I found out I was pregnant when I was already five weeks into the pregnancy. My first check up and scan was at three months when I had travelled to Eldoret for work. The due date was announced as 25th August, and the doctor told me to expect that baby around that time, give or take two weeks before or two weeks after.

I had been experiencing them for weeks and had mistaken them for labour

On the exact expected due date at about 4.00am, the scan prediction came true. I started experiencing some pain and I told myself that it must be Braxton Hicks. I had been experiencing them for weeks and had mistaken them for labour. When I told my hubby about the pains while he was leaving for work, we made fun of it. Our lively help had gone up country to attend to a family affair, so I was home alone. So pain ikikuja naamka natembea kidogo (when the pain would come I’d get up and walk a little) then it’d stop. At around 1.00pm I called my mum told her about the pain and she told me to rush to hospital but I didn’t follow her advice. I told myself it was too early to go to the hospital since I couldn’t feel the baby’s head yet. The hospital was in the neighbourhood and so I was not worried.

I was making fun of the whole thing

Fast forward to 5.00pm………..My mum was already at my place, and I was making fun of the whole thing saying ‘’Kama hii ndio labour then si uchungu the way people exaggerate it”. She responded in Kikuyu by saying “kana kaga haiya”. My hubby arrived and we checked in the hospital at around 6.00pm. On arrival I was told they needed to check how far I had dilated. You see, the reason why I wanted to go hospital when kichwa ya mtoto imeshuka is because I was already aware of the dilation checking process and I didn’t want to go through that. It has been termed as one of the most embarrassing moments. I told them that there was no need for checking because from my assessment of the pain, I felt like the baby was coming any time. They insisted…. and so I changed into hospital clothes.

This reminded me of my high school days, where immediately after holidays during the parade, the principal would announce that teachers would carry out a nail polish inspection. So there you are with your nails all done, waiting in apprehension not knowing your fate (TUMUTUMU Alumni’s can describe this feeling). I felt the exact same feeling come over me. So the doctor arrived, and there we were…. me in bed with hubby waiting, and the lady next to me who was screaming “ni uchungu!” In my mind I was like kwisha!

Contractions had increased and so had the pain

When it got to my turn they told my hubby to leave. Trust me, the experience was worse than I imagined. Can you imagine that even with the increased pain they told I was only 2cm dilated…2cm??? How now???? I called my sister who is a nurse and asked her “nafaa kuwa nime-dilate how many cms?’’and she told me 10cm. 10cm woiiiii….!!! And then to make matters worse, the doctors said they would be back AGAIN at about midnight, to check the progress of my dilation. I had my dinner, and the nurse advised me to walk around hospital as it would help with the contractions.

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11.00pm – by this time contractions had increased and so had the pain. I told hubby (who please note never left my side) that I needed to take quick nap like for an hour before the doctors come back. My idea was that I wouldn’t feel the pain in my sleep, or so I thought. Wapi…..? I ended up lying on different sides of the bed with hubby who was playing Candy Crash and after every fifteen minutes I would pull his leg and say “Imekuja tena nisugue mgongo’’.

By this time it was a family affair

This continued until midnight, when they came to check on the dilation. Yet again it was even more painful and more uncomfortable, and can you imagine I was only 4cm dilated?! They scheduled the next dilation check for 6.00am in the morning. The back rubbing never stopped, and by this time it was a family affair – my mother, hubby, and my younger brother.

Enter 6.00am – the doctor checked my dilation at least there was progress. I was at 6cm and she told me that by 12 noon, I will have delivered the baby. She asked me to walk around and I looked at her wondering just where she imagined the strength to walk was coming from. The pain was now coming in ten minute intervals hehe…….
So one nurse brought some ball and she told me to sit on it. She advised that it will speed up the dilation process. I sat on it and immediately threw up! Mind you since dinner I had not eaten anything.

My younger sister had joined the group

The family affair continued… my younger sister had joined the group, and she was the biggest supporter of this ball. She had Googled (the same Google that lied to me about labour pains), so even after throwing up, I still tried to sit on it and it had the very same effect. We came up with a new routine; sit-on-the-ball-walk-around-the-room-sit-on-the-ball-again; this went on until the promised 12 noon, where when the doctor checked, my dilation still 6cm! Woii……….. I remember pleading with her just to perform a C- section as I had endured enough. I was thinking how I had been walking since the day before, sitting on the ball God knows what , 18 hours had come and gone and still nothing?!

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