Ulundu Vada (starring Pria, Ashok, Vipasha and The Little Hero)

That day, we made Ulundu vada and I was snacking it in the evening happily, though at the back of my mind I was scared of having a troubled stomach. The evening passed peacefully and all of us went to bed as usual. By then, we had already given up on all our expectations of labor pain, as we had three fake rounds of pain and rushing to the birthing center! This is our third delivery…However, we were still confused in recognizing the fake and the real pain. Every time, we messaged our midwife and convince her that this is it and move into the birthing center, summoning the entire team we only came back with the exhaustion of nothing happening after a few rounds of contractions… So now, we were all tired, exhausted and almost given up on all our expectations of when the baby would arrive, especially after being convinced that my due date could be wrong and there is nothing to worry about and all that we have to do is to peacefully wait. So we had no clue of when the baby would arrive, as my calculated due date had passed 10 days back. Now we had no calculations to do, as we have done enough calculations and have just become simply tired. We had to keep our minds empty…I would say even our troublesome active mind was tired to the core now. Ashok even asked Our midwives once, will there be a situation where the baby doesn’t arrive even after 41 weeks! He was just checking with our midwives that do we just wait it out or knock on the hospital doors? They assured him back that All babies certainly arrive when they are ready and ours also WILL!! We came away trusting our bodies, as they say in Birth Village every time. So we were enjoying our time together. With my daughter Vipasha, who is 8 years old, and my husband Ashok, This was like our holiday time, unexpected & prolonged !!! Today the bliss was Ulundu Vada. After I had gone to bed, at about 2.30 am, I woke up & couldn’t go back to sleep. I was having this abnormal pain in my abdomen, which I related to my gas formation (Vata). I immediately connected it to Ulundu vada and thought the vada had done its job!! I took some home remedies & arishtam, but still, the pain would not go. I was in a dilemma whether to wake up Ashok or not. He was also tired and exhausted waiting for the big day, after giving his best every time I had some signs of labor. I was determined to wake him up only when I am sure that I am in labor. I was not sure if this gas pain (Vata) was serious enough for me to disturb his sleep. I decided I will wake him up only if the pain gets unbearable. I tried to walk, sit, squat… Nothing would reduce the pain. I looked at the clock, it was 4.30 am by then. I was tired! I somehow felt that the pain may go away if I slept. I went to my bed and fortunately fell asleep. I woke up by around 8 am, the pain was still there.. This time a little bit more intense. Vipasha got ready and left for her school. Ashok was awake and still on the bed. Struggling with the discomfort, I finally told Ashok about all that had happened in the night. I was very convinced that this was gas pain (Vata) and we needed to consult our Ayurvedic Healer. We had an appointment with Birth village that noon. So I told Ashok to call up the Healer or to go to him first, before we get to Birth Village, as his remedies and choorans have always worked for us in the last two pregnancies, especially in the last months to stay healthy and normal, away from any complications of fever & cold! So Ashok said that we will discuss this first with Our midwives first and if required we will go to our Ayurvedic Healer later. It was 10.30 am by now and I was sure it was Vata and started getting irritable and restless by now, cursing the Ulundu Vada. Ashok told me to stop the Ulunda Vada Story and wait for the Midwife’s interpretation of the pain. I badly wanted to get some more sleep, but couldn’t. My anxiety grew and I finally said that we need to see the healer immediately, as this gas pain (Vata) was getting very strong and I feel like this will break my water.. In all this chaos, I forgot to tell him that there was already a slight discharge I had experienced in the morning…Ashok looked at me in disbelief.He wasn’t really believing my Ulundu Vada story and started suspecting if I was already in Labour. I said If I sleep well, this pain would go away. Ashok decided that we go to the appointment first and diagnose this pain and then take the next steps. Ashok was also halfway in reading this pain between Vata pain and labor pain. Such was my convincing skill, perhaps. The contractions were coming half an hour away. We were determined to wait till it gets to 5 minutes gap, as recommended by Our midwives every time, as the last few times we started when it was close to 20 minutes gap and I did not progress into active labor. To rush to the birthing center in the intense moments of contraction is the only major bottleneck in today’s birthing process. Suddenly the contraction record sheet (which I religiously maintained every time I had a contraction!) read 30 minutes, 15 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes…it was all chaotic and all sudden….Looking at these readings, Ashok said something is wrong…or maybe right…and we needed to be out of home now, but do we have the time? I said I need rest. If I sleep, it will all be okay. I went and lied on the bed. He called the taxi and said, “Come now!”. I was adamant that we go to the healer first and then go to Birthvillage, after getting relieved of my Vata disorder, so that I can have labor peacefully. I really don’t want this Ulundu vada to complicate my delivery! Now the contractions were steady and looked more serious than a gas pain, something struck me… “could this be Labour pain??!!!!”. I ran to the car! Ashok suggested that we will first rush to the birthing center and then if I get into active labor…after that, we can get my daughter picked up from school, as adding her to the equation could be more chaotic. The assumption was that we would at least have a few hours till we get to delivery from the 5 minutes gap. I said no… let’s pick her up first…By then I was getting convinced that this was it. We drove to her school which was a minute away and rushed her out…we have done that 3 times before now. 🙂 Her teacher wished us all the best. We informed Meera – our good friend who was to be the birthing support and Priyanka on the way. Our driver was driving very carefully in traffic in tune to the old Hindi songs playing in the background! “Chetta… We need to go fast!” Ashok tried to hurry him up but in vain. He was perhaps being careful that there was a pregnant woman in the cab. My contractions were getting stronger and closer. I held on to the door and started shaking the car door unable to bear the pain. Then the driver understood the situation and started picking speed!… We spoke to Meera…Even though she was on our way, we really did not know if we had the time to stop by and pick her up. she read the situation quickly and said “ I will start now and come on my own, You please drive safely.” I was having contractions one after another at very short intervals… We were just hoping the baby would not pop out in the car!!! That was something that we did not want to happen all through and here we are staring at this possibility scarily. By god’s grace, the traffic was not worse and I was able to hold on, till we reached Birthvillage. Smija was coming out to receive me and when she saw my face, she ran upstairs and said “get everything ready now!!” Possibly, they too wanted to see me believe that I am in active labor!!!! Our midwife looked at me and was very glad and said “Come on, Pria! It looks like Something is cooking this time!. She said “we are going to have this baby as gently as possible. Go with your body, do what it says!”. Hearing this eased me very much and my anxiety reduced. We reached upstairs where was everything ready for the pool. Meera arrived in no time! Vipasha ran to her and gave a hi-fi. I was smiling in spite of the pain… Everyone was very happy seeing me in deep pain…Irony of Life! I had a very intense contraction… The next moment I know, I was on the floor squatting with all these people holding me from different directions. Meera kept reassuring me that the baby is going to arrive soon! Ashok was holding me, standing in the front… Cajoling me… After a couple of more contractions, l entered the pool. Soon after that, I had another contraction. I had a little while to breathe before the next one. I closed my eyes and was thinking this is going to take a couple of hours and preparing myself for few more rounds of contractions. Soon another contraction came, much stronger than before… And in a jiffy, I felt the baby coming out!! Our midwife jet-setted to “hold the baby!!!” As he simply shot out .everybody was amazed! I was like “that’s it????!!!!”. Our handsome little boy had arrived!!! It was1.30pm!! Our appointment time! Our midwife said “This is the first time in the history of Birth village, we are having a baby in his appointment time! Punctual baby!!”. we were never on time for our appointment all these days and I said, “We have made up for all the times that we walked in late ”. Everybody had a good laugh when Ashok narrated my theory of gas pain! Our midwives said, “When a woman’s logical thinking fails.. You can be sure she is in Labour!!”. Meera fed me, while I was on the bed, My midwives still working on me. I felt so loved and thanked God for the presence of all these people in my life! Thank you Birth Village for your warmth, love, and special care. Thank you, Meera, for being there in our moments of need and beyond… Thank you Swamy Radhakrishna (Ayurvedic Healer), for giving valuable advice on my health and helping me have a healthy and smooth pregnancy. And finally thanks to Ashok and Vipasha… My source of strength, love, and everything. We have now graduated from a family of the trio to tetra! BV Post notes We love laughing with families about a birth story that will be passed down to grandchildren. With so many false calls, coming to Vyttila, getting a room staying overnight, then nothing happening certainly gave this awesome mama time to enjoy her pregnancy. This Lil guy loves being the trickster and keeping his mama on her toes. Whereas dad is laughing along with him. TO be late for all Prenatal visits and then to be on time for prenatal turn birth time is a great feat and worthy of applause!! Denying being in labor is certainly a great story and one not to be forgotten (let us hope his nickname is not Gassy!!)And many thanks to @[700178068:2048:Meera Balakrishnan] for all the love and care extended during this mamma’s lovely birth time.

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