Varun’s Birth Story
37 weeks ago, we had our baby boy! My baby! Today he has spent more time ‘outside’ than he was ‘inside’.
His birth was an adventure – not a scary one or a dramatic one but an adventure nevertheless. I was in pain but I was coping, I was excited to meet my boy and I was nervous about not having enough energy to make it through -never have I felt so many emotions at one time.
My pregnancy itself was uneventful once we made passed the nausea and morning sickness. Till a few hours before his birth I didn’t even feel any Braxton Hicks contractions.
I was determined to have a non-medicated birth and had prepped about stages of labor and different coping techniques at different stages.
The day before Varun was born; I went to work as usual .I went to Home Depot with my Dad since he wanted to buy mulch for the yard. And then we all went to Spice Route for dinner. I remember asking them to get me medu vada and uttapam as soon as we sat down. And then we stepped into Fred Meyer to pick up peppermint – I told Vipul I wanted that so that when I go into labor I can suck on those and feel a bit refreshed. Little did I know that we will need them in a few hours?
While in Fred Meyer, I had to rush to the restroom as I had really bad cramps and ahem, loose bowel movement. TMI I know – but what I didn’t know is that it is a sign of labor. I attributed it to spicy food that didn’t agree well 😉
We came home and chatted with my mom- dad and went to bed.
At 1:00 am, I woke up as usual to go to the bathroom. And I saw blood. One tiny speck. I immediately woke up Vipul and we called the midwife. She asked me if I felt contractions. No contractions. She told me to go back to bed.
At 2:30, I started feeling contractions. They were these tremors that moved across my stomach. And I had to use the bathroom real bad. I called Vipul while I was still in the restroom and asked him to time the contractions. They were not regular or painful but rather uncomfortable.
Once again we called the midwife. She asked me to lie down on the bed and wait till the contractions were 4 mins apart, lasting for a min or longer for an hour. I tried lying down in bed, but that was uncomfortable. We tried several different techniques from the class – walking, swaying etc. but the only one that worked was sitting on the toilet.
Within minutes I was having regular contractions and I was beginning to feel the pain. Vipul woke my parents up and asked them to get dressed to go to the hospital. As this was still 3 weeks before my due date, we didn’t have a hospital bag ready. The car seat was still in the box. Luckily, we had a list of things to take to hospital. Vipul was scrambling to get everything in place. I couldn’t get up from ‘the throne’ at all and was telling Vipul where things were for him to pack in between contractions.
By this time, the contractions were regular and painful. I had to have Vipul help me through the contractions. At 3:30 we called the midwife again and she asked us to come in to the hospital.
Walking down the stairs to the car and then the drive to hospital was rough. Every single contraction was stronger, longer and more intense than the previous one. My worst fear at that time was that after that rough ride, the triage nurse is going to send me back stating that I wasn’t dilated enough.
When I got down at the hospital entrance, I thought that Varun was going to drop down. I somehow wobbled to the maternity ward where I made a beeline to the restroom – no other position was comfortable. It sounds funny now, but that night I just couldn’t sit anywhere. I even told V to ask them to let me deliver while I was sitting on the commode.
Am not sure how Vipul reasoned with me to come out to the triage room. But with his help, I made it to the triage room where in the nurse proclaimed that I was 7 cm dilated.
7 cm dilated! Without drugs! I was ecstatic. I could now use the bath tub – the ultimate coping technique!!
The next 10 mins or so it took to move me to actual room, I was 10 cms dilated and ready to push. I recall telling the midwife, I feel like pushing and she was like – wait, let me check first!
For most people getting to 10 cms takes forever and is very exhausting. The actual act of pushing the baby out is relatively easier and short. So I thought another hour and I will get to hold my baby. Boy, I was in for a ride. I was pushing for 3 hours. By the end, my thighs were trembling, I was moaning and I was tired.
After 2 + hours, the midwives saw meconium in the fluid and started monitoring Varun closely. His stats didn’t look too good and they declared Varun was in distress and if I didn’t deliver in next 30 mins or so they will have to do an episiotomy. Even though no one said anything I took it to mean that an emergency C-section could be needed.
They continued monitoring his stats. They also called NICU folks in – just in case he didn’t cry on delivery they would whisk him away. On our birth plan, we wanted to wait till the cord stopped pulsing to cut it, however due to him being in distress; they informed us that they won’t be able to do that. All I remember at that time is that I had to focus on pushing with all my might and somehow getting my dear baby out.
Luckily for me, due to change of shifts, I had a new midwife. She assessed how I was pushing, gave me tips to do it better and guided me to push more effectively. 30 mins later Varun was out. Varun gave a cry an instant later but the midwife had swiftly cut the cord and they wrapped him up and put him on my belly.
I don’t think I will ever forget that moment. I was sore and tired but all I remember is this warm fuzz bunny on me. He just lay there snuggled up on me before they took him away for his tests and to clean him up.
It seemed surreal – one day we were admiring my huge belly and feeling him move and the next day – he was in our arms.
Such is the tale of the most intense night of our life. 5 hours that we will never forget …and an adventure that we will never tire of!