I delivered my baby at Mater Hospital, Nairobi – here is my experience.
Heri Nyaki – Interview by Katumbi Mbaluto
“….And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” -1 Corinthians 13:13-
So many forms of love exist, in the different spectrums, roles and dynamics that we encounter in life. There’s the love between siblings, between children and their parents, between man and wife, between friends….. the list is endless. However, it remains almost a tangible belief that the love from mother to child is immeasurable amongst all spectrums and types of love. An almost “overwhelming, incomparable, out of this world love” is what mothers attest to experiencing, when they hold their babies in their arms for the first time.
The journey in labour and delivery is therefore a paramount event. I spoke with Heri Nyaki (the Creative at an advertising agency), as she shared the story of her son Ari’s memorable arrival into the world.
“My hubby and I knew we were blessed, when we got pregnant less than a few months shy of our wedding day. Getting pregnant is an occurrence that many people take for granted or even “humanise”, when many a couple can a test that it is not as easy as A,B,C. It really and only is God’s will and plan, when it comes to conception.
In choosing my maternity option, I settled for Mater Hospital, as I felt that the vibe and wholesomeness of the hospital really married into my personal mind-set and character. I am generally taken by cosy, compact, warm and personalised surroundings and facilities, rather than large and elaborate settings. In addition to this, my antenatal clinic visits really sealed the deal in my choice. Mater Hospital medics really personalise all your visits. They are quite thorough and specific during your visits, ensuring that different doctors offer their opinions throughout your pregnancy period.
I was therefore a confident soon-to-be-mummy, by the time my water broke five days past my EDD. This happened in the wee hours of the morning /late night, at 1.30am. Serendipity is real, because the perfect alignment of the time of my water breaking allowed for the smoothest, most “traffic free” drive to the hospital, that Nairobi City could offer. Mater Hospital itself was serene and quiet as a church mouse upon our arrival. In no time at all, I found myself robed and resting in the labour ward, with my hubby, mum and sister by my side. I had the smallest, faintest version of cramps, and was therefore relaxed, and at peace of mind and body as I talked, laughed and bonded with my family, as they patiently waited with me by my bedside. So tranquil was I, that I found myself catching a shut-eye from time to time. The night shift doctor came in to monitor heart rate (both baby’s and my own), as well as baby’s position. Thus was the pattern, from 2.30am up until nine hours later.
At 11am, I was only 3cm dilated. My labour was going slow. Too slow for the earlier comfort that I had enjoyed nine hours ago. It was at this point that the morning shift doctor and nurses arrived at the decision to induce labour. No sooner had the drip been attached and the inducing drug injected into my bloodstream, that the most agonising, mind-numbing pain riveted in my lower back and ricocheted against all the points of my body. Not a single part of my body seemed pain-free. Not even my eyelashes (laugh thee not, for the taste is in the pudding).
The alien pain of my induced labour was not helped by the fact that “labouring mum after labouring mum” who checked in was wheeled into the labour ward and out to delivery before me. I watched this added frustration for what in my mind translated to eternity, given the torturous turmoil that my body was experiencing.
At 4pm, my excruciating labour pains oddly started to subside. I was then instructed to sit on the birthing ball, to encourage optimal foetal positioning. All I wanted to do was punch, kick and tear that ball into obliterated shrapnel. The last shred of grace that remained within me plus the soothing support from my husband, aided me in following the nurse’s gentle instructions, as I exercised atop the birthing ball. With all my energy depleted, anxiety was real because my baby still had not dropped into my pelvis. It was at this point (6pm and four hospital shifts later) that I had finally dilated to ten centimetres. Vuvuzelas hooted in my head.
In order for the baby to drop, the doctors decided to double the induction drip, so that stronger constructions would push him down. Torment does not begin to explain this labour of pain, such that my begging for an end to it all found my husband detaching the drip himself. I had no energy left, and a selective caesarean section was our final call. I just wanted it all over and done with. I had tried my best to have a natural delivery but my baby wasn’t budging in the least bit. The epidural totally knocked me out at 6. 45 pm, and I welcomed this black-out ever so willingly.
My baby boy Ari was born at 7pm, and I came to at 9pm. When I was brought into the maternity ward, I found my family there, even though it was way beyond visiting hours. The nurse in charge as well as medical personnel extended their patience, to allowing my support system to be by my side even at that late hour.
At this time, the doctors informed us that the baby had been breeched, hence all the complications in his positioning. We were slightly frustrated to hear this, as we felt that the long labouring could have been put to an end sooner than later. Nonetheless, were thankful that all had gone smoothly, and our bundle of joy was here with us. Mum and hubby were the first to hold and see Ari when he was born. I was only glad to have him all to myself when all the grogginess had left my system and energy rejuvenated at 3.30am. It was such a sweet, quiet, pleasant and cherished moment; just me and my baby. As I looked at him, I felt a type of transcending love that trumped everything else in existence.
Heri and Dau’s Best Moments;
Ø Clean hospital
Ø Organised personnel and Doctors
Ø Very patient nurses
Ø Good customer service
Ø Fantastic antenatal clinic
Heri and Dau’s areas of Improvement;
Ø Doctor’s should have detected baby’s breech earlier.
Aside from NHIF, hospital expenses were fully self catered.