SINA KOCKS on
Pregnancy and Giving Birth
BY SINA KOCKS
PHOTOGRAPHY BY DENISE SCHRAUDER
November 12, 2020
First of all, I have to say that both of my pregnancies were actually really easy, and I absolutely can't complain.
But I can say that I didn't like being pregnant. When I was, for the first time, I was really looking forward to a lot of little things. The rapid growth of the hair, the beautiful clean skin and above all the absence of your period. Of course it was clear that there were still negative aspects to it. The typical morning sickness, possible stretch marks and back pain. What nobody told me, however, was that the ribs are stretching, which is really incredibly uncomfortable. Worse still, my nipples started to itch. It felt like you were wearing an incredibly itchy wool sweater right on your bare chest. I put cool packs or wet washcloths on my breasts for days.
The usual pregnancy problems weren't that bad for me. The only thing that was really stupid was that the nausea was not only there in the morning, but was spread over and over again throughout the day. But the worst thing about pregnancy, aside from the fear of giving birth, was that my breasts just wouldn't stop growing. Within 5 months I went from a B-cup to an F-cup. I see the following of it every day when I look in the mirror. A sagging chest with hundreds of faded stretch marks. Actually, I absolutely can't complain about the regression of my body after 2 pregnancies. However, when I see my breasts, I definitely don't feel comfortable anymore.
As I already mentioned, I was SO afraid of the giving birth. I was scared because I didn't know what was going to happen and of course how painful it will be. When my amniotic sac burst, I could only cry with panic. My whole body was shaking, because there was simply no way back.
This child will be born in the next few hours.
At the hospital, I went to the labor for a while without pain medication. After about three to four hours the pain got worse and worse and almost unbearable. I felt like my legs were being torn from my hip joint. I was given a so-called "pain cocktail" through an intravenous access. There were many different drugs in it that made me feel like I was on cloud nine. This made the birth pangs easy to sit through, so I could sleep and relax a little. I wasn't afraid anymore.
My husband and my mom werethere to support me. Even my brother came to visit me in between to see how I was doing. The visit from him was particularly important for me because he has always been my very special reference person. At some point the 'cocktail of pain' slowly stopped working and the birth pangs became more unbearable.
My actual plan was to give birth to the little one in water, but because the cervix didn't open quickly, my midwife suggested I use a PDA. After thinking about it for a long time (because I was afraid of a PDA) I said yes. And that was the BEST decision of my life!
That made it real quick. My legs went numb and my cervix opened faster and faster. At some point, after a further investigation downstairs, it was said that I can press the next birth prang so that the little girl can see the light of the day. After about an hour of the biggest effort, pressing and sweating, she was there, Freya. It took me a total of 13 hours to bring this little miracle into the world. This feeling of seeing your own child lying in front of you is simply unbelievable. From that point on, my life completely changed. For the better.
The second pregnancy was a bit different than the first one, if only because of COVID. I had to go to all of my doctor visits alone, which I didn't find particularly bad. Only for my husband I thought it was a shame, he couldn't even hear her first heartbeat.
Fortunately, he was allowed to be present at giving birth. Because we already had a small child at home, I didn't even notice a lot of things and the pregnancy went pretty quickly. However, everything was a little more difficult than with the first pregnancy. Whether it was walking, laying down or even sitting. The feeling with the nausea was the same. This time I didn't have those nasty itchy nipples, which I was more than happy about. But since my stomach grew faster than during the first pregnancy, I had problems with my lower back and my sciatica. The fact that she was in the stomach a week longer than planned definitely didn't make it any better.
Like Freya, Skadi chose the hottest day of the year to be born. One night before her birth, I already noticed birth pangs, but nothing important. Around 6.15 AM, I felt a slight tug in my abdomen coupled with the feeling as if a soap bubble had burst inside me.
That feeling was my amniotic sac burst.
Because I knew that it might take a while before giving birth, I took a shower, relaxed, and got ready in peace.
In the hospital itself, I had to spend an hour alone in the delivery room, as nobody knew whether I would be released again.
If my husband had been with me during this hour and I could have gone home again, he would not have been able to be present at on time due to COVID. At some point I heard him in the hallway, and I was instantly more relaxed and so happy!
Unlike the first pregnancy, Skadi was already very deep in my pelvis, so that the doctor couldn't even measure her exact size.
After the examination I urgently needed something to relieve the pain. I used nitrous oxide to just try it out because I thought I had more than enough time.
Three hours after I entered the hospital, my midwife told me that our daughter would be with us in the next 45 minutes.
The panic was literally written on my face haha.
"During the first pregnancy I was scared because I didn't know what was going to happen.
During the second I was scared because I knew it."
Now I was lying there without a PDA, only with laughing gas which didn't work and with the knowledge that I will bring this child into the world without any further medical help. I am still so grateful for the lovely man who was my obstetrician that day. He made me laugh and kept talking to me. After using the toilet, I suddenly noticed this uncomfortable pressure and the need to push.
At first I tried standing in a quadruped position, but I just didn't have enough strength for that. I quickly layed down on my back again and suffered incredible pain. To take some of the burden off me, my husband and the obstetrician held my legs in the air in the right angles. My pressing noises were full of pain, after 20 minutes full of anger and will. This baby should finally come out so I don't have to feel this endless pain anymore. After 4 hours in the delivery room she was there! Finally!
As soon as Skadi was born, tears ran down my face..at that time not because she was born but because I had finally made it haha.
All the tension and pain were finally gone. After about five minutes I started crying (or I still was crying) because once again I gave birth to a beautiful and healthy child. Unfortunately not every woman has the opportunity to give birth and I am so sorry for that!
I am more thankful for my two beautiful daughters and my wonderful husband. I never want to miss these people, my mom, my dad, my brother and sister, my mother- and brother-in-law.