Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Best Day

I don't agree. I don't think it was the best day of my life by any stretch of my imagination. This image, according to me, is just another way of glorifying the whole birthing process. I have delivered two babies. Both the days were MESSY, to say the least. Normal or C-section - it doesn't matter. You are a MESS.  

Read on to get a sneak verbal preview of what happens on that day. 

Doctors (yes, plural) stick their fingers into you, nurses disrobe you, one staff puts a bed pan under you (in case of normal delivery) and asks you to relieve yourself so that you don't shit during the delivery (the truth is, some still do!!), you can feel your stomach and large intestines emptying into that pan and then the staff takes that pan in front of you into the toilet and flushes it and you almost die of shame (if it's your first delivery), another staff comes and "cleans" you. Add to that, your mad-woman like screams during the contractions and unbearable hunger, your body being paraded and handled most unceremoniously and you cannot even protest .... I could go on. 

Point is - it is NOT a pretty sight. 

In India, most hospitals do not allow the husbands into the labor rooms. I don't think it is a good thing. I feel husbands should be allowed to see their wives in their WORST possible avatar and see if they still love her as much.  Indian husbands have no idea what their wives go through, on the D-day, to give them their DNA, in flesh and blood, angelic and cherubic,  wrapped beautifully in softness of cloth and skin.  

And those videos that show the baby and the mother bonding - well, with both my babies (I delivered them in the same hospital, 12 years apart), the nurses took them away almost immediately to be weighed and cleaned and a thousand other things to be done like noting the time of birth etc. The bonding and the skin-to-skin contact that pregnancy websites emphasize so much on happened a few hours later in my case. 

Face Presentation

Brow Presentation or Face Presentation (FP).   
Saw this word for the first time on my hospital discharge summary report. 

No matter how much you read on the topics of pregnancy and birth when you are pregnant, there's always something you miss. Who knew my baby would choose to come into the world through an FP? 

Statistics say only one out of 300 deliveries are FPs.  Normally, a baby is born head first. The chin is bent towards the chest. But in an FP, the chin is stretched, the neck is extended backwards, as if the baby is looking up. 

They say if an FP is mismanaged, there is the possibility of birth defects and skull trauma. 
Saw this video on FP while writing this post. 

A million thanks to God and the doctors for ensuring my baby was delivered safely, that she was fine and did not suffer any pain/swelling of face or any other trauma. Today, the more I read about FP and watch images or videos related to it, the more grateful I am for my baby's safe delivery. My C-section delivery apprehensions be damned! I have a healthy baby in my hands. That's what matters. 

But on the day of the delivery and post that, I was really upset. I kept asking myself, and Sathya - why did our baby choose to come this way?  Why couldn't she have not flexed her neck muscles? Why couldn't she have 'looked down', tucked her chin into her chest and come out like hundreds of other babies? I could have easily had a normal delivery. We could have saved money and post-delivery recovery time spent in the hospital. I had no complications, whatsoever, during my entire pregnancy period nor on the day of the delivery. No pain or contractions or bleeding or high BP. Not even water discharge. Just the news that the baby will exit the womb today. So did the baby look up on the day of the delivery or at the moment of her entry into the world? When did she actually flex her neck? It certainly did not show up in any of the scan reports or during the weekly physical examinations. 

I have decided to take solace in the words of the operating doctor who said, "Nim magu thale yetti, aakasha nodkond bandide." (Your baby has held her head high and is coming, looking up at the sky.)