Sunday, June 3, 2018

K - having a Kid

Having a kid is fascinating
A different view of world you see
It also tells you the story of
Of how you came to be

You let me peek into my childhood
to the time I was born
Now I know how my folks felt
when they had me in their arms

Everyday you learn something new
Learning the ropes of this world
I now understand my own journey
of how things unfurled

Watching you reach new milestones
has become our favourite pastime
Like finally touching the dangling leaf
after missing the mark a few other times

I sometimes wonder what you might think
about a kitchen full of food
A laptop there, a mobile here
Are adults upto any good?

I look forward to months and years with you
teaching you and learning from you
The best gift you have given me is
an unadulterated world view.

Just for fun!

You see the 'dangling leaf' there?

PS : I know I could have done a better job, but I decided to move on. There is a limit to how much time you can spend on ONE letter!

Saturday, May 26, 2018

J - Journey to motherhood

Life changed steadily and stealthily. It first slowed down, in the form of pregnancy, preparing me for the onslaught of changes ahead, and now it is as if somebody turned on the fast forward mode and forgot to turn it off. I was pregnant one day and now, I am already making plans for Sid’s first birthday.

When I take a pause and look around, life is so different yet so familiar. As if it has always been like that. The car got a child seat. The living room is strewn with colorful toys. The closet has a tiny corner full of bibs, fuzzy blankets and cute onesies. Bottles and nipples and baby food fill the pantry, poopy diapers filled the trash cans, full sleep cycles turned into 2 hour sprints. The change was seamless. Natural. As if we had been doing it for ages. Or may be it was the single-minded focus. May be it was because everything else just disappeared. I don’t know. Our past way of life was just a blur.

The past year saw a myriad of emotions, emotionlessness also being one of them. During pregnancy, Sush continued his office-tennis-eat-do pending work-sleep routine while I took lone walks. I grappled with mood-swings(read jealousy) as life stood still for me, while it was the same whirlwind frenzy for others(read Sush).

For almost 6 months of my pregnancy, I was only a growing ball of mass. Devoid of any special emotion. Except for a fuller face, wobbling gait and a protruding belly, nothing had changed. I mean from inside. No, not biologically. Lets not even go there.

"So tell me, how do you feel being pregnant? Is this your first?" I see that sparkle in others' eyes that is clearly lacking in mine.

"Good!" I try my best to feign excitement.

"There, you see that ?! That’s your baby! And this is his heartbeat!" The doctor had exclaimed during my first appointment, a wide smile pasted on her face.

I remember staring hard at the monitor, unable to figure out which of those black and grey spots was my baby. I was hoping to be excited, feel that rush of happiness, heart swelling with pride, tears of joy streaming down my face, Sush and I holding hands and looking at what we made together.

But none of that happened. I couldn’t even identify my baby.

That moment was the first time that brought me close to reality, closer to the fact that I was going to be a mother soon. Mother. Something I had never been. Something that so many women have given their everything for. It was supposed to be special. Something had to happen inside.

Why wasn’t I feeling a thing?


And then it happened. A tiny flutter in my stomach that lasted a millisecond. I sprung alive. The whole meaning and experience of a life growing inside me made sense. Everything suddenly seemed special and extra ordinary.

As days passed, and as my little dude grew from being the size of a mango to a pineapple, so did his movements. In the middle of meetings, while driving, or when I am just couching, he would stretch, roll all over or just nudge me as if to say hello.

I loved this intimacy and the growing awareness of my child. I felt closer to him after all these months, and really felt like a mommy-to-be. As my due date neared, I felt a tinge of sadness that I would soon be missing a moving belly that I have grown so fond of.


We were making our first pediatric visit. At 4 days old, he looked so much smaller in the oversized car seat. He was fast asleep, head bent to one side, body slumped. His tiny hands were crossed in his lap, the peeling baby skin appearing brighter in the outside light.

It pained me to see him strapped like that, so far away from the comforting touch of a mother. It felt cruel.

I looked at his fragile frame, the black teeka on the temple, the toy hanging from the car seat, the pacifier in my hands, his tiny feet, the gentle rising and falling of his breath - and felt a lump forming in my throat. This tiny human became my world. In that moment, I felt a connection so surreal, so deep, that an overwhelming feeling of protectiveness engulfed me. I had something I would die for.

As I struggled with my new fears, I realized maybe this was how being a mother felt like.

PS : Yes, I am still writing for the AtoZ challenge. Sigh. I hope I can finish it this year.

PPS : Any ideas for "K"?. Theme is related to pregnancy and motherhood.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

I - Its NOT my hormones!

"Looks like a fresh batch of hormones got released", Sush mocked at me. I only became more furious.

During my pregnancy, I had a hard time convincing Sush that it was not my hormones but we were having a real fight! That my concerns were real. That I was really mad at him.

Why are husbands so annoying?

H - Home

The fresh smell of Sandalwood from the incense sticks wafted through the air. It was a bright Saturday morning and the newness of the day hadn't worn off yet. The T.V. was on mute, and Baba was pacing in front of the it, immersed in the news from India. I saw amma move in the kitchen, her wet hair wrapped in a pancha, chanting mantras and brewing tea. The rise and fall of her voice accentuated by the chai masala filled the room and my heart.

The heavenly smell, the jingle of the ritual bell, the mantras, the reassuring sight of the diyas, the physical presence of amma baba, the familiarity of it all - do you know what it felt like? It felt like home. Life felt complete.

I smiled in gratitude, thanked my stars and got back to work.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

G - few random things starting with G

Geee - the first sound from kiddo's mouth

Grandparents - cannot imagine what we would do without them

Gaana - All Gaane from Baba Black Sheep to Jana Gana Mana have been sung to entertain the little one. He listens to his grandparents singing with rapt attention.

Girl - what Sush and me had initially wished for, for completely disparate reasons.

Glider and Ottomon - Godsend!

Gas - there is more gas in the baby's tummy than in any gas station :P

Gym (playmat) - Siddu's favourite hangout spot until he was 3 months old

Graco - you are great-o!

Grumpy - the little guy's default face for quite sometime

Grateful - for everything life bestowed on us!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

F - the First time you...

The first time 

You looked into my eyes..

The first time 

you smiled at my words

The first time 

you coo-ed

The first time 

you held my shirt with your tiny fingers

The first time 

you recognized me

The first time 

you lifted your neck during tummy time

The first time 

you didnt cry when taking bath

The First time and everytime after that, 

you never fail to fill me with immense joy.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

E - Eat for two? Thats blasphemy!

Yes, I pricked your dream bubble, but you heard me right.

During pregnancy, we are often told that we have to eat for two. Which is grossly mis-interpreted. What has been advised since generations is that pregnant women need to eat more to provide nutrition to the growing baby, but that doesnt mean you have to eat twice as much!

What it means is, you need more calories. Typically around 300-500 calories more for a 2000-calorie diet. That means a bowl of oatmeal or 2 glasses of milk or 200 gms of chicken breast in a day. No, you are not required to wolf down buckets of Ice creams, or have 6 meals in day.

First trimester - Most women suffer from nausea during this stage and it becomes hard for them to even eat their regular meals. No additional calories are needed in this stage.

Second trimester - Women need an additional of 300-350 calories per day. It means an additional snack and that too a healthy one, although you can cheat sometimes.

Third trimester - An additional of 500 calories per day is advised.

One way of knowing if you are getting the right amount of calories is tracking your weight gain.

When I first found out I was pregnant, I got carried away with the idea that I will anyway be bloated soon, that I can anyway not stay in shape. I let my guard down and began binge eating. I lost control and gorged on lots of yummy food.

Before I knew it, I was gaining weight at a rapid pace. I was way past the 'expected' weight. I started slowly developing pelvic pain, and my weight only made it worse. I learnt my lesson the hard way, and the rest of my months, I was on strict diet and active exercise, which I will talk about more in next posts.

Information is available at the click of a button, there are hordes of websites and apps that guide you through your pregnancy. I used BabyCenter to the T. All you need to do is be informed, and make wise choices.

Monday, April 9, 2018

D - Daddy stories

He will start rocking him in the middle of living room, he will hush everyone up, make us walk on tip toes, dim all the lights, but no, he wont take the baby inside the bedroom.

I prefer to feed the baby from the bottle in a calm dim room, but the new Daddy gets bored alone. Baby in arms, bottle in the mouth and Daddy's eyes fixated on TV, or phone or laptop is a common scene. The need to multi task is driving me crazy. After upteem number of fights, things seem to have improved.

Baby cried everytime me and my mommy gave him a bath. Enter daddy, and its a smooth sailing. "If you wash him like you wash the greasy dishes, anybody would cry! Be gentle.", a proud daddy quipped.

I would feed him, sing to him, put him to sleep, play with him, take him for a stroll, and everything looks mudane and a routine thing to do. Enter daddy and he steals all the thunder by rapping and dancing or spiking his hair or holding the baby in ways that make the rest of us shriek disapprovingly, yet shut us up on seeing the joy on kiddo's face.
Anything daddy does is a runaway hit, with a zillion videos and pictures forwarded to multiple groups of families and friends while I make do with selfies taken in awkward angles that absolutely cannot be shared.

The speed and perfection with which Daddy changes and puts on new diaper(ofcourse on the kiddo) will amaze the designer and tester of Huggies.

All the hard delicate messy tasks are assigned to Daddy. Like cutting nails, putting nasal drops, using the suction bulb. Firmness and Gentleness, both strangers to me, dear friends to daddy.

In the middle of the night at 2:30 am, when the little one dozed off half way through the bottle, Daddy got a little mischeivous. He put the bottle on the kiddo's head, who was in a sitting position, played the song ' Thakita thakita thakita thandana...' and had me record a video of Siddu moving his head side ways as if to the music. Needless to say, it was hilarious.

While waiting at the passport office, the token found its way on to his nose. 

There are many more of them, but I have to stop somewhere! Hope you enjoyed.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

C - Cute, Curly, Cuddly and finally Cow-ly!

Your Coo-ing is all I want to listen to.

Your tiny fngers curled around mine is what I want to hold on to.

Cuddled in my arms,  all warm and fuzzy, 

your serene face makes me go dizzy.

On a totally different note, the first couple of months of breastfeeding, I felt more like a cow than a human being. It was a frustratingly funny feeling to have.

Friday, April 6, 2018

B - Bingo!

I pee-ed on the stick and prepared to wait for 10 minutes like I did a dozen times before. The last multiple tests were negative, and I was expecting nothing different this time. I was ready to be disappointed again.

But when two bright pink lines stared back at me almost immediately, first I thought, 'that was fast' and then, 'Heck! I am pregnant!'

A wave of relief washed over me. The extra line meant no more carefully planned 'activities'. No more medical invasions. No more baring my dignity. No more of hearing 'When!?' from people more desperate than me. A break to amma from pujas and vraths and what not.

I walked over to Sush, cautious with my footing (already!) all the while screaming and shouting nothing more than his name. Normally, anybody would be excited, but we were confused first. This was big. I knew we would be great parents. I knew we would love the baby with all our hearts. I knew nothing can be more beautiful than have a tiny fragile beautiful human being in your arms.

But there was something that was holding us back and we did talk about it often. I guess we were just not ready to give up the life we had then.

Although when I think about it again, this is not completely true. Yes, we had a great life. We used to travel quite a bit, work our asses off, played sports, watched movies, played poker, did potlucks, and even just lazed around a lot. But over time, the same things gave less and less joy, atleast to me. Weekends felt monotonous. There was all the time on hands but nothing meaningful to do. Something was lacking.

I started wanting more from life. And that's when I felt ready. That's when my passive attempts turned passionate. And Bingo!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

A - Apology

Exactly around this time last year, I abandoned the A-Z challenge and blogging due to various reasons, some of which seem silly, embarrasing and downright shameful in retrospect. I was excited about the theme I had chosen and even seemed to fare well with the quality of the posts, when I read them now. But, during that time, I was failing by my own standards.

I realized I am my biggest enemy.

Another reason I quit the challenge was the pregnancy hormones. The first trimester took my energy and drive hostage. All I wanted to do was sleep. And eat. ( I had already given you a clue in Half-Hearted  :) )

I apologize for not responding to those who cared about my sudden absence from this space. All was well and is well on my side. And I sincerely thank you for your concern.

Its 4 days past April. I had decided to not partake in this year's A-Z challenge. Where is the time, I reasoned. But thanks to Smitha for planting the seed in my brain this afternoon, I tucked away all the discouraging thoughts from my head and here I am, all set to write this whole month!

Theme, you ask ?? My experiences from the past 1 year ! In a non-linear fashion, Christopher Nolan style. :P

I hope you will enjoy reading them. See you around.
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