My Journey into Single Motherhood
Four years ago today on Saturday, February 22, 2014, at 5:54 pm at Northside Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. My son Zaire Kenyatta was born and I started my journey into motherhood.
After 38 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy, my dream of a drug-free labor came to a crushing end. Days prior to going in for my routine ultrasound I celebrated my 30th birthday and came down with a stomach virus. Therefore, when I went to my ultrasound appointment on Friday, February 21, 2014, with Dr. Turner; he informed me that my amniotic fluid was low and I had to be induced.
I walked upstairs to Labor and Delivery to start my induction. A few hours later my doctor placed seaweed sticks around my cervix to soften my cervix. I had to wear the seaweed sticks for 12 hours and then the doctor informed me that they would start Pitocin through my IV drip. After all my visitors left for the night, I stayed up waiting for my son’s father to return. After calling him 27 times and he never picked up, I had a full-blown panic attack. I had never been in the hospital before and I was so afraid that my baby was going to come while I was there alone. After my nurse gave me some Ambien to help me sleep. I starting having nightmares that someone was going to come into the hospital room and steal my precious son out of my tummy. I tossed and turned. I felt my throat closing up like I couldn’t breathe because I was in full panic mood. After my nurse gave me an oxygen mask, A huge fear of death came over me because so many moms die giving birth. This being my first pregnancy and my first childbirth I had no personal reference to how everything was going to work out and the fear of the unknown was crippling me.
At some point, I drifted off into a sweet slumber and at 5:00 am my nurse woke me up to give me an enema. After having my enema and taking a shower, it was time. My nurse started my Pitocin drip and I drifted off to sleep. When I woke up my birthing team was there to help me through my journey of labor that we had been prepared weeks for.
My doula was holding my hand and rubbing my back. My best friend from grad school was rubbing my feet. My close friend had come in, on her off day, to be my nurse because she worked at the hospital. My prayer partner was there holding my hand and praying for me. My son’s father was back and trying to get me to eat food when the nurse has explained that I could not eat.
My labor was hard work with the Pitocin and it felt like death at times. My birth team was there to help me and labor me. My doula helped me on the birthing ball, with walking, deep breathing, relaxation music, and massages. (If you are a first-time mom I recommend investing in a doula). My prayer partner prayed with me and walked me through contractions. She also reminded me of how God was with me and he equipped me to bring life into the world so trust my body. My best friend from grad school helped me with breathing, took pictures, talked to my family back home in California, and did the most amazing foot scrub on my feet. When labor got tough and the doctor was thinking of doing an emergency C-Section my labor team coached me through my fears.
After much prayer with my team, many tears and thoughts of failure I gave in asked for the epidural at 9cm. While getting the epidural and my son dad was sitting there with me, it quickly sent my body into an uncontrollable desire to push. The nurse asked me to stop pushing but I couldn’t control it. My body had a mind of its own. I starting having cold chills all over my body that caused me to shake. The nurse wrapped me in warm blankets and we waited for the doctor to return.
After, taking a short nap; my doctor told me it was time to start pushing. An overwhelming feeling of excitement and fear came over me. All of the hard work of labor was finally coming to an end and the gift was due to arrive momentarily. I was thinking once he is was here I will be responsible for taking good care of him. I pushed 3 times and the doctor laid my son directly on my skin. I just cried when I laid eyes on my child for the first time and said to myself Welcome to Motherhood Zuri-Starr.
That was the first time I finally understood what people had been talking about for years. The true meaning of unconditional love. I fell more and more in love with my son when I held him in my arms. I loved him before I knew him. My son brought me so much joy and he still does to this day.
After labor care, the nurse bathed my son Zaire and took me to my postpartum room. I was so happy to eat dinner because I had not eaten since the day before due to being induced. I breastfeed Zaire before falling to sleep.
The next day Zaire started vomiting and the vomit was green. I called the nurse and asked her to take him to the doctor to have him checked out because something was wrong. I am glad that I followed my motherly instincts because Zaire had a bowel infection and had to be admitted to the NICU for 7 days. Northside Hospital allowed me to say two extra days for nesting while Zaire was in the NICU.
On February 25, 2014, when I was discharged to go home from the hospital without Zaire I was crushed. I didn’t want to go home without my son. When I called Zaire’s dad to let him know that I would be discharged at 1:00 pm and reminded him of the mandatory CPR class we had from 2:00 pm-4: 00 pm. Zaire’s dad explained that he could not pick me up from the hospital until after 6:00 pm and could not make it to CPR because he was helping someone with their car.
When I had to pick up my phone to call my prayer partner to pick me up from the hospital. I came to the realization when my prayer partner picked me up from the hospital that I had just begun my journey into single motherhood.
Leave a comment below sharing your journey into motherhood.