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Tuesday, 28 September 2021

LABOUR OF LOVE: A STORY

 (ft. Baby Waris)



A month of baby Waris and a month of new founded joy, gratitude and blessings. Prior to 
experiencing active labour, I often wondered whether I would cry when our baby would be 
placed in my arms. I usually led myself to believe that I wouldn't - that, instead, I would be 
too filled with contentment to even realize to cry. But, I forgot about the tears of joy. The 
moment baby Waris's warm skin made contact with my bare skin, tears automatically started 
flowing from my eyes. I remember that the first few tears were undoubtedly dedicated to the 
labour finally being over. With this thought, I looked over at Manjot & could tell that he too 
was thankful to see an end to my agony. Without an exchange of any words, I could tell that he
was overwhelmed with emotions. I watched his eyes move down to my abdomen where baby
Waris was placed. My attention swiftly shifted from Manjot to this new, beautiful human being
whose loud crying voice must have woken up many babies that night. It wasn't until my arms 
wrapped around him that I realized the true purpose of my tears - the tears of joy! Our first 
sight of Waris was watching him ingeniously make his way towards my breasts in an effort to 
relieve his hunger. It was like he was programmed to do so. Manjot and I were amazed. And, 
he has been amazing us every single day since then (in addition to causing sleepless nights).

My labour was tough. My story started on Friday, August 27th. It was an early afternoon. I
 started experiencing mild cramps akin to menstrual cramps. But, the cramps felt a bit different 
as it was emanating from my back and ending in my lower abdomen. Not having experienced
labour pain (and having read way too much about what contractions are supposed to feel like), 
I was somewhere in the middle on the scale of 'omfg, the baby is on its way - I think?' Friday 
continued passing but the intensity of my cramps remained similar to that of menstrual cramps. 
We couldn't sleep that night as our mind was clouded with a million thoughts - what if my water
breaks in bed, what if I sleep through the contractions (I wish) and don't have sufficient time 
to make it to the hospital, etc. Somehow, we managed to sleep around midnight that night.

We then entered Saturday, August 28th. At approximately 2:00am, I woke up with an increased
level of pain that felt like contractions. I hoped the pain didn't escalate. But, of course, I knew it 
had to. After all, we all hear how painful childbirth can be. The frightening part was that I was 
about to find out anytime. An hour had passed and the pain had escalated both in frequency and 
intensity. When I couldn't take it anymore, I woke Manjot up and watched him quickly grab our 
hospital bag & an overpacked luggage (like one would pack for a weekend getaway). Our two
min drive to the hospital felt like an endless journey. We were finally there. A nurse examined me
and reported that I was experiencing false labour or what is medically known as Braxton Hicks 
Contractions. Considering the level of pain, I didn't think the word 'false' was appropriate - I
remember thinking to myself 'if this is false labour, I wonder how painful true labour must be.' 
At approximately 4:00 am, we were sent home from the hospital but Manjot decided to bring the 
hospital home with him. He was on my case; asking moment after moment how I was feeling. It 
was adorable (though I didn't think so then as the 'false' contractions made me find everything 
(and possibly everyone) irritating. Manjot started timing my contractions on an app he found 
on his phone. We had the hospital maternity ward on speed dial and continued calling them to 
report the timings of the contractions. When the length of the contractions averaged what that 
suggested by the maternity ward (two to three mins apart and a min to two mins in length), we, 
once again, made our way to the hospital; this time hoping only to come back with a baby!

It was still Saturday, August 28th and we arrived at the hospital at approximately 7:00am. Let's 
just say, between 7:00am and 9:13pm, when baby Waris blessed us with his presence, it was an
eventful Saturday to say the least. Because Waris was sitting on my tailbone, I was undergoing 
an intense lower back ache in addition to the contractions. Manjot's fingers went numb trying to 
massage my lower back to help ease the pain. I felt for him. His hands were literally in labour.
But, it was either that he numbed his thumbs for me or delivered a baby. Ha! So thankful for him. 

Upon arriving at the hospital, we were placed in the maternity triage before getting assigned 
a private room. One of the prerequisites of getting a private room was ensuring my body was 
prepared for delivery; my cervix had to be effaced & dilated to 10cm. The contractions became 
increasingly intolerable & my back ache intensified. I found moving in a slightly up and down 
motion on a bouncing ball provided some relief, albeit temporarily. Manjot was quick to rub 
my lower back when the bouncing ball failed to provide relief. Both of us hoped my cervix 
sided with me because I was so ready to pop this baby out. And, around midday, it finally 
happened - my cervix was fully dilated. We were then moved to a private room where I tried 
everything that was offered to me to help ease the pain - hydrotherapy, nitrous oxide, opioids, 
and, as much as I did not wish to take, epidural. Manjot explained that due to the exhaustion 
from the back labour & the contractions, my body was too weak to endure a normal delivery. 
He had a point! We decided that I had to take an epidural. Thankfully, I am glad I did. My back 
pain subsided in a few minutes. I felt this newfound energy to use to push out our little human. 

My water had to be manually broken. This put rest to any crazy ideas I had of my water breaking
 at the wrongest time. Precisely that I would be stranded somewhere without Manjot but with a lot 
of people around to witness me standing between a puddle of liquid. Phew. After my water was 
broken, between my cries and sighs and the doctor alternating her decision several times between 
a C-section and a normal delivery, Waris positioning himself correctly for delivery at the last min,
his heartbeat dropping and increasing rapidly, he finally blessed us with his presence at 9:13pm 
via a Vacuum-assisted delivery. Since his birth, with each day that passes, my recollection of the 
pain becomes fainter and my love for Waris grows fonder. Such is a story of the labour of love.

See you very soon with all things baby (i.e. nursery updates, labour tips and tricks, etc).

Love,

M.S.G.
xox








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