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My birthday,His bornday

Meanwhile I am writhing and crying in pain. Forget culture!  This is intense and colossal pain and I will show it and scream it to the moon if possible. I don’t care if they hear me in China.


Today is my birth day but I  was not born on this day.Today is my son’s bornday. I birthed him 7 years ago hence my birth day. I smile and drink my tea as I reminisce this day 7 years ago. Here is my birth story;

It is 18:00 hours on Christmas day 2010. I start feeling small sharp pains every now and then. We are at the dinner table with friends, K and R. Surely it is not labour pains because the calculated due date (uitgerekend) is in 13 days, I think. I courageously don’t show the pain. African women are meant to be strong. In my culture it is a given that a woman will bear children and do so courageously.  Display of pain is for weak spoilt women. It is a natural, fast and pain less process.  As a matter of fact, women in the interior villages in Africa have been known to give birth in the morning and be working in the fields in the afternoon. I shall follow my culture I say as I grit my teeth and smile. I am a good actress.

It is 02: 00 hours and I cannot sleep. The pains have become sharper, consistent and regular. Again, I dismiss the pains and assume it is Braxton Hicks. My husband does not agree. We call the hospital and within 10 minutes we are on our way to the OLVG hospital, east of Amsterdam.  It takes us 30 minutes because of the snow and ice on the road. Meanwhile I am writhing and crying in pain. Forget culture!  This is intense and colossal pain and I will show it and scream it to the moon if possible. I don’t care if they hear me in China.

We are rushed to the birthing room and I am screaming for an epidural (rug prik). “let us check you first”, a blond heavyset nurse says. I immediately dislike her. What a masochist, bad woman! I mumble. For what feels like 30 minutes I am lying down and being examined by the whole population of nurses in the hospital and I am hating all of them. I want this baby out! Finally a friendly face says he has called an anaesthesiologist and he begins setting me up for the epidural. I love him. I am put on the epidural and the pain subsides. I can smile now and joke with my husband. But wait! The pains start again. They increase the medicine. The pain overpowers it. They increase it to the max. I still feel the pain. Nine hours pass and the baby is begging to come out but cannot. I am not dilated enough. I am still in pain and begging for an increase in medication. The evil doctors and nurses claim they upped it to the max. One of them claims they have also added another medicine that begins with a D (can’t remember) to ease the pain. I am pretty sure this person is going to hell because she is lying. My husband is all the time by my side trying to cheer me up and I’m thinking he owes me for this.

After 36 hours of pain and suffering a senior obstetrician comes to check on me and declares it an emergency c-section situation. The baby is in distress and the mother has been in labour too long. I am wheeled into the theatre and everybody is up to speed. My son is born very fast, at 20:34 hours to be precise. They lift him up to me and his first cries are music to my ears.  I ask my husband to check that he has ten fingers and ten toes then I pass out for a while. After fifteen minutes I get to hold him and lie with him by my side.  He is a healthy 3475 grammes and has the correct number of fingers and toes. What a beautiful miracle. He is a strong boy. He is a smart boy. That July he had made his way to the graduation podium to graduate in utero with a Msc. He is his mother’s son.


Edna Kuipers

I am a Tanzanian born woman living in the Netherlands. My stay in the Netherlands has impacted me on so many levels. I feel the need to share my experience,knowledge and opinions. I will be bridging the gap between two continents, Africa and Europe in doing so. Exceptions and comparisons with other cultures may arise from time to time. I consider myself a world citizen. I have lived in several countries and I associate myself with people from all continents.

6 thoughts on “My birthday,His bornday

  1. awwww he’s beautiful! I’m too afraid of birth pains because I heard most of my friends and cousins talking how excruciating it was,so I think I’ll just stick with puppies lol. wonderful story!

    1. Thank you. It can indeed be quite painful but the pain disappears quickly and almost becomes non-existent when you see your bundle of joy. I admit after I had my birth experience I appreciated m and bonded with my mom more because now I know what she went through and all the love she carried. Stay tuned for another birth story coming this week regarding my second born son. I appreciate your comment. Please keep up the support!

  2. Ms. Kuipers it was enlightening and heartwarming to read of your birthing experience. I’ve always said I’d rather have a baby than a tooth ache. My son was born February 2, 1964. Many a time I’ve said he was a non problematic child since birth. My labor began about 2:30 on a Sunday afternoon. I must have been in the bathtub because I don’t remember my water breaking. I began having pains similar to those you have when you need to have a bowel movement. They weren’t awful, just consistent and increased in being uncomfortable every so often. My was son was born by 8:30 that evening. I was a very thin young woman and only 19 years old, extremely conservative in nature and was determined not to make a sound. I was taken to the hospital by my Aunt and Uncle, quickly admitted and prepared for delivery. The pain increased but still I didn’t make a sound. I refused to act like women on television with all the yelling and calling attention to themselves. I think because of my size I was given what I now know was an epidural. I’ve always referred to it using a different name but whatever it was I felt nothing and remember very vividly glancing at the clock in the delivery room while he was preparing to be born. I didn’t look to see what was happening and they didn’t place him on my chest but just wheeled me to my room once he was born. I didn’t feel a thing. He was brought to me a few hours later and that was that! It was quick and not at all as I had imagined it would be. That’s why I always insist that he’s never been a problem to me. I don’t call him the apple of my eye but the entire orchard because he’s never been a problem in any way. I was instructed to feed him only two ounces of milk. He wasn’t a crying baby and in quick time I realized that when he did cry it was because he was hungry. I accidentally fell asleep while feeding him one night and he drank four ounces of milk instead of only two. I realized I had been starving my child. I never heard a peep out of him after that because of course, I allowed him to drink the entire four ounces. He’s remained a joy to me throughout our lives and sometimes I can’t understand why he is the way he is. He’s very smart, serious and attentive about whatever he’s engaged in. He’s very much my son. I married my husband but changed my mind during the nine months he was deployed in the Navy. When he returned I had made up my mind that I didn’t want to be married (through no fault of his). I wanted my child to myself and didn’t trust anyone other than my parents to have any input about how he was raised. With my last breath I will always say he is my greatest accomplishment and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. If I’ve done nothing of value my entire life I can always say I’ve raised a decent, intelligent, responsible good Black man and every once in a while he’ll softly pat me on my back and say “You did a good job Mom”. He’d be talking about how I brought him up. He has three sons of his own now, ages 33, 22 and 18. The youngest just started college and is the apple of his father’s eye. He’s unlike his brothers and the one we’re most proud of. My son became a good father without any guidance from any man. I know I was selfish with him but he didn’t seem to mind. He is an only child, as am I as well as my Mother! We, including my Mother and my Grandmother all dote on my son as did my father. My parents were the only people (other than a couple of adult, female, highly recommended babysitters to ever watch him for me when he was an infant and small child.

    I thoroughly enjoyed your experience of child birth and have never read of anyone else’s. I felt as if I were right there with you but honestly couldn’t relate to your pain but I think I realize from experience it was a forgotten issue once your son made his appearance. My true pain came about two or three days after childbirth when I fell backwards, tripping over an object in a parking lot. I landed right on my rear end and because I had had stitches after my son’s birth, the pain was excruciating. I decided to not ever have another child because I knew I wasn’t going to remarry and didn’t want to share my child or children with anyone other than my parents and my Grandmother. I hope you and your son continue to enjoy the experience of being together (your husband too) and if you’re sentimental like me, go over the experience of his birth with him every year. My Mother use to do that with me so now I do it with my son. He gets a kick out of it and it reinforces, in his mind, how much he has meant to me from the moment he arrived!

    1. Oh what a most amazing birth story and more! I understand your need to be selfish and protective of your son, especially in the early years. I quit my job to stay with my son for two years because I could not trust anyone other than the grandmothers and my husband to be with him. They really are precious. It is a love like no other. I tell you, I had never known of such love before I had my first born child. It is incredible how it hits you that you can’t even love yourself more than you love him. You are a good mother and I am sure your son is proud of you and loves you to bits. Midway through your story I already knew your son was going to be a good and upstanding member of society. You’ve done a good job mama! I am sure you are a doting grandmother and that your grandchildren appreciate you as much as your son does. I thank you for taking the time to read my birth story and the good wishes you bestowed on me. Be blessed always and best wishes for the new year.

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