I so wanted a normal delivery since day one that I found out I was pregnant. Perhaps, it was because we were financially-strapped that time (having just resigned from my office job). Or maybe it was more of my filmmaking background. Doesn’t normal delivery look so cinematic? The heavy breathing, the screams, and then finally holding your little one while you are still half-awake seemed to be the perfect climax in this nine-month long movie epic.
For many mothers, the D-day (or delivery day!) is absolutely the most anticipated. For one, there’s nothing like seeing the baby that grew inside you face to face. If the 2D ultrasound images already made you and your husband teary-eyed, this one’s gotta be a knock out. And - for me at least and I bet you’d agree - it ends the discomfort of having a heavy tummy and oh-so frequent trips to the comfort room. Hence, my relief when my OB finally told me that I would have to be admitted to the hospital. My cervix has opened to 3 cm.
Nobody told me that hours in the labor room is actually more painful of a waiting game than months of carrying another human being. I was roomed-in at 2 in the morning and delivered a little boy at exactly 8:18 pm. That was a whopping 18 hours of waiting. I should have given my husband a pat on the back for patiently staying outside.
I was the earliest to arrive in the labor room. After a couple of hours, two expectant mothers were wheeled in. It didn’t take long when both women gave birth and I just had to sniff in envy as they dozed off. It was a healthy pregnancy I had and nothing suggested that normal birth delivery would be impossible. In fact, I was prepared to do the shrieks.
My OB (who looked like Paula Abdul in a scrub suit, by the way) also wondered why it took so long. The cervix opening did not improve much either. Half a day passed and mine remained at 5 cm, still halfway from the 10 cm full dilation. I started walking around the room, got 3 (or was it 5?) shots of Pitocin to induce labor and thought of nothing except having the little one come out. Hour after hour, after hour, I waited for that golden (read: excruciating) moment to come.
Finally, my water broke. I felt the gush of liquid. I also felt the pain, stopping and coming back at definite intervals. But after an hour or two of torment, my boy is still nowhere near delivery. It was frustrating. Overly exhausting. Almost heart-breaking. I wanted to carry on and wait for my baby to come out even if it meant a hundred more rounds of agony. But waiting became a precarious option as there’s no more water bag or amniotic fluid to protect my baby from infection, I was told.
Enough of the "real thing". We decided to proceed with a Caesarian section. The last I could remember was a painful injection on my spine. Half-conscious, I thought I heard my boy screaming. He was gently placed beside me and I remembered kissing him before I was off to dreamland again. Everything seemed fuzzy. I could not exactly remember how things went through.
Thinking about it now – it still looks like a beautiful movie to me. Yes, there were no shrieks. No push. No vaginal birth. But then, I am safe, my baby’s safe – and that’s just how happy endings, or should I say beginnings, should be.