Birth of a Mother-II

Truly said-
The moment a child is born,the mother is also born.She never existed before.The woman existed, but the mother, never.A mother is something absolutely new.
~Rajneesh
As soon as I was moved out of O.T. Aarush was brought to his crib next to me. His didu was first to hold him in her arms then was given forcefully to his thamma. She didn't wanted to take him as it seems he would become "Kol-lengra" (will get use to be in arms). His didu & nanu were extremely happy on his arrival as he was the first boy in their family of daughters and grand-daughters. My bottom part was still paralyzed. Since I was half conscious soon both new mom and son were sleeping. In the same evening, I was feeling sick while everyone in room looked busy. Hubs busy seeing his offspring, taking picture running here and there... taking all those phone calls, sms
... . I laid there looking around. My mom was there day and night at my side.
I was to stay here for complete 5 days. During the stay in hospital, I was asked not to take bath but only sponge for 10days from date of delivery while an old attendant used to give bath to Aarush. She was a charming lady always helping and giving tips to a first time mothers like me.
The first two days was very difficult for me as I was not able to move myself neither can sleep on sides because of IV and going out of bed was like climbing Mt. Everest. On third day doctor removed the catheter and asked to go to loo by myself or with help. But at any cost I was asked to get out of bed which really killed me almost.
Who on earth says its better to be operated. My personal thinking is both normal delivery and c-section has their own plus-minus points. I heard and read from different blogs about normal delivery; labor pain is hell but the recovery is quite quick while in c-section birth is easy but recovery is excessively painful and long. To get up from bed after operation I had to call attendant so that she would hold me and I can drag along with her to the toilet, each steps felt like a mile. The tip is to start walking straight from that moment onwards however it pains you just need to do it. Although you feel a pull at the stitches but this is normal. Walk as frequently as possible even if it is just a few steps at a time. You will gradually find it easier to walk.

On third day doctor asked me to start feeding Aarush; but it looked like I was not lactating so he was given formula through syringe. After taking medicine I started lactating but he was not ready for breast-feed. He did not like to work hard for sucking the milk while formula was dropped inside his mouth. He does not have to do any effort for that. He really made me feel miserable because of sleepless night from that day. He was hungry but he did not wanted to take my milk and doctor was now adamant on breast feeding only- “No more top milk and no water only breat milk till any solid is started”. On 4 th day somehow he tried but very poor job. Being first timer I too never knew how to feed. Result- got sore nipples. Then on 5th day pediatrics came to show the proper latch which really helped. And she added no cream for sore nipples- mothers own milk will heal it. The same evening I was discharged from the hospital; we reached home just before dusk.
Before discharge I was given certain advice by my Gynae. to minimize pain and soreness as stitches are done in layers - No excercise at Gym for next 6 months- walking is best excercise.No lifting of heavy things for 2 months.Not to go near fire for 3 months.Resting helps to heal so don't even laundry,clean or do dusting for atleast first 2 months.
At home we were welcomed with blowing of conch shell and ululation. Everything went on smoothly till middle of night. Aarush's crying session started as out of habit he wanted top milk without effort. That night was really long for whole family. Neither Santanu nor my parents had sleep because of his crying. Whole night I kept trying to feed but in vain. Santanu and my mother were very anxious as yet Aarush did not started breast feeding.
I experienced “A baby who has been crying for some time before being tried on the breast may refuse to take the breast even if he is famished”. We made all the arrangement for the formula but we knew if we give him top milk - it will be almost impossible to give up this habit of top milk. Atlast, on Tuesday morning when Santanu was about to heat water to make formula around same time he started to have milk. Oh! God what a relief that was for every one; soon both Mom and son were having a sound sleep after a grueling night. It took 6 days for both of us to learn the technique of feeding and to be fed.

Birth of a Mother-I

It was 11th Jan when I went to my gynecologist in emergency as couldn't feel the movements. After check-up she mentioned that if my baby didn't arrive anytime sooner than 15 she would have to perform an induction. She didn't wanted to take any risk at this stage because of cervical incompetence and heart problem. So at last, we opted for planned c-section on 17th Jan.

Night before took admission at MGM Belapur, Navi Mumbai. This time I knew few of the nurses and attendants quite well from my last stay at hospital (3 months before). Those who were in night duty came to me giving encouraging words for next day. Most of the night couldn't sleep because of anxiety. Being a first time mother, I was completely blurred on labor. On d-day very early morning I took a preoperative shower; getting ready for this big event. From morning onwards I was asked not to take water or food and was on IV till I was taken to O.T. It was Thursday, around 11 am my waterbag broke; I got scared & nervous at first thought to myself. Finally the time has arrived for my baby to be born. Immediately my ob-gynae. was informed and I was prepared to be taken to OT. Everyone was busy monitoring baby's movement and heartbeat every few minutes as I laid on the bed. They wheeled me immediately to OT. Junior doctors, my gynecologist, anaesthesiologist, cardiologist – physician and pediatrics were already there in the room. They were talking among themselves as well to me to keep my mind diverted.

They moved me from trolley-bed to Operation table which was really narrow . Ceiling suspension lights were turned on. On one side there was table with their instruments and items such as pickups, scissors, scalpel blades and needles etc. Phew.. seeing them my heartbeat raced, eyes rolled big. My gyne. was already ready in her surgical attire with gloves, caps, masks, suture sterile gown and protective eyewear. Soon my cardiologist along with anaesthesiologist went through the report and explained what he is going to do, what would happen and how I will feel. VOILA! He made me sit straight and his juniors started preparing my back skin with antiseptic agents and there after he administered 2 or 3 injections at spinal cord. This was local anesthesia (partly conscious) compared to what I experienced before during 6th month which was general one. While junior doctor helped me to lay on my back again. These injections almost paralyzed me from bottom. As shadow less mobile operation light was switched on I surrendered myself to my doctor while she comforted with nice pretty smile.

As I lie with my lower part paralyzed, hands strapped far apart. Once finished with the catheter, I requested them to blindfold me as could not take anymore of those sharp instruments coming that close to my body. It took hardly few minutes (10-12 min.- I suppose) for my gynae. to take out the baby from womb. What I understood is stitching is long procedure compared to that of delivery part. “It’s a male” she said barely discernible over the loud crying when someone spanked his bottom. After delivering the baby she left the room while cardio-physician and anesthetist remain to do rest of their job. Arrgh... God the whole process went well. Around 12.40 PM Aarush was showed to me...he was so tiny then weighing 3.5kg only. The doctors and the attending staff were the most loving people and I just felt very cared for and attended to.

Here he starts his arduous journey to outside world with elbows bent, hips and knees flexed, arms and legs held close to the front of body. His nails were sharp enough to hurt one, with fine soft hair present on face, shoulders, and back.

Feeling the Kicks

Friends and near ones use to ask me quite often then - Do you feel the movement?

No (use to be my reply).

Somewhere, I use to wonder how it feels like the movement of the baby inside. It was tough to answer as first timer. On routine check -up my doctor asked the same whether I feel the movement and I nodded in negative. Immediately asked her how it actually feels. She says like bubbles or you'll feel tiny flutters as your baby moves – I smiled and said yes. I had my very first experience on 5th month.

There's something really special about feeling your baby's kicking, squirming. You begin to realize that some life is really inside you and that is just as exciting as the first time you heard your baby's heartbeat or caught a glimpse of her moving during the first sonography.

You begin to feel the movements as your baby's bones harden. Movements become more intense with hardening of bones as baby grows. First-time moms like me usually feel their babies move bit later than experienced ones.

As naughty as our son already is, he use to kick like as if having fist-fighting inside or trying to create more space for himself by stretching. Even his dad could feel his kicks by placing his hand on my belly. We enjoyed as he use to mark his presence by movements. At earlier stage it use to be rare but slowly and slowly I felt his kicks several times a day, every day. It is just amazing! Later even doctor asked me to keep an count of number of movements. According to her, it should be 10-12 per day.Certain time felt jabs from his arms and legs. But baby does not move all the time. They have their own patterns.

Road trip to Mysore

Applied for a whole week off in December as I had 25+ days off to take for year 2008 - this gave us 9 days off with two weekends. I preferred a week before Christmas to avoid traffic and tourist. Initial plan was to leave Bangalore on Sunday for Mysore and move from there depending on Aarush's comfort. Stepping out of the home with him means a disrupted routine and adapting to a new environment for all us. Somehow, I was super lazy on Sunday and postponed the travel for next day. Even while dining on Sunday we were discussing just to be in Bangalore for whole next week or not. Then I concluded the discussion by saying- "we will start tomorrow(Monday) very early morning."

Next morning we could not start early either because of apathy; we started with normal daily practice and by the time we left home it was 11:20 on the clock. Aarush dozed off as we crossed Bangalore city limit and car picked some speed. He woke up when we reached almost outskirts of Mysore. I was driving with comfort as it was 3rd time on the same expressway in a short period of time. Followed sign for the Mysore palace and reached south gate entrance.

We had our packed lunch in the car before entering the palace compound. Bargained & hired a guide to show us the nooks and corner of the palace. Cameras are strictly forbidden inside the palace and we also had to leave our shoes outside as we enter the palace. Without going into details the palace is awesome; well maintained in Indian standard but not up to the mark like those of "Châteaux de Loire". The work and craftsmanship inside is too good which highlights how rich Maharajas of Mysore were. They had natural resources at their disposal like Kolar gold mine, Ivory and varieties of expensive woods to fulfill their hearts wish. The campus also has 27 temples almost at every corners of the compound.
It was dark when we left palace car parking and headed for a hotel. Initial choice was Ginger (new no frill hotel from Tata) as I did not stopped on the way to note the phone number we opted for Hotel Paradise. We were lost in dark while finding the hotel though we were certain we are in the same neighborhood and then a lady Samaritan guided us to the same on her scooter. The room was nice and clean; it cost us about 2000 (san air conditioning) rupees. A old fashioned beautiful hotel with nice view to whole city. The structure is old but elegant. We discovered the well kept and manicured Hotel garden next day morning.
After whole days of activity Aarush went to sleep very early skipping his normal dinner. Around 4 AM he woke up with full energy and started banging phone and other objects on which he could lay his hands. After one and half hours of playing he dozed off as the east sky was bright.
We woke up late; I called a friend at work who had been to Coorgweek before for details. After getting the contact called the same home-stay letting them know - we are coming today itself. This caught the owner off guard as he was not prepared for any visitor during the week but he said he will go to the market and dinner will be ready for us tonight.

After breakfast we picked some necessary things before hitting the road for Brindavan garden; it was already 11 AM. Brindhavan garden is only 15 KM from Mysore but the condition of the road started to deteriorate as we reached closer to the dam. It is just horrible with big pot holes; big trucks carrying river stones are the culprit for the road condition.
Being Tuesday, there was hardly any tourist in the garden. This garden is brain child of Sir Mirza Ismail influenced by Mughal design. The dam was built in 1927-32 by Wodeyar rulers of Mysore on river Cauvery. In recent time, there have been renovation work going on to beautify the garden and its surroundings. Old guest house have converted to Royal Orchid Hotel; kept wondering who goes there to stay on business or leisure. Only thing I could think off was to have corporate off-site meeting there.
After Brindhavan garden we headed towards Coorg via SH88.

Lavazza in India


Just saw this advertisement on BBC website while checking my morning dose of news. I was quite fascinated by this ad. Immediately started to think “Oh this is great!!” now I can get a great coffee to start my day at home by pressing a button.
If you are not familiar with this machine or not a coffee person this machine uses special coffee capsules to dispense coffee. There are varieties of flavor to choose from and trust me it really makes great coffee.
In India tea is most preferred drink and most of people like to take it with lots of milk. Similarly coffee drinkers also prefers latte instead of “espresso” – sorry I am really addicted and spoiled and not quite human at work unless I get my dark coffee.
Now coming to the ad, immediately I dialed the number as mentioned in the advertisement and asked the tele-marketer about the price. And there I got real shock – it cost 10,000 INR (aprrox. 200 USD) for the machine and 25 INR (50 cents US) for the capsules. Now that is not a price I can afford to start my day :(

My baby shower


My baby shower was done in bengali traditional way which is called as Saadh in bengali. It is meant mostly to pamper first time mother to be and cheer her up as she accumulates courage to face the most testing time in her life which will soon change her life in and out. Normally, held in seventh or ninth month of pregnancy on a specified day when mother-in-law will organize this ceremony. She will invite all the women she knows. Thus this ceremony is mainly for women only.
In our custom, M-i-l presents all the garments which mother-to-be wears at the ceremony. This occasion happens twice once from in-laws side is over then only my mom can have but because of my critical condition, from both sides were done on a single day in seventh month.
Expected mother have to sit on the floor facing east and sometimes puja is also performed; but as I was medically unfit to sit for longer duration so certain rituals were curtailed. Alpana (with powdered rice) designs are usually drawn on the floor. In the middle of the design, an earthen or copper pot is kept decorated with a red swastika and filled with pure water, mango leaves and green coconut is kept. This is considered as an auspicious sign.
Mom and mother-in-law of the prospective mother fill her lap, represented by the aanchal of her sari with items. Generally, mother-in-law will first bless with ululating the expectant mother as well her unborn child and then put items like 7 different types of dry fruits, fresh fruits, sweets etc in lap which will be followed by other invited married women. Had wonderful time with all elders wishing me luck in their own way.
Last but not least expected mother is fed well with seven different types of savory traditional dishes. A feast is prepared for the guests as well. In Bengali no ceremony be it wedding or babyshower is complete without elaborate serving rituals, but now a days professional catering or buffet-style dining is common. The courses progress from lighter to richer and heavier. Rice remains common throughout the meal.

Starting course is bitter a soupy mixture of vegetables in a ginger-mustard sauce, called shukto. Followed by Dal lentil curry - the most substantial course accompanied with fritters (bhaja). In fritters tailfin and head of fish is must to be served to expected mother. Then next course is two kinds of vegetable curry which is followed by fish course of two varieties. Finally comes the chutney course, which is typically tangy and sweet; usually made of mangoes or tomatoes or pineapple etc. And of course at last sweet dish be it rice pudding (kheer) or rasogulla is served which is not to be missed.

Journey to Motherhood

Remembering my journey to motherhood as Aarush turns one year old. After 4 years of marriage and lot of traveling around Europe Santanu decided to move back to India to find a better professional career. Life as couple was not full of hip and happening but we were happy and carefree about the same. I use to scorn at people whenever brought up kids in topic; balked at elders. After getting back to India this pressure was getting on me. It seems no one bothered Santanu ever on this matter.
With time finally made a decision to walk on a family way after 3 and half years – although we knew it was not an easy journey but still.. At first we were completely ignorant on this matter. I did every such thing which one should not do; with the thought that when other pregnant women can do job why can’t I? So got into locals, bus, trams, climbed flight of stairs, did moping ,brooming, cleaning, had papaya almost every day and what not. Result : on stepping in fourth month had unavoidable abortion.
I took five months of rest before thinking on it again as per doctors advice. Somewhere I felt my biological clock was ticking fast. If not wrong, Santanu didn’t had any interest left on this matter; may be he was scared to walk on this path again. With lots of discussion and doctors second opinion finally for second time a life formed inside me. Although it was not “aha” moment as family faced untimely loss of Santanu’s father almost at same time.
Before conceiving only I was told by doctor that I have to be in bed rest completely (which I didn't took much seriously at that time). Even was asked to quit from job and stop doing any household work. It took me a while to find a helping hand who would take care of domestic chores. Under medical ground I was not considered normal like 95% other women which was difficult for me to accept.
The journey started; everyday was full of anxiety and fear. Each time I prayed frantically for my kid’s safe arrival. At times, life was difficult as well different and you never know how this journey will end up.
Certain times I felt like entrapped with well wishers whom I wanted to avoid. Your very own people sometimes don’t allow you to be in peaceful mood. For some it was time to challenge me rather then giving me courage. And there was no easy way out for me to escape from all this situations. Everyone have their own say. For many it was time to make a big speculation whether it will be a girl or boy….I really don’t understand why people want to know when they have chosen to be a parent…after all how sex of kid matters.
Keeping excitement alive amidst the stress of baby-making with weathering storms of weekly injections to preparing for the birth of my dreams was not at all easy. I was administered almost 40 injections in this whole 9 months journey. Along with whole cocktail of nutritious food, medicines like folic acid, Susten, sujat, iron and calcium tablets – was to be taken regularly till end. Papaya and pineapple was big NO this time.
To make things complicated Santanu had to travel for a month form work to Singapore. It was pretty scary at time, but looking back may be it happened for good. The only time I was allowed to venture out of the four walls was routine monthly check up with my gynecologist. Each time I used to find the streets had changed from the last time as some new shops, new pot holes and new buildings had come up.
With maturity of months I was asked to cut on salt, sugar, spice from my diet which was very difficult for foodie person like me. Not only that beside house arrest bed rest was imposed on to me from 6th month after cs got stitched. It happened all of a sudden after second ultrasonography I was admitted on the very moment and had to spent 4 days in hospital. After getting discharged my life was even worse like a bird in a cage at times.
I was only permitted to get out of bed for toilet and shower. My bed was inclined from leg side. Sleeping like a log on one side was really tough. People who have met me personally knew my condition. Before Santanu left for his office he use to keep laptop, books , phone on my side so that I can shuffle among them. It was a daily routine which went on till d-day. One doctor used to come each week to give injections.
My parents visited me for baby shower on the seventh month. On one hand, each time I felt movement in my belly, my heart use to fill with joy with the very thought that soon I'll hold my little girl or boy while on other hand I was not allowed to stand even in the balcony to get a glimpse of the out side world.

In the first week of January doctor removed the stitches and asked me to move around in the house. It felt so awkward carrying extra weight and was scared of doing something stupid at end of the journey. I was counting every moment when finally we will meet. Taking advantage of doctor's permission, for first time I visited a baby shop to pick the basic needful. At the end my doctor opted for a planned c-section as she did not wanted to take any risk. And I was admitted a night in advance. I could not sleep much in anxiety and neither did any one who were around me. My parents came a month before my delivery to help us.
On long awaited d-day when baby was taken out of my belly; someone slapped I suppose which was followed by high-pitched squeak and wailing around 12.07 PM looking as though the little one has just been in a fist-fight ( bluish, covered with blood and cream-cheesy glop) yeak.....
After a while, one nurse came to me saying “Pamela its male child” carrying too delicate baby wrapped in green cloth with short neck, chubby cheeks, tiny curled fists, pink toes, quivering eyes, puckered lips and button nose.

Joyeux Anniversaire- mon petit

As usual there is lots of gaps of posting. Last month was quite hectic as we celebrated Aarush's first birthday
We started planning from December onwards. As our schedule now revolves around his nap-time and whims we hardly get time for each other or to discuss any matter it’s just a lot more rare these days than it used to be. So, gone are the days of last minute plan. Despite how he has completely turned our lives upside down we wanted to celebrate his first b'day which I know he hardly will acknowledge at this age. Basically, it was more of a party for parents get-together on completing one-year milestone.
Initially,we wanted to have it in a restaurant with few friends and family members. Thus, short-listed few places but nothing was getting finalized.We didn't wanted dinner party as it could be more stressful whole day for us as well Aarush might get cranky. We wanted him to be in good spirits for the special day.Thinking on all this aspects, finally we decided to have the party over lunch at our apartment club-house where we just need to rent some chairs and tables for that that day and that is all.
This was the first time we were organizing B'day party we were not sure about the logistical part. It took a while to come up with final plan with inputs from veterans (in kids party).
We sent invitation to our guests through Evite in-order to get an idea how many guests are coming but we must admit we have to call people at the end except few. Most of Indian can not say "NO" so we have lots of guests in "undecided-mode". That added one extra effort where we had to find out if they are coming or not from the "context" of conversation as no-one is going to say "NO" over phone either. This was truly difficult part of all as based on this number everything depends be it food ordering or cake or return gifts.
The food was ordered from Golkonda Chimney, near Marathalli. We were lucky to get hold of one event-manager who helped us in decorating the place, getting music system, Bouncer, Caricaturist and Balloon Modelling.
Didn't had any parents-child games as we didn't wanted to worry too much about entertaining the adults, just made sure they have all been introduced to one another and they chat and mingle on their own.
As we already had cake before from Cake Walk, Indira Nagar - we knew about its quality. Without thinking much we ordered 4 kg Black Current Cake from there after tasting a piece. Now all three of us got our Birthday cakes from same bakery after moving to Bangalore.
Next tedious thing was to work out on return gift. We categorized kids into 3 groups based on their age.We bought toys and books for around 25 kids. Though it was not easy to choose from so many varieties - hopefully they liked it.

On the d-day party went on smoothly- Aarush was friendly. He was not at all cranky for a single moment seeing the crowd. We got some cute pictures through professional photographer, the cake was fantastic. Only thing was we forgot to blow the candle before cutting cake.
At last we were very satisfied with the party and hope the same from our guests.
Will always remember this first party of my son.