Saturday, January 9, 2016

Personal Birthing Experience

I cherish the two beautiful gifts that God gave me. My daughters are 11 and 8 and I can not see my life without them.  When I had my oldest daughter, she was a week overdue and I was in labor with her for more than 24 hours.  When she finally decided she wanted to come, I only dilated to a 4, as she was trying to come down, her heart rate would stop. The nurses kept turning me on my side because by that time they gave me an epidural and I couldn't move myself. When that was not working, they finally made a decision to give me a C-Section. I was scared because I didn't know what was happening. My primary OB/GYN was out of town at a convention but was on his way back when I was in labor, the on call doctor performed my C-Section and during the surgery my epidural wore off a little and I felt the first cut and I screamed. My anesthesiologist had to give me more epidural before they could proceed.  When they pulled out my daughter the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck twice and that is why her heart rate would go down every time she tried to go into the birth canal. She didn't have any complications and turned out to be just fine.




My second pregnancy went smoothly right up until the day she was born. Because I had a C-Section with the first pregnancy I had to have another one, so we scheduled this one a week before the actual due date. It snowed on the day she was born, my daughter was placed in NICU.  This pregnancy they gave me a spinal tap and I experienced every horrible side affect during the surgery. When they pulled out my daughter she didn't cry, she didn't make a sound and I panicked. They were calming me down while they worked on my child. She had taken her first breath before they fully pulled her out and she swallowed fluid and meconium, meaning she used the restroom in the womb before they delivered her which caused her upper respiratory issues. I finally heard her cry and they let me see her for just a moment before they took her to NICU. I had to see my daughter the following day hooked up to tubes. I had to pump my breast milk until she was released to actually latch on. She was only there for 6 days and I was very grateful for that. During this time I found out that the same NICU that my daughter was in was the one that my twin brothers were in before they died at birth. My mother didn't say anything to me until afterwards as not to worry me. I was 5 when my twin brothers died.  




I chose to talk about my experiences because they are the only one's I have had the pleasure of being apart of.  

Birthing Experiences in South Africa

In other cultures having children is a birthright and can be a spiritual experience.  The whole tribes in some countries are part of the birth and bringing the new life into the world. Some cultures hold birth in a higher standard and as a celebration. This is a big difference in how we see childbirth and other regions of the world. Not saying we do not see childbirth as a wonderful experience but some cultures see it at a higher level of spirituality and celebrate it as such. They use the ancestors rituals even to this day to keep the traditions alive to teach the ways of their world, which is not necessarily the ways of everyone else. This is why studying child development globally is so essential in how all children develop, not just in the western cultures.

In South Africa, they believe in spiritual births. The Xhosa women use water births, the mother cuts her own umbilical cord and uses a midwife and has the choice to use a traditional hospital or a birthing center.  Birth in the Xhosa culture, is an important rite of passage and is therefore treated with due respect, honor and celebration. Traditionally, the birthing mother is attended to by ‘grand-mothers’ in her ‘rondavel’, who have experience in birthing babies. The rondavel is made with mud or a cob-like mixture, and the roof is usually thatched, so the room is dark and circular. After the birth the mother and new baby are secluded until the cord falls off and the grandmother aids this process by mixing ash, sugar and a poisonous plant called ‘Umtuma’ together and rubbing the paste onto the newly severed cord, which is believed to aid the drying out process (Littlejohn, 2011).

"Inkaba” is the ritual of burying the cord and the placenta and this has great significance to the clan and seals the attachment of the baby to her ancestral lands. “Inkaba” then comes to mean one’s ancestral home and symbolizes the relationship between the individual, his/her clan, the land and the spiritual world. The burial place of an ‘Inkaba’ is a place where one must go and dream and communicate with ancestors (Littlejohn, 2011).


                                                                  References

Littlejohn, M. (2011).  Sacred Xhosa Birth Rituals. Retrieved January 9, 2016 from
       http://www.spiritualbirth.net/sacred-xhosa-birth-rituals-south-africa


10 comments:

  1. You are a strong women. Just the thought of a C-Section scares me. I am so glad that both your daughter came out fine after the labors you experiences. Your twin was your daughter guardian angel. Just like you I was labor with my son for almost 27 hours but I did have him vaginal and my epidural was wearing off to but I am glad I had a healthy baby boy.
    I love the article you shared its amazing how you and another classmate talked about Africa but in two different lights. I think its a beautiful thing that the praise the life a child and have these celebrations. We celebrate our children too but ours come during their birthdays but this culture celebrate day one and that great. I am going to go read the article more in-depth and thanks for sharing it.

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    1. I said the same thing when I found out that is the NICU that my brothers had been in, that they were with my daughter the whole time watching over their niece to make sure she would be ok and she was and still is.

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  2. Hello Comesha!

    I to had C-Sections with both of my children. I was uncomfortable with both because with my daughter I had stiches both in and out and with my son I had staples and stitches. Was a C-Section something that you wanted or was it something that had to be done because of medical reasons?

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    1. Joannia,
      No a C-section was not my first option. I wanted to try for a natural birth, even though since I was a teenager I was told natural birth would be difficult because I had a very small uterus. I had to have the C-section because at the time my daughter's heart rate in the womb was dropping drastically and I would not dilate past a 4 so the decision to have the C-section was for the sake of my child.

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  3. Hi Comesha,

    You have two beautiful daughters. I have two daughters also. I am so glad you made it through your pregnancies and the birthing process. Just reading your post, I was having chills. I hate hospitals, needles, and the whole nine yards. When I got pregnant for the first time, I had a hard time justing giving blood. I could not handle the epidurals and C-sections. God knows me, and I think that's why I did not have menstrual cramps, morning sickness while pregnant, and no pain while delivering my two daughters. A wonderful and blessed post.

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    1. Vangalene, thank you. I always tell myself if I had it to do all over again I wouldn't change a thing. It showed me how strong of a woman I am to endure what I needed to for the sake of my babies. I believe your pregnancies are what most women hope for. No pain, no sickness God truly knows who we are and what we need.

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  4. Hi Comesha,
    You have two beautiful girls! I totally agree with you about not being able to imagine life without our children. I'm glad God brought you all through. I had two C-Sections because my children decided they wanted to turn. I thank God I didn't have a bad experience with my C-Section...he knows what you need and when you need it.

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    1. Keisha, thank you, and yes God knows us better than we know ourselves.

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  5. Hi, Comesha I had never experience C-section but my daughter has and it she was sore for some days. I had a grandbaby who was in NICU that was emotional for my daughter because she passed away after 12 days but she was born premature. The childbirth experience's can be different for each women but I believe that it brings such a great joy to every family.

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    1. Helen, I am so sorry to hear about your grandbaby. I know that must of been a tough time for your daughter. When my twin brothers were born prematurely, their lungs were not developed. I was only 5 at the time and only remember bits and pieces of the experience. I will continue to pray for your daughter as I do not know what she is going through and from hearing my mother speak, it gets easier but it is still painful at times.

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