Chapter 11 (i): CHILDBIRTH (I) “So WHO termed this a NORMAL delivery??!!”


An adjective defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “Usual or ordinary; not strange.”

Normally, I refrain from using cuss-words.

WTFFFFFF!!! Who the hell came up with this bright idea of calling a vaginal birth a “Normal delivery”? Will the stonehearted brute/birdbrained idiot please stand up?

I could have understood ‘Natural’ delivery. This horrendous, ghastly, third degree torture is indeed the path chosen by Mother Nature to bring babies into this world. Even ‘Natural’ has a gentle feel to it, like something tender—which does not come remotely close to the terrible, terrible process that childbirth is.

But Normal? NORMAL, for Christ’s sake???

Makes it sound so ordinary, so commonplace.  Nothing worth fretting about. Just like the definition says: usual.

Talk about adding insult to injury. Literally.

Sep 1, 2012

3:00 am

I’m woken up in the wee hours of the morning by a terrible backache. Oh no, It’s that pregnancy yoga, I think. Maybe I stretched a little too far this time.

I don’t know how to define labour pain. Some people say it’s like a bolt that moves from top to bottom in your abdomen. Wasn’t that way for me. All that I kept feeling was a terrible, terrible pain in my lower back and thighs. It would throb and throb and return like spasms from time to time.

Wasn’t so bad as to make me scream. But it was bad enough to make me hyperventilate. And a weird kind of shivering took control of my legs every time the spasms came. I thought I’d start running round and round in circles like a dog that has gone mad.

However, my mum had defined labour pains as “Someone sticking a knife in your stomach repeatedly.” (Again, WTF?!) Well, I didn’t feel quite that way yet so I thought that it wasn’t time for me to scream. Mum-in-law’s practical experience came in handy or I would’ve had to give birth at home.

Before we go any further, I’d like to clarify: I’ve always wanted a natural birth. No painkillers, no epidural and certainly not a C-section—which has become the norm in India now. (Sonia, my gynae said women are actually asking for C-section.) I did everything advised by my doctor (and my mom-in-law)—exercises, walks, balanced nutrition, extra prayers and anything else anybody cared to advise, just so I could have a natural birth.

I wasn’t scared of the labour pains, I had chosen this option. However, choosing it doesn’t mean you’re prepared for it.

8:00 am

We’re inside the labour room at Sitaram Bhartia. The pains are getting terrible. Walking around helps.  But then you have to be strapped down so that the kid’s heartbeat can be monitored and that increases the pains manifold. It’s like a violent earthquake that begins in my belly and goes right down to the thighs, splitting my body in half….. ughhhhhh!!! My thighs shiver violently each time. Doctor says its ‘coz I’m so thin—I gained only 5 kgs during my entire 9 months.

(Still not screaming, though. Feel proud).

1:30 pm

It’s been more than 10 hours since the pains started. I’m strapped down and in the middle of my most horrendous nightmare from which I can’t even wake up. I cannot make sense of anything anymore. Sonia sternly orders me to let go of her collar. I look at her blankly coz I don’t know what the hell she’s talking about.

“Let go of my clothes,” she points out. I realize dazedly that I have her clothing in my fist and I’m violently pulling her. At which point I let her go and promptly catch hold of the nurse—in exactly the same manner.

“Hold this railing,” Sonia orders me again. It’s good that she’s being stern. Nothing short of that would get my attention right now.

I will not go into the particulars of childbirth, since I am not, nor ever wanted to be, a medical practitioner or biology teacher. There are only two things that I will never forget about my birthing experience.

One:    The man I love was by my side during this most ghastly, petrifying, absolutely worst time of my life, holding my hand. This won’t be such a novelty to my blogger friends, but considering that I come from a small town in India where people are astounded to know that in Delhi, one family member—any family member—forget husband (at which mention their eyes might pop out of their heads) is allowed inside the labour room during delivery. So you can imagine how unforgettable and unique this was for me (and all my small-town relatives).

Two :  The SNAP! that I heard as I jolted back my head in one piercing, agonized wail as the doctor performed an episiotomy –basically cut me open—so that my baby was born.

Normal…? !!!

You gotta be kidding me.

(To be continued…)


9 thoughts on “Chapter 11 (i): CHILDBIRTH (I) “So WHO termed this a NORMAL delivery??!!”

  1. Jealous. I put on 30kgs. Child birth isnt natural. Something that big is just not meant to come out of somewhere that small. As for contraction pain. Feels like the worst toothache pain ever only its in your back. Labour sucks


    • Lol, you don’t have to be jealous, I looked like an egg on a stick, to quote my sister!! It’s absolutely fine to gain weight during pregnancy. And yes, labour well and truly sucks!!


  2. Multiple likes for this blog…so far my favourite….Tell me one thing was that easy to get Sajjad bhai in the Labour room or you had to plead your docter for that???Was just wondering………..and did u mention epidural because your blog is for people all over the world or because this option is given in India too (just curious)??


    • Eema firstly thanks so much ! This post is the memory of my most difficult moment. Now to answer your questions: 1, At the hospital where I was, they have a policy of allowing one family member to be with you during labour. In fact they encourage that the mother should not be alone during childbirth (Alone meaning without someone from her family). It can be anyone, and they mostly encourage the husband to come. It’s a very good hospital.
      2, Yes, epidural is available in India, I think in most good hospitals in Delhi although I don’t know about Aligarh and other small towns.


  3. Zehra, very well expressed! Only a few people can express themselves and you do it so well that I sometimes find my thoughts in your words :).. I agree, whoever called it normal :P.. I had a terrible experience as well, I was induced pains, and I opted for epidural as well…but trust me, nothing could really help at that time, i felt like throwing myself off the bed, I could barely open my eyes to see my child after she was born. if this is NORMAL, what is abnormal? :P.. Anyway, how can I get links to all your other blogs? I really don’t wan’t to miss those :).. Again, well done!


    • Ha ha ha! Well, I’ll just say it’s your choice, though on hindsight, nothing of the pain remains but a memory, and I have a real,living, beautiful baby! My major problem is being away from my husband, not the baby. But then again, if you opt not to have kids, you get more alone time with your partner. Sometimes my kid really frustrates me coz I get no time with Sajjad when he’s here. That’s the honest summation, now you can decide!


    • No, I didn’t take epidural. I had given clear istructions to my doctor that I want as little artifical intrusions as possible. AS my doctor said later, (you’ll read it in the next chapter), I took the pains head on!!


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