Any day now: The birth of Aarya
On Diwali, November 11, 2015, an auspicious day for all Indians, I was so excited for my childhood friend on the birth of her little girl and looking forward to celebrating with my family for the holiday. Little did I know that a routine checkup to see my OB/GYN that same day would be the beginning of the arrival of my beautiful little girl.
I was excited that our princess could come soon and was also relieved that I would be able to see my feet again. I went in for my weekly checkup with my doctor because I was in the middle of my 39th week, and she informed me that my blood pressure was a little elevated. Unfortunately, I had already gone into the hospital five times over the past two months because of that reason.
Thinking that it was just another false alarm, I wasn’t too concerned. That is until my wonderful doctor, whom I love, told me that she wanted to induce me. Then came the tears because I wanted it to just happen naturally the way it’s supposed to happen. After I calmed down, I was told to go spend the day with my family but check into the hospital that evening. At 11 p.m. on November 11, I was getting hooked up to the monitors and trying to relax. I was given a dose of Cervidil at 2 a.m. when I was only 1 cm dilated and 30 percent effaced.
Trying to relax was tough, and sleep was not going to come. At 4 p.m. that same day (14 hours later), I was given a second dose of Cervidil because there was very little progress.
Finally at 11 p.m. on Thursday night, I was 3 cm dilated and 90 percent effaced and was given Pitocin. That is when the pain came; the night was restless with the building of each contraction. At 8 a.m. Friday morning, I was 4 cm, and my doctor broke my water hoping to get everything moving quicker. We were hoping that Friday was the day, and I was determined that my little girl was coming. I wasn’t ready for the epidural yet and could handle the contractions.
Later, at 3p.m., I was still 4 cm dilated, and my blood pressure was elevated again because of the pain of the contractions. They recommended I take the epidural. The process was quick and easy. My anesthesiologist was amazing, and it was a coincidence that her husband and I are from the same county in upstate New York. What are the chances of that?! The epidural was heavenly and I thought of nothing else but how I felt nothing.
Now mind you, I hadn’t eaten anything since I checked into the hospital, almost 48 hours ago. Once the epidural was done, I was told very little ice chips and no water. I think that was probably tougher than the contractions. I finally slept to avoid thoughts of the refreshing cold water that I was dying to drink.
At 8 a.m. Saturday morning, 12 hours after my water was broken and a night of hell with constant checkups, my doctor said I was finally at 5-6 cm and we should see some quick progress now. I was so relieved and excited. Today was the day! That excitement lasted for about an hour when all of a sudden, I felt every contraction even with the epidural still in place. The anesthesiologist came and gave me a boost, but it helped very little. Thank God I have an incredible husband, Erick, who was rubbing my feet and helping me relax as much as possible. It was somewhat calming to have some family with us, too. They tried to keep me in conversation when a contraction would come and respected me when I wasn’t in a talkative mood.
I was being examined every two hours, and at 11 a.m. I was 8 cm and breathing through each contraction. The boost of epidural helped numb the right side of my body, but I could still feel everything on the left.
At 2:30 p.m. my doctor came in for a checkup, and I was still only at 8 cm. I was exhausted. My baby was tired and no longer pushing down. After careful consideration, my doctor decided it was time for a C-section to get the baby out. I was devastated because I had it in me to keep going and wanted to do what my body was meant to do. My doctor expressed her concerns about continuing with our current plan, and we decided a C-section was best for both the baby and I. She said that I tried and gave it everything I had for three days, and now I could relax and let her do all the work.
I was taken to a white, surgical sterile room. I just remember it being really cold. Once I was made comfortable, Erick was brought in to sit by me. I remember almost falling asleep because I was finally relaxed and in no pain. My amazing anesthesiologist held my hand and explained what was happening to me step by step. I felt this tug that woke me from my drowsiness and then I heard it. I heard my little girl cry for the first time.
I don’t think I can put into words that one moment where my whole life changed. I didn’t even realize I was crying until I saw the pictures the next day. After a few moments they brought her over for me to see, and I realized at that moment that my world was complete. The last three days were all worth that little 7-pound bundle. The greatest part was about an hour later when I was doing skin-to-skin with my little girl. A part of me that I made from scratch and watch grow for 10 months was finally in my arms. Being a mother is a blessing, and I am honored to be Aarya Jasmine Kaur Brown’s mother.
I don’t think I would’ve been able to get through it without Erick and the incredibly wonderful nurses at Overlook Medical Center in Summit, New Jersey. They were kind and thoughtful. Their advice and support helped me through a rough three days and brought me my little beautiful girl. I will forever be thankful to them.
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By Aman Kaur