Archive | January, 2014

And then there was a little Bandar

28 Jan

Our little Bandar deserves to have her birth story documented! I had such grand plans to document my pregnancy, write her monthly letters , ensure her baby book is up to date and have done none of these unfortunately. Sigh! The least I can do is document some details of her birth story.

Our due date was Sept 6 and our weekly appointments in the last two weeks indicated I was about 2 cms dilated. I was excited but at the same time a little worried that the baby would get here before my mom made it to the US on Sept 2. I had hoped and hoped my mom would be in the room with me when I delivered. Anyway, all was well and Mom arrived on Sept 2 and I was thrilled to bits to see her.

The next few days were spent in her feeding me up well . My aunt who was also visiting the US came over as well and much hilarity ensued. We all sat around waiting for the baby to make its appearance.

I think I felt a minor contraction or two on Sept 3 but really could not time it, so we just chose to stay home and not even go to the hospital. US Labor day (First Monday of September ) came and went and the hubadoo’s dream that we go into into labor on Labor day was not to be.

I had my weekly appointment on Sept 5 in the AM and went to the gynec’s office with mom and husbadoo in tow. My regular doc was on leave for 2 weeks due to a family emergency and I had already come to terms with another doctor in the clinic delivering my baby. In fact , I almost preferred it as my doctor often has the tendency to be a little brusque –good at her job but not the best bedside manner if you know what I mean, I had met a few of the other doctors of the practice  on occasion and did not particularly mind any of them delivering my baby.

One of the nicest doctors saw us that day and checked me. “Wow! You are 4 cms dilated “, she exclaimed. “I think you should go into labor in the next 48 hours” .

She was surprised when I told her I hardly felt any contractions and had not really felt any pain so far. “Let’s do a quick stress test to make sure baby is doing alright”, she said and I was set up with cushions and plenty of cold juice while the monitoring apparatus measured the baby’s heartbeat.

The test lasted 45 minutes, often with me reclining on either side in turn and drinking copious amount of juice to get the baby moving.

Often the husbadoo and mom saw a wild huge contraction on the chart but I still barely felt it. The one or two I did feel I was able to easily breathe through with the practiced breathing from the birth classes!

The doctor came in at the end and gave us her verdict that there were some times when the heartbeat was dropping. “Now that could be the baby just momentarily holding on to the cord and then letting go or it could be the baby has the cord wrapped around its neck. We could let you walk out of here and just let you go into labor naturally or we could induce today. It would be best you were induced if the cord were wrapped around then wait for the water to break on its own.”

Once we heard that, our minds were made up. Yes, I would have liked to go into labor naturally with timed contractions and all the hoopla. But any indication of danger to the baby, and I was not waiting.

So once we decided on the induction the drive home was a little somber. I got a massive case of the shivers and trembles realizing that moment was really upon us. Mom and the husbadoo calmed me down a good bit and I ate a scrumptious lunch as food had not been forbidden!

Bags were packed, camera was charged and we all made our way out the door late afternoon.

At the hospital we checked in and were shown our room (room 8, 8 is my lucky number so I was looking at this as a good omen).  Another massive case of the shakes hit me again as I changed into the hospital gown and got into the reclining bed.

I was monitored for an hour plus and the doctor in charge was happy to see the baby’s heart rate stabilize. Finally the Pitocin drip was started. I must say this pregnancy has toughened me with it multiple blood tests and shots. I am no longer the girl who bit the doctor for a tetanus shot at age 12.(True story that we will save for another day!)  I just do not really look at the needle but I am ok looking away or with my eyes shut.

I had initially thought of taking an epidural soon as I got to the hospital but as I still really had not had a painful contraction (the kind you cannot talk or walk through as I had read about!) I decided to wait it out. Also secretly at the back of my mind, I wondered if I could do this without pain meds at all? The hypnobirthing book I had skimmed through surely said I could. The question was do I try? Also the fear of a needle in my back  – Did I want to go through that at all?

The Pitocin was started and in 2 hours at 4 pm I was at 6 cms. Again, I was waiting for the surge of pain to hit me and it did not – as yet!

The doctor came to see me again and was still surprised to see no epidural in. “I really don’t feel anything yet, doctor”, was what I said smiling bravely

 She walked out of the room saying she would check me again as I was progressing quite fast and it was then that the pain I was waiting for finally started!” It came in waves. Contraction after contraction. I felt each one. All my wondering about what a real painful contraction felt like was answered. Breathing through it helped a bit but I needed the epidural now.. pronto! Hypnobirthing and its many benefits was pushed to the darkest corner of my brain and all I could think about was pain relief . Fortunately, the anesthetist was in close range and came in around 5:15 pm and  administered the epidural and the prick honestly wasn’t as bad as I expected. In retrospect I am so glad I got it as the tiny prick rid me of the massive pain from the contractions and I was actually able to enjoy the rest of the birthing experience.

I still felt the contractions till about 6 pm and then oh joy, felt nothing except some tightening on the upper quarters of my abdomen as all the lower quarters were now numb.

Anyway,  I progressed to about 8 cms by 7 pm listening to Vishnu Saharasnamam and Hanuman Chalisa.

My water broke around 7 pm and really there is no mistaking it. So for anyone who is wondering how this feels like- a warm balloon bursting is the best way I can describe it.  It is the strangest feeling to not be able to feel your legs because of the epidural and having to move around in the bed as they changed the sheets.

I felt immense pressure at 8 pm and was duly checked and reported to be at 10 cms! Finally!

The doc on duty came in to check and asked the nurse to start with a few practice pushes while she changed and came in.

The L&D nurses we had that day were  really the nicest you can find and the one we had for the final stretch was so efficient ,able , kind but firm.

In minutes the cozy labor room changed into a delivery room with lights, tables, instruments all spread out.

The doctor came in with 2 assistants around 8:30 pm and was happy to see the progress I was making with the pushes. After about 5 bouts of pushing, the doctor told us she could see the head. Mom and the husbadoo looked on much too keenly for my liking and despite my many instructions not to. My aunt was also in the room and she too took many a look.Modesty was now a thing of the past.

I refused a mirror as I had knew I would never view my lady parts the same way once I had seen them push out a baby.

Strangely enough I felt the ring of fire you hear about so much despite the epidural. Weird, right?! I am sure it was a mellowed version but it was painful enough to extract a few tears. Anyway in what seemed like many minutes, the sensation passed and the head was out.

One more push now said the doctor and with one final push she was holding our baby. The cord was around the neck twice which the doc deftly removed and the next second I heard shouts of” Its a girl, Its a girl! ” All I knew next was that our wide eyed wonder was placed on my chest.

She barely cried and just gave a few whimpers as she lay on my chest. She intently looked at us with both beady eyes wide open, then looked around and lazily shut one eye. She gave a yawn or two and just lay there looking around. Those first few moments of holding your baby close to you make all the pain of the 9 months, the trauma of labor , post partum crap (about which many a  post is due) all worth it in some weird way.

Our baby was weighed – an exact 6 lbs and measured 19 and three quarters of an inch!

The doctor sewed me up from 2 degree tears as I held my daughter and tried to feed her.

The next few hours are still a blur.I drank copius amounts of liquids and munched a sandwich hungrily.I also remember demandingand gulping a steaming cup of tea – my first taste of caffine after 10 months.

We were finally moved into postpartum past 12 midnight to spend the next 2 days.

So that in short, is how our Bandar came to be.