Updated: Oct 13, 2021
I gave birth to a baby this year in March via an emergency c-section. I chose a natural birth with epidural opted later on but life doesn't always go as we plan right? The whole pregnancy and childbirth thing has changed me and my life in ways I never imagined. I read so many birth stories while in my pregnancy, and now I wish to share mine. I hope you can relate to the complexity yet beauty of child birth upon reading it.
The golden days, as I would like to call them.
I went into labor at 39+5 days and it was my first pregnancy. Felt so tired with the heaviness and back ache that takes over in the last few weeks. So much so that I was eagerly waiting for labor to start. I was pretty active throughout my second and third trimester & the nesting instinct had kicked in the the last one. So, I spent the last few days before my baby's birth in making the house baby friendly. We had recently shifted to a new rented house which was bigger than the earlier one. So all the decor and cleaning kept me busy.
I could not sleep at night properly but this is me since a few years, an erratic sleeper. So disturbed sleep was not a problem for me in my entire pregnancy. Besides I did not have to go to work or take care of the baby yet. So basically, my schedule was haywire in the last few weeks. I indulged in comfort food, bathed in the sun and just enjoyed the cold weather. Spent time talking to my mom who had come to give me company along with my dad, as my husband had not taken a leave from office yet. My ob-gyn advised him to take a leave after the birth of the baby so he could support me.
Onset of labor
So, I went into labor at 3:30 AM in the morning, I was awake already and was talking to my mom since dinner. I started experiencing dull aches in the abdomen which were radiating to my back too. I had braxton hicks earlier in my pregnancy but that was majorly cramping of the lower abdomen. That was not accompanied by back ache. I experienced back ache and pelvic girdle pain after 8th month especially when I got up from the bed.
Anyway, coming to the labor pains, I knew that the real contractions are uniformly spaced and they keep on becoming more closely spaced. So I started noting the time down. The gap between each contraction earlier was 10 to 15 minutes in the beginning. This went on for 2 to 3 hours. I had decided that I would spend the early phase of labor at home at my comfort until the contractions start spacing at less than 10 minutes or else if my water breaks. The later didn't happen so I went with the former way.
My husband and mom got ready and I had already packed my hospital bag. So we left home at around 10 AM and I was experiencing contractions every 7 to 8 minutes. It was a half an hour journey to the hospital and I was sort of clueless about what was gonna happen next. I felt uncomfortable and vulnerable in the car while undergoing contractions, so I just focused on settling in the seat.
Arrival at the hospital
We reached at around 11 AM spoke to my ob-gyn who was to take up my delivery case. She did a USG and told the nurse," the patient is in labor with 3 cm dilation."
Then I sat there to wait for a few minutes before my admission to the pre-labor room. I sat with my husband and suddenly I felt overwhelmed and terrified. Tears rolled down my eyes as I shared with him about my fears. A nurse came with a wheelchair for me to take me to the pre-labor room, but I politely refused as I was not experiencing any discomfort in walking. I went to the pre-labor room and it stunned me to listen to the patients already admitted there.
In the labor room
As I was completing some formalities outside the room I heard ailing voices of patients admitted there. I was speechless and confused about my situation in the future. I felt really unsure about my ability to withstand pain. Anyhow, I settled on the provided hospital bed and the Doctor came to do my internal. I did not know what she exactly did but it really felt like someone has inserted their whole hand and just groping my insides. I had my first painful experience then and there. She offered me to take pitocin which she said would speed up and the labor and I would be able to give birth by evening. But I asked her if there was an option to leave it spontaneous, she was okay with it and left. In the meanwhile my husband went to the blood bank and I waited for my labor to progress.
When the pain started to feel real
Time went by and it was 3 pm. My pain was gradually increasing but I was so tired, hungry and irritated by the pain which was radiating to the back. I asked the nurse about the Epidural. She said it would not be possible to put the epidural after 7 cm of dilation. Only before that. To be honest I panicked when I heard this. I was sure at this point that I would be needing an epidural & asked the nurse to call the Doctor to arrange an Epidural for me. She came and did an internal and this time it was excruciatingly painful. She broke my water and put me on pitocin and asked the anestheologist to come. The pitocin hit so hard I was not able to sit still, or even lie down. It was so painful to the back, that induction of labor.
The Epidural sting is nothing in comparison to labor pain.
I was glad I had asked for an epidural, but I literally had to go through hell before that. The anetheologist came at around 4 pm and I was wailing in pain. He told me to sit still while he injected it in my back. While I was pregnant, I had read in forums that getting an epidural is another task in itself as it is painful. But I felt nothing because my pelvic girdle and mainly my lower back were giving me the most pain at that time.
After the Epidural
The pain subsided gradually, I was still on pitocin. All I could feel was pressure in the pelvic area. However, I was super exhausted and could finally relax for sometime. But the problem did not end here. The fetal heart rate monitor on my belly displayed that my baby's heart beat was becoming irregular. The nurse told my mom that it should not go below 100. However, it was going as low as 85 so we called the Doctor again.
She did my internal and told me, " the head of the baby is not engaging, the position is oblique. Hence, we have decided to perform an emergency C-section." With everything going on, this hit me really hard and all my plans of giving birth to my baby naturally went in vain. The Doctor told me," Emergency C-section has to be done at the earliest and it is the best option for the safety of the baby as the water has also been broken."
I did not expect this to happen through any stage of my pregnancy or even labor. I had no option but to get myself mentally ready for an Emergency c-section. But maybe because of 12 hours of being in pain, exhaustion and hunger, I was losing consciousness, hence fear took a back seat. They inserted a urine catheter quickly, which I was not aware of that that time, as my lower body was numb. They helped me sit on the wheelchair. I remember my mother crying as she tied my hair back as per the instructions of the nurse. I saw that I had a swollen and red face as I got a glimpse of myself vaguely on some reflective surface, as they took me to the Operation Theatre on the wheel chair.
Exhaustion and Dissociation were up to the brim and I just wanted to give up. I almost lost control of my senses, and I just remember myself saying to the nurse, that "fluid is leaking, fluid is leaking."
They had to stop the wheel chair and made me wait outside as they did final preparations for the emergency c-section. Unfortunately my husband could not make it in time as he went down to complete some formalities but all that was coming into my mind at that time was why things were going so out of control, why was I feeling so dizzy and out of body. I just wanted to give up, sleep peacefully.
In the OT
I went in around at 5:45 pm, they assisted me to lie down and I experienced relief to some extent, as I could not sit anymore. The room was cold and small. I remember the anestheologist explaining to me that they would just increase the dosage of the epidural and I would not feel any pain, while being conscious at the same time. I started shivering uncontrollably, maybe because of the exhaustion and epidural. The surgeon poked my belly maybe and asked if I could feel anything. When sensations stopped on my skin they started the surgery. I could feel the stress in their voices and physically I could feel a lot of pressure in the abdomen, and I shivered and shivered.
The moment when everything felt worth it
Finally, the moment came when everything came to a stop. I heard my baby's first cry. It wasn't loud like I had heard in movies or listened to other babies in the hospital. It was so soft to the ears. And there! I could see my little munchkin in the reflection on the light panel above my head. A smile was all I had on my face and contentment came onto me, I closed my eyes and tears rolled down my eyes. I felt lighter physically, exhausted but content and just wanted to sleep for a while. Maybe dream about my following day with my baby in my arms. I even forgot to ask them if I gave birth to a baby girl or boy.
The Nurse came beside me with the baby and told me I had given birth to a baby boy. I just laughed because he was so tiny and cute. Some more minutes went through and the Emergency C-section was successful. My legs were still numb and I was transferred back to my pre-labor room. Got discharged from the hospital post 3 days. The recovery is another story in itself. Will share it soon!
After my experience with baby bearing and rearing, I can say that all of this is life changing for a woman. All the pain & the work pays off when you look in those eyes. A cute face smiles back at you with those lovely eyes and you feel enthralled. And the mode by which you chose or have to give birth, may it be an elective or emergency c-section, home birth or hospital birth is sacred. Blessed are those people who become parents and I pray for every woman and man who await their child. Lots of baby dust to you ❄🌟🌠
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