For months, we had anxiously awaited the day it will finally happen. (The expected date was 8th Feb) And when that day came, it still managed to take us by surprise ! In fact, we had ordered a movie home, and intended to see it later that afternoon. But we soon discovered that Life had other plans for us.
Just as we finished lunch at 2 pm that lazy Sunday, her water broke ! It was going to happen today, we told ourselves, almost silently. We were not supposed to panic. The drill was that we should get to the hospital within 2-3 hours of the water breaking. And we ended up using all that time.
Soon, we were making our way to the hospital, and luckily, there wasn’t much traffic on the way. It felt like the whole world was taking an afternoon nap while we were going through our most eventful life-experience. It almost did not seem fair… except for the fact that there wasn’t much traffic on the way.
The hospital staff were most helpful and courteous, and we soon found ourselves in the pre-labour “Waiting Room”. But, since her contractions were still far apart, all we could do was wait. So we shifted to our designated room… and waited.
I tried to crack some jokes to lighten the mood, but so far, the wife was doing alright. She was calm and not stressing out, which was good. Of course, that comfort was not meant to last long. The funny thing is, until that afternoon, we didn’t even know what a contraction would feel like. We had had none. We had read all about them, and how each contraction starts at the lower back and moves towards the front, and how you’re supposed to do a cycle of breathing exercises when it happens. But it was all theory. Until now.
By about 6 pm, the contractions became more frequent. By 10 in the night, they were happening every 3 minutes. That’s when we shifted to the “Labour Room”… to wait some more, of course. The only difference was that there were a few gadgets there to help monitor the progress of both mother and child. There were no gadgets, however, to help the pain. And the pain kept getting worse. Luckily, we remembered to ‘breathe’ with each contraction, which helped some. Every 3 minutes, she would get a contraction. And every 3 minutes, it would hurt a lot. And then it would subside. This went on for nearly 6 hours…
Then, the pushing started. And she was taken to the “Delivery Room” for the final part she had to play in this Miracle of Life. There was struggling, and pain, and blood…
And then, at 3.58 am on the 2nd of February 2004, a baby girl was born into our family !!!
Soon, sms messages were being sent to friends and family, informing them of the newest addition to our family. And I found myself surprised at how glad we were that we had had a normal delivery and that every thing was normal. Never in my life had any thing ‘normal’ meant so much !
I have heard many talk of the birth of their child as a momentous event in which “your whole life changes and you feel all these emotions at the same time”. For me, it was a humbling experience.
To hold a new born child in your arms, a child that is so… ‘complete’ in all respects, someone who started life as a single cell, is nothing short of a miracle. What did we do as human beings? Sure, the mother carried the child in her womb, while the father provided support. But, with all the technology and scientific prowess we can muster, we cannot “create” a single cell, let alone bringing to life a self-healing, self-sufficient, intelligent, human being !
As much as I try to break it down for myself, or for you, that night will always stay imprinted in my mind as a “miracle”. Living proof that there is a God, whatever name he goes by. There is just no other way to explain it.
P.S. We have since named her “Khushi” (i.e. ‘joy’). Elsewhere on this blog, she will be known as “Pumpkin”.