Chapter 11(ii): CHILDBIRTH (II) I’ve given birth to a baby. Yes, I truly have.


My one concern as I’m in the process of labour is that I won’t be able to “do it” ultimately and that after all my efforts,  they’d just have to perform a Caesarean operation. But that didn’t happen and I will always be truly, deeply thankful that I “did it”.

The baby is born.

“It’s a son,” Sonia announces as I grow aware of the suddenly removed earthquake from my body. I did it. I gave birth to a healthy baby, the natural way.

I drop down, exhausted beyond belief. The other doctor—Manju –is removing the placenta. More pain.

“Please. Pleaaase don’t do this…” I beg her.

“Arrey! You’ve tolerated so much pain, what is this compared to that?”

What is this compared to that? It’s a needle being stuck in and moved round and round in your skin—after you’ve been sawed through.

The placenta is out. The pain subsides. Relief.

I am aware that Sajjad is still holding my hand.

“I love you,” I whisper. He holds up my hand and kisses the back of it.

“I did it…” I tell him. I can’t get over that feeling of extraordinary achievement over this ‘normal’ delivery. “I was thinking I wouldn’t be able to do it… I was thinking they’d just move me to the operation theatre anytime now…. But I’ve done it…” I manage to smile at him.

He’s stroking my hair, I think. Not easy to focus at the moment.

Sonia and Manju are stitching me up, chatting like it’s an everyday chore. Which it is—for them, of course.

“God, how hard is this baby crying!” Sonia exclaims suddenly.

It is then that I grow aware of a bawling baby somewhere in the room. I had not even heard him cry…

Sonia is right. The bawling is strong and insistent, unlike the newborn cries that you sort of expect.

“Don’t all babies cry this way?”

I can’t believe I’m chatting with my doctor even as she’s stitching me up.

“They do, but not so much!” she laughs “This one’s just going on and on!”

“I suppose he takes after his mother,” I say this to Sajjad, not Sonia, (with a smile), “His mother’s such a cry-baby!”

“Not at all!” Manju cuts in unexpectedly, “You are a wonderful patient! You took the pains so well, without a complaint! You should just see the tantrums that we get to witness here… but you were so good. You asked for nothing at all, and no screaming either….a little towards the end, yes, but that’s completely natural,” she beams.

That one’s gonna rank high, high up in my list of most memorable compliments ever!

The baby is still bawling. It is then that I turn my face to the right and see my son–lying in a glass rectangle under a bright white light. I see him wailing for attention, I see his body, I see his face—just the side profile—mouth wide open, eyes shut tight.

“Kya hua, kyun ro rhe ho?” (What’s the matter, why are you crying?) I call out to him.

The crying stops immediately. IMMEDIATELY. The baby opens his eyes. I SEE him opening his eyes.

And I have witnesses to prove that.

There is a strange, soft, cotton-candy kind of pleasure in making a baby’s cries stop with the mere sound of your voice. It’s a pleasure that you never, ever forget.

I HAVE ACTUALLY GIVEN BIRTH TO A BABY. A BABY THAT STOPS CRYING AT THE SOUND OF MY VOICE.

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9 thoughts on “Chapter 11(ii): CHILDBIRTH (II) I’ve given birth to a baby. Yes, I truly have.

  1. I have a friend.. I met her the day after she gave birth. She couldnt even stand or sit!!! I could totally imagine what you were narrating. You have a way with words 🙂

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    • well, here I’d like to say that I was actually sitting–or reclining–while I gave birth– on those movable back beds you know. And they made me stand and walk just about an hour after I gave birth… to make the healing faster. Some of the benefits of the ‘normal delivery’ u know. It was very very tough but at least i was on my feet.

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      • She had a water birth.. she was very well researched and all that. I’m glad that you could make through it. Respect!

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      • Really? She had a water birth! I’m astonished, is she in India? I always wanted a water birth, I’d read about it way, way back when I was 13. Since then I wanted a water birth–with live dolphins swimming in the tank so they could communicate with the foetus… I know, I know–sounds wierd but that’s what I actually fantasised about. But water births are supposed to be relatively painless, aren’t they? Wonder why your friend couldn’t sit or stand? Would like to know all about it. She’s the only person I know who’s had a real water birth.

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      • No.. here in USA. She gave birth to her daughter in a little kiddie pool. 🙂 She also kept off a lot of meds and injections. She was without epidural for the most part of it, except the last half an hour. She had a three day labour!! She took all the efforts on her own. All the pushing and the stuff made it hard for her. Also, when I met her it was just a few hours after she gave birth. I am sure pushing out a child, with or without water is painful haha. It’s just that pushing out a baby on a table, no offence to ladies who did that, is just unnatural. It’s basically defying gravity. You know how we squat down to even just take a dump? Which doesn’t require even an ounce of effort compared to giving birth? It’s because of gravity! Imagine trying to poop with your legs wide apart on a table.

        I am almost certain you must already have, but if you havent please watch this documentary called “The business of being born”.

        Oh I dont think this is weird at all. I always thought of living underwater and Ariel was my favourite Disney princess!

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  2. Such a rewarding moment…..I visualized it again.
    I am sure you have a fan club already and many more will join as you go forward with your writing. Good luck for that my dear.

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    • Arrey yaar, anybody who reads, likes and comments on my post gives me immense happiness and when my friends do it I like it even more. Just the fact that you are able to visualise what I describe makes me beam with happiness!

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