Thursday, 22nd November 2018, I woke up worried about DJ’s party which was happening the next day. The party was on a Friday and most parents had to go to work and their kids had school. I had invited a couple of friends with kids, Kobby’s nephews and nieces as well as mine. A few of them had confirmed but some of them still weren’t too sure whether or not they could attend. The other factor was Friday traffic. Everyone knows how jammed the roads are on Fridays.
“Why didn’t I just plan this for Sunday instead?”
Initially, the plan was to have his party on his actual birthday, 20th November, but it was a Tuesday. I couldn’t ask parents to bring their kids to a party in the middle of a school week. I still wanted the party on a weekday though. It was happening at a playground and I wanted a day we could have the entire place to ourselves. Weekends are always packed and chaotic so Friday seemed like the logical choice. At this point, I just had to hope for the best.
All his party bags had been packed, décor items were ready. I had checked in with all the vendors (food, drinks, photography, videography, cakes, candy and of course the venue )and we were all good to go. It was an Elmo themed party because as I mentioned in a previous post, DJ was obsessed with Elmo. I was so happy that I had managed to get an Elmo Mascot. I couldn’t imagine how crazy he would get once he saw a real live Elmo.
Kobby had promised to take DJ to get his first haircut all week but kept postponing. At this point, I was ready to drive him there myself. There were still a few last minute rounds I needed to get done so I asked him to drive (this was also to ensure that they both finally got their haircut once and for all!)
NB. It has come to my notice that when I’m planning an event and want it to go perfectly, I can be a teeny tiny bit unbearable. Lol.
“You’re heavily pregnant, why can’t you just relax and let someone else handle this?…. Do you really have to do everything yourself? ….It’s like you enjoy micro-managing. ….So you mean no one on your team can handle this?” Kobby would say.
Eventually we bought all the the items I needed and then headed for the barbershop. The process of getting DJ’s haircut was hell! He refused to sit still and the sound of the clippers wasn’t helping. Kobby decided to sit him on his laps which got him to calm down a bit. We distracted him with cartoons on Kobby’s phone which only worked for a few minutes and then he was back to fussing. Eventually, they both got their haircut and we left.
I was so exhausted when we got home. Kobby bathed and put him to bed and I went to lay on the couch in the living room. Suddenly, my tummy was rumbling. I wasn’t too alarmed because all I ate all week was spicy food so I had been waiting for the repercussions. After quite a number of bathroom visits, I started to feel an all too familiar pain in my abdomen….like menstrual cramps.
“Wait a minute, I’m definitely not in my period. God, please don’t tell me I’m going into labour. No I’m definitely not in labour. I have a good three weeks to go. How? No this can’t be happening.”
I kept going back and forth in my thoughts on exactly what I was experiencing. I wasn’t psychologically or emotionally ready to go through that pain yet. The pain was still bearable and it could just be tummy upset. I was in complete denial. There was no way I was about to go into labour right before DJ’s party and miss it. No way. I decided not to even mention it to Kobby but rather watch TV to distract myself. I watched for about an hour and by 11pm I was so sleepy. I went to the bedroom to lay down.
At 12 midnight, the pain woke me up. This time, there was no denying that labour had begun.
“Oh God. This is all my fault. I stressed myself out and now Kobby is going to tell me he told me so. If I have to bear this pain throughout the party till it’s over I will. There is no way I’m cancelling it.”
Kobby was fast asleep while I was tossing and turning on the bed. My mother was in Kumasi and DJ was fast asleep. If I was rushed to the hospital, the last thing I wanted was for us to have to wake DJ up from his sleep and put him in the car while I wailed in the car all the way to the hospital. I also didn’t want to inconvenience Kobby’s mom by waking her up in the middle of the night and have her take care of DJ while we were away.
“Okay, I remember the midwife gave me painkillers the last time I was in labour. Let me take a few and hopefully I’ll feel better.”
I grabbed some Panadol tablets from the kitchen shelf and immediately realized I couldn’t take them because it was written boldly (paracetamol+caffeine). I couldn’t have caffeine throughout my pregnancy so I definitely wasn’t about to start now. I decided against taking them and went back to lie down.
From 1am to 3am, the pain increased steadily. The pain from last year was still fresh in my memory so I knew exactly what to expect. I knew I was nowhere near active labour and I hadn’t even seen the mucus plug yet. I didn’t want to be rushed to the hospital and then sent back. Even though, I had prayed for a short labour (unlike DJ’s which was a whole 48 hours!) I still felt there was a possibility it could happen again so I was just biding my time. Every time I got up to pee, I would check for the mucus plug and there was nothing. I decided to use the time to pack my hospital bag. The diaper bag had been packed about a month now. I just needed to pack a few of my own things into my small carry on and I was good to go. After packing, I paced up and down for about 10 minutes while doing my breathing exercises. I went back to lie down and eventually managed to doze off for about 30 minutes.
At 4:30am, I woke up…. soaked! There was water trickling down my thighs My waist down was drenched in what I can only describe as fluid that had this weird medicinal smell which reminded me of a hospital. I was confused.
“Am I dreaming or I’ve peed on myself?”
I had just woken up so I was still not thinking clearly. It finally clicked that my water had broken. OMG! I didn’t experience it the first time so I never knew what it was like. I had it ruptured in the labour ward. I had no idea it was THIS MUCH FLUID! Weirdly enough, I suddenly felt the urge to pee. (While all this was happening, Kobby was stilllll sleeping. For a light sleeper, he really slept through a lot of weird things. It was only my side of the bed that was wet anyway so I couldn’t blame him). I got to the bathroom and saw the mucus plug after peeing. I immediately knew it was go time. I came out of the bathroom and woke Kobby up.
“My water just broke. We have to leave for the hospital.”
He practically jumped up.
“Okay! Let me wake DJ up and we’ll quickly drop him off at my parent’s on our way to the hospital. Did the pain just start?”
“No. Just call your mother to come over while I take my bath and get ready. I’m sure she’ll be here soon.”
His parents lived about 20 minutes away from us. It was still dawn, so there would be no traffic. I managed to take a shower and wore a white dress. Bad idea. Here I was thinking I should wear a colour that signified positivity and it was also very loose fitting so it felt right. I was completely ignorant of the fact that it will be all icky by the time I got to the hospital. (I had no idea my water would keep breaking. I never read it anywhere. I always thought it happened once!)
Anyway my mom-in-law arrived just before 5am. She must have flown here because that was quick! She tried to calm me down and assured me I would be fine but I could tell she was panicking inwardly. I rather assured her I was completely fine and she didn’t need to worry. After all, this was my second time so I was a pro….NOT! I suddenly felt a sharp pain. The contractions were now increasing. I squealed and then immediately started breathing in and out. At this point, DJ was up and crying, I was in so much pain, Kobby was rushing to get everything into the car and there was just so much commotion. He brought the car around and helped me get in and we dashed out.
Through it all I was STILL thinking about this party and how I had ruined it. I decided to call my assistant Mawuli and relay all the info of the vendors and how exactly setup should be. Every time the pain subsided a bit I would give him a couple of instructions and then tell him to hold on while I took deep breaths when I felt the contractions. Kobby kept side eyeing me and shaking his head in disbelief at my craziness. Eventually I was able to give him (my assistant) all the instructions and even told him to call me if he needed me. LOL!
Listen, I was in pain, but it wasn’t the end of the world. The party must go on! Kobby didn’t even bother talking me out of it.
We arrived at about 5:30 am. At this point, the pain was unbearable. We got to the entrance and a nurse came out to meet us and asked if I needed a wheelchair.
“No don’t worry I can walk.”
Tooknown! I tried to take one step and realised my entire leg was heavy for some strange reason. I couldn’t even lift it properly.
“Ei No please I need a wheelchair! AAAHH!”
I shrieked! The nurse hurriedly got me one and Kobby quickly helped me sit in and wheeled me up to the labour ward. Once we got there, I was moved to the bed and I immediately realised it was the SAME labour ward I was in the year before. The midwife (Mary) was the same lady who had checked my dilation the first time I arrived but not the midwife who eventually delivered DJ. I could not believe I was about to go through that painful ordeal I had endured just a year ago. They say you forget, but this pain was still fresh in my memory and I was dreading it.