The Frozen African

The Frozen African

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


I apologize in advance as this post is a bit long...

I left it off when I was 40 weeks and it was Baby H “official” due date. I was so anxious and disappointed at the same time because I thought I would have given birth before then. At that point, I had resolved myself that I would wait until 42 weeks and then schedule an elective c-section. I know it sounds crazy but I wanted to give Baby H time to come out on his own. That same week, I had an appointment with my midwife and she scheduled another ultrasound for the following Monday to make sure my amniotic fluid level is still good.

On Sunday September 28th, I had reached 41 weeks and, G and I decided to repack our hospital bag for longer stay. Before going to bed around 10:30pm, I had the intense urge to go to the bathroom. I literally bolted out of bed and ran to our guest bathroom. By then, I knew something changed and I felt like I lost my mucus plug. I got so excited! I called G and my mom over to make sure I was not hallucinating. When I climbed back to bed, I felt more trickling of water. Luckily, I was wearing a pad and we had put a shower curtain between our sheets just in case a few weeks before. We decided to get some rest and we figured that labor would not start right away.

We were so wrong.

10 mins after getting in bed, I started to get contractions. G started to time them and they started coming in every 10 mins. G called our midwife B around 11pm to give her the heads up in case things progress much farther. I tried to get some sleep but contractions were jerky at times. In the morning, my contractions were still 10 mins apart but then they started to vary between 3 to 8 mins apart. We started getting more excited! G called B again around 8:30am and she decided to come over in an hour. While waiting for Becca, G had the brilliant idea to help me get in the shower so I could work through the contractions. It felt nice, but standing in hot shower for awhile was tiring on my legs so G got a foot stool so I could sit and rest in the shower. G was awesome because he got in shower with me and tried to massage me as much as he could during contractions. According to G, because my memory is a bit foggy at that time, I was in so much pain that I screamed at him that I could not be in the shower anymore. I stumbled around the room and used the crib to lean on during the contractions. Afterwards, our midwife arrived around 9:30am and she wanted to see how far along I was. By then, I was 3-4 cm dilated. I was still having bad contractions and G and I decided to bring the computer chair so I could sit in and it would be easy for me to get up during contractions and lean on my dresser. During this time, G was feeding me granola bars and coconut water so I could get more strength. By then 11am, our midwife decided to speed up the process and made me try to walk more up and down the stairs. I managed to go up and down twice and the contractions were getting stronger. As soon as I stopped to get some rest on the chair, the contractions slowed down. I tried to sit on the ball but the contractions were painful. We decided to take a small break around 1pm while I sat on the chair and B, G, and my mom took turn getting some food and rest.

By 3pm, our midwife decided that she was going home as my contractions were not as consistent as they should have been. She told us that I could be in early labor for a day or two, and we should call her back when they get much closer.
By 5pm, we were starving and we decided to order pizza as I could be laboring for a couple days. As we were waiting for pizza, I felt so weak and tired and all I wanted was to sleep so BADLY !!! I looked at the clock and I said to myself that there was no way I could have more strength to continue labor and push this baby out. I knew that my original birth plan was out of the window so I said to myself “What the heck! I want a c-section NOW!! I DON’T WANT TO BE IN PAIN ANYMORE !!”. I looked at G, as he was laying in bed trying to get some rest, and I said to him “Babe fuck this I want a c-section ! I give up” ! G asked me if it is truly what I wanted and I said yes. Another reason why I wanted it was, while the midwife checked me, she had seen slight indication of meconium in my amniotic fluid, and even though she was confident Baby H was fine, I did not want to wait more days for meconium to build up.

At 6:15pm, G called our midwife back to let her know of my decision and that I wanted to leave right now to go to Montfort hospital.

Now, here’s where things got dicey.

When our midwife called Montfort to see if they could take me in for an emergency c-section, they told her they were busy and staff changes would delay the c-section. She called the General and they did not have enough nursing staff. Our alternative was Brockville hospital where our midwife had privileges and they could take me in for an emergency c-section. Issue? Brockville is 1hr 30 mins away from us!! I was terrified at the idea of having contractions in the car, but I just wanted to not have contractions anymore. My midwife insisted in coming in before we leave so she could check me and make sure I don’t deliver in the car on our way to hospital. She arrived around 7:20pm and when she checked me, I was 6cm dilated and safe to travel. Luckily, G and my mom had packed most of the bags (my mom had to rush to pack her hospital bag as she was going to stay with me) and the carseat. I rushed to the car as another contraction was coming and I wanted to be seated for it. I told G that he should drive as fast as he could! Being in the backseat with my mom during contractions was 50/50. Sometimes the bumps in road helped and sometimes they got so bad that I remember almost head-butting my mom a few times because I needed to feel pain somewhere else. I know weird but it worked at times. (Note from G: I think I stopped twice, I blew through multiple stop signs, and only stopped for a red light and when multiple cars ahead of me were stopped at a stop sign.  During these I was reminded that I shouldn’t be stopping and I need to get there ASAP! Made it to the Brockville hospital in an hour and six minutes, even with construction slowing things down two separate times, including the main Brockville exit closed! )

When we arrived at the hospital, my mom and I raced to the Emergency while G parked the car. Thank God the triage unit was already aware I was coming. As soon as I said my name to the nurse, they brought me a wheelchair and went to obstetrical triage to set me up for surgery. I remember I kept asking for the drugs right away so I could have some rest. My midwife helped with relaying information to the OB prior to talking to the anesthesiologist. I remember feeling bad because another pregnant woman was on the other side of the room and I kept screaming like a crazy woman. I kept profusely apologizing because I felt like I was scaring her. Finally, the anesthesiologist showed up and I remember 50% of the things he said about the risks about the spinal anesthesia. Luckily, I read about it weeks prior so I remembered some of the risks. As soon as he handed me the consent form, I said to him “Please give me the drug now!” He smiled and said “Sure let’s go and have this baby !” It was the first time I realized “Oh crap, Baby H is REALLY coming today!”

The OB team wheeled me to the OR and the anesthesiologist started working on finding the perfect spot to insert the needle on my back. Keep in mind, I was curdle up in a ball in front of the OB (luckily she helped support me) and I had to stay immobile while having contractions and getting stuck with a needle so many times. Ugh !!! It was not pleasant and my phobia of needle was nearly to take over but I had to keep convincing myself that I wanted the pain to end. I really don’t know I was able to stay still this long, but luckily the anesthesiologist was able to get the medicine in my back and surgery got started. It was a weird feeling to be on the table, feeling no pain at all, but slight tugging and pulling. My arms were tied to table (I am not sure why anymore) and I could not hold G’s hand. We were talking about how we could not wait to see Baby H and see what he looked like. My midwife was also in the room to make sure everything went well. After 15 mins, I felt a bit more tugging and pulling and I heard “He is here !!” I got so excited but I could not see Baby H ! G disappeared for a bit, I heard a small cry like a cat, and then i saw G come over with Baby H on his chest. It felt surreal ! I did not cry but I felt like after all the waiting and wondering, Baby H was finally here ! We waited a bit while they stitched me back up. Then, I was allowed to hold Baby H on my chest skin to skin while I was wheeled to Recovery to make sure I did not have any side effects from surgery. It felt nice to kiss, hold, and talk to him. After approx. 1hr, they wheeled me to my room and my mom was able to hold Baby H for the first time. I stayed in the hospital for 2 nights and then Baby H and I got discharged. During the drive home, I got so excited to finally have him with us and start living our life as a family of 3 !!!

G’s perspective:  When we got to the hospital I pulled up to the ambulance bay so Steph and her mom could get out and go right into Emergency.  I parked, went in, and she was already in a wheelchair which was great! The obstetrical triage room was crazy, a couple patients, but lots of nurses and doctors going in and out, asking questions, hooking Steph up to monitors, hooking an IV up (only one poke, yay!), and I had to answer questions and sign forms cause she definitely wasn’t up to it.  After she got wheeled away I went to the room we were assigned and B told me to call my parents quick and get dressed in scrubs as they will start without me!  So I give my mom a quick call (they didn’t even know she was in labour) and quickly change into the scrubs, and we go down to the surgical wing.  Well, we rushed for nothing, as we sat there for about 40 minutes waiting and talking.  Finally someone comes to get us and in the OR I see Steph’s head and arm exposed with a hand for me to grab (although the arm was strapped down).  I was so excited!  I was able to hold Baby H for about an hour after he was born skin to skin while they finished closing the incision, and it was great to have that time holding him and showing him to Steph.  Then after Steph came back from recovery and we had some family time I had to go find a hotel room close by at 2am since her mom took the bed in the room, I feel guilty that I slept more than they did!

I am still recovering from surgery. I have to be careful of not bending or doing too much. So far, I am doing fine though I got hit with a bit of baby blues. I don’t cry randomly, but I feel hazy and blah at times. G has been a huge help around the house, as well as my mom with the baby and cooking/cleaning. It sucks being restricted in my movements but hey what can I do !

Because you have been so patient with reading this long  story, here’s Baby H stopping by to say Hi !

P.S. = Hope everyone had a great Canadian Thanksgiving ! My in laws came over on Sunday and we had African food (not typical Thanksgiving meal lol) cooked by my mom. It was nice and relaxing. My birthday was on the 12th and it still felt surreal that Baby H is here celebrating with me. I AM A FREAKING MOM NOW!! SCARY LOL !!


  1. Wow - you brave thing, that was quite the labour! Totally worth it though, he is absolutely beautiful, I hope you continue to feel more and more normal and get to enjoy being a Mom, you deserve this. You have worked so hard to get to be where you are and now it is paying off. I hope that I get this one day too xxx

    1. Thanks Holly ! I am taking it slowly these days. Trying to catch up on some sleep when i can lol

      I know you will one day :)

  2. Poor you had to go through all that! What a story! In the end, it's all good and you have the cutest little baby. But still, my thoughts go to the mom and dad who had to make quick decision and had a stressful time!

    I was wondering if you had the baby, most blogs were blocked in China and I couldn't check. Okay, official welcome to the world, then!

    1. It was scary at first but now i am happy i made the decision ! And now i get to see mon petit chou everyday :)

      Hmmm interesting i didn't know China had a strict policy on some websites...

  3. Oh my goodness! an hour and 6 minutes! That is some crazy driving but I'm SO glad you made it safely. Congratulations to both of you, you're both awesome folk. I'm excited to see BabyH when you're feeling better and fully recovered, maybe I'll bring the fancy camera and we'll get some pictures taken. Hope you're feeling better and belated happy birthday to you!


    1. Thanks Hannah !!! I cant wait to fully recover and introduce Baby H to everyone !

      Thanks for the bday wishes too !!

  4. Hi Stephanie, As you can see I am back reading your blog posts. I am trying to find some inspiration on how to survive this thing called 'motherhood'. I am not a first time parent but after 7 years, it feels like first time for me all over again. I am glad you have recovered. Does it take 3 months? ohhhh Can't wait to read more of your stories :)

    1. Thank you for reading !
      You will do great ! I think there is "perfect" parent out there. We are just trying to do our best :)
      Ohh yes i feel like around 3 months, you start to feel like back to yourself. Plus, the stiches and aches from surgery do not bother you anymore.