The birthing story

"you and I need to talk," I said, glaring at my burgeoning tummy. I was driving back home from the hospital for a second time after being told that my labor pain was actually false.

I was tired and worn out. From severe back pain to horrible heartburn, this pregnancy was an extremely difficult one for me. I was driving to a farm in Dhaid every other week to drink fresh buttermilk so that I could eat something without heartburn. And to add to all of it, my baby dropped into a head down position more than a month before it was supposed to, making it extremely difficult for me to sit/ stand/ breathe and do somersaults (what else would I be doing when I'm eight months pregnant?)

So on Friday, June 15th I started getting contractions. By afternoon they were getting closer. So we took bag and baggage and left for the hospital. But on getting there the nurses said, they were not contractions but irritability (for God's sake, what is that?).

So they asked me to go for a walk and come back at 8pm. Thats when I told my baby that we needed to talk about grounding him/her for a week without TV and Internet. We went home, prayed, cooked dinner and then headed for the beach to walk. Beach sand is famous for speeding up labor. But by then whatever pain I had was gone. So I prepared myself for another week or two of pregnancy discomfort and headed for the hospital. Our plans for that evening were clear- finish the hospital, go home for dinner and then go to the nearest theatre to watch the latest Malayalam movie Diamond Necklace. We had been waiting for the movie to release because a good friend was acting in it.

But surprise surprise...when we reached the hospital, the doctor on duty said my contractions were becoming quite intense and I was in active labor. Now trust this child to thwart all our plans. So I grudgingly let myself to be wheeled into the very same labor room that I had given birth to Mehreen in. Mom and dad went home to get some dinner and Arfaz curled on the sofa and fell into a deep slumber. Time passed. It was midnight and I was still not progressing enough. I was fast getting tired, having had no sleep the previous night because of back pain. So I asked for IT- the ultimate medicine that women before and after me will literally worship- the Epidural. Once the painkiller entered my system I fell asleep. Mom and Arfaz went up to the hospital room. Mom would later tell me how she was so tensed that she couldn't sleep and how she spent the night listening to the clock's ticking...and oh Arfaz's snoring as well :)

Throughout the night, as I slipped in and out of slumber, I could see the Burj Khalifa through the window of my labor room. The building looked so beautiful and majestic against the night sky that I was just awed by it. And I was surprised that I hadn't noticed it before because I stay barely a kilometer away from the iconic building. Yet it's beauty had never impressed me so much. I guess that pretty much how life is. You don't see the beauty of the people in your life, until Allah chooses to show it to you in a particular situation.

At 7am the nurses shifts changed. The doctor's shift was ending at 8:30. She came and told me in a pleading voice "Please let me see your baby before I go home today." As if I could do something about it! Mom kept checking on me throughout the night. At about 7 30 she came and fed me the stale idli and sambar that the hospital provided. We were laughing about something when I suddenly felt like it was time. I quickly gulped down some more food and sent for the doctor. I think she would have put PT Usha to shame by the speed with which she sprinted into my room. By then it was 8. At 8:10 sharp I heard the first cry of the little person. But I didnt even pay attention to it coz the minute it opened its mouth to cry I heard my mom sobbing beside me. I was so amused and busy watching her that I totally forgot about the child. "Male baby, male baby," the doctors exclaimed. I know guys," I wanted to say coz I looked for "it" and this time I knew the difference between the umbilical cord :D (check my previous blog for the whole story)

The rest of the day passed in a blur. Mehreen came and saw her little brother. It took some time for her to accept the fact that the baby who was inside my tummy had actually materialized into a human being.

Two days later we came home. Then I had to go through the whole post natal care routine (that deserves a blog entry of it's own). One thing that quickly struck me was that Zayaan was very different from Mehreen. He was more laid back and less gassy than her. Alhamdulillah for that because Mehreen wasn't the happiest person on Earth to have a big chunk of attention diverted from her. Sibling rivalry quickly started to rear it's head (again that deserves another blog entry of it's own).

Now, 6 months later, things are much better Alhamdulillah. A special mention to all my friends and family who came to visit us and brought gifts for Mehreen. I was surprised by how many people actually remembered to get stuff for her while bringing in gifts for Zayaan. It helped to cancel out a lot of animosity between the brother and sister.

More of Zayaan-Mehreen chronicles in my next blog post. Till then keep smiling :)