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Moses Obroku: Being in the Labour Room with My Wife

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After many weeks of heart thumping moments when my wife, Jay, was pregnant with our first child, and many false contractions simulating delivery, leading to numerous trips to the hospital only to return home because it’s not yet due date; D-day finally arrived. Somehow, nine months of pregnancy seemed like forever especially when you take into consideration all the intricacies that come with them.

So when Jay was wheeled into the labour room, and the delivery process was well under way with those heavy contractions, I realized this time around it was for real. I had reached another milestone in my life. I was going to become a first time dad. But it was still a few moments away and those were the tricky parts; especially in Nigeria where child/maternal mortality rate is breaking world records.

The delivery team hooked Jay up to all kinds of monitoring devices like she was in a NASA Command Centre. And as the contractions got heavier, I could tell she was in anguish. Unfortunately, there was nothing I could do to ameliorate the situation. After about two hours of those contractions and progressive dilation – which the medical personnel on hand assured me was normal – I started wondering why the delivery process is so complicated.

I asked my mother-in-law, who was in the labour room with me, if the process as it was going as normal. She said ‘yes’ to which I gave her that look with opened-mouth-amazement: ‘and you went through labour ten times’. Her answer gave me some calmness, because as stated, my mother-in-law has ten children. So she is very experienced in these matters. Just like my mother who also had ten of us (or twelve if you counted two births that were full term but did not survive) all single births and natural delivery- my mother and mother-in-law, champion baby carriers!

As I thought about these things, it occurred to me that the whole delivery process is different from when our parents were making babies. If it was that complicated, I have a feeling my parents or Jay’s parents may not have had so many children apiece. You see, my mother informed me I was born at home. No fancy hospital, no complicated machines hooked to monitor her, just a very experienced midwife to take my delivery. Her hands were the scanners, and the living room was the labour room!

But it was no longer the late 1970s. This was 2012, and it was now the turn of my wife and I to have our own baby and continue the cycle of life; with our ironic present day scientific and medical advancements and failed institutions in Nigeria to encounter in the process. I had to deal with the ordeal of being there as the baby arrived. I was praying and watching all the while, asking the nurses if everything was in order. To say I was nervous would be to put it mildly.

At some point, Jay started asking to be given a cesarean section just so the process could be done with. But my mother-in-law and the nurses assured me there was no need as the baby was perfect for natural delivery. Then I made the mistake of allowing Jay to hold my hand even as a wave of contraction came upon her. The excruciating pain I felt informed me I was about to have all my fingers on that hand broken. I literally had to struggle to free my hand from that death grip. Whoever said ‘women are weaker vessels’ has not come across a woman undergoing labour pains.

Finally, it was time for the baby to be delivered. As the retinue of nurses and frenzy of activities increased in the room, I was trying to keep up with the organized chaos that was going on. ‘Okay madam push’ ‘yes, you are doing very well’, ‘wait we will tell you when to push again’, the instructions were many and scary. All the while I was praying this situation would just have a happy resolution, even as my nervousness increased.

As a direct answer to my prayer, suddenly I saw the baby emerge and heard that shrill cry signalling its first intake of air to its lungs. I was relieved, our son was born! Almost immediately, the placenta came out as well. We had received that happy resolution. I had heard terrible stories of women who had successfully had natural births, only to be operated upon to take out the placenta. My happiness was total!

I brought out my phone subconsciously and called to give my parents the exciting news.  As I tried to talk, my voice broke. It was then I realized my eyes had been streaming all the while and that the whole experience was quite overwhelming for me. The scene as depicted in movies where husbands cry for joy in labour rooms is so true. I also remembered that as soon as the baby was born, I was in awe, fear, reverence, envy, and filled with gratitude to my wife all at once.

I think women, by their physiological make up, hold a special role in life. As a man, I would never know what it is like to carry a pregnancy, feel the baby grow, kick and get delivered eventually. It is a tough job. Shout out to all females everywhere!

I use this medium to join my faith to that of every family expecting right now, or waiting for this great miracle of birth, that all will be well; and the world shall hear about your lovely experiences shortly.

It is indeed a privilege for one to become a parent, to be used by God to continue the cycle of life. The whole process of conception, to delivery is the biggest mystery I have come across. Matter of fact, parenthood is a sacred duty.

For Jay and I, it has only just begun!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Wavebreakmedia Ltd

Aside from being a lawyer, migration management expert, security personnel and fitness buff; there are many other sides to me. I am also a self -proclaimed foodie (and oh yes, to complement that, I can cook!). Of course, writing is my passion and I have a mission to inspire my world, one person at a time. I can be reached on [email protected] Instagram: @mosesobroku

28 Comments

  1. Yemisi

    August 7, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    What a beautiful narrative!! Congratulations to you and your wife on the birth of your son.

  2. Tobore

    August 7, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Never underestimate both men and women. Congratulations in arrears. Enjoy parenthood,

  3. Oma

    August 7, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    Yep! Amazing! It’s truly a mystery & a great priviledge to bring another life into this world, sometimes I ponder on how the cute little fingers, intestines, etc were formed… God is indeed awesome. Amen!!! to the prayers, they shall all experience the joy of parenthood.

  4. Idomagirl

    August 7, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    Awwwww. What a beautiful piece. I love reading about pregnancy & birth stories from a man’s perspective.
    God bless you and your family. 🙂

  5. nikky

    August 7, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    Lovely story. Congratulations.

  6. lantern

    August 7, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    Congratulations Moses. May God bless and keep the little one.

  7. kehinde

    August 7, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    beautiful story God bless your family. Women deserve to be cared for (and men too)

  8. theo

    August 7, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    I almost didn’t want it to end…..

    • Authentic Sunshine

      August 8, 2015 at 7:02 am

      Same here………. He also prayed for expectant mothers……..bless his heart.

  9. Fashionista

    August 8, 2015 at 12:51 am

    Lovely article, congrats on the addition to your family. But meeehhhnnnnnnnn, women used to born in those days oh, what?! 10 children ke?!

  10. shayor

    August 8, 2015 at 5:29 am

    Lovely write-up. I claim answers to your prayers for those looking forward to such experience IJN.

  11. Vic

    August 8, 2015 at 6:01 am

    Ahhhhh!!!!what a lovely story,I also didn’t want it to end.i remember I told my mum she was a “witch” in a beautiful way,she asked why?i replied”it’s this painful and you went through 7times.i respected and loved her mouth.and to your prayers it shall come to pass in Jesus name.

  12. Nunu

    August 8, 2015 at 6:05 am

    I enjoyed reading this. Can’t wait to have mine too!

  13. sea

    August 8, 2015 at 7:26 am

    This reminds me of a statement made by my Psychology lecturer. She said all men should be mandated to be present in the labour room.And that when this is done, Men will learn to appreciate their wives better and would treat them as gods. Shout out to all Women out there, we continue to respect you.

  14. Anon

    August 8, 2015 at 8:46 am

    I teared up, reading this…

  15. uk

    August 8, 2015 at 9:28 am

    That’s a very Good write up I can’t wait to have mine very soon cngrats.

  16. Ese_sleek

    August 8, 2015 at 9:29 am

    wonderful story…
    God bless you and your family…
    Yes o, May God grant safe delivery to our pregnant women and bless those looking for the fruit of the womb In Jesus name…Amen and Amen one billion times…
    but I still know someone that even after being a member of the team in the labour room when his wife had their first child, DAT didn’t stop him from being a wife beater.. So basically, men you don’t only have to be in the labour room before you appreciate your woman….
    show her TLC always….

  17. frank teacher

    August 8, 2015 at 10:36 am

    that picture right there, made me read

  18. Evelyn Ese

    August 8, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    love dis writeup. GOD bless u man

  19. Laila

    August 8, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Congratulations Moses!

    On a separate note, I didn’t even allow my mother to be in the delivery room let alone my MIL. I wanted to share the welcoming of our first child to the world, with just my husband.

    I’m intrigued by this. Is MIL there by request or by-force? For reassurance or just because? Any BN Commenters care to share?

  20. sir mario

    August 8, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    awwwww duno if i can bear such site,God bless the real motherz una 10much jawe una be small god

    • Say the truth

      August 9, 2015 at 4:04 am

      Are you an adult? How can you write like this?

  21. Proud mama

    August 8, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    Very beautiful write up…my hubby was there when we had our 2lovely boys. He kept reassuring me which was good. I feel very broody now and he keep saying he doesn’t understand why I wanna go through such stress again…he just doesn’t get it, but I honestly miss being pregnant….lol. @ Laila, the writer said his MIL, meaning his wife’s mum. Guess his wife just wanted her mum there for extra reassurance. God bless all mums n expectant mum….Amin

    • Laila

      August 9, 2015 at 1:27 am

      Oh my you are right. Thanks for pointing it out

      You are the opposite of me. I’ve had one, one more to go and shop is closed! Husband wants 3 – no way hose 😉

  22. J

    August 9, 2015 at 8:48 am

    Beautiful write up

  23. anonymous

    August 9, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    not to take anytin awaay from ur beautiful story but i cudnt help but cringe anytime u used natural birth as opposed yo vaginal birth in ur narrartive…it is my opinion that all forms of childbirth are natural

  24. Jo!

    August 10, 2015 at 4:51 am

    Awwww, congrats Moses, very happy for you and Jay

    P.S:
    Not to take away form this or anything, but this was REALLY poorly written, like, it was so painful to read. Since you say your passion is writing, I think you need to invest in becoming a better writer, workshops, online classes, seminars etc. wish you all the best ??✌?️

  25. Honiilols

    May 12, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    This is a more appropriate time for me to comment…lol
    I was kinder to my husband’s fingers, didn’t bother to hold him at all after the many stories I had read of how women in labour literarily squeeze out the life in whatever they held.

    On the option of CS rather than vaginal birth – I remember asking the exact same when my labour was prolonged. I just couldn’t handle the excruciating pain any longer after some fifteen hours. Thankfully LO arrived. You should have seen how my Cakes teared up and within minutes he just transfer labour money to me to buy anything of my choice. I wan born again…

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