02. 24. 730. 17520. 1051200

I have been mindful of each minute that I have lived since 8 June 2014. I will be lying if I say otherwise. Actually I was born again on this date. Born to be a different person. A different entity. A different new role. That I have come to love and fiercely guard. 

If I have to do anything different then there are hundred things however I won’t want to change this day ever. 

Being a mother is tough. Like heck yes. But it’s just amazing. I remember asking him to grow up quickly so he understands what I talk to him. And that I am yearning for him to hug me hard. And that I am waiting for him to talk to me. 

I thank god at least a thousand times each day for allowing me to experience this stuff that is happening.

His little tiny hands playing with my hair. Him crooning my name and those wet pecks of joy on my face. 
It’s unbelievable that this thing I carried inside me. This being. Is borne of me exactly two years ago. 

Which means that I am only two years old. A mother since two years. 

Happy birthday to me. And happy birthday to Abir. 

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Ma

Abir is lying on my lap. Since we have relocated to Mumbai almost every other week we are struggling with baby issues with this man. Last night he woke up because of reflux and threw up. He was so sleepy that he didn’t know what happened. We quickly cleaned him up, re made the bed, changed clothes, changed his soiled nappy and tried to all collectively slumber. It was quite hard with a sick baby. 

It was hard to focus on work thinking of my little man at home. We went to the doctor this evening only to know that it is some infection which needed to be treated. So the poor chap has now had three shots of different looking and tasting medicines within the span of the last hour. 

I was always the emotional fool. It doesn’t take much to bring tears to my eyes. Pretty much, the water works switches on. And with my loved ones, all the more. Having said this I can be strong as an of mentally when need be. Like once I saw that the little man is so super low I had to grit my teeth and pretend all was well and talk nineteen to the dozen to him and sing weird songs to entertain him and what not.

It me sound quite clichéd but I’d go to the moon for my son. And again another cliché. I know what a mother is and can be capable of for her child. 

That makes me think of my mum. How hard it must have been for her to go. How she must have called for a strike action in heaven when she was seperated from her two babies. 

It will be 30 years since she’s gone. Yet I feel the strong pull. How much I need her. Mum but I know you are near somewhere close. To me. Watching over us. Me and V. I mean how could you not be. Perhaps you were the soothing breeze when I sat forlorn on the beach one day after a bitter tiff with my best friend. Perhaps you were the calmness I felt when the obstetrician told me that we may have to do an emergency c section when I was in labour and Abirs heart rate fell. Maybe you were the force that descended upon me when the doctor said I have one last chance to push for a normal birth. 

Perhaps you were the goosebumps I felt when I held a dirty little wrinkled stranger in my arms. 

Perhaps you were the sound I always hear when I am at the beach. The sound of the sea that calms me so much. 

Perhaps you are the presence I always feel when I am with Abir. 

My heart soars with pride when I think about you and how I was borne of you. All the wonderful things people have to say about you. 

The memories that are shared with me make you come alive. Alive and beautiful. 
Love you amma. Miss you so much. The heartache refuses to go. 

Good Samaritan

So a very weird incident happened with me today. I got a chance to play a good Samaritan for someone completely a stranger to me.

So I was walking down this lane which incidentally I never take, listening to music on my iPod. A car stops by me and honks. I would have ideally ignored it and walked on. However I stopped and a girl peered down the window asking me if I live in that area.

I said “I don’t but where do you want to go” (with the confidence that only a phone with google maps application and data can instill).

When she said “Mt Albert” I told her that it was a huge suburb and if she knew which street she wanted to go to. She looked bewildered and told me something that could probably give me palpitations if it ever happened to me.

1, she was an out of towner and 2, her phone battery had died on her!!! OMG, that’s like a 111 situation but hey, she didn’t have a phone to do that! She had my full attention and sympathy also.

She borrowed my phone to call her friend and check  the address (of course thanks to technology, she didn’t remember the phone number but logged in to her Facebook account to check the number). In my head I was thinking would it be weird if I offered to go with her till the place(I could always take a bus back) and the next second she said “I know this may sound weird, but would you come with me in my car to the place? Once I see the place I will come back and drop you!”

I grinned and sat in the car. We talked heaps and I got to know that next year she will be going to South Africa to participate in a beauty contest where she represents New Zealand. Apparently she was Miss Teen New Zealand World supermodel (I hope I got that right).

She drove me back once she saw the house where she had to go to.

I find this all so weird. why?

  • I am indian, and its in our DNA to mistrust anyone; we always tend to think there is an ulterior motive behind everything, especially an unknown person
  • I am basically a very cautious person
  • I overanalyse situations, thanks to being married to the man who wins the world’s best “overanalyser” award
  • I sat in a strangers car! what? say that again!

Anyway, I am glad I did that, because honestly I love to make people smile.

I called Satyu to tell him this incident and sure enough (to stress all my bullet points above) he said he didn’t believe it and he thought it fishy!

Well I am glad I did what I did. Just followed my heart and at the end of it, I felt awesome.If anything, Zara has promised that when she comes on TV, she will give a shout out to me! And being Indian and loving anything that reeks of “celebrity” I asked if I could take a selfie with her!

All the luck Zara! Hope you become Miss Universe someday and put the kiwis on the map for that!!

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So far so good

Exactly after 6 days of my last post, the day care princesses turned into these horrible demonesses! To cut a long story short, we had to look for a new day care for Abir.

And then another change, after which another change. I was totally bitched tired out! Not to mention the countless arguments, debates and whatchamacallits with the man, we finally seem to have found some semblance of a normal routine.

I won’t lie. there were times when I was this close, like this close to quitting. My job, myself, my man. It’s not an understatement, that raising kids can be hell tough. These little tykes have the energy of a 100 horses on drugs. And its like their mission in life: to either poop/puke/eat/be sleepy exactly the minute your bottom hits the comfort of a plush seat and you have just released that sigh of relief and you are savouring the very idea of “being one” with yourself. Anybody with a kid will vouch for that.

My grandmother had seven kids. According to my sister, this was the result of a horny grandfather! Its funny but that means all of us probably have a genetic superb libido. Perhaps it got mutated in my DNA because forget sex, the very thought of any physical intimacy only makes me tired and puts me into this deep zombie like sleep. thankfully its the same with the man. Well going back to my gran, I wonder how she managed. Dad says she had her sister-in-law (my grandpa’s sister) who helped her. But heck, I know now how hard it is to cook, clean, and do the million other chores a married woman (Indian at that) has to do with kids in tow. Not one, not two, seven to be precise.

I was always a good multi-tasker; but these days, my mind is like this sieve or a perforated metal sheet (same shit). I make plans in my head and mentally tick off things from the “to do list”. I was always very efficient but somehow feel everything lost in translation.

Anyway, my day begins with Abir and ends with him. L-I-T-E-R-A-L-L-Y ; but I am not complaining. The melodic “mamma” just dissipates all the frustration and tiredness. Even now, its thanks to him that I am able to write this post uninterrupted. I wonder what plans or “to do lists” he is mentally making up now.

  • wake mamma up at 6.01 (just three minutes before her alarm goes off)
  • exactly when mamma and baba are outside the door with me, do a BIG one, so that they can come back in and change the diaper
  • ensure that I annoy the daycare chick (she makes me eat my own food)
  • I have to ensure mamma sits behind that cute girl in the bus so I can tug at her hair
  • make sure I throw a tantrum when mamma is talking to V or Nina
  • try to resist sleep until 9 (*devilish grin)
  • oh wait, croon “mamma” on repeat mode (that makes her all goes and pliable)

Back to reality…

So finally Abir has started going to daycare since the last two weeks. After threatening my husband that I will file for divorce ( for the 34,456,00th time) I gave in. I succumbed to his incessant harping on about Abir needing to develop, that Abir needed exposure to other kids. 

Abir goes to this day care just across the road run by two lovely ladies out of their house. We are paying through our nose for it but it’s worth it. I am heartbroken but at least relieved as the ladies are really amazing. I have resumed work albeit shorter hours. 

But last week Abir contracted a bug. Sore throat. The dreaded sickie. Thankfully it was the long weekend so we could be wih Abir 24/7. I was his bed as he refuses to sleep elsewhere. He would wheeze while breathing and nose constantly ran.  Again I have new respect for my mum and grand mum ( she borne 10 kids, only 8 survived though)!! How did they manage it? I mean how? 

I will not lie, it’s tough. Tough as hell. To raise a child here. Outside India. Away from home or any sort of help. I miss home. My friends. My dad. All the more now. 

Anyway back to work now. It feels good I will admit. To feel useful again. To be appreciated. Thankfully have awesome work colleagues and a wonderful boss so hopefully will settle in quick. 

Every day is a different challenge though. But the journey is fun. With my two boys. 

Back to life. Back to reality. 

Mom. Mother. Aai. A day to celebrate her. 

So yesterday was Mother’s Day. I have never celebrated it with my mum. Let me rephrase that. I was never able to celebrate it with her. She died when I was 7 , an age where this day didn’t exist in my life. And I think in India the trend started in the 90s. Of celebrating days as such. 

I remember writing poems for dad on Father’s Day. Of poems in hand made greeting cards which I would make for my cousins at home. But never got any chances of telling my mum she’s special or how much I loved her. I often wonder what thoughts did mum have when she went. I mean what did the think about us. Did she love me more or V? Did she love dad more than me? Would she cry if I cried? Did her heart skip a beat if I had any mishaps? Did she indulge me if I was clingy? Questions and questions and questions. 

After having Abir, I can have some clarity or some answers to this constant quiz in my head. The love I have for this guy surpasses everything. No other relationship comes even close to this one. He can’t talk to me yet his eyes speak volumes. He can’t tell me what he wants yet I would like to believe I know. He doesn’t argue/squabble/fight with me yet can have me in tears just by looking at me with his puppy dog eyes. He can’t climb mountains, not yet, hasn’t entered any competitions, hasn’t won any races, not yet, but still makes me crow in pride. 

Somehow I think by being with Abir I am able to show mum how much she means to me. If she’s around me I would like to believe she feels exactly the same about me. I haven’t experienced being mothered first hand but yet I know how to mother Abir. So maybe that’s my mum in me. I know this may seem incoherent to some but I am sure I will make sense to some. 

Yesterday I celebrated Mother’s Day in the true sense for the very time in my life. My son and his father gifted me this huge bouquet in the morning. We went to the Viaduct Harbour and lazed on a huge wooden family deck chair. Just doing nothing. Just the three of us. Abir sat through a late lunch with us and allowed us to enjoy our pitcher of beer in the sun. A quiet day well spent with the two boys in my life. The most important boys, if I may add. 

This Mother’s Day I truly felt like a mother, a special one at that. I can only say a silent prayer to God, to my mum, my amma.  

 

1.

So after writing a million drafts ( obviously I am exaggerating ) I have finally decided to start publishing some of it. So I have had a rebirth last year. Why? Because I gave birth to my son who in turn gave birth to the mother in me. Sounds clichéd? But obviously true. I am a new person; it’s like I have undergone a metamorphosis!

Then in December my cousin’s daughter gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and it all started with me congratulating her on whatsapp ( God bless the makers of this app). She started asking me stuff about baby and since it was all fresh in my head I helped, albeit only by texting her. Being the loquacious person that I am, I would tell her that so and so could happen and bang, baby would prove me right. That’s when my niece told me that I should write about this baby stuff too. Initially when Abir was born I had created another blog where I wanted to record only Abir’s stuff but little did I know that Abir would consume all 27 hours out of my 24 hours day!! So that didn’t work. I would write in spurts and ended up saving drafts as I couldn’t find time to publish it.
Then last week my bffs (Pallavi and Smi) had their baby blogs out and that pushed me to start publishing.

I will start with what I had recorded according to the months. This post will be about the first month!

June 8 onwards
Random thoughts are running through my head. If someone would listen or tap into my thoughts they would be horrified.

Abir is in my arms. He is the tiniest person I have ever seen. No scratch that . The tiniest person I have held. Like a real person. My flesh my blood. I am experiencing a melange of emotions in me right now. Happiness at having Abir. Anger at my husband who does not have to sit half naked throughout the day trying to coax the little one to feed. Joy of being a mother. Irritated as I haven’t slept like a log at all since the last few nights. Pain as I had an episiotomy and third degree tear bringing this “little one” in the world. Hunger. Helplessness as I am feeling totally lost. My whole life has come to this big little stop. What am I going to do with this baby? Will I be able to raise him well? How did my dad raise us, without our mother around? What if I die before Abir is old enough to take care of himself! Questions as weird as these are haunting me and my head is throbbing thanks to it.

At times in the night I check to see if Abir is breathing. It’s peak winter so I am dreading if I have dressed him enough so that he doesn’t feel the biting cold. He poos almost every two hours exactly after his feed which lasts for about an hour. The poo is still blackish. Satyu refuses to clean the poo’d diaper; only obliging me when it’s a wet one( which is like almost never)! He says he is afraid he might not do it well enough ( that’s my cue to roll my eyes)!
Neem is with us, thankfully or I would be one among those few women who go through divorce proceedings the same month their child is born. Bathing Abir is a task as we live in an apartment which doesn’t have a tub. I want to bathe him in the traditional indian manner but the bathroom doesn’t have a drainage hole. It has a shower cubicle which barely fits us. Neem comes up with this brilliant idea of bathing him in the sink ( she has her iPhone growing out of her palm and had seen a video about the same). It’s not ideal but serves the purpose.

There is no set sleeping pattern with Abir.

I am swamped with emails from all the various baby sites I had subscribed to. My honest opinion is to not do that at all. There’s so much contradictory stuff out there. EBF, TMI, STTN are some of the terms I learnt during this time. If Abir so much so as whimpersI am scared. I whip out my phone and start looking it up. Since the last week the stuff that I have read, I believe I can easily appear for theoretical medical school tests. ( now in hindsight, googling is the worst thing to do, really!!!)
I have imagined Abir to have all possible maladies, trying to deduce from his “symptoms”! Baby acne, such a sweet sounding little irritating piece of $&;@#. Abir seems to have it all the time. Satyu and I have a trying time keeping track of his new “lil shiny breakout “! Moreover, Satyu is a paranoid father. Like seriously!! Half the time he is making me want to hit his head with a steel strainer (don’t ask me why the choice of utensil)!

The above was written as a draft, and now adding some more verbosity to this post.

It’s a baby, a little person, however please note that it cannot connive. At least not yet. Just go with the flow. If breast feeding just ensure that baby feeds on both sides. Let baby let go of the boob, don’t try and time the feed. Some babies take more time to suckle than the rest. Try and relax ( I know it’s hard but still it’s worth trying)!

Today your baby will treat you like a food dispenser and a cleaner and sleep inducer all rolled in one but wait a while before that little cherub looks upto you with a puppy dog face. It’s worth waiting and taking all $&;@% now.

Don’t feel lost, “it” happens to all babies. You are not alone. If frustrated like really hard, just leave the baby in a safe place and take a walk. At least go away from the baby for at least two minutes.

Babies poop, pee, eat, sleep, stay awake at all the wrong times. But still it only lasts a few months. Don’t lose heart. Everybody goes harping about sleep to you ( from pregnancy till baby arrives) as if they have lived through it. But really, you get used to the sleeping patterns. I know! It’s hard to fall asleep when baby is sleeping contrary to what people have been advising you ( including the husband) but at least lie down prone to rest the back. Take warm showers with your favorite liquid body wash. It helps.

Drink plenty of fluids, I would strongly advise water. Low cal and cheap option.

I figured as long as I knew the reason as to why something is happening I was alright otherwise I would panic. For instance when I read that babies make weird faces when they poop because they don’t know what’s happening to them ( when the anal muscles contracts) I was relieved. Until then I believed Abir was constipated and always in pain when pooping.

I am noting this for some of my friends who will be mothers soon and also for myself ( you never know!!!). 🙂

Please don’t hesitate to ask for help. It’s okay to.

It’s okay to lose your head, it’s okay to feel like “have I given birth to this little monster tyke?”
It’s okay to feel regretful. It’s okay to want to go out. Just go with the flow. We are so keyed in to the babies, these sort of feelings are flushed away soon enough. I mean the whole world stops and it’s just the baby and the mother. It’s a massive moment or rather life. Nothing will be the same ever. It’s momentous. But once you bite it, motherhood is awesome.

Just remember the saying, ” the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.”