Variations of normal: Nancys historie

Over den kommende periode vil vi sætte fokus på det normale – eller rettere: på variationer af normalistet. Fordi alle kvinder er forskellige, og selvom der er fællestræk ved graviditeter, fødsler og livet med babyer, så er der vide rammer for det normale. Og endnu videre rammer for hvordan oplevelsen af graviditet, fødsel, barsel og moderskab i det hele taget er.

I Strut vil vi gerne støtte og udbrede en kultur af forståelse, respekt og anerkendelse af forskelligheden. Hos os er der ingen rigtig eller forkert måde at blive eller være mor på, og derfor vil vi meget gerne høre jeres historier. Skriv til stine@strutshop.dk hvis du har lyst til at dele din #variationsofnormal

Vi starter med en historie, der nok er lidt anderledes end de flestes. Nancy Njoka er advokat, født og opvokset i Kenya, men bor nu med sin mand (der er islænding) og er på barsel med sin lille søn på Østerbro i København. Hun blogger på nancynjoka.com om livet som mor i vesten og om forskelle på Kenya og Danmark.

Nancy fortæller sin historie her:

MY PREGNANCY AND BIRTH STORY

I had just completed my postgraduate diploma that would see me to being an advocate of the High court of Kenya. My life was going according to plan. In addition to that, I had secured a job at the organization of my dreams. I was a human rights activist. Little did I know that it was to be the beginning of another milestone in my life? My journey to parenthood. It was the beginning of my pregnancy and birth story.

It was not even a week after reporting to my new workstation when i found out that I was pregnant. It was barely a month since my now husband had visited me. This was the first time in my life i ever took a pregnancy test. I traversed the (streets of Eastleigh) in search of a pharmacy to buy a pregnancy test kit. This was after I realized I had constant cramps with no actual period. I rushed to the bathroom and took the test. What I then thought, was the worst thing, happened. I WAS PREGNANT. Like every other person’s pregnancy story, I did not believe the results. I took off to the nearest clinic and requested for a professional test. The results were the same. PREGNANT!!!! I took five more tests after that visit.

This was the beginning of a journey I was not ready for at that moment. I had never thought I would be a parent at the age of 26. I had never even dreamt about it. A cloud of guilt took over. I could barely envision the disappointment from my father’s face when I broke the news. This would be to risk being disowned especially after the school fees loans he had secured to ensure I became a Lawyer. In fact, he had warned me severally on the risks of getting pregnant while I was still a resident in his house. Honestly, i contemplated the worse things possible. My African society and worse of all Christian, does not comprehend sex before marriage let alone pregnant.

Therefore, I decided to keep the news to myself. “Hey babe we gonna have a baby.” This
was a text message to him. As if he was expecting, he was very calm and congratulated me. I must admit that was very encouraging. Just then, I realized that we lived in two very different Worlds. Most of our young men would take you through a guilt trip. This news led to a quick, simple civil marriage. No sooner had we been hitched than my then long distance boyfriend had to go back to his country. Shortly after, I was required to apply for a visa to join him. There was a possibility of being denied the crucial document following the influx of refugees in the West. Furthermore, Denmark has the most strict immigration laws in the European Union. I waited for about two months and finally I joined my husband.

My pregnancy journey went by and it was time to give birth. The closest and the only person I had with me was my husband. I had never imagined giving birth without my mother. Well, I had made a choice.

MY LABOUR STORY

“You are doing really good babe, press on” he would tell me whenever I stretched for that oxygen mask. Even through the oxygen, I would still take a deep breath and exhale out slowly until the contraction was over. By this time the contractions were so close together that, I did not have time rehearse for the next one. The midwife kept me engaged all through assuring me that everything was okay.

At about 7 o’clock I had a change of midwife. This was the time we realized that the baby was facing north instead of south. It was time to put the little baby in position. I was made to dance from bend over to attract the gravity to pull the baby down to ball dance if there is such. The most excruciating one was when I was told to get out of the bed and sit on a lower point with my husband holding my back. The waves at this point got stronger than I ever imagined. The pain was so bad that in the middle of a contraction I would imagine that I walked away from my body, and I was snorkeling in the big waters of Indian Ocean.

“Nancy, don’t push yet,” The nurse would tell me. The most heartbreaking moment was when she told me that my contractions had stalled. I tried crying out of desperation but I could not. I did not have any strength to. All I could do was make deals with myself. I told myself that I was almost there, that I could do it. I remember her telling me that I would actually give birth the next day. I bored my eyes to Rogvi and broke a sweat I think, from fear. I felt as if I were in some kind of war (I was). I felt like this was my moment, my big test, and I was rising to the occasion. I would save the world.

Except I was not. I was doing the most banal thing in the world. I was giving fucking birth.
I have no idea about why people refer to this as normal birth because honestly there was nothing normal about it.

THE PUSHING AND BIRTH

The urge to push my insides out was so enormous that I could not continue with my okay nurse anymore. I found myself pushing instead of the short breathes, the whooo whoo whoo whooo ones. The pushing gave me a bit of relief. After a few gymnastics, the midwife felt that it was okay for me to push since the baby had by now turned south. Childbirth got real. The screams got louder. I think at some point I cursed eve for eating the damn apple.

The pushing, oh the push. I missed my home country where I would have gotten an emergency C-section for the baby facing north. Then I would not have to go through the agony. Anyway, at this point all I knew was that I needed to push. I have no idea where I got the energy. I was afraid that I would empty my bowels on the bed and midwife kept on assuring me that I wouldn’t, well I did not.

The last chunk of pain was when my angel’s head was crowning. Eden got real. God must have been so angry with Eve to give her such punishment. It was like an inferno. The only way I could make it was by a loud scream. I screamed twice and the third time my baby was out. My baby boy was born at 11.39 p.m. After this was another phase of endless pain and ignorance. Breastfeeding troubles and googling everything.

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