Month: November 2009

First few days – Impressions

Random impressions..surprises..flashes of the day ‘Buzz Bee’ came into our lives and a couple of days that followed..our stay in the hospital:

  • Me being so tired as not to be able to keep my eyes open between each push. I slept for a minute or so every time before pushing again and then promptly closing my eyes.
  • D eating throughout the day. He tends to eat if stressed. At one point a nurse commented, saying ‘You are eating every time I come in.’
  • Me clutching my stomach in horror the first time I got up after delivering, panicked at not having the baby within, before it came back that she was now born.
  • D having blue toe nails from the pressure his uber-cool shoes put on his toes from being on his foot all day.
  • The feel of Buzzu in my arms.
  •  Me being surprised at seeing her eyes opened when she was born. I though kids kept their eyes closed for most part in the beginning.
  • Total devoid of energy feeling after I delivered while being active till the very last day.
  • The joy on my parents face when they say Buzz.
  • The taste of ‘Besan ke ladoo’ that Maa made that day. 
  • The surprise/shock family and friends back home felt on realizing how old-fashioned a name Buzz had.
  • Seeing her sleep in her glass bassinette for most part of the day when we were not holding on to her i.e.
  • Buzz crying the second night.
  • The sight of D holding Buzzu close all night to keep her from crying and she not crying when held close by her Paa.
  • Me trying to find a comfortable position/angel on the hospital bed with all its parts that can go up and down but not a single marginally good position.
  • Endless tests done on Buzz Bee..eye test..hearing test..allergies test..jaundice test..weight measured over and over..temperature taken every 3 hours.
  • The overload of medication I was on after being particular about not ingesting any medicine while I was pregnant.
  • Buzz having this really red tongue which she kept showing us every time she was awake.
  • Deluge of good wishes..constant ringing of the cell phones.
  • My maternity jeans suddenly refusing to stay in place.
  • Getting her ready to head back home. How incapable we felt on dressing her for the ride home..she being so delicate..so tiney..
  • Buzz not liking her first time strapped inside the car seat..cry in her tiny voice..but immediately falling asleep once the car started.

The Big Day

Started working from home the day before my due date..not because I could not go to work..more because people got sick of seeing me..and I got sick of them asking me ‘You still here’. Work was also dwindling down. I had almost completed all my assignments and was not getting any new work assigned to me. There was this one small task left (was super boring if you ask me..that’s why I had left it hanging till the very end), which I worked on when I felt like. The rest of the time I spent replying to emails, tying up loose ends before my 24 weeks maternity leave, with long break talking to my parents. The day after my due date, a Monday, I was done with this task as well, the only thing left was to document what I had done.

I was not very comfortable..was getting practice contractions all day (the non-painful kind) so went for a real long walk with Maa..put my feet up and watched TV..surfed the web..read some of my favorite blogs..in general spend time doing nothing. By 5:00 I was so frustrated that I vowed to head to work the next day. At the very least I would meet people, talk to them, feel a little productive. D came home from work, took one look at my face and suggested we head out to this Indian place for dinner that I love (they have awesome Makki ki roti with Sarsooin ka saag) but D does not like (the portion size is too small and the place is pricey). Maa Paa were not too keen on eating out so D and I decided to head out. Now D’s office is a 10 mins walk from our place and he generally walks to work and I take the car, but that day he was rushed in the morning to get to a meeting and since I was working from home he took the car. But true to form he walked back. This he realized as soon as we got to the parking lot. He being in ‘don’t trouble Wifey’ mode, plus he having messed up asked me to go back inside, he would get the car and we would head out in 15 mins. And I was all..I don’t want to be cooped inside any more..I want to be out..I can walk..let’s walk to your office. So the trip that would take him 10 mins took us 20, all owing to my snail paced waddle. I had a real good meal after that, where D held his tough in check..did not complain even once which is totally unusual for him at that restaurant 🙂

Once back from the meal D got back to his work, Paa was reading Indian newspaper online, Maa was reading one of her religious books and I was propped up in our bed checking everyone’s Facebook status when I realized the random contractions I had been feeling all day were not random anymore and the pain I felt with each was growing. This was around 10:00 at night. Having read about contractions coming and going without getting regular I decided to not make a big deal about them but did start timing them..hmm..they were regular 12 mins apart. We had been told by Dr T and the hospital staff to come to the hospital when the contractions met the 5-1-1 rule..they had to be 5 mins apart..each contraction had to be 1 min long..and this rhythm had to be going on for 1 hour..so even if these were real contractions I had a long way to go before we actually made our way to the hospital.

The contractions did not seem to stop.. they slowly started getting closer together 11 mins..and it hit me I still had that document to write, so I started getting everything together in a hurry. I finally finished around 1:30 and mailed it out to the team. In the mean time I asked D to pack our hospital bag (we had left that till the last-minute). So the baby’s take home clothes was put together with a blanket..her car seat was taken out, not to be forgotten..my PJ were packed and so were my change of clothes. Once done we decided to call it a night and it was lights-out at around 2:00. D was out like a log but sleep was not happening for me..ever intensifying pain can do that to a person..In the end I gave up and headed to the living room for some low volume TV watching and some web surfing..anything to distract me. Alas my mind remained on timing the contractions. Once I got to 7 mins apart, I called the hospital and they very promptly said ‘Come when you get to 5-1-1’ (I guess they deal with so many women about to deliver that they have lost their sympathy bone :(). The only good thing that came out of the phone call (at least for me) was that Maa woke up and realized she was going to be a Nani by the time the day was out (hopefully before the day is out). She sat and gave me company, holding my hand when contractions came (by now they were excruciating).. rub my back..did whatever she could to make me comfortable. Also she would rush to the kitchen in the middle to get some food ready for D when we headed to the hospital (from experience she knew D would have a long day). She did try feeding me as well but I was not up for getting anything inside my body.

Finally at 5:30 I woke D up and said its time..lets head to the hospital..he smiles..gives me a hug..and says ‘Can I take a quick shower’..I was like..’turn around and let me kick you on your back side’. Anyways I let him take his shower while I got dressed. With Maa and Paa standing at the door..amongst loads of wishes and hugs and contraction pain we headed out. Between the four of us we had decided not to take Maa Paa to the hospital with us, as we were not sure how long the labor would be. They would be more comfortable at home where they could rest..eat..sleep..rather than being stuck in the hospital waiting room. D was suppose to go pick them up any time night or day once the baby came.

Anyways 15 mins drive to the hospital..checkin..triage and I was wheeled into the birthing room. I was asked if I want Epidural? When previously asked if I would take Epidural I always said ‘I will try to go all natural as far as I could and would take medication if I could not take the pain any more’, but a chat with a friend who told me she was so tired after all the contractions she bore because of not taking medication she just could not push the baby and had to have an emergency C-section and me having been going through contractions for a little over 10 hours was ready to take epidural the minute the doctors deemed time. I was finally given Epidural around 11:00 in the morning. Ah bliss..No pain..I could still feel the contractions but the edge of the pain was taken away. I fell asleep..would be woken up by the nurses and doctors when required but for most part was left to rest and preserve my energy.

Finally around 7:30 in the evening it was time to push. Lots of time spend..lot of energy spent..and nothing..the little one was not ready to come out. There is a state policy of not letting women push for more than 3-4 hours, so Dr P (Dr. T was out-of-town) at 10:30 P.M. said she would try using a suction cup a couple of times and if baby was not out, I would be wheeled into the OR for a C-section.

End result with me pushing and Dr P pulling, the head came out..one more push and the shoulders came out..with the shoulders out they just pulled on the baby..no more work required from me.. Out came a blood covered..screaming baby..weighing 8 pounds plus some odd ounce at a little after 11:00 P.M. at night.

Once everything was checked..pictures clicked..baby given a bath..D rushed to get my parents..and I was left alone (in peace after all the people coming and going through the day, checking this, prodding that) holding my precious little girl..What more can one ask for.. 🙂

The date

The due date came and the due date went..Baby made no appearance..

To be quite honest I was expecting her to be late..what with the family history like mine..my brother and I were both late and so was my niece. The certainty further cemented by the statistics that say that first time moms generally overshoot their due date.

But expecting and even being mentally prepared for something does not make the occurrence of said any easier to take. When one finds out one is pregnant and a date is set you always look at the finish line..and when you get to the size of a small bus and every movement takes some work you really get to counting days..and when the day passes you get to the uncertain stage..suddenly there is no end point to reach..you are there already so what next?? What do to count towards??

Anyways back to the big day that was supposed to be..well as I stated above nothing was happening. Thankfully the day being a Sunday, D in order to get my mind off the non-happening contractions decided to take us out for a picnic on a lake about 20 miles from where we stay. It felt good to be out after being cooped up inside for most parts..even if it was freezing outside. The picnic was followed by some shopping (my parents needed to buy gifts for family and friends back home) and then home to relax in front of the TV.

All in all a good day spend in the company of people I love..

 

Yay..Ouch..

Everyone you talk to will tell you a different Ouch in their pregnancy..some of the horror stories you hear would put anyone thinking about having kids off it for a while..Yay are almost always the same..

Personally I had a non-issue pregnancy..no major issues..I went to work till the very end..drove till the day before..went for hour-long walks..cooked till Mom came over about a month before the big day. All this does not mean I did not have any discomfort, it just means I did have any horror stories to regale anyone with..

  • Kicks: I still remember the first time I felt a real kick, not the is this gas or a kick, but a real, this little person inside is letting her presence felt, kick. I was at Dr T’s office and they were listening to the baby’s heartbeat through the fetal doppler when in between the heartbeat sound we heard this thud sound. The nurse smiled and said ‘Did you feel that. That was the baby kicking’. What I had felt was this feeling of someone lightly tapping inside my stomach. Since then the kicks got stronger. Then came the point where I could distinguish between the baby’s hand punch and the baby’s leg kick..the point where I could see my stomach move (just like what you would see if someone poked through an inflated balloon) when she kicked..the point when the cloth of my T-shirt fluttered before falling back in place with each kick. Amazing amazing feeling..totally YAY
  • Inflammation: Work was crazy just about at the start of my third trimeste..was working 13-14 hour days. One side effect (other than the more obvious weight gain) of sitting down and working for long hours while you have an ever-expanding belly is that the false ribs or floating ribs (one of those) starting rubbing against the uterus, which caused the two areas to get inflamed. This started out as mildly uncomfortable but as I said the belly was ever expanding and so more the expansion happened, more the inflammation increased and more the discomfort. To add to that baby dear being head down would sometimes aim for that particular location. I think I would stop breathing for a minute after such a kick..the pain excruciating. BIG OUCH
  • Hiccups: A close friend who had a baby around the time we found out we were expecting talked real fondly about baby hiccups. I was really looking forward to feeling them too. So one day while talking to my SIL I asked her what in-utero hiccups felt like. After she was done explaining I realized I had been feeling them for a few months just not realizing what was happening. I remember thinking there was nothing special about them. But then with time as the baby grew bigger the hiccups got stronger too..the rhythmic,, twitching, jumpy feeling in my abdomen which was so different from kicks would start and continue for about 5 mins a couple of times a day. It actually felt like being tickled from inside. It was an absolutely sweet sensation..YAY without a doubt
  • Sleep: I am most comfortable when sleeping on my back. With the growing uterus sleeping on my back was not an option, so I started making an effort to sleep on my side. Soon the stomach grew to a point where gravity would not let me be comfortable on my side either..imagine a broad board with a ball tied in the center, gravity tries to put the ball down, the ties do not let the ball go..this is what I went through every time I tried to get some sleep. So after a lot of search on the web and after a talk with my doctor here is how I slept..a pillow on either side of me so that whichever way I turned I would have one bellow my back to keep on an incline (to avoid my natural tendency to sleep on my back) and have one pillow to rest my stomach on..and another pillow between my legs, which was suppose to help fight gravity. The end result..I spent most of the nights adjusting one of the three pillows while trying to unsuccessfully find a comfortable position to sleep in. No question asked this was an OUCH
  • Glow: So people talk about this pregnancy glow thing and I can vouch for it. My skin was all soft, without blemishes, really glowing while I was pregnant with the added bonus of those pesky facial hair not growing as fast, so did not have to do threading as often (it was painful every time I had to..picture a humongous woman with a big ass and bigger stomach trying to sit in front of the mirror on her vanity case and trying to scoot forward to get a closer look while the stomach got in the way). And my hair (on the scalp i.e.) where all shiny and lustrous, sparkling with health. It was perfect. Now only if I could have this skin and hair when I had a waist..sigh..But definitely YAY for the glow
  • Restroom: I think I should just have moved my office and my bed in the restroom during the last trimester..what with a trip there every hour on the hour. When you can’t walk straight..waddle around..your backside has grown twice its normal size..you don’t have the perception of how big you have gotten that you miss the mark and bump into things as you pass them by..walking to a restroom at work is no fun. Add to that my office to restroom distance was max that could be in my building and I had to pass every single person on my team on my way..:(..no fun..no fun. And then when you finally head home and are tired and can’t sleep properly (see Sleep above) and have to make your way out of blankets and pillows to get to the john..I could cry buckets at that scenario..one word for it OUCH

Finding out

I have for as far out as I can remember have wanted a baby girl..well since I started thinking about having babies i.e.

And then when we found out I was pregnant..the funniest thing happened..I stopped dreaming of a little girl. All I wanted was a healthy baby..that is all I prayed for..hoped for..yearned for. I explored my feelings on what would happen if I had a boy and I was totally happy with it. No matter what we had, the baby would be our baby and that’s all that counted. D did not care about boy or girl either. He was busy making plans on when he could take the baby for a hike..how he would get the baby to learn how to ski..the time he would take the baby rock climbing (early he kept mumbling since I hate rock climbing and he things it’s a factor of me having tried it when I was in my 20s)..I think he had the little ones outdoors life mapped out for quite a bit in the future..because ofcourse when s/he turned 6 it was time to learn how to snowboard, after all that is what the cool kids do. In his head, I am sure, he has been practicing tips and tricks to hand over to his kid on all the outdoors sports he enjoys.

Finally came the day of the ultrasound, 18 weeks 4 days and we stepped into the technicians office. It was such a fun ultrasound because it was done in so much detail. Every single rib cage looked at..legs measured..hands examined..head circumference inferred..four valves of the heart visible..hair on the head pointed out..heartbeat heard. We just kept grinning ear to ear, eyes glued to the monitor.

The ultrasound technician suddenly looked up and asked us if we wanted to find out what we were having? This had never even been a point of discussion for us, we wanted to know..and that’s that. So we both said Yes at the same time. The technician looked at us, smiled and said..drum roll please..

..IT’S A GIRL..

We both whooped with joy. Our little girl..we could not wait..

That weekend I went and bought the first of anything for our little one. A little blue frock and a onesie which said ‘WHAT’S NOT To LIKE?’..well what’s not to like indeed.. 🙂

Nani..love you..

16 weeks along in my pregnancy..get woken by my cell ringing..Mom in tears tells me ‘Apni Nani nahein rahi’. I broke down. Don’t even know how long the tears flowed.

There is so much I remember about her..so much I love about her..so much I miss about her..Nani was not into physical display of affection, so there were no endless hugs or kisses..but I have such fond memories of the huge smile not leaving her face while we were visiting her..eyes brimmed with tears every time we said bye at the end of summer vacations..her plopping me on her shoulders while she ran to catch Bhai..the non stop games of Thyont (a card game I know no other name for)..and her non stop cheating during the game (and did she cheat or what)..the extra dollops of makhan she used to put on my roti..the absolutely hilarious stories she used to spin in the evening when it was time for bed (how I wish I had written them down..don’t even remember a single one in its entirety any more 😦 )..the 50 paisa given every day during the summer vacation to have kulfi on a stick from the vender who came cycle bell ringing in peak summer afternoon..memories so many..so many

Nani loved to get new Salwar Kamees stitched..loved to have ghee on roti, in sabzee, in daal (even when the doctor her asked her not to any more)..loved, I mean absolutely loved getting her pictures taken..loved her grandchildren and their children..She had such a hard life. Widowed in her 30’s with 6 kids, she never let anything stop her. Worked tirelessly in the fields and ensured all her kids studied and studied well, were well settled, had a good life. Smallest things gave her pleasure. Ah Nani I still tear up as write this.

She had been diagnosed with lung cancer but doctors refused any treatment because of her age. They said chemotherapy would kill her faster. She was given a few months to a couple of years to live. She lived about 7 months since her diagnosis. But every time I think of her I am grateful she did not suffer too much in her last months. She was uneasy, I am told, but not in a whole lot of pain. She actually went for a walk, talked to people, was laughing the day she passed away.

Intellectually I know she would not be with us for too long, but on an emotional level I wanted her to live at least the 2 years doctors predicted. I wanted her to hold the great-grandchild I was carrying. Have a picture of the 4 generations (from as back as I remember, I have had this image of Nani, Mom, me and my daughter, four generation women, sitting down to have a picture clicked. The image will now always stay an image, never to turn into reality). But I take with me her happy voice on the phone when she found out I was expecting..her endless wishes for me and for the little one..her joy in the news.. Me having a baby was one of her fond wish and I am glad she knew it was going to come true.

Nani..I want to talk to you so bad..I want you to see the little Buzz so much..I want to hear you say ‘us ka sar puchkaar diye meri taraf se’ so bad..I want to rant and rave..the last of my grandparent is no more..I still have trouble wrapping my head around the thought. I kept expecting you to come out of the room which was yours when I went to Mamaji’s place. Sometimes I still forget that you are not a phone call away and even to date when Buzz does something funny the thought crosses my head, ‘Let me call Nani. She will laugh so much at this’.

It’s been a little over a year since you left us Nani, but I miss you so much..

The Announcement

My family was scattered all over the world for the past month or so. Brother in China, SIL in Hong Kong, niece with my parents in India. But they were all getting together in India in a couple of weeks. So we waited patiently. Wanted to let them know about the upcoming addition to the family, together, rather than making frantic phone calls between different time zones, different countries, different schedules. Their coming together was a time for celebration (with Mom’s Birthday, my sweet little niece turning one, my brother’s family getting all together after a couple of months of travel and upheaval) so what better time.

D and I talked about ways of letting everyone know. A lot of ideas were tossed around, when something my brother said and something my SIL was asking for gave us the perfect idea. Now my brother was setting up a video camera and a mike at my parents place so that they could do a video conference with us and my brother’s family anytime they wanted. So he wanted to go through a couple of sessions of conference with us on the other end so as to be able to smooth out any hitch in the process and let my parents get a hang of how to initiate a conference and how to response to a conference. My SIL wanted to see our Alaska pictures.

So what we came up was this. D took a digital picture of the ultrasound. I upload a few pictures of Alaska on my virtual photo album and also uploaded the ultrasound picture as the last photograph. While on video conference we send them the link to this album and everyone started looking at the pictures while we were giving live commentary on each picture viewed.

The right arrow key was clicked on and suddenly Mom was in tears, brother was screaming congratulations, SIL was arreyyyy waaahh, Papa was what..what is this.. It took some explanation for my dad to understand what he was seeing..poor dad.. 🙂

I was just glad to be able to see the reaction of family first hand..emphasis on see..and that too when everyone was together..

D’s family, we made the customary phone call since computer and email was not an option. Everyone was super excited and happy for us..Love and prayers poured in from all directions..What more can one ask for 🙂