Friday, February 12, 2010

Birth Story

I was due on 16th February 2010  as per the medical records. All through the journey of pregnancy,  I could not paint a picture of my baby in my mind. Though I could feel the baby inside me, he/she was just a concept.


On February 8th  night, I had dinner and was feeling really heavy. I had severe gastritis that night. (which is not common for me.). A walk or a glass of hot water or an antacid did not provide any relief. Then, I thought; "a night’s sleep might help." I slept.

3 AM, I was yanked out of sleep for no reason. Then, I felt something isn't right. Then, I noticed a bloody show. I was not alarmed. I was prepared well for the D-day. I knew what all could come in my way. I messaged BH. I woke up Amma. She asked me, if there were any signs of pain. I said ‘No. I am fine. We can sleep now and talk to the doctor in the morning.” I had just finished the sentence and I started experiencing mild cramps. That very moment, I felt that my baby did not want to wait any longer. We decided to wait until day-break to visit the doctor. Amma, despite her apprehensions prepared bisibelebath (A famous south Indian delicacy). The pain had increased a little in intensity by then. Hot steam bath was a breather then. She also gave me hot jeera coffee. (which is supposed to help during labor)

9.15 AM, we reached the hospital. The doctor confirmed that I was in an early stage of labour. She asked me if I wanted her to induce pain and deliver the baby that day or if I could let labour progress at its own pace. I said I can wait.

11 AM and the pain was growing. I realized that I cannot put up with this pain for long. I requested the doctor to induce labour. They gave a tasteless solution to drink. I walked in the hospital corridors to alleviate the pain. BH held on to me. I could not walk when I got spasms of contractions. I tried breathing normally. Every half hour, a doctor’s team came in to check mine and the baby’s condition.

4 PM, I was given second dose of medicine to induce the pain. The contractions gained frequency and muscle.  It was really getting difficult for me to breathe. But, I tried.. I tried really hard to keep my breathing normal.I stayed calm till then. I could not do that anymore.  I was shouting that I cannot do this any more. But, doctors who stood 3 feet away from me were not able to hear my pleas. Then, I realized, my voice had died out. I was actually whispering. I made signs to call them near, and requested them to tear my belly apart and get the baby out. But the doctors calmly said that it would be just a few hours affair and my endurance will be paid rightfully.

My BH and Amma took turns to engage me in a conversation. Words made no sense. BH tried to tease me with his monkeyshines, he got thumped.They wanted me to divert my attention. How could I? I had stabbing pain around my uterus and lower back, I could not walk, talk, move. Sometimes, my vision got blurred. I could not even eat or drink anything. The last I ate was at 10.20am. A cup full of puliyogre, prasada from a Ganesha temple. In fact, the frequency of contractions had increased so much that I was not able to gulp down my saliva. My mouth had dried. By the time, I inhale, I would get one more spasm.

5.00 PM, doctors felt I was drained out, they put me on a dextrose drip to re-hydrate me. Then, things worsened. I started shivering like hell. No amount of warm clothing could stop that. To top this, I got cold and cough. When, I was not able to breathe properly, can you imagine my plight when I had to cough?! 

6.15 PM, after internal examination and they said that I have just dilated 2.5cm. I had to dilate at least 6cm more to enter into the final stage of labor.  The world seemed to end. The pain had drained me completely. I almost lost hopes of life. But then, I heard the heart beats of my baby on the monitor. "How can I think of the end when I am giving a new life? I can bear pain of any magnitude but I just want my baby to be healthy", I thought. I mustered up all my energy. 

7.30 PM, The pain was excruciating.  I requested doctors for an epidural.(What is an epidural? Read here) They obliged. That was a great relief for few minutes. Then, again it came with all force. Contractions were so strong that I felt the pressure despite being on epidural. I do not know what I was thinking, what people were talking and what I was blabbering. I just prayed for a healthy child.

8.30 PM, the doctor’s team came in, did an examination said I had dilated 10cm and I was ready. I was taken to the labour room. I wanted my BH to accompany me. But the doctor said that the hospital policy does not allow him inside the labour ward.

The moment I was on the labor table, I was so excited. I absolutely forgot about the pain. I was in the best of my moods. I was so happy. I wanted to see my child. I wanted to see the expression of my BH when he saw our child. I had enormous energy in me now. I obeyed whatever the doctor said. I felt as though she was guiding me to heavenly bliss on a flowery path.

The doctor gave me a cut to ease the process. They used forceps as the baby was big. I had a third degree tear. Finally, at 9.08PM I could see my baby. Blood all over. Time had stopped. I was engulfed by a powerful, primordial and all-pervading energy that was euphoric.
Back to the real world, I had to still ask, though something in me told that it would be a boy and I believed my inner voice. "Which one is it doctor, boy or girl?"

There was no answer. The gynecologist was busy suturing and the pediatrician was busy checking whether the baby was healthy. The helpers were busy aiding.

I asked again, “Girl or a Boy?”
"It is a Girl" Pediatrician said.

“What??? I exclaimed in surprise. I always wanted a girl. It was like dream come true. I was the happiest person on earth at that moment. And I don't think I will ever be happier than that in my life.
It was such a wonderful surprise to get a girl baby after nine months of believing it would be a boy. Don't ask me why I thought it will be a boy. I just felt so. And also, 99% of the “experts” who saw me told that it would be a boy. 
They showed me the baby. Our eyes met. I could not believe that she was inside me for 9 months. I touched her. So tender. :) I went blank. BH came in. I saw my his face light up as he saw the baby. He passed over a smile on to my face.  There was a sense of satisfaction in me. I did not know what to say. I don’t know what I felt. I was not worried about anything anymore. I fed my child. The cutest thing on earth!

To come face to face with the most intense pain, the strongest desire, the deepest love… Motherhood is a gift unlike any other.


And hence, The birth story of Bunni's mother.


Snap taken few minutes after birth..

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Reach out to me at sahana.b.rao@gmail.com

Acronyms and Definitions

BH: Better Half. Butter Half. Bitter Half.

BUNNI: Manufactured Daughter.

APPA: Role-Model Father.

AMMA: Near and Dear Mother.

CHD: Partner in Crime. Brother.

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