Hey guys, thanks for dropping by. I’m both excited and nervous to share this with you. It’s such a personal experience, but I didn’t want to stop the “Pregnancy Memoirs” series at the third trimester, I think you guys need closure :P. So here I am, sharing one of my most intimate and personal days with you.
So…I didn’t actually write this. Nahyan wrote it for me a few days after we had Baby Z. I kept saying that I didn’t want to forget the details, but I was too exhausted to write. This is honestly one of the most thoughtful things he’s done for me, alhamdulillah for him. Because now that baby is 7 months old, I actually don’t remember much! It’s a biological system put in place for us moms to forget all the pain and hardship! Otherwise we really wouldn’t want to go through this over and over again 😛 We have baby fever again already and we HAVE A BABY!
So here you have it, our birth story.
Baby Zakariya’s Birth Story
- What time of year was it? What was the weather like? Did it have any affect on the day?
Starting Saturday morning, 15-20 mins apart, went on for a few hours and then gone…
We went out for bajar, dropped by parents’ home and also saw Flona and fam. Aasiya poked Marzia’s belly once I think.
Then we went home to sleep, until we were rudely awakened by the next set of prodromal contractions. This time, they were here to stay, ranging between 7-20 minutes apart…along with Marzia’s favorite fake doctor friends in Grey’s Anatomy. Oh man, the hours and hours of McDreamy and Dr. Yang’s awkward social skills.
Those contractions hit Marzia real hard, very draining because she couldn’t even sleep. From Sunday 3am until she got the first hit of that delicious epidural on Tuesday morning, 50 hours of contractions! We hardly slept, more like intermittent naps in between packing for the hospital and panicking.
We’ve been in contact with our midwife throughout the day, and the contractions weren’t getting any closer to being active labour, they needed to be 1 minute long and 5 minutes apart.
So, we kinda lied…slightly exaggerating the frequency from 7 to 5 minutes apart.
And we were on our way to the hospital!
- Were you delivering when you expected? If not, were you early or late? How did the timing affect your feelings leading up to the day? Were you more than ready to have a baby, or was the whole event a surprise?
This whole adventure was happening ahead of schedule, ultimately being born 8 days ahead of schedule. It wasn’t a surprise, but I wasn’t feeling fully prepared.
After reaching the hospital at 11:49pm on Monday, the tests were underway.
We also created a whatsapp group of some family to keep them in the loop and not have to field phone calls from anticipatory grandparents.
- Who was there with you? How did they handle the labor process? Were you grateful they were there? (Or did you find yourself wishing otherwise?)
Alhamdulillah we were comfortable going in there just Marzia and I. We felt comfortable and trusted our midwife team, they were amazing. They talked us through the process, gave us updates, and were very encouraging as the labour process intensified.
- What did contractions feel like? Were they what you expected? How did you handle them?
Marzia can comment further here…
At home, I just had to support and press on here back. I’d give her two options, ball or rub, that would be to either push on her sides or just provide comfort. Then give her water or food in between.
At the hospital, there wasn’t much use for me, except giving water and juice during breaks!
- What did the operating room look like? What could you see? Feel?
During the tour, they mentioned that Scarborough Hospital Birchmount building’s maternity area was renovated recently, and it showed, The room was awesome, very comfortable seating and spacious enough for the 3-5 people that would be in there. The mini-fridge was definitely handy to keep the stash of drinks cold and accessible.
- What thoughts went through your head as you progressed through labor? Did you surprise yourself in any way as you dealt with the circumstances?
Well, I didn’t have any expectations or idea about what’s to come besides what you see in movies.
You go in, woman hulks out, enter baby.
It was in the prenatal class that I learned the stages of labour and how long it is! Alhamdulillah, that was a big deal in feeling calm through the process, props to Effie for that wonderful class!
After the epidural things were pretty smooth, I was relieved to see Marzia relax, eat, and comfortably walk around the room. Can’t imagine how the active labour would go if she was going to continue exhausting herself at this stage.
We took a nap between 5am-8am, they dropped off breakfast, and it was our first proper nap since Sunday morning. Little did we know, it would also be our last!
- How long did you push? Were there complications with your delivery? How did you handle them?
It was amazing to know we finally reached active labour, until we learned Marzia’s epidural couldn’t be distributed to both sides of her waist…
The cord, or something, put pressure on the baby when she was tilted to the left, the midwives picked up when the baby’s heart rate decreased. So as the labour went into the thick of it, the effect of the epidural was wearing off on one side.
It was painful. I’ve never seen her be that tired, at the brink of tears, in pain, nearly broken. She reached the “I can’t do this anymore” point.
There’s only so much she can bear of me talking in her ear and giving her juice, the midwives were great here again when they talked her through how close she is, changing the push patterns, and pushed her to push on. They wouldn’t let her take a break, nor would Baby Z.
- What was the first thing you said when you saw your baby for the first time?
Well, the first thing I saw was this blob of flesh, shining with blood!
Then I noticed his alien-shaped head!
Then, when they rested him on Marzia’s chest, skin to skin, I noticed his eyes. He was looking right at me.
He wasn’t crying yet, he was panting, tired like his mama, but both were zenned out right now. It was finally real. Our beautiful baby boy, Zakariya, had arrived.
- What was your overwhelming feeling after your baby was delivered? Relieved? Happy? In pain? Sleepy? Giddy?
I was relieved and nervous. Relieved because the labour process was done, mom and baby pulled through perfectly. Nervous because parenthood has begun…
- What other details do you remember postbirth?
It was a joy sharing the news with my parents and siblings. We were texting Marzia’s parents in Dubai to update them the whole time.
My parents had arrived at the hospital soon after, food in hand 🙂 After all the baby measuring, mommy monitoring, we were transferred to our overnight room. Zakariya’s aunt Maisha came with a bouquet of flowers and balloons.
We hung out for a bit, then had our first moments alone, just us, our new family.
…it’s been feedings every 2-3 hours and countless diaper changes since. Yay! 🙂
First draft was completed 5:27am on Sunday Feb 25, with 3% battery life remaining. I had a nice 5-6 hour sleep while Marzia and her family looked after Zakariya. Mommy and baby are both sleeping right now, and I’m noisily typing away in between the two of them. It’s perfect.
Marzia, you’re a great mother already, so caring and loving towards Zakariya. InshaAllah we can continue to grow together and support each other. It’s rough at times, but I love being on this journey with you. You’re my wife, my best friend, my world, I love you through and through.