Thursday, July 5, 2007

Squiggles Birth Story

I'd always known that Squiggles would make me wait. She was very active in the womb and to quote the doctor 'very happy inside and sees no reason to come out'. Well, she was a week late but as things turned out her timing was great for a number of reasons -

1. Astrologically it was an inauspicious time around her natural due date. Now while DD and I couldn't care less, everyone around me including my MIL were very concerned. She kept saying that I shouldn't give birth on this day... well it's not as if it was under my control. The girl has her own mind and will come when she's good and ready. I didn't want the happy occasion of her birth to be marred by negative thoughts from anyone in the family. I was really angry that people's superstitions had put me under stress. In fact I joked afterwards that we didn't want her to come on the due date so she decided to make us wait even longer!
2. My dad was away on a business trip when his passport got stolen. He got back to town an hour before she arrived.
3. My gynae was on holiday during the 40th week and the sweet darling waited for her to come back. I absolutely hated the subsitute gynae and was dreading having her for my delivery.

The 41st week was extremely frustrating. I was huge, uncomfortable and frustrated with waiting for the prize which didn't seem to want to appear. To make matters worse, a friend of mine who was due 10 days after me delivered on my due date and had a girl and named her the name I had chosen for my baby. Now I know it wasn't her fault and I was genuinely happy for her but this just made the wait more unbearable for me.

When I went to see my doc on the Thursday of week 41, she said things were moving slowly and she would like to induce labour. We could wait for it to happen naturally since everything else was fine but she wouldn't recommend it. She gave us the choice of when we would like to go in over the next few days. We decided to go in the next morning (Friday). I later found out that being born on a Friday is considered very auspicious amongst Tam Brahms. I went to the mall for a long walk in the hope that it would stimulate things to happen naturally.I had slight very infrequent contractions on Thursday night but I was later told these were Brixton Hicks (whatever) contractions (basically I wasn't in labour).

We had to be at the hospital by 8am on Friday morning which was a bit annoying as this would be my last day of being able to sleep late! We were both really excited and were looking forward to the day. I've always had a phobia of the delivery process and as a first timer everything that I had read in books seemed likely to happen to me. The one thing I wanted to avoid was a c-sec. I knew that if it was required it would have to be done, but this was something that gave me the heeby jeebies.

We got to the hospital just after 8 and went to the delivery suite. There they told us that only one person was allowed inside with me and I had to choose between DD and my mom. Now, this was not a choice any woman should be forced to make! In typical desi style, we refused to give in and put my mom forward as my doula. They were too busy to argue indefinitely (unlike us) and finally told all of us to go in and that they would sort it out later. We were shown to a really nice delivery suite with a fantastic leather couch which my mom and husband thoroughly enjoyed! I had to constantly ask them to maintain a low profile and not go out of the room lest the admin nurse remembered that there was an extra person in the room. More unnecessary drama!

The hospital staff were so nice, friendly and courteous that I immediately felt comfortable and confident that they would do the best for me and my baby. They put me on the fetal monitor for 2 hours to check whether the baby was fine and if there were any natural contractions. At about 10.30 my doctor decided to induce contractions. I was given some medicine and asked to go up to the ward and relax and have lunch and to return to the delivery suite at about 2.30.

I started getting regular contractions at about 1pm and about 2.30 they wheeled me down to the delivery suite. The contractions were getting painful but I was still only 2cm dilated when they checked me at 4pm. I was thoroughly disheartened. Somehow I had been hoping this would end soon. It seemed like I had a long labour ahead. My doc decided to break the water bag to chivvy things along as the contractions were coming regularly.

Every half an hour a staff member would come check on me to see how I was coping with the pain and offered pain relief including the epidural. My mom was really against the epidural and so I went into labour with the best intentions of coping without the epidural. One of the attending nurses kept telling me she thought I would have a short labour and so I should try to carry through without the epidural. On the other hand some of the other nurses kept offering it to me.

The pain was really terrible and by 5.15 I didn't feel I could cope any longer as the labour was likely to go on for another 6-8 hours. I looked at DD and he immediately understood that I couldn't stand it any longer. He had been telling me all along that there was no need for me to suffer when science had progressed so much. He asked for the anesthetician. My mom on the other hand was already pale at the mention of the epidural. It was another hour by the time the epidural took effect and I couldn't have been happier. As luck would have it though, the epidural worked except for a small patch on my right leg. Everything below the waist was numb but in one patch I could still feel the severe pain. I tried to manage but then my mom said I better get the anesthetician to sort it out. Her point was that if I was going to take medication then I might as well do it properly and feel no pain. After an hour the anesthetician increased the dosage and my left leg was completely numb and the pain in the patch on the right leg was gone. My mom meanwhile was looking ashen as I kept happily chatting and commenting about how numb my left leg was. She was convinced I was going to be paralysed for life.

The doc came and saw me 3 hours later and to my delight told me I was fully dilated and would need to start pushing soon. Once I started pushing I banned DD from the room. I really didn't want him to see me like that. It was weird trying to push when I was numb and couldn't feel anything. But the nurse with me was simply fantastic. She should be a motivational speaker, she was so good.

At 11.52 Squiggles made her appearance. The staff put her on my tummy...she was here finally. That moment was so surreal... she was here and I couldn't believe it. I kept looking at her, not quite believing that she was mine. She was taken away to be cleaned up and when I next saw her she was wrapped in her hospital clothes sleeping peacefully.

It took almost 16 hours but it was so worth it.......:)). I was in the hospital for 3 days as my doc wanted to be sure everything was fine with both of us. Even though we were new to town some of my parents friends and a couple of our relatives came to see Squiggles in the hospital. DD and dad arrived with a gorgeous bouquet the next day. DD even prepared a really cheesy video to send to his parents in India (and no I am not sharing that here!)

All's well that ends well.

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