A difficult delivery may leave some traumatized but this mum pulled through for the sake of her baby.
WORDS MELISSA ESPECKERMAN
Have you ever experienced a single moment when you felt fear completely overtake you? Have you ever felt everything freeze around you? That is exactly how then 30-year-old Anne Shabina felt on what should have been one of the happiest days of her life.
When this mother of one found out that she was expecting, it was a cause for celebration. Recalls Anne, “I was so excited and I couldn’t wait to tell all my family and friends.”
However, the next nine months were filled with a lot of unexpected moments. Throughout her first trimester, Anne experienced really severe morning sickness. But unfortunately, her morning sickness did not stop when noon rolled around, in fact it continued round the clock. But that meant lots of pampering from her husband, “Being pampered by my husband was one of the best parts of my pregnancy. He was really sweet and he would go out to get me anything I craved for, at any time of the day.”
As a first time mum, Anne had a lot to pick up before her bundle of joy arrived. To absorb as much information as she could, Anne spent a lot of time reading tons of baby books to equip herself with the knowledge she knew would come in handy. And like any expecting mother would, Anne spent the same amount of time shopping for her little one. From baby clothes to toys, her little prince had it all.
Once the morning sickness subsided in her second trimester, Anne was once again feeling like her usual self except for her ever-expanding bump. She remembers that it was the best time of her pregnancy, both physically and emotionally.
But little did she know that in just a few short months, her blissful state would be interrupted by a bout of rashes. According to her gynaecologist, there are some mothers who would suddenly develop a rash at the last stage of pregnancy and Anne was one of them. “I am not exactly sure what caused the rashes but it spread all over my body except for my face,” she says thankfully.
Just when Anne thought she could breeze through the rest of her pregnancy, she had discovered that her water bag was leaking – fortunately, her water bag had not totally ruptured - and she was slowly losing amniotic fluid. Her rashes coupled with the decreasing amount of water in her water bag were reasons for concern and at 38 weeks, Anne’s gynaecologist induced labour.
The induction, which started at 9am found Anne only 1cm dilated. To help kick start her labour, she was advised to walk around and wait it out. And wait she did. It was not until midnight that things started to move along.
After nine long months, Anne was finally going to meet her baby boy. With months of reading up on labour behind her, she was finally going to find out what it felt like for herself. As soon as her gynaecologist broke her water bag, she felt a warm gush of liquid. But just as excitement built up inside her, things took a turn for the worse. “My gynaecologist’s face completely changed. It was a look that no mother would want to see on their gynaecologist’s face during delivery.”
Anne was bleeding and an emergency caesarean section was needed as her baby was also losing blood. “The whole atmosphere in the delivery room instantly changed and my gynaecologist told me I needed to be under general anaesthesia as my baby had to be delivered immediately.” A blood vessel connected to the cord had burst when Anne’s water bag was broken and this had caused her baby to lose blood. But this complication is not common, in fact, it only happens in one in 15,000 births.
Frozen with fear, she was immediately wheeled into the operating theatre. “I felt fear like I had never felt before. In fact, even right now, just thinking about that very moment brings out a flood of emotions,” says Anne. She feared for the life of her unborn baby and thoughts of whether she was going to make it even crossed her mind but all she could do was pray.
This resilient mum describes coming out from under the general anaesthesia as a horrible feeling. Though she did not feel much pain from the c-section, the experience left her emotionally lost. Her son, Brayden, was in the ICU for three whole days and she could neither see nor hold him during that entire time. She was weak from the operation and that made things all the more difficult. “It was a really sad time for me. I had always envisioned holding and breastfeeding my baby immediately after birth. And since I had to be put under general anaesthesia, my husband could not be in the operating room, so neither he nor me witnessed the birth of our child,” says the mum, who has quit her job to look after Baby Brayden.
This was something that Anne found herself struggling with. But with the help of her husband and family, she managed to get past the emotional trauma. “I’m glad that I managed to move past it and fully recover, and was able to look after my baby as soon as he was out of the ICU, which is what was important.”
But that was not all her husband helped her with. As those mothers who have gone through a c-section would know, the recovery time is much slower and more difficult. Says Anne, “My husband helped out with the night feeds just so I could get the rest I needed to recover. It was not an easy time but we managed. My dad also helped out with Brayden whenever he could. And for this, I am so grateful to the both of them.”
Though the whole birth experience was traumatic and affected both Anne and her husband, she says becoming a mother has been a very humbling experience. “The trauma of the delivery has definitely made me realize just how fragile life is and how much we should be grateful for,” says the mom who has adapted well to motherhood. The joy she gets from watching her little prince charming grow each day is what keeps her going.
Looking back, Anne is grateful that her gynaecologist acted fast and saved her baby’s life, and that her son is now a healthy four year old. “I’ve learnt that when it comes to pregnancy and bringing a child into this world, as a mother, we can plan all we want but eventually, what will be, will be. It’s all God’s plan.”