I have been wanting to write this down from a long time but one thing or the other kept me from completing my pregnancy chronicles. I finally decided to finish it all in the ending year and put it all behind me before the new year dawns. It is this determination that brought me the needed courage to let my emotions and pent-up hurt flow free in words and soothe my soul, one final time.
After what seemed like the longest and definitely the most difficult nine months of my life, came the moment when the gynecologist suggested that I needed to be admitted in the hospital immediately. I had somehow managed to pull to full term despite the complications and endless hurdles in the path of my pregnancy. But, the fear and possibility of things going wrong hadn’t loosened its clutches yet.
It was my faith, support from my parents, the patience of my unborn baby and endless efforts put in by my gynaecologist, that helped us all fight the toughest of times and live on to narrate this story to the world. I had been advised to shift to the hospital by 8 pm. My gynaecologist wanted me to be kept under constant monitoring for the fear of anything happening ( by anything the highest possibility was of my blood pressure shooting further and making me susceptible to a brain hemorrhage and endangering my and my baby’s life) any second.
We were well prepared for this move from the past four months. I was admitted and at once was put on high doses of the drugs to try to bring my blood pressure in control. The need of the hour was to wait only till the time my blood pressure lowered to acceptable levels to allow me to undergo surgery. The baby could no longer be put to risk for she was already showing signs of severe distress cause of my critical condition and the medications I was on. There was no scope for normal labor for any attempt of inducing would cause increased stress in my already stressed body and pain would trigger my blood pressure to rise leading to death in matter of seconds.
I had already read
too much enough about my condition and every aspect of the possible complications that might arise. But, the real preparation came from the sufferings over the course of my pregnancy. I was now ready to face the worst. My will power was at its peak and I was determined to somehow bring my baby to this world, even if I died in the process. I knew my husband and in-laws were eagerly waiting for a baby boy, but in those last moments of preparation I prayed for a daughter, for I had no clue whether I’d live through this delivery to ever dream of having a daughter again (for I always wanted a daughter).
The gynecologist told us that the C-section was scheduled for the morning for they wanted me to calm down and let the medicines act in the night. I was on constant monitoring. The nurse would walk in with a device that allowed me to hear my baby’s heartbeat every hour. It was reassuring that all was OK till now. The time seemed to have slowed down. I hardly slept an hour that night. Eventually time moved on and the morning dawned. The surgery was going to be an emergency procedure and was scheduled to be the second case that morning.
The morning wasn’t a very peaceful start, even though the good news was, that my blood pressure was much closer to normal by then. At this point of time, the bangles that I had been wearing were to be removed before the operation. Since my hands were swollen to double size, taking them off on my own was impossible hence they were still worn. The nurse decided to help me out and we decided to try with soap and water. We succeeded, but not without traumatizing my wrists. The pain in the right wrist was excruciating. No matter how many other things were running in my mind at that point of time, but I simply couldn’t ignore the pain there. It was later (around 10 days from then) I discovered that I had actually fractured my wrist while struggling to get those bangles out.
Due to repeated infusions and punctures during IV infusions over the months, all my veins had become badly swollen and bruised. Finding a patent vein for the surgery was a very painful task even for the very skilled nurses, taking them five trials in both my hands, further worsening the pain in my wrist.
Somehow, I finally got an OK signal by the anesthetist who had come to assess my status before the surgery and I was moved to the operation theater in the wheel chair. I was quite calm and composed at that point of time and even managed to keep a smile on my face until I reached the closed doors of the operation theater. I really don’t know what struck my mind at that point that I felt a sudden pang of nervousness hit the hollow of my stomach. I felt a sharp pain rise in my head that soon felt like someone had knocked the back of my head with a hammer (that’s the feeling I always got whenever my blood pressure shot up).
The doors of the theater opened and the first face I saw was of my gynecologist. I had met her many times before that day, but that particular morning I saw a very concerned look on her face. She was discussing my case with her colleagues and interrupted the minute she saw me. She could sense it from my expression that something was seriously not right for I was literally struggling to breathe by then. She ordered for shifting me to a stretcher right away and to check my vital parameters (blood pressure, temperature, pulse etc.).
I closed my eyes as I was moved over to the stretcher and started uttering the Gayatri Mantra in my mind. The blood pressure was on the rise and they decided to give me time to relax a bit before moving to the theater table. After what felt like a very long time, I was finally wheeled towards the theater table. The rest of the procedures were done in a jiffy though I was fully conscious to note them all.
The theater lights were adjusted and turned on. I could feel their warm glare over my skin as the anesthetist prepared herself to begin with giving me the anesthesia. I am one curious soul, for I wasn’t lying still on the table despite the narrowness of it frightening me to extreme limits. I would raise my head to look around though the staff there tried their best to discourage me from doing so to, avoid me getting any more anxious than I already was.
Then began the process that I simply loved. All the staff uttered a prayer together and aloud while continuing with their tasks and before beginning the procedure. As the prayer ended I could see the anesthetist prepare a very long needle to push the anesthetic in my spine. Needles are one thing I am no longer scared of. She continued to keep me distracted by asking me lot of questions about my height, what did I do, where did I live overseas and the like.
Within a minute she was on my side with her eyes glued to the monitors. They were beeping frantically and I could feel my head hurting hard. I decided to calm my senses,close my eyes and try to relax. I knew, the big moment I had been waiting for years was just round the corner. I was continuously uttering the Gayatri Mantra in my mind when I heard the anesthetist order the male-nurse to make me sit on the table, leaning forward. She instructed him to make me lie down the very instant she would ask him to.
I too was ready for action. The big size needle I had seen minutes earlier was in no time going to put me to a zone of no pain. That was the gentlest prick I had experienced in my lifetime. I had felt it, but it felt like the brush of a rose bud as compared to what I had endured over the months in my veins.
That very instant I was made to lie flat on the theater table and I could feel a surge of a warm liquid rush through the lower half of my body and legs. I knew it was cause of the anesthetic and in no time I saw the gynecologist rush in and take her position by my side. She addressed me by my name and asked if I was alright. I still remember answering her, “yes I am OK but this anesthetic is making me feel very hot and flushed.” She had smiled and continued with her work. I couldn’t see anything more for an eye-band was put on my eyes but my ears were over-functional that day.
The beeping and talking amongst the staff continued.All I could feel was, as if someone had tied very heavy loads to my feet. The sharp shooting headache soon returned. I knew there was panic and lot of stress in the air for I could sense it in the tones of the staff working and even running from here and there. Just then, I felt as if someone threw a very heavy object towards the left side of my chest.
It felt like raw pain, so severe like a massive blow made to my chest. I felt as if my head would burst that very instant. I have a very faint memory of the time but I still remember how I felt as if someone was continuously thumping over my chest with an intensity as if my ribs would crush under the pressure. I can still remember the feeling I had during those moments. In hardly a few seconds, I could hear my heart beat loud and very clear in my ears. It coincided with the time, just when I heard my daughter cry for the very first time.
Yes, she had made it safely into this world. That was my last thought before I passed out. I had no clue what happened next and when I was still drowsy, confused with a blurred memory I remember being wheeled out of the theater.I babbled something in a confused tone ( I don’t remember what I said, but I was later told that I had asked whether my baby was fine) and lost consciousness one more time.
I regained consciousness after what felt like a lifetime, for the past many months I had failed to sleep longer than a couple of hours cause of the high blood pressure. It was 6:30 p.m. I was still very drowsy and felt extreme pain as if the doctors had forgotten to stitch me up after the operation. I literally screamed in pain when the nurse came running for I was in the surgical I.C.U. I was given many more injections and the next face I saw was of my mum with my little darling.
Yes, it was a baby girl. I couldn’t thank God enough for bringing that day and that beautiful moment in our lives. She was born at 11.18 a.m.She was perfectly healthy and weighed seven pounds. It was a very emotional moment for mum, dad and me. Indeed a miracle after all the complications we’d had during the pregnancy. I was getting way too excited for what I was allowed. I was immediately checked to control my excitement for any emotion could trigger my blood pressure from shooting yet another time.
I later learnt, that while in theater I had suffered a massive cardiac arrest and had almost died but was revived with CPR and timely management. It was this cardiac thumping and the sequence of events that I had felt while in theater.
My beautiful daughter is indeed my new life. Gifted to me by the Almighty, this new life has come with the massive responsibility of giving my precious daughter the best of everything and an upbringing she rightfully deserves.
Days moved on, we were discharged on the sixth day, i.e. 24 hours after my husband arrived. The drama was yet to begin and we all were yet to see, hear and experience some life changing events in the very near future which saw my daughter landing in neonatal I.C.U. at the age of less than ten days.
She had very severe jaundice as a side effect of the tons of medicines I had consumed during my pregnancy. (Jaundice in new-born babies is a normal phenomenon, but in our case it was very severe hence needed hospitalization). After spending three dreadful days in the neonatal ICU we were back home.
Recovering from the shocks, pain and emotional setbacks of that time might take me my lifetime, but I am determined to keep my Pari safe from the monsters who caused us all that pain and suffering. (I’ll write the details of what happened soon after my discharge on a separate post).
I wouldn’t have wanted to live if she wasn’t around. Pari you are my everything, calling you my life is just an under-statement. We survived to make the efforts my parents had put in during my very difficult pregnancy a success. We are alive to spread the message that continue believing in miracles, for they actually happen. Don’t lose hope and patience for it will surely bear fruit someday.
The song on my mind: