In all of my life, I would have never imagined giving birth to my children out of the United States. To be honest, I never imagined living abroad either, but I would not have it any other way.
My birth story is some what simple and to my knowledge there were not any complications, but in it all, I want this story to empower.
Jadon’s original “due date” was April 9, 2016. My precious baby boy came into this world on Tuesday, April 19, 2016 bright in early in the morning!
I went into the hospital Monday evening knowing I was going to get induced. I was filled with emotion. I could not wait to meet my little boy, but was also nervous about giving birth. When it is your first, you do not know what to expect. I had tons of questions. What will contractions feel like? Will I be able to handle the pain? How long will it last? Will I be monitored correctly? Will I be okay?
I completely trusted my doctor and loved him, so trusted him in every step of the process, but I was anticipating being a mother and having doubts that I could push through, literally.
Sean and I packed our bags and headed for the local hospital nearby our home. I knew going into the night that there was not an epidural option in place, so I had mentally prepared for this ahead of time. I never thought about the different birthing options until I was actually pregnant, but due to location, I had limited options, so natural birth it was!
When we got to the hospital, I was set up in my room and induced soon after.
As I laid in the bed, continued questions whirled through my head and sleep quickly became nonexistent as I went into labor. I was concerned that I was not going to be able to endure long hours because of utter exhaustion, but luckily the Lord made it quick and… not easy. But! quick.
I remember vividly that my contractions began around 4am. They were strong and building quickly. During this time, I had my hubs, Sean in the room and my best friend Maggie. They both were speaking words of affirmations to me, reading encouraging scripture, holding up funny signs I had made beforehand, playing my birth playlist I created and aiding in various essential oil mixes I had concocted prior to the big day.
My support team was amazing and it was because of them that my strength persisted throughout labor. Maggie also did a wonderful job reminding me that there was a beautiful gift at the end of the progressive pain that I was enduring at the moment.
By 6am, I barely had time to breathe or take a bite of breakfast that was given to me. I remember thinking that my baby boy would be coming soon. The nurses came into my room and gave me a little check and confirmed to me that I was still not dilated at all. I was completely discouraged and quickly was concerned that I would need an emergency c-section. That was the definitely the last thing I wanted to do especially in a third world. I clearly told my doctor in our prenatal appointments that I did not want c-section if it can be prevented and luckily, my doctor is awesome as well as very pro natural birth. (I mention this because many doctors in Kenya opt to go straight into c-sections because it pays out more money then a natural birth does. Doctors do not get paid as well as they should be here, so this is an option some doctors choose to make some extra money, which is so scary!)
By 8 am, the nurses moved me to a transitional room and my doctor rushed back to check my dilation. He confirmed that I was 3cm dilated and could now break my water. I was relieved thinking that the pain would subside soon, but then quickly discouraged when he said he would return in an hour shortly after breaking my water. “AN HOUR?!” I kept thinking there is no way I can do this. Just no way.
Almost immediately after he broke my water, the pain of labor got intense. I am not even sure how to describe what I was going through. I almost started having an out of body experience because the pain was, well, painful. My precious Jadon was sitting just perfectly in the womb that caused his poor mama to undergo a very intense “back labor”. This is why my support team was so essential because during this time, I almost forgot to breathe as tears streamed down my cheeks. When I felt weak, my people kept me strong and cheered me on. I had Sean in one ear breathing in and out while coaching me through each breath with every contraction. Then on the other side I had Maggie putting all her weight into my back to counteract the pain, so I could endure another quick moment to relax before another wave of serious discomfort overtook my whole being. They prayed over me, motivated me and encouraged me through every second I wanted to give up.
To my surprise, 5 minutes after my doctor left, the nurses called him back in because I was ready to bring Jadon into the world! From the time he broke my water, I went from 3cm dilated to 10cm in just 25 minutes. YAY FOR THAT… one hour would have been brutal.
Those last 20 minutes were the hardest, but the most motivating. I had Sean on my right, Maggie on my left and my doctor in front. Then I had 3 Kenyan nurses on all sides of me cheering me on. I seriously had a power squad. I chuckle every time I think back to my last two pushes because in between those last contractions I remember seeing the excitement on Seans face as he saw the top of his sons head and in the last push all I can remember is voices all around me saying, “Go Go Go Go Go Go, YOU GOT THIS JEN. GO GO GO GO.” I am telling you, I felt like I was winning a triathlon or something! My squad was so amazing and the nurses were loud, joyful and encouraging.
And in those last blurry moments, my baby boy came into the world.
As a mother, this is the moment you will never forget.
He was calm and collected like his daddy, and he was wide eyed like his mama. He already was curious of the world around him and looking straight at Sean and I. He stared right into my eyes as he was put into my arms and an overwhelming amount of emotions hit me all at once. I was a mother. I was something new and this little boy added a layer to my identity in that very moment. I embraced him as Sean embraced both of us and everyone around clapped in celebration of a new life.
My birth story | Jadon Anthony Nuccio