Sep 27, 2012

This day, last year

I've been meaning to write this post for quite a while and it has taken me a year to put down those wonderful memories into words. Memories to be cherished for a lifetime! Memories to be revisited whenever I want to gather some strength in life when I can proudly say "I did it!"

Experiencing labor pains and the transformation into a new mother - something that every woman goes through in her life which is very, very special. Around this time last year, I was having severe contractions and was immediately rushed to hospital. My husband was driving the car while I was holding my brother's hands tight. I never thought a speed breaker bump can be so painful when in labor. We reached Cloudnine hospital around midnight. The gynecologist confirmed that my labor had started and I was 4 cm dilated.  Since we had booked our room earlier, I immediately got settled. With each passing minute, the intensity of the pain was increasing. A glass of mosambi juice gave some temporary relief. The nurses came every hour or so, checking my blood pressure and other necessary parameters. Around 3:30 AM, the pain was severe but labor wasn't progressing much. So they gave me a choice to take a pain killer shot which would help me to get some sleep. I took it and slept for a while though I could still feel the pain every 5 minutes. At 8:00 AM, my gynecologist came and gave some medications for me to proceed with labor. For the next 2 hours, I was screaming with pain and yelling at everybody. Thankfully, things went fine with no complications and I delivered a beautiful, tiny baby girl. The nurses in the labor room were very helpful. My hubby was present with me, throughout the delivery and that was so comforting.

The nurse placed my little angel on my chest and she immediately started crying. That's supposedly a good sign. After checking her initial parameters, they wrapped her up in a clean, white towel and brought her to me. Our eyes met for the first time. I made a promise to her that I'll do as best as I can in my new role as her mother.

The medications and the recovery process made me feel so exhausted the rest of the day. I wasn't sure what was going on around me. The night was extremely tough with my daughter continuously crying and we had to call the nurse every 5 minutes. The nurses in Cloudnine were very helpful and supportive.

Sleepless nights, sudden crying sessions (both me and my baby) and emotional swings were all the after-effects in the next one month. It took me a while to actually lift my daughter with confidence. Slowly, the anxieties of a new mom came under control. I have never been so grateful to the power of Internet as I have in the past year. Even my silliest of doubts had an answer somewhere on the web.

From the beginning, I was very determined that I'm going to nurse my daughter exclusively and will not give her formula milk. I firmly believe that's the best gift a mother can give to a baby. Thanks to the Almighty, I'm still able to nurse my baby and it's been such a satisfying experience for the past one year. The introduction of solids has been an exciting and challenging phase as well. I have made sure that I give her home cooked food and not packaged foods. One thought that keeps pushing me in the right direction is "Choose what is right for the baby and not what is convenient to you".

As months passed, her milestones like rolling over, sitting, crawling and standing brought in a lot of joy and excitement. I can't wait to start walking with her, have conversations, play "Monopoly" together, answer her list of questions and many many more. But this first year will always be the most special one.

Sep 19, 2012

the third time

Before you proceed any further, read this blogpost of mine to get some context.

Now, the third time was indeed a charm. After the disaster that happened three years ago, I made proper kozhukkattais this time for Ganesh Chaturthi. I'm so happy that they were edible. The shapes could have been better.

I planned quite well in terms of risk mitigation. Less quantity of raw materials to begin with so I don't waste them if at all it didn't turn out well. I also prepared a backup offering for Lord Ganesha in the form of moong dhal payasam.

After the kozhukkattais came out well, I felt I could have made more of them. The sweet tooth was asking for a couple more pieces. Unlike me and hubby, our little daughter is not into sweets yet. I just gave her a small piece and her facial expression indicated that she didn't like it. I said to myself, "her reaction might be different next year". Hope so!!

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