I had been planning to pen down my Birth Story for quite some time. I had always been inspired by the blog"BIRTH WITHOUT FEAR," to write of my own experiences. My Daughter's 2nd Birthday is finally here, so it was the perfect opportunity. Two whole years to that day,which is surely my happiest day till date.

The day I held my rainbow baby in my hand. The culmination of a successful pregnancy,after not so successful one. If you are wondering how did the nine months roll by for me, I penned down MY PREGNANCY JOURNEY STORY. Trying to culminate nine eventful months, in a single post, was quite tedious.

Coming down to how the final act went off. Let me warn you,this post contains graphic details.Giving birth is no cake walk. 

I had been for my final Ultrasound Scan when my Maternal Fetal Specialist Dr. Elizabeth Wickstorm. I was at 39 weeks and I had not started to dilate. She informed me that although I had not dilated, Baby had dropped down into position. So it was best that I get Induced for labor.That cuts down the Baby's chances of going into distress. Delaying and waiting for another two weeks, could risk the chances of Still Birth. Now that is very scary for a Mom who has already lost an unborn child.

I met my OBGYN Dr. Phaedra Lombard right after this appointment. I was clearly disturbed,but I was not ready to opt for a C-Section. I wanted a Natural Birth by all means. I had heard how much my mother has suffered from two C-Sections. We discussed all about Inducing Labor. We had learnt in our Child Birth Classes that Induction can sometimes lead to slow labor and might also lead to C-Section. I was scared of C-Sections. My OBGYN(read: A perfect Angel) kept assuring me we would be trying for a natural birth as long as the child did not go into distress. 

She also told me,that a lot depended on me. If I believed in myself, that I could go through a natural birth, then I would be able to do it. I can never forget those inspiring words. They are so true. 

We were already pre-registered at the Hospital which had an updated and brand new Maternity Wing.  By the time, I was in my hospital gown and ready for the first stage of induction, it was 7pm on March 13th 2013. After the initial Blood work, and the customary IV drips, the First Phase of Induction took place. The Cervidil was administered. It tries to cheat the Cervix into thinning out and starting dilate. I kept praying. My OB nurse for the night told me that I should try and have a light dinner,as the next day I would be without food or water.

So a sandwich and some pop was my last dinner before I met my Queen. 

She also gave me a light sedative as she said, I needed to conserve my energy for the next day. 

But before the sedative could kick in, something else happened. It was around midnight when the crazy contractions started. Active  Labor had begun,without the second phase of Induction at all. My prayers had been answered at this stage. Daddy was fast asleep on his couch in my Labor and delivery Room,while I battled the craziest of contractions. I managed to buzz for my OB nurse. She sat by my bedside, woke up Daddy. 

I wanted to delay the Epidural as much as I could. 

My water broke at around 6 am on March 14th 2013. And whats when the real countdown started. As then the Baby is without the protection of the amniotic fluid. My OBGYN met me shortly later and checked for my dilation. I was only dilated to 3 cm. We decided to go ahead with the second phase of Induction. Yes, the much dreaded Pitocin.Or as they say in medical jargon, I was about to get Pitted. I had heard horror stories of one of my best friends in India., who had been Pitted and had to be rushed to C-Section. I was almost fighting with my mind, I had to Push my baby Out. 

It was around 10 am, when my OBGYN came to meet me again. She informed me that my Platelet count was decreasing progressively. If I had any hopes for an Epidural, I should take it now. Or else they would not be able to administer it later. Getting an Epidural only means, that you get confined to bed,and it slows down labor. All my hopes for a tub birth went to the ground. I decided to go for it. I needed to conserve my energy and epidural would help. 

After the Epidural was administered, the nurse assured me that I would not be able to feel the contractions. The problem with an induced labor is that, the contractions are really rough and intense. But then, why was I feeling everything and writhing in pain. We called for the Anesthesiologist yet again. Was I a smoker before I got pregnant? That was the question tossed to me, in a  room full of nurses . Yes, I was. No Wonder. If you have been a Smoker, then your body needs a higher dosage. So  we went ahead with a much higher dosage. There was also a switch which you could press , every 15 minutes, which sent an extra shot of pain killer up the system. My OB nurse told me to make full use of that. 

Pretty soon, I was all numb from waist down. The Nurse at my bedside kept a track of my contractions from the NST monitors on my belly. Me and Daddy decided to make goo duse of the swank hospital room and all the movies on order. We decided to watch a movie. Did I mention that Daddy had tucked in his lunch heartily while I was struggling with just ice chips. Super mean !! 

My dilation was somehow not increasing,my nurses kept telling,as they kept checking on me very now and then. I was still stuck at 3 cm. 

That's when the brainwave happened. I remembered from my Child Birth Class, that in such cases,  a PEANUT BALL tucked between the two legs can increase the dilation and speed up labor. I asked my Nurse for it and she was more than happy to get it for me. She mentioned that as a policy Hospitals cannot offer such Birthing Aids,but they are always there, if the patient asks of them. Bingo. I sent a silent Thank You for my ChildBirth Educator Nurse Tiffany Kinneman. 

We had some visitors at around 5 pm. Daddy's colleagues who had dropped in from work. We told them that probably Baby would arrive the next day. Daddy decided to see them off to the parking lot,when my OB Nurse decided to check on my dilation. She was all smiles. I had dilated to 10 cm and was 100% Effaced(thinned out). 

"We are ready to PUSH!" She casually mentioned,as she paged my OBGYN and the rest of the labor staff. 

"Can you please look for my Husband!!!!" was my urgent plea. 

Daddy walked in to a room full of OB Nurses. 

We were ready to Push. I had attended Child Birth Classes and practices Breathing Techniques,but your mind does go blank. Dr. Lombard kept reminding me on how to push and how to breathe through the contractions. As I was on Epidural, I could not even feel when a Contraction was happening. The nurses kept looking into the monitor and shouting PUSH when the time came. 

We tried for around 15 minutes. 

Dr. Lombard kept inspiring me. 

"Stay with me. You can do it" "You will do it" these were the words reaching me from all quarters. I knew I could not give up on this baby at this hour. I could push her out. 

Dr. Lombard tried a change in technique. She asked for a bed sheet and had me pull at one end and she held on to another. 

Baby had started to Crown by this time. 

"I can see her !" Daddy shouted

We deiced to take a break to conserve some energy. 

Daddy offered me some Ice chips as my lips were parched. The ice chips made me want to throw up,and I felt an URGE TO PUSH. And she was OUT. 

Wooohooooooooooo !!!!!!! I had done it. 

Dr. Lombard handed over the surgical shears to Daddy to CUT THE CHORD. He did his part.

6 lb 2 oz of Sheer Goodness. Perfect APGAR score of 9.99 . We did Good. 

We were officially PARENTS  to our squealing bundle of joy. Tt was time for SkIn to Skin with my Baby. Words are never enough the describe the feeling when I first held her in my arms. It was the answer to all my prayers. She was perfect in every way and surely had the lung power of her mother. Her Father's big black eyes for sure. The nurses agreed on this. 

"Do you have a camera?" asked one of the OB nurses. "I have two cameras." mentioned a confused first time Daddy which even had me laughing at that moment. Click click click went the first set of pictures of our newborn, who got her first bath shortly. 

Being petite and delivering my child naturally, I had THIRD DEGREE LACERATIONS which had to be sutured by Dr. Lombard. And that's when she told me that she had delayed her family vacation as she had promised me she would stay by me. Could I have asked for anything more in a OBGYN

It was time to Nurse and RIONA latched on just perfectly. Things could not go any better for me. I kept Thanking the almighty. 

I was changed in to a fresh gown and transferred to a recovery room,which was my home for the next day as well. Then came the part that no one warns you about. You begin the worst kind of Rigors. You begin to shiver continuously. That's one of the way the body copes with Child Birth. Crazy for sure.

We had loads of visitors for Baby RIONA the next day and even an official photo shoot. I was due around St. Patricks day so we settled for an Irish Name. Riona means QUEEN IN GAELIC. 

I was due on March 15th 2013 and Riona arrived just a a few hours earlier on 8;15 pm on March 14th 2013.  Could not have asked for a more perfect Labor Story !!! Riona would have shared her birthday with my brother Riddhiman,but she just came a few hours earlier. So we have two days of back to back celebrations in our family. 

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