Your Birth Story


Dear Ava,

This is the story of your birth. Or how I remember it at least. Daddy may have a different story, as it all feels like a dream to me now.

Here in South Africa you have the option, too posh to push or push. I’m not too posh to push, or so I thought.

We showed up in the maternity ward at 10:00pm. Not a minute early, not a minute late. Exactly at 10:00pm, with a bag in hand and butterflies in our stomachs. They showed us to my room and hooked me up to the monitors.

At 11:00pm, I was only 4cm dilated and the contractions were still quite far apart, so they told dad to go home and get some rest and be back at 7:00am or they would call if there were any developments. Seeing as we only live a few kilometers from the hospital I was okay with this.

The rest is a bit foggy. During the night they gave me some meds to help speed up the process in some way or another.

Your father arrived at the hospital at 6:30am. A bit early, but he couldn’t stand to be away from us. By that time, the contractions were closer together and I had dilated to 6cm. The doctor was happy with the progression and said she would be back every hour.

Once the pain started to become a bit unbearable they hooked me up to the oxygen and gave me the exercise ball to bounce on. I was managing, but getting quite anxious to meet you.

They broke my water to help speed up the process. I think that was the first sign I knew this wasn’t going to easy or normal. Why didn’t it just break on it’s own? It was like someone thrown a water balloon at me and it burst between my legs. So much water, everywhere.

Somewhere around 9:00am the doctor came in and saw I was now at 8cm, in loads of pain and asked if I wanted the epidural, which I shouted YES! I felt like I had told her yes, for a thousand times. I was now in so much pain, that I can’t begin to explain to you. Bitter sweet.

Then I heard the nurse say in Afrikaans, but he can’t be here until 3pm. I started to cry. I looked at your dad and told him, HE, whoever he was, had to get here right now. Tell them in Afrikaans lovie, please, I shouted! And he did, he pleaded with her.

The anesthesiologist showed up at 10:30, he rushed over from the other hospital to help me. But the epidural didn’t work. The pain only went away on the right side of my body. The pain on the left was still there and more intense. Contractions were coming faster and faster. At 1:00pm, I was finally dilated to 10cm, you were engaged and ready. Or so they said. I pushed and pushed. Rested and screamed. Screamed and cried. Dad kept encouraging me, saying don’t worry it will all be over soon and the pain will be gone and we’ll have our baby. He tried to play some music to clam me down. I only remember hearing one song, Taylor Swift, Never Grow Up, a song I’d never heard before and one I will never forget it. If you are reading this, then you will know by now how amazing your dad is.

Then, I pushed, pushed and pushed some more and you wouldn’t move. I think you were too comfortable to come out.

At 2:30pm, the doctor suggested that we do an emergency cesarian. Seeing as I had been in labor for so long, she didn’t want you to begin stressing. We agreed.

They wheeled me into the theater room. It was freezing. Like Antartica cold. They strapped the oxygen over my face, but I couldn’t breathe. I started freaking out. Your dad checked and there was no oxygen coming out. It was a brand new machine and out of all of the doctors and nurses in the room, no one knew how to turn on the machine. Your dad figured it out.

I started to freak out and actually thought I was dying. I was so cold, lying shivering on a hospital bed in freaking Africa, with these bright lights shining down on me, people all around me speaking in a foreign language, I just knew I was dying. I even said to your dad, I think I am dying. The doc over heard and shouted, NO ONE’S DYING TODAY! I think I freaked her out a bit. She is quite young.

Then they began. Your father now knows me inside and out. He watched them cut me open and pull you out. A brave one, that guy.

I felt them pull you out. It was so strange. I saw your little head, full of black hair. A tiny pink pasty little baby, screaming her head off and from that moment I just knew, I knew my life had change.

After that it’s a bit blurry.

At 03:06pm, 27th of January 2011, weighing in at 3.45kgs (7lbs 6ounces) and 56cm (22in) long, little Miss Ava Louise Scheepers was born and she couldn’t have been more perfect.

Looking back, I guess I was too posh to push. I should have held in there longer and tried harder. I really wanted to birth you naturally. In the end, I am no less a women, I went through no less pain. And you are here and healthy, that’s all that really matters.

Today is your first birthday. It’s a glorious day. You’ve taught us so much about ourselves and life over this past year. I’ve fallen in love with your dad all over again. Our house was turned into a home.

This has been the best year of our lives and it’s all because of you.

Just remember baby, never grow up.

Happy Birthday.

Your little hands wrapped around my finger

And it’s so quiet in the world tonight
Your little eyelids flutter ’cause you’re dreaming
So I tuck you in, turn on your favorite night light

To you, everything’s funny
You got nothing to regret
I’d give all I have, honey
If you could stay like that

Oh, darling, don’t you ever grow up, don’t you ever grow up
Just stay this little
Oh, darling, don’t you ever grow up, don’t you ever grow up
It could stay this simple

I won’t let nobody hurt you
Won’t let no one break your heart
No, no one will desert you
Just try to never grow up, never grow up

You’re in the car on the way to the movies
And you’re mortified your mom’s dropping you off
At 14, there’s just so much you can’t do
And you can’t wait to move out someday and call your own shots

But don’t make her drop you off around the block
Remember that she’s getting older, too
And don’t lose the way that you dance around
In your PJs getting ready for school

Oh, darling, don’t you ever grow up, don’t you ever grow up
Just stay this little
Oh, darling, don’t you ever grow up, don’t you ever grow up
{ From: }
It could stay this simple

No one’s ever burned you
Nothing’s ever left you scarred
And even though you want to
Just try to never grow up

Take pictures in your mind of your childhood room
Memorize what it sounded like when your dad gets home
Remember the footsteps, remember the words said
And all your little brother’s favorite songs

I just realized everything I have
Is someday gonna be gone

So here I am in my new apartment
In a big city, they just dropped me off
It’s so much colder than I thought it would be
So I tuck myself in and turn my night light on

Wish I’d never grown up
I wish I’d never grown up

Oh, I don’t wanna grow up, wish I’d never grown up
Could still be little
Oh, I don’t wanna grow up, wish I’d never grown up
It could still be simple

Oh, darling, don’t you ever grow up, don’t you ever grow up
Just stay this little
Oh, darling, don’t you ever grow up, don’t you ever grow up
It could stay this simple

Won’t let nobody hurt you
Won’t let no one break your heart
And even through to you want to
Please try to never grow up

Don’t you ever grow up
(Never grow up)
Just never grow up


9 thoughts on “Your Birth Story

  1. Beautiful!! And you are definitely no less of a woman for having a c-section. Pushing, no pushing, fast, slow, c-section, whatever – the most important thing was that your beautiful baby girl got out here safe and sound and you were ok. Happy birthday, little Miss Ava!

  2. This brought tears to my eyes! And you are NOT “too posh to push.” Sounds like a heroic effort from this end. Women still perish in childbirth all over the world, so the dangers are not to be taken likely. You’re just lucky you had the resources (as scary as it was) to have a healthy baby.

    My little one just turned 3 and this was a good reminder of the miraculous moment of his birth. Also wanted a natural birth and ended up with a c-section. I didn’t have that moment in which he came from my body and I got to hold him right away, but my moment was hearing that beautiful, healthy, cuter than I had ever imagined little cry from his lungs. And I haven’t gotten more than enough cuddles in the past three years to make up for not having one right after he came out.

    • @KimSiegal Thanks for your comment Kim! I am sure our little don’t feel any less love because they weren’t born natural. It’s just mommy who is sad. But cheers to healthy, happy babies!!

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