The awaited but not so awaited day….”labor day”

I have so much to talk about this….In my excitement to write about my labor day,..which I have been planning to write since my delivery ..I m so confused how to start…

Labor day is the most awaited and dreaded day of all mommy’s to be..and everybody starts preparing in their own ways..with exercise,walks,yoga,meditation or may be nothing..just relaxing at home…My preparations started at the 5th month of my pregnancy that was when I got enrolled to Madhavi’s Prenatal Yoga and Child birth education Program.I wished to enroll earlier but Madhavi suggested to wait till I get my anomaly scan which is done around the 20th week of pregnancy ..with the scan parameters within normal limits,I joined the program.., Madhavi, being an excellent instructer, would answer all our questions irrespective of the number of times we would ask the same thing.Apart from yoga,there were discussions on the labor day,all individual problems brought by us,post pregnancy things like breastfeeding, diapering, baby wearing. It was an amazing experience.. meeting so many mommies  who were all in around the same gestation period.Apart from her classes I used to go for walks in the park now and then.Besides my obstetrician had asked me to walk after every meal for 15 to 20 minutes,later stages she asked me to do squats and sweeping and moping the floor too,which I followed though walking I would forget now and then.

Now lets come to the actual part of the story..I was due on 10th october 2013.I was all relaxed and calm…continuing the breathing exercises and yoga at home under my hubby’s vigilance..because I stopped going to the classes from 37th week of my pregnancy.On 2nd of october..being a national holiday..hubby was at home and MIL had comedown the earlier I was there in the kitchen around 9.30 AM helping MIL to prepare breakfast…when suddenly I felt some discharge which continued for few seconds,I went to loo to confirm if it was amniotic fluid discharge (clear liquid but sticky ) and it kept dripping in intervals,with so many classes on the same topic ..I had understood that it was amniotic fluid discharge.I called up Madhavi…and she told me that I was in pre-labor stage and that I should keep track of baby movements and stay home relaxed and also monitor the discharge regularly..go to hospital if their is sudden gush of liquid and wait till the pain kicks-in.I tried to keep calm…ate breakfast, spent time watching Tv,reading on internet about similar cases PROM(premature rupture of membranes)..I found that this was in rare cases,usually the discharge is followed by labor pain without much delay.

First stage:Early labor

There was no sign of pain till evening and amniotic discharge continued to trickle so to check how much leak was there..I kept sanitary pads and it got wet in an hour or something,I kept giving my updates to Madhavi and she suggested to stay home,while my other relatives who had already received the news kept calling and suggested to visit the hospital for a check up but I was determined not to go to hospital until the pain kicks in,I wanted to avoid induction. By evening there was no discharge now and then I felt some pain or cramps like those periods like cramps but not much.It was already night by the time.. I had rechecked my hospital bag several times in case we need to rush to the hospital.. I ate dinner..tried sleeping..but in anticipation of pain could hardly sleep,baby movements were as usual..

Next day..3rd oct (pre labor continues….)

It was already 24 hours sinceI had started leaking,I was scared of any infection but I read that in cases of premature rupture of membranes(PROM) the labor starts within 48 hours in 90% of the cases (source of this information:Doulamomma) and Madhavi told the same I decided to wait..yes I was scared deep inside,what if there is no liquid inside for baby to move but since I could feel baby movement..calmed myself and continued breathing exercises..I also tried couple of labor positions taught by Madhavi. As the day progressed we kept getting calls from relatives to go the hospital as this is risky blah..blah..and at a point I got convinced to go to the hospital and  get baby’s movement monitored but then I knew that going  to hospital without pain would lead to induction and all.Hubby was a great support, he said we should follow one person now…and so we followed Madhavi and I kept updating her constantly. By evening I started feeling pain sometimes in the back and sometimes front but it was not like the typical labor pain which starts at the back and comes to was more like menstrual cramps..,I also noticed ‘show’ (spotting ) which confirmed pre labor stage,I tried to time my contractions but the intervals between contractions kept changing so it confused me further, while phone calls kept pouring in and we kept telling the same thing to everybody….I was tired,worried,clueless but hubby’s support kept me going.

It was almost 10.30 pm,I was talking to my mom on phone and she told me her  delivery story which was kind of similar to my case,and then I was about to hang up when I felt some mom suggested me to go to the hospital….so I told hubby and MIL that we should go to the hospital as I am experiencing some pain now(pain was kind of cramps only but was more intense as compared to what I was feeling earlier and the contractions were like 20 minutes apart),we started around 11 pm,for the hospital,the road was silent..the hospital is like (20 min away from our home),hubby drove very gently,old Hindi songs were playing  on the radio,and I was loving the moment..with those contractions coming and going. We reached the hospital, since we had pre-bookings in the hospital , so we escaped all formalities, I was taken for initial check up.

The ‘D’ day:4th oct

Labor pain finally kicks in

It was already 12 am now and I was in the check up room,Hubby was asked to wait outside,the Doc on call came and I told her the story so far, she asked why did I not come to hospital when leaking had already started and said there might be chances of infection so they collected sample and sent it for test,while the nurses put me on the foetal monitor to check baby’s heart rate,and then put a belt around me to measure the contractions. I was given a gown to wear and the situation started to freak me out already. The doc on call read the file and she checked for dilation, she said I was dilated around 5 to 6 cm  and was in labor already. Hubby was in room,the doc said that since the pain is not yet kicked in  so we will wait till the pain kicks in and possibly delivery will be next day around 8 to 9 am and suggested me to take rest. I could feel continuous gush of fluid discharge,the nurse told me it was normal.I started bleeding too,and nurse gave me some pad to wear,things had just begun to get worse…

Begins the active labor

They had taken out the foetal monitor and I was going around the room  where I was supposed to wait till the pain kicks in,with pain more intense now and the interval between the contractions  were shorter. Hubby was allowed to come inside the  room at this time and we tried several labor positions which was taught to me by Madhavi, the one that really helped me was the hug hold position,while i am writing this ,I can literally feel the situation….I could no longer stand in a place for 10 seconds,pain was intolerable now. I was dizzy, nauseatic, tried breathing , panting was helpful but I could not do for a longer time. After a while, I ended up vomiting and now the pain was in much shorter intervals. Lying down was not possible anymore, when contractions would cease, I used to try lying down in bed and then within minutes or so would jump out of the bed.I would slam my hubby if he would try to calm me down, shout at him and get angry . I started getting the urge to push out something and wanted to squat down.Fortunately, the Doc on call just came to check on us around 2.30 am or so and asked hubby the interval between the contractions and he said that it was hardly 2 minutes apart now. Doc asked if I had the urge to pass motion and I affirmed. Doc again checked my cervix dilation which she said was 8 cm now and she said that I should be taken to the labor room without delay. She said that I would deliver in another 30 minutes or so. It was almost time,I would see my baby in another 30 minutes,OH MY GOD!!did I feel anything this time??…only pain,more intense and intolerable.

Labor room

I was made to sit in the wheel chair though I kept resisting as I was unable to sit at all because of the pain but the doc made me sit somehow. Hubby was there holding my hand while I kept blabbering and shouting something. The corridor was very silent, there were few nurses around me . We entered the labor room, it seemed as if the stage was prepared and now I need to go and perform and give it my best. They started prepping me up while now I was in the peak of my pain and  kept shouting. They put me on antibiotics, put my legs in stirrups. Doc on call said that the main doc was on her way.  My hubby stood beside my bed stroking my hand and head. Then came my doc, who I was seeing for the first time since my  obstetrician happened to be on leave during that exact week (first I thought DAMN this is happening to me but after my experiece was over I was so thankful to God that my regular doc went on a leave, the doc who supervised my delivery was so nice and encouraging ;)). My regular doc had already suggested her name in case my pains starts in her absence so I was mentally prepared. This doc was kind of cool, she asked me to take deep breaths and while nurses kept instructing me not to shout as I would loose all the energy.I ignored all instructions and kept shouting out of pain. Doc instructed me to push while I had contractions and did the same (as earlier my sis-in-law had advised who had delivered a baby girl few days earlier). After the first push the doc said I was doing good and now she could see baby’s head and another push baby would be out, so the next contraction came and I pushed harder. Guess what !!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had delivered my baby during the second push. Doc said I had done a brilliant job actually she had been really encouraging. Doc kept the baby on my stomach and I could not understand anything, then she said “It’s a BOY!!! you have done a beautiful job. Hubby’s first reaction “is that all????????”,I dont’ know what more he had expected. I guess he must have heard stories from his friends about 12 hour, 24 hour labors and he was relieved my labour went easy. While everybody shared a laugh at his innocent remark, they took the baby for doing the vital examinations, APGAR and all. Since episiotomy was done I was being stitched by the doc on call and I kept shouting of pain. They said you should co-operate otherwise they would shift me to OT for stitching me up,So I was relatively silent. Hubby was all excited running between me and our baby and giving me all the updates. Thankfully our baby was in the same room,we could clearly hear him sucking his fingers SO LOUDLY ..O MY,he was so hungry i guess….

Post Delivery 

The stitching was done finally, it took around 20 to 25 minutes, while my hubby told MIL who was waiting upstairs in our room.I  was still lying on the soiled linen,I could feel constant trickle of lochia, not only that  I had passed out stool too while delivering. While the doc bid me bye,nurse put an ice pack after the stitches. I couldn’t feel any pain because of the anesthesia effect. All the test and cleaning was done for our little champ in the same room so there was no need of band in our hands, the nurse handed over my little champ to me for feeding and that was the time ,I  saw him close so close, nurse helped us latch for feeding and left the room. So me, hubby and our little bundle of joy were there all by ourselves. We both admired him and his tiny little hands and legs , those eyes and nose and ears.. it was amaaaazing. While I was struggling to feed him, the nice nurse intervened to help and then I got up to clean myself, I was feeling like a mass of foul smelling debris. The nurse  helped me clean up and I  didn’t feel much pain, but the bleeding continued. After changing to a gown, I was feeling fresh and rejuvenated..but my tummy was still there hanging like a loose mass. I took my bubs in my arms and was about to walk to my room but the nurses laughed at my confidence and asked me to sit in the wheelchair, and they took us to our room.

This is how our room looked from outside

My labor experience was good overall, it was not much of a trouble at least as compared to what I had imagined and like all mommies will say, once you see your baby you will forget all the pain or trouble you went labor was short and I guess I tackled it quite well..I owe this wonderful experience to Dr Madhavi, I was really benefited with her classes,she would take time to explain everything with diagrams and examples and all the exercises and her patience to answer all the questions and share all updates and labor stories,that really motivated me. Hubby has been a constant support throughout my pregnancy. From my weird cravings in the middle of night to the wrath of my labor pain. He has been there in all my pregnancy check ups and post pregnancy too. My labor would not have been a cake walk without his constant support .

I like to share my story with all the mommies to be so that they get motivated for normal delivery. Also what it takes to get that emotional and physical strength. The pre-natal exercises and the classes benefited me a lot to stay fit throughout the pregnancy and gave me enough strength to cope up with my labor. After my labor experience, I really think that pre- natal classes are a must for all mommies,specially those breathing exercises which I could have done  a bit more sincerely.

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