Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Labor Day

I want to write this stuff down before I forget it ... bc if there's one thing that I know from women who've had children, you totally forget the entire labor experience very quickly. Not that I should hang on to the bad memories, but it would defeat the purpose of a blog/journal if I don't write down my memories.

Friday after my doctor's appointment, I was determined to further my 3cm dilation ... the contractions had been happening since 5am that morning, and I figured if I could just make them more regular, I would hit 4cm and go into active labor. So I was walking for an hour, which helped. I went and got a foot massage that evening. I started timing my contractions and they were steadily increasing. Note: these contractions were like Braxton Hicks -- not painful, just tightening and slightly uncomfortable.

I must've gone to bed around 2:30 am, and woke up around 4am as my contractions were continuing-- by 5:30 am, they had turned into what I knew were 'real' contractions, bc they started hurting. They say that if you're not able to talk through your contractions, that's a sign that they're real. My game plan was to hold out for one hour of the strong contractions, and then head out to the hospital. I woke up King and told him to shave and start getting ready for the hospital.

By 6:10 I was in extreme pain. While the initial strong contractions felt like really bad period cramps, and then there would be down time (3-4 mins) before the next contraction -- pretty soon, the 'down time' was the feeling of really bad period cramps, and then a strong contraction would come, and the deep breaths I was taking weren't helping anymore -- I was wriggling around in all sorts of positions (on the exercise ball, on all fours, squatting, anything) to find something that would make me feel in less pain. At this point I told King -- let's go to the hospital. I wasn't waiting until 6:30. But it took me long to get ready bc I couldn't do anything until I was in between contractions -- I stopped timing them at this point bc it was pretty obvious I was in labor. That and I was in so much pain, I couldn't give a sh-- about hitting start & stop on my iPhone app. My teeth started chattering really hard, and my whole body was shaking violently -- but I wasn't cold. Mummy woke up at this point, and decided to join us at the hospital as well. Once we got in the car, King started coaching me through the breathing as we made the 10 minute drive there.

We reached the hospital at 7am, and just as I stepped out of the car, my water broke. Mummy wheeled me into the hospital while King parked. Each moment was so incredibly painful and long lasting for me -- I was so irritated by everything being done around me bc I felt like everyone was taking too long to make simple decisions and do the one obvious thing that needed to be done -- get me into the freakin' hospital.

On a side analogy ... you know when you're so incredibly drunk that you have no idea what the hell is going on around you? You are concentrating so hard on just making it from point A to point B (which is usually to the bathroom, or back to your bed, or wherever it is that you are planning on passing out) ... and when you think back to that experience, you have no real recollection of the events happening around you, except that you somehow made it from one event to the next. That's how I felt about the pain. It was so intense that I have no idea what was happening around me, all I could concentrate on was my breathing.

I was 5-6 cm dilated at this point -- my goal was to make it to 4cm (lol, which is just the start of active labor) so I requested the epidural. It took about another hour for the epidural to finally get administered and take effect -- the contractions got REALLY strong at this point. And on top of that, I had to stay still for the administering of the epidural, which was really hard to do, esp with all my shaking. The more I was tensing up, the more the epidural was hurting when he was putting the needle in.

Finally, the epidural was in, and while I thought it would take 30 minutes to take effect, it took more like 10. Oh my God --- thank the Lords of Kobol for modern medicine. Those of you who did this without an epidural -- I bow to you -- bc I don't know how you could withstand hour after hour of that pain -- 2.5 hours of that was my upper limit. At this point, I could still feel the contractions, but it was the head pushing down on my cervix -- which kinda felt like I had to go #2. I knew I wasn't supposed to push at this point bc I wasn't fully dilated, so I would just ignore it, and let it  be.

I had the best 2 hour nap of my life. I seriously hadn't slept this well my entire pregnancy, and I remembered thinking to myself, 'I hope the nurse doesn't wake me up; I could sleep for another 3 days like this -- maybe we can deliver the baby in three days?' It was around 10am at this point, and I told King that I'd probably be ready to push around noon (I was 7-8 cm dilated, but baby's head was still far up). King thought it would be closer to 3-4pm. The nurse woke me up around 1pm and checked and saw that the baby had descended, and I was fully dilated. So we did our first practice push. At the end of the push, she said to King (who was holding one leg while the nurse had the other leg) 'See that black part? That's the top of the baby's head.' I was really encouraged, I figured, it can't be that far if they can already see the top of the baby's head. We did a few more pushes, and I was gaging how it was going based on King & the nurse's reactions and expressions. King said to me in Hindi at this point 'Don't push so much, let's wait for the doctor to come.' I was thinking to myself 'Uhhh, I'm not waiting. I'm gonna push if I feel like pushing.' The doctor arrived, and we did a couple of pushes more, and then she said she was going to go take care of some paperwork. The nurse quickly called her back saying 'Come back, the baby's coming.'

The last push was really the most memorable. Because I could see from King's expression that the baby was coming out. And I could feel the pressure of the head coming out, and gave an extra hard push to just make it happen. I could feel the whole shape of the head coming out, and then the small body sliding out after that. And that was that -- it was over, I couldn't believe it (my placenta came out shortly afterwards, and I gotta tell you, that was the best feeling -- I felt so light and relieved afterwards).

Baby wasn't breathing properly, so they had to resuscitate him. The doctors & nurses weren't worried so I didn't stress out either. After a couple of minutes, I was feeling sad because I still hadn't heard the baby cry, and I couldn't see the baby because he was at the table with the nurse & pediatrician. A couple of minutes later I did hear him cry, and then they brought him to me and put him on my chest. It was so strange -- I had a hard time associating that the same baby that was inside me was this baby that was in my arms. It just felt like somebody had put a baby on me and told me 'this is yours,' and I'm supposed to believe it.

After that I was supposed to try to feed him. I honestly don't remember much of that, except that I felt like I had no idea what I was doing, but again, just being told what to do. There was surprisingly a lot less motherly emotion flowing through me at this time than I had anticipated. When I was pregnant and would sometimes think about the baby inside me, I would get emotional and even cry -- but there were no tears during the delivery, or upon seeing the baby. I was feeling a crisis of faith so to speak, abt the fact that I had named him 'Puchku' already, bc I would look at this baby, and think 'this is Puchku?' Because I had created an imaginary baby in my head that was Puchku, and the two images were not coinciding for me. I told myself, it's ok, I can give him a different nickname. The only place we've written it down were in the books that Priti got for him - but that's ok,  babies have tons of nicknames. I thought to myself, for the next baby, I'm not giving him a nickname before he's born. But that soon passed -- because as my family came, and they all repeatedly referred to him as Puchku, the name started to stick, and I was ok with it.

I also told King, within minutes of giving birth "Babe, I could do this two more times." :-) 

Friday, January 27, 2012

3 cm!!!

I'm almost there now! The doctor was feeling very optimistic about my progress, and I'm also feeling very good. She also did some weird massage that they often do after 39 weeks which helps the baby come out. Now I'm trying to walk a lot to keep the contractions coming. Hopefully by Monday I'll have a baby!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lots of walking!

Walked for 1 hour and 15 minutes today -- it was awesome weather today, there was a warmth in the air. And got a mani-pedi (secretly hoping the foot massage would induce contractions!) and ate gol gappas (puchkha's!) -- another old wives' tale, that it'll make you go into labor.

No such luck! At least my toes look pretty :-) 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

41 weeks?!?

Last week on Friday my doctor told me that 51% of first time babies are born after their due date, and scheduled my 41st week appt. I was so disappointed :(
But I've accepted now that he's not coming till feb and am ok with it. She told me to walk more- a whole hour. I did 35 mins and then went to the mall with Mummy today for 2 hrs and am exhausted now.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

More vivid dreams...

Last night's dream consisted of me being in the SF apartment, and I was checking myself out in the mirror, and remarking how I hardly look pregnant. I think I have this recurring dream every 3-4 nights, where my body has miraculously gone back to what it looked like when I was 4-5 months pregnant (which in retrospect, doesn't even look like I'm pregnant!) ... and I'll get so excited that I can do normal physical activity -- brisk walking, running, slipping out of car doors, etc. And then, of course, I wake up, and I'm still a hippo.

Me at 4 months pregnant
Anyway, so back to my dream ... as I was enjoying my slimmer figure, I thought 'wait, where's the baby if my stomach is so flat?' and at that moment my water broke, all over the bathroom rug. I was alone in the apartment, so called Kingsuk ... and heard his phone ringing in the apartment, and realized that both Kutu and Kingsuk were in the apartment all this time.  I woke them up -- in my dream, we had hosted a dinner party the night before, and they were tired and hungover, and I had woken up early and was cleaning the apartment (this was obviously in slimmer times; now I can barely move) -- so I told them to start getting ready to go to the hospital. But the whole time, I was really concerned about the paneer sabji I had made the night before, and all the leftover food, and was trying to get them to pack the food so that it wouldn't go waste -- whereas, they were more concerned with getting me to the hospital.

The dream ended there ... and I woke up, still hugely pregnant.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Poopie Dreams

I had a very, very realistic dream last night, where I thought it was really happening. Baby had been born, and we were bringing him home. First of all, he looked like Shivaranjani (Guru ji's daughter), which was strange in itself, and I kept thinking how he's too big to fit into the Newborn sized clothes that we bought for him, and how those will probably go to waste.

Then I noticed that it was mom & me driving the baby back, and the carseat was behind the driver's seat, and I was irritated -- who set it up all wrong? I hadn't even turned back to look at the baby until we arrived at home. We got home and mom & I struggled to take the car seat out of the car, but we managed, and waited for Daddy & Kingsuk to arrive in the other car.

We were hanging out with baby at home, and then I said that we should probably change the baby's diaper. I opened the diaper and there was yellow poo all over -- it had gotten on baby's back (which I've seen) but also got everywhere in baby's hair too! And bc of the umbilical cord, we couldn't just give the baby a bath, so we were all taking out poo by hand from baby's hair. At this point, baby's head transformed into a brussels sprout size, and taking out the poo was like taking of layers of brussels sprouts leaves -- but very gently.

Me and Baby Shivaranjani
I woke up feeling like such a failure of a parent. I feel like I'm not ready for anything -- I'm tired of being pregnant, but I'm not ready to go into labor, and I'm totally not ready for all the feeding & poopings & lack of sleep that comes thereafter. I know it's probably just an overreaction, and common anxiety to have before the baby arrives ... but it was just a crappy dream (no pun intended). 

Friday, January 13, 2012


Baby's moved into back labor position, which sucks. But there's still time so I'll do my stretches n hopefully move him back into proper position. No further dilation :( I need to start walking more so I can bring on contractions.
Two weeks, four days left.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Full term

Baby's now full term... So anyday now would be great! I know, I know, it's better for him to stay there till the end (sigh!). Since this weekend's contractions I've been pretty contraction free- had a few Braxton Hicks today but nothing out of the ordinary.
So I'm just trying to enjoy this down time before the sleepless nights begin. Since I'm dwindling down my involvement at work (I am after all on maternity leave!) and bc we've had no Internet this past week (which has been a blessing in disguise for me to actually disengage from work) I'm finding more time to do stuff. So watching mom knitting all this stuff for Puckhu inspired me and I started knitting a sweater last night for Puckhu. Ok, I don't know how to knit sweaters, but I figure I'll do as much as I can and then hand it off to mom from there :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

False labor

Contractions have stopped. So frustrating. Hardly got any sleep last night, was in discomfort, and to no avail! (sigh!) I guess I should be happy he's staying in there longer. I'm just tired now after last night. Again, prolly good practice/prep for the real thing. Grrrr....!

Spoke too soon

Ok, not sure where I stand, but have been having low intensity contractions for the last 12 hrs now. False labor? Braxton hicks? Or just a very long early labor?
I guess we'll find out today!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Countdown begins!

3 weeks, 3 days to go! Now I have weekly check ups with the doc... I've already started dilating which is a good sign for a first time pregnancy... And baby is in the proper position. Yay!! Really hopeful and keeping my fingers crossed for a normal birth, no C-section. And as of Tuesday, it'll be a full term pregnancy! A couple of weeks ago I was thinking that baby will be coming earlier than the due date... Now I think that he's comfortably nestled in there and not coming out anytime soon. But who knows, I have no basis for this judgement!
Anyway, was really excited after the docs appt to hear that all is well on its way. Next week she'll approximate the weight of baby.