Birthing From the Father's Eye
This entire read is about the birth of my son purely from my eyes, a father’s eye. Baby boy was our third pregnancy. The first two pregnancies failed naturally. Doctors were very supportive and since both of us were young, they were not too worried. When the doctor confirmed our third pregnancy, there weren’t over the top celebrations and joy. It was welcomed with moderate joy and most of all concern and the need to make things better for my wife.
I am not going to elaborate on the exact details but just to give a picture of how emotionally and physically draining it was for my wife and to me just seeing her go through this I am divulging this information. Over the course of her 36 odd weeks of gestation, my wife had to be administered close to 250 injections, one each everyday along with the usual one administered to everyone. This was done to support the development of baby in the womb. Every day I used to dread evenings, as I had to administer the injections myself. To see someone you love going through the pain and being not able to make it go away for them is not most enjoyable experience. She held tough. There were tough days when everything seemed overwhelming for both of us. But she held strong. Unfortunately I wasn’t as strong as her.
To this date, it haunts me. Having seen her in pain and the fact that I had to inject her every single time still haunts me. But we somehow made it till 28 weeks. And then came another hurdle. My wife’s amniotic fluid levels were down. She had to get IV fluids for four days. We had to do it three times between weeks 28 and 35. That’s when the whole country came to a standstill due to the ongoing pandemic. I had to leave her in the entrance of the hospital every day and wait outside, as no person apart from patients were allowed inside. Even mobile phones weren’t allowed inside due to contamination fears. Waiting outside the hospital not knowing what was happening for almost 2 hours every day, waiting to see if my wife is coming out fine or waiting to be called in by one of the nurses. Mind plays tricks. The most horrible thoughts crosses frequently. Every single time she steps out of the hospital, drinks a mouthful of water and says she’s fine, I start to breathe.
At 36 weeks we were advised by the doctors to go for planned a C section as the amniotic fluid levels were going down and the baby’s weight wasn’t increasing to satisfactory levels. I cannot overplay the role our doctors had in our pregnancy. To us, they are incarnations of God, who blessed us with a baby. Their constant assurance and positive outlook helped us to never give up. On a Wednesday afternoon, weighing at a just over 1.8kg our little son was born. Seeing your baby for the first time should have been one of the greatest moments in life. But to me I didn’t feel happy nor relieved. Something was holding me back. When the whole family and friends were celebrating I had to smile halfheartedly. Maybe I knew what was about to come or maybe I didn’t, but there was not much peace in mind. Baby boy was being monitored in NICU and doctors said he was doing fine. The next two days were alright. On the third day our doctors said the baby hadn’t excreted yet but asked us to wait and see before going for the next course of action. A day passed and still nothing. So I had the privilege of taking my 3 day old son on his first trip outside the hospital – in an ambulance to the scan center. Our mind is weirdly beautiful. I am saying this because it went into overdrive. I shut all my emotions, I didn’t want to worry my wife or family at this stage and I concealed most of the information doctors told me only to give them the positive information. Could I have handled it better and taken my wife, family and friend’s help? Yes I could have. They are the people who would have given their lives for me and my wife and our son. But the mind wants to protect those who want to protect you. I chose to suck it up and do what needed to be done. After a series of test and consultations with specialists it was decided to do a diagnostic procedure to check for any blocks in the intestine. Then came the shock. The fluid required to do the procedure was not available at the hospital and it wasn’t possible to get it immediately due to the lockdown restrictions. Then we decided to shift the baby and my wife to another bigger multi-specialty hospital in the city. Walking into a big hospital during normal times in itself is not a very pleasant task.
But in the middle of a pandemic, with my 4 day old son, doctors bombarding with medical terms I didn’t know even existed was pretty overwhelming. After being initially briefed by the doctors about the course of action and the possibility of an invasive surgery on a 4 day old baby. After consulting with family and our gynecologist (again cannot thank her enough for the support) we decided to start with the diagnostic procedure first. But before they could, baby had to be tested for Covid and he was kept in an isolation ward for a day without any of us even being able to see him. It truly felt mortifying to be at the hospital where it felt like I was in an alien world hopeless. After the result came negative the procedure was done and it was identified as a block in his intestine. We were advised to do the surgery the next day.
On the day of surgery I had asked my family members to not come near the operation theatre. Right before the surgery my wife and I shared a breakfast in the morning. We had good conversation and laughed for something I don’t remember. With great pain and hope I told her I will leave her side for now to be with the baby till the surgery was done (she still couldn’t walk properly after the C section). Our family and friends were praying for our son. The surgery was to be done in another block from where the NICU was located. Along with two nurses I took my son to the operation theatre. Right before I was to hand him over to the doctor I hugged him and whispered in his ears “We will be waiting for you. I will be waiting for you.” I am not sure if it happened or not but this is what I saw. He gave me the tiniest of smile. I felt it he was saying back to me that it’s all going to be fine and he is going to come back to me soon. My son gave me hope. I am a very optimistic person but the journey over the course of previous year kind of shook my optimism a little. But that one event in my life where my son gave me hope will always be the memory I will look back to when I need it the most. I was waiting outside the theatre. Two hours passed and still no word from anyone. I was becoming agitated and overwhelmed. To this day I will be forever grateful to that kind lady who spoke to me. Humanity’s greatest gift is humanity. Out of nowhere the kind lady came and told me everything will be fine and asked me to stay strong. Her words felt like the greatest energy source for me and it felt like words of God. Till I breathe my last, I will be grateful to that kind stranger and hope that she has a good life. And finally the doctor came and said the surgery was fine and the block was removed and explained about the follow up tests to be done to make sure it wasn’t anything genetic and chronic. There was another minor procedure to be done a few weeks later to finish the process. But the doctor was positive about baby boy’s recovery and growth.
After a series of painfully waiting tests and a second procedure baby boy is doing well and has become the life of our family. To him, he doesn’t know what he went through but to all of us he is a sign of hope and optimism. We just celebrated his first birthday in our home. We wanted to celebrate it with our entire family and friends but understanding the present scenario we decided not to. Baby boy will always be loved and blessed by our entire family and friends and we hope to nurture him to become a good human being.
I am sharing this to show people who are unfortunately in some kind of an undesirable situation like us that there is hope during the toughest of times. Never give up on anyone and anything. Life will show itself a better phase. Stay strong.