‘I opted for caesarean when my baby’s heartbeat got erratic'
From nervous mums-to-be to proud new parents, who doesn't love to hear about babies being born? Read Dr Tulika Khurana's labour story for one such unique incident
Are you pregnant with your first child and wondering what to expect when THE moment finally arrives? Do you want to familiarise yourself with the highs and lows, the surprises and the shocks of labour?
We are sure you have your views on how you will cope through your labour… but we also believe that reading about a woman’s first person account of her labour story will further enlighten you. So here we have Dr Tulika Khurana, a Delhi-based dentist, speak about her moment. Read on.
Plan a baby? Plan? Really?
It was sometime around mid-July. My husband and I had not started planning for a baby yet. So we were in for a surprise when I missed my chums. I didn’t even want to think about pregnancy, forget actually go through one at that point. But then, I underwent an HCG urine test and it came out positive. The very next day, we visited a gynaecologist.
As it was my first pregnancy, I was very apprehensive. The first thing I told my doctor was that just the last week we were on a vacation in Manali and I had smoked and consumed a lot of wine. I’d also indulged in adventure sports like river rafting and rock climbing.
I was worried if it could affect the baby. But she calmed me down saying it’s completely normal to drink outside India during pregnancy and they do have healthy babies.
Clueless, no more
Being a dentist myself, I had very little knowledge about pregnancy. All I knew was there was a lot to learn. I downloaded pregnancy apps which were very helpful and also kept reading over the Internet and even joined some forums on Facebook. The first thing I had to do was stop taking X-rays at my clinic as they are harmful for the baby in the womb.
While I was in the seventh month, I started shopping for stuff for myself and my baby—clothes, toiletries, breast pump, cradle, pram etc. were already in place. I, being a medico, could easily judge during ultrasounds that it’s a girl. So, we shopped accordingly.
I had planned to join yoga classes during the ninth month, but could not do that. My baby was born five weeks premature, on February 3, 2015. In fact, I took breastfeeding classes at my hospital. We also planned for a cord stem cell banking.
Continue reading to know if Dr Tulika Khurana faced any hitch during her pregnancy
While in the 14th week, I felt slight pain on the right side of my lower abdomen. My doctor suggested for an ultrasound. The ultrasonography said there was a slight rupture in the placenta which was dangerous for the baby.
Then I had to undergo a few more blood tests. We discovered that I had high number of cytokines in my body which destroy the placenta. My doctor suggested immunotherapy wherein my husband’s blood was taken and his white blood cells were separated and injected into my blood stream.
This was followed until the 30th week, every fortnight. In spite of these complications, my doctor and I had planned for a normal delivery.
Baby Hazel was in a hurry
The date of delivery was March 9 and my husband had planned to be with me in the operation theatre during that time. But we couldn’t follow the birth plan as I went into labour five weeks earlier than anticipated.
My water bag had broken and there were no dilations or even pains for the next four hours. Eventually, I ended up having a caesarean section delivery.
My husband, my birth partner
My husband was my birth partner. From the time we discovered I was pregnant, he used to plan my diet, remind me of medicines all the time. He’d even take me for routine visits to the doctor, for ultrasounds, injections and blood tests.
He was very helpful and available throughout the time. In fact, even now, during sleepless nights with the baby, he’s always there to help out.
Continue reading to know about Dr Tulika Khurana’s signs of labour
Water, water all around
I was at my mum’s place for a few days. That particular morning, when I was in bed, at around 4 a.m., I could feel the baby kicking around. All of a sudden, I felt a heavy kick and my pajamas got wet. I couldn’t understand what had happened for a second and I stood up. Then the water just came streaming and the whole floor was wet.
From all the labour stories I had been reading, this much was clear that water had broken. I woke up my mum and sister immediately and also called my doctor. Once she checked with me that there was no bleeding along with the water, she said I could wait for another four hours and come to the hospital at around 8 – 9 a.m.
My house is almost 30 km from my mum’s place. So we decided to leave for the hospital immediately, just in case there’s further emergency we shouldn’t be far from the hospital. So we left around 4:15 a.m. and I called my husband to tell him everything that had happened.
Labour of love… Ahem!
Even at 9 a.m, there were no labour pains or bleeding. The doctor examined me but there was no dilatation of the cervix either. She kept me on stress test for the next one hour. The baby’s heart beat was erratic. It kept sinking and rising which was dangerous. So we finally decided for a caesarean section.
I literally didn’t get any labour pain as the c-section is performed under anaesthesia and at 1:09 p.m, I got the first glimpse of my little girl. Only after the delivery, did I feel the pain for around a month around the abdomen area due to the stitches.
For a healthy baby, have a healthy body
For my next pregnancy, I want to plan it well and have lots of reserves of iron and calcium in the body. And that’s exactly what I want to say to all the women planning for a baby; to have a healthy baby, one must be healthy.
As the baby takes nutrition from the mothers body, one should have ample amount of minerals and vitamins to have a stress free easy pregnancy.
As told to Divya Nair
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