Read on how to enrich your life by purpose, i.e. to find depth and, a reason to get out of bed each morning, your own Ikigai.
What’s it like having a caesarian delivery, fulling conscious, and without your spouse present? Here’s what it’s like!
Not being a trailing spouse has its own pros and cons. I have no choice. My husband works offshore. Even by choice, I cannot trail behind him, to the middle of the seas you see.
Having said that, his job demands him to ‘Not’ take leave anytime he wants. In the first month of my pregnancy, I rolled to and fro my sister’s place. I would often call myself a rolling stone. After that I managed things alone. Yeah! A pat on my back for that…haha! Thankfully my sister lived close by.
Never in my wildest dreams did I picture myself going for my delivery without my husband. Hell broke loose when I learned just three weeks before the due date that his company did not find it reason enough for him to get leave. I had received a lot of WhatsApp joke messages on how watching what a woman feels at the time of delivery is almost the same as imagining what a man feels when he has a fever. So the tempest within me subsided.
Still, I wished I had Alladin’s lamp. But I only felt like a genie in a bottle. Sigh!
However, I stayed calm and mustered the courage. Those were the instructions indicated by Google for people like me.
I had my three knights in shining armour ready – my bro-in-law, sister and Mom. The more the merrier, I thought.
My hospital bag was packed! I watched the little mittens and caps go in. It still did not sink in that the day had finally arrived.
The previous night I ate and drank water before 10pm. After that, there was no eating and drinking. Not drinking water the entire night was equal to asking a mountain to move at that time. It was like a war I already won. I was apprehensive and sleepless. Since I did not sleep the entire night, I did not have to wake up. So I will just say that I ‘got off the bed’. At 5 am I freshened up. Two of my knights and I drove to the hospital at 6 am. My sister, the third knight, stayed back at home to look after her little daughter. She was supposed to join us later.
There was a sudden boost of energy in me when I sat in the car. I must have been the only woman on earth who must have felt so great going for the delivery without her husband. Why not? I accustomed myself to it.
Yet, my heart sang ‘oh babe, I hate to go’. Am sure you’ve heard the song ‘Leaving on a jet plane’. It was somewhat close to being abandoned.
It was drizzling. Showers of blessings or maybe God’s way of saying, let it ‘reign’ over you.
We reached the hospital. As my bro-In-law parked the car, I asked my mom to sit and I walked to the reception.
The receptionist told me, “The room is on the first floor, ma’am. Where is the patient?”
Not his fault though. I am on the slender side and wore a dress due to which the baby bump was hardly noticeable.
Me (proudly): “I am the patient”
He (with a quick glance at my stomach): “Ah okay. Do you need a wheel chair?”
I gave him that look as if c’ mon, it’s just a C-section.
Me (politely): “No, thank you!”
We went to the room. I lay on the bed with a bring-it-on attitude!
The nurse brought the hospital gown. I wore it and looked horrendous. I clicked pics of myself, sporting that look and sent them to my relatives via WhatsApp so that they could have their bit of fun too.
They pricked me with that disgusting needle. And then the torture began.
It was torture that I myself had called for. I cursed myself for watching those terrifying YouTube videos of C-section deliveries. Everything started playing in my mind and made me feel sick.
I was fighting with my husband in my mind. In our teens, in the yesteryears, he had promised me that he would not let any dark cloud hover over me. Those were his exact words. Since clouds come in different shapes and forms, I could see it in the form of injections, saline bottles, etc. I was now dying of self-pity. Poor me!
But as is said, love too comes in different forms – I had them with me. My knights!
I was feeling as if I was going to pass out. Hence, panic stricken, I informed the nurse about my ‘feelings’. The nurse conveyed the same to my doctor. I was going to get operated in an hour’s time. As the clock ticked, I was making a decision in my mind.
The nurse asked me to count the number of kicks my baby was giving. Damn the kicks, I was in no mood to go to the OT.
Very foolishly, I asked my mom, “Can we just postpone the operation?” The nurse heard me and laughed, saying, “You are absolutely fine. It’s just the effect of the drips which will wear off soon. Your sugar, pressure, etc are all normal.”
And yeahs she was right.
As they pulled me out of the room in my bed, for the OT, I started feeling better. In no time at all, I started telling my two knights not to worry. I felt so relaxed.
I could see my bro-in-law feeling really sorry for me. I waved out to them and showed them a thumbs up.
My doctor stroked my head and asked me what happened. I told her I was feeling unwell. While saying that I started getting that jittery feeling again. This time because I was talking to ‘the person’; The Person who was going to ‘rip me open’.
Her team of doctors arrived. They started setting up the lights and wore their gloves. I didn’t even want to look at their tools and I happened to see some sharp objects and even scissors!
My heart was yelling, “Lay me out. Cut me open.”
Not because I was courageous or brave. Not because it was mothering in its purest form. But because I was scared. Scared to death. I knew I was safe, I knew it was going to be all fine but the very fact of having my tummy cut open while I was all in my senses, just freaked me out. The antibiotics made me shiver. I was not cold. I just did not have control over my muscles. I was given the epidural and the lower part of my body felt risen to some divine place. There was no feeling.
That weird thought was haunting me, “There she is going to slit me, NOW!” I had no idea what was happening to me behind the green screen right in front of my face.
Suddenly, there was some tugging and pulling on my stomach. I thought, “What the hell is this now”. Google never mentioned that to me. You know when you were a kid and you would shake up that whole toy box to get that one little toy which was lying beneath? Exactly. My stomach felt like that toy box.
I gave a flinching sideways glance to my anaesthetist.
I was so perplexed that I couldn’t even get the right expression on my face – wear a frown or display my fright.
Just then, in a few minutes, my doctor said, “Congratulations Natasha. It’s a girl.”
I was expecting her to say something like, “Get ready as the Operation has just begun.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. In a few seconds, I heard those cries. I saw those little hands while they were swaddling her. She even coughed which made me tense. They brought her cheek close to mine. That tiny little face with eyes closed stole my heart. They asked me if I wanted to carry her. In a hurry, I said no. In my mind, I wondered how I would my daughter. I was lying in a crucified position with both my hands stretched out and clipped to machines and saline.
All this was happening while I was aware that my tummy was still open. Yet, I felt relaxed. I snoozed for a moment on the OT table. How ridiculous could I could! I was now lounging comfortably with tears of joy rolling.
My anaesthetist asked me if I was okay. I told him, I am absolutely fine.
In fact, in my mind, I was jiving with joy. My daughter ‘delivered’ me out of those fears with that sudden rush of happiness.
A picture of my daughter was ‘delivered’ to my husband on WhatsApp. Even he must have felt the same gush of happiness.
I said a little prayer for that amazing team of doctors. After all, they were my knights too!
Image via Unsplash
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Author of 'Infidelity-An Outrageously Funny Affair and The Ultimate
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