8 Nigerian Women Share Their Childbirth Stories

September 22, 2020

Having a child anywhere in the world is by no means easy. From the stress of carrying a baby for nine months to the stress of actually giving birth, it’s a lot for one person to handle. That’s why when the conversation around childbirth and spouse support for women (aka being there and actively helping) during pregnancy and childbirth came up on Twitter today, we decided to ask a few women about their own personal experiences. Here’s what they said:

Aisha, 37

This is not exactly a childbirth story, but we lost our baby at seven months. My husband was by my side all through. We were planning a move to a new state on account of his new job just about the time this happened. He abandoned the opportunity to stay with me. It was an excruciating thing to be in and even with him being there, I felt alone, but he was there for me.

Tinu, 32

My husband and I were separated just before I was due. I’d found out he was cheating (again). So I told myself I had to leave — can’t bring up my child in that environment. Childbirth itself wasn’t hard, I guess. I’m lucky because the stories I heard prepared me for the worst. Interesting enough, the moment he heard I had gone into labour, he showed up, although I didn’t actually see him till after.

Mariam, 27

The experience was bittersweet. Bitter because the pain was excruciating, if that’s putting it mildly. Sweet because the moment my baby’s head was out, it felt like I was on top of the moon. It was so surreal… I literally forgot all the pain. My husband was with me all through.

Mekwe that you mekwe and enjoyed together. Now time to born you’ll now leave her alone? Ah.

My husband didn’t eat throughout that day. First it was from seeing me in so much pain, food was the last thing on his mind, then over excitement after the baby came. It was the following morning I was asking him if he had eaten. I told him to leave the ward and not come back till he ate something bcos me wey born sef don dey chop already.

My mother came to stay with me after we were discharged.All I had to do was just eat, sleep and feed my baby. My mum didn’t let me lift a finger. And my husband was so obsessed. If I wasn’t feeding her (my baby) and she wasn’t sleeping, he was with her.

Nneka, 38

I’m a single mother, not exactly by choice. I told my ex that I was pregnant and he ghosted. When it was this close to my labour date, my mum and sister moved in with me. I had been scared that I would be alone during the entire thing. I was a little proud and didn’t want to ask them to come, but when they showed up, I didn’t even argue. Which is lucky for me because I passed out just a few days before I was due and needed help getting to the hospital. They were with me all through. I don’t think I was ever alone in those first few days. I’m not sure if my ex knows or cares that I have his child. I tried to reach out a few years ago because my child was asking questions. He’s active on Twitter, and I assumed this was the best platform. I was ignored.

Sope, 26

I gave birth during the heat of Covid. I was in labour for hours. They told my husband to go back home because he couldn’t be in the ward with me and neither could he be in the hospital because of the Covid rules. He didn’t go home. He stayed in the car and kept parading the building, asking about me. Even after I gave birth and they said he should go home, the same thing.

Akpevwe

My own childbirth story is that I was dragging this man’s cloth from home asking him why he impregnated me. I can laugh about it now, but I was dead serious. My grouse with my husband wasn’t that he wasn’t there. It was that after giving birth, he expected everything to go back to normal. We didn’t have any help. It was just both of us. He expected that I would start cooking again, that my body would fall back in shape in no time and sex would commence very soon. He didn’t say this out loud, but I felt the resentment. Na so we resented each other because I didn’t do shit if it wasn’t for my baby or myself. The good thing is we eventually recognised our problems and talked about it. We couldn’t afford help, as that would have been the next best thing. We learnt to communicate and all.

Ngozi, 22

When my mum was having her last child, we didn’t know where our dad was. He came back after a few months and said to the new child, “Ahan, did you grow smaller?” He thought that was our younger sister.

Titi

After a very stressful, 38 weeks pregnancy, I opted for a CS delivery. Stressful because the first four months were hell. I lost weight, couldn’t hold down food or water and vomited till my stomach acid eroded my esophageal lining and blood followed. I was just one symptom away from hyperemesis gravidarum (a pregnancy complication that is characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and possibly dehydration).

I spat whatever little water stayed down and carried a spittle cup around. I couldn’t go to work and had to resign. Then Covid came. The last five months were better, though I still vomited and spat every other day. I was admitted a day before the procedure. Last minute checks were done and everything we needed was bought. Surgery went great. My husband and my mum ran all the errands. My mum stayed with me for the 4 days I was there while my husband and his parents came every morning with food and other things, watched me sleep, then left in the evening. Doctors didn’t want more than 1 person staying over because of Covid.

Let nobody say CS is easier than vaginal birth. They are identical twins of the same mother. I was in pain. Couldn’t bend, sit, laugh, cry. Stitches will just be pulling. I dreaded having to pee because it meant I had to walk 5 steps to the toilet. I was bent over and anytime I tried to straighten up, I cried. I couldn’t sleep either. Just tossed and turned every night. The last night before I was discharged, my pentazocine finished. The nurse said it was time to switch to oral painkillers. I cried and begged her till she went looking for pentazocine for me around 11pm. Breast milk didn’t come immediately. We had to wait for that one too for about 2 days. My mum followed us home after I was discharged and stayed for 41 days. My mother in law came every single morning and left in the evening. While I stayed in bed, they took care of baby and I only carried him when he needed to eat. I felt relieved after childbirth, considering the things I went through. My body and appetite came back (I cried so much in pregnancy because I thought I lost them forever). I’m thankful for my child because he is an answer to prayers. I’m still getting help by the way. After my mum left, my mother in law has fully taken over and if I sit down and actually think about it, I don’t think I’ve bathed my child myself up to 10 times. I can do it. I just don’t have to. For context, he is 4 months plus.


Names have been changed to protect the identity of the women.

Ope Adedeji

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

September 21, 2020

For PCOS awareness month, we talk to Doctor Opeyemi , a medical doctor, graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University, social activist, sexual and reproductive rights advocate, a healthcare manager and administrator who has been practicing for three years. 1) What PCOS stands for PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. It is called a syndrome because there […]

September 15, 2020

As we all know, the devil is learning work where Nigerian women are. These queens of wickedness are out to destroy hearts and occasionally, a gullible Nigerian man falls for them and gets his heart broken. To get over their heartbreak, you often find men doing one (or all) of these five things: 1. Drink […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

October 29, 2020

If you speak fluent Nigerian, you’ll understand that not everything a Nigerian says means exactly what you’ve heard. We’ve broken down some of the most popular Nigerian phrases and what they actually mean. 1. What they say: With all due respect… What they actually mean: I am about to absolutely destroy you with the next […]

ICC Nigerian Military
October 29, 2020

Can the ICC prosecute the Nigerian military? Many Nigerians are still in grief over the Lekki Massacre which took place on October 20, 2020, when protesters were shot at for exercising their constitutional right to peacefully protest. In the wake of this, several stories — and fake news — have infiltrated the media over what […]

Recommended Quizzes

November 19, 2019

Regardless of what society has tried to tell us, enjoying sex is not something to be ashamed of. So, in a bid to celebrate our generation’s sexual agency, we’ve created a quiz that will accurately (again, keep your complaints to yourself) infer how many people you’ve spelt with. Try it out: 11 Quizzes For The […]

June 14, 2020

Have you ever been with someone so horrible that you swore to never date again? Yes? Well, do you know that one or more of your exes probably feels the same way about you? You never thought about that, huh? Thankfully, this quiz is here to let you know just how much of a hassle […]

how tall are you
March 11, 2020

Did your parents give you enough beans when you were growing up? If they did, then you’re probably around 6’0″ and above. Either way, we created a quiz that can guess your current height (pretty accurately, if we do say so ourselves). Take to see if we nailed it:

October 30, 2019

2010 was a game-changing one for Nollywood, with our movies making serious cash and getting international acclaim. So, which of these hits released between 2010 and 2019 — from the pace-setting The Wedding Party to the divisive Trip To Jamaica — best suits your personality? Well, that’s what this quiz is here to answer:

More from Her

October 28, 2020

For this week’s What She Said, I spoke to Chioma, who had a life-changing experience at 19. She talks about what it felt like losing her leg to an accident at 19, how she has adapted to the change and getting a first-class in law school.  Tell me about the accident. I remember it like […]

October 26, 2020

Body dysmorphia is a mental health disorder that makes you obsess over your physical appearance. You constantly try to fix or hide these perceived flaws that may not be noticeable to others but yourself. We spoke to five Nigerian women about what it is like hating their body in a way that makes them obsess […]

October 19, 2020

Women have been said to be at the forefront of this protest. Although some people say women should not join the protest, they did anyway. We asked six Nigerian women why they joined the #EndSARS protests. Linda, 21 Every day I spend on the road, is for the women and the queers. Police brutality affects […]

October 16, 2020

The feminist coalition is a body run by a group of women with their main focus being fighting injustice. They do not organise. Rather, they’ve assisted, structured and dispersed funds for the #EndSARS protests. Here are some of the things they have done. 1) Feeding Some of the money has been used to pay for […]

October 14, 2020

When the women in Agbaja area saw a decrease in domestic animals and observed an increase in female mortality, they stayed away from home for a month in protest. These women left their husbands’ villages and went to either Umunumu or to Orie Ekpa (market) with their mats so they could sleep wherever night met them. When their husbands went to ask the reason for their withdrawal, they said too many women were dying.

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.
February 6, 2020
Who doesn't want to find love? In our bid to help, we paired up a bunch of single Nigerians, sending them on an all-expense paid date, and interviewing them before and after they met.
January 27, 2020
Nigerians Talk is what happened when a motley crew of young Nigerians were put in front of a camera and asked a bunch of apparently random questions about life, love, money and more.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X