It was nothing like a movie scene. My water did not break at an awkward place. I was not rushed to the hospital in an ambulance and I was definitely not screaming on top of my lungs in the delivery room.
I had a scheduled C-section. One baby was in the head down position (cephalic) and the other was diagonal (transverse). There was no way I was going to have a normal delivery. And since they were twins, C-section had less risk. Was I disappointed that I will not have a normal delivery? Yes, maybe a little. Because just like everyone else I had read and heard that normal delivery is better than surgery. It makes sense for a full term single baby with no complications. But my case was different and I knew, I have more chances of having a C-section from the very beginning.
On my last doctor’s appointment, I was so anxious and thrilled at the same time. I made it to the end. YAY! The doctor checked all my vitals and gave us a green signal; we had to choose the date for the C-section. That sounds convenient but it was quite a task. We had to decide any date from the 11th Feb onwards. Well obviously, I choose 11th the sooner the better. But suddenly my mom started calling my aunts and consulting with them. I could hear the conversations revolving around the words like “Mangalwar” (Tuesday), “doopahar”(Afternoon) etc. Well this conversation was expected. A lot of people actually go to priests and take out “mohrats”(auspicious time and date for the birth). I was not very keen on this procedure. Basically 11th Feb was a Tuesday and it is not considered very auspicious. I put my foot down and decided 11th Feb as the final date. But unfortunately we didn’t get the morning slot because it was already full, so I settled for 12th Feb. Extra 24 hours. PHEW! I could do this, I told myself. During the end of pregnancy the last few days are the hardest, the anticipation, the increasing discomfort and the never-ending wait. It’s the combination of everything that can test an expecting mother’s patience.
The night before that big day, I packed my bags and settled in my quilt. Maninder and I talked for a long time and we were eager to meet the babies. Next morning we all woke up early and went to the hospital, the section was scheduled at 9:00 AM. All my friends and relatives started calling and wishing me good luck, I felt like I was on my way to a board exam. It was a blend of a winter morning and an unforgettable feeling of nervousness. I had often thought how would I feel when I see them for the very first time. How will I hold them? They are going to be so tiny. Ok just so that everyone knows before I had my babies, I would never hold newborn babies because they are so small and fragile. And now I was going to have two of my own. I was scared!
After I was prepped and taken into the operating room. There was a team of at least 10 doctors and nurses working on me simultaneously. I knew the process as my mother is a doctor and she told me the series of events that will happen. One word – Epidural. Either you hate it or you love it. I thought it was amazing! The doctor who gave me spinal anesthesia and epidural was so good I didn’t feel any pain. The epidural felt like as if millions of ants were running down my legs, in just a few seconds I couldn’t feel anything. After that the procedure happened very quickly.
Since the medical team does not want you to see the insides of your own body, they put a little curtain on your chest. And I was genuinely not interested so I just looked at the wall, just then I heard a baby cry, before I could catch a glimpse of her, she was already in the arms of the doctor. They took her to the baby station and immediately started checking her vitals, meanwhile the other baby cries. The same procedure is done for her. After a while the nurses brought them both to my table and they looked like angels! Tiny, pink and absolutely adorable little babies. They were rushed to the neonatal care and I was taken to the out patients ward. I was pretty chilled out, didn’t feel much. Every one came in and told me how amazing the twins looked. I was feeling ok. Had no idea what was about to follow.
And then the epidural started wearing off, that was probably the hardest part of the C-section. That’s when I realized it’s going to take a lot of mental and physical strength to recover from this. I personally think I have a very low threshold of pain, so the first day was incredibly painful. I did not want to move an inch! I was lying on the hospital bed like an Egyptian Mummy. It was so intense! If you are in that position makes sure you don’t laugh or sneeze because that is going to involve your core muscles and it’s going to hurt like crazy!
After a few days of painful recovery and coping up with all the new mommy expectations, we were ready to head home. More than anything I was extremely thankful to the nursing staff in the hospital, they were amazing. At one point of time we even had a nurse who’s name was Maninder just like my husband’s name. Every time I would say Maninder, both of them would respond. Yeah, in Punjabi culture we have unisex names. It was kind of funny.
We made it in the end! After a week of C-section recovery and the girls staying in the neonatal care. The hospital gave us a farewell party; well they do it for all the new moms. It was very cute, the administration decorates the room with balloons, gets a cake. The doctors and the nurses all come to fare goodbye and they also give us a small plant, which we can plant in our garden and it will grow along with the babies. I thought that was an amazing beginning to parenthood. Kudos to Fortis Mohali for that! It was very special. After that we wrapped Sabar and Sehaj in multiple layers of warm blankets reached home, put them on the bed side by side and watch them sleep. <3