Total Pageviews

Saturday, July 4, 2015


I have been thinking of writing for a long time but it never works out. I am not sure if it's because I didn't get enough time to do so or if it's because I didn't prioritize it enough.(There's always a tendency in women to keep their health and time to the very end ).

I had a baby 2.5 years back and it has been a ride since then , which no one really warned me about. Whoever I talk to (whether it's my female friends or female colleagues ), we all talk about the same thing (yes the same thing ).

It all starts with guilt.Loads of them and this is especially true for all the working women, who have to leave their young ones with caretakers (some reliable , others not). All of them (or at least most) are drowned in the sea of their own guilt by the time they return home from work and see their babies crying out looking for mama. This tops the list of things that eat up a woman. My guess is that its evolutionary.For millions of years , the sole goal of a women's life was to give birth to and nurture their young ones and leaving their young ones to be nurtured by someone else seems to hugely contradictory to what one's sole intended purpose in life.

I hear this topic being discussed in any women's day special meets or when two female colleagues fill their water bottles (unlike males, one can hardly find any any female colleague with kid(s) slowly sipping a cup of tea in the cafeteria talking about worldly affairs..never.). I am aware of many females (talented and competitive) choosing to leave their lucrative jobs because of (what sounds like trivial) things like their kid isn't drinking enough water or that they don't get to spent enough time with their kids .

I started sleeping 8 hours recently (that doesn't mean I sleep for 8  hrs every night..sometimes I do) after probably 3 years. For all the poor souls who are wondering why, its simple . Most women have sleep disturbances after they expect a baby (I remember getting up every other hour and walking due to leg cramps when I was expecting my son). Soon after , its all about feeding the baby accompanied by other routine things like stuffy nose , nightmares , hunger, thirst (means baby is hungry ) or just simply because your baby doesn't "feel" like sleeping at the time called "night"! And what about those long sleepless nights pacifying a baby who has a fever or burning cough..? IT just goes on and on.

I reach office pretty sleep deprived every morning and the bunch of few unmarried guys sitting around me start off-"How can someone be yawning so early in the morning?" . I cannot express in words the intense emotion I go through when I hear that , which I manage to control merely to comply with the company policies.

Unlike the olden golden times , the most common way of getting support now (esp. in towns) is by buying them. But just like the golden days bring in challenges with respect to managing relationships, the new era brings in "maid" challenges. You wake up one fine morning only to realize that your baby sitter (your only hope towards going to work ) had decided not to come. This very thought stops you from getting a good night's sleep ( The other set of deep worries that I have not even discussed about here is related to whether your care taker is "actually" taking care of your infant.).

Most women go through a stagnant phase in their career soon after little ones pop out. I say many because I know few others who made it big overcoming this phase. I must say after my son was born I started questioning whether spending more time at work was worth it. I had this overwhelming hormonal call to care for my son and everything else seemed trivial and secondary. What was the point having a career if I couldn't care for my child? I witnessed less skilled and experienced people climbing up the ladder and felt frustrated but soon I came to terms with myself on what my priorities were. 

From the time my son was born to the next 3 years , I think I had a zero social circle. Everything revolved around keeping him comfortable and often people pointed out that I went overboard with it and in many cases I should have just let him cry for a while. I could live with being an unsocial person and that was something I consciously let go off.

My son is 3 now and I feel lot better. He now understand to some extend for Amma and Dada's need to go to work (because it buys him toys, chocolates and roti). My guilt has reduced and I try to take sometime for myself as well and hopefully things will get better as it moves.

The Labor

(I ran into a draft post I had written sometime back and I thought it would be a good publish)

I hope this post helps all those first time expecting parents and married (or unmarried ) couples who are clueless of  what's awaiting them. If my labor was any less dramatic , this post wouldn't have materialized. For all those who have already gone through this experience or never will, I am sorry if this sounds too boring.

We reached our maternity hospital emergency (they call it triage) at around 9pm one Tuesday night after we suspected that my mucous plug had come out (For those wondering , mucous plug has nothing to do with the mucous coming out of the nose). There were other women in queue who were already in their labor and I was just one of the many.When my turn came, it was found that my BP (they call it PIH or Pregnancy Induced Hypertension) had shot up , accompanied by onset of slight asthma.The duty doctor performed a routine 'internal examination' to confirm the labor stage ( For those totally clueless of what internal examination is, it is a rather awkward and extremely painful process where the doctor puts her fingers into a female's cervix and God knows where all to analyze the situation there ). I thought that we would be interacting with the duty doctor all through the night but to my surprise the senior obstetrician (whom we were consulting) came to the spot and advocated "induced labor" next morning at 4 am and gave us few hours to catch up with sleep.

I was immediately shifted to what they call a LDR (Labor Delivery Room), where a machine to check my contractions and the baby's heart rate was attached to me.(Now that I look back , the LDR seems like a room to hell.) A room was allotted to us where Vinod was supposed to spent his night but he chose to sit in a chair next to my bed all night.The hospital payment package was inclusive of just 5 hrs in LDR and I honestly thought that by making me spend the night at the LDR (even when induced labor was to start only next morning), the hospital was probably trying to make some easy bucks.As soon as I was shifted to the LDR , I started developing light contractions, once every 30 min and I thought it was just some gas . ( For all those who are unaware of and will remain unaware of  contractions, it is a category of pain that seems like it is generating from your lower back or lower abdomen and travels downwards and disappears to come again after few minutes. Well, this is the simplest explanation).

One thing to note in a maternity hospital is that the only thing of any importance is pain.Almost as soon as you arrive there with symptoms of labor, you shed your veils of privacy . Different doctors examine your different body parts, in and out and all you seem to be bothered is that you get out that place in two healthy pieces (one piece is you and the other of course the baby). Apart from the doctors who engage in delivering babies daily, the other section of people that need a big round of applause are the nurses. Even though we paid for their services, I felt heavily indebted to the services offered by (both female and male) nurses. They do things for you that even your close relatives feel awkward about.

By the time it was 4:30 in the morning, my mild contractions had increased to be recognized as contractions and I was administered with some drug to induce labor...and it seemed like held broke loose after that...what happened thereafter was too dreadful to be even thought about. I started getting what is called strong contractions..atleast according to me they were strong ..but the medical staff did not feel so.All I can remember is I yelling with pain and my poor husband massaging my back ..This went on for another 12 hours. The assistant doctors would visit every couple of hrs, do an internal examination and declare that dilation hasn't happened much. Now that I think of it, I am not sure how women would want to go through this sort of self-torture over and over again.

At the end of long 16 hours, the heart-beat machine started beeping back and forth. The baby's heart beat was dipping steadily.I felt like I was being sucked into vacuum. A sense of free falling into
 cool air encompassed me..reminded me of the whale in the 'the HitcherHiker's guide to Galaxy' that had no clue of where it was going..or who it was-Poor Chap.

Much to my relief, my obstetrician sent out an emergency distress signal and I think within a span of next 5 min , I was right under the circular beam of lights inside an Operation Theatre- something I had till then seen only in the movies. I was huge and really very heavy and the team of male nurses had a difficult time transferring me over to the operating bed (wonder if that's what it's called). I was in intense pain and rather non-responsive. I thought I was dying or that I was already dead. I had started to feel way too numb and hopeless. There were male nurses all over and I think they did a very good job. I vaguely remember one of the asking me to bend , which I didn't and then he physically bend me over and probably pushed something into my spine. He then pricked my toe and asked me if I felt anything. I didn't respond . I soon realized that I was probably given an anesthesia . I could move my head and neck and see all the commotion around. I heard distress signals getting sent out, emergency pediatricians and other doctors being called in. I think there were at least 10 pair of eyes looking into my abdomen talking about the missing amniotic fluid, muconium  which the baby was about to consume, bad state of placenta etc etc...I somehow thought I had died because I had started feeling like a third party and best of all I didn't feel any pain. I didn't care about anything (even the baby) . I was just far too relieved that the pain was gone . I think all these lasted just for few minutes- perhaps between 5-10 min - just as much time required for Vinod to change and come to the OT. I remember a nice looking female nurse carrying a nice looking pink chubby baby with huge cheeks towards me and she said "It's a boy". I didn't bother to respond. She wouldn't leave.So I gave him a quick peck on his cheeks so that she did.

Soon I was transferred to the recovery room where I thankfully slept for a long time (I think I didn't get a chance to sleep for that long for the next 3 years). My legs were numb from the anesthesia and I couldn't walk. Two male nurses had to physically lift me from the bed and fit me into the wheel chair and I was taken to the room and that was the end of my melodramatic first labor :)

I should sincerely thank the team of CloudNine doctors and nurses (I noticed that the male nurses were not visible outside the OT and recovery rooms and thus I never saw them again) for all their wonderful service and thanks to Dr. Praveen Shenoi for not letting me sink into the vacuum like the blue whale !

Misc thoughts

Life has been rather stagnant lately. It's like your bones have stopped growing any further and you wouldn't get any taller. It's like you are pretty much done with that list of to-dos that people around had made for you and now that you are done , you feel a little lost. And then you realize that while you were busy executing the things in those list, you didn't bother making a secret list of your own. That's where I am now. I am done with surviving school and college without flunking , graduation (though I don't think I have much idea of what I did those 4 years..I faintly remember the word diode and how electrons and protons starting from opposite directions at certain speeds(velocity?) met at an undecided (or decided) spot to become(?) neutrons ???)), job (wonder if job is called so because it's a monotonous seemingly automated activity that runs periodically like a cron job :-| ) marriage, kid, house..Well, now that most important things have been taken care of , I get an apparent feeling that my life has come to a logical end and that probably a new life has to start.

I am trying to compile this new to-do list and I'd love to pick and choose couple of things from the previous - a) love b) kid . Both of these bring in a great deal of satisfaction and completeness. The previous list , If you had noticed has "marriage" and the new list has "love". I don't remember anybody (from the old world so as to speak) ever telling - "You gotta find your love". They always said- "You need to have security - mostly financial- that comes in with a man who has a good source of income and no other wives". I want to tell my children - "Go find your love, and then most likely you will have a breakup but that's okay because your real love is just around the corner after your next few loves :)) )

I try calling my old friends (old is kind of redundant here because I never made many new friends after the old ones) and see that they are (like me) fairly stuck in the treachery of this vicious life. Life is literally sucking the life out of everyone. Most are trying to make ends meet ( as in work, kids and family) and soon before we realize, we'd all be frail old bones (a few of which I remember hanging in the biology lab) and fun and adventure would be far beyond us.

So when was the last time I got a real kick ? When I wrote a complicated piece of code that changed the world ? No way (!!!) ..When I was served a glass of Frooty with Brandy? (God, that was terrible!)..The point is I don't remember ..I think the adrenalin walked out of my door sometime back .. I know people who have been starting up their own firms and I think that's great but I think that will never give me a high.However, what JK Rowling did gives me a high. I think she touched the life and heart of millions and millions in this world in a very different way. I secretly hope that I end up doing something similar to what she did.

Lots of office work piled up for the upcoming week and I guess my brain is freezing. It refuses to work..Hoping to write more in the coming days..