Skip to main content

She's Here! (Plus Birth Story)




Shreya, at 8 lbs 1 oz and 21.5" tall, was born on July 20, after a very long labor. Already, she's slightly older than a week and I have become depressingly aware that time is going to fly and she is not going to be the same little peanut that she was even a week ago.

Right now, I am exhausted. I have heard many moms use that word and although I believed it then, you need to actually experience this exhaustion to know what it really means. Looking after a newborn is tiring. It's also super rewarding especially when it's 3 AM and you are extremely sleepy but staring at you is this perfect pair of happy eyes that don't look remotely sleepy. I don't even remember the last night I slept properly but it was several days before I went into labor.




Birth story

I started getting timeable contractions at 11.30 pm on July 18. I had just put my knitting away, ready for a hopefully but unlikely good night of sleep when the first one hit. From then on, they started coming in 10 minutes apart. I may have gotten a half hour of sleep that night but honestly, I don't remember. By morning, the contractions were still painful and coming in 5 minutes apart. I told the husband and my family that I was possibly in labor. Everyone was now preparing for welcoming in the new one that night.

That didn't happen. The contractions didn't get closer at all but they remained painful. I started knitting in between them, and walked a LOT that whole day. I also did every exercise in the book that claim to speed up contractions. By 9 pm on July 19, those stubborn contractions were still 5 minutes apart and I was getting super irritated.

Although it was recommended to walk into L&D when the contractions were showing some kind of progress, I decided to go to the hospital anyways. There's only so much patient laboring a woman can do. I was secretly hoping that maybe I was one of those lucky ones who would be close to fully dilated even without very painful contractions.

smirk... shaking my head...

At the hospital, they told me that I was at 3.5. A whole day of laboring and that's where I was. I actually asked the nurse if she was sure. Surprisingly, they decided to admit me. They usually wait until you hit 4. I was glad. I didn't want to make the trip back home and continue laboring there. Plus, I was tired and sleepy.




I continued laboring in the L&D room and by 3 am, I was only 4.5. I requested a painkiller-sedative that put me out for about an hour (man, I was talking rubbish as soon as I got that drug - it was fascinating and hilarious). But an hour later, I was back from bliss-land and now moaning through the contractions, which were still 5 minutes apart. By 10 am, I was a 5 and my obgyn recommended taking pitocin or breaking my water to move things along, or else I could be laboring for too long. Much as I hated the idea of taking pitocin and wanted to avoid it at all costs, at that point, I didn't need much convincing. I wanted this baby out.

Until that point, I was laboring naturally. I wanted to continue doing that but I knew pitocin was going to make things... interesting. Sure enough, the contractions amped up in intensity, pain factor, and timing almost instantly. That was good news but the pain wasn't so I called in for epidural. The relief was instantaneous. I was finally smiling after a long time!

Even with pitocin, I wasn't progressing as fast as I had hoped to. It was many hours before I was at 8, at which point, the doctor broke my water. From then on, stuff started happening. Fast. I was curious how the epidural was going to impact the pushing, but turns out I could do a lot. The epidural was wearing out and I could feel every contraction all the way through. Still took me about an hour of pushing to get her out. 46 hours after my contractions first started, she arrived!


The week after

Honestly, the one week after delivery was the hardest part of the whole pregnancy and childbirth. I had a second degree tear and could hardly sit at all for a whole week. The stuff no one tells you about postpartum! Honestly, even I have mostly forgotten / blocked out the details so it's no wonder people don't mention this difficult phase much. I am hugely thankful to my mom for taking care of the chores and helping me build up my strength. The husband and I spent most of our time with the baby. Now, ten days later, I feel mostly fine. I still can only walk at a slow amble but other than that, physically I feel perfect. Now if only I could get some uninterrupted sleep.

Ever since we got back from the hospital, Shreya has kept us up all night. She has got her day and night mixed up - she sleeps like a champ all day and then sits wide-eyed all night. Each day gets a little better for us as we try to figure out what works best for her and us. Last night, I did get a lot more sleep than during the previous nights and managed to wake up ready for the day, so fingers crossed!

When I'm not drowsy or fighting a headache, I'm mostly admiring this little bundle. Newborn-gazing is my new hobby right now and I've been spending a good amount of time taking pictures. Already she looks very different from how she was a week ago. It's truly amazing how fast they grow.





Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Hell-Heaven by Jhumpa Lahiri (Short Fiction Review)

I first read Jhumpa Lahiri years ago, when her Interpreter of Maladies was making a huge buzz. At the time, I didn't catch any of the buzz, but for some reason, when I saw the book on the shelf at the store I was browsing in, I felt it just might be a decent read. Funnily, I read the entire short story collection without complaining about it, but for some reason, I cannot read any collection anymore without agonizing over its disjoint nature.

I did enjoy Interpreter of Maladies, but I did get bothered by the thread of loneliness and infidelity and distrust that laced through the stories. For that reason, I have been reluctant to read Unaccustomed Earth. However, when I came across Hell-Heaven at the NewYorker - a free short story from her book, I decided to go ahead and read it. I can't resist the pull of stories set in India or featuring Indian characters, and it is that same aspect that hooked me throughout this story.


In Hell-Heaven, the narrator contemplates the relations…

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Maybe that’s what religion is, hurling yourself off a cliff and trusting that something bigger will take care of you and carry you to the right place.
Bernadette Fox has a reputation. While her husband and her daughter Bee love her, there's barely anyone else who share the sentiment. Her neighbor Audrey loves to gossip mean things about her with her close friend, Soo-Lin. The other parents of kids at Bee's school look down on Bernadette because she doesn't involve herself in school affairs. Bernadette herself goes out of her way to avoid company.

And then one day, Bee comes home with an excellent report card and asks for her reward - a family trip to Antarctica. The very plan throws Bernadette into a panic but she has no other option. She hires a virtual assistant, based out of India to take care of all her demands, including getting prescriptions at her local pharmacy, doing her online shopping and taking care of some of the logistics of her trip. (It is ridiculous! Bern…

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson (Short Fiction review)

With the Hunger Games hype that engulfed us last week, it was hard to avoid all the discussion of similar works that existed. Of the many titles that I came across, two stood out particularly - a short story called The Lottery and a Japanese novel (and movie) called Battle Royale (which I'm reading right now and just cannot put down). The novel will be fodder for another post, so for now, I just want to rave about the awesomeness that was The Lottery.

In contemporary America, villagers across the country are gathering on the 27th of June (and some a day earlier) for an annual event called the Lottery. Children, women, men, all come to the main square of their village or town, where the lottery master keeps a black box full of paper chips. One of these chips is marked has a special mark on it to identify the winner (the person who draws that chip). Not everyone draws however, but only the head of the family. Husbands are viewed as the head of their families/households, and if the …