Friday, December 23, 2011

Birth story of Megha

As we have all heard many a time before, good things come when they are ready to come. It was something like that with our daughter too. It’s going to be a loooong post J. I just could not bring myself to cut down any detail as I want to remember this day exactly as it had happened even years later.

When my due date (13th Dec) has come and gone without any signs of labor, I started to panic thinking I am going to be induced. I have heard before many times that it could lead to a C-Section. I started wondering if all the months of going to prenatal yoga, religiously walking at least 45 mins a day, every day could not help me prepare my body to go into labor naturally, what else will. By then it was already close to 3 weeks since my mom arrived and all my friends and relatives have started asking, “Where is the baby?” We three (Anand, Mom and I) have taken this as a sign of ‘calm before the storm’ and did everything we love; reading, watching movies and just relaxing in general.

15Dec, 2:00 AM: I had severe stomach pain kinda thing. I felt like I need to poop (sorry, I didn’t mean to gross you out, but just prepared, labor isn’t a walk in a park). I made 4 trips to the washroom in the subsequent hour without success. By then I was 100% sure I was in labor because, 1. The pain was intense, 2. Pain had a set pattern (lasting for a few seconds between 20 mins each).

3:00 AM: Woke up my hubby and told him that I was in labor. He was still half asleep when I told him that. His response was, “you poor dear, come lets sleep together”. Just when I was about to repeat that I was in labor, another contraction hit me and looking at my face he understood that its finally time for a baby!! He started timing my contractions (an app which we downloaded in both our phones) and they were lasting about 30 secs long every 15 mins. I took a shower and changed into something comfortable. Oh by the way, shower didn’t help me much like most women who assured me that it would.

4:00 AM: Woke up my mom, called the hospital and we started to hospital. By then I was having contractions every 6 mins, lasting for about 45-50 secs. They were much more intense. To be honest, I didn’t have ‘dull’ pain per se. The pain was intense since 2:00 AM; or so I thought. What did I know!

5:00 AM: The ride to the hospital was a nightmare. The hospital was under 15 mins away from home and I would have got, perhaps, 3 contractions in the car. But sitting in the car was so difficult. I was struggling not to scream in pain.
The nurses checked me and told me that I am still 1 CM dilated. How is that even possible I didn’t know? I was in so much pain that I thought I should be at least 3 CM. The 1 CM news dampened my spirits because I still had 9 more CM to go and the pain was already getting unbearable. Nurses gave me a dose of morphine and gravol and sent me home.

7:00 AM: Contractions really intensified and with each wave I was pretty much screaming. Hubby was really supportive and was reminding me to relax and breathe deeply with each contraction. His presence was sure a calming effect.
All the while we were timing the contractions and by 7:30 they were really strong, lasting for about a minute, every 3-4 mins. We headed to the hospital again. If they send us back, that’s fine. We were prepared to wait in the parking lot, should that happen.
8:00 AM: The nurses checked me again and told me that I progressed very fast. I was hoping she would say, “yippie, 10 CM”, but I know it was too ambitious to even think of it J. She told me that I am 4 CM and that if I want, I could have the epidural now to control the pain. I immediately agreed. By then I was already in the hospital gown and in the labor and delivery room.

9:00 AM: Still no epidural. I asked Anand to check what is taking so long and reported back that the anesthesiologist was super busy that day assisting the emergency C-Sections. The nurse gave me a gas mask (Nitrous Oxide) to control the pain. I was breathing so hard through each contraction that the mask was vibrating with each breathe. If it were any other time, I would have found it hilarious to watch myself do that but through the pain, it was totally a different experience. I was 5.5 CM by then.

11:00 AM: Between 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM nothing much has changed other than the intensity of pain. Somewhere in between I remember yelling at my hubby because he was constantly checking the contraction monitor and would say, ‘its almost over…3 more sec’s for this contraction’. Initially I didn’t realize how he knew it was going to be over but when I realized he is checking the monitor, it some how made me mad. Why? I can’t explain that myself! By then I stopped asking him to check for the anesthesiologist because I didn’t see any point anymore. Each time I got the same answer from the nurse. He is really busy with an emergency but he will be with you shortly.
Somewhere in between my water bag was ruptured. With each contraction Anand was applying counter pressure on my lower back which really helped a lot. This was something which we had learned through the child birth lessons we took a few weeks before.
My mom was a big support too. She was reminding me all the time to try and relax when a contraction hits me and she held my hands in an attempt to calm me down.
I also had an intense urge to push. When I told this to my nurse, she told me that under no circumstance I should now because I wasn’t ready yet for that.

12:00, Noon: The anesthesiologist came and wanted the nurse to check my progress. I was 8.5 CM dilated. Doctor suggested me that I take the epidural because I could still be hours away for 10 CM and because I was already in so much pain that I could kill.
Getting the epidural was another nightmare. The anesthesiologist explained the risks associated with it (which really aren’t many when you compare the benefit (pain relief) vs risk (any risk at that point!). I was told, no yelled, by the nurse to hold still while the epidural is being administered. Anand held me tight and I hugged him while sitting up in a cat-like position. Trust me; holding still is not easy when you are at the peak of a contraction. Once it’s administered, I found relief even before the next contraction. God bless the epidural!
All the while Anand has been encouraging me that I was doing so well and that we would be having our baby in our arms in a few hours or even less.

12:15 PM: The doctor came in to check me how I am progressing. This was the first time she came to see me; all the while I was being cared for by the nurses. I had an appointment with her that afternoon and she joked, “so you would be missing your appointment this afternoon”. I would have laughed but could manage just a shrug at that point.
I surprised everyone including myself when the doctor announced that I am 10 CM dilated. It was less than 15 mins since I had taken the epidural.

This is exactly when the problems began. Baby’s heart-rate started to fluctuate. One minute it was 142 and the next it was 60. It was going up and down no matter how much my doctor tried to stabilize it by changing the position of me lying down.
Baby was also not exactly in the right descending position.
Finally she decided to give me 2 tries to push the baby out while she assisted me with forceps. I tried my best; I really did try my best to push but it just was not sufficient to bring the baby out.

Both the tries failed and my doctor decided to do an emergency C-Section; the one thing which I wanted to avoid all along.

While they wheeled me out, Anand went to change into the hospital outfit. He also updated my mom about the status as she was sent out during the last stages of my labor.

12:50 PM: I was prepared for the C-Section while Anand joined me. In the beginning I was scared but while the surgery to bring the baby out was being performed, I didn’t get scared at all. On my left side, Anand held my hand while on my right; my anesthesiologist was monitoring all the vitals.

1:02 PM: By the grace of God, by the advancement of medical science, by the wishes and blessings of all our well-wishers and most importantly by the unconditional love and support of my husband Anand, Megha Reddiar was born on 15Dec2011 at 1:02 PM.
She weighed 2.45 KG's and measured 45 CM at birth. She was soooo perfect! I had never seen an infant more beautiful ( a mothers opinion).

While her first cry brought rolling tears in my eyes, hubby’s eyes went misty, a sight i had not witnessed until then since the day i had known him. Its true, I forgot the pain I had gone through when I held her for the first time. Some might argue that its got to do with the drugs I was just administered, but I like to believe, even otherwise the joy would still have been the same. 

Postpartum experience write up soon to follow.


  1. Congrats on your bundle of joy,Madhu.Do share your thoughts on mommy-hood too. oh,btw..dropped by your other blog randomly and found this one..