As the clock struck 12 Friday marking a new year with celebrations at its peak across the city, phones were constantly ringing in Surya Hospital’s labour ward, in a frenzy for a delivery. “Hello, happy new year, can you come over for a delivery now?” on-duty doctor Shraddha Banker was asking anaesthetists even as 34-year-old Raksha Assawa, in labour, was attempting to deliver normally.
At midnight, as a team of a nurse, doctor, gynaecologist, technician and housekeeper surrounded the expecting mother, calls were coming in with new year wishes. But they had no time to answer them. It was as if the baby had decided to be born right when the new year started, they say. The due date of delivery was four days ago on December 28.
The mother, Raksha Assawa, was admitted in the hospital on December 30, hoping to deliver and take discharge by December 31 to celebrate new year. But For two days, she only experienced mild labour pains.
Her husband, Anuj Assawa, finally cancelled his trip to Goa, where he had planned to go to celebrate new year with friends, when he realised the baby had decided to not come out until the New year. On Thursday, Raksha was contemplating to take a discharge, celebrate New Year’s eve, and get admitted back on Friday.
“Her pain started at 10 pm on Thursday, but it was mild,” Raksha’s mother said. By 11.15 pm when the dilation was 5 cm, Dr Banker realised the baby could be born any time. At 11.15 pm, she called gynaecologist Shyam Desai who was with his family spending new year’s eve. By 11.45 pm he was in the labour room with Raksha. By 12 midnight, as she prepared herself to deliver the baby, calls to anaesthetists were being made in case a c-section would be required suddenly.
It took ten minutes for the delivery, two hours after labour pain started, to happen. At 12.24 am, Friday, a 3.1 kilogram healthy girl was born. “I would have given birth at 12.01 am had the plans of opting for a caesarean operation not been made,” Raksha, a former chartered accountant, said.
On Friday morning, pink and white balloons, inflated by the hospital staff, adorned the entry to her hospital room.
“There is nothing better than to give birth to a new life during new year celebrations,” Desai, who skipped family time to rush for the delivery, said.
“We may name her Yami,” the mother says. The name cannot be more apt as ‘Yami’ means ‘restrainer’. The girl did restrain her own birth until new year’s midnight.