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Being African,  Guest Post

My birth story : The power of present African fathers

One of the most auspicious factors during the birth of my baby was the fact that my Hubby was in the labour room with me, it has always been my desire to have my Husband by my side.

While dating, we talked about a lot of things, childbirth was one those topics . With all I had seen during pregnancy, labour and delivery(ie of other women), I understood how life threatening it was and how things could change within a minute. I wanted him in the room with me. 

At first he said he couldn’t and wasn’t sure he’d be strong enough to handle it, thus not be the exact help I needed. He sat and listened to me talk about my fears and how comforting it’d be to have a loved one there and how I believed it was going to make the whole process easier. It was hard for him to decide because for some reason he felt he was incapable but love prevailed and he promised he’d be with me all through.

It’d have been a deal breaker if he refused.

The day came almost 2 years later, we specifically chose a hospital that would give us the comfort we needed. I’ve heard of hospitals who wouldn’t allow a woman’s loved one(s) to be with her in the room, personally it didn’t make any sense to me.

Childbirth is unarguably one of the most triggering life changing processes women go through if they want children and I didn’t want to be alone. Labour started at about 2:30 am, I was unsure but I woke him up all the same. He didn’t believe It was time because I had about 3+ weeks left. I was pacing as we prayed and having frequent toilet visits. The labour pains increased every hour, I told him this was it “today our daughter is coming”.

We had our bags packed already, I asked him to boil water but he refused, said it was false labour. We went to the hospital around 10 am and when the midwife checked, I had dilated to 7 cm already. She sent him back to get the flask and some onesies, we obviously didn’t know how important onesies were at the time. We only packed sleep suits, diapers, duvets, mittens but no onesies. I didn’t want him to leave, was scared I’d have put to bed by the time he came back. So I tried to convince the nurse he could go later to get the onesies but she declined, she said he had to go now.

So he went back home, I was praying for him to come back before I birthed our daughter. Thankfully he came back within 30 minutes, till date I’m subtly angry with the Midwife for making my Hubby miss 30 minutes of our daughter’s birthing process. Those 30 minutes seemed like 4 hours.

When it was time, the Midwife cut me, she explained the need for the episiotomy because of my baby’s size, my daughter came out giving me a tear as well. So I had a cut and a tear, which added up to make it a 3rd-degree tear.

Was my birthing process easier because he was with me?

Yes! It certainly was.

This was because I knew I had someone who would fight for me if need be. Someone who would make sure everything went well and our baby was alright.

Someone who’d look into everything that was happening.

It made my heart lighter and gave me peace, I knew no matter how weak I was someone was there who’d give me and our baby strength.

I committed everything into God’s hands of course, but the physical presence of a loved one was the best gift God made available for me at the time.


Written by : Henrietta Nonye Odey who is a body safety expert, GBV awareness prevention educator, physiotherapist, child protection advocate and blogger at https://bodysafetyacademy.substack.com

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