I am a dentist & I had once attended a lecture where the presenter said – ‘Dental pain is like labor pain’. This sentence stuck with me for years and I might have nonchalantly even used it a few times, never having felt either of the two pains, before childbirth. And now, I am inadvertently more careful of my words.

I do not mean to scare you but labor pain is not something I can put into words.

So, talking about my birthing story. Mine is the story of normal delivery after induced labor.

If you’ve been through pregnancy, you would concur with me, that passing the time during the ninth month is quite a task, with people around saying ‘any day now’ at every chance they get, to numerous pee rounds in the middle of the night & of course the catching for breath with even a 10 minute of walk where your doctor wants you to walk atleast a 20! Nevertheless, the spirit remained buoyant!!

My gynaecologist, placidly suggested labour induction right away!

I should have been, but i was not prepared for this. Admitted at around 10.30, I changed into hospital clothes, lounged in their induction room for an hour before I was induced with a suppository by the Doctor..

I was 2 cm open since 36 weeks and 30% effaced on admission. These are the terms that you learn when you frantically read every pregnancy detail you get your hand on!

The induction only made me slightly uncomfortable with a minor burning sensation but i was all fine otherwise. So we watched standup special of various comedians that were recently released and passed our time. There was nothing until evening 5 pm, and then minor contractions began, the kind you can describe as period cramps. They were nothing that even flickered my expression and I started getting comfortable in those. Until, at 9 pm my gynaecologist came in, checked me and instructed the nurses to induce with IV (which should be oxytocin I guess) and turned to me and said – ‘We’ll keep the dose low, and expect 4-5 hours before delivery’.. I was like ‘Ok, sounds good, lets continue watching comedy stand ups!’

I was so wrong.

Induced with IV at 9 and by 9.30, I was screaming incessantly and transferred to delivery room & amidst all the pain, I realised, this must be the time to play the ‘epidural’ card! At this stage, I had lost track of time, and I asked the nurse to give me some epidural, between the contraction screams. The above mentioned nurse disappeared, for what seemed forever at that moment, and emerged back only carrying papers that required my signature for consent for epidural. At that moment, I speak with all the truth in my body, i would have given that nurse a million crores rupees if I had them on me, but all I wanted was the pain to go away. I had heard so many stories of epidural being the “God sent” solution to feel some relief before the main picture.

And then came the on call Doctor, and I, though screaming on top my voice, saw her from the corner of my eyes and my hopes grew stronger, and the Doctor checks me and says – ‘WE CANNOT GIVE YOU EPIDURAL. You are 10 cm wide’

I am sure I was not very clear with my expressions, that moment. But, I sank deep into my own pain, knowing this was it!! No epidural. Time to deliver. No idea how long!

Then passed another eternity and my Dr. stepped in, and asked me to ‘PUSH’. I’ll tell you one thing – It seems like no rocket science, and even i thought I can of course push when asked to. But, No! I was pushing it wrong & till date I do not know how do you ‘push’ wrong! I pushed with all my strength (and breath) and a tiny head came out, everyone’s face nervous with anticipation, my husband standing with wide astonishment, and there, I left my breath, AND THAT HEAD WENT IN AGAIN!

This continued for some 3-4 pushes and then my Dr. flipped. She, with all the politeness she could muster, in that tensed moment, said – ‘Push Nikita, and then keep pushing’ and so I did, and to my surprise, a nurse climbed on my side and pushed the top of my pregnant tummy (that was soon going to disappear) , like you would push an almost empty toothpaste tube, for the last bits left in it (because you always have to do it), and there, the commotion around me went silent and I could only hear the loud wailing of a child. A child, that is mine!

All of that happened so quickly, that I was lost in the dominos of events. And suddenly the next second, my delicate baby was handed over to me and I saw the cord flying in the air, from around his neck and my Dr said – ‘ Congratulations, its a boy’ and then took him away for cleaning.

You’d feel it’s over. Nope. Then I had to push some more! The cord comes out, uterus is cleaned and then stitching was done.

My son’s birth time is 10.45 p.m. And my intense pain started at 9.30 p.m. But as i said, i had no track of time whatsoever.

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