Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What makes us a parent?

The other day I was watching Anand trying to wake up Megha because it was past her feed time. He was kissing her tiny little face and was saying, "how do you wake up a girl as beautiful as Megha?" and answers his question himself saying, "by lots of kisses and hugs". It moved me to tears, though I didnt show it outside. This is exactly how i have imagined they both would bond and I was delighted to find that I had not been mistaken.

He also took/takes care of both of us so well that my sister said she is almost jealous :) who wouldnt be proud to hear that compliment. He feeds her (formula supplement in nights) during the middle of night and gently coaxes me into getting some sleep myself even though he himself is tired. I guess this is what makes us a parent; being responsible for what you have created/accepted.

This reminds me of another wonderful incident which has happened a while ago when I was still working in UK. There was this wonderful couple who had been trying for kids for 15 years. When all else was tried, their last hope was adoption. They were matched with a teenage girl (through an agency) who was just 12 weeks pregnant when they had known her. Till the time she was close to her due date they were very involved in her progress, made a nursery and weaved all the dreams a parent would.
2 weeks before she was due to deliver, the couple received a notification from the girls lawyer saying that the girl changed her mind and that she was no longer willing to put the child for adoption and that they should terminate all the communication with her with immediate effect.
When the couple had known this, they were so broken heart that I didnt see the lady at work for 3 full weeks. We were all so sorry for her.

3 months later they received another call from the agency telling them that another match has been found. This time they were matched with a 2 week old baby!! They didnt have to wait months now! The lady received this call when she was at work and before rushing to take custody of their new daughter, she announced it at work, "I have just become a momma". Most of us cried with joy!! This  happiness was long due. 7 years later, the girl is a beautiful little English lady :)She couldnt have got better parents if she searched herself!

I thought I understood their happiness until I had Megha myself. Nothing can be as fulfilling as seeing your child content, sleeping in your arms and completely in love with you and you with her.

So, what I am trying to say is that, it doesnt matter how a child comes into your life. It could be biological/surrogate/adopted, what matters is that you are there for her when she needs you. You are there when she wakes up hungry in the middle of the night or needs a change or needs a comforting touch when she is having difficulty passing gas or even falling asleep. This is what makes us a parent. Agree?


Its been exactly 2 weeks since Megha was born. In a way it feels like I have known her forever! Maybe because I have known her since April. We had her second doctors appointment today and as of now she has put on almost 500 grams since her birth! Her doctor was extremely happy and told us to continue doing the great work we have been doing with her; which of course made Anand and I happy.

Recovering from a C-section is certainly not easy. I had a lot of difficulty sitting up (still have in certain positions), have to take a lot of pain medication and dont even get me started on side effects of all that! I literally have to think of Niagara falls every time I pee for the first 10 days! Its really not funny........maybe a little bit funny :)

Snatching a few hours of sleep is as precious as a pot of gold. Anand and mom help me a lot; I dont know what I would do without them! He even took a day off today. I secretly feel that he was missing Megha a lot after going to work for 2 days and hence this sudden day off :)
I wouldn't blame him. Who would want to leave such an adorable child behind and go to work!? I certainly wouldn't.

Though internet/doctors/friends/family say that hiccups, gas and occasional throw-ups are pretty common among newborns, every time she does any of those I feel so sorry for her. She seems to be fine but poor thing, she is so tiny and her face turns all pink when she hiccups. I hope its not hurting her.

Anyway, its 1:00 AM now and I just fed her and rocked her to sleep. As she lies down in her crib, I saw her beautiful face and I start to recollect what I have done in my present life to deserve her and I am having a hard time coming up with an answer. It sure must be Anand's good deeds :)
Life completely changed...for good.

P.S: Her first function, her punyajanam/naamakaran story to follow.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Birth story of Megha

As we have all heard many a time before, good things come when they are ready to come. It was something like that with our daughter too. It’s going to be a loooong post J. I just could not bring myself to cut down any detail as I want to remember this day exactly as it had happened even years later.

When my due date (13th Dec) has come and gone without any signs of labor, I started to panic thinking I am going to be induced. I have heard before many times that it could lead to a C-Section. I started wondering if all the months of going to prenatal yoga, religiously walking at least 45 mins a day, every day could not help me prepare my body to go into labor naturally, what else will. By then it was already close to 3 weeks since my mom arrived and all my friends and relatives have started asking, “Where is the baby?” We three (Anand, Mom and I) have taken this as a sign of ‘calm before the storm’ and did everything we love; reading, watching movies and just relaxing in general.

15Dec, 2:00 AM: I had severe stomach pain kinda thing. I felt like I need to poop (sorry, I didn’t mean to gross you out, but just prepared, labor isn’t a walk in a park). I made 4 trips to the washroom in the subsequent hour without success. By then I was 100% sure I was in labor because, 1. The pain was intense, 2. Pain had a set pattern (lasting for a few seconds between 20 mins each).

3:00 AM: Woke up my hubby and told him that I was in labor. He was still half asleep when I told him that. His response was, “you poor dear, come lets sleep together”. Just when I was about to repeat that I was in labor, another contraction hit me and looking at my face he understood that its finally time for a baby!! He started timing my contractions (an app which we downloaded in both our phones) and they were lasting about 30 secs long every 15 mins. I took a shower and changed into something comfortable. Oh by the way, shower didn’t help me much like most women who assured me that it would.

4:00 AM: Woke up my mom, called the hospital and we started to hospital. By then I was having contractions every 6 mins, lasting for about 45-50 secs. They were much more intense. To be honest, I didn’t have ‘dull’ pain per se. The pain was intense since 2:00 AM; or so I thought. What did I know!

5:00 AM: The ride to the hospital was a nightmare. The hospital was under 15 mins away from home and I would have got, perhaps, 3 contractions in the car. But sitting in the car was so difficult. I was struggling not to scream in pain.
The nurses checked me and told me that I am still 1 CM dilated. How is that even possible I didn’t know? I was in so much pain that I thought I should be at least 3 CM. The 1 CM news dampened my spirits because I still had 9 more CM to go and the pain was already getting unbearable. Nurses gave me a dose of morphine and gravol and sent me home.

7:00 AM: Contractions really intensified and with each wave I was pretty much screaming. Hubby was really supportive and was reminding me to relax and breathe deeply with each contraction. His presence was sure a calming effect.
All the while we were timing the contractions and by 7:30 they were really strong, lasting for about a minute, every 3-4 mins. We headed to the hospital again. If they send us back, that’s fine. We were prepared to wait in the parking lot, should that happen.
8:00 AM: The nurses checked me again and told me that I progressed very fast. I was hoping she would say, “yippie, 10 CM”, but I know it was too ambitious to even think of it J. She told me that I am 4 CM and that if I want, I could have the epidural now to control the pain. I immediately agreed. By then I was already in the hospital gown and in the labor and delivery room.

9:00 AM: Still no epidural. I asked Anand to check what is taking so long and reported back that the anesthesiologist was super busy that day assisting the emergency C-Sections. The nurse gave me a gas mask (Nitrous Oxide) to control the pain. I was breathing so hard through each contraction that the mask was vibrating with each breathe. If it were any other time, I would have found it hilarious to watch myself do that but through the pain, it was totally a different experience. I was 5.5 CM by then.

11:00 AM: Between 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM nothing much has changed other than the intensity of pain. Somewhere in between I remember yelling at my hubby because he was constantly checking the contraction monitor and would say, ‘its almost over…3 more sec’s for this contraction’. Initially I didn’t realize how he knew it was going to be over but when I realized he is checking the monitor, it some how made me mad. Why? I can’t explain that myself! By then I stopped asking him to check for the anesthesiologist because I didn’t see any point anymore. Each time I got the same answer from the nurse. He is really busy with an emergency but he will be with you shortly.
Somewhere in between my water bag was ruptured. With each contraction Anand was applying counter pressure on my lower back which really helped a lot. This was something which we had learned through the child birth lessons we took a few weeks before.
My mom was a big support too. She was reminding me all the time to try and relax when a contraction hits me and she held my hands in an attempt to calm me down.
I also had an intense urge to push. When I told this to my nurse, she told me that under no circumstance I should now because I wasn’t ready yet for that.

12:00, Noon: The anesthesiologist came and wanted the nurse to check my progress. I was 8.5 CM dilated. Doctor suggested me that I take the epidural because I could still be hours away for 10 CM and because I was already in so much pain that I could kill.
Getting the epidural was another nightmare. The anesthesiologist explained the risks associated with it (which really aren’t many when you compare the benefit (pain relief) vs risk (any risk at that point!). I was told, no yelled, by the nurse to hold still while the epidural is being administered. Anand held me tight and I hugged him while sitting up in a cat-like position. Trust me; holding still is not easy when you are at the peak of a contraction. Once it’s administered, I found relief even before the next contraction. God bless the epidural!
All the while Anand has been encouraging me that I was doing so well and that we would be having our baby in our arms in a few hours or even less.

12:15 PM: The doctor came in to check me how I am progressing. This was the first time she came to see me; all the while I was being cared for by the nurses. I had an appointment with her that afternoon and she joked, “so you would be missing your appointment this afternoon”. I would have laughed but could manage just a shrug at that point.
I surprised everyone including myself when the doctor announced that I am 10 CM dilated. It was less than 15 mins since I had taken the epidural.

This is exactly when the problems began. Baby’s heart-rate started to fluctuate. One minute it was 142 and the next it was 60. It was going up and down no matter how much my doctor tried to stabilize it by changing the position of me lying down.
Baby was also not exactly in the right descending position.
Finally she decided to give me 2 tries to push the baby out while she assisted me with forceps. I tried my best; I really did try my best to push but it just was not sufficient to bring the baby out.

Both the tries failed and my doctor decided to do an emergency C-Section; the one thing which I wanted to avoid all along.

While they wheeled me out, Anand went to change into the hospital outfit. He also updated my mom about the status as she was sent out during the last stages of my labor.

12:50 PM: I was prepared for the C-Section while Anand joined me. In the beginning I was scared but while the surgery to bring the baby out was being performed, I didn’t get scared at all. On my left side, Anand held my hand while on my right; my anesthesiologist was monitoring all the vitals.

1:02 PM: By the grace of God, by the advancement of medical science, by the wishes and blessings of all our well-wishers and most importantly by the unconditional love and support of my husband Anand, Megha Reddiar was born on 15Dec2011 at 1:02 PM.
She weighed 2.45 KG's and measured 45 CM at birth. She was soooo perfect! I had never seen an infant more beautiful ( a mothers opinion).

While her first cry brought rolling tears in my eyes, hubby’s eyes went misty, a sight i had not witnessed until then since the day i had known him. Its true, I forgot the pain I had gone through when I held her for the first time. Some might argue that its got to do with the drugs I was just administered, but I like to believe, even otherwise the joy would still have been the same. 

Postpartum experience write up soon to follow.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Just forgetful or Dementia?

It is a widely known fact that being forgetful is a part of pregnancy. But of late I seem to be forgetting many things which I would normally not. I am feeling more anxious as the days to my due-date get closer; in fact with just hours to go, I feel overwhelmed with fear. This preoccupied state of mind isn't good for anyone!! I wish I were not like this. All I think about is baby, labor, pain and safe delivery. I wonder if all pregnant women feel like this in the last stages or its just me.

Worst of all, when someone asks, 'why did you forget or how can you forget this', I feel so bad and immediately get defensive. Will this state pass or is it an early onset of dementia? What say? Surely I could do better?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

God's must be mad with me! 2 days before due date!

I am exactly 2 days away from my due date (13th Dec) and so far I don't have much of any symptoms of approaching labor to speak of. This morning I went out to run a few errands and hence I walked. A lot. As in 2 and half hours. Other than have a terrible back pain which wouldnt go away with a Tylenol, still nothing!
I always imagined I would go into labor sooner than my due date. I keep getting calls from well-wishers asking me about this and I am almost guilty that we still dont have a baby :(

Now, dont get me wrong; I want baby to decide when she wants to come herself, but this waiting is almost killing me :( Its practically taking me 1 full minute to turn sides while sleeping. I am not complaining, but it must be hilarious to watch me move at this snail pace...LOL!

Now, why do I think God's are mad with me? I was reading a post in some forum where a guy tells another guy that if he were God, he would be pissed with other guy for not praying on time.
Now, I havent been praying on time. I wonder if its because of that I am still not in labor? Oh well, it cant be it right? When have I become so paranoid?

Anyway, below is our jasmine plant. I bought this 3 years ago and every fall (around early Oct) I take the plant and leave it indoors until summer (May). In these 3 winter's that its been with us, it never bloomed. It only blooms in summer. But this winter is an exception! I have so many buds on the plant today. This is how it looks like right now, right outside our baby's room. I wonder if its to welcome our little one :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Our Kutty baby seems to be a very active girl. Which parent wouldn't wish for a healthy, happy and an active baby? Often I go through many websites where many expectant moms are freaked out that they dont feel their baby move for long time. Their doctors advise them to count the movements every so often. Lucky for us we dont have that issue at all. Our Kutty moves like its going out of fashion! I am not kidding!

I have already been told that I should expect less kicks/movements because there is hardly any space for her move in this last stages. She doesn't kick anymore but boy she moves and pokes! Sometimes she pokes so much so that we can clearly see the shape of her feet! Sometimes she hurts me a lot by constant poking and I try to gently coax her to keep her feet to herself. Anand loves it when she pokes and he keeps asking her to poke me! Just this evening she was poking way too much and he thoroughly enjoyed it :)

We might actually call her (pet name of course) Pokemon :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

And Jill came tumbling after...

Do you remember the rhyme Jack and Jill? Isn't it one of the first rhymes we have all learned as kids?

Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after.

When Anand isn't working night-shifts, we try and sing a few rhymes for our baby. Well, we have just started doing it together. Anand's favorite rhyme is Jack and Jill and every rhyme he sings HAS to end with, "And Jill came tumbling after". Even twinkle twinkle little star has to end with, "And Jill came tumbling after". Its so funny that we both end up laughing when we are singing the last line :)

The other day he was telling Kutty baby a tamil story about a kaka (crow), vadai (spicy doughnut made with lentils) and  kullanari. Even that ended with, "And Jill came tumbling after". LOL

In the beginning our Kutty was recognizing only my voice. Now she also recognizes her Dad's voice when he asks her to kick me from inside :) Sometime she even complies.

Just this morning Anand was worried that she is in birthing position, which means she is upside down. He is saying, "my poor baby is upside down, i hope she is comfortable"; if given a choice he would sure want me to sit/lie down upside down so that baby is not upside down :) 

We both cant wait to meet her; she is so loved by her dad that I hardly doubt that she already has him wrapped around her tiny little fingers even before she is born.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Baby Shower and my last day at work

I am very lucky to have not one but two baby showers! Apart from what my parents and my SIL hosted (see here), my colleagues at work also put together a wonderful baby shower at work on 07Nov2011. I was quite surprised that they actually pulled this off so well. We had a potluck and all my colleagues brought so much yummy food. I also received lots of gifts and some money to buy more gifts for our baby.

Below are a couple of pictures. I know, they are way too dark but hey, I am glad to be a part of team who cared enough to put something together for me.

 One more...
I worked until 16th Nov, 2011. I am off until Dec2012. I am so much looking forward to being at home not doing anything until the due date :) Mom also came yesterday and she has taken over cooking. Now all I got to do is relax and prepare for labor :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Its finally ready! I started planning things to buy for our baby even before I fell pregnant. In fact I remember collecting a few baby items way back in college when I was working with Selfridges in England; these have been passed on to my first nephew who is 6 now.

Anyway, back to our nursery...Here are a few pictures. Anand did a fantastic job (don't you agree) in getting the right color scheme and the sticky tape which goes around the room.
Here is how it looks like when seen from the rooms entrance. Sorry, the light is dim.
My SIL has graciously passed on our nephews crib and bouncer/swing. The colors do not show up much here but we chose purple for the room color which matches the crib mattress set. Beside that is the gorgeous swing.

We got to buy the ottoman/glider which I am planning on using for rocking our kutty baby to sleep or even breastfeed. The beautiful woolen shawl was hand-knit by Anand's friends mom for our princess. It goes just perfect with the rest of the room. Here you can also see the swing set more clearly.
Inside the crib is a musical doll which my best friend sent me through the registry. When my second nephew was born about an year and a half ago, I bought the same one for him. He seems to have loved it! The music is so soothing that it will put even us to sleep :)
And here is the change station. My nephew did not take to sleeping in the crib. Lets see if I get to use this change station and the crib for our baby.
Below is a picture of our baby's shelf. Some of them are gifts from friends and family and some of them we bought. I know, I still have to organize a lot, considering I should not be filling up shelves even before our baby is here!
Her first closet; still have to wash a few cloths.
From the other end of the room...
I have no idea who these princess are! I better learn their names before my princess arrives. I better ask my best friend (whose hubby works in Disney) their names! I know one is Cinderella (got to be), Dora and Jasmine..,dont know which one is who and the last name I am missing. This sticky tape goes around the room.
Below is one of the first gifts I received from my good friend in California. Well, she actually sent me a gift card and I bought this beautiful little Baby Einstein play gym.
Lastly a place where Anand or I can rest up while watching over our baby. That's the nursing pillow that I had bought about 3 months ago.
So, do you like it??

Hospital Tour

6th Nov, 2011 is when we went for our hospital tour. Living here means we don't have many choices of hospitals to choose since the government pays for it. Of course they must, considering we pay SOOOOO much tax every pay check.

The hospital which we chose (Milton District Hospital) is less than 15 minutes away from home and that's the main reason we chose the place. I have been there before but not to obstetrics side of it. It was small and cozy.
The only thing I noticed is that its not at all as sophisticated as I had thought it would be. I could have felt differently had I not seen the ward where my SIL delivered a baby in another hospital. But I guess we cannot expect 2 hospitals to be the same just like we cannot expect 2 babies to be the same.

One awesome thing happened there! I asked the tour guide some question and she asked us to wait outside the ward so that she can bring it and show us. It so happened that there was another lady in labor right behind the door we were waiting. I could clearly make out that she was in last stages of labor because 1. She was  moaning as if she was in great pain (which I bet she was) 2. Doc was saying, "I can see the head".

Neither Anand or I were comfortable standing there! I was really scared because that could be me in less than 6 weeks from the date!
As I was considering running away to the parking lot through back exit, we heard a tiny cry followed by babies wailing! I got tears in my eyes. Within moments I could hear the nurses and doctors shouting "congratulations". I am still getting goose bumps while narrating this. I had never really been this close to hear someone in labor AND hear the baby come!

Childbirth/ Prenatal Classes

Quite a lot has happened since the last time I wrote down here. Oct29 and Oct30, 2011, we hired a certified Doula to come home and 'prepare' us with a few things before babies arrival. Debra, Deb, like she likes to be called has come home for 6 hours. She was so amazing!

One of the main reasons we hired her was because she seems to believe what we believe in regarding childbrith. Hiring her would mean our beliefs would be fine tuned to an extent where we can implement what we want and how we want. Since I am not as articulate as her, I am copying what she has written in her website, which pretty much matches what we want.

  • I believe... a natural birth benefits the mother and the baby.
  • I believe... in the instinctive abilities of the mother and her baby in childbirth. Trusting in these abilities enables a woman to actively plan and participate in her birth experience.
  • I believe... every woman deserves to be accompanied at her births by a caring, supportive attendant who understands the childbirth process.
  • I believe... the father’s presence comforts a woman and makes her feel cared for and supported in ways only he can. As your doula I coach the father in comfort techniques and help you work together as a couple to prepare for and progress through your birth experience.
  • I believe... that breastfeeding is optimal for the health of the baby and the mother. Breastfeeding is a natural experience but it often requires some learning for both the mother and the baby. As your doula, I provide prenatal preparation, help you initiate breastfeeding and offer guidance during the early breastfeeding period.
She  also took us through the below topics:

  • Pregnancy and nutrition information:
    • discuss your concerns
    • help mother and partner prepare for birth
  • Pre-labour and labour signs
  • Relaxation techniques and comfort measures
  • What to expect in the normal course of labor
  • Medications and interventions associated with childbirth
  • Postpartum needs of the newborn and mother
  • Preparation for infant care
  • Breastfeeding preparation
Deb also gave us loads of material and had also taken us through the serious health warning signs we should watch for. She also gave us material about how Anand can help relieve a bit of pain my various massage techniques.
Most importantly she gave us both the same questioner about what we want during labor. It was the most important part of the session because it clearly showed us where we both stand and whether or not we are on the same page. Out of 10, we both had 7 in common, which was great! But like they say, there is no wrong answer. Its just a different perspective.  

Over all, we both are really happy that we have chosen her as a child birth instructor and I for one would surely recommend any expectant parent to consider getting an instructor. Reading online and through books was one thing and going over our concerns through an instructor was something else altogether.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Another depressing day....

...I seem to be having a lot of them lately. Many say that as the term comes to a close, its is pretty common to have anxiety attacks, it is common to want to cry and it is common to even want to throw up. Apparently the 1st trimester returns in 8th and 9th month!

Last night I had yet-another nightmare that I had hurt my baby while driving. It was terrible, I woke up sweating at 3:30 AM and could not go back to sleep until it was time to wake up to work; needless to say I am dead tired now and its not even 10 AM! No one ever tells me that I will make a wonderful mom. I don't blame anyone; we Indians do not really express many things in actual "words". But when I want to be reassured, what should I do? It feels so weird wanting to be reassured. Its depressing feeling this way.

I wonder if all this will come in the way I bond with our baby when she is here. I hope not. I keep chanting the mantra, "I will be fine; I will be an OK mom, if not a great one"....but will I be?

Friday, October 14, 2011

A few fall pictures!

Last weekend, Anand and I went for a little ride around our beautiful little town we live in. Trees are changing colors and the weather was balmy and comforting. To top it all we even bought some Caramel macchiato. Ah! The bliss!

Oh BTW, have I mentioned? People are asking me if I am 40 weeks when I am only 32!!! Why cant they mind their own business? I know I have grown fat but do they have to rub it in? My family (Anand, Sis in law, FIL and parents) are the only people who commented that I look good. So kind of them...if its not for family, I would have started feeling inferior that I am showing so much.
Click on the picture for the original size (of the picture! Sorry, had to squeeze that in for the obvious reason I mentioned above)
Picture 1:
Picture 2:

Life before Google...

...must have been very difficult isn't it? For everything under the sun (above/beyond/whatever) there is an answer available in Google! What would mom's do without Google? What did my mom do without Google?! Of course she had my grand ma to put her fears to rest but I seem to rely on Google for most of my concerns.

1. Why is our kutty baby not moving on my right side as much as she does on left? Google it!
2. Need more information on Cord Blood banking? Google it!
3. I have a buzzing sensation in my lower back. Am I in labor? Google it!
4. What should the color of new born's poop be? Google it! (They even show pictures of how its supposed to look/smell like)
5. Why do I look like I am 40 weeks pregnant when I am only 32? Google it!
6. How much milk should i give her? Google it!
7. How much should she sleep? Google it!
8. I walked too fast today. Have I given a concussion to my baby?  Google it!

I tell ya! Google seem to effectively replace my instincts and put my fears to rest. Its a great comfort to know that at least 100's of women have gone through same bizarre doubts/fears and everything else rolled into one through Google. It sure is a blessing for me!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Second guessing...

These days I seem to be second guessing everything I do! I used to feel this way in the initial months and the anxiety seems to be returning. I am constantly worried about how will I fare as a parent. Whether or not I will be able to provide a safe and secure home she so much deserves.

Books say that most moms go through this phase and I have to remind myself constantly that I am only human. No matter what anyone else is saying, I am only human. I cannot do everything well; everything well everyday and everything perfect consistently. Else I will go crazy with this worry that I will not make a good mom.

Monday, October 3, 2011

God Bless the Girl Friends!!

Yes, whatever we would do with out them? I have this colleague of mine who has delivered a baby last year. Since the time she is back at work she keeps giving me the valuable tips which otherwise I wouldn't know.

The other day she told me about the registry at Babies R Us. Apparently if we go there in person and open a registry we get a bunch of free stuff along with lessons regarding childcare/breastfeeding/$10 gift card etc. I went there and opened a registry specifically for this. And lo! I received: (picture will be attached later)

Feeding bottle

huh? I forgot already but there were quite a few of them :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Nightmare!

The book (What to Expect When you are Expecting) told me that its fairly common for me to have nightmares. Actually this book has become my savior, my messiah from above.We don't get a lot of support from the doctors here; I mean they are OK but I don't have the luxury to call my doctor when ever I have a doubt. In situations like this, I heavily rely on this one book. 

What the book didn't tell me was that Anand (or every partner) goes through his own share of nightmares trying to work around the fact that soon he would be called, "dad". Yesterday I woke up at 5:00 AM, just like any other day and was having breakfast. Out of the blue Anand said, "make sure you set the security alarm on when you are alone; don't forget".

There really should be a book which focuses on what a partner goes through too. We seem to be so completely focused on women during pregnancy (rightly so) that we almost forget that it takes Two to Tango. We (society) expect them to be a rock/strength and what not when they are also going through the life changing event to parenthood. They have their own share of worries and nightmares too and I wonder why no one feels comfortable talking about it (I am referring to books here).

Lately partners are also involved to an extent, like going along for doctors visits, prenatal classes etc but unfortunately they are still focused so largely on women. emm....something has to be done.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

First visit to OBGYN

I had my first visit to my OBGYN on 22nd Sept, 2011; until then I was seeing my family doctor itself. I have this thread sitting in my drafts for a while now since I dont really have much to add. Surprising eh? It really wasnt much. In fact i thought I would somehow develop a 'bond' with the OB since more than likely she would be delivering our baby. My meeting with her was so short that I am having trouble recollecting how she looked like.

The nurse I met there was a sweetheart though. Apparently she was practicing for over 40 years now and she really was smiling ALL the time. I wish she were also there along with me during labor. She also told me that I am just putting on the prescribed amount of weight, which is good. Phew! what a relief.

And yes, yesterday I gave my blood work for gestational diabetes. They actually took 4 vials of blood! What ever they need so much for? I was feeling very week all day yesterday because of that.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


The day before yesterday I made sambar and some subzi. I had the same for yesterdays lunch which didnt really agree with me. I started throwing up. Many times. Looking at myself throw up, I threw up more! lol.
So, told my colleagues that I am unwell and I rushed to my doctors office; I didnt want to be completely dehydrated.

When I reached my doctors office, it was FULL! :Sigh: When i initially called her, she asked me if I am throwing out any red, I said no. She then said that since I am throwing up so often, the next thing coming out would be that. I kinda freaked out. The last thing you want to hear is that. So, to be on the safer side I wanted to head to the emergency straight but my doctor said I should still see her first. I trusted her and went to see her in Milton from Toronto. The cab ride took forever and then the wait took forever.

When I did get to see her, I had already been feeling light headed for more than 3 hours and been throwing up constantly for more than 2 hours. She checked the baby's heart beat first and declared that its perfect. Thank God! The next step was to check my blood pressure and she said its a little low. My pulse apparently was a bit off too but that's because i had been sick hours now. Or that's what I was told.
She asked me to take small sips of water, take small bites of food in regular intervals. So, that's what I did. She diagnosed it as a stomach flu. I had been severely dehydrated by then and the light headed feeling continued. I went home from there and got some rest. My doctor also gave me a doctors note saying that I needed to rest for the next couple of days.

Hindsight, everything happened so quickly and before I know it was 5:30 PM and I am home. Before having lunch at 11:30, I started feeling a bit sick and thought it could be because I went to lunch room to warm up my food. I have always felt sick in the lunch room at work, since the beginning of pregnancy. So I didnt think about  it much. I forced myself to have half of my lunch and headed out to get some air and walk a bit. By then I was feeling a little light-headed. I called my sister and we talked for about 30 mins. After that, I couldn't talk to her much as I felt the intense urge for the first time to throw up. Its when it has started. And it didnt stop much after that.
On my way to the clinic Anand commented that lunch smelled a bit funny. I should have trusted my instincts and should not have forced myself to have lunch. Anyway, since I always feel sick in lunch room, I didnt think much about it.

As of now, I am home resting a bit. Feeling OK I think. Still feel a little light headed but I am trying to drink water and eat small bites, regularly.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Baby baby...Yes Momma?

I was reading 'what to expect when you are expecting' and came to know that by now baby's hearing is very well developed and that she would start responding to my voice if I start taking to her. I have also read online about it.

So, I thought I would give it a try; which I did a week ago. To my utter delight and surprise our kutty baby also responded! I just spoke to her a few cooing words keeping my hands on tummy and she moved and kicked! I thought it could just be a coincidence. So, I tried everyday after that and she responds with kicks and sometimes with movements. I feel this is nothing short of a miracle.

Usually I talk to her after dinner when I am lying down, when everything is quite and I am relaxed. Last night was funny. She started moving a lot even before I went upstairs to bed. So, after I finished my chores, I took one of the rhymes books and started singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star...Since she was already moving, I thought she would continue moving. But as soon as I started singing, she stopped moving. After I finished singing that rhyme 2-3 times, I stopped to drink water and then she began moving again.
So, I started singing again and she stopped moving and resumed only when I stopped singing!! So, we can conclude one of the two things now:

1. She is keenly listening to the song I am singing and hence stopped moving.
2. She is asking me to shut up.

Which one do you think is true?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Seemantham and Valaikappu - 31Aug2011

We celebrated my Seemantham (Godh Bharayi/ Baby Shower) on 31Aug2011 in our home, hosted by sister-in-law, brother-in-law, father-in-law parents and of course Anand.We have invited very close family and a few close friends.

A little bit of history about Seemantham (taken from In Tamil Nadu, the Seemantham ceremony marks a woman's passage into motherhood and celebrates her fertility. Seemantham is a ritual performed widely throughout Tamil Nadu by Hindus, Muslims, and Christians in preparation for a woman's first delivery, and its primary functions are to satisfy the pregnant woman's desire, cravings etc; bless her, and ensure a safe delivery and a healthy baby. Mantras are intended to purify the fetus and to request Brahmavu, Agni, Ragadevi, Vishnu, Soman and Gangadevi to protect it, to make the delivery smooth and to make the child healthy and intelligent. It takes about one hour. Seemantham is only for the first child. 

This ceremony is performed during the odd months of pregnancy mostly during the fifth or seventh month for the expectant mother in her mother's house. Prayers are invoked for the well-being of the mother-to -be and the fetus. I am supposed be dressed up just like I did during my haldi ceremony before wedding.

For convenience, mostly people do this seemantham and Valaikappu on the same day, which is what we did too.

I had taken a day off on 31st Aug. We (Anand, I and parents) woke up fairly late at about 7:30, had coffee and cereal. After organizing the last minute things, like getting all the puja items organized in plates ready to be used by the gurukkul/priest, I went off to take shower.
Oh ya, before that, I had made some curd rice and mom made some suji-halwa for nayvedyam.
Soon after I wore my new saree, my sister-in-law  (SIL), brother-in-law and our little nephew arrived with all other puja items to be used during ceremony (and boy oh boy, there were many).

Then my SIL put on my jadai naagam (flower adornment for hair) which she had ordered for me. I have missed out on this during wedding and hence I was really thrilled to be wearing this. After all, this would be the last time I would get a chance to wear this. 

By then a few of the guests we have invited started arriving. Soon after the gurukkul also arrived and the puja started. All of us were wearing traditional cloths, just like we did for our wedding. Ha ha ha, you can officially call me fat now :) And that heavy silk saree isn't helping much in that regard. Oh well, after the baby is here, I am hoping to be back to what I was before.
The Seemantham puja itself lasted about 30 mins and then the Valaikappu started with all the women applying kumkum, haldi, chandan, bangles and flowers. 
It truly was like a haldi ceremony during wedding. Thanks to my SIL who made this all possible and memorable. Below is the picture taken with parents.
Below is the picture with my SIL, BIL and little nephew. 
Below is the picture with my FIL.
We ordered food from Udipi, a vegetarian restaurant. According to our tradition, we needed to order rice verities for this function. So, the menu consisted of:
Tamarind rice, coconut rice, bisibeli bath, sweet pongal, curd rice, medu vada and sambar, aloo gobi, beans, papad, pickles, ladoo, fruits and of course coke. Everyone said that food was very nice.

Every one brought so many gifts. While I cannot name each and everyone of them, I am truly thankful and very moved for all the thoughtful gifts. 

Thanks to my parents (and sister) who have brought saree and gifts to Anand and I from India. Thanks to my Father in law for being here on our special day and your gifts.

A special thanks to my sister-in-law and brother-in-law who have put together a bottomless big box of gifts! The more I see the more gifts seem to come out of that box-of-gifts!! Thank you soo much for making my day so memorable. You both (and Karthy) have truly helped make this day one of the most memorable days of my life, perhaps second only to the day I got married to Anand.

Without you all, it wouldn't have been the same. From the bottom of my heart I can say that I couldn't have asked for a better day. 

And lastly, thanks to Anand without whom none of this would have been possible. 

Our baby is truly blessed.

The first kicks!

I have been feeling the baby movements since the time I crossed 16 weeks and a few kicks more recently, like after 20 weeks. They were irregular and I can hardly pin point a single day.

But for the first time ever Anand felt the kicks when he touched my tummy on the evening of 2nd September, 2011 while watching TV. He was so happy and he felt the kicks thrice. He says its an interesting feeling :) Since they are still not very regular, he couldn't feel them again but I am sure that's going to change as the days progress.
Just wanted to log this date down :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

In Progress...

A started painting our babies nursery today! I am sooo exited! I just turned 24 weeks and its getting to feel real now. With tiny movements and occasional kicks, it finally feels like I am going to be mom. Once its ready, I will post a few pictures :)

My godh bharayi (seemantham/Indian baby shower) is coming up on 31st Aug and we have invited very close friends and of course family. My Father in law is also going to be here for our babies first ever formal celebration!

Friday, August 19, 2011

If only all dreams come true!

Last night, for the first time I had a dream about our girl. I read a lot of stories where expectant moms pour out their hearts about the wonderful dreams they had about the babies. After reading those I used to wonder why I never have any dreams or doubt if I can be a good mom or not if I do not dream about our girl.

Well, Kutty baby kinda knew this I guess. I had a dream that she is born and is perfect! The labor was painless and I hardy felt any pain even during active labor! Ha...if only all dreams come true.
She was a pro right from day one in sleeping. As soon as I put her in her crib (which my SIL generously passed on from my nephew), she falls asleep and wakes up only when she needs a feed! Anand and I couldnt believe itseems that our girl has also become a pro in feeding at right times.
She also coo's and smiles at everyone and had not made any fuss at any time in the day or night!

Best of all, she was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen! I know, every parent feels the same about their children.

I have no idea why I got this wonderful dream; I could use another such dream today as well :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Before I forget..

As I said before, I had my 20th week ultra sound on 27th of July. I wanted to write this post so that I don't forget all about it in a few days. The ultra sound itself lasted for close to 45 minutes. Since I was lying down on my back, my tailbone started bothering me badly. So I crossed my legs and tried to lie down still.
Our girl started immediately imitating what the mom was doing! When my technician told me about that, I literally busted our laughing.

The way she told that we were having a girl was quite funny too. Anand, mom and dad were there at that time with me and she said, "see, there is nothing between her legs, so more than likely its a girl!"

Now, I only hope she takes after her dad when in comes to intelligence; no kidding.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Shopping Mania

I am yet to see a woman who is not interested in shopping. Our baby girl is no exception. Before we found out about the gender, my colleague and I were browsing through the Babies r us book. I have noticed that she was fluttering a lot in my tummy. I didnt bother much about that though.

Couple of days ago I was talking to another friend of mine about shopping and she was fluttering wildly again. I thought it was a mere coincidence.

Day before yesterday I was taking to mom about shopping and lo! she started fluttering again! Our girl sure is turning out to be a typical shopping-loving-girl :) She is super active whenever I talk about shopping :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

So...we finally find out the gender!!!

...and much to the delight of Anand and I, its a GIRL!! I had my 20th week ultra sound yesterday and that's when we found out. My parents arrived yesterday from India and they accompanied me and Anand to the screening. After close to an hour of probing, everything is checked and we were able to see our girl.
She is slowly growing big! Just like me...LOL.

My appointment with OB is not until 28 weeks.

Here are some fun facts as it stands now.

The fetus now weighs about three-quarters of a pound/ 360 grams and is approximately 10.5 inches/ 27 centimetres long from crown to heel. The eyebrows and eyelids are fully developed and the fingernails cover the fingertips.

""""There's a saying: 'Little pitchers have big ears'. If you talk, read, or sing to your baby, expect her to hear you. Some studies have found that newborns will suck more vigorously when read to from a book they heard frequently in utero. If you want to try, pick a book now and read it out loud. Make sure you won't mind reading it over and over once the baby is here. It may be your baby's favorite bedtime story for a long time after birth""""

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Our Nephew is turning a BIG ONE today!

Our little nephew is turning ONE today. It only feels like yesterday that I received a call that my SIL's labor has started and that they will be heading to the hospital shortly. And shortly enough, its one year already! We were badly stuck in the rush hour traffic and couldn't reach there on time. He arrived before we reached there. We received a call that he is here when were on road.

Swaddled in a blue blanket, he was looking absolutely adorable. Now he crawls and almost walks ALL by himself, much to the delight of everyone who sees him!!
During my SIL's pregnancy, I was researching a lot about what consists of a hospital bag, what to take etc. That's coming in handy for me now. Just this morning Anand was mentioning that we need to buy a hospital bag. The cheapo that I am, think we can use one of our suitcases and it would serve the purpose just fine :)
My parents would be here by this time next week and I cant wait to see them! Its been an year and half since I had last seen them.

Anyway, many Happy returns of the Day to our nephew.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I am feeling well...

In the initial weeks, all that I was thinking was, "is it bed-time yet?" Now, things are improving and I can manage to stay awake until the train leaves the station (to and from work). Before, as soon as I sit in the train I used to fall asleep.
My appetite has also gone up sooo much. I am always hungry lately. So, I am packing healthy snacks like carrots, fruits etc. So far I have been successful in keeping the cakes at bay.

I also finished my 18 weeks as of yesterday! Time sure flies by. I am able to distinctly narrow down the baby movements from indigestion. Though I look more like 6 months pregnant instead of 4 and a half, I dont really feel 6 months. I also feel the 'weight' of the fetus now. Needless to say, my tail bone hurts ALL the time. Anand is telling me that he would recount this tail-bone-pain to our kid as pain-in-a** when it grows up :)

Anyway, here are a few updates about how our fetus should be developing:
Baby is approximately 6 inches/ 14.2 centimeters long from crown to rump and she weighs about 7 ounces/ 190 grams. Chest moves up and down to mimic breathing but it's not taking in air, only amniotic fluid.

I have my third ultra sound coming up on 27July. I am so exited as we can then find out the gender of our baby. I would also like to add that we have started gathering a few things for our baby. I bought a few cloths, bib's, booties, mittens, toys etc. Of course bought only few because I am 100% sure that both sets of grand parents want to buy these things anyway, as the date approaches. My SIL kindly dropped off the crib, bouncer/swing and a few more things.

So yes, things are moving along.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

One Fish Two Fish - Red Fish Blue Fish

Today I turn 16 weeks and 2 days. I know its waaaayyy too early to introduce rhymes to the little one. Bah! he/she has not even born yet! But many people I know told me that a happy mom = a happy baby. One of the things which make me happy (these days) is listening to rhymes; and so I started listening to them. One of my favorites is by Dr. Seuss, One Fish Two Fish. Here goes the rhyme.

One Fish Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish
Three Fish Four Fish, Old Fish New Fish
Five Fish Six Fish, Here comes more fish...

what next?

Another close favorite is:

One two three four five
Once I caught a fish alive
Six seven eight nine ten
But I let it go again
Why did you let it go?
Because it bit my finger so.
Which one did it bite?
The little one upon the Right.

I went to my regular prenatal appointment last night. It went good. I have increased 1 KG in one month, my doctor was happy. We also heard the heart beat again. Awesome...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Different ways of parenting...

I am sure every single parent under the sun have gone through what I am talking about. There are multiple ways of teaching, loving, disciplining (etc) a child. Just yesterday A and I were taking about a few baby-proofing-home things which we might consider doing for the benefit of the little one.
At the end of day, we all have nothing but the best interest of the child in our minds. So where do we draw the line when it comes to protecting a child vs letting him/her do what seems right to the child? Where does baby-proofing the home (inside AND immediate outside like backyard) start and ends? How to decide when is the right time to allow the kid to experiment and/or explore something which might potentially hurt him/her in the beginning but in the long run, perhaps its for the kid's good?

At 6 months? At 12 months? When?

How does all the new parents reach middle ground about parenting techniques? The this a common scenario amongst every new mom and dad? Is it common to doubt myself whether or not I will be a good mom?

I am feeling overwhelmed today. Is this emotional state common too and will this phase pass too?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

My First Yoga Lesson

Today I went to my first Prenatal Yoga session. It was nice. This is my first ever lesson in Yoga and I didnt know what to expect. I just vowed to myself that I will just go with an open mind...yeah that should do it. And it did!

Our instructor was sweet spoken and gentle. She assured me that most women start yoga for the first time only after they fall pregnant and that I should not worry. I guess yoga is one thing which is safe to start amidst all those "don't do this and don't do that's" during pregnancy.

The lesson started and we were asked to just lie down or sit in any position we are comfortable. I just sat and closed my eyes. While the instructor started on some gentle breathing lessons, I could actually feel myself relax. After that some stretching started. I have been having severe shoulder aches and I tried to relax them. Some of the stretching really helped. It lasted for 1 full hour and I think I can easily say that I like it!

I booked for 10 sessions, once a week. Once that is done, I am planning on taking more. That's all for now...too tired to write anything :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Orange+Apple = Oraple

We went to our cottage last weekend and just like every day, A started making fresh fruit juice for me. Only after we started did we realize that we only had 2 oranges (he usually makes juice with 3). Now, in order to bridge the gap, he decided to mix 2 oranges and 1 apple and called it Oraple :)

It was awesome! If you have not tried it already, I suggest that everyone try Oraple!

We also had a chance to taste sugar cane juice (ganne ka ras) for the first time this year. But neither the taste nor the color were like what we get back home. Specially the ones which feel like 'Manna from Heaven' on a hot summer day.

Some interesting things this baby Reddiar would see here :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Lets play the game!

We went for my regular doctors checkup yesterday and for the very first time heard our baby's heart beat! It was great...beating fast like a galloping horse. When the ultra sound was being done, I believe the heartbeat was 160. Even though many people write this off as an old wives tale, my doctor said that there is a high likelihood of a girl because the heart-rate is so high :)

We have recorded the heat-beat but I still have to figure out a way to upload that here.

I showed a 400 grams increase in my weight from my last doctors appointment.

So, whom do you think its going to be? Boy or a Girl? 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Introducing Baby Reddiar

I had my second Ultra Sound yesterday, 31May2011. It was amazing to see the baby again! The first time we saw it, we could see only heart beat and little apple kinda thing, since it was done as early as 7 weeks. Now after completing 12 weeks, baby is looking more like a Here is the First Ever picture of our baby.

It was awesome to see him/her. Yes, its still too early to know if its a boy or a girl. The technician commented that our baby is "very active" and that its moving so much :) It was swimming all over the place! It was so beautiful. One moment its here and the next moment its if it is a rose petal, gently floating in the air.

This reminds me, when I was young, my mom had some trouble teaching me swimming in the pool. Looking at our baby swim so much, I bet it would be a pro in swimming, even before it ever entered a bath tub :)
A was all smiles looking at his baby.

Second Trimester Begins Today

Already 3 months have gone by and as of yesterday, 31May2011, I officially enter my second trimester. A few changes have started taking place in our lives so far. I bought maternity cloths and I just started wearing them. They feel far more comfortable than my regular trousers. I bought a few more books, as of now I have some 6 books on pregnancy and child birth :)
I believe there are a few ways of calculating trimesters and my doctor prefers to calculate it according to development stage. So today I enter 2nd trimester according to her.

1. What to expect when you are expecting
2. What to expect in the First year
3. Chicken Soup for the Expectant mom's soul
4. The little Baby Whispers
5. All you need to know about feeding...

OK, that makes it 5. I swear I bought 6 and I forgot the title of the last one! Talk about being pregnant and forgetful.

A few fun facts about the baby as of today and how its going to look this 13th week:
1. Fingerprints have formed on the tiny fingers

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Doctors Appointment

Yesterday was a regular doctors appointment. It went just as expected! Nothing to worry and nothing to be concerned about. As of today I am 1t 11.2 weeks pregnant. Time sure seems to fly by! It only feels like yesterday that we first came to know about this.

Edit: As of yesterday, my BP is 92/135 and weight: 62 KGs. Its surprising though, I have not put on any weight since 5th week. My doctor said I better start eating more from 12 weeks and that she wants to see 3 pounds increase per month from 12 weeks onwards.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

In Love?

For everyone out there who had been in love at least once in their life time will know what I am taking about. This afternoon I was having cherries and realized how beautiful cherries looked (bah!). The flowers seem more appealing, the weather is good, You don't feel that hungry anymore, you feel like gazing at the moon, you feel like writing poetry...and the worst mushy thing, you actually believe that Karan-Johar-type-of-love-stories are possible.

So, yes...I am falling in love again. With our baby :)

On that note, these days my favorite song-to-listen is:

Monday, May 16, 2011

The First Formal Celebration

Yesterday, Sunday 15th May, 2011 was when we had first formally celebrated our baby with close family. My Father in law, Sis in law, Brother in law along with our little nephew came over to pay a visit.

They bought lovely flowers for me and A and LOT's of fruits! I told myself I will not let them go waste, which means I am having at least 3 fruits, apart from the fruit juices which A makes. In any case, fresh fruits are good for the baby, so why not?

While we spoke about Seemantham and Valikappu which we want to perform in August, our little nephew was happily tearing away news papers. He was looking absolutely adorable!

Just so it would feel nice to read later here is the menu for the party! Everything was ordered from Anjappar, our families favorite Chettinad restaurant. My sis in aw also got some yummy mutton kurma, home made. She also got us dessert for the evening, gulab jamoon.

Chicken 65, Nethili Fry (dried fish fry), Vangaram Meen (King fish fry), Veechu paratha, egg masala, vegetable kurma, prawns kurma, Chicken Biryani, Mutton Biryani, raita and chicken gravy.

After having to our hearts content, we took a nice family picture. Will attach this later!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Gathering Information...

Like any new parent, I also started looking through various websites and blogs about little babies. Its amazing to see tons and tons of information floating all around you so much so that it can be easily over whelming. Even Hubby seems to be doing his own research about birth stars, birth dates etc. Few weeks ago he really surprised me when he expressed that he would like the baby to be named after birth star. He never really comes across as particularly religious but then again, we never had a baby before either :)

While like most moms I also bought What to Expect When you are Expecting and going through babycentre website, I have also started looking into what to do while baby is here. While some say that if we know most things before itself, its not going to be fun anymore but I guess when it comes to your own baby, the more you know the better!

Some of the websites I am now looking at are:

Caring for a Newborn:

Here is something about Baby Bonding Tips from gohnson's baby:

Here is something about Baby Sleeping Tips:

More later...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Words of Wisdom

Today, like so many days I am reminded of a few words spoken by my maternal grandmother, whom everyone in our family lovingly call as Tathi. Even though she might not have had a great formal education, she is the best teacher ever in terms of day-to-day life's little issues.

I go back to the days when my first nephew, J, was only days old. He was a very demanding baby in the sense that he never used to sleep even for 30 minutes straight. This of course used to put a lot of pressure on my sister, on my mom, on my dad, on Tathi and sometimes even me (people who attended to him in the initial weeks). Sleeplessness is something which we never learn to handle well; even after we are over 30 ourselves.
On one particularly sleepless night when J was crying non-stop, has not had his milk and is refusing to go to sleep, every one were at their wits end.

At that time Tathi said something (in very simple and plain words) which I would never forget in my life. She said, "Its our baby. If not us, who else will show patience with him and take care of him?"

Since that day onwards, whenever I am overwhelmed with something, be it work or some household chore, I ask myself, "If not me, who else will do what I need to do?". It helps me get through the chore, no matter how tired I am. I am falling back on her words almost every day these days. And trust me, waking up in the morning also feels like a chore these days.

Just wanted to log this down so that I remember how much Tathi's words help me in my day-to-day life; especially since the time we are having a baby. I think no one else can replicate the love of grand parents.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Questions, questions and more questions...

Being first time parents is an awesome experience but its also nerve wrecking. Everything is new and like any other parent, hubby and I had tons of questions to ask our doctor. I even made a list of all the questions to ask on my first appointment after we came to know that I am pregnant. My doctor started laughing when she had seen a long list, complete with bullet points.
Since I have another appointment this evening (which means another list of questions), I thought I will write down what I asked her in my first appointment.

  1. How exactly are trimesters calculated?
  2. When will I be referred to OBGYN?
  3. What tests would I be referred to in first trimesters?
  4. What is a carrier screening and will I be given one?
  5. Is there any cheese or any particular meat/fish I should avoid?
  6. How to avoid gestational diabetes?
  7. What should I do if I find any spotting?
  8. What is considered a reasonable amount of exercise?
  9. When is the right time to start prenatal-yoga?
  10. What should my weight chart be like?
  11. Should my foot wear be flat?
  12. Often I get uncomfortable but manageable stomach pain. Is this normal?
  13. What is the best time to have prenatal vitamins and is the dosage 2 tabs per day?
  14. Is there a way to combat extreme fatigue?
  15. Is it ok to use alcohol-based mouth wash?

P.S: Today hubby made orange juice for me. 

    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    The Month of December

    Yesterday we found out exactly when I am supposed to deliver; Dec13, 2011. Its going to be quite an expensive month going forward I tell ya!

    Our baby would be born this month (hopefully, as we pray for a full term baby). Apart from this, my cousins birthday, my birthday, my sisters birthday and of course Christmas and New Year gifts on the same month! I bet we are going to be broke every year in December :)
    I am not complaining though :)

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    The First Milestone

    Well, actually its a second milestone (First month went by without me realizing it). Today I finished exactly 8 weeks (2 months) since the time I conceived. Feels unreal that so much time has gone by since the time we came to know I am Preg.

    I am not sure what all the parents usually do at this time period. I am (almost) feeling guilty that I didn't buy anything for our baby yet! Considering I am a shopping freak when it comes to kids cloths/toys etc, I myself am surprised that I didn't buy anything.
    Well, that's not completely true. Last night I did attempt to buy a little brown teddy bear but (as rightly pointed out by my hubby) it had a crocked eye and when you look at it, it looks at the ceiling instead of at you! So, we didn't buy it :)

    But I guess 8 weeks is a little too early to start spending on baby-things. But can there be anything like "too-early" or "too-late" when it comes to shopping?

    I also take this opportunity to mention a few fun facts about our baby at 8 weeks. Did you know that this "baby" I keep referring to is actually called a fetus at this stage? It has just graduated from being called an embryo. But for now, let me keep referring to this as baby, as fetus and embryo sound a bit too clinical for my taste.

    Baby now measures five-eights of an inch and is approximately the size of one small raspberry. Here it is:

    But don't worry, I have not hidden anything from anyone yet. We are not carrying triplets :)
    Below is how it looks like In Utero.

    The embryonic tail is gone, and all organs, muscles, and nerves are beginning to function. The hands now bend at the wrist, and the feet begin to lose their webbed appearance. Eyelids are beginning to cover the eyes.

    Amazing isn't it?


    My husband is so kind to make me fresh fruit/veggie juice every single day (Today it is grape juice); Even on the days he is working late into the morning (on his night shift), he makes sure to make juice for me.
    Like any wife, I brag about this to anyone and everyone who is willing to listen. So, it was my sisters turn the other day. When I mentioned this to her, she was very happy for me that I have a good husband. And then she added, "Good for him. People who serve pregnant woman accumulate lot of punyam (good karma); so tell him to help you everyday".

    When I mentioned this to my husband, he started laughing and since then, every time I tell him I spoke to my sister he asks me, "whats V's Thought of the Day today"?

    Friday, April 29, 2011 the drop of a spoon

    So, I guess this is another symptom of first trimester. I seem to want to cry for everything! I really have to be careful what I read, what I watch or what I listen, for, a smallest thing seems to threaten tears.
    Last night I was watching Ross and Rachael (Friends) break up and I cried. This morning I watch Kate Middleton walk down the aisle and I cry.
    I cry at the drop of a spoon!

    Thursday, April 28, 2011

    The First Ultra Sound

    My first ultra sound was on 26th April, 2011, exactly the day I completed 7 weeks. I took half a day off and DH (dear husband) was at home too. I was asked to drink lots of water. I did and believe me, if the appointment is even 5 mins late, I would have had some sort of an accident. But thank God, there was no delay.

    The technician gave me a paper gown to wear. While she was taking all the measurements of the fetus (which lasted about 30 mins), DH was patiently waiting outside. After that was the fun part! She called him inside and we got to see our baby for the very first time. Calling it awesome would be an understatement. It had a little heart which was beating so fast! Its truly a miracle, the way life forms inside.
    We just kept looking at it for a long time while the technician zoomed and explained the organs which have already formed.

    I think that's when I truly started believing that we are having a baby!

    I asked her if everything is fine. However, in accordance with the rules here, the results would be sent to my doctor who would discuss this with me.

    One good news is that, my blood test results are in and they look fine it seems! Bah...what a relief!

    Monday, April 25, 2011

    The anxiety kicks in...

    Today I am supposed to get my blood test result. But I did not. I believe that the clinic is closed because of Easter. Wow...clinics seem to be getting many more holidays than the schools themselves. Shouldn't they be open more often? another day of waiting continues.

    I was reading a few birthing stories this morning. Some of them were assisted (c-section and/or with epidural) and some of them are natural. What caught my eye was a process called "Water Birthing". I just make a mental note that I will have to start researching on this one, once I complete 3 months and I truly start to feel pregnant.

    I have zero tolerance for pain. However, since the dawn of time women have been doing it. So, something to think about. Meanwhile I am trying not to focus on the blood test result but on the positivity of it.

    Last night my sister in law, brother in law and my little nephew came to visit us. They are doing well and the baby is growing so fast! Oh it was a delight to see him! He started crawling sooo fast and given another 2 months, he sure is going to make his mom run behind him at all times of the day!
    He showered us with plenty of smiles and lots of giggles. And like any other little baby, needed a lot of attention only when his mom sat down to have her dinner! LOL...:) Can't wait to see him again!

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    The symptoms

    I must say I am thankful that I do not have as many symptoms as some people seem to have. I do feel nauseous but its manageable. I am terribly tired ALL the time though. Last night I slept for 12 hours but when I woke up I was still tired. I am hoping this would go by the time baby is here because it would be quite impossible to manage with this tiredness. I am getting breathless even while taking a flight of stairs. And yes, I do have stomach cramps.

    Religiously I am drinking 2 cups of milk a day. Beyond that is beyond me. I am also including lots of fruit and vegetable in my diet. So far I am not craving for anything. Yes...spicy pickles would be nice but that's not good for the baby. So, I should eat them as less as possible. My dear friend kindly offered to bring me some chintakaya (raw tamarind) and Gongura (no idea what to call this in English) pickle in June.

    Thursday, April 21, 2011

    The First Complication

    Just when we think that falling pregnant uneventfully is an achievement in itself, little do we realize that its going to be an emotional journey in a roller coaster from there on.

    I had my first extensive physical yesterday (20th April). Calling it a nightmare would be an understatement. Hubby was working and hence I took half a day off from work for the appointment. Previously I got a call from my lab that urine sample was not enough and that I need to go there again. Before going to the doctors, I went to give the sample again.

    The physical test started like expected with them taking my BP, weight and height. Just last week I was measured and I was fairly confident I didnt grow tall, considering i didn't grow at all after I turned 15! I put on 300 grams from the previous week and I attributed it to the big lunch I had just 30 mins ago. I told the nurse that i have been having heavy milk...that is the thing to blame, as if reassuring myself. 

    I changed into a hospital gown and desperately wished that Hubby were with me. Actually, anyone would have been nice instead of me alone with the doc.

    After the regular pleasantries, she gave me the shock. She told me that my bood hormone levels, also known as hCG levels are half of what they are supposed to be. What does that mean? It means that the chances of me miscarrying are 70%. I was too shocked to react at that. She also said that maybe there is no baby at all inside me, its just a yolk sack! I was like...what?!
    She referred me to a blood again and said that she cant say how my pregnancy is progressing until the first ultra sound which is on 26th. I was devastated.

    I knew I had to ask questions but i kind of went numb and didnt ask any.
    She did a Pap Smear, Swab test and also checked for breast cancer. I must was fairly painful and extremely uncomfortable. I kept counting down from 10 backwards to 1 willing it to finish fast.

    When she did finish, I got another shock. She said I am too small for a normal delivery! What? Then she explained that there is a high likelihood of a c-section. By then I started wondering if the day can get any worst.

    After the test when I started the car my hands were shaking. I rushed back to the lab to give blood test but it was closed. By the time I reached home, I was cold, disturbed, sad, defeated and lonely. Hubby called and I had to give him the devastating news.

    I called my good friend and we spoke for a while, sighed together, felt bad together, hoped together and then felt maybe everything will be fine after all. Hope...that's very important in life.
    After that, I spoke to my sister in law also. But for her, I believe this test was not done at all, until much later.  

    After that I started a google search on hCG and the normal levels. Mine is 5583 at 5 weeks. ALL the online sources say that mine is well within the normal range. Why did doctor say that mine is low? Since I gave only one blood test so far, she has no way to know if my hormones are doubled every 2 days, like they are supposed to. How did she conclude mine are low? Below is the chart.
    • 5 weeks LMP: 18 - 7,340 mIU/ml
    • 6 weeks LMP: 1,080 - 56,500 mIU/ml

    Also, most pregnant women seem to be referred to for at least 4 blood tests to track that hormones are doubling. I was only referred to one. Why? Also, when she suspected my hormone levels to be low, why didnt she call me immediately and ask me for another test? I would have gone directly to the lab and gave blood along with the unrine! Why didnt she call?

    So many questions and so few answers. I will have to write down all these and ask her next time.

    As of now, i am exhausted. I would probably give anything right now for a 30min nap in return.

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    How we told our Parents

    The day we called them was very special because it happens to be a Tamil New Year, 14th April, 2011. We wanted to make sure that both A and I were there when we call our parents, so this delay in relaying the message. First we called our Mother in Law and when I gave the news to her saying she would be grand mom again soon, she was ecstatic. He joy knew no bounds! My Sister in Law, Brother in Law and my Father in law shared their equally joyful wishes for both Anand and I and wished us all the very best.

    My mom was delighted too at the prospect of another grand child! My father was equally happy but was asking more practical question about how i am going to manage full time job and this.

    Over all, everyone was happy! We have decided we would wait until I finish my first trimester before telling everyone else.
    There is an exception though...I told my all time good friend.

    When I found out....

    It was April 11th, Monday 2011 when I first suspected that we could be having a baby. Over night the symptoms seem to have kicked in. When I went online to check, I should have known a week ago that I was pregnant with the kind of symptoms I was having...sudden cramps, low back pain and such that. I was so exhausted that it felt like I have been awake for days and not hours.

    That day I had fish for lunch. I couldn't stand the smell of it and green salad which had onions in it. Anyway, I went and bought a Home Pregnancy Test and tested at work...and Yeayyyy! Its positive! I captured that image in my phone; the test image I mean.

    I sent a quick email to A asking him to call me back when he wakes up (he was at home and was doing his night shift). When I was on my way back home, he called me and I broke the news :)
    He was still sleepy and didnt really comprehend that time...I think.

    I went home and grabbed my health card and met A. He the knew that I was actually being sure about what I said! I went to our doctor, got a blood and urine test given and was also asked to book a date for Ultra Sound.

    Following Thursday A and I had another appointment with our doctor where we were asked about 100 questions about our health, about our immediate and extended families health.
    I was also weighed that day and I was 62 kgs (136 lb) or 24.9 BMI. I realized I am right on the border of becoming over weight and owed to myself that I would eat and drink healthy through out the term and gain only a healthy weight. As of today, we were told the Expected Date of Delivery (EDD would be 14th Dec).