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The Story of My Daughter's Birth

The pregnancy was a surprise. We hadn't really planned on having a baby yet and suddenly there it was those most wanted "two lines" on the home pregnancy test! I was shocked at first. I wasn't ready. But, eventually the mom instinct took over and it was love.

You get a variety of advice from everybody. Everybody is a well-wisher in the traditional indian society. For the same question you will get thousand different answers. None of it is right or wrong. What works for you is what is right.

I never did any walking. Only a little, just running errands and stuff. I did not sit up in bed every time I needed to turn during sleep. That would have made it even worse. The hardships during pregnancy is nothing close to what happens during labor. Mine is not one of those easy peasy the baby just slipped right out stories! I know why though I did not do anything to facilitate that!

I was in my 38th week. It was a thursday, I was visiting my gynec for a routine now weekly check-ups. The taxi ride was rather bumpy, credits to the bad roads. I am not sure if it was the taxi ride or what triggered it. My labor started early Friday morning.

I first thought it was the fake labor pain, I still had two weeks to go anyway. The pain seemed to go down as the day progressed. I did everything thats in the book to judge if its real or fake. Had jeera water, walked and took a warm shower. It was later that evening it started again. The baby's head was in the right direction but it was nowhere close to the cervix I could tell, my tummy was still up there.

Early the next morning, Saturday, when I went to the loo I noticed that my mucus plug had discharged. Waited to call my doctor in a decent hour. She asked me to come get checked out. It turned out that I was 2 cm dilated by then. I was admitted to the hospital. My contractions weren't regular. They came and went at 3 minute to 7 minute intervals. It was all so uncertain.

I was moved to the labor ward for better monitoring. In the middle of the night I couldn't take it anymore. There was more of that mucus plug and my hip killed me. I was in tears. The duty doctor there got the physiotherapist to give me a electric pulse massager of some kind for my back. I was getting dehydrated by the minute I did not like the water that they had there, I should have asked for better water (which turned out to be a mistake form my side, because I was that dehydrated I couldn't breastfeed my daughter properly on the first day).

By 5 AM on Sunday I was 5 cm dilated. I was given enema my doctor was called to the hospital. She broke my water and it turned out that the baby had passed a little meconium on the inside. They decided to wait it out for some time. Me and the baby were in constant observation. This is when I started behaving drunk and irrational. To think of it now it is so funny! I asked for everything from anaesthesia to a c-section to avoid the pain. They had induced me a little to make my labor go faster and I did not know that at the time.

A couple of hours passed and I felt the need to push. The duty doctor there wouldn't let me push she said that I wasn't dilated enough and if I pushed now the baby's head would become conical. Grrrr! After sometime my doctor confirmed that it was indeed the head that was coming out and I was ok to push.

I was shifted to a labor room. With a fancy focus light on my vagina! I did not want to shift to a different bed at first but then I did. I had a episiotomy.. I did not have a choice there. I was given local anaesthesia and then all of a sudden the pain I was feeling on my back wasn't there anymore and I pushed the baby out in three attempts.

I must say that the whole team, students and doctors along with the nursing staff were all very encouraging. They would all chorus "mukkunga mukkunga" ("push, push"), my doctor would say "Excellent, Kumutha you are doing great!". On the third push she was out. My baby girl. The one that I had carried in my tummy for 38 weeks.

I lifted my head up to see the baby. She was covered in blood and god knows what, she was beautifully grey. While the doctor stitched me up, she was getting cleaned. The nurse brought her to me, wrapped in a bright blue hospital sheet. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. She had the softest skin I had ever touched. I was overwhelmed.

I was literally shaking from head to toe. It must have been the adrenalin. I've no idea but I was shaking throughout.

And thus was born my daughter. With my definition of a beautiful face, "monna mukku, guvva noru, mottu kannu" ("blunt nose, tiny mouth, big bright eyes").

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