‘Donut’ ( the nick name for the baby boy in my tummy picked by my firstborn little girl), was predicted to be born on Jan 7, 2015. However, he was born few weeks earlier in a normal delivery. I have recorded the birth story for posterity.
It begins on the morning of Tuesday, Dec 23:
It is my last working day before the maternity leave began. Was working from home and could not wait to begin my leave! Was hoping to spend at least a few days resting, spending quality time with Amma, getting a pedicure or a spa massage and relaxing before the baby arrived. But, he seemed to have made his own plans already 🙂
I noticed bloody spots while using the restroom and called the doctor. Was told to wait and see if there is actual bleeding.
It was Christmas vacation and the husband decided to go ahead with his original plan – to take the 5 year old to the Zoo which is an hour drive away from home.
Missed a pre-scheduled conference call with the office team. In the haze of calling the doc and following up, completely forgot about it while team mates dialed into the conference line and waited! When one of them called in to check 10 minutes later, I profusely apologized.Jokingly told that the baby seems to be eager to come out that day 😉
Logged into laptop to wrap up work stuff. Team was informed about my maternity plans, pending tasks were delegated, Christmas and New year wishes were exchanged.
Felt the baby moving strangely differently for the first time. Unlike first pregnancy, I was very aware of every change in the body this time nearing delivery.
The strange movements of the baby kept coming back periodically.It was not painful, only slight discomfort.While finishing up work stuff on the laptop, casually timed the feeling and noticed they were roughly 15 minutes apart. Knowing there is a periodic frequency to the sensation made me feel stronger about the possibility of labor that day. Hastily finished up final tasks at work and shut down the laptop.
The slight discomfort turned into actual pain that made me wince. Timed it and found it roughly 12 minutes apart . Still did not feel real ‘contractions’. Started thinking if this might be Braxton hicks after-all. But, given similar start 5 years back on the first one, subconsciously started preparing for actual labor.
Husband came back with Paapu from the visit to the zoo. With the periodic squirming, I spoke to the little one normally and asked her all about the zoo experience 🙂
Told husband about the gut feeling – that the baby is ready to come out! I remember husband panicking immediately. he started checking the hospital bags, repacking and adding a dozen more ( unnecessary) stuff 😉 He also started cleaning out the baby car seat and setting up the bassinet. His hurried movements made me laugh- especially because he never seemed serious about the baby until that day, that evening. LOL.
Confirmed without doubt that they were not braxton hicks. Strong painful contractions showed up every 10 minutes. But they were short, 30 seconds each time.Finished dinner and mentally prepared for the upcoming pain. Called the doctor and was very pleased to hear that she was on-call that night. She asked to come to the hospital as soon as the contractions started coming at 5 minute inerval. AnotherAnother reason to come in would be if the water breaks.
Contraction pains continued periodically. But, not close enough to drive to the hospital yet.I suggested husband to drop Paapu in V’s house ( V is a close family friend). She need not see me going through labor. We can pick her up next day, once the baby arrives. But, husband did not accept the idea and told we could drop her off at V’s house on the way to the hospital. I agreed reluctantly and let him put the little one to sleep. Amma insisted on staying up with me , but I bluntly refused. Asked her to take some rest in her room because it would be a long night! I retired to my bedroom and sat alone bearing the mounting contraction pain every 10 minutes. Somehow, dealing with it alone made me feel stronger. Imagining my first born little one sound asleep in the next room with her dad gave a sense of relief and comfort.
V called in to ask my status . She was surprised to know I am in active labor and planned to drop off Paapu at her place on the way to the hospital.”What?! No, No”, she said, “Are you kidding? The second delivery is 5 times faster than the first dear. You will not have any time to drop off the kid on the way”. She offered to come and pick up the sleeping little one to her home herself. I agreed. She was knocking on the door within 10 minutes, gave me a tight hug as I continued to wince in pain. As she walked out with the little one sleeping on her shoulder, I felt absolutely grateful for such loving friends in my life!
12:45 AM on Wednesday, Dec 24
Was timing the contractions using an iPhone app ( named ‘Fullterm’) and realized the pains came almost 5 minutes apart. Time to drive to the hospital! Hastily asked husband and Amma to get going. Was breathless by then and couldn’t stand on my feet for more than a minute.
I recall sitting next to the husband in the front seat of the car and Amma in the back seat. The car moved silently on the empty road in the dark of the night. The only sound came from me, crying hard to bear the surging pains every few minutes. Amma bent forward to gently stroke my head every time. Although it was only 15 minutes, the drive to the hospital felt very long indeed. I realized the contractions were now coming 2 minutes apart!! It was getting too close to deliver..hope it doesn’t happen in the parking lot!
Walk from the parking lot into the hospital ward was very very hard. But, once there, I was wheeled in by nurses and quickly changed into a loose gown. They checked and told I was dilated little more then 8 cms already! Only 2 more cms to go. But, the pain was too much by now and I requested an epidural.”Okay”, they said, “But , be aware that you are not supposed to move even an inch when the needle pokes your spinal chord. Can you do it? You are already far along, so the pain wouldn’t let you stay still”. I had no second thoughts, “Yes, I can. Go ahead”, I replied.
The anesthesiologist came with the epidural kit and prepped me quickly. Just when he held the needle near the spine, a big contraction started coming over. There was no way I could stay sill. But, I had to! I am not sure what came over me, but I held the nurses hand tight, closed my eyes, and hummed a very long ‘Aummmm’. My faith in my God would help me. “Done!”, the doctor said, “Wow, you did well!”, he seemed astonished 🙂
The epidural took effect in the next few minutes and the pain slowly subsided. It felt so relaxing, I had to repeat history and update Facebook, just like how it happened 5 years ago. LOL!
As I rested and waited in epidural induced haze, the nurse informed that I am fully dilated 10 cms and ready to deliver. However, since my water bag had not broken , they would have to manually break it. The husband an I decided to wait for that to happen naturally. “Let us give couple hours more”, we said, “If the water still doesn’t break, please go ahead with manual method”.
I felt a dampening and the nurse confirmed my water bag broke. Phew! I was relieved to know it happened naturally and without much wait.Now, it was time to push! In spite of the epidural, I had the sensation of that feeling to push. Gathering all the remaining strength, I started pushing..pushing very hard! I recalled the tips from the nurse during the delivery 5 years ago and it helped me again this time. Hardly 15 minutes into it, the doctor declared the baby crowning! I was elated, but continued to push with all my might..eager to have my baby in my arms!
5:20 AM , Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014
A pink..wrinkly..tiny..button of a baby was out. He was cleaned and handed over to me in a wrap..and I gasped in delight…crying ..holding..looking at his miniature hands..the tiny fingers..
The husband looked on, all smiles, moist eyes…admiring his newborn son.
We officially became a family of 4.
With that, my friends, life changed forever..once again 🙂