It was 29 March 2010, 9:45 PM when I was admitted into Manipal Hospital, Bangalore, for my delivery. I didn’t get labor pains naturally till my due date. Prolonging gestation period might have adverse effect on the baby and so we had decided to go for induced labor. Until that evening, I was happily filling my tummy with somosas and gulab jamun with the excuse that I wouldn’t get to enjoy those in the hospital and back at home for a couple of days after delivery. It was only on my way to the hospital that I started getting slightly uncomfortable, uncomfortable to the extent of calling it fear though I did not want to admit it. I had no idea then that calling it fear would have been more than justified in a few hours.
I was given induction treatment at around 10:30 PM and I started getting my first contraction at 11:15PM. All through the night, the labor was progressing and the pain was becoming increasingly difficult to bear, let alone sleeping through it. By 3 AM next morning, I was repeatedly asking the nurses for an epidural but they had refused saying that I was only 1.5 cm dilated. Active labor happens only on 10 cm dilation when I would need epidural more than ever. I had always been of the kind who could manage emotional pain by taking head over heart but a big gofer with physical pain. I used to close my eyes and wriggle at the dentist’s when he brings just the torch light near my mouth. Even then, being unable to bear pain at just 1.5 cm dilation, I felt so ashamed of myself.
By 6 AM in the morning, I shunned aside all my sense of shame and pleaded for some kind of pain relief as I couldn’t take it at all. I was checked again and said that I was only 3 cm dilated but contradicting it, my contractions were severe at 1.5 minutes intervals and lasting 30 seconds. The confused nurses consulted the doctor and put me on sedation. The dosage was good enough that I slept tight. I was awoken now and then for progress checking and was assured that I was responding properly to the medication. Within a few hours, the labor should be over naturally.
It was 9 AM. Inspite of the sedation, I felt slight pain that kept me awake. My husband who was awake and beside me the whole night went down for 5 minutes to receive my parents and bring them to me. Call it fate, it so happened that at the very moment when he was absent, I started to feel a gush of liquid flow and thanks to my big belly I couldn’t see what it was. I just assumed that my water had broken and managed to wriggle on the bed to ring for the nurse. The nurse who hadn’t expected active labor for few more hours, registered panic on her face when she looked at me. She immediately rushed for help and more nurses crowded the room screaming ‘blood’, ‘placenta ruptured’, ‘active labor’…I could only catch syllables here and there.
That was how it started. In no time, I was put on an oxygen mask and was rapidly prepared for surgery. The doctor rushed to the room and said than an emergency C-section was adequate. She was more like giving me information than seeking my permission. My husband who came back had panicked but he did a tough job masking it and kept holding my hands and assuring me that everything was going to be fine. I was put on a stretcher and hurried to the operation theatre with ‘Emergency…emergency…movie aside move aside’ noises that I partly started doubting if I would see the same way back again. It was all so much like an Indian movie climax. There was a frenzy of activity in the theatre which I hardly know was what. The only thing I remembered was someone telling me “Don’t worry, we’ll put you to sleep” and then it was total black out.
Someone pushed something into my mouth. Someone told me it’s a baby boy. I kept fading in and fading out. When I had consciousness long enough to register the time on the clock it was 11:15 AM. I was still on oxygen mask and I started worrying if they were preparing me for a second surgery or something. Another worry of developing sudden fits clouded my mind. Not able to talk much, I let my eyes wander in all directions. Seeing that I was awake, one of the nurses, removed the mask, told me that the surgery went perfectly fine, I was doing good and baby was great. After two labors and one childbirth, I was slowly rolled back to the recovery room.
Two and a half weeks now since the D-Day, both baby and I are doing wonderful. We have named our baby ‘Akhil’. Akhil is naughtier than we expected him to be but again being born to Vijay and me, we cannot expect anything less. Vijay and I had always given our big news out of the blue. Our little Akhil has lived up to our name by giving a surprising dramatic entry into this world. More stories on the little one in subsequent posts. He is calling out to me right now and failing to answer the call in minutes would trigger wild screams.