"My water broke. Call the hospital", my wife cried in excitement.
"Sure I will!", I replied dialling the hospital number, checking the calendar meanwhile. "Saturday, May 25", it said.
I had a hunch that our baby will be born on 25th. After all, my wife and myself were both born on 25th! Won't it be awesome if our baby were to be born on the same day as ours?
"Her water broke at 5 AM. No, she did not have any contractions yet. No, we do not need an ambulance", I answered the protocol questions from the nurse-on-call. Jaisri woke her mom up while I called our friend Rachel who had offered us a ride to the hospital. "I will be there in ten minutes", she said over phone.
Meanwhile, Jaisri checked the hospital bag once more to see if she had missed something, prepared a cup of coffee for us and was ready to go. "We are going to see our baby", she said in excitement.
Ten full months! We could not wait a minute more, particularly since the day we came to know that its a baby girl! At quarter to six, we reached the Poudre Valley Hospital, registered and went up to the maternity ward. One thing I love about American hospitals, particularly PVH, is that the father-to-be is allowed to stay in the maternity ward throughout the labour!
But Jaisri is yet to have her first contraction, the beginning of labour. "Your cervix is at 1 cm now. You need to dilate more. Let us wait and see if your body is able to do it on its own", Dr. Stern, the doctor-on-call said.
Four hours went by. Nothing much happened. Rachel, my mom-in-law, Jaisri and myself played Phase10 to spend our time. "Do you think it is possible for our baby to be born today?", we asked the nurse who was monitoring Jaisri's blood pressure, strength of contraction and pulse and our baby's heart beat.
"She has a good chance! Its good that her water broke early in the morning", the nurse replied.
The doctor examined her again around noon. "Your cervix is still at 1 cm", he said. Three hours later, Jaisri felt her first significant pain. Sooner she had more contractions at regular interval that her pain became unbearable.
In the evening (which was still afternoon in this part of the world), we consulted our nurse and agreed to call the Anaesthesia specialist to administer Epidural.
The combination of more frequent, high intense contractions and epidural lowered Jaisri's blood pressure which she did not feel, thanks to Epidural. But, unfortunately, the baby was alarmed with the condition and her heart beat lowered.
"Will something happen to me?", my wife asked me anxiously. I realized that no words are enough to convince her. I called the doctor and asked the same question. "She looks perfectly alright. There is nothing to worry about", his replied reassured our faith.
Still, every ten minutes, Jaisri's bp lowered drastically and baby's heartbeat would come down to half of its normal rate. We cried from inside and did the only thing we could do, pray to God. "Why should this happen to me?", she quizzed herself.
"Don't worry honey. Everything is going to be alright soon. Think of all the good times we had so far", I said, trying to calm her down. Meanwhile, the nurse adjusted the Epidural dosage and infused saline and glucose to keep her bp under control.
After observing her vital signs for a while and finding that they are stabilizing, I took a brief meditative nap. At the wee hour in the morning, my wife woke me up and said, "my cervix has dilated to 8 cm!"
I felt elated! "Our baby is going to be in our arms soon", we cried in joy. The nurse then gave her instructions to coincide her push with the peak of her contractions.
Her push became rigorous next morning when the sun rose. "Your baby has a wonderful black hair", our nurse said. With every contractions, the nurse asked Jaisri to push and count from 1 to 10, and repeat it three times.
After a long and enduring wait for 26 hours, Hrdaya was born. It is hard to express "that moment" in words in any languages humans had ever learnt.
That moment, when I cut the umbilical cord of Hrdaya and welcomed her to Earth...is the best moment in my life that I would cherish for ever.