Home made Pizza’s are my fav food. They taste better than PH, Domino’s or any other MSG loaded pizzas. 9 months, close to my due date and gorging on pizzas with extra cheese. Little did I know that it would be the last time that I would be eating them, for a long time to come. I was so stuffed that when my contractions started late at night I thought it was a bit too many pizzas. And then my water broke. I used to always wonder what that would feel like. Wet! And I’m contemplating whether I should wake up my parents or hang on till I really start to feel the pain.
My due date had us all worried. My mum’s chemotherapy was going on and it clashed with her last chemo date. Each cycle was given at 3 week intervals. And my due date was between the fifth and sixth cycle. We kept praying that it would be on the last week of the fifth, just before the sixth. In anticipation my bags were packed and ready to go, when I was 7 months preg, as my mum knew that neither she nor I would have the time or the energy and strength to pack at the last minute. Yes my mum is the planner in our home. And I was given strict instructions that i should wake my parents in case of any emergency. So finally at 2 pm I wake them up. Mum says to wait while dad calls my gyno, Dr. A. Now thankfully she visits all the hospitals, and so could deliver my baby at my chosen hospital close to home. We finally reach the hospital at 4 AM.
Resident doc checks me and after difficult probing decides that I am not ready yet. Great! She then speaks with my Dr.A who instructs them to watch me. So I’m all changed into the flimsy hospital gown and made to lie down in the room. Now this room is shared by 2 other ladies, one in labor and the other had some tube protruding form her, honestly being in no mood to make polite conversation, I try to sleep. Yea right! Its 6 and no sign of my doc, and I’m getting restless. I’m walking around holding my gown close trying to keep my dignity intact. And getting yelled at by my nurses, they want me back in my room. I refuse to go. So they decide to get me some juice or milk. Yuck! I hate milk and in no mood of having juice. My mum,dad, bro and some aunts and granny are outside the labor ward. No family is allowed inside. Only mum was allowed, the nurses realized my mum was unwell(she had a scarf on her head as she had lost all her hair thanks to the chemo). Convinced my mum to go home and get some rest and come back later. The resident doc puts me on drips. I revolt saying I want to walk as it helps during labor.But they are having none of it. So I’m on drips in the room and this other lady’s contractions start increasing. Dr. A after checking me confidently says I will deliver by evening, as I’m still not dilated enough. She gets me off my drips, as they induce labor and instructs the nurses that I should walk. Walk Walk Walk was her matra when I was preg too. So I get to eat breakfast. Now this lady’s contractions are fast and she is screaming her guts out. Its scary. And this is her second kid. Aiyo amma, Aiyo Tai screaming away too glory. SCARY!
I refuse to stay in the room. I’m sitting outside by the nurses station, increasing their anxiety as they have to be doubly careful of moving around me. They decide its better to prep me than have me hanging around there. And oh yea my contractions have also started. So with this lady’s screams as the background score, I get prepped. And it didn’t help that that window right across was open to full view. So what If the labor ward in on the fourth floor and overlooks a lovely garden. And then I’m wheeled back into the ward room. This lady is still screaming, the nurse is scolding her for making such a racket, this being her second kid. She is demanding a c-sec as she cannot handle the pain. Soon we are matching each other. She finishes her contraction and mine begins.. we are getting close. I’m screaming and yelling.. I literally tore apart my pillow. And I start bleeding. I have this pad stuffed in between my legs, yuck.. the pain is killing me. So the nurse attached the monitor to check the baby’s heart beat. I forget what it is called. That belt is irritating, the other lady with her screaming is irritating, the male nurses are scared looking at me..which is driving me nuts.. and my doc is not reachable. Its 11 am and I am officially in Labor.
They finally get hold of my doc, who is on her way. It should take her approx. 15 min to get here. but its 30 min and still no sign of her. Of all the days to get stuck in a traffic jam. I am taken to the labor room. the other lady delivered thru a c-sec. The resident doc and nurses are worried as I have eaten, no epidural and no instructions from my doc on what should be administered. They did not want to interfere as I was a visiting doc’s case. I finally tell them to go ahead with the delivery and I’m ready, I’m pushing during my contractions. Thank fully my doc arrives. I beg I plead with her to give me a pain killer, anything just to decrease this horrendous pain. But no luck. “how can you have a child without feeling the pain. only when you have pain will you push and only then your baby will be born. we are not doing an unnecessary c-sec. Im strapped in stirrups. My legs hurt. And with the aid of 2 nurses by my side, helping me hold my legs, I start pushing. My cousin describes it as the worst type of constipation. And with all the pushing my motion comes out, thanks to the food I ate.
My best friend had the same doc, so I knew what was coming. I’m pushing and I see and feel the doc cut me up, use the forceps to take out my baby. Its a sudden Whoosh..my baby is out and instant relief. I sit up to see my baby, all bloody eyes tightly shut on my belly. Its a vision I will never forget my entire life. I don’t think she cried immediately. After the doc cut the cord and took her for cleaning did I hear her crying. I did’nt know if I had a boy or girl and no body was telling. Suddenly all the nurses vanished. My doc vanished. 2 other docs came in and went. The resident doc is stitching me up. My friends words are echoing in my head “the pain of labor is so intense that you don’t even feel them stitch you up” Well I got to know from another cousin who is a doc that the they administer local anesthesia before cutting and hence you don’t feel them stitching you up.
I don’t know for how long I’m lying there. The male nurses come in looking very worried. I couldn’t care less. I’m literally nude and bleeding all over. Modesty is the last thing on my mind. And then the nurses bring my child, all clean and dressed and wrapped in the clothes that were worn by me when I was born. yes my mum kept them. Another sight that I will never forget. I so badly wanted to hold her, but since I was not clean and didn’t have the energy they put her in the incubator next to me. The male nurses come and congratulate me. And suddenly my baby goes missing. Turns out she is being shown off by my doc to my family waiting outside. I did not know who was there. I have a big big family. My dad’s side. My husband and his parents and family did not think it was worth coming to. And at that moment I couldn’t have cared less. All I wanted to do was to hold her take in her breath her sight feel her.
The nurse start to breastfeed, they are holding her and I’m trying to figure out what the heck is going on. They tell me the sooner you start the better. Anyways they put her back in the incubator and she is crying away. And here I am lying down. My attendant gives me coffee and biscuit’s to eat as I have to take my medicines. I decide to get up and go see my baby, try to get up, fail, try again. She really gives me strength. I then decide that I want to be clean before I take her, so I walk into the room and my attendant comes running. She is giving me the hearing of my life,literally. Turns out if the docs or the nurses had seen me alone and up she would have lost her job, as she is supposed to be helping me around.
She gives me a bath and I’m ready to carry my daughter. But still not allowed till I eat and have my medicines. In the middles of this, my best friends mum is hugging me. And instead of thanking her, I’m looking at her strangely and wondering how did they let her come in. She just walked in saying that she is Dr.C’s mum(my best friend) 😀 and turn out that she was giving a running commentary of my deliver to my friend over the phone. Since my daughter was crying so loudly they took her outside which immediately quietened her.
Dr A told my family that I had a normal delivery when in fact it was a forceps. Turns out that Forceps is the new Normal delivery. But it can go horribly wrong too, if the baby’s head is held too tightly. I consider my self lucky. I was born a forceps, my bro forceps and my daughter too. Just before my doc received the call about me going into labor, she was about to enter the OT for a c-sec for another patient. And had that been the case, I don’t even want to think about it. Yes I was lucky. And my baby in a hurry to get out. Doc predicted she would be born in the evening and here she is born at noon. The nurses to this day claim that it is thanks to this other lady I went into labor soon, as her cries induced my labor.
My daughter was born 5 days before my mum’s last chemo date. My mum recovered faster and much sooner because of my kiddo. She got the strength to run around the hospital and home, taking care of my food and diet. My relatives were there, they also did the cooking and preparing the special foods, but my mum wanted to do everything and wouldn’t listen to anybody. Her last chemo went like a breeze. She says she hardly felt it.
Today when my mum is not in town, my kiddo misses her so much, talks to her minimum 4 times a day. And of course her sleep is forgotten.