My Birth Story

I figured the best place to start sharing my motherhood journey with you is with the story of the birth of my son, Kai. Sort of in a “let’s start at the very beginning…” type of way.

The first due date the doctor gave us for him was actually in late July. I’m a superstitious person and believe that numbers are powerful and can hold a lot of meaning, so when the doctor said he was due 19th July, I told my hubby, yup this if definitely our kid! The number 19 means a lot to us as it’s our anniversary and also a part of the address of our wedding venue. Little did we know that his due date would keep changing. It’s not really an exact science.

I worked up until a week and a half before my scheduled c-section. I wanted to use as much of my maternity leave time after my baby was born rather than some whilst I was still preggers. Those last two weeks of pregnancy were some of the toughest. By then, I was over it. I could barely walk, I felt like my bladder was constantly playing pranks on me and the exhaustion was relentless. Oh and the Braxton Hicks. Those were lovely. I finished work on a Friday, my mom was flying in the following Friday and the Caesarean was the following Tuesday. So when I finished work, I was looking forward to a whole 10 days of ‘relaxing’ before Baby O. was due. I spent that weekend finalising my hospital bag, as my doctor had warned “any day now!” For the rest of the week, it was all about last minute nesting, organising and ticking things off the to-do list. I had been pretty on the ball throughout my pregnancy so by then his room was ready, his clothes were all washed and arranged. On Thursday, I began making the last thing on my to-do list; his mobile. I propped myself up on the couch and got to work whilst the TV kept me company. I was expecting my mom the next day so I wanted to try get the most of it done before her arrival. I got to about 60% of the way before we had dinner and I conked out in our room. My husband, Kevin, was next to me watching a football match on the laptop.

About an hour later, I woke up with some more Braxton Hicks. I’d been getting them almost every other day for about a week. I did what I usually did and took a Panado and tried to sleep it off. But they weren’t going away. So hubby drew me a bath, they usually helped. His task since I was about 7 months along was to help me get into and out of the bath tub, so he did so. And then he propped a chair next to me so he could continue to watch the football in our room, through the open bathroom door. I’m not one for violence but if I could have reached him I’d have punched him! Let’s just say my words had the same effect and he quickly put the stuff away. About a minute or so in, I was beginning to writhe in pain. This felt different. I’d told him to download a contractions app to time mine, you know, just in case. I kept breathing the best way I knew how. We didn’t go to antenatal classes because we were too late to sign up. And we were know-it-alls thinking I wouldn’t need to know breathing techniques since I was having a Caesarean anyways. But boy did I soon regret that. After a few minutes, I could tell the contractions were getting closer and the app confirmed it. They were less than 10 minutes apart. I think this is when Kev realised that I could actually be in labour. And he went blank.

Him: Who should I call?

Me: Umm, the hospital, the doctor, I don’t care, CALL SOMEONE!

After chatting to a nurse in maternity, he hung up and confirmed I may be in labour and we needed to get to the hospital now. Thank God my bag was packed! Hubby quickly helped me get dressed, packed mine and baby’s things and we left. I managed to grab my wig on our way out, lol. On the road, my contractions were coming hard and fast. In between them, I was fine and quite chatty but during…I had to channel some made up breathing techniques. I had to keep reminding myself that they were going to end. This is when things started to feel like in the movies. As my contractions got worse, Kev drove faster and crazier trying to get me to the hospital. He became that dad-to-be. It was 10.45pm and thankfully not many cars were on the road and we managed to get there safely. When I arrived, the hospital staff were so blasé about me. I guess they see women in labour all of the time!

Nurse: Oh, what’s the problem, what brings you here?

Me (in a wheelchair panting and clutching my tummy): I…think…I might be…in…labour.

Nurse: Ok, let’s get your details and have a look.

It was late and quiet in the hospital. I think they thought I was just being a paranoid mom-to-be and that they’d soon send me on my way. Another nurse came in to examine me. In between my contractions, she told me to get onto the bed. I have no idea how I did this, on my own (my husband had quickly dropped me off in emergency and was parking and unloading the car and filling out forms). Anyways, the nurse examined me and that’s when her face turned from a blasé look to one of urgency. She told me I was in labour. No duh. “This baby is coming tonight!” she told my husband as he walked in. We just looked at each other like, okay. Okay. He called our family to let them know. His side came through and waited in the waiting area. Mine waited on their phones (my family all live abroad). My doctor was called and I was prepped for theatre. My doctor’s the coolest guy, who has a very dry sense of humour and remains cool as a cucumber. So when he arrived, my reasons to be calm were confirmed, I was in good hands. It was too late to give me pain meds to help me with the contractions since I was going to have an epidural soon. They told me I’ll be holding my baby in less than 30 minutes. I said a prayer, but I wasn’t scared at all. I knew God was with me and my baby. Kev had changed and came in to theatre with me.

By then, the contractions were excruciating. My doctor, in his nonchalant way asked as they wheeled me in “so, how are you enjoying labour?” to which I screamed “it’s like cramps ON STEROIDS!” he laughed and reassured me it’ll be over soon, even though he claimed I’d only felt about 30% of it. The anaesthesiologist (who was clearly grumpy about being called out to the hospital at past midnight) administered the epidural, which I had braced myself for after hearing and reading other birth stories about how painful they are. But I found it ok. It wasn’t even half as bad as the contractions. The rest happened quite quickly. I felt the surgery happening but I couldn’t feel the pain. It was a bit uncomfortable and could feel a lot of pressure but then all of a sudden, I felt as though a weight was lifted from me. Then a shriek.

And there he was. The most wonderful scrunched up little face I’d ever seen, with a full head of jet black hair and big dark eyes staring right back at me. My boy. As soon as I saw him, I wept. It was the rawest cry I’d ever let out. Wailing. The build up; almost 10 months of anxiety, worry, frustration, tiredness, excitement. Then I saw him and I felt something new. A completely new emotion. One that even today, I haven’t found the word for. I know it’s something I won’t ever feel again, until I have another child. And that’s the best way I can describe it. I barely slept that night, as exhausted as I was, I just wanted to see him, touch him, smell him. We both couldn’t take our eyes off of him. He was finally here.

Suffice to say, Kai wasn’t born on the 19th. But his birthday is now the most special day in our lives. I honestly have never felt closer to God than when I was having my son. The lead up to birth was hard. The toughest time of my life, and I was convinced I wouldn’t want to do it all again. But then that feeling, that feeling when I finally met him was more than euphoria. And all that I’d gone through to carry him and safely bring him into this world was justified. It’s a weirdly almost addictive feeling, like a high you want to experience again. Saying it’s worth it in the end is an understatement.

What’s your birth story? What did you feel when you had your child(ren)?

Aisha x



  1. Grace
    December 19, 2018 / 9:38 pm

    What a beautiful birth Story. Congratulations on your beautiful baby and awesome blog. I look forward to reading all your posts.

    tons of love to you and your family

    • Aisha O'Reilly
      January 5, 2019 / 1:05 pm

      Thank you, Grace

  2. Lulu
    April 10, 2017 / 11:55 pm

    This is so raw, not to mention beautiful. I love it! I cannot wait to have my tiny humans 😊

    • Aisha O
      April 30, 2017 / 5:47 am

      Thank you Lulu x

  3. February 9, 2017 / 12:00 pm

    Such a beautiful read! When I say to people that my son’s birth wasn’t that bad they look at me as if I’m crazy. 39hours in labour, all I wanted was to have a natural home water birth but I just didn’t dilate so I was rushed to hospital for an emergency c-section. All I remember is the anxiety I felt to finally see him and the joy of seeing his “old man” face and his loud wail and thinking “I did that!”. It was an amazing experience!
    Congratulations again to you and your family, you make motherhood look effortlessly fabulous! 🙂

    • Aisha O
      February 24, 2017 / 10:10 am

      Thanks Lebogang. Lol, I wish motherhood was effortless but it’s definitely fabulous! Yeah, the first time seeing their faces. OMG! I’d do it again for that

    • Aisha O
      February 24, 2017 / 10:06 am

      Thank you Merlize! Wow, four babies!! Well done you *high five*

  4. MrsFF
    January 30, 2017 / 9:46 pm

    I loved reading this!!! Just goes to show even when things don’t go as planned it would all be worth it. I couldn’t have a natural birth for medical reasons. It took me more than 3 months and confirmation by three different Gynaes to accept that a natural was not an option. I was able to choose my daughter’s birth day and I pushed as far as I could. I had a planned CS at week 40. Thankfully I didn’t go into labor so I still managed to take selfies (yes very vain me) and like you I felt the operation lots of pressure but no pain. And with that our lives would never be the same again

    • Aisha O
      January 31, 2017 / 10:52 am

      Lol selfies! I wish I did that hahaha

  5. Mimi
    January 26, 2017 / 11:34 pm

    Awww!! I had tears reading this post. Congratulations again on Kai, the new blog home and many more blessings for 2017. Much love xx

    • Aisha O
      February 25, 2017 / 5:48 am

      Thanks so much Mimi 😀

  6. Diapeng
    January 25, 2017 / 4:12 pm

    What a beautiful read indeed. Reminded me of my experiences. Giving birth to my son was nothing less that a nightmare. I was in labour from midnight and only gave birth at 11h00. My daughter was born c – section. Yeah, that feeling! No words can ever begin to describe it. Isn’t it amazing how you suddenly feel connected with other women?

    • Aisha O
      February 25, 2017 / 5:49 am

      It’s pretty insane! It’s like I’ve entered a sisterhood, so amazing!

  7. Tumi
    January 19, 2017 / 11:50 am

    What a beautiful piece. I laughed and cried while reading this. Your baby is blessed to have you as his mommy.

    • Aisha O
      January 24, 2017 / 8:14 am

      What a lovely thing to say. Thank you Tumi 🙂

  8. Ester
    January 18, 2017 / 11:26 pm

    First I would say I love you Aisha I follow you everywhere and my inspiration to my 3 years natural hair. Well i’m a mother of two mixed chicks, mum (me) tanzanian & dad swiss. My daughter who is now 5years birth was a night mare 48 hours of labour and came exacly on her due date, my son 2 years he came out too fast & he was 5 weeks premature and 6 hours of labour and both came natural birth no epidural no csection

    • Aisha O
      January 24, 2017 / 8:15 am

      Hi Ester! Asante for the comment and pole for your difficult births. It’s definitely not for the faint hearted, I guess that’s why God chose women to do it lol.

  9. Kelebogile Khumalo
    January 18, 2017 / 2:10 pm

    Total beauty.
    when I had my first born -boy ( Sibusiso) I was in labor for 11 hours and it was a terrible experience as I wanted natural birth all the way and didnt want any epidural but with everything.

    My second born-Girl ( Sibahle ) I was in labor for 5 hrs and it was painful and my dr kept on asking if I want epidural and I said nope… Gave birth and she couldn’t breath properly due to some complications that they couldnt put their finger on… they did so many tests and kept her in ICU with premature babies ( and she was the only big baby in there) . Thank GOD they did not find anything wrong with her and today she is the most beautiful baby girl and she bring so much joy in our lives!

    Congrats Aisha and your hubbs, couldn’t be more happy for you! God bless!

    • Aisha O
      January 24, 2017 / 8:17 am

      Hey Kele, so nice to have you here on A&L. I’ve missed your comments 🙂 you are a soldier girl, honestly don’t know how you did it without meds. Thankfully your babies are ok, they’re such a blessing.

  10. Hildah
    January 17, 2017 / 10:50 pm

    Oh Aisha….wonderful birth story…for real Kai is were my neighbour in hospital and good company too.God bless.

    • Aisha O
      January 24, 2017 / 8:19 am

      Hildah! How lovely to hear from you. I hope we’ll meet again with your bubba too x

  11. Rukks
    January 17, 2017 / 6:57 pm

    This made me tear up, beautiful! Can’t wait to meet you baby Kai!

    • Aisha O
      January 24, 2017 / 8:20 am

      Kai: you too Auntie Rukks x

  12. January 17, 2017 / 4:57 pm

    Beautiful story, beautifully written. Congratulations again.

  13. January 17, 2017 / 4:56 pm

    Beautiful story beautifully written. Congratulations again!

    • Aisha O
      January 24, 2017 / 8:20 am

      Thank you Chuwe x

  14. Janine
    January 16, 2017 / 8:58 pm

    You have me in tears here reading your birth story! Tears of joy and remembering al those emotions delivering my own baby boy. 😘

    • Aisha O
      January 24, 2017 / 8:21 am

      Hey Janine, I know right. I was emotional writing it! What a crazy journey

  15. January 16, 2017 / 6:48 pm

    Such a beautiful read & an emotional one!

    Congratulations to you & Kev ….Enjoy God’s blessings through out your life.

    And Congrats on the new blog..Looks beautiful.


    • Aisha O
      January 24, 2017 / 8:22 am

      Asante Olivia. Truly appreciate your support x

  16. Zipporah
    January 16, 2017 / 6:04 pm

    Beautiful birth story x

    • Aisha O
      January 24, 2017 / 8:22 am

      Thank you 😚😚

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