Saturday, August 20, 2016

Alive again

Aarna is 43 days old today. She is my second baby, first one is a boy born after an emergency c-section. I didn't know it then but that was a traumatic experience for me. Though I soon forgot it, as soon as I saw my baby, fed him, swaddled him and watched him sleep; but it was a life changing experience; it changed me from a confident girl to an unfit, low lying, not-so-sure woman.

Aarna's birth was a different story all together. We reached our OB's clinic at 10:30 am and she was born at 11:49 am. What I am going to describe here is the experience of her birth - everything happened within 1 hour and 20 minutes.

I was having rhythmic pain since morning. We went to OB's clinic to check if I am dilated yet or if those were practice contractions. I was talking to the nurse and there came another one - she touched my belly and said "Oh! This is a strong one." She asked someone to immediately call an OB. Things started picking up from there. I came to all fours because I couldn't lie on my back. She massaged my back and taught my husband to do the same. By the time OB came in - I felt my baby's head dropping in my pelvis. I still remember that sensation and the feeling of panic that sensation generated in me. But I was surprisingly assertive. I was still on all fours commanding a massage from Shishir for back pain. Dr. tried checking me in that position and as soon as he touched me - it pained. I shouted "Do not touch!" He immediately backed off, I remembered good manners and I repeated "Please do not touch!" - but with the same force. Shishir asked him - "How long?" And he replied - "Baby can come any time. We need to take her to labor and delivery" Here comes the catch - "...  on a stretcher."

My OB clinic was in one hospital and my delivery was supposed to happen in another hospital which were adjacent to each other and were internally connected. So they had to take me down three floors, walk another quarter of a mile and then take me up 6 floors on a stretcher. I knew baby was down, I can't lay on a stretcher now. I asked "Can we deliver the baby here?" and my lovely doctor said "Yes we can if required, but we will see if we can take you there." They wanted to shift me from the floor to the stretcher but I did not want anybody to touch me. I got up and sat myself on the stretcher with my head and body tilted to one side resting on one elbow. I wanted to hold the baby there, neither i wanted it to come out nor did i want it to go back up. It was all in my mind, I made up that tilted position myself and no one dared to change that position - even when one person was just responsible for keeping my head from banging the walls while we were rushing through elevators, doors and corridors.

At labor and delivery place, they wanted to shift me to the bed - once gain "no! I will go myself." Though I had no strength but I didn't want anybody to touch me. I didn't want to be a patient there who needs help from strangers and I was very sure about that. This was my true self, I am surprised how I suddenly became my true self that day. Thanks to the book* which taught me how to manage early labor (which I thought was practice labor,) and allowed me to remain ahead of my pain.

Anyways, I managed to come to the bed somehow and I was again on all fours. Shishir kept rubbing my back whenever I wanted. My midwife asked me that she wanted to break the water with amniohook - I asked why? - I didn't want anybody to touch me, but Shishir said that it is bulging out and amniohook will help baby come down. At that point I really missed my doula who could not reach in time. I said yes although reluctantly and the next thing she asked me was to lie on my back. That was the only thing I did not want to do. I said - "I want to squat." I wanted to deliver my baby in a squat position. She said "But you have to lie down on your back because baby's heart beat is dropping." O! that card - the baby's heart beat card. I was helpless, i had to follow. I left the the driver's seat for the first time. My baby's heart beat was dropping. I immediately obeyed her and lay on my back.

As I was moving to my back I saw people in that room for the first time. There were 20 odd people there - all staring at me. I came out of my zone for the first time - it was the first time I was looking at somebody other than Shishir. I looked at the mid wife - I recognized her face but I couldn't remember her exactly. My previous birth memories came back - I became very scared - it was the heart beat card that time as well. "Your baby's heart beat is too low, you need a c-section immediately." And they started moving my bed to operation theater. I started trembling - I thought my baby will die. My baby.

Laying back in that position my legs started trembling again - I thought we came so far and we will have a c-section again - this baby will not come out. And there started another contraction. In a moment I forgot about that old feelings and the fact that my baby's heart beat is low again - I forgot everything and I started shouting out loud. I do not know how I shouted that laud. I did not know that I could shout that laud - I was just listening to myself shouting - I did not feel any pain what so ever. Midwife asked me to push but I had no sensation, no urge to push. I was just listening to my own voice and I totally enjoyed that shout. It was happening by itself - like when your ride accelerates down a roller coaster and you naturally start shouting. It was fun, adventurous. I was not even listening to the midwife who wanted me to push. When the shouting stopped, someone was trying to clean blood from my right arm. They tried to put an IV there which came out in all that rush. I did not notice anything because I was so busy listening to myself shouting. I didn't care about the IV or the blood any more. Somebody brought a form for VBAC approval for me to sign - it felt so ridiculous - I almost laughed and signed it - like the way a rockstar gives an autograph to a kid and shrugs her shoulders afterwards.

And came another contraction - I summoned my husband to my side. "It is starting again." He started counting for me like he has been doing at home, in the car, on the stretcher ride through elevators. I held his hand and started shouting again. He was also saying "Push." This time I listened to the midwife and tried pushing. I wanted to push out the baby this time. When this shout subsided, she told me not to shout but rather use that energy to push out with my mouth closed. She made that uhmmmm sound for me - sound that comes when you try to push out a hard you know what with your mouth closed. With the next round of contractions - again I felt no pain  - I started making that sound as I was pushing my baby out. "Come out! Come out from there!" This was a good push. I could feel the baby's head in my vagina. It was the same sensation that I felt while doing perennial massage. They call it the ring of fire - to me it was just a familiar sensation**. It was just a different sensation - a familiar one. I could have stayed there - but I also wanted to push. Collecting my breath again - I pushed again - this time even harder. And the head came out.

And when they put her on my chest I felt alive again - happy and filled with love. I told me midwife how thankful I am that she taught me how to push, I did not know it on my own. She asked me if I wanted to hug her. And I hugged her hard. I felt so happy, so live. I had felt the pain - I had felt the baby drop down, the baby coming out, I felt the panic, the fear, the courage and I felt the happiness - love - I was a live person again - Zinda, and not just a body from which a baby was removed come the recommended gestational age.


book* - Juju Sundin's Birth Skills. Skills taught in this book helped me manage early labor.

sensation** - during the pregnancy I did a 10 days' course in vipassana where we were taught to practice how to observe the sensations and remain equanimous. Vipassana meditation

ICAN - this group helped me a lot through VBAC discussions, emotional support and sharing of resources. Facebook group

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Poem - Baarish

ख़ुश्क से इस दिल पर
जब बारिश गिरती है
संभाल नहीं पाता
मचलने लगता है

संभल जा ज़रा
इतना मत उछल।

उछलने दो ज़रा
आज मैं खुश हूँ
दबा सहमा रहता हूँ
day to day के बोझ में
पता नहीं दोबारा
कब मिलेगा ये मौका

जब उछल उछल पड़ेगा मन
बारिश की बूंदों में।

Monday, October 5, 2015

Poem - Door Knob

What's inside and what's out
Easy to see
but do we?

I see it and don't see it
at the same time
Light is falling on the eyes
But mind behind the eye
is elsewhere
May be immersed
in the code
or the child
or the husband
or the past.
May be guilt
or shame
or pride
which I must keep.

It's all inside
And I am so immersed
That I don't ever
open the door
Though I know
where's the door knob.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Longing to meet the Divine and non duality – a paradox?

[This article is also a sequel to First Meeting which describes my first meeting with Guru ji.]

There is a seemingly paradoxical longing for Guru ji. Guru ji taught me that I and him are one. There are no two, only one. I have experienced this fact in my first Sudarshan Kriya and in many Kriyas thereafter. Soham. I am him. Yet, why have I recently started having this longing to be with Him? If there are no two, who wants to meet whom? Is this really a paradox?

I had a good fortune of meeting him about an year ago. This was my second meeting with Guru ji. I wanted to tell him many things and ask many questions. But when I was standing right in front of him, all thoughts evaporated. Vanished! I was left with nothing to tell and nothing to ask. The moment of meeting him passed, I did not speak a word and he said nothing to me! Yet, I was filled with joy. Why? How? And what evaporated all my thoughts, all my anxieties?

Answer is, His presence. His presence anchored me in the present moment which is why all thoughts about past and all questions for future evaporated. He who has experienced the oneness or non-duality Himself, facilitates an elevating experience for everybody in his vicinity. Everybody get a glimpse of unity with the present moment and when there is unity with the present moment all dualities disappear.

His presence which anchors a mind into the present moment, gives a glimpse of non duality. Meeting the divine is an experience of non-duality. Longing to meet the Divine and non duality are not paradoxical. In fact one leads to other for a seeker. And for The One who knows, there is no paradox, there are no two, only one, Love itself! Jai Guru Dev!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Poem - Now I know

It is so wonderful
to see the light
through the clouds
of storm.

In the chaos
of what to do,
to see a ray
of hope.

It is so wonderful.

What is that
I want to do,
is what I
have been asking.

What is that
which makes sense to me,
is what I
have been asking.

It is so wonderful
to get
the answer
in the mid of a night.

But not by a flash
or a thunder cloud
muttering the answer
from heaven unknown.

I saw it happen
every day
inside me
and outside.

It is so wonderful.

Was it writing
poem and prose?
Or was it writing
fundoo code?

Was it marrying
my Price Charm?
Or was it traveling
through the greens?

Was it sitting
in silence?
Or was it dancing
in the joy?

The answer
far beneath
in my heart.

In the tears
that i shed
seeing the children
toil hard
every day
to earn the butter
and the bread.

Facing a world
so selfish
so ignorant
full of abuses
and stares,
right from
the womb
of a mother
either unfortunate
or dead.

It is so wonderful
to know
what makes sense
to me.

How I know
I don't know
but now I know
is what I know.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cave on a Cliff

There was a cliff standing high on the shore of a vast ocean. Waves would come hit it and go back. Soon new waves would come hit it and go back. But the cliff was rock solid. Years passed on and cliff remained there. Non stop hitting of waves created a a small cave in the cliff. Cave started widening over years. Hundred years passed and it became a wide comfortable cave.

This cave was half submerged in water. Small fishes would come in hoards and rest here for a while, play for a while, eat the little growth of phytoplankton on its edge. Cave watched its visitors and the sun which would come up everyday and go down making the waters orange and red from blue. It watched the clouds pouring water some days and the thundering. Sometimes it would watch the bigger fishes coming in and eating the smaller ones. Now even bigger fishes could enter the cave as the cave was widening. Thousands of years passed and cave was much wider than it originally was.

As the years passed, Cave started deepening slowly. And as it became deeper, it became darker with time. It started being so dark inside. A different form of life started flourishing inside. Little fishes were no more interested in going inside cave, in fact they were frightened to go inside. Another thousand years passed and soon this cave inhabited only the dead plant and animal life. Nothing living. With years cave became sadder.

One day cave give a little thought to this phenomenon. What is happening to me. Every hundred years I become darker than before. This is sad :(. And after another thousand years I will become even darker :( :( ... Wait! After thousand years I will become much darker than how I am right now. I am seeing much more light now than I would be seeing thousand years later. When I can clearly see it is going to become worse tomorrow, why not enjoy this better today? Hey! I am so wonderful right now! Wow!

And another thousand years passed and the dead plant and animals started rotting further burying themselves into sediments to form fossil fuel of the future. Cave was observing all this, but with a smile.

[Like caves get darker with time, our hair line recedes a bit. I observed that after every 5 years my hair are much thinner than before but definitely they are definitely thicker than how they will be 5 years later :)]

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Choose your life

We make choices all the time and what we get in return is our life. We chose our life ourselves.

If I chose to follow my parents, I will have one kind of life; if I chose not to follow them, I will have a different kind of life. If I chose to be adaptive in nature, I will have one lifestyle but if I chose to be rigid, it will be different.

Based on the choices made at one point, I will get next set of choices. It is like a decision tree. We face the consequences of our own choices and not of others, well most of the times. Let us take an example. Let us assume that it is raining outside. I have no choice to stop/ start the rain, probably (who knows? may be we have this choice as well but we are unaware). But I have multiple choices.

I can remain indoor and be ignorant of what is happening outside; I can watch it with a smile; and lastly I can go outside and get myself wet. Whatever I choose, I will face the consequence of it and my life after this point will change according to my choice, however small that change be. If I get myself wet, I may feel happy for the moment but catch a viral infection later; or, this could be the last rain of my life and I just missed it by remaining indoor!

Abiding by the given circumstance is my choice and making relentless effort to change it is also my choice. Doing things according to my capability is my choice, expanding my capabilities to try new things is also mine. Not choosing anything is my choice as well.
"I am making my choices", as soon as I realize this, I feel free and all complaints disappear. We all choose our lives ourselves, we just need to realize it during our ups and downs. Shouldn't we?