It Was Not 1 Day or 1 Week Preparation It Was 4 Months of Training

I had a routine checkup scheduled on 24th Dec (week 39+1d). Dr. Jyotsna did my internal examination and the ultrasound check said that I was 1 cm dilated and I can go into labor /expect good news in the next 48 hours. If not, she will induce labor on the 26th Dec evening as my water level was on the borderline (8.2). We went home and around 2 pm I started feeling lower back pain. I then started doing birth ball exercises as taught by Dhwani in labor class. Around 4:30 pm my contractions became regular and I knew it was time to leave for the hospital. We packed our bags and reached the hospital around 6:30 pm. The attending doctor found that I was about 2-3 cm dilated and in early labor. But my contractions were getting stronger and hence my doctor suggested to get admitted. I reached out to Dhwani and she suggested that I walk and do squats. I walked around in the labor room and within 2 hours I was 4 cm dilated and contractions were getting stronger. I was thinking of getting an epidural as I was not sure if I could bear more pain.

But walking and breathing exercises as taught by Dhwani helped me cope with the pain and I decided against taking the epidural. The shift doctor checked me again around 10:30 pm during which my water broke and it felt like a gush of warm fluid escape my body. The doctor and the head nurse attending me looked serious when they saw the fluid. I was in too much labor pain to see the fluid so I enquired what happened and they said that the baby seem to have passed stool. On hearing that I got worried and started mentally preparing myself for an emergency c-section. But the shift doctor checked with my doctor and said as long as the baby’s heartbeat is fine (monitored via NST), they will try for normal delivery. At that time I was 6 cm dilated and the pain was too frequent and much stronger to bear. My husband tried to support me through the labor pain as guided by Dhwani.

But at one point, when the pain was too unbearable I asked the doctor to give me an epidural. When the doctor arrived to make all the arrangements, something inside announced “don’t take epidural now, you can do it without it, you’re mentally and physically strong to bear the remaining pain”. So I asked the doctor to not give me the epidural and that I was sorry for the confusion. The doctor said that it was the last chance for me to take an epidural at 6 cm dilation. Once I progress to 8 cm dilation, she won’t give me the epidural and the pain the will be stronger than it was at 6 cm. Hearing that I wanted to go for an epidural, but I stuck to my inner voice and said still no to the epidural. Around 1 am I was fully dilated (10 cm) and somehow after going through strong contractions earlier I did not feel as strong contractions during the pushing stage and the duration of contraction was also relatively short, which extended my pushing stage to 25 minutes. On 25th December at 1:25 am Viyaan was born via normal delivery.

I was lucky that my dilation progressed fast for the first time to be mommy, but luck favors the prepared. The yoga sessions, the breathing techniques, and the labor sessions that Dhwani taught prepared me mentally and physically to successfully go through the labor pain and deliver my baby normally. It was not 1 day or 1-week preparation, it was 4 months of training and practice with a lot of fun and new friends made in the process. I urge all the pregnant women who want to have a normal delivery, to practice prenatal yoga as soon as their doctor clears them for it and P101 is certainly the best place for prenatal yoga and labor information sessions.

To learn more about pregnancy, baby care & breastfeed related information and pregnancy classes visit our website Rita’s Pregnancy 101.

Dhwani Gandhi

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