Let the record state – 07.06.2006


Let the record state

… that a few hours before giving birth to my son I was picking up the father of the child-to-be from the railway station. I had already been told that for various medical reasons I was going to have a C-section ( no need to go into reasons in this post) and it was only a question of fixing a date so that the other adult could make it. And so we chose a Thursday since that was the earliest he could get a flight. A full ten days before my due date to avoid any further complications.

The morning of the delivery dawned hot and sweaty. And I went to the station to collect the other adult with my mother. My MIL had already arrived and was having kittens watching me run up and down the stairs at my size ( I had gained 17 kilos despite being the most active preggie woman in the country) and the thought of venturing out on the morning of a major, albeit routine surgery was more than she could handle. Although I think she was rather touched at the devotion to her beloved son.

We all set off to the hospital – the rest of the family in their Sunday best and me in a raggedy nightie since I was merely the person delivering. Ma prayed all the way and had been praying for the last 20 days. And I was growing more irritated by the minute. Statistics show more danger to mother and child in natural birth than C-section and she was behaving like I was not only doing something terribly pathbreaking and dangerous, but also betraying entire womankind by doing something so unnatural in the process.

I had not been allowed to eat as is usual with surgery and to top it all, I was not even allowed to drink water. The heat was increasing. My belly was getting to be more annoying by the minute and the baby was kicking with increased might and regularity as if he or she knew it was time to get out.

My little cousins J&K sweetly sat by me placing a wet spoon on my dry lips every few minutes and once in a while cheating and letting a few drops of water trickle in when the grown ups were not looking. Yes, those were the last few hours that I was still officially not a grown up. The room was full of anxious family and I was getting nervous and impatient. Mum was looking more miserable by the minute and looked like she would burst into tears any moment.

That is when someone pointed out that it was 05.05.05 and a Thursday or the 5th day of the week. The child would be very lucky.

Nurses and doctors floated in and out and various shots were given without explanation. I think I shocked the family and the MIL when I lost my temper and finally yelled at a nurse who just walked in and started rubbing my already sore wrist to inject yet something else. Unused to a mere patient questioning her uniformed self she almost dropped the syringe. I refused to let her give me the shot without telling me what it was that the doctor has asked her to give me. Losing control over everything I was clutching at straws to assert myself!

In the midst of the chaos a junior doctor walked in to calm my fears. And then pointed to the prone form of the OA stretched out on the bench beside my bed. What is wrong with him, she asked. “Oh, 9 months of pregnancy have exhausted him,” I replied caustically. I finally learned what they mean by beating a hasty retreat. I don’t think she was willing to continue facing me in that mood.

A couple of women went into labour while I was waiting for my turn (I had been scheduled for 12 noon) and because of fetal distress were rushed in for C-sections. Finally I was to be taken in at 4.30 pm. The hunger, thirst, impatience, exhaustion and excitement were taking their toll on me. The other adult in the mean time was trying to rig the number 5 business and ensure that the baby was delivered on the stroke of 5, with my numerologically obsessed father egging him on. I of course couldn’t care less by that time. Get the baby out, I begged anyone who gave me a moment.

At 5pm I went in and all hell broke loose. I had been promised general anesthesia by my gyn who had checked that I was fit enough for it, instead of a spinal. Why the insistence? Well, because the gyn herself has admitted that spinal anesthesia often left you with a backache for life.But doctors preferred it to general because general meant monitoring a lot more and needed to be much quicker. Basically the easy way out for them. Whatever.

By then I was almost hysterical and was refusing to let them give me the shot in my spine. Anyway its not easy to roll up like a prawn when you are the size of a whale so that they can give you the shot in the correct location.

I think the doctors met their match in me that evening. I wriggled my toes in impatience and my legs refused to cave in and go numb under anesthesia.

On the outside the other adult was trying to sneakily find ways to be with me because he had already been refused admission. He made some rude sounds about the “village” I belonged to and began to form his own underhanded scheme.

Many years ago I had heard of banking cord stem cells and I knew that I wanted to do it somehow. Fortunately by the time I got pregnant it had come to India – we were one of the first 50 parents or so to avail of it and were in august company like Raveena Tandon and Karishma Kapoor! The Life Cell head office was in Chennai and as luck would have it, we were posted there at that time. The other adult picked up a refrigerated and specially packed kit from them and flew it in for the delivery.

So this was his wild scheme. We had already informed my gyn about our desire to bank the cord blood but the rest of my little town and the little hospital had never heard of any such thing. The junior doctors had been given certain peremptory orders by my Gyn and they had no clue why they were doing certain things. The prepping for the operation was not beginning because of this confusion of course and my gyn who was late and still with the last C-sec, was not there to explain. Nobody bothered to check with me.

So there I was, huge beached whale lying on the table, the lights above me taking on scary proportions, chaos abounding and my toes still wriggling. The OT door burst open and I saw the OA sneakily trying to follow the gyn in. I also saw him being shooed out in an undignified manner. He had decided to come along on the pretext of teaching them what to do with the kit. I give him full marks for trying. And a zero for believing it would work. Most people in my little town were shocked at the thought that he would want to be with me even for a natural birth, let alone try so hard to hold my hand through an operation dripping blood.

The rest is a blur. They made me smell something and pass out because I wouldn’t shut up. Or stop wriggling my toes.

Now I wish I had done some sort of drugs in college because I believe you should try it all, but I was a funk and I didn’t. Anyway, the next half an hour passed in a psychedelic daze and I saw the most bright and amazing visions – like the visualisations in Windows Media Player!

And then I regained consciousness and could feel them pressing down hard on my chest. Lots of hands touching me and pressure from every side. And disjointed voices saying that the baby was stuck. His head was too big and they had to cut some more. I could feel hands moving around my insides and when I opened my eyes, all I saw was black – they had taped a piece of cloth over my eyes and tied my arms down so that I didn’t accidentally touch one of the doctors. The overdose of restraint coupled with what I could hear them saying made me panic and I started crying and thrashing around. I think. Before I knew it, they made me inhale and I was out like a light again.

And then, filmy style – I heard a baby wail. I keep replaying the thrill in my head. It was worth all this nonsense. And I unsuccessfully tried looking through my blindfold, and then passed out again. When I regained consciousness, I was all stitched up and good to go. And the baby was nowhere to be seen.

Desperately I looked around and asked the nurses if it was a girl or a boy. A boy they answered. I don’t think they had ever been faced with such a reaction before. Still quite doped out, I broke down and cried hysterically,”I don’t want him, please give me a girl, exchange him with any of those who want a boy.”

I wish I could describe the stunned silence. This is small town UP where a boy child is worshipped and a the birth of a girl child is mourned. In rage they pushed me out of the OT and left me lying there all hooked up and stitched up, on a trolley in the corridor.

I lay there wondering how long I would have to suffer for my sins! Fortunately my friend came by looking for me when they realised it had been an hour since the child had arrived and there was no sign of me. Wheeled to my room I was taken aback by the crowd. I rolled in like a diva and spoke in tongues. Yup. I was doped out of my head and spoke to everyone in all 7 or so different languages I knew. But I still didn’t want to see my baby.

And then my mother insisted that I stop acting childish and open my eyes and look at my son. Small, pink and white, with bright beady eyes looking up at me. I wish I could say I fell in love with him immediately. I didn’t. I felt nothing. Not even when a room full of people urged me to feed him. I glared at them to get lost while I gave this breastfeeding business a shot. It was not fun.

The rest of the time in hospital was not fun either. The contractions that pulled at my stitches when I fed him, the injections, the drip, the catheter, the pain when the anesthesia wore off, the inability to sit up and lead a normal life, the inability to have a cold shower in the hot, dry, north Indian summer, the inability to change his nappies or even carry him for two entire days. Even after his birth I was not allowed to march up and down from my first floor room with him in my arms. And oh, they didn’t let me bathe for the 9 days that the stitches were in and finally my mum had a bed carried into the toilet (ah the joys of old rambling homes) and then lay me down there and bathed me top half and bottom half, excluding the stitches because even she could see that I was sweating and miserable in the May heat.

Mum swore her natural birth was less painful and if she’d been given an epidural life would have been different. Barely any labour and absolutely no recovery time. All those who think C-Sections are a style statement – you have another think coming, and I take offence. Pregnancy is not easy. Neither is childbirth. And I don’t think you are in a position to diss something you have never tried and hopefully never will.

Sometimes I looked down at the C-section scar and wish I had fought the doctor for more than cosmetic reasons. But scared first time moms cannot be blamed for caving into pressure. Check out this mother’s traumatic experience and the trauma of another mother who expresses her trauma through art.

It doesn’t matter anymore though. I have the most adorable son and I love him to pieces. Literally. Sometimes I squeeze him really hard and hope that will make him stay this size forever.



124 thoughts on “Let the record state – 07.06.2006

  1. MM,

    I admire you for being so honest abt your feelings towards a boy baby. Though many might go through similar feelings, I wonder how many would actually publicly declare it!! Its nice to acknowledge our little emotional conflicts….. makes it so much more relatable..

      • I totally understand what you mean here. Though it was not such a big surprise for me coz, though I WANTED a daughter, all the while i was pregnant, i somehow knew i was gona give birth to my son. And today I wouldnt exchange him for the best girl in the world (though i would have preferred if he had been a girl 😉 )

        • totally unacceptable by general junta I am sure! but I guess that is only because a history of patriachy and oppression of women. the difference in historic treatment shapes how we look at it today. that said, i dont judge people who want a son. only those who abort baby girls because they dont want daughters. i may not have wanted a son but i’ve loved him to bits within some hours. on the other extreme are those who dont want daughters and will go so far as to commit female foeticide, ill treat their daughters and generally behave badly with women at every stage. i guess these are the things that make the difference.

  2. oh there are times when i wish i could put my son back into my stomach… so that he is just mine (i know it is a stupid sentiment)

    and my mom was shocked when i insisted i wanted to carry my son from hospital to home (mine was a natural birth and thankfully an easy one). and to top it all, i wanted to climb ONE floor with him to go home. as far as i was concerned, walking home with my child was one thing that i had always envisioned during my pregnancy days

  3. You know how you keep writing posts and telling us all non-mommies that it should put us off having babies? And how no post has ever managed to do that to us? I take back my statement. This one was scary. Not in the oh-my-god-the-pain-is-going-to-kill-me sort of way (well, maybe a little of that), but in a a-baby-really-does-turn-your-life-around-irreversibly sort of way.
    How will I ever go through this sort of thing, FOUR times? 😦
    And I am going to behave this way (if not much worse), if I had a baby boy first, I am sure!

    P.S: Tell us the truth – what torture did you subject the poor OA to,later, for having dozed off in the hospital room? 😀

    • 🙂 whose friend are you, huh?
      i think everyone came to the hospital all charged up to deliver a baby. then nothing happened. i had been hungry for almost 24 hours and thirsty for about 20. the hospital room was dark, gloomy, crowded, everyone was tense. ma was crying at the thought of her daughter being chopped open. we were all worried about the brat who was being dragged out for a number of reasons – tightening cord around his neck, severe IUGR, CPD – all terms i learnt the meanings of later. i mean a cesarean is done because the child or mother are in danger. that wasn’t a thought my family could handle.

      i think the OA went to sleep because the family was tense and he didnt know how to handle them. he was just a regular young guy who didnt know what else to do with a starving, thirsty, tired wife either.

      • Did i miss something here. I read your reply expecting you to answer “what torture did you subject the poor OA to,later, for having dozed off in the hospital room?” question. But cant seem to find it in your above response

        **Trying to hide before MM hits her 😉

      • I am still reeling frm just reading that! The BFF is due any day now and its as scary as it is exciting, waiting for the baby to arrive. Like Appa says, people keep forgetting what a miracle, a birth is, simply because it is the commonest one!

          • Haha. The old man will be very happy to hear that! He is tired of both his daughters faulting him on everything and having passionate arguments with him on everything under the sun.

            • tell him it’s a daughter’s job to make her father hopping mad so that he’s happy to see her go. can you imagine how broken hearted he will be when you get married if you were all sweetness and light? atleast that is the logic I gave my father when we almost came to blows over every wedding detail. i swear he almost signed a no-return policy with the OA.

  4. OMG! Had to comment on this one. A very heart wrenching post.

    Just out of curiosity, does it shock you that you didnt want to hold the brat after the birth?

    I had a beautiful natural birth, but unfortunately had postpartum haemorrhage and had to be taken to the OT moments after my son’s birth. It took me a month to recover and the pain to subside which is when I fell in love and how!! 🙂

    • nope. in small towns the birth experience is pretty bad. nurses slap you if you scream in labour.
      that apart i think most women are not in love with the baby when it arrives. that is just media hype. the mother hurts like shit and the baby looks like a rat – not a recipe for love 🙂

      • So so, true MM 🙂

        And here I thought I was the only weirdo mother…..All I wanted to do after giving birth was to eat/drink something and go to sleep! I didn’t care about the gender either. All I asked was if the baby had every expected body part and then I just wanted to SLEEP!
        I guess our bodies shut down after intense labour. In the joy and swooning over a newborn families tend to forget the ordeal of the new mother.

  5. I wanted to leave a comment in your previous post asking how come no old posts for a long time..then i felt it was too demanding 😉 Here i go…one from the archives.

    What a coincedence..My son too was born on 5th day of the month and 5th day of the week..only the month and year is different.

    Well, when my first born turned out to be a boy i cried to myself..when i was pushing the second one out i impatiently asked the doc if it was a boy or a girl and my worst fears came true. It was a BOY!! Pain, frustration, disappointment all together..i howled No..Not another one Please..to which the doc said sorry! too late to send him back in :)I think this became the news in the labour room. Later the ped walked in and asked if i had forgiven my son for being a son.. 🙂

    • dont be. none of us were much wiser or stronger. i’d never heard or read a birth story when i went in. things were so different in a small town. you guys will have it much better and be far more mentally prepared.

  6. I think there is still a major difference between the birth stories in India and US. Of course, there are exceptions, but an average birth in US seems a lot easier than an average in India. I might be saying so ‘cos I had 2 natural births, who knows. But I have friends who have had C-sec and theirs did not sound half as bad. I was discharged from hospital after one night for both my kids. And after my second kid, I was back to driving and dropping off my older kid to school in 9 days or so. It is unfortunate that in India, they take something so beautiful and transform it into a bad experience. It is painful, alright, but the attitude of nurses, doctors and presence of your family members help so much.

    • I agree with Isha …Birthing is considered very special in the US ( India still can’t do that probably coz we are 1.2B and counting) In the US we get treated with lot of respect and dignity and get all qns answered ( that is to for them to protect against suits)
      The only thing that worried me was no bathing for 9 days 😦
      I had a C-sec 3 months back and I started doing “EVERYTHING ;-)” after 3-4 weeks .. including driving coz hubby had to leave for an unavoidable overseas trip and I didn’t like to trouble frnds for small things when I could do stuff ..most importantly I started bathing from the very next day and the Dr and Nurse asked me to do so too …
      I guess in India too it is changing …
      My SIL was pregnant at the same time I was and we had almost similar kind of experiences from the downs syndrome screenings to the C-section and post C-section things (except driving and other stuff coz u know parents don’t allow her to) but i remember she started bathing in a day or two …
      Agree the thing about Nurses .. but I guess it would have changed .. my mom has stories of how ( 30-35yrs back) they were not allowed to cry in labor .. and they used to use filthy language at the woman in labor.. that is so sad …

      • very true. birth, life, death – nothing is special in a country of over a billion.
        i wasnt allowed to bathe because i didnt have dissolvable stitches 😦 small town na. thankfully my mother managed to go around that rule else i would have sponged at least. my second time i was allowed to bathe.
        that said, i left hospital against their wishes in 4 days instead of 9 and other than bathing was all over the place. by day 15 I was taking a cycle rickshaw into the citycentre which is like Chandni Chowk, if you know what i mean. in 45 days i was back in madras, sweeping, swabbing on my knees and cooking. no option.
        and yes – my mom tells me the same thing. the nurses abused and slapped them if they cried out in labour – lots of my friends’ mothers tell me the same.

  7. I remembered this post from long ago and was waiting to read it after my own c-sec last year. Thanks for sharing!

    So many bits from this seem familiar to me – wanting a girl and having a boy (although I got to know months earlier and had time to prepare myself!), the baby getting the cord wrapped around his neck so getting an emergency c-sec, terror of the spinal injection, husband and baby disappearing after the op and me waiting for them in the recovery room. 😦

    But somehow everything happened so fast and unexpectedly for us (35 weeks, mom was still in India and supposed to travel that weekend!) that there was no time for me to feel disappointed or bitter. And of course the facilities and care I received at the hospital was just amazing, especially with none of our family around for the first couple of days.

    Sorry for the long rambling comment that went nowhere. 🙂 Was just reliving my memories I guess.

  8. I second the person who said you have successfully put many of your non-mommy readers off having kids.
    Please tell me much of this awfulness happened because it was a small town hospital? None of my friends who’ve had babies have told a story quite like this. But I know many new moms have selective amnesia when it comes to the bad bits.

    • i bet they all told you breastfeeding was a piece of cake too. let me tell you – it sucks. and by it, i dont mean the baby. besides who do you trust, huh?
      that said, my experience with the bean was far better. i dont mind a third. i wrote a second very angst ridden c-sec post. feeling too self conscious to share it now with a larger audience.

        • actually i got a lot of flak on that from other c-sec moms saying it wasnt so bad. but the truth is that every experience is individual. what scars me might barely leave a mark on you.

          • See! I knew it was just you!
            And bring back that second c-sec post…we could use some more blood and gore here and honestly, we need the trolls. Rememember those good ole days when you were the biggest troll magnet in town? And your blog posts were like an all you can eat buffett for every priggish, prudish and perverse soul trawling the interwebs? Lets bring back some of that goodness.

            • oye – it wasnt just me. it was that particular delivery. second one was better. that said, mothers tend to give off that aura of – I’ve done it all, so dont talk till you’ve done it. dont let that make you more nervous

              every one of us was equally freaked out and its never easy, no matter how many times you go through it. there is a mother and a child and two lives at stake. we can never forget that its a miracle, just like R’s dad said.

      • Thanks for your wishes 🙂
        I am up and about after the normal delivery that the doc kept threatening to turn into C-sec because I was not pushing hard enough owing to the numbness of epidural ! Did not find out if I was having a girl/boy.. just because I was dying to have a girl like you did.. and I do have a little girl now 🙂

  9. Haha. True that. For someone who could not reach in time for my birth (a story that my mom milks, for what it is worth), the old man has acquited himself considerably, in the last 27 years! 😛
    Now he awaits patiently the poor bakras who will come and take his two aafats off his hand (though the entire family suspects he won’t get past the bridal march, before his heart breaks! :D)

  10. Thank you for complying with this reader’s request!
    Gosh! I never imagined Brat’s story was so traumatic. But all is well now and he is the apple of your eye!
    You know what I like about you best? other than the fact that your writing is honest and fabulous, that you take care in replying to all (or majority of) comments. The personal touch – does it for me!

  11. Hi MM,
    I’m sorry you had such a bad experience. I was lucky enough to have all three of my kids vaginally — the first 2 were induced and I had to get an epidural but the third one was all natural. So anyway it was in the US — overall a positive experience except the induction process was so long with the first two. I was over a week overdue each time which is why they induced me although after having the third naturally I wish I had waited longer the first two times. The natural labor was horribly painful but it was over quickly. My recovery was pretty quick each time. But I wanted to know where you got the stats that C-sections had fewer risks than natural births. I’m sure C-sections are safer for high-risk mothers and when there are complications during labor but I don’t think we can make a blanket statement that they are safer overall compared to natural births.

        • historically, childbirth has been risky, with many women as well as babies dying. see the statistics for the number of mothers as well as babies dying in rural india even today where there are no medical advances.
          thankfully we have medicine standing by to jump in and intervene if anything goes wrong. even natural birth today isnt completely natural for more women who are hooked up to monitors and epidurals, monitored every moment for something going wrong. the most famous recent case in the blogosphere would be rashmi who lost her baby at wockhardt in bangalore.

          i dont think new mothers should think of childbirth as risky, but they should be aware of the risks involved anyway. and the miracle that birth always is, no matter what type of delivery.

  12. I started reading you probably couple of months after you started blogging and have been a regular reader ever since ( like many ofcourse) but very rarely commented …& this is my 3rd comment on the same post 🙂
    I rem reading your this post and other c-sec post 4-5 years back and reading it again now is so different …
    Back then I was an outsider.. married but kids nowhere in picture/thoughts…It is as if I grew up / matured along the way … ur blog and few other of my fav blogs have contributed to some extent in the growing up part …
    For atleast 1-2 months post baby, every night I used to re-run the sequences of the delivery day – I can’t express it as well as you do – but the feeling was – would I have had a normal delivery if I had tried harder …
    Before it actually happened, I was ok with c-sec/normal as long as the baby was healthy.. but when it actually happened .. in my case i was 8 cm dilated .. for some reason i cudnt push .. my OBGYN is a very pro-natural birth person and she tried her best ( kinda got angry at me too) – but baby’s heart beat started going down and they had to do an emergency c-sec …
    I felt as if I had failed the expectations of the OBGYN and to some extent myself …
    Then you read all these articles thru babycenter and stuff and comments by C-sec mommies who feel deprived of the natural birth … I didn’t feel so initially – but reading all that ( blame the Iphone coz I did all that reading in the recovery room and during midnight feedings)
    I started to feel very sad and upset – at the same time I didn’t want it to share it with anyone …
    any ways .. now i am at peace with what happened .. and now i dont think about the delivery day much …
    I don’t know probably the overdose of “holding baby as soon as he/she is born, ur vagina failing u , as a woman u didnt do what u r supposed to do” kind of articles and comments is what actually made me sad ….
    The next day of delivery I said Sorry to the Dr to having failed her 😦 and she said actually C-sec was a good thing coz normal would have been impossible even otherwise coz the baby had broad shoulders and the chord was entangled too …
    Finally i have a theory …
    Birth process is like finger print .. Every person has a different story .. and in most of my frnds cases ( be it c-sec or natural) there were some upsetting moments and finally when u hold the bundle of joy everything else is forgotten …

    • yes.. i think at some point all women who have a csec feel cheated. by their body, the hospital.. everything. and yet when you read about people dying in childbirth, kids coming out with forcep indents and all sorts, you realise that its a boon and we should be grateful that our children were saved by this medical advancement. handling your emotions post partum is anyway difficult, even worse when you’ve had a csec and the added trauma of a major surgery.

  13. I don’t know who is spreading these rumours. There’s a reason it’s called natural birth – because the body is meant for it and knows instinctively how to recover from it. Your experience brought back so many of the same memories and pains, except mine I cried for joy. You know why.

  14. What an honest post! It makes me nostalgic about 2 things :

    1…I remem how I celebrated my B’day on 5.5.5… a spl B’day that it was! I even remem what I wore. N I get this ..hmm..weird feeling..that there u were having one of the most momentous occasions of your life and bringing another life into existence..while I was celebrating, well a B’day..n making it such a big deal ! [So lame!]

    2…it reminds me of the time my sis had her C-sec and gave birth to her son, her 1st baby. Poor girl was in labor all day long but they had to do an emergency C-sec. I can NEVER forget the look of fear on my dad’s face that day. He was standing outside the clinic, pale with tears flowing down his eyes. He couldn’t take it that my sis had to go thru that level of pain. N then…the doc brings out a teeeeny weeeeny being, scans the faces of us eager souls…and asks “where is the father?”…I was dying to know the gender..he smiles…looks at my jeej n says “here, u have a beautiful….” I swear, he took a long pause like they do in these TV shows…”boy!” . I was the 4th person to have held him. My li’l angel ! n ya I blv my dear mad sister..abt 5 mins after her baby wailed, asks the doc “Is the baby out Dr?”…n the doc said “no dear…that was us crying that loudly “ 🙂

    Thanks for bringing back the memories dear MM.

  15. wow, my c-section experience was very different. I cant imagine being completely knocked out. I was totally conscious and aware of the tugging and pulling. The other adult who I expected to faint, actually stayed on for the whole show and even filmed it.

    My baby came out and they bundled him up and showed him to me right away. He had his eyes open, which i was most surprised by.

    What helped with the surgery was knowing what i was getting into. I had a previous surgery for fibroid where i was knocked out. I knew the drill, catherter and all that nonsense. I guess i was just lucky that i didnt have any problems with the spinal.

    • second time they did that. but the first time i felt like a prisoner in a torture chamber. eyes blindfolded and arms tied down to a hard plank of wood shoved under my shoulders so that i couldn’t move even an inch to make myself more comfortable (think Christ on the cross.. i know i did, praying so hard for the terror to end), chloroformed or something because the anesthesia wasn’t taking effect fast enough and they were in a hurry and also wanted me to shut up, they began to cut me open before the anesthesia took effect and i could feel it, the absolutely horrifying experience of hands moving inside your belly, i’m surprised i decided to have a second baby at all.

  16. Haiyoo.. so scary.. I so badly want babies but I am like your SIL..petrified of the pain. whenever I would talk about it, my ma would say, why do you worry? I will be there and everything will be fine.
    I dont know what I am going to do

  17. I fastforwarded thru ur post becoz even though I am do bacchon ki ma, I still cannot handle birth stories…..but OA stands for other adult!!!! Itney dinokey baad samjha..aww ur brother is the mad sibling but husband ko mad nahin bola, good wife, shabash 😉

  18. Simply loved this post MM and a very honest one at that. Even I was mildly disappointed when I found out that its a boy during my scan in 6th month. I cribbed about that for 2 days and the husband was so upset that he made me apologise to the little one in the womb.He said that the baby’s feelings would be hurt by my ‘heartelss’ remarks.
    My docs and nurses were very supportive and really good to me.When I was brought to the room after the delivery(I had emergency C-sec as well due to cord tightening around his neck and his oygen levels were going down) and the dear hubby brought my son to me, I asked them if they are sure if its a boy as he looked very girlish and adorable.
    ‘Sometimes I squeeze him really hard and hope that will make him stay this size forever.’ – my feelings exactly.
    Sorry for the long comment MM but this post brought back many special memories.

  19. It seems likes the grass is always greener. Women who have c-sections want natural births (except in HK where they opt for c-sections by the droves) and having had a natural birth, I am understanding the appeal of a c-section. I had stitches after the natural birth and two months later they have still not dissolved and I feel pain there! I also had very insensitive doctor – she looked about 19 and said “oh the pain isn’t that bad” when I begged for an epidural. My labour was induced and now I’m reading that the pain is sometimes even worse when they do that because the contractions are unnatural. Ugh thinking about it makes me want to cancel all thoughts of another baby.

    • Its not about the grass being greener – its about what the need of the hour is. People who have had both still swear that the natural birth was preferable. simply because the body is equipped for it and heals. sometimes nature might choose to give you a rough time in which case mother or child are in danger and medicine steps in and saves the day. where that line should be drawn is what ppl quibble over. some people swear their natural birth was terrible and should have been a csec, some people swear they had an unscrupulous doctor who forced a csec on them. we’ll never be able to say for sure.
      if you have a bad doctor who makes bad decisions and fucks things up then it doesnt matter which one you end up having, you’ll still hate it. read Tharini’s blog. she had both natural births and to read her makes you realise what it could be like. not to romanticise the pain, but simply that your body has just been through the rigours of pregnancy and then has to deal with the trauma of an invasive surgery. few women recover their health entirely post csec.

      • I have to agree with this one 100%. I can only speak for myself, but even with 2 natural births, for the first one I took epidural and was hooked to monitors and such. But for the second one no epidural, no drugs, no nothing. Although, it wasn’t planned but my daugther was in rush. So I ended up having a compeltely screaming in pain, filmy style labor but it was the BEST experience of life. It was much more painful than the first time, but to feel your child pass through you is an unbelievable experience. And the satisfaction of doing it free of drugs and intervention will last forever. Sorry, if I was just rambling.

        • not at all. and the women who have csecs and like me feel cheated mad are those who wish theyd experienced that. on the other hand when you realise that not having that option might have cost me my precious child, its not just a small price to pay for the loss of a dream, but almost trivial.

  20. All of us have our own horror story. And then the baby starts smiling and making cute sounds. Amnesia strikes and we beg our husbands for a 2nd baby 😮
    Ditto for the feelings for the baby boy. When my daughter was born, H observed my spirits and commented that “Its seems ki tumne ladka duniya ke liye paida kiya and ladki apne liye” 🙂

  21. “Ma prayed all the way and had been praying for the last 20 days. And I was growing more irritated by the minute. ”

    Let me assure you that when bean grows up and becomes a mom, I WILL read that to you 😛

    And what a story, MM!

  22. Expecting my 1st baby (even typing that seems a lil awkward) in June. And has ur story scared me or what, then I read the horrifying natural birth post by R’s mom and that scared me too!
    Yikees!!!! None of my friends ever told me all this.. Hoping all goes well.

    • Err.. I had two babies the ‘natural way’, minus painkillers of any sort. Was fine, really. Each of us has different experiences. I had very decent experiences – it just so happened.

      And birth is just the beginning. there are many many challenges that crop up with kids – like any mother will tell you, there is no end. One gets resolved, another crops up. You just get used to dealing with it. Life changes like never before, but it is worth it. That is why people still have babies!

    • i think each experience is individual. so much is variable. you, the baby, the doctors, the health situation, your pain tolerance level. i know plenty of people who went through surgery after a natural birth because they were ripped up and stitched up wrong. and i know people like my mom who got off the delivery table and just took me in her arms and walked off.

      • I guess what both of you are saying is right.. each experience is different and there is no point getting worked up about it at this time!
        And yup choxbox that’s what everyone has been telling me children are random number generators, expect the unexpected and that goes for how they change ur life for the better too! Looking forward to the joy, the challenges and love and the changing of life as I have known it till now!
        Thanks both of you!

      • Totally.

        I do know one thing – hearing about a couple of bad births before I had my first baby really terrorised me initially. It took conscious effort to tell myself I’d be okay. I think that terror itself is a big problem. Which is why I thought it would be good to highlight that everyone’s experience is different and that there can be ‘perfect’ births also. Like someone mentioned above, giving birth w/o painkillers felt almost spiritual. Also want to say that that is not in our control – it just so happened and could have totally been the other way too. Plus like I said, giving birth is just one part of the whole thing. Much happens later too.

        • True… on the other hand everyone led me to believe that c-secs were a piece of cake and the easy way out. i realise they were people who hadnt had them and didnt know what they were talking about. anyone reading a blog,is usually reading atleast a couple more in the same genre. so i’m sure other mommy blogs who have written about their experiences will have some good ones to share. you should write yours up actually to show the other side. its just nice to have a range of experiences to read up on, you get tips, you get warnings, you get support, you get knowledge. you are equipped. for more than i was, at any rate!

  23. gee! thats painful MM.

    thankfully both my c-secs were peaceful. so much so that my friend who delivered after me was maha angry with me. shew as poining an angry finger at me and telling me “but you said it wont be painful!” errrr! it wasnt for me. so when everyone asked me “did that tattoo hurt?”, i always answered “my threshold of pain is high! i dunno about yours. same goes for c-sec!”

    and i am one of those who thinks the whole discussion about what kinda birth is overrated. as long as mum-baby are fine, thats all that is important in my books! 🙂

    durin Bub’s time, only feeling i had during getting opearted was how hungry i was and thebleddy doctors were discussing what would they have for breakfast after they were done with me! :p

    lauuly lauuly post!


  24. Gosh! Some of you women are crazy. Correction: Some of us are crazy. (Phew!)

    Very similarly, my cousin who had one son burst into tears when she was told that her second child was also a boy. It was, let me say, the most unusual reaction nurses and doctors in a place like Patiala had seen. And yes, her denial lasted a lot longer because the poor baby boy has pictures of him dressed in only frocks for the first 3 months. She claims that was because those were the only clothes she had stocked up 😀

  25. Thanks for sharing MM. I understood each emotion you’ve expressed totally. Brought back a lot of pain (which is why I’m commenting late), my first was also a C-section, after a horrendous labour with very mean nurses in a small town. A month before delivering, I’d discovered it was a boy (thanks to some family jewels I saw on a videotape of the scan), and was very upset. The C-section was traumatic too, as were the recovery and breastfeeding attempts, and it all ended badly. I mean, all the pain and trauma and the disappointment over gender all settle down if you have the baby, no? I didn’t expect a perfectly healthy infant to go die on me.

    My second delivery in the US was a dream, tho’, you’ve read that experience. Altho’ it took me a while to fall in love with Div too. It’s common, that gap. And the whole heady experience of meeting Dhruv baby was my whole recompensation for everything. I guess, not going thru’ pregnancy and delivery frees up some emotions to flow freely!

  26. So glad you posted this! I was induced into labour with my first on the 10th jan, long long story, was kept nil by mouth for 34 hours, had no epidural until near the end, dint get past 6cms, then spiked a temperature N started vomiting violently, taken for an emergency caesarean at 00:01 on the 12th (everyone was gunning for a 11.1.11 birth!! I am a gynae
    doctor myself and have cried at countless
    numerous other peoples deliveries… But my own? Didntfeel a thing, felt annoyed that my husband wanted to hand me my daughter for initial feed, I felt so awful feeling that. I don’t know if it’s the exhaustion or that a caesarean is so unnatural that that you just don’t have the same reaction I don’t know. I feel gutted about it still. As for the recovery , it was awful and ten days later I was back in with an infected haematoma. I’d go through the 34 hour labour again, I actually don’t recall the pain.. But a
    c section?? Never again voluntarily. I dont get how or why celebrities do it? I still feel
    completely broken inside, I can’t imagine being able to run again (dramatic but the recovery has been that slow!) as a gynae doc I think I was cursed with every single possible thing going wrong, induction, failure to progress, pyrexia in labour, emergency section and then post op infected wound!!!

    As for the GA…the reason why dr reluctant o do them is that the pregnant womans airways are
    a conpletely alien thing to a normal womans airways due to the gravi uterus pushing everything up. It’s dangerous. It’s not preferable. Women can die. Anaesthetist shit themselves when they have to do one in an emergency setting as shit can really go wrong… So I’d take lifetime backache over that any day 😉

    • oh err… thanks for telling me this 🙂 I feel better already.
      and my God.. this is a scary story. i know what you mean. i know i still feel like parts of me have broken and will never recover. its not easy for the body to go through 9 months of pregnancy and then a major surgery i am sure. you’ll be fine soon… give it a year and you’ll be dancing around.. 🙂
      that said, i do know women who worked out and got fit. but not everyone has that option. many just go back to work and are struggling to balance child and work and home.
      the other part.. yes, i think csecs are so unnatural that a lot of us react badly to them. some may not, but some people do.

  27. My lord gimme strength even to think that I want a baby…Good Lord where are the slim storks with chubby babies, I wish what I believed in as a kid was the reality and when I wanted one, I just had to make that call to God and had one customized baby delivered right at my doorstep…Now I’m PANICKING , what’s all this with blindfolded, coming back to senses while you’re cut open from middle…Why can’t Men have kids??? ( Taking long breaths to calm down….)

  28. Thanks for sharing this story.
    In India, the “normal” delivery is not completely normal; they do a routine episiotomy. And boy, that hurts! The first time I just gave in. The second time, I tried to reason with the gyn to not do it, but she did not agree. So even the second time I was not able to sit up (ouch and double ouch!)
    But when I look at my children, I feel that the pain was all worth it, even if a little unnecessary.

      • At the hotel in Coonoor where we were staying this weekend, there was a couple with two kids at the table beside us and the lady looked like you (see, I’ve only seen your saree wali photo with only your chin and short hair showing) and her husband looked like the christmas header photo you’d put up 😐 Yes, I know those were headless photographs. Plus there was a little boy and a little girl, and I kept wondering if it was you with your Madrasi roots. Must’ve driven the husband mad with my constant wondering. I was wondering how funny it would be if I went up to the lady and asked her ‘Are you the mad momma?’ 😀 Also realized for the first time that your kids’ names are not Brat and Bean. I mean I know they’re not but you know what I mean… 😐

        Ok, before you ban me from this blog, tta! And how I envy your dad! I was so heartbroken that we had to go back to Chennai! Ok, bbye!

        • LOL! my other readers will kill you for the ‘Madrasi’ comment.
          That said, my hair is now way below my shoulders. i see i need to update you guys 😉
          you should have asked her you know. I’ve had so many people walk up to me and ask me if I am the Mad momma.

  29. What’s wrong with the Madrasi comment? :-s i’m sorry, you say something about Garwhali but your brother is Thambi… I must’ve missed something somewhere 😐

    I have made note of the long hair 😛

    And about people walking up to you, wow! You must feel like such a celebrity 🙂

    • 1. well its not Madrasi. its meant to be – South Indian or Tamilian.
      2. Yes, brother is Tambi. We had Tamil househelp at that time and they kept calling him that so I picked it up and its stuck and he hates being called by it in public but thats how it is!
      3. not really -it freaks me out and makes me nervous about privacy issues


  30. I really liked your birth story and I totally agree that the whole event aorund delivery is so dramatic – from nurses to stren gyneac to the actual process that i dont think any mother weeps and cries holding the bundle of joy just moment after delivery. All you want is to get out of that horrible place – into your room and then the initial induction into motherhood is also not a pleasant journey- breastfeeding to bathing etc. I had a very interesting event before my second born. The whole event was so filmi that I have very vague memories of the actual event. For your pleasure reading : http://betweenworkandhome.blogspot.com/2011/01/night-to-remember-sonny-boys-birth.html

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