I wanted to recap the birth story of KB for my own memory. I did not write it down at that time. Since I wrote down baby girl’s birth story for the post, I realized I am forgetting a lot of the details of KB’s birth and that I should write it down at least now.
Rewind to Aug.1.05.
40th week, still no signs of labor. I went for long walks after dinner – at 10.00 pm B and I would be walking up and down the slopes at the well-lit park in the near by community center. B patiently walked slowly me with even though he wished he could just jog instead of walk painfully slowly along with me. I looked like I should have delivered a week back but no sign of any pain yet! Since my AFI index (Amniotic fluid) was slightly above normal and because I had cholestasis, Dr.A decided it would be best to induce me if I don’t go into labor by Aug.1.03. She told me to report to the Labor and Delivery unit at 7.30 am on Aug 3.05, Wednesday. I could not believe it when she gave me the appointment that that would be day – my first child would be arriving then. I could not imagine the magnitude of change that was about happen in our lives when he arrived. I could not believe I* was about to deliver a baby! I was really afraid of labor pains and I had heard from some friends that induced labor can be even more painful. With that in mind, I really tried to coax the baby to come out naturally by exercising as much as I could those final weeks. I was always physically active, but between 32 – 38 weeks, my doctor had told me to take it easy because she did not want me to go into labor earlier than due date. But the last two weeks, she said it was OK if I went into labor, so I really went all out in being physically active. But our little KB here was cozy in his home and didn’t want to come out unless we prodded him a little more! With induction!
On Aug.2.05, I was asked to come to the OB’s office for a procedure. Dr.A (my doc) was not available, so Dr.S put in the Foley catheter to kick-start the process. My sister was arriving that evening and I had told her to meet me outside the OB’s office. We went back home together (my nephew brought her from the airport) after the procedure.
Slowly and steadily the pain started. By midnight, I had so many contractions that came at random intervals; I just could not lie down and sleep. I did not sleep at all pretty much that night. I walked around the house in the middle of the night to ease my pain. Morning finally came and I showered and got ready. My sister, B and myself drove to the hospital. Mom and dad (my dad was alive then, how I wish he had been around this time too!) came to the door to wish me luck. Mom had tears in her eyes from the tension she was in hoping for a safe delivery.
We checked into the L&D unit and I walked to the elevator (now thinking about it – what a contrast – I was wheeled into the delivery room directly in a rush for kutti girl) and walked into the delivery room. It was a large room with nice bay windows, a large bed in the center with huge lights above it and a smaller bed next to it for the guest. I was immediately made to wear my robes and lie down on the bed. The nurse (CK) checked my blood pressure and then inserted the tubes to start inducing me with Pitocin. I was given the most minimal dose to start with. The process started at 7.30 a.m.
Even before I got married, whenever I imagined having children, I would think about how labor would be. I somehow had this feeling that all the women I knew who had kids had visited a special place, an adventure land in just having gone through labor. I could not imagine for the life of me how a baby can grow inside a woman’s womb and be delivered to the outside world. A living, feeling baby! Starting from nothing. The process of creation always inspired awe in me. And I could not believe at that moment that this was it – I was going to go through that magical experience. It was as if I was more focused on the experience than on the baby at that moment. I did not feel anything else – but the anticipation of a difficult but exciting and new journey ahead of me. Delivering your first-born brings with it this novelty. I felt as if I was crossing over to the other side. Of someone who knows how that feels! So long it had only been hearsay. I was about to experience the reality of that magic!
I felt the contractions strongly once the Pitocin kicked in. Dr.A came in and checked me – I had only dilated about 3cm then (I can’t remember exactly now – but far from fully dilated). She told me that she would be around till late evening and if my labor continued on after that, the doctor on call would be here for my delivery. I was keen that Dr.A be around for my delivery. I was hoping that the baby would come before she left for the day. I asked her to request the anesthesiologist to come in as soon as possible to give me the epidural. She told me that I was in luck because he was right in that floor at that moment. Soon after she left, the anesthesiologist came in and gave me the epidural. I was having contractions and I had to bend down so he could inject me. I was nervous about not moving while he was injecting me. B held my head tight against him while I recited “Ram Ram Ram Ram” loudly in pain. B said he saw some blood come out during the process and felt light headed.
I lay down and got into a reasonably bearable position. All this took about a couple of hours. The details of what happened are a tiny bit fuzzy now in terms of the exact timing and numbers. My sister then decided to go home and bring my parents back with her after a quick shower. A little while after she left, a second nurse came in and looked at the fetal heart rate chart. She then called the first nurse who came in and looked at the chart. She was a little concerned. Meanwhile I was not feeling much pain during the contractions because of the epidural. She paged Dr.A who came in a few minutes. She examined me and said that I had proceeded way too rapidly. I was fully dilated now. She was amazed that I reacted so strongly to such a small dose of Pitocin. Just as she was examining me, the water broke. Now the heart rate was really beginning to fall. The baby did not take well to the rapid dilation and water breaking. It was going into fetal distress.
The moments that followed are again one of those intense ones where I went about what I had to do unmindful of the gravity of the situation. The doctor pronounced a code blue and in just a couple of minutes, the entire room was filled with blue uniforms. What had been a scanty number – a nurse, a doctor, B and me, suddenly changed. There were other doctors, and more nurses in blue protective uniforms. B was given a uniform and a mask.
Dr.A told me that I had to push in ten minutes or they were going to perform an emergency C-section. I had no time to think. All I knew was that I had to push as hard as I could to get this baby out soon. I did not even pray at that moment. I felt calm only because Dr.A was around – I had complete faith in her abilities as a doctor. She looked calm, not nervous. B on the other hand was a passive witness to all this. He told me later that he was feeling worried as to how things will progress at that point. The doctors gathered around me and said “1, 2, 3, PUSH” and I would push hard. Baby wasn’t coming out yet.
I continued on. I did not feel any pain in my numbness. I pushed again. And suddenly I heard one of the doctors’ come and tell me “We are going to use the forceps and coax the baby out. Don’t worry, Dr.A is very very experienced in forceps delivery”. I could not even think much about it at that point. It was not in my control. Had my sister (the pediatrician) been around at that point, she might have objected to it and things may have gone differently because she is not particularly in favor of forceps delivery given a choice. She may have requested the doctor to go for a C-section instead. But who knew that the baby would be coming out so soon. My sister merely went home to have a shower and bring my parents back to the hospital.
Again, the doctor said “1,2,3 PUSH” and I did. Dr. A now (I assume) used the forceps and there he was “Waaaaaaaaaaaaaannn”. (10.27 a.m. Aug.3.2005). A loud wail! I heard “ooohs” and “Aaahs”. Dr. A said, look how loud he is – may be he will be a musician! And then said may be he will be an actor – look at his dramatic entry into the world! I could not believe the events that happened in those three hours. The baby was already here! I could not grasp it. It happened too quickly! B was immensely relieved. He held the baby and brought him to me. I held him for a seconds and gave him back to B. I had fourth degree tearing from having pushed so hard and so rapidly. Dr.A sutured the tears and told me she would check on me later.
B immediately called home. Since no one answered, he called my sister on the cell phone. She was already in the car with my parents and was heading out of the complex into the road when the phone rang. She answered B thinking he was casually calling and said “We are on our way”! And B told her, “The baby is here!”. My sister was stunned! She said “What?”. B repeated what he had said. My sister was thrilled and told my parents the news. They were delighted and relieved. When they got to the hospital room, the nurse was still with me. They waited for a few minutes and then came in and held the baby. I can’t help but choke with emotion at this point. My father held the baby proudly. I wish I could have written the same line when I wrote kutti girl’s birth story this year.
Thus began my first step into being a mother and raising a child. The week that followed was less about the baby and more about me. Sparing you the details of it, I suffered quite a bit from the fourth degree tearing only after I got home with the baby. I did not realize the impact of it until then. Labor was a breeze really – unexpectedly short. But the few days after I got home felt like the real labor. Trying to sit on the “donut pillow” and feed the newborn baby who just did not know to latch. I had to deal with my own pain while trying to nurse him. All that is a whole different story – somehow I got through those four days of pain and the first day I went for a short walk, I felt so grateful. I prayed to god to never ever make me sick or in a position to not be able to walk freely and feel the warm sun. And feel the fresh air outside. Those few minutes alone, walking along the trees and hearing the birds chirping, I felt thankful. For all that I had at that moment. For having delivered my child safely. For having coming out of that pain I had been in the last few days. I pray for that divine grace to be with and guide my children always!