Candid, not Candied

Saturday, 26 January 2013

The Awaited Childbirth

The 9th month took a toll on me. Not only did I have aches all over, I had an outbreak of pimples too. That seemed to convince everyone around me that I'd be having a baby boy. They say if you look beautiful and your skin is glowing then you have a baby girl. Well, not true!

I was done with the pregnancy thing and all I wanted was the extra weight off me. Hence, more than being scared for the C-section, I was looking forward to it. That said I was a wee bit disappointed too since I have had not a scar on me. Somewhere in me I didn't want the C-section to happen. 

I got admitted the night before. I demanded Kiran be with me for that and chose him over my mother. That was the night we would get to spend "only the two of us". God only knows when we'll be able to do that again. Anyway, my parents left me and my husband and promised to be there at 6 AM. (My operation was scheduled at 7 AM) 

The nurse took me away for a quick check of my blood pressure, weight and baby's heart beat. For the record, I weighed 68 kgs, and my blood pressure was normal. I asked her if the OT was ready for tomorrow and would I be able to take a look at it. She took me in with a firm warning not to touch anything as everything was sterilized. She gave me a nice little tour. "This is the operating table where you'll be tomorrow. These are the instruments which they are gonna use on you." I loved the display, just like a chef would, there was a variety of scissors and knifes and blades. Sorry for the lack of correct medical terms for them. And there was a shelf full of small vials which were medicines supposed to be used in case anything went wrong. I hoped they didn't have to use it during my procedure!

Before I turned in for the night, the nurse reminded me that I could not eat anything after 12 AM; not even water. 

Despite the calm environment, I almost did not sleep the whole night. It was the first time that I was ever sleeping in a hospital as a patient. The bed was also creaking. And the anxiety of being face to face with my baby was overwhelming.

On the D-day, the nurse came in to wake us up and got some hot water for my bath. The nurse started to get me ready for the OT. Again, my weight, BP and baby's heartbeat was checked. Everything was within the normal range. I was to wear the hospital gown, get an enema and head to the OT soon after. That was the plan. 

After the enema, I came to know that the anesthesiologist was not in yet. I was made to sit in my room. My parents came along with another family friends. It was past 7 AM by then. Everyone tried to make this small awkward talk, which made me want to throw up. Everyone was deliberately trying to take my mind off the impending operation thinking I was scared. If only they knew that I would be racing to the OT! I wanted them to keep mum but they continued. It was almost 8 AM when they decided to escort me in. It was in that moment that my mom remembered something numerological and told me to write 24 on my palm. She believes that it helps in the task getting done successfully. Don't ask me. 

The moment was unreal. All those 9 months flashed before me. That journey which in theory seemed long had suddenly shrunk. I was assisted to the operating table. One nurse velcro-ed my right arm and attached a pin on my index finger and informed me that would be monitoring my BP through out. The anesthesiologist came in, introduced herself and asked me if I was scared of needles. She inserted the IV in my left wrist. I was all wired up. 

Meanwhile, my gyn and her husband came in. While my gyn was getting in her scrubs, her husband started chatting with me. With the help of some nurses they made me sit up again and asked me to bend forward as much as I could manage. 

"Are you scared?", he asked.

"No. I just want this to get over."

"I thought so. Your face says it all."

I jerked suddenly as the nurse applied the cold spirit on my back. Sadly for that reaction of mine, the nurse had to bear the wrath of the doctor. "You should always let the patient know what you are doing to them. Do not ever catch them unawares." He turns to me and says "Our everyday routine. Don't mind!"

He saw the number 24 written on my left palm and asked me about it. He was amused that my mom believed in it!

I was to get 2 needles in my back. He told me that the needle was small and I shouldn't feel more than like an ant bite. Truly, it didn't feel much - the first one that is. The second one was a bit rough. 

The moment they pricked me, everything started to gain momentum. I could feel my legs going numb. I was covered from stomach down. The anesthesiologist inserted the urinary catherter. Another nurse held the oxygen mask above my mouth and told me to breath normally. The doctor patted my legs and asked me if I felt anything. By now, I was a little foggy. I was awake but not clear minded. I could hear the doctors making their conversation. My gyn told the pediatrician about the non-kicking incident.

I could see them passing the instrument and working on my bump. I hardly felt anything, hence I imagined their procedure. I was too scared to talk. I didn't want them cutting some other internal organ of mine due to distraction. 

Within minutes, I felt pressure in my stomach. I couldn't really feel anything, but I could feel a lot of moving and shaking. I saw the nurse take away my baby. She did not cry as soon as she was out.

I asked, "Is it done?"

"Yes it is, dear."


"So what did you want?"

"I wanted a girl and husband wanted a boy."

"Well, congratulations. You won." 

Just at that moment, we all heard her first cry ever. 

In a few minutes, a nurse brought my baby to me all wrapped up. She was chubby, pink and was fluttering her eyes at me. I kissed her and they took her to her dad. 

You should sleep now, said the anesthesiologist. "Do you think I can, after seeing my baby?"

"Oh, of course you will. Right after this shot." And I was given the sleep inducing shot. I was quickly drifting off to sleep. For the fear of embarrassment, I was trying to pull my hand free from the doctor who was now explaining the 24 number logic to everyone present in the OT. 

After that I have no recollection of how I was wheeled into my room or shifted on to the bed. I have a faint memory of my parents telling me that everything went well. When I came to again, Kiran was with me. My right foot was paining by being in the same position. I needed help in repositioning it. I did not trust my husband at that moment. I demanded him to call my mother, who had gone home to fix lunch. I was adamant to see her.

From that night, began my journey of true motherhood - sleepless nights, screaming infant, painful feeding time and lots and lots of frustration.

... will be continued.

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