Posted in close to heart, The Chronicles of A

Going from One to Two

One of my closest friends is pregnant with her third and another one I know is pregnant with her first. The former can’t remember what month she is on and the latter knows the week and date to the t. And me? Well, I am going from one to two and boy the difference is night and day. I know many articles and blogs have been written about the difference between first and second pregnancies and I will not talk about whats there. This one is for what it has been for me.

Before I start, Ami, my girl, you will always be special. It is not just because you are my first born but because you were my teacher, the reason for me having so many of my “first” and “aha” moments. For teaching me that unconditional love is the purest form of love.

There is something about the first time that is just sort of magical. With us, it was just Ami and me. When Ami was born, I didn’t shed a tear because I was happy to see my friend of nine months finally in my hands! I was filled with an anticipation that will likely remain unmatched for the rest of my life. At every step of those nine months, I knew what week I was at, what fruit size the baby was in my tummy, what were those measurements on the scan report, what to eat, what to avoid, what made the baby uncomfortable, when was the baby most active etc. I would write down the changes each month, make a number of checklists, list of baby names from month 2, had a hospital bag ready by 7th month, thought about what dresses to buy, what to wear and my the list can go on! To cut the long story short, I was too occupied and happy and excited to think about anything else but my baby.

This time, its different. I wouldnt say it is a bad thing but things are very different. From announcing my pregnancy to getting that hospital ready, everything has changed. I have become paranoid! No, I’m certainly not worried about what fruit size my baby is or what week I am on or what my baby is feeling or doing. I am on 33 weeks and I haven’t done any shopping. I haven’t decided a name, I havent thought about anything at all! Checklist you ask? The only checklist I have are all work related! At this pointI’d like to say to you Baby 2, that its not because I dont love you already, it is because I am too worried about your well being! Now, because I know what its like and have been there done that, I know the risks, I know the signs, I know its not a cakewalk. Remember though, that I am like this because I love you to bits already.

Last evening, I spoke with my mommy-of-2 friend because I had to speak to someone who had the experience. I wanted to ensure that I was normal! I have been thinking about what would happen to my family if something was to happen to me? What if something went wrong with me? What is the husband going to do with a 3 year old and a new born and a dog! I mean, he cannot even take care of himself for a day without goofing up! I had never really thought of dying and have never been afraid except for now. The thought had began to affect my sleep, my work and my whole life. I would on some days look at AMi playing and silently shed a tear. My friend said its okay. It happens and its perfectly fine!

This morning, as I woke up and made tea, I realised that even if I didn’t consider myself of any value, those few human beings certainly needed me around. I suddenly felt very wanted. My fears seem to slowly fade away. Today, I live.

So, my advice to the moms going from one to two, take it slow. One day at a time. To feel scared is normal. It just shows you care too much for those human beings that need you. To the first time moms, enjoy while it lasts! Savor every moment, cherish every kick and nibble. This one is special.

See you after I go from one to two 🙂

To my Two,

I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my babies you’ll be.

Amma

 

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Posted in fiction

55

He was born in a land far away. They worked there.  They decided to celebrate his first birthday  in their home country. His relatives said the boy looks like him.  Her relatives said the boy looks just like her. The couple smiled, looking at each other. Little did the relatives know, the boy was adopted.

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Posted in The Chronicles of A

A mother speaks- Chapter 2

At some point of time we’ve all of had friends/relatives who’ve just delivered a baby. The one we cant just not wait to see! And how many times have we actually given unsolicited advice, even when we dont know a darn thing about it! So this post is on those little things. Trust me, this is from experience!Image result for new mom stress

  • Learn to say NO. Its your baby. And your husband’s of course. Nobody else can tell you what to do with the baby other than your own instinct. If you dont want others to carry your baby around, say no. If you want to co sleep with your baby, do so. If your “wellwishers” ( I’ll use this word to avoid any conflicts later) interfere in your time with your baby, say no! If you want to be left alone with your minion while your nurse, say so! Voice out.
  • First few days.The first few days after your delivery is really weird. I know moms would say things like, I fell in love with the baby at first sight and I wanted to show the whole world my baby etc. There may be pepople like that. However, its mostly the other kind. The first days are mostly in the hospital. Its really bad. Firstly the mom s really tired. Natural labour isnt the only thing thats painful. Au contraire, c-sec can be really tiring and painful. Dont go visiting new moms in hospital unless you are the grandparents, immediate uncles/aunts of the newborn. Dont. Give the mother and child time to get used to the new world. Its really depressing for the new mom to be seen in their worst form.
  • Breatfeeding. Its a really personal thing. A lot needs to be said about this. When a mother delivers, it is said that breast feeding should just come to her and the child, naturally. Thats bullshit. Some mothers are lucky if their kid drinks their milk  and some children are lucky to nurse naturally. For a good number of mothers though, it isnt a natural process. It takes time. The baby and the mother needs to be comfortable and it really isnt just your own body. A lot of factors make this process of milk production n consumption succesfull. So relax. It will come and even if it doesnt, dont feel guilty. It really isnt your fault and the “bond” between you and the child will not be reduced just bcoz the baby doesnt take milk from you! The baby only thinks of you as its “beck n call” person for a good few months. Dont listen to people and their tips on feeding! Each mother, each baby, each body is different. Feel free to tell them to shut up. I did. It wont hurt their feelings as theyll say you are in stress due to all the labour :).
  • Take time. You may not feel an attachment to the baby as soon as you see it. It may take awhile. It s completely normal. Rest is really all you need. Once you feel alright, take time to look at your baby and admire your creation. You will feel the love once you are ready for it.
  • Guiltfree.You need rest and lots of  it. Ask for help with the baby and sleep. Your body is your own, always remember that. You are bound tp feel like a cow initially. Everyone from the doctor to the maid will see your breasts. Well, the maid and the others neednt exactly. So ask to be alone when you are nursing. You may feel like crying because you are overwhelmed. Do it. Its really ok to cry. Listen to yourself. Feeling angry and depressed is not a crime.I struggle with finding my worth not in my family, but in my work and my hobbies (which I can no longer do). I struggle with being resentful towards my husband’s ability to come and go as he pleases. I struggle with finding my identity in how I look or what I accomplish. I struggle  with the ‘all-encompassing’ new role of being a mother. I struggle with not having any time for myself. Accept it. Its the only way you can move on.
  • Have food. Proper healthy food. You can diet later. Demand for food, if you dont get it on time. Scream for it. It is required. For milk, for energy and for just the sheer enjoyment of eating what you want.

Remember we all have good days and bad. Everything is a phase, a this too shall pass one. Enjoy it while it lasts. Just make sure that your priorities are set right. It is your baby and you first.

 

Posted in RoMa Chronicles, The Chronicles of A

A Mother Speaks- Chapter 1

Hi. The other day, a friend and a family member asked me why I stopped writing? The answer I gave them was that I dont have the time. One of them then said that I stopped writing in February 2014 and the “no time” factor arrived only in October. I smiled. So here I am, a whole year later and a whole lot of changes later. When I say change,its a change that will last a lifetime. On 22nd October 2014 at 4:26 pm, I delivered a baby girl. I became a mother.

A lot of things  Everything changes. Life is just not what it used to be. It will never be. Priorities change. Attitude changes. The very definition of love changes.

I was never a born mommy. A born mommy is someone who has mother instincts at a very young age. These women like to dress up barbie dolls, play house house, spend play time putting on make up and dressing up dolls etc. The women act like a mom around their friends, protecting them, taking care of their needs, making sure they have food on time etc. I am not and was never that. Neither was I a career woman. The jet setting, always on the run, looking for better opportunities, higher paying salary kind of woman. I am that more of the undecided woman. Likes occasional playing with baby, cooking, a relaxed, happy to go to dream job kind of woman. I like that come and go as you please, carefree tv nights, long nights of uninterrupted sleep, watch movies when I please kind of life. Honestly, I was not ready to be responsible for another human being! Like Das always commented that I was just not grown up, yet!

In March last year when we found out that we were pregnant, I was amazed and stunned and clueless. Thats just three of the zillion emotions i went through at that time! I was nervous and curious and bewildered too. I spent hours on the net reading every bit of info I could find. As months passed, I realised the enormity of it all. The sacrifice and freedom that I’d be giving up. Freedom is never something that a person voluntarily gives up!

She is 5 months now. I have had conversations with a  lot of moms lately and somtimes I laugh at the way they feign motherhood! I have raised this girl of mine single handedly(Ro is there ofcourse, but he hardly has time, thanks to dxb traffic) for the past 5 months and will continue to do so. Its not out of choice, its more out of helplessness n no choice. I know for a fact that its really difficult and sometimes frustrating to take care of an infant alone. SO when I mention to these drama moms that I miss the freedom and how I wish someone would take care of our little girl for a while, they feign shock! They act like I am the cruel mom who has no compassion for her child! Oh poor kid are what their facial exprssions say! These are those moms who have full time help plus parents to look at all their needs plus money to buy every mothercare accessory there ever is. My primary identity is not “mother”. Is that my fault? I would spend the time I get wondering if I really was a bad mom.

Its easy to enjoy parenthood. That toothless grin when she wakes up. That constant babbling. The giggle when she is tickled. That smile she gives when I peep out from under the pillow. That feeling that somebody really needs you. All the time. And then before we realiase, the enjoyment begins to fade and you start feeling a bit depressed, scary that good or bad, the way she grows up to be will be your sole responsiblity. Before you know it, ever so slowly, you start waiting for the freedom to be just you  again.

After reading up tonnes of literature on being a good parent, I learnt it from a place I should have looked first. My dad’s life. The way he bought me up. The formula to being a great parent and a happy one was simple. The secret was to enjoy the whole things while it lasts. Everything my girl was upto was a passing phase. It would all be yesterdays story all too soon. All I had to do was to give her my unconditional love and time. The less I am enjoying her, the more frustrated I get with her, the less patient I am with her, the less energy I have for daily motherhood tasks, the more I start to resent her. That, she will understand. Motherhood will be frustrating, a constant battle between my selfishness and exhaustion. It will also be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be totally and unconditionally loved, needed, wanted, by somebody who is happy to sit for hours just staring at my face. My face! It was easy. Happy parents make happy children.

The more I begin to enjoy her, i realise, my baby needs me. Me. Just me. Not her dad, not her toys, not her grandparents. Me. And that for me is a privilege.

 

Posted in close to heart

Not(e) in the mood-12

I have heard that as babies, we were all easy. These days, spending time with Lil has made me realise it too.One cry meant you were hungry..Another to say the baby is bored. Sometimes it means you are sleepy and sometimes it just means the baby wants to be showered with attention.A child’s life is so easy to decipher and maybe thats the reason they dont hurt for too long. It’s only as adults that we become difficult.We start to hide our feelings, put up walls.It gets to the point where we never really know how anyone thinks or feels.Without meaning to, we become masters and mistresses of disguise.

It’s not always easy to speak your mind.Sometimes you need to be forced to do it.Sometimes it’s better to just keep things to yourself, though.Play dumb even when your whole body’s aching to come clean. Shut your mouth.Keep the secret…And find other ways to make yourself happy. Sometimes, keeping it to yourself is the best gift you could give yourself. It spares you from the wrath of insecurities,  complexes and the pain of being let down.

However, through the passage of time, I have come to realize that life is a gift. Accept it.No matter how screwed up or painful it seems to be.Some things are going to work out as if they were destined to happen.As if they were just meant to be.

zivot je cudo

Posted in m@dness

The Name Game

I know I have written about naming a baby before. Really tis  naming phenomena fascinates me!!

My cousin just got pregnant and my first question was ‘Have you thought of names for the baby?’

Nomenclature of any sort is a tricky business.And it’s not just Malayalis who use inexplicable permutations and combinations to name their kids.  Many a Malayali parent has blighted the future of their children by bestowing upon them names such as Trophy, Medal and Shield, three sisters I knew. I kid you not but I also happen to know a couple called Romeo and Juliet.  They say that they found each other completely by chance. After all, they say, how could any Romeo not want his Juliet?

The Syrian Christian naming system is even more confusing. We have small kids named ‘appachen’ which in Malayalam translates to grandfather. Or there are individuals who have done all the growing up they possibly can called ‘Baby.’

I once met a girl named Kunjumol which means ‘small girl’ in Malayalam. Having seen the verve with which she demolished three masala dosas, I was pretty sure that no part of that was true.

And to think this extends beyond the human kingdom. Some years ago I went to a house and heard the owner calling for their Labrador. ‘Billy, where are you?’ he hollered. Seeing no sign of he tried something else. ’Billy Joel ,’ he screamed.  The dog gave a musical bark to live up to its namesake and came tottering from beneath the sofa. ‘He’s very possessive about his name,’ I was told jocularly.

And then that mildly nauseating technique of combining the parents’ names for the children. So for a Shaji and Sheela, the son becomes Shashi. Or for a Gigi and Poulose the daughter gets stuck with Pougi. Ok i was kidding..But I have heard of milkymol 🙂

Recently, I discovered that when it comes to the Syrian Christian system of naming, there is a method to the madness. If the first born is male, he’s given his father’s father’s name. If it’s female, then she is the lucky recipient of her father’s mother’s name. If the second born is male then he’s given the name of his mother’s father and if female, then the mother’s mother’s.

Confused? Go figure.