Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Soni Arrives

The much awaited arrival of Soni - happened.

Date: 12th June 2008. Yes, she managed to avoid both the other birthdays - and landed plum in the middle of them.

Time: 5.15am

No of labor hours: 3. From 33 hours the first time to 3 hours, we're sure improving. I woke up at 2am with mind numbing pain, woke up hubby at 3am after trying vainlessly to time the contractions. Reached hospital at 3.45am. She arrived at 5.15am.

Vital Stats: Height - 20"
Weight 8lbs

My Reaction: Somebody give me an epidural - I cant do this.

The mid-wife's reaction: "When I first saw you, I told myself, this woman's not even in labor. When I examined you - you were fully dilated. Mashallah. But what terrible pushing."

Hubby's Reaction: Can we not give her any pain relief??

Sonny's Reaction: Ranges from complete ignoring to 'bye bye baby'. At times it even results in wild kissing.

She looks like: A photocopy of Sonny.

How am I coping: So far so good.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

And some fun stuff

Things began looking up once the in-laws arrived. Being true to my hyper-panicky state, I asked them to arrive here just as my 8th month ended. Now they've been here almost 3 weeks and Soni shows no signs of arriving. The Braxton Hicks contractions are getting more and more severe. But thats where it all ends. I can feel the baby's head on the pelvic floor - but she just wont arrive.

Maybe she's waiting for:
June 11 - which is Sonny's birthdate
June 13 - which is my birthdate
June 15 - which is her grandparents wedding anniv

O yeah we're a total Junie family - except for hubby, of course, who's feeling a lil left out.
Or maybe she wants to circumnavigate these dates and choose a date for herself.

Meanwhile some developments on Sonny's front.
He ought to be nick-named 'sponge'. He hears a statement made once and repeats it verbatim at the next opportune moment. Sometimes with hilarious results. He's learnt 'what're you doing XYZ?'. We were stopped at a police check point, sonny leans out of the window and says 'what're you doing police?'.

If sonny finds something unagreeable - which is a hell of a lot these days - he makes his displeasure known forthwith with a 'ok-ma-bye-bye'. And with that he marches off upstairs to the bedroom - to spend some quality time with himself. And one has to go and get him - wont come down on his own.

Apparently there is a boy in sonny's class by this name. Sonny was asked 'whats your lil sisters name?'. His reply - "Abdulla" and not just once, time and time again. Maybe thats the reason Soni wont come out - she doesnt want to be called Abdulla :)

Me: "Sonny do you want apple juice?"
Sonny: "No"
Me: "Guava? Lemon? Milk?"
Sonny: "No. No. No."
Weary ol me - gives up. 1 min later, Sonny : "I want apple juice"
Me: Tears off hair in frustration.


Saturday, June 07, 2008

It rained. And it poured.

No this post has nothing to do with the unseasonal rains that North India experienced. Or the torrent in my beloved Mumbai.

It has to do with the way life seemed in Riyadh - to me.

I am a strong believer in the motto "this too shall pass". And it got severely tested in the last month.

First came in some personal news that really really rocked my peace of mind.
Then it started blowing dust in Riyadh. SO first I had my month long allergic reaction. Then sonny started coughing. It got worse. We took him to the doctor, who told us to observe it for a while - because she didnt want to rush into an antibiotic course. Finally it developed into a full blown upper respiratory track infection - which required 10 days of antibiotics.

A week later, sonny started crying for no apparent reason. Nothing would soothe him except a ride in the car, during which he would stay absolutely still, without uttering a single word. Which is really, really weird coz sonny loves to point things out and count cars and gas stations and what-have-yous. Or he wanted me to carry him around - ALL THE TIME. At 36 weeks, that was the last thing I could manage. He refused to eat or lie down. With great difficulty he managed to swallow his own saliva. His doctor suspected a middle-ear infection and wanted us to take him to the ER immediately. We've had enough ER experiences to last us a lifetime. So we waited until his regular doc became available (about 20 hours). Turned out he had a bad throat infection. His doc referred us to an ENT - who confirmed that the ears were fine - it was the throat that was horribly screwed up. So then began another round of antibiotics. Which we've just finished yesterday.
And I've sent him to school today. I hope he doesnt come back with something new again.

In all of this, my Braxton Hicks contractions have driven me round the bend - literally and figuratively. The baby has descended, making it difficult for me to move around. Sleep is elusive and eating seems like a chore. My back is screwed up badly, my legs get puffy afternoon onwards and most mornings I cannot bend my fingers. All this is normal - I am told.

The only positive thing that happened was that my in-laws arrived. Ma-in-law has taken over the kitchen (praise the lord!) and sonny seems to have really taken to his grand parents - spending loads of time with them - time during which he doesnt ask for his Ma. To me this seems like good practice, for Soni's arrival.

And so I wait - counting days - when the clouds will part and the sun will shine again.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

MTB Tips

Poppins urges me to my version of handy tips that no MTB can live without. So here goes:

1. Have an elder woman around in the house. Mother, mother-in-law, sister, anyone. It goes a long way in keeping the sanity in the house.

2. Remember these numbers 3 and 6. At 3 days and 6 days, 3 weeks and 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months, or approx thereabouts your baby will go through a major growth spurt. Which means baby will feed more and longer and will probably sleep more. This phase lasts 2-3 days. Bottle-feeders can just increase the number of bottles but breast feeders remember not to blame yourself if baby seems to demand more. Just keep putting baby to breast - and your supply will increase within 24 hours.

3. A hot shower goes a long way in dealing with rock hard boobies. Especially when the milk comes in - on the third day. Engorged boobies also make it difficult for baby to latch on. Take a hot shower, relieve some pressure manually and then put baby to breast.

4. Most moms and mom-in-laws have to leave after a few months. In the last month - ask her to make additional portions of the food you eat everyday - be it meat or veggies and freeze them in freezer-proof bags (I swear by Glad), put the date so you know the sequence of consumption. After the lovely lady has returned home - you can make just a dal and rice and remove the frozen food one meal at a time. Its a BIG help when you are caring for a lil one with no help.

5. Breast feeding moms remember to drink loads of water - you need additional water to cope with the feeds. Also remember you only need 500 additional calories - not more. This is the time one tends to put on the max weight - in our mindless devotion to ensuring baby gets to eat well.

6. It isint easy sleeping next to a baby. They squirm, yawn, stretch - and generally screw up your sleep - even if they are sleeping. And you really DO need the sleep. In the first part of the night - feed the baby and hand over to hubby, ma, ma-in-law. And go to sleep. Those 3 or 4 hours will be the best sleep you ever have. When the baby awakens for a feed, the baby can be brought to you. You've had your sleep and the night watchman can now get his/hers. Tip courtesy: ma-in-law who did this everyday with sonny and me.

7. If you want to introduce the bottle - wait until the baby is a month old. By then, your feeding/milk coming in would have settled into a pattern. You can start by giving once a week or so - just so that baby gets the hang of the bottle. If you wait until later, the baby would have already made up his/her mind and will reject the bottle.

8. Remember you have 2 ears. One to listen to all the advice you get. And the other to throw it out. As the Marathi saying goes "listen to the world, but do as your heart tells you". Nobody knows your body or your baby better than you.

Good luck!!!


Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I am a big believer in Signs. O well actually not. It just gives me the kicks to interpret things the way its convenient for me ;)

So here are a few of my interpretations:

Sign 1: Sonny knows his shapes
He says "Ma tummy is circle". Sure honey, you got some salt to rub that in with?

Sign 2: We're watching way too much TV
I caught sonny singing "ooo shanti ooo" in the bath last week.

Sign 3: Sonny is developing a taste in pretty women
Today while the "Aakhon mein teri" song from OSO was being played on TV he turned and told me "nice aunty ma".

Sign 4: Looks like we're watching a lot of IPL.
He recognised SRK in the abovementioned song and said "thats Shahrukh Khan".

Sign 5: Looks like Sony/Set Max are getting the Target Audience attention.
Sonny saw a song featuring Salman Khan and told me "Thats Dus Da Dum uncle". Good God, now he even recognises Salman Khan.

Sign 6: Sonny has high self-esteem.
I caught him playing with his blocks. He was asking himself "what color this?" and then replied 'lellow'. Next sentence "good job sonny".

Sign 7: Sonny really has a thing for girls.
Everytime he hears the Vodafone Happy to help song, he runs to the TV and stares non-stop. If we draw attention to him, he is hugely embarrassed and covers his face with his hands.
Same reactions with Paanchvi Pass girl 'Shreya'.

Sign 8: Sonny loves mommy more than daddy.
While we're taking a walk, sonny pulls me onto the sidewalk and says "ma, walk on sidewalk" (no credit for him - we've been drilling this into him for the past 6 months). So hubby says "and what about baba?". Sonny says, "baba walky". So dad you walk where you are - let me just get my mom safe on the sidewalk.

Sign 9: Sonny loves the car the most.
Me: "whats your name?"
Sonny: "sonny"
Me: "Whats your baba's name?"
Sonny: "My car is toyota prado"
He still cant pronounce either my name or hubby's name correctly - but the car's name - he has that mastered.


Monday, May 19, 2008

A Baby's Conversation with God

A baby asked God, 'They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?' God said, 'Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you.'

The child further inquired, 'But tell me, here in heaven I don't have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy.' God said, 'Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And you wil l feel your angel's love and be very happy.'

Again the child asked, 'And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don't know the language?' God said, 'Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak.'
'And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?' God said, 'Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray.'

'Who will protect me?' God said, 'Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life.'

'But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore.' God said, 'Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you.'

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, 'God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel' s name.'

God said, 'You will simply call her, 'Mom.'


I want patience now!!

Scene 1:
I go to pick sonny from school. All morning I have been running around getting dinner ready, re-arranging stuff, making place for Soni's stuff,etc. Sonny runs out excitedly, insisting he wants 'schkooi bus'. We watch the kids load up in the bus, sonny waves to them, bus takes off, we walk home. As we enter the gate, he spots his cycle. Now he wants to ride his cycle. I check the temperature outside. Its 40 C. How can anyone want to ride around in this heat?
I say no. He digs his feet into the ground. I stand my ground. I drag him inside. Sonny doesnt like it - he yells loudly, throws his cap onto the floor, bangs his shoes on the floor, I yell. Sonny resorts to banging the door against the stopper, I drag him further indoors. He spots his cars in the basket, he runs to them, picks them up and throws them with full force on the floor, I pretend to ignore and escape to the kitchen. Now he picks up the phone and throws it on the floor. How can I ignore this? I yell harder, threaten to lock him up in the bathroom. More crying from sonny, more yelling from me. No one's listening to anyone - both mother and son are yelling.
In sheer desperation, I turn on the TV- its Teletubbies time. Peace reigns momentarily.

Scene 2:
Sonny and I are out - its evening playtime. Sonny stops and stares at every passing car. C'mon, I urge him on. No reaction. After much dawdling we reach the playarea. Swing, says sonny. After 30 mins on the swing, I ask him, does he want to play on something else. No, he says, swing. Another, 15-20 mins go by. I take him off the swing. Now he's stuck on the fountain. I wait. It's getting late. We need to get home, have dinner and turn in for the night. Sonny doesnt agree. After much cajoling, warning, threatening - I finally haul him off physically. Sonny is yelling and screaming. I am huffing and puffing with the additional 35 pounds I have to carry on me. Mother and son are really mad at each other.

And some more such scenes at lunch, dinner, sleeptime.
Everyday - day after day - for 3 weeks.

Everyday, I promise myself - tomorrow will be different. I will keep my patience, I will not yell, I will not let tantrums get in the way of mother-son relationship. But everyday - its the same. Sleep begins to elude me, hunger subsides. I throw my own tantrums with hubby, who now has 2 crazy people to deal with. So hubby additionally yells at sonny.

I stay up at night wondering what the hell is going on. What happened to my sweet natured, docile, obedient child? Suddenly whats going wrong? Ok so I do have additional pregnancy pains - breathing is difficult since Soni is pushing hard up against my diaphragm, my back is a mess, acidity is giving me additional heartburn, the list is endless. But I am an adult - and I know ways of dealing with stress. And yet something is going terribly wrong.

Since sleep is anyways elusive, I sit down and make a list of the times or places where sonny throws his tantrums. I realise that coming home from school is a huge tantrum zone. I know he is usually hungry and very tired when he gets home. And yet he wants to ride his cycle around. When I do let him ride his cycle - he moves a few paces, then sits down on the cycle and asks me to push him. I assume he's tired and get him home. Again he throws a tantrum and wants to be out again. Its a no win situation for me.
I figure there are a few things i have to do. Firstly, distract him from the cycle. Secondly, get him inside the cool confines of the home and make sure some food goes down his throat pronto. He is his mother's son and cannot handle hunger (and still he wont eat the snacks i send to school - since he's busy playing). And as quickly as possible get him to nap time.

First things first - I let him come home on the school bus. He's majorly excited and I can maneuver him inside the house. I've kept food ready on the table. I hand him his sippy cup with apple juice - which he drains in one shot. I've broken a few self-made rules - juice before food, and now I break the next rule. We turn on Teletubbies and I feed him while he watches TV. Food in tummy - sonny seems to relax a bit. I'm going to break another rule. Food done - I put him in the bath tub - where he can play for a bit - while I gulp down food. He's nodded off to sleep before I've even finished with the first story.
Good show mommy!! Now I can relax a bit.
Some days I change the sequence - I let him wash his hands on his own (and mess up the bathroom) to distract him from wanting to go outside. Some days I turn on the hose pipe and get him dripping wet outside the house. Big risk with that - I could skid and fall. Some days we read the license plates on cars - getting all alphabets and numbers right is a big turn-on for sonny. And we keep experimenting. Mostly it works - sometimes it doesnt.

There are a few changes I need to still make:
1. Eat before Sonny gets home. Coz once he is home - I just run around like a headless chicken. And I cant get a morsel in until he has fallen asleep.
2. Stop using the word 'jaldi' or fast. I have become a slave of the clock. Sonny 'has to' be in bed by 9, we 'have to' eat at 7. Not really - So sonny is lingering in the bath - ok - so he'll sleep late and wake later. Its preschool for Christ's sake - what does he need to learn quantum physics?
3. Control my temper. The poor child the worst of me - already. I am tired - I yell at him. I'm mad at hubby - I yell at him..... the list is endless.
4. Lots more hugs for sonny. This one we're already working on. I try and make up for my madness by hugs for no reason, lots of cuddles and big sloppy kisses which sonny finds really funny.
5. Kick hubby in the rear. Its obvious sonny is stressing me out - when is the big man planning to step in?
6. Play by the ear. If sonny seems tired - there's no need to go to the park in the evening. We can sit and watch TV (yeah yeah we're doing a lot of that lately)

and so on.

And most of all - I need to keep in mind that sonny's life will soon go through a tizzy when Soni gets here. The more settled, relaxed and smooth I can make this transition phase the better it will work for us.

I've already begun seeing results of the changes I've initiated. Tantrums are down 90%. We still have the occasional flare-up - but what the hell. Hubby has taken over sonny's evening outing - both father and son enjoy driving around in the car.
Peace is finally reigning over the household. Sonny seems happy and I am relaxed. Amen.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

For M

This one is for M.

M, my dear friend who will soon be married. Well, soon – as in November. And since I’m not sure how or where I will be post June – I decided to write this down now.

M knew for a while now that this was the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. But it took a while for things to fall into place, for wheels to be set in motion and for God to put all the pieces into the right places. And she went through many moments of sadness, of utter despair, of questions with no answers, moments when she constantly asked ‘why’ or ’why me’, moments when she decided to put everything behind her and move forward only to be wrenched back. And yet M stood strong. And today when things are going her way, M has her characteristic smile back on her face.

And it is such a pleasure to see M revel in the first flush of love. The way she describes her to-be. Her protectiveness about his kinks. The way she gloats about his achievements. The detail with which she describes some girls checking out ‘my man’ – as she puts in. The giggle with which she relates their first joint purchase. And when I rag her or tease her about buying some kinky stuff – I can almost see her blush.

Which is when it struck me – I’m never going to feel all this again. I’ve been through this – sure, but its gone. Past. Kaput. Finished. I’m never, ever gonna glow in the first blush of love. Never, Ever Again.
When I was last asked to describe hubby, I told the receptionist – look out for a short, stout guy. She later told me – you forgot to mention his cute smile. Guess I did.
My sis-in-law or mom-in-law has to just begin to complain about hubby, and I will gleefully add onto the list of kinks he has. And will accept full sympathy from anyone who wishes to commiserate with me.
When hubby begins to tell me for the nth time how he struggled to get where he is today – all I do is roll my eyes.
When I find some waitress flirting with hubby, I just shrug my shoulders and shake my head and move on.
And I don’t really remember the first thing we purchased together. Or our first fight (Good God – there have been so many – how can a human remember them?). Ok , I do remember the first time we met or the first time he took me out.
And kinky stuff? Who would want to see this beached whale in anything kinky???? And which whale buys kinky stuff for herself?

You see my point? I’m beyond all this. Love has happened and happened long ago. I’m never going to be a giggly newly-wed again. I’m never going to wonder – what the first kiss will be like? The bedroom has long since been associated purely with sleep and sleep alone. And there is a gate-crasher who sleeps between us. We rarely buy things on the impulse. Everything is a well thought of decision. When my eyes seek him out across a crowded room – its merely to gesture ‘could you handle this kid of yours? He’s driving me nuts.’ Its been 3 years since we’ve gone out – just by ourselves. And even when we do – we end up talking about sonny. No more do we have huge fights. Mostly because we don’t wanna scare sonny. So there is no major making up happening.
And this pregnancy – its all been there, done that.

Of course I’m with the man I love. I’ve borne him 2 kids. But life somehow has changed lanes and I’m never gonna get onto that highway again. I’m driving in a service road that says 40kmph and I am looking at all those snazzy cars racing away at 100kmph. And I’m thinking – I used to be that Porsche once. How did I become this Toyota??

And I realize – I have worked towards getting to be this Toyota. It has taken months, weeks, years to getting to this place where life is stable. Where I don’t need to wonder – what hubby’ll think about something. I already know the answer. I know what he will like and what he is bound to dislike. After a point of time, our likes and dislikes have merged – so its easy making the choice. Where the thrill has been replaced by a sense of knowledge. Where the throb is now called a pulse. Where mere physical intimacy alone is not the thing that binds us together. We have a lot lot more that holds us together. Where he just has to say ‘hey you remember when…..’ and he need not complete the sentence, I know what incident he’s referring to. Where love is not the rush I feel when I see him or think about him, it’s the constant hum that stays with me. Where wonder is replaced by knowledge.

And so my dear M – I am putting down my twinge of envy to pregnancy hormones (see I don’t have monthly periods – so preggie hormones are the next best bet to put blame on). And I am hoping and praying that you and AB too – someday will get onto this service road and chug along at 40kmph.

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