As much as we like to believe that we can control everything that happens to us, the truth is that life can throw us a curve ball anytime. We can plan and try to micro-manage every minute of our lives but, what will happen the very next minute is something that none of us can predict. All the mothers who are reading this will surely agree with me that pregnancy and motherhood are as unpredictable as much as they are challenging. And my beliefs were affirmed recently whilst talking to my friend Ritu Pundir who very kindly agreed to let me share her very interesting birth story with everyone. Ritu is a military wife and is currently working full time along with raising her two year old adorable son.
Here is her story in her own words:-
“I can never forget the day I found out that I was pregnant. As usual, I reached my office around 8;30 in the morning, but I could feel something different about my body. Also, I was nauseous. Suddenly, it hit me. I could be pregnant! Just as I had this thought, I had to rush to the restroom to puke. I HAD to take a pregnancy test to confirm this and at that hour of the morning I could only think of a hospital that was just a km away from my office. So I went to the hospital to take a pregnancy test and the result was positive. I really don’t remember that moment clearly. All I remember is that I started to cry. In my head, I was shocked, happy and scared all at the same time. Just to be completely sure about everything, I immediately called up my OB/GYN and set up an appointment with her. She confirmed my pregnancy and told me that the expected due date is 3 January 2017. I went to the cafeteria after that and took my favourite coffee. While I was sipping my coffee the feeling finally sunk in and I found myself smiling. I called my husband and told him the best news ever and as expected, he was also overjoyed! Due to professional commitments my husband was away but he planned a weekend visit and told me to not tell anyone till the time he is home. We broke the good news to all our family members together and I could literally feel the happy vibes in the air’’.
“Everything was going pretty smooth, up until one night when my feet and my belly started to itch. I brushed it off and thought that it is probably due to all stretching my skin is undergoing. However, I still decided to consult my doc. My doctor immediately asked me to get some blood work done which is when I realised that this itching is not completely normal. The doctor did not clearly tell me anything and only asked me to wait for the blood test reports. The report took two days to come and quite honestly those two days were brimming with mental agony. My blood work confirmed that I had ICP which is a liver condition that occurs in pregnancy only. It cannot be treated completely but can be managed with the help of medication, frequent check-ups and blood tests. I slowly started sinking into this downward spiral of thoughts and started blaming myself as I felt that my own body was attacking my unborn baby”.
“My gut feeling told me something wasn’t right and we decided to change the doctor. My new doctor calmed me down and upon hearing my condition told me about the various scenarios. One of the things he told me was that the baby had to delivered before the 40th week of pregnancy”.
“My pregnancy became rough right in my third month only. But I had a beautiful and loving support system. Gradually, medicines started to show their effects and my overall health started to become better. By God’s grace I was able to hit the 8 month mark and my doctor told me that a c-sec would be performed on 12th Dec 2016 as the likelihood of a natural delivery in 36th week of pregnancy was very less. As the day approached, I was getting excited to meet my baby and also because my suffering was coming to an end. I was also relaxed and happy because I thought I would not be going through any labor pain”.
But God had other plans for me. On the night of Dec 7, I started having regular contractions. On getting checked at the hospital, I found out that I was already 3 cm dilated and approaching active labor! Though I was getting scared because of the pain waves which were about to come, I decided to go with the flow. I was admitted at about 9 pm and at around 10 pm my water broke. My husband was still on his way. My contractions were becoming intense and quite honestly the next 7-8 hours are a complete blur. All I remember is pushing with all my might for about 90 minutes. My baby boy was born at 4 in the morning. Nothing about delivering my baby went as I expected. I went through an all natural delivery sans any pain medication. It felt that God had rewritten my birth plan. But holding my healthy baby in my arms reminded me that God had answered all my prayers. My delivery may not have gone as per the plan but ultimately, I was bestowed with a healthy child. And frankly, that’s all I ever wanted more than anything else’’.
Ritu’s story has confirmed yet again that while we plan in pregnancy as much as we can, in reality, we can only hope for it go as perfectly as we would want it to go. Here’s wishing all mothers-to-be a healthy and a predictable pregnancy!