I still remember the day very vividly but I am quoting a letter which Swati wrote five days after her was born...
10 November 1997
Five days have passed, flown by and it feels as it was for these moments of extreme happiness and satisfaction that I was born.
On 4th November when I came here with labor pains I was scared. For, at that time nothing was decided. My pains were subsiding and I had one finger dilation. But then one can go on for 7-10 days easily with one finger dilation?.
Late that evening, after sonography the picture became clearer and the Caesar was scheduled for the next day, as the baby's size was considerably large. I slept a bit worried but in control. Woke up at 5:15 a.m. when the prayer call (Aazan) was being given. Tarique and I sat together, talking for a long long time. I was scared, very scared. I knew that I was in very good hands. The best of medical care was being given, but the fear of unknown, the fear that my stomach will be cut open? Will the baby be all right - normal??
My blood sugar report came at 2.30 p.m. and the Post Meal sugar levels was 280. Too high and risky, even for a Caesar. I, ofcourse, was not told about the sugar level, but Tarique was very very worried.
I was taken inside the OT at 3.30 p.m. I held Tarique's hand for a long time before he went out (Yes, Tarique was not inside - Dr. Jaiswal was the attending Pediatrician. Tarique waited outside - couldn't be the pediatrician and father to be at the same time).
I was put on drip of glucose and insulin (to counter the high sugar levels). I acted brave, but was a nervous wreck inside. Contrary to my thinking, the spinal anesthesia did not hurt at all. Once my body started getting numb, Najma Khala gave a horizontal cut. I felt the pressure of scalpel on my abdomen. My eyes were covered with gauze, but I could still see a little bit. Within a few minutes of the incision, Dr. Fidwi, the assistant surgeon, asked Dr. Jaiswal to give fundal pressure and within seconds after that he took the baby out. Dr. Jaiswal said "3.51 p.m." Somebody took the gauze off my eyes. I was shown the baby. I asked as to what it is? and Dr. Fidwi turned the baby when I exclaimed, "It's a boy!". I immediately told everybody that the baby is going to be called Aasim. In the meanwhile umbilical chord was cut and I heard the baby cry. Baby weighed 3.900 kgs, the nurse called out. That moment was the most precious moment of my life. I will forever remember very vividly the tiny body of my baby all covered with white sticky substance? that moment of bonding between me and my child will live forever, even after I cease to?
My uterus was being cleaned I heard the suction pump. Najma khala asked me whether I want to see my uterus, for some strange reason I declined, Now I wish I hadn't.
The anesthetist asked me whether I would like to be sedated. I replied negative, I wouldn't miss even a moment of this. All in all during the entire surgery I was very euphoric.
It was only after I was shifted to the room around 4.30 p.m., I started experiencing the heaviness in my lower body. An hour later the pain started. It kept becoming worse every minute. I could feel it coming in gusts and layers. I felt it in every stitch that was given to me over the Uterus as extreme period's pain, over the muscles as extreme pressure and on the skin as terrible stabbing pain. At times it hurt at individual layer at time it came all together. It was so bad that I kept clutching the rod of the bed to control myself. I realised there is no sense in procrastinating the pain so I refused sedation again. My right hand was hurting as the IV was attached to it. I made up my mind not to think of pain as pain - and it was easier. Everytime it hurt me more, I looked at the baby and at Tarique. It gave me strength to bear the pain. That night I was awake till 1.30 p.m. Tarique was awake the entire night feeding the baby glucose water every hour as baby was hypoglycemic. I drifted to sleep but kept waking on and off asking the baby to be kept on my side so that I can touch him.
Next day at around 11 p.m. the IV was removed, at 4.00 p.m. I was asked to sit. A difficult task as the stitches were very raw and were hurting a lot. But not only did I manage to sit for an hour or so supported with pillows I even walked that evening unassisted with baby in one hand. The pain was still there but I was so proud and euphoric that nothing mattered?. That night baby kept me awake from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. I held him near my chest so that I could give him warmth and he could get comfort from my heartbeat. He held on to me with his tiny hands like a monkey
Third day I was much better. Had a lot of visitors so couldn't sleep in the afternoon. I had been trying to feed the baby since the second day but milk was not there and baby could not suck. That night I gave him his first feed. Hungry as he was, he drank lustily and did not leave me for 25 minutes leaving my nipple sore chapped and bleeding. But it gave me tremendous satisfaction. It is still sore but as it gets full, I feed him. It hurts, but baby's hunger always comes first. I clutch Tarique's hand and feed him.
Today my dressing has been removed. I was scared but Najma Khala took out the dressing so suddenly that it was all over even before I realised it. The day passed playing with Aasim. My eyes are brimming with tears of happiness. Both Tarique and I look at the baby and can't control our tears. He is such an angel, a blessing to us. Every ache, every pain is worth having for such a child. He has very strong likes and dislikes right from now. Yesterday he refused to be with me. He would become quiet the moment Tarique took him and came to me only for feeds.
Sangita, this experience of being a mother is exhilarating. Especially when the child is the product of pure unadulterated love. He is our world. He stands for everything we are to each other. I am thankful to God for letting me have Aasim specially when the entire pregnancy was such a high-risk pregnancy.
Aasim is really as precious as his name denotes. He is an angel. I am sending you some of his snaps with this letter and I am sure you will fall in love with him just as we have.
We leave tomorrow early morning for Bangkok, I am glad that Swati and Aasim will be there for almost half of my stay there... ...
Got a whole lot of things to do before we can start packing .... ....