Had we started this blog about 3-4 years ago, I would have had nothing to say in this domain. Probably, the only thing I would have shared back then were my woes and sorrows of being weighed down by a diagnosis that seemed to have no cure and only led us to believe we, rather I, suffered from "Unexplainable Infertility". So brace yourself, because this birth story is going to either bore the hell outta you (yup its LONG!) or make you thank your stars that this was not your story!!
My birth story (or should I say journey to motherhood?) really began way back in 2003 when we discovered that things were'nt as rosy as they seemed. My cycles got irregular (They were so even when I was a teen. In college, they came into control because I lost weight.) and our trips to gyneacs began. If there was one thing that all of them mentioned was that I had Polycystic Ovaries and that if I lost weight I could get pregnant. So I tried. We bought a treadmill, I joined a gym, drank protein shakes etc. But, little did I know it was only the beginning.
We tried everything - birth control pills to regulate my cycles, HcG shots, clomid .... you name it. We knew these were the priliminary rounds of doctor visits because the biggies like Artificial Insemination (IUI), In-Vitro Fertilization etc. were silently knocking at our doors. Then we got to the US and I met this fabulous gyneac. Not that she has some magic wand to help people conceive but its her ways and methods of treatment and analysis that left us (who had seenso many docs) in awe!! She too tried all that she could. Finally, she said she had observed me very well and that our best bet was to visit an Infertility Specialist. So we listened to her and did the same. Sadly, our health insurance plan covered only a few of the procedures partly. And, you need to be a millionaire of sorts to be able to get it done without insurance out here! So, we met the infertility specialist who explained us various financial options. He also gave us "natural" options, like me losing (more) weight, which the N number of gyneacs I met had also told me. I knew weight had a major role to play in this. Those of you who know me well, also know I stash on pounds at the drop of a hat and that it directly influences my hormone levels and in turn my cycles and further reduces my chance of ovulating and hence - procreating!!! Talk about a vicious cycle. So everytime I let go and ate to my hearts content (the foodie that I am!!) I would end up having late cycles. Sometimes no cycle at all, leaving my gyneac wondering if I was pregnant. And each time that happened, she would perform tests after tests and finally - "Negative""Negative""Negative"!! This went on for a year (We came to the US in 2006. So this went on till 2007).
In the meanwhile, I decided to do something good for myself. Considering I had all the time in the world (being on a dependant visa does have its benefits for people like me), I decided to dedicate my mornings to workouts and noons to do things that I loved (art/music/writing etc.). This decision paid off. And it paid off like nothing else. I even decided to stop worrying about conceiving and start enjoying life. I got more active and dropped about 5lb in a few weeks. That itself was a huge task with my wayward hormones. But just continuing it and remaining active helped me get my cycles on my own. Of course every now and then things would go hay-wire and I would run to my doc.
It was one such time she had asked us to see the Infertility Specialist and yet she continued her treatment on me for irregular cycles. She said she will have to do a pregnancy test first. I was like - "Ya, as always!!". Here the normal modus operandi is that after a patient goes through a clinical/lab test the results reach the doctor and not the patient. Then someone from the doctors office would phone you with the results. So, the day my phone rang with my doctors number on it, I casually picked up and like I expected the bubbly Punjabi lady on the other side said "Deepti, aapka result aya hain. Negative hain". I said, "Achcha... thank you" and we both hung up. But my gyneac never stops at one test. Which is why I love her!! Hehe.. read on and you will know why... She repeates tests after 10 days and tells couples to stay "away" from each other until that test is done. So, after the 10 day trial and test I again awaited results. I almost was certain it would be negative. Had the first one not been so?!?! So I did my rigorous workout of a good 2.5 hours that morning and had my breakfast and settled down with ironing my hubby's shirts when the phone rang.
The Punjabi lady again - "Deepti, aapka result aaya hain".
I said, " Okay".
She said - "Positive hain". _________________________
Me (pulling out the plug of the iron) - "Kya! Are you kidding??!".
Punjaabni - "Nahi. Its positive. Your HcG count is 53. Abhi toh shaayad ek hafta hua hain so keep it to yourself. Dont tell anyone, not even your parents. Let it be confirmed aur fir batao". Me - "Can I tell my husband?" (For certain I was insane in that very moment, which made me ask this DUMB question!!)
She - "Haan haan of course!! Congratulations."
HOOOOOOOOOOOOLYYYYY COWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!! I was pregnant (I was working my butt out!!) and then I was jumping up and down and then stopping myself trying to believe the reality that was....I cried and screamed and howled as if I had won a million dollars. I probably would not be as happy had I won it too! And then I called my husband and I repeated the dialog:
Me - "I got the result" (He was so dumb. He should've known that if I'd CALLED to tell him then it was not gonna be negative. Because in our history of babymaking (haha) I never called him to give results cuz they were always negative!)
Hubby - "Hmm" (Serious tone at work!)
Me - "Its positive"
Hubby - "_____________________________________ Call the doc and check if they are reading your results and not someone elses"
Me - "Okay"
And we actually did that!! We both drove down to see the results. As if we would know how to read it. But I saw HcG>53 and I saw Deepti Pawar and it was both in one sheet of paper and I smiled.... and I still AM!!!
Phew... If you have read this far, then dont stop now because.... here is the actual Birth Story - The story of the miracle baby - Samvit! (Ya, this one is short...the real thing is over)
So, the nine month penance began. I was due on the 16th Of Jan, 2008. Peak winter in this Northern Hemisphere. Its horrible to face it when you're not pregnant, let alone carrying an extra 40 odd pounds. But, I could not be happier.
The night of 15th Jan, I began getting pains. Those were probably the false labor pains. Or just the initial ones. But they were very mild, but a slow signal of what was to come. Then, by 16th morning the pain increased. I began timing it. It came like every hour. Sometimes every 45 min. So I thought I must call my doc. She said, "Do not call me until its every 5 min apart". So I waited... and by lunch time It was almost every half an hour and the intensity was on the rise. We decided to have an early dinner and then call the doctor again. I began getting pains every 10 minutes apart but it was not something I could not bear. I was still able to walk around, talk and crack a joke or two!! Still we headed to the hospital and even the registration nurse said I looked pretty good for a woman in labor. I was happy I heard that.. but not for long.
By 10:30pm I was on the bed of the delivery room and if there was one thing I wanted to do it was pee. Thanks to the pressure in my tummy and the cold I wanted to sit in the toilet. But I was tied down with all sorts of machines that monitored me and my baby. I lay there and the pain increased in leaps and bounds. I heard a lady in the neighboring dlivery ward screech her lungs out and knew it was my turn next. The pain (which I think those of you who went thru normal labor know quite well, so I wont try to explain it since no words can explain it anyway!) went on increasing and I was ready to slap anyone who came to console me.
Right then, as they were checking my dilation ( I was about 5-6 cm) my water broke. I was still willing to try to go through and have a normal birth (I still wish I had one), but thankfully since the water broke they could see that my baby had pooped inside of me. He was trying so hard to come out that his heart rate began fluctuating and his head got turned to one side. At 7:10 am on the 17th of Jan, my doctor said it was going to be dangerous if I decided not to go in for a C-section because the poop could prove fatal for my baby. And how could I say no??
The anaesthesia came as a BIG relief. And I do not know if they put an epidural. It was 7:45am and I was inside the Operation Theatre. God knows what happened after those 3 pricks that stabbed my back (where they asked me to stay still etc. Is that epidural?? God knows!) I was in a state of coma I think and I collapsed on the operation table. My mom was allowed inside. Although I would have loved to have my husband too, only one person was allowed in the OT. But sadly, he stepped out of the delivery room to inform my Dad (who was waiting in the guest room) about the emergency c-section and hence was not allowed back in. I could do anything to rewind time and go back to that moment and have my husband with me to see my baby. But, atleast mom was there. She was my strength and my everything (and still is) when I lay there like a half dead human. I knew nothing that was going on. I was unconcious, not due to the anaeasthesia but due to being in labor for so long. The only next thing I heard was screams in the room "8:10" "8:10"!! All I could barely do was smile in my coma-like-state at my mom a a few minutes later they got my baby to me all wrapped up and I kissed his tender, soft cheek and went back to la-la land.
On 17th Jan, 2008 at 8:10am Samvit Pawar was born. And from that moment he has been living proof that when everything else fails, hope never dies....