Sunday, June 22, 2008

Giving birth to Hippo kutti/Baby Rabbit

My baby turned one this Wednesday and I am not able to believe how quickly the past year has gone by! I still remember the agonizing days during the end of my term – how we (me, mom, sis, dad, hubby, curious neighbors... seemed like the entire world!) all waited anxiously for me to get just a tinge of pain. Day after day, nah make that minute after minute, my mom used to enquire “have you got pain?”, “Is your back paining?”, “Do you think you should take hot water bath to bring on the pain?” ... so on and so forth. I used to get so furious and had to consciously try to talk myself out of the red rage that I could foresee erupting. Poor mom – she was as eager as me to get the baby out. Perhaps even more – the umbilical cord connection between me and her never severed I think :) I am after all the younger kid and she was full of “can you bear the pain, my poor kid... Can you this, can you that... I pray to god...”

To continue with the tale... The due date given by the doc was the 4th of June. But we were kind of hoping that the baby could come out a little sooner – maybe on June 1st. Then somebody would sure have become overjoyed to have his daughter share his birthday. But alas! June 1st came and went and there was no sign of labor or even false pain!! So did June 4th. The trips to gynac became more regular – she was one kind old lady. I can almost say that I fell in love with her during those times – her kind words, encouragement, and not to forget unconventional advices like “Drink warm milk with two spoons of castor oil – am sure that will loosen up those muscles and bring on some pain”. Don’t be shocked with that last statement! I did drink that concoction – it went in smoothly enough with no side effects whatsoever (I have a stomach of steel!). But no pain. Not for castor oil, not for jeera kashyam, not for the dizzying walks on the terrace. Seemed like the baby did not want to budge an inch. Ha! That reminds me... Those continuous monitoring of the baby’s movements to ensure everything is alright. Man, that was a scary thing. One hour goes by, the baby is motionless and boom! all sorts of nonsense thoughts enter your mind... But never mind, let’s get back on track.

The days went really slowly. Each day, I used to wake up and think “yes, today shall be the day... I just need to concentrate and visualize going into labor – then its sure to start...” But however hard I wished or visualized, nothing seemed to happen. It was so hard - so mentally taxing. Nothing to do at home, no life or death emails, no colleagues in desperate need of help, no friends to chat with (they were all busy at office being needed by their colleagues I suppose!)... it's a surprise I didn't go mad at that time. And guess what? I naturally had to resort to bad moods and yelling at people. Even raising a hand or two at my poor nephew for his constant "running around" and "creating choas". But I do need to really thank them - my neice and nephew. Come three-thirty, they were there at my house straight from school, uniform, tiffin box and all.... to ensure their chithi is ok and to see if their little cousin had come out yet. My first kids they were and shall always be so in my mind. I have them to thank for my sanity today. Perhaps exagerrated a little but true enough.

Inevitably, a day came when the doc said it’s too risky to prolong anymore. It’s time for forcing it out!! That did not seem like a kind thing to do to the baby inside but hey what the heck, no amount of cajoling, sweet talk or threats seemed to change Hippos kutti’s mind. Yes, that’s what we used to call her – Hippo kutti and later Baby Rabbit. My clever hubby’s idea! No prizes for guessing how the first name came about! I had bloated up worse than the aunty in Harry Potter!

So after seeing good dates, once in the Tamil calendar, and again in Kannada calendar (my mother in law didn’t want to be left out in the decision making for the future progeny of her family!), we decided to wait till “amavasai” or “no moon day” passed in both the calendars. Got admitted to the hospital the early morning of 17th June 2007. I felt so alive, so eager... I was like “yes, this is it, this baby can’t say no to the doc, it’s got to come out at least now”. I climbed onto the examining table with aplomb only to climb back down just as quickly when the nurse on duty chided me for wearing my pants! Gee, I didn’t realize :D. And then my nightmare began. Internal examinations, preparations for labor... and all the other gory-sounding things (they are not really that gory I guess). How I hated the internal examination procedure – I used to literally start shivering and go all tight from head to toe the minute I spotted the nurse/doc approaching me with glove-clad hands! Anyway...

After all the initial checks and the final conclusion from the head nurse on duty that “it still hasn’t opened up enough down there”, they decided to invite me inside the labor ward. Wow, that’s a privilege – for a woman who was nowhere near labor :) So there I was, smiling bravely looking forward to the next steps... I followed the nurse inside the labor room and dummmmmmmm! I stopped dead. WHAT WAS THAT? SOMEBODY IS BLEDDING ALL OVER THE TABLE INSIDE... Mind you, I am not afraid of blood neither am I afraid of seeing the delicate things in life like a baby coming out. In fact, I would quiet like to witness this amazing thing. But what about the other lady on the table? Perhaps she would mind a stranger gawking at her... ahem! With an irritated expression, the nurse turned back and realized I was not following her anymore! With a tch, tch, she led me to another entrance where this time fortunately there was no delivery happening at the doorstep!

Bring it on guys. I can handle injections, I can handle trips, I can handle swallowing medicines (not big ones though please, I puke at the sight of them)... bring it on I say. Bring it on they did. Oh boy, did they bring it on. First, they hooked me up to saline water... alright that was just a prick on my wrist. Then the stupid assistant nurse got the vein wrong and had to find the right one. Ok, I can tolerate that for the sake of her education. No problem. Now, did you find the right one? Ouch... What the heck, that’s not my wristttttttt! Fortunately, my kind doc walked in just at that moment and rescued me from anymore unnecessary piercings! “Time for some shots – but don’t worry ma, we will give it through the saline water. But make sure you monitor the baby’s movements and pain level every second”. Ok, I can do that. Alls well that ends well or so I thought. After some four hours of enduring the slower than the snail pace of saline trips, I decided its not going to work. Whatever medicine they used to start the labor pain/contractions is not working. I still did not get a single contraction! The doc came in, did the dreaded thing again and decided to move me to the normal ward. Off I went, shame-faced this time. Maybe, they can try once more? Alright just once more, one more shot... a little more powerful medicine this time. Back to the labor ward, back on the table, back on the saline trips. This time, I did get few contractions. Ya, there, right there I can feel it... It is pain at last! Eureka! Wow, god, I love you! You decided to give me the pain after all... hey wait... it seemed to be going away. Come on, don’t desert me, my pain... Come on... :( It did not listen. I lay there in the labor ward, saline dripping, hoping for the pain with all my heart...

Meanwhile, there was this lady on the next table who was going into full labor. I had such fun watching the nurses running around, the doc commanding for this and that... and the lady shouting weird stuff :) The best moment was at the end – when the baby was almost out (I was watching from the sideways and the curtains were covering her table partially so unfortunately I could not see the miracle of birth but I did hear it!) – and the mom screamed “I don’t want the baby, pls take it away, I can't bear the pain” and the doc snapped, “this is 10 months too late, you should have thought of this on the “D” night” hahaha! That was fun. The surrounding nurses quickly whisked away the new born, and all I could see from my horizontal postion on my table were just some hands and white cloths! I was so jealous of that lady. Why cant I get the same pain??? So unfair....

to be continued...

Edited to add: Continued here

1 comment:

sam said...

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