go onto any machines. I realised that my baby girl was already a fighter.
I had so much adrenaline rushing through me that I continued messaging everyone while my fiancé passed out in an adjacent chair. I managed to take a quick photo of him before passing out myself. I woke when I started getting messages and phone calls to wish me luck for my C-section at 7.30 and I was thrilled to inform them that she had already arrived at 2:43 am weighing in at 2.67 kg and 50 cm tall.
- Jade Maggos