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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

How Anisha entered this world ? (Labor story - Part II)

As I was staring at the monitor with fear, a doctor and a midwife hurried inside the room. They came as quick as a lightning. "Manju, turn to your left", they ordered. I struggled to change position and the midwife helped me. Within few seconds, Anisha's heartbeat became normal again. I was still trying to make sense of what was happening. The doctor talked, "We are monitoring your CTG from labor room; we saw your baby's heartbeat drop, that's why we came". That's quick I thought, that was really, really quick. I was thankful for the medical care I was receiving. The doctor immediately inserted an IV canula in my arm. She said, "Let it be there, just in case if we need it". They looked at the CTG measurements for few more minutes. Everything was normal. The doctor told me, "Go and sleep; if you have unbearable pain come back again". I was wondering how to sleep ! "What will happen if Anisha's heartbeat drops again, how will I know that in sleep ?" I looked at the doctor and asked my concern. She saw the worry in my face. She asked me to wait and disappeared into the labor department. After few minutes she came back. She said, "We have decided to monitor you closely, please come with me !" I felt an enormous relief on hearing it.

When I was about to enter the labor department, Rajender came. I explained him what happened. I was also happy that he was not nearby. Poor thing, he might have become so frightened. I didn't tell him that Anisha's heartbeat dropped to 40s. I just told him that it dropped below 120. A midwife took us into a labor room. It was looking beautiful, just like a 5 star hotel suit. They asked me to lie down there and connected me to another CTG instrument. The plan was to monitor me continuously for an hour. I looked at the ceiling. There were many tiny bulbs embedded in the wall which emitted blue light, they appeared like stars. There was also one big bulb inbetween those tiny ones emitting milky white light,  it appeared like moon. I was captivated by the beauty of it. I told Rajender, " When Anisha will be coming out, when I will be in enormous pain, I will look at the ceiling and relax".

That one hour passed eventless. There were no contractions, Anisha's heart beat was stable. The doctor came inside again. She said, "I understand your worry. You have to trust me. I believe all is well now. If you are monitored continuously, the machine might pick up some more abnormalities of no significance. There are no contractions too. Just go and sleep peacefully". She continued, "We must plan a C-section for you, we will discuss about it tomorrow".  What she said appeared sensible to me. I consoled myself by saying, "C-section is OK too. I just can't bear this uncertainty anymore. Whatever the mode of birth is, Anisha must be safe in my hands".

On the other hand, my pain was increasing too. I told doctor that I was having lower back pain. She sent me saying, "I will ask the nurse to give you an anti-spasmodic and paracetamol". I went to my room again. I asked Rajender to stay with me. He has brought some bedsheets with him. Although there was another lady in our room, I insisted that he lie down near my bed. I was not comfortable staying alone and he knows that without a valid concern I wouldn't ask him to stay. He prepared his bedding on the floor near the room heater. At the same time a nurse entered the room and handed over a buscopan vaginal pessary. She also had paracetamol which will be given intravenously.She looked at Rajender and said, "You are not allowed to stay here. There is another patient in this room". I looked at her helplessly. The other woman in the room on hearing what nurse said, talked. She said that she has no problem if Rajender stays there. I was very, very thankful for her understanding and compassion.

The nurse then tried to insert the needle in the IV canula. She did it so carelessly, the blood oozed out and stained the bedsheets and some poured on the ground too. I asked her to remove the sheets and replace it with clean ones. She looked at me nonchalantly. She gave a reaction as if I was troubling her and said, "I have no one to help me. I can't change the sheets now". I was so tired and angry too. My pain was getting too bothersome, I just want to lie down. Rajender tried to interfere but I calmed him down. I told him, "This is the difference between Germans and non-Germans. I have no energy now, leave it !" That nurse was a non-German ! I have found Germans to be very dedicated and perfect in their work. There is lots to learn from them !

We switched off the light and laid down. The paracetamol seemed to calm my pain a bit. But within 10 more minutes my pain became so intense I couldn't bear it. So, I inserted buscopan pessary too ignoring Rajender's concern of the medicine hurting Anisha. I tried to close my eyes. All I felt was pain and fear. I was constantly thinking about Anisha's heartbeat. Ten more minutes passed. I couldn't lay down anymore. I woke Rajender. I told him, " I couldn't bear this pain, it is increasing rapidly."  By that time, contractions were coming 5 minutes apart and was extremely painful. So, we went out of the room towards the place where CTG monitoring was done. I saw a midwife and told her that my pain was unbearable. I pleaded, " Please do something. I have too much pain. Normally, I bear pain very well. This is not something which can be ignored". She said, "Wait for sometime, I will come back". She left us in the corridor and vanished. I was screaming in pain. I forgot that there were people around. I just screamed. Rajender was looking at me with concern and was trying to pacify me. The midwife came. She said, "I want to check your cervix please lie down in that room!" I was like, "What! You want to insert your finger now !".

I had no other option than to obey. She prodded my vaginal area and looked very confused. She said, "May be 2 cms". Then she said, " I am not sure, I will call someone else to check too". She came with another midwife. She checked my cervix and smiled. She said, "It is 7 cms" ! "I knew, I knew, the pain was horrible !"

Then they called the doctor. Doctor came and looked at me with a smile. She said," your baby is going to come today". I was happy but was also in too much pain. I pleaded, "Please give me epidural, I couldn't bear this". They immediately agreed to my request. They said, "We will take you to labor room and we will call the anesthesiologist as quick as possible". They were also looking at each other with a sheepish grin. I was  wondering about it. The doctor said, "We have too many patients who are waiting for delivery today and the labor room is full. This happens very rarely".

I was taken to labor room and was connected to CTG machine again. As the anesthesiologist was preparing for peridural anesthesia, they gave some other drug via IV. I had no strength to ask what it was and that was very unusual of me ! Before anesthesiologist gave me anesthesia I could feel my pain subsiding. I was wondering about it. By the time anesthesiologist gave me the epidural and left, I had no pain. I and Rajender were left alone. We were staring at the monitor. There were no contractions at all, I had no pain too.  I was feeling warm and my heart beat racing. I thought it was the effect of anesthesia. But when a midwife came and when I asked her what was it they were giving via IV, I came to knew I was being given tocolytic to prevent uterus contraction. I understood why my heartbeat was too high. In the beginning, I thought, they gave me tocolytic so that it will be easier for the anesthesiologist to give epidural. Now, I doubt, whether they gave me tocolytic to postpone the delivery as the labor department was full and they didn't have enough staffs!

After some time a new midwife came and she wanted to do cervical check one more time. Since the epidural was there I didn't feel any pain or discomfort. My abdominal region didn't have any sensation but I could move my  legs. That was amazing. I would strongly reccomend taking a peridural anesthesia if you are offered one. The midwife felt my cervix and looked at me with confusion. She said, " It is only 1 or 2 cm open". I felt very, very irritated. Are they playing with me was the question in my mind. Then another midwife came. She felt my cervix again. She said, " It is wide open, I could feel baby's head. There is lots of hair! (Not again!) But there is something which is blocking the cervical mouth". She said, "let doctor come and check once". I was hearing everything and wondering how things will proceed. Then the doctor came in. She checked my cervix again. She said," It is open. Since you had a cerclage I think there are some scar tissues". She also proceeded to break my amniotic bag. As she inserted a stick like instrument and broke the bag, a gush of warm fluid came out and I could feel it. I asked the doctor whether the amniotic fluid is clear. I wanted to make sure that there was no meconium in it. Doctor showed Rajender the dripping fluid. He also confirmed that it was clear. That was a relief, "Anisha must  be fine", I  thought. The presence of meconium in amniotic fluid is one of the signs of fetal distress !

After that, from 2AM to 6 AM, I was left like that. There were no strong contractions, no pain. I wanted to sleep but Rajender has no place to lie down. I didn't want him to feel alone. So, we both were wide awake looking at Anisha's heartbeat in the monitor. Rajender was not happy with the breaking of amniotic bag. I have to explain him that it won't be a problem and Anisha will be fine. Even then he was not so convinced. 

After 6 AM, new set of doctors and midwives started to come. They started the process of delivering Anisha. There were two junior doctors, a head nurse or midwife and another nurse in the room. They removed the tocolytic. After removing the tocolytic I started to have contractions. To speed up the process they gave oxytocin (pitocin) too. After starting oxytocin drip, contractions started to come more frequently and stronger. The pressure that was building inside was so huge, it felt very, very uncomfortable. I didn't have pain because of anesthesia but I could clearly feel the pressure build up. Within few minutes of starting pitocin, Anisha's heartbeat started to fall rapidly. Rajender was so upset on seeing it. I could see his face loosing colour. He was in fear and there was enormous tension building up. Midwife asked me to change position and breathe deeply. They said that I must breath well to help Anisha get enough oxygen. They stopped pitocin quickly and gave a huge dose (bolus) of tocolytic intravenously which they have prepared already. As soon as the pitocin effect faded away by tocolytic's action, Anisha's heartbeat normalized. This happened few times before my body got used to pitocin.

After that everything happened pretty quickly. I was having the urge to push every few minutes. I had to learn how to push and the midwife who took charge of the situation was amazing. She was tall and strong. She told me how to push. Shifted people around me to different positions. Rajender was near my head. Everytime I wanted to push, he lifted my head and my back a little. One doctor and another midwife stood near each of my legs. When I pushed they held my leg bending it towards my chest so that it is easier for me to push efficiently. One other doctor had a cloth around my pelvic region. After everytime I pushed, she tightened the cloth so that Anisha doesn't move back inside. I think it took 8-9 pushes to bring Anisha out. After every push I was so tired. It was like running a marathon. During the entire pregnancy, I was lying down most of the time because of the fear of my cervix giving away. I didn't even walk a few meters continuosly. But, at that moment, I needed to use all my muscles and that too with enormous force. I was losing hope inside. I was thinking, "Will I be able to do this ? Won't they get me some help ? Can't they use something to suck Anisha out ?" When I was wondering like this, people around me were appreciating me. They said, " She is strong and so is her baby. She didn't even shed a drop of tear ". I thought, " I have never cried in my life for any physical pain or discomfort. Only emotional pain makes me to cry at the blink of an eye"

I should mention something else too eventhough it is a bit embarassing. When I was pushing hard, I pooped a little. It was so embarrassing ! The midwife  cleaned it immediately. I looked at her and said, "I am sorry". She looked straight into my eye and said, "Manju, never mind. This shows that you are pushing in the right way. Great going, I am very happy the way you are doing it". That took away my embarrassment. Those words gave me confidence and courage. I admired and appreciated her for being so professional, for helping me to feel good. 

Anisha's head was visible in my vaginal tract at one point and they asked me whether I want to feel her before she comes out. I was so afraid, I said I didn't want to. After few minutes, there was one more contraction coming, the pressure was building up. I gathered all my strength and pushed. That push brought Anisha to this world. She came out screaming. Oh, what a sweet voice it was, my daughter's ! Rajender broke out into tears, happy tears ! He gave  a kiss on my forehead. He has kissed me several times before - out of love, out of happiness, out of lust, just as a routine, but the kiss I received at that particular moment is very special. His kiss told me so many different things which words will not be able to express. It said, "Thank you" ! It said, "I love you". It said, "you mean a lot to me". It said, "I appreciate and respect you" ! The memory of that kiss will last through out my lifetime. 

And me - I was smiling ! I have thought about that moment so many times before and everytime I had cried. But in reality I was smiling. That horrible pelvic pressure was gone. So, I felt extremely relieved. I had a sense of achievement. I felt happy and relieved knowing Anisha is fine. After Anisha came out, before I could see her, I was asking doctor like a mad person whether Anisha is fine. The doctor asked me, "What was your worry all about ?" I told her, "I was worried about some genetic defect" She assured me that all is well. 

They wiped Anisha, weighed and measured her, brought her and kept her on my chest. That was my first meeting with my daughter, in person. I have seen her as a five day old embryo, I have seen her via ultrasounds but on January 13 th, 2015, exactly 250 days after she entered my uterus, I had  her in my arms as a fully formed tiny human; everything tiny, tiny - tiny fingers, tiny nose, teeny-tiny eyes, my tiny miracle ! I have longed for that moment for 7 long years. I have gone through excruciatingly painful times in search of my little bundle of joy. It felt so good to touch her, to kiss her. I was ecstatic. I was calling her with different endearment terms. She felt amazing. Anisha didn't appear as a strange person, she is not new for me. I wanted her, I knew her, I longed for her and I loved her, for years ! Finally, she is here.

After I spent some time with Anisha, the nurse took her away. I was lying down thinking when I can feed Anisha. The doctor said that she has to stitch my nether region as I had few tears. I believe I had 4 or 5 tears, a couple of which were second degree tears. As the doctor was working on my nether region to mend it,  I was busy sending Anisha's picture to my loved ones. Guess, to whom I sent Anisha's picture first ? Ofcourse to my Dr !

When everything was done, I was transferred to a new room where they brought Anisha to me. As soon as I kept my nipple near her mouth, she latched as if she was a pro on sucking. That was so surprising and amazing to look at! 

After 7 long years of struggle, after 7 IVFs, after 10 embryo transfers, after transferring 24 embryos which failed to become our live baby, Anisha came into our lives, she is our 25 th embryo. My pursuit for perpetuating my genes has changed the way I look at life forever. Infertility has broken me many a time, made me mad, made me fearful of life, it has given me enormous pain. On the other hand, it has made me strong, taught me perseverance, patience, resilience and humility. It has introduced me to people whose memories I will treasure forever. Infertility has also given me Anisha, without infertility Anisha wouldn't have been Anisha ! Anisha's mom wouldn't be the person who she is today.

Yesterday, Rajender was talking to Anisha. He was telling her, "Princy nana (nana is an endearment term, also known as father in Telugu language), why didn't you come to us for seven long years ? I and your amma (mother) were trying for you for a long, long time. You never came. Your sister and brother came but they left us inbetween. We were so sad. We even searched for you in adoption centers. You never came. And one fine day our princy nana came ! We went to Mumbai and brought you, do you know that ? You came because you understood that we were very sad. Your brother and sister left us so that you could come to us". He was telling like this to Anisha in childish terms, just to talk to her. The little one was smiling as if she understood everything. On hearing this my eyes teared up. I kept looking at the father and daughter with contentment. Atlast, I was able to give Rajender his yearning - a child with whom he could play with after coming from work ! Infertility has also given us a story of our lifetime which we will cherish forever !

Oh yeah! Thus Anisha came into this world, into our life. Thus my search for propagating my genes ended successfully and I sincerely wish you all lots of luck too  ! 

So, is this an end or a new beginning ? ;)


  1. Hi Manju...I cried all the way reading your story.Tears of happiness :) I could relive the moment by daughter was born through my first trial of IVF and the way my hubby reacted in OT when he first held our baby gal :) . thankyou soo much for sharing your story . Congratulations once again

  2. That is a story with a happy ending.
    Loads of good wishes to you and Anisha.
    As you said you have been resting for many days . So have you been off your work for these 9 months? Do you plan to join soon ?

    1. We went to India after we lost our twins. We stayed in India for 6 months. Then, after coming to Germany I didn't work throughout the pregnancy. So, for 15 months I didn't work.

      No plans of going to work again. Anisha needs me. I couldn't imagine leaving her in day care or bringing elders from India to look after her. And moreover I am not someone who is career oriented, as they call. The good thing is Rajender is not money oriented :) So, I am a happy stay at home mom, out of my own will and wish.

      I will start working but I don't want to be part of a rat race. Research field is now all about publishing papers, getting funds, finding collaborations etc. Although these are all part of a good research, I believe, the essence of good research is curiosity, imagination, sound hypothesis, knowledge and rational thinking. Most research groups don't worry about all these things, they are just worried about publications and funding. So we are forced to work for publications and not for contributing something to the field of science.

      I would like to do what I am passionate about, what gives me happiness and satisfaction. So, yeah, let me see where life takes me to or where I will take my life to. Sometimes doing nothing and being peace with oneself is a great achievement too :)

  3. Certainly. Doing nothing and being at peace is indeed an achievement. You have got a great thinking. You must have spent so much on fertility treatments, yet you neither Rajender are in a hurry to make money. That certainly is a mature thinking.
    Good luck.

  4. Beautifully written.I could n't stop my tears reading this. Wishing and praying for a miracle for myself.

    1. May your wish come true ! It will :) (((hugs)))

  5. Dearest Manju
    Wonderfully written Manju :-) I can't stop crying, it was very emotional. I could imagine everything you have written................everything!!!! Thanks Manju, you are giving hopes to lots of people, they all will have happy tears too ;). More I read your blog, the more I feel myself inclined to spirituality. May God bless you, anna and our lil angel abundantly :-)

    lots of luv

    1. Koki, I was feeling so down, almost felt worthless. The exact moment I saw your comment. Thanks a lot for being so kind ! Love and hugs


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