Once my babies were wheeled away to the NICU, it had taken quite some time to stitch me back. With all that extra skin, I’m really not sure how they had closed me up, I know they didn’t care to make it look aesthetically good. I spent the night recovering from the surgery. That night felt good, since I was properly drugged not to feel any pain. Next morning, we met an Indian intern at the hospital. She was an American Born Confused Desi ( no more confused as we were, as new parents) with a very pleasant personality. Her name was something like “Vashita”, I think. I remember this, because she had mentioned how her name had been made fun off.
“Wha” a “Shit”
She spent quite some time with us deciphering the names that we had chosen for our babies, their sounds and the possibilities of mispronouncing them, There were sets of similar sounding names or similar meaning names. After going through all of them, we gave up on anything similar for the girls. As it is, they have the same birth date to share which was enough for now.
As the morphine started to wear off, I came to realize the pain waiting for me. Everything was swelling and the catheter had to come off so I could start moving. None of this was happening. I wasn’t able to stand and when helped to the bathroom, I wasn’t able to pee. When my bladder could hold no more, the catheter had to be put back in. Wore compression garments on my legs to stop them from swelling further. Eventually, I was able to get rid of the catheter, and the swelling started to decrease, I realized that, all that was left of my body, was just some flesh and bones. No muscles on my legs or hands. The bed rest had made me weak. The belly felt like a hard rock. Some people who had come to see us remarked insensitively..
“You still look pregnant!!” Maybe this is like food for such people…Talking like this. Anyways..I put it behind me.
I insisted on being taken to see my babies in the NICU. My tummy felt like a heavy rock ( I know, I’m repeating it so many times, maybe there’s going to be a comment on,how many times I repeated this). So hard and so heavy. Remember a version of the 3 little pigs story or similar, where the wolf’s tummy is cut open by the clever character, the baby sheep’s (or the 2 pigs) are freed and stones put back and the tummy is sewed back.. Yeah, same thing happened to me too!…looked like the doctor’s freed up my babies, then put back rocks inside and sewed it up.
I think I was given some drug that the uterus continued to contract. I wasn’t able to get my back straight. One thing I missed doing after the delivery, was, having my tummy tied with a binder. The binder they gave at this hospital was such a misfit and not efficient enough, or maybe, that hard rock like pot on my belly was the weird part. I did use a binder after the second delivery and I did feel the help. Doing this goes a long way in helping to reduce your tummy back to its size. I would recommend it 1000% (if that made any math sense) to all the new moms. Most of the times, the uterus takes a long time to contract back to its size (sometimes, may not even come back fully, like in mine). With c-sections, this gets harder to do. Looking back, I wish I had just endured all that pain, and had my tummy tied up like that. But, I wonder if it would have mattered in my case, my tummy stayed the rock, for a long time…feels like it took years to soften( maybe not, but it does feel like that).
I reached the NICU, and was surprised at how noisy and busy the place was. The beep beeps, the oxygen pipes hissing sounds, the babies placed inside bubbles, the face masks on the babies. Some of them were 26 weeks born. Feels like repeating the cliché, Medicine has come a long way. ( I remember, during our visits to the NICU of the coming weeks, there was a baby that had been in the hospital for more than 4 months, born at 24 weeks, about to leave the hospital soon, hale and healthy). Another case, we came across at the hospital was of a mom, who had triplets her first delivery (3 boys) and she had just delivered triplets again (2 boys and a girl!!). Wow! it was so amazing to watch her 3-4 year old triplet boys. I couldn’t believe that PNK would ever be as big as those boys. This would be the first time, I would be looking at my babies, so every time I passed by a baby, I would ask..could this be P or N or K..Finally, I saw P. OMG!! so cute!. I wanted to see N and K . They were placed a little away. And it felt so nice. It still hadn’t sunk into me. “I am their mommy!” I was telling that to myself so many times trying to get myself out of fantasy land.
There was a nurse at K’s. She was only skin and bones. Her cry felt like it was coming from some place far away..She was enveloped in so much stuff…OMG! after a couple of minutes..I just fainted..
When I came back, this was as straight as I could stand to watch Kauvya.
In the mean time, I had been trying to express milk for sometime now. I was sore, cried and then tried again..then cried. I didn’t want to give up. I didn’t expect all this. Nobody had prepared me for all this. I wasn’t able to attend any Lamaze classes or post child birth issues if any. I hadn’t visited the Delivery Room or the NICU before I came to the hospital a week ago. This was all foreign. Nobody had let me in on the wisdom, that it would take a few days for all things to settle and start. I had to go to the bathroom and I remember clicking on the button for help so many times. My husband couldn’t be with me, the first 2 nights, since he was the chauffer to my parents. He decided to stay at the hospital the 3rd and 4th nights, but, had been of less help too. Once Pavan falls asleep, its very hard to wake him up.
(To be continued)