Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Making of a Mother

As my baby girl is crawling her way to the 12 month mark, I am reminded of the day I knew she choose me and my husband as her family.

Exactly 28 days from 6 Oct 2016, I woke up on a working Saturday morning at 4 am to pee on a stick. I think that was my first mother's instinct. Voila, the two lovely red lines appeared. My groggy-eyed husband, a man of reason, told me to contain my excitement and that we will test again in a couple of days. That day after work, I found myself leafing through volumes of 'What to expect' in the Crossword nearby.

Three days from that day, I woke up again at 4 am and repeated the stick act. Again two beautiful lines. This time, my husband almost jumped with joy. Like school children who just found a toy in the classroom, we ran to the doctor (our teacher equivalent). The ever cheerful man that he was, he told us enthusiastic kids to just sit tight and  come back in a couple of weeks! We respectfully left his clinic and started shouting out the news to everyone we knew who cared. Thus started my journey of being a mother.

My baby was most content in the first home she chose and she did not trouble me with nausea and tiredness. I was able to enjoy my pregnancy with the joys that surround the miracle of life. She slowly revealed herself to me, initially through the butterfly flutter-like kicks and then with months she progressed to more Jackie Chan types. Towards the end, she hiccuped often reminding me to take care of myself and herself, making me drink plenty of water.

She was in no hurry to come out and I was in a tearing hurry to welcome her. I tried yoga, squats and duck walking, all inspired by my newly google-found knowledge to just make sure her head engages! It didn't. Two days before the due date, as I was sticking elephants and all the cute creatures of the animal kingdom on the walls of my baby space, I told my friend that Baby Zo has not moved at all since morning. This was especially surprising because just the previous day she was totally bending it like Beckham. I had cold water and bars of Lindt to make her move a little, she refused. Now in tears, I called my doctor and she asked me to come to the hospital. Once there, after a series of ugly check-ups, it was pronounced that I shall be induced now.

I did try to meekly put in that I would be very glad to go through a C-sec and would happily skip this induced all-natural experience. Given our society's obsession today with all things organic, natural and pesticide-free, I was given a harsh look and told, u NEED to try it.

The nice nurse who took me to my plush pink suite told me that she is going to give me a sleeping pill and I am going to enjoy a night of blissful sleep. In exactly an hour after the sleeping pill, I felt the first stab of pain in my stomach. I told myself it must be my mind playing games and I should focus on sleeping. By the time we were in the second hour, I was screaming and tears were rolling down my checks, as if rivulets. There started my 12+ hours labour journey.

The day is etched in my memory and my screams still loud and clear to me. My husband and my mother took turns to pacify me, but I was competing for the Non-Stop Screamer Award and, totally winning it. The doctors were ignoring me and all my questions were simply answered
with, you have not dilated enough or the doctor will come shortly. I kept asking these two questions in loop- Can you please give me epidural? Can you not just do a C-sec and save me from this misery?. After what felt like a lifetime, but on earth must have been 10 hours, a very kind doctor, the anaesthetist came and gave me the biggest wonder known to mankind- epidural. The peace and calm I felt shortly after that is what Buddha must have felt around the time people decided that he is going to top the charts on home d├ęcor. The doctors are of course sadist, they felt uncomfortable with the silence and came with a fresh torture idea. So now as the spasms picked up, they thought lets get some exercise action in the room. With that brilliant idea, I found myself walking up and down the room with my drip in my hand and squatting on the floor every time I felt a spasm. After going through this devil's regime, they decided that we need to amp up the action- let's put the suction and forceps to use. I was soon on the bed and like a F1 pit stop, tyres were being changed with precision and soon I had my legs in an awkward position up in stirrups and I was being asked to push. Scissors were ripping places to allow for suction pumps and forceps to enter and after 3 very painful pushes and a football stadium like environment, my little 2.8kgs of wonder almost ejected out into this world against a backdrop of blood stained doctors and nurses.

The painkillers were amped up now and the next few hours went in a haze. After thinking that I lost my foot in the bargain, 2 episodes of fainting and some failed and painful efforts at nursing my baby, I realised that rest is now going to be a distant dream.

Then started the most intense period of our lives. Feed the baby, or try to, pacify crying baby, change diapers laden with extremely black and sticky poop- repeat. That was the first few weeks of my motherhood. I got more sleep deprived as days went by and everyone who met me got the advice that having a baby is highly optional and one decision that must be made after much thought.

The days rolled by, some tough, some easier and with every little smile, gurgle, turn, yawn and baby made her way into my heart. Today, as I see her climb onto things and smile when she sees me, I know that slowly and steadily she is making me a better mother and an even better person each day. So today my advise to everyone is, while the journey to motherhood is not an easy one, only babies can fill our lives with their luminescent innocence and cheer us day after day. So motherhood is something I would highly recommend!