The nine months of my pregnancy felt like a breeze (of course, barring the first trimester when your body is adjusting to a tiny human growing inside you. Read morning sickness, heart burn, severe anxiety, intense hormonal changes). I was extremely pleased with the fact that I could work till the very end of my term, I was physically fit (thank you yoga) and I could live my life as usual. In short, apart from a growing belly and severe tiredness towards the end, I didn’t face too many health problems.
I clearly remember the night of 15th December 2016, the day before my daughter was born. My husband and I had finished dinner and were catching up on the day that went by. The first set of intense kicks started around 9.30pm. I dismissed them as normal since our visit to the doctor that morning confirmed that the baby is in no hurry to come yet. She was due in 10 days.
As the night progressed, the kicks started getting intense. Since I had trouble falling asleep, we continued chatting into the night. By 2.30am our eyes were shutting and we were failing to comprehend what the other was saying.
That night I had a dream that my water broke in an elevator. I woke up in shock and realised that what I’d dreamt had turned into my reality. At 3.45am, there I was, in a pool of clear amniotic fluid and my bed linen was soaking wet. I slowly got up and went to the washroom to check. As I sat on the pot, I felt an intense gush coming from me, with streaks of blood and mucous. I didn’t panic. I knew it was time to head to the hospital. I knew she was coming.
Once at the hospital, while I was being prepped for labour, I started practicing the breathing techniques I’d learnt at my prenatal yoga class. As the contractions grew intense, I spread out my yoga mat and practiced the cat-camel pose. See, I desperately wanted a normal delivery. Throughout my pregnancy, I’d read horror stories of women who had trouble recovering from a C-section. I’d read about how hospitals in India force mothers to go through C-section to make money. I felt that a normal delivery was my only chance of having a happy postnatal experience. Little did I know that there is nothing ‘normal’ about a vaginal delivery in India.