May 30, 2008

Friday dressing

I just have to write about it today – after years of simmering irritation

I do not believe in dressing up or rather down, on a Friday. I somehow don’t feel the need to exhibit my weekend mood. A lot of people are on the other side of the balance on this and they wish to Friday dress.

But, I have some observations on this. Girls wear outrageously outrageous clothes on Friday. Guys come out in those animal prints, floral print shirts and what not on those days. I am shocked to see that you guys buy such stuff. I thought the fad was all over with your college days.

I could be offending a whole bunch of people if they happen to read this (a big if, that is), but I stand by it. Fine – even if they just have to wear those block stripes or flashy colors to the office, I can see that they are not confident carrying it about. Most people (not all) just lack that attitude to match what they are wearing. I strongly recommend trying something on before buying it. Buy it when you really, really like what you see.

Frankly, I wear such out-dated stuff. I know it. I have never even tried to change my wardrobe. But, I have always wanted that dream makeovers – all those ravishing ladies on Oprah’s and stuff!!!! But I think I do not venture out to wear something bold, unless I am dead sure about it. Why all this rant? Because I saw so many awfully (understatement) dressed colleagues at office today! Yuck! That’s the word.

May 28, 2008

Love letter?

Have you ever been written a love letter to? If yes, lucky you! :)
No one has ever written one to me......yeah! My husband emailed me his love......our courtship was a distant thingy.......
I remember now, a guy, sorry, a boy wrote a love letter to me when I was in my second standard. Shit, yes! And, I tore it apart like in the movies. It was the in-thing to do in the 80s yaar.
The boy didn't give up. He, ganged up with another boy, and wrote to us (yes, all five girls sharing our bench). The boys used to sit two benches ahead of us, and used to sing love songs to us....oh,my, yes, really. We were kids totally drawing inspiration from movies of that time. It so happened that the guys got caught by our teacher one fine day. The stupid teacher that she was, she reported that to our supervisor (aka primary school headmistress). That stupid lady (now I think they both were stupid) summoned all our parents. My mom asked me before the teachers whether such a thing happened, I said yes, and she asked me where those letters were? I told her I tore them as they were rubbish! Bleddy, she didnt feel proud of me.
Well, she never said a thing there. But she came home, told me that it was all a wrong thing to do. Told my dad about it, heck! Both of them made me sit down, spoke to me about it, I remember to have said something like "I know everything, you dont have to tell me"....and thats it, hell broke loose. I got one tight slap.
Boys, guys, men, never wrote to me after that!

May 23, 2008

May 22, 2008

Aditi - birth story - V

Part 4 - here.

The doctor came in, examined me and told me that I was 3 cm dilated. They started something in the IV. Cleaned me up and attached this heart beat monitor. Now, after reading so many birth stories, I think they gave my some thing like pitocin. About half an hour later, I started getting very frequent pains. They asked me if I’d eaten anything or want to eat something. I wanted to poop again. The doctor told me to do it then and there and told me that I cannot go to the bathroom now. I told her I hadn’t bathed and she told me that I can do it with the baby sometime later. I was surprised. I’d thought I am going to take some time.

I couldn’t control myself – I peed and pooped on the sheet there. I feel embarrassing to even narrate it now….but that’s what I did. The nurses pulled the sheet out, put in a new sheet in a jiffy. I don’t remember how. Then my water broke. The doctor brought in another doc (they were both juniors to the obg-gyn I went to), examined me and asked me to push closing my mouth, directing all the energy I had to the inside and not open my mouth, puff and give vent to it. I did it twice, but failed to coincide it with my contractions. But suddenly the docs declared me full and told me that they are moving me into the episiotomy room.

I got up from the bed, sat on the wheelchair and was wheeled into the room. They asked me to get on to the table, propped me up on some two big round pillows and tied my legs to a couple of posts. I saw a guy walking in from the other door and asked the doc, who he was. I was told that he was the paediatrician. Then the doc told me that I needed to push with my mouth closed and whenever I felt my pain. I pushed once, she said, ‘yes, again”. I told her I couldn’t – I didn’t have any contraction then. Just as I told her, I got one and I pushed hard. PLOP came the baby. It was 9.52 in the morning. The actual labour time, as I see it, the time I was moaning in pain, started at about 7 in the morning. Not bad, everyone told me!!!

Then they massaged my tummy and plop, plop, came out the placenta. I could see her being taken across to be given to the paed. They hadn’t told me which baby it was even then. I shouted out to the doc and asked her, where my baby was, was it a boy or a girl. They told me it was a girl. In a couple of minutes, they showed me the baby, she was 3.2kgs at birth. I liked her. She was a little rosy in color and round. She was long, I don’t remember how long….but then she was not too long, a little over average I think. But when she lost her birth weight in the following days, she started looking like one lizard! Now at 17 months, she is one devil and angel, all rolled in to one!

The stitching me up part was the worst thing of all. Stupid me, I didn’t know what kind of a tear I’d suffered, how many stitches they put and all that. I just wanted them to get it over with. That’s all. I pushed and the doc hurried. That’s where all my problems started. They apparently stitched a little bit of my anus also together. Gosh, I knew this only after 2 months, was in pain all through out. Because of the stress, I didn’t have enough milk at all. I went through hell. Lost sleep for 2-3 days at a stretch post delivery. I cried loads in the first 2-2.5 months for not being able to feed my daughter. I became hysterical, I think. Aditi never slept properly. The day we brought her back from the hospital (I was there for 5 days – cos Aditi had run temperature one day, so they kept us back for monitoring), she was crying all night in colic pain. She had one bad time. I did not know then, that it was the colic pain. She was ok when I nursed her, but for nursing her I had to go through BAD pain. I hated those episodes of having to miss sleep because of her. Things fell into place slowly after some 10 weeks, I think…..but very slowly.
Post delivery I had loads of infections, one after the other, they had to do a small job to undo the extra-stitch they'd done. I was in pain again after that. Better, unsaid, I feel now!

Aditi - birth story - IV

I think the posts are getting too long, but I love the feeling of having to recall all of it and I just am not able to stop writing! My last part was here.

By mid – December, my mom, aunts, patti and me – all got really really tired of waiting. One of my aunts suggested that I take a second opinion of whether the head is engaged now, whether the delivery date has to be re-worked etc. She also suggested a doctor, who was retired from service now, but attended on deliveries sometimes. My mom and I visited her, the following day. She told me that my vagina was soft, so soft in fact that I had all chances of a good normal delivery. But she also told me that I look like I will deliver only by end of the year. I had no reaction to this news. I just exclaimed ‘Oh’! I thought I probably will give birth on the 1st of January.

I was due for an internal examination a week before my due date. I was scared to let the doctor do anything to me. I kinda screamed during the procedure. I was slightly shook up after the thing and was down with fever for the next three days. Those days were hell. I did not have any strength to even carry myself around. My mom now tells me that she feared if I’d had any pains then, I’d have to undergo a c-sec. Sri was also scared about me being out of health and offered to come down immediately. But I asked him to come over for the weekend.

Dec-23, 2006: Sri came down from Bangalore and I felt so relieved. He told me that “how I wish you just get the pain now, get to the hospital and give birth. Don’t you think we’ve waited long enough?” I wish too, I said. I had a great dinner. I ate a good amount more than what I wanted. I loved whatever was for dinner that day. At about 10 in the night, I declared that I shouldn’t have eaten that much, as I felt my stomach make some strange noises. I retired to bed soon after emptying my tummy.

Dec-24, 2006: Should have been 2 or 2.30 in the morning. I felt like I wanted to poop and bad. I cursed myself for overloading myself with food and went to the bathroom. Came back and slept. After half an hour, I felt the same way again. I pooped again. This time I was not able to empty my stomach of all that, I thought was pushing. That must have been the first contraction. Really, I still don’t know. But I went back to sleep. At about 15-20 minutes later, I woke Sri up and told him that my tummy had gone for a toss and I am having pains. Really, I didn’t know that it was “the” pain. I voiced concerns that the doctor is going to admonish me for ruining my system before the due date; admit me; induce pain et al.

Sri woke my mother and grandma. They came over and I told them that I was feeling uncomfortable and I didn’t know what it was. My grandma told me that labour starts with a shooting pain in your back, usually. I immediately gave in to that idea and relaxed that whatever I was going through then, was not anyway near labour pains. My mom wanted to wait a while before waking my dad up. By then, I was in pain once every 15-20 minutes. She woke him up at 6. They all had some coffee and by 6.30 we left for the hospital. I think we reached the hospital at 7. By then my pain was a little more frequent. But that was nothing of the sorts we see in the movies. I got down from the car and walked in to the near-empty waiting hall – this Sunday morning. A nurse asked me if I wanted to be wheeled in. They showed me in to a room, I had to share with another lady. Apparently she was here since 5 that morning; she had come in after he water broke. My mother told me that she would likely deliver first and that mine would be by mid-day or end of day. They let me into that room and closed all visitors outside.
Hopefully Aditi reads all this one day! To be contd..

May 19, 2008

Aditi - birth story - III

From Part 2, here.
Before, writing about my Chennai experiences, I want to thank my two devoted house helps in Bangalore. My maid, Kala, who by taking at least a couple of days off every fortnight, helped me flex my muscles. I did all vessels during that time. I also regularly dried clothes because that was not Kala’s job and did some cleaning on and off. But then, to give her, her due credence, she was and is still damn good (we’ve shifted house though). My cook, Lalitha mami, was great. While Sri always cribbed about her cooking, she wasn’t bad at all. She never missed a day. I had her cook for me both in the morning and the evening. She was literally godsend. She came at a time when I needed someone most – at the start of my second trimester when hunger pangs struck. My previous cook, Krishnamurthy, was also good. But I think he got paid much higher for the same time slot in another place. He took a week off and never came back.

In Chennai, I ate and I slept all I could and generally caught up with loads of friends. My good friend’s mom makes awesome puliyodarai and aviyal (being Iyengars). When I just told him one fine day that I wanted to taste it, he took so much pain to get 2 dabbas for me from his house in Velachery to mine in West Mambalam. A couple of my friends who were new moms, both who’d had c-sec, told me all about their ordeal. I just took the information in, without thinking too much about it or trying to figure out how I would react when my time came. I never did any baby shopping, I never read up about breast-feeding. I just read a lot of fiction which I’d missed during my office days.

Come first week of December, enters my grandma (my mom’s ma) from Hyderabad. We have a picture of all 4 of us together! Well, as soon as she set my eyes on me, she said, I would very likely have a baby boy and in that case, I would deliver at least 2 weeks in advance of my due date. I never asked her too many questions. It is better not to. Never try to reason things out. Just nod. Then in a week’s time, she’d expected my belly to shift downwards indicating some head-fixing and all that. When that didn’t happen, she was anxious because, she had booked her return tickets for the last week of January. This means, she had just about a month to spend with the new-born.

In the meantime, even I was getting a little too restless, I was angry with my dad for having pulled me out of office and work and Bangalore and Sri, way too early. I looked forward to alternate weekend visits by Sri. He worked the other weekends, just Saturdays. Everyday I religiously paced my mottai-maadi (terrace floor) up and down. I walked briskly all throughout my pregnancy period. And, last few weeks did not make any difference. I walked at least for half an hour once or twice a day. Just before my patti (grandma) arrived, I had some anal fissures and piles due to the extensive traveling in the first week of November. I’d traveled from B’lore to Chennai (for my parents’ anniversary), then from Chennai – Coimbatore for the shower and then back to Chennai. Food, heat and some constipation did me in. I suffered like crazy. The doc told me that in case, god forbid, I had to have a c-sec, he will operate on me for my anal thing too. That was scary. I was in bad pain. Regular application of medicines and a bland diet gave me good relief.

To be contd….

May 16, 2008

Aditi - birth story - II

Continuing from here

I drove to work everyday. I never felt uncomfortable after my initial sickness. Despite people advising me not to drive, some in fact warned me of after effects too, I enjoyed driving – even in Bangalore’s horrible traffic. Whenever I had to speed brake, or when I unexpectedly drove into pot-holes, I apologized to my baby. I sang to her then. It was our time. It could sound all clich├ęd, but I thought I was making up for all that time I lost throwing up. By the way, during the entire period of my pregnancy, I’d wanted the baby to be a girl, my companion. I have grown up with a sister; I do not know how a guy grows up. I thought I would be comfortable bringing a girl up, than a boy. Maybe, now I am confident……then, I wasn’t.

In a way, ignorance was bliss – I never researched extensively as to what should happen to me when, what should I be feeling, how should I prepare myself, and most important of all, how is the delivery going to be. It was all word of mouth – what my mom, m-i-l and my close friend, who was just a couple of months ahead of me, told me. In fact, I was pretty upset when the baby didn’t start kicking inside as per my friend’s schedule of things!

I had nearly 6 ultrasounds during my entire period….first two for viability of the fetus, as the doc thought, during the first scan the heart beat could not be heard and she wanted to be sure. Third one in the third month, fourth in the sixth month, fifth during eighth month before the doctor here in Bangalore could let me go to Chennai for delivery and one final one in Chennai, about 2 weeks before I delivered. I was also worried about the number of scans I had. Once or twice during the time, I also braved myself for expecting the unexpected – provisioning for other than good news. I tried to talk to Sri (hubby) about all possible outcomes of a delivery, but he just encouraged me to be positive and told me that we will evaluate things when we had to. I felt more than comfortable to leave it at that. Didn’t want to trouble myself any further.

I had my baby shower in the first week of November. My father (one extra-protective type) wanted me to come off to Chennai right away. I was due on December 25th. My mother in law was with him on this. She had nightmares about me getting sudden pains when driving et al. In toto, they bundled me off to Chennai, close to 8 weeks before I was due. I had wanted to work….but my doc didn’t want me to travel in the last few weeks. I was rock solid….but no one would want my opinion on that. I was delivering my first baby – I shouldn’t take chances. Having this been thrust down my throat, I spoke to my manager for an extra month’s leave without pay (boo-hoo) and left for Chennai.
Will be continued....

May 15, 2008

Aditi - birth story - I

First of all, thanks to all those mothers and their birth stories….thanks for inspiring me to do this.

My pregnancy period has been very typical of what we see in the movies – the lady who is pregnant first falls down unconscious, then a doc or maybe in Tamil movies, an old lady comes by, checks the pulse and says “neenga amma-aaga poreenga” (You are going to become a mother). Cut scene – Next scene – the lady rushes to the nearest available bathroom to waaaah---puke.

Well, even if I did not fall unconscious, I was feeling strangely giddy at 12.00 in the noons, more than an hour before lunch time. Then, I used to think that my cornflakes intake wasn’t enough. At about 1.15, on some days, if I hadn’t had my lunch by then, I would feel way too dizzy. After two weeks of this ordeal only I skipped my period and took the home test. Gosh! I couldn’t take it at first. We hadn’t planned it at all. No, I don’t blame it on condoms or anything. I think we mis-calculated the safe periods. After a lot of thinking through, we said we will go ahead with this. More than me, my husband was sure that we go ahead.

Cut – next scene – actually next 3 months I ate and threw up all that I could. I cried at every available instance. I hated anybody who tried to console me that “its always like that”. I hated my hubby for trying to pat me, I hated him even if he touched me. But he has been quite patient. Hehe…sometimes I used to blame my mood swings to my pregnancy. I envied everyone who said, I never had as much as you do. I hadn’t informed my office as yet. All because of the “drishti” thing!!! I used to sneak into the bathrooms, bend down as close as possible (yuck!!!) to the commodes and throw up. The sound of me vomiting shouldn’t come out you see….I hate myself for being secretive now. J

But, immediately after the first trimester got over, I stopped throwing up completely. It was like the baby thought, - Let me stop now – poor thing this. She stopped at the dawn of my second trimester. Bless her! I started loving being pregnant that day.

Now, me also going to do it in parts! Oh how I love the ideas that you guys give me.

May 14, 2008

Must dos

I have been meaning to write about these two things for some time now:
Just posting this to keep reminding myself -
  1. In memory of beloved Mohammed uncle (aka Mohd. Arif / Bai/ driver)
  2. Aditi - birth story

I have been *totally* smitten by the birth stories doing rounds in the blogosphere. Why leave Aditi's out of it? I wish to write about both of them some time soon.