‘Paapu’ ( meaning the ‘sweet little baby’ in my mother-tongue), was born on the 26th of Feb 2010 at 5:57 AM in a normal delivery.
Her birth story, however, begins on Feb 25, the day before..
With more than 10 days to go for the due date, I was as relaxed and cheerful as possible when I went to a routine doctor checkup with the hubby.The doctor checked my cervix,and commented, “Wow lady, you are already 3 centimeters dilated. It takes 10 centimeters for the baby to come and most women go though extreme pain to reach even 3. You don’t seem to have pain so far! I am guessing your labor will be easy without complications”. Now, that indeed was a great beginning! 🙂
I asked to check if that means I will go into labor soon for which she clarified that it was normal for the body to start preparing early. Nothing seemed to be happening right then, of course.
Later in the evening, I was in one of my favorite shops leisure shopping for maternity stuff. My cart was half loaded when the uneasiness began. I cringed for a second and moved on to the next aisle. It wasn’t exactly ‘pain’ per se, but a considerable discomfort emerging from the lower abdomen. I kept shopping while thinking “Gosh, I need to slow down. This is the result of too much walking around!”
By the time I was ready to bill my items, the queue in the billing counter was as long as a python. I could picture myself crashing down if I stood much longer with the heavy tummy and the discomfort for long. So, I made a hasty beeline to the front and requested for a quick check out. The lady there took one quick look at me and without an extra word, got my things billed in a jiffy. I had no clue that my face, by that time, projected an image of a woman in labor 😀
Late that evening was a pre-planned dinner get together at home. My mom , who flew down from hometown, India, had well settled in the ‘phoren’ country and invited some of our close friends/cousins for her home cooked supercilious dinner 🙂
Everyone came in early and sat around chatting and laughing, mostly on jokes about weird baby names! Innocent sounding Indian names like ‘Gopi’ or ‘Deepshit’ turn out to be a lifetime embarrassment to the kids living in the US ( go on..read those names from an English perspective, see what I mean? 😛 ). The dinner happened late by around 10 PM and Amma was mighty praised for her yummy gourmet cooking 😀
What was I doing all this while? Wincing, clenching my teeth, taking deep breath..generally acting wierd every few minutes. Whenever anyone asked “Are you okay?”, I managed a smile and kept saying “Yeah, some slight uneasiness. Nothing much. All’s fine! Hehe.”
Amma got really suspicious after a while and asked me some questions to describe the pain. My answers made her spring up and say “Oh dear, you are in labor!”. The hubby gulped down hard and ran to get his book from the childbirth preparation class. After all, he was the main ‘support person’ , specially trained to handle this day with me! 😀 The hospital bags and the baby car seat were set in place.The crib, came to life with all the beautiful decorations within a hurried 30 minutes with the help of all who were present. The crib setup was so much fun that way, in fact couldn’t be better 🙂
While each one at the dinner got up and moved around to help the hubby get set, I kept repeating, “I am not in labor folks, no way! This is probably false pains. Relax, am allright!”.
Yep, I was in perfect denial.
The D day for me was atleast 10 days away and I did not want to handle it all so soon. Not that day, no, no, it could not be true already!
The pain intensified and I couldn’t get away with just flinching or clenching my teeth. I think I knew it at that point , but still kept denying the fact. To not believe was to make it pain lesser…maybe.
The guests left early wishing us the very best..and hoping to hear the big news very soon. I was still trying to laugh and say “Haha! This might just be false labor after all!.There is still lot of time for the actual due date.”
I tried going to bed and falling asleep, but paapu already had her mind made up 😀 The intense contractions started coming and I decided to time it and see the frequency ( still hoping to prove everyone it was just false alarm). At around midnight, I went through my frequency marked timesheet carefully one last time. And then, it hit hard…
“THIS IS IT! THE BABY IS COMING TODAY!”.
I wanted to cry, wanted to laugh, wanted to relax, I wanted to shout…all at the same time.
While hubby slept in the bedroom tired after a long day, Amma could not sleep and sat beside me in the living room. If you don’t know this already, trust me when I tell – There’s nothing in the entire world as soothing as your moms caring hands holding and caressing you in times of pain.
I must say, I also made myself proud by remaining as calm as possible, putting all the breathing techniques I learnt for this day, into good use.
Finally, by 3 AM next morning we were on the way to the hospital, after having called in to the delivery department about the contractions occurring every 5-minutes.
At the hospital, it took me a solid 20 minutes to cover a distance of 20 steps into the ward. In fact, the attendent lady grabbed a wheelchair for me to cover the last few steps. I was checked again and told I am at 6 centimeters and doing well, before being wheeled into the delivery room.
Ideally, a natural delivery without medication would have been very much possible in my case. But, I chose to relieve some pain with medication, just because I knew my body too well. If I spent all energy on handling contraction pains, I was sure I’d be totally exahusted when it was time to ‘push’. What fun is it to give your best in the semi finals, but fall apart during the grand finale’? I requested for epidural and was smiling away to glory within 5 minutes of that miracle potion sinking inside me 😀
The doctor came in to check me again sometime later and announced “9 centimeters”. I literally sat up in the bed, shocked! ” Wha..? 9 already in just 2 hours?? Just 1 more to go ?!!”. The doctor smiled a “Am impressed!” smile 🙂
I always had this wish to put up my delivery status on networking sites as it happened..to see how people would react ( okay, am weird, so what? :P). The pain relief gave me the opportunity and I grabbed the laptop to put this up –
The contractions got closer in frequency and much much intense..so much that the pain relief seemed to stop working ( in fact, in my case, it was a low dosage and did not cause total numbness).
Within just one more hour, I was told I was ready at 10 centimeters! Whoa! Time to PUSH! 🙂
The nurse in charge of my delivery was such a cheerleader, she made me focus and direct every ounce of energy in getting the baby out. The hubby played his part obediently by repeating after her and kept saying “good job, well done” about 50267 times 😛
The typical movie style comedy scene happened when he switched from “good job” to “congratulations!” every other minute.
I was in severe pain and using all my might to do my task well and his words kept confusing me. Why congratulate? Is the baby out already? Nope, he was just using it to inspire me. WT#$%^&**!!
“SHUT UP!!”, I yelled as loud as possible and startled everyone.
The polite nurse drew herself away and softly asked , “Uh..okay, you want me to shut up?”
“No, no, not you..him!”, I pointed to the confused looking hubby. 😀
Afte about 15 minutes of more pushing, I saw a wonderful gleam in hubby’s eyes…jaws dropped and hyperventilating, he announced “She is here!!” before breaking into uncontrolled tears.
As the doctor handed the pinkish red little being into my arms the next second, I was sobbing my heart out with happiness.
Holding the hubby in one arm and the newborn in the other and kissing both of them …. am unable to type those moments without crying now….
And, with that moment, Life, my friends, changed forever 🙂