It was November 2008.The question of a baby shower had passed by many times, but I did not show much interest. But Mom insisted and my baby shower date was set as November 5th,2008. It was a very small scale one and mom had made preparations ahead of time (half cooking items, making return gift bags, setting the house etc.). We saw the presidential victory speech for the first ever African-American President of the United States. Discussing all the changes that might come to the already sinking economy, the ever tightening immigration policies, the effect the new President will have on the world and action items for tomorrow's baby shower; the three of us went to bed at around 12:00 am (midnight).
I woke up at 1:15 feeling a 'leak' - I felt no pains at all. I spoke to Mom and went through the routine of making sure it was the 'water breaking'. Once I confirmed the same, I called the doctor on-call ( Luckily, my doctor was on-call). She summoned me right away. I then woke up C - and he went from happily sleeping to tensed up (typical of C). C got ready in a moment; asking a zillion questions, "Why did you not wake me up earlier? How are you feeling? Are you in pain? Can you tolerate till you get to the hospital?" Avoiding a few and answering a few, the three of us drove to the hospital. It was one of the most excited,yet nervous drives.
...THE D-DAY came...
The hospital was a little more than 30 miles from home (Eden Prairie to Minneapolis downtown). And the entire roadway was under construction - a part of it closed, some deviations etc. But knowing my 'poor' directional sense, we cautioned and practiced the home to hospital route a couple of times.
On arriving at the hospital, my doc performed all the check-ups - no dilation at all, lot of internal contractions, got hooked onto the painful IV, induced putocin, baby heart monitor and what not...My doctor and I went over the already decided birth plan. Knowing all the pros and cons of an epidural, we took an informed decision early on. I opted for one when the time is right, because when there is a safe way to deal with the pain without feeling it, why not?
Funny that in the morning, we called all our friends and cancelled the baby shower - :-).
The anesthesiologist did an OK job of administering the epidural. The dilation hardly made any progress through out the day. But the epidural started to wear off and the anesthesiologist had to re-administer the epidural couple of times. C tried to lighten up the situation from what they taught during the Lamaze classes, "Honey you are doing great. Just a little while. Is there anything I can get you?" . Me, "Crazy Chaitu, can you just stop talking for a while till the damn contraction subsides." Chaitu said to my mom, "That is what they taught during the classes and I wondered if that really works with women when they are in so much pain." (as if it is experimentation). My mom right away said "Chaitu, come and sit by my side before she hits you or pokes you with the IV."
It was 8pm and I had dilated 5 cms. My doctor's on-call shift ended and the next doctor (Dr. Elfstrand) came on duty. There were difficulties with my epidural all through; so, I could feel the pain from the contractions. At 11pm, I was 9 cms dilated. There was a flurry of nurses, noise from the tools and arrangements for the height/weight of the baby. Though the baby was face up and I was not completely dilated (must be ideally 10 cms), the doctor was OK to deliver the baby; but the baby's head was not in the correct direction (instead of the crown part facing down, the soft part was). As instructed by the doctor and assisted by my labor nurse, I did a ton of exercises groaning in pain hoping for the baby to twitch in my belly and turn in the correct direction. All efforts were futile...
At around 1:00am on November 6th, 2008, I developed fever and was running out of all the amniotic fluid as I was in labor for more than 20 hrs. In fear of the baby getting infected (it seems that if the mother develops fever during the birth process, it is not very safe to keep the baby inside because there is a high chance that the infection may spread to the baby), my doctor recommended C-section and I heeded right away.
...Now, THE MOMENT CAME...
Again - a flurry of people, cold operating room, big overhead lights, covered mouths and noses and general anesthesia (Could not get any more pokes on my body) that knocked me off for a good 6 hrs straight.
At 1:49 am, S was born. The nurses cleaned him up and took him out for dad and grandma to see - it was a very brief sight. He was all wrapped up in one of the hospital blankets and a yellow cap.
At 6:00 am. I woke up to find my labor nurse was sitting by my side reading a novel.She took me to my room and then my doctor took me to the NICU to meet my son for the first time in his incubator. Due all the happenings in the birthing process, they wanted him under 48 hrs observation.
Our lives had changed forever in an unimaginable magnitude...Always for the good, better and best.