Hardly a week into announcing our pregnancy, the whole world went into a lockdown. I belong to a generation which only knew the meaning of pandemic but never experienced it firsthand.
I wouldn’t say it was hard for me or for us as a family to stay indoors. Even though it had an impact, we enjoyed staying home, eating all home cooked meals for 5 months straight (and then broke the chain), overjoyed with my husband working from home (which we always wanted and still don’t regret).
Life and pregnancy have been pleasant. Unlike my last pregnancy, I slept so well almost every single day. With the experience of previous pregnancy, I self-medicated myself, and took an appointment with the midwife only when I entered 8th month. (Guess I’ll have to write a blog on this. Let me know if you’re interested to know.)
Barely do I remember a day passing without working on my favorite hobby – string art (You can see my work on my Instagram page). 2020 has been so good to me – I’ve got orders which kept me busy till I went on vacation mode for Maternity.
Although I stopped taking orders from November 1st, I got a request for an art piece on November 3rd. Since there were no signs of labour yet and my due date was a week away (Nov 10th), I thought I’d work on it quickly (fingers-crossed).
Without wasting any time, I started working on it on November 4th. Soon as I finished nailing & painting, I went into early labour but absolutely had no clue I was so close. I kept thinking it was Braxton-Hicks contractions and my body was preparing for the Big day. It was a stressful night, and I woke up the next day with the same abdominal pain. In an hour, my contractions started.
I’ve been timing my contractions on my phone while working on this piece of art. It wasn’t easy, but it kept me occupied and distracted me from getting worked up or feeling stressed.
Amidst deep breaths, muffling sounds, and gasps for breath, I took breaks as I sailed through the contractions and continued working (I wish I could explain how but I cannot. You can only experience it, but you wish not. Very complicated, I’d say).
Whoopee! I successfully finished the piece around 3:30 PM on November 5th.
My hospital bag was ready and I did some last minute packing with my mum’s help.
I messaged Jhansi that the artwork was ready for her to pick up, and she asked me if I could gift pack it.
At this moment, I knew it was time to go to the hospital. I knew I didn’t have any more time left. Yea, I had to rush to the hospital and I didn’t have 5 minutes to spare for gift-packing.
After bidding farewell to Liz and both our mommies, my husband and I sped off to the hospital. I kept stopping him every minute or two to handle my contractions peacefully. In between contractions, he had a minute or two to drive and he didn’t resist the urge to press on the gas pedal. He was afraid if he didn’t push on the accelerator, I was going to push out our baby in the car.
Thinking about it is scary – delivering a baby with no medical help in the middle of the road when the whole world is enduring a pandemic.
Thankfully, I enjoyed my way to the hospital and you won’t believe this selfie was during labour and rushing to the hospital.
My husband’s fears were assuaged when we reached the Emergency Room (ER) with my bump still intact.
Funnily, the NST machine showed lesser contractions than what I was actually having, and the attending doctor had second thoughts about admitting me right away. She thought she could send me home. Soon as I got off the machine, there was no gap between contractions and the pains were so intense that I could barely walk or talk.
Hungry as I was, we hurried to the cafeteria to take a quick bite. But, I started squatting and pushing in the cafeteria, all through the corridor and inside the ER.
While my body was doing what it should be doing, I was crying that I can’t do it all over again. I wanted to go for a C-section, even though I prayed for everything to go normal. I didn’t even realise I was squatting and pushing the baby out all through the journey to the labour room.
Since it’s a maternity hospital, the nurses there would be witnessing so much drama every single day. Looking at my calm and composed state, they thought I was not in active labour yet and would take more time. One of them suggested I’d go to the room and relax before heading to the labour room. But I told her I don’t have time for all that. So they wheeled me to the labour room, while my husband did the admission paperwork. He had to rush to the Labour room.
The midwife attending to me was very casually arranging everything, hoping to hand over my case to the person who comes next, as her shift was about to end in half an hour. When I told her I was ready, she was not convinced until she saw it.
My waters broke and it was all dramatic – PLOP! came the mucus plug and a gush of water splashed across the bed. She wore her PPE kit in less than a minute. She said she could see the head! Her hands were ready to welcome our precious baby.
One more PUSH!!
The head was out. She asked me to wait as she tried to unwrap the cord from the baby’s neck, but my body was too involved in the act that it just couldn’t stop pushing.
Two more PUSHES!!
The body was out. The baby was out. Zane came out! She came crying and she just wouldn’t stop.
It was so quick!
My body was exhausted, my legs were shivering and I had no more strength left in me. After the cleaning & suturing and some more cleaning, they wheeled me down to the room where we spent the night.
This picture was right after we shifted to the room.
All through my labour, I kept repeating this simple prayer – Jesus, please give me strength. I am a witness that His grace is sufficient for me.
Zane Edelle filled me & us with happiness and she’s a joy to everybody around. We didn’t know our hearts would be enlarged all of a sudden to accommodate more room for love.
Here’s the meaning of her name –
Zane – God is gracious (truly gracious)
Edelle – Noble (very peaceful)
That’s the story of how we walked into lockdown as 3, and marched out victoriously as 4!