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Sunday, 31 July 2016

Baby's Day Out (with us!)

Today, little Keisha is going out for lunch! This will be the longest she is going to be out of her house. The last time she spent this much time out was traveling to Bangalore. And that was a total of 5 hours. This one might surpass that. Thankfully, after 3 days of non stop rains, it is bright and sunny today.

We are going to our relatives who live in the same city. The district they live in is the place we absolutely love going to because of it happening crowd, amazing cafes and eating joints (while we stay in the heart of the city bustling with the most happening brand outlets and shopping hubs). That place is more 'young' - happening and value for money at the same time. We loved strolling around there, the last time we were there.

This time it is lunch at someone's house so we think we won't be getting to see the area. :-(

Talking of outings, my best bud who lives in London and has a 1 year old daughter, is planning a trip to Austria. This would be her first after the birth of her baby. Makes me ponder, when will we be planning trips again :-)

Got to rush now folks. See you all!

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Do I feel normal yet?

It has a been 4 and a half months. Almost.

The pudginess on the tummy remains, it seems lessened though. Should feel better about it. No. Nothing like that.

The sensation on the surgery scar continues. Its lighter, way lighter. Now it doesn't come with the a deep knot in the heart. It's just there.

The consciousness of being 'fat' is all over me. I have lost 3 kgs, feel better? Not yet.

The baby rolls over, spits and wails. I have to be a super mom still. The challenge accepted? Not quite. Trying.

I feel the stares boring into my neck as I walk past twenty somethings. They are judging me, I say.

An old lady barely standing straight trudges past me on my evening walk. I will not judge her, I say.

My life's journey is split in two - before and after.

I am wiser, crazier, calmer, more foolish than ever, all at once.

It is not the hormones. It is life, in general.

Friday, 29 July 2016

How Much Help Does a New Mother Need?

As a new mother, a lot of people ask me how I am coping with the demands of an infant's round the clock schedule. And almost all of them gasped when I told them I am going back to stay with my husband with no support from my mom from there on.

I had the help of my mom and dad for the first four months of being a mother. It meant everything was taken care of apart from taking care of the baby's essentials.

In the initial 15-20 days, it was my parents, my mother in law, my husband and my brother who were around my 24/7. If you ask me, those were the most difficult days. There are a few things which are different in the first 20 odd days -

1. If you had a surgery, chances are that the first 20 days sitting will also be a task. So would be sleeping, holding your baby, caring for her and yourself. This is definitely the time to garner all the help you can. If you already know you will have a caesarean, plan ahead. Ask a friend or relative to come over. Hire help if possible. Keep the kitchen ready with ready to eat frozen meals. Ask your partner to do laundry and other things.

2. The emotional mess that your are. The moment you are back from the hospital, there is a barrage of emotions you go through, and you have no idea why! Mostly it is the hormone levels receding in your body causing all this chaos. But it makes things all the more difficult coupled with a new baby.

3. Lack of sleep - No explanation required.

4. Lack of experience - If you are a first time mom, you will not know how to handle a lot of things and hence you will require an experienced person or an expert around you.

Once you are past this, you start getting a hang of things and soon you are enjoying the perks of a new mommy. However, you still have a lot of work at hand! If you are managing the baby by yourself (no relative apart from husband) then a hired help will be a relief. I am lucky enough I have someone to come and clean the house and do the dishes and a cook to take care of dinner. This alone makes it a whole lot saner for me.

 

Thursday, 28 July 2016

#WeightWatch

Those who read my blog regularly, would know how I have challenged myself to the #oneyearchallenge. A part of that is losing the unnecessary weight I have accumulated during pregnancy and lets face it even before that.

On the way to my #fitnessgoals, I have managed to get a weighing scale at home and measured myself today.

I am now 71 kgs. Yoohoo!!

So I have managed to loose 3 kgs till date. That is a pretty dismal performance, BUT I am still on the right track. Not losing heart, I am continuing my journey to a healthier self.

9 kgs to go!

Mother's Milk is best ?

I suffered from high blood pressure during the last trimester of my pregnancy, my baby was born almost a month early because the doctor could not wait anymore as blood pressure was soaring.

I remember how even breathing was a task and with the blood pressure hitting critical levels and a salt-less diet and the medicines I was subjected to, it was a harrowing experience for me. This was coupled with the fear that the baby might be at risk. The doctor would check me twice a day for the last 10 days and make sure the baby was okay.

The blood pressure and the surgery left me with more medicines than I could imagine. I am not sure if this was the reason or just some physiology but I was not able to get breast milk in the first few days of the baby's birth. My baby got used to the bottle and then after repeated attempts finally started latching.

The milk was mostly insufficient for her, so the bottle continued. And a couple of months later, she simply stopped latching on. It was too much of a task for her. The bottle was far more easier.

So, my baby is a formula fed baby. Everywhere I go, there are people prodding me if I breast feed her and judging me for it. Includes people who have never had a baby themselves!

And then there is this media overload around us, telling us constantly that a child must be breast fed. As if I am wrong to bottle feed my baby. It is not a choice I was handed out in the first place and it is nobody's business to judge me.

While it is all fine to be supporting breast feeding - and stop the shaming surrounding public breast feeding, it is equally important to normalize bottle feeding. A mother goes through a sackful of life altering experiences while having a child and there is absolutely no need to add to the pressure.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

#fitnessgoals

Fitness is a fad for many, for me it is a necessity. Pregnancy gave me my baby, but it also gave me pregnancy induced hypertension. I am still getting treated for it and hence managing my lifestyle is a very important feature for me.

Now hypertension is a case of high blood pressure which in turn can cause serious health risks for you. However if managed well, you can live a normal life with it.
In pregnancy induced hypertension, there is a chance you may get rid of it and there is chance it may continue to pester you lifelong. If it is temporary, then proper medication would have helped you get rid of it, but if it is permanent then you are on lifelong medicine intake.

The verdict is still not out in my case. My BP is being controlled with medication these days, and along with this I need to eat carefully and exercise to loose weight.

Now, since I have moved back, I have been taking ocassional walks and watching my food intake. I still need to start exercising. So I am starting with the following :

Equipment Required -

1. A fitness ball - bought and inflated 
2. Walking shoes - done
3. Weighing scale - TBD :-(
4. Motivation!!

Started 3 days back without the weighing scale... wish me luck !


Monday, 25 July 2016

Mom's Walk of Pride

A mom walks as her little one follows her begrudgingly :)
The little lady sleeps peacefully. There is a general sense of calm. Things look more in control now than earlier. May be it is just a phase. We all go through this.
Yesterday some friends of ours invited us over for a day of fun with them. A full day! And all I could think of was the number of baby bottles, formula, boiled water, diapers and wipes I would be carrying to cover for a full day!!!
It takes planning to even take a walk in the community park. 
I look down the balcony lost in these thoughts and as if to give weight to my thoughts as some primordial truth, I see a mommy walking on the jogging track below with her little one following with his nanny in tow.
Now, little ones do not care that you cannot fit into your summer dress anymore and need a solid run everyday. They are more curious with the shadows of the trees and the foliage turned verdant this monsoon. Every now and then he waves at the passersby and picks the tamarind fruit cast away by the tree above him. He knows not his mothers hurry and is taking in the sun's glory.
The mother on the other hand, has a watch to follow. She is looking at it and calculating. It takes 6 minutes to take one round of the track without the baby, with the baby it might take 12. Her ambition is slowly melting away in the balmy sun. She is after all a mother first.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Mommy Marathon

It has been 2 consecutive days that little Miss Keisha has developed major FOMO and decided not to slumber!

So she stays up all day; between our desperate pleas towards afternoon nap, managing an hour in all. The nights are relatively better for the six hour sleep we get #toucheswood

And the shrieks have turned into a daily past time, I am half aware of the surrounding apartments where people must be left wondering.

Needless to say, a little disheveled state of mind combined with lack of proper sleep has left me searching for some #lifegoals

I know I am just rambling today :-(

Trying to nap, you bet mommy!


Saturday, 23 July 2016

What Changed?!

It's well past noon.
The little lady sleeps. I can do something now. My mind constantly rambles all the things I want to say, are there any listeners? None, perhaps...
I am the listener, the doer, the planner, the procrastinator. For these are the thoughts everyone knows but no one would want to hear for me.
Is it just me or being a 30 year old mother means being isolated. No more movie outings, no more spontaneous trips to the mall, no more weekend getaways. Heck, I cannot visit the loo without planning. She senses somehow that mommy just took her first morsel since morning or that she just sat down to write ( As I write, I can hear that she is up).
5 minutes later, I am sitting with her in my lap, as she wriggles, putting my elbow as a safety check so she does not fall and my fingers still typing away.

Yes, I planned my baby, I wanted to be a mother. Wanting a baby is an abstract idea, loving her is abstract but doing laundry, feeding and nursing and bathing and cleaning several times over a day is real, very real. Even more complex is going out for an hour and finding your sobbing baby upon return, because she missed you - my heart broke in a million pieces.
Still typing - with one hand now... and i realise how this is in deep contradiction of smelling the roses. But then, that's all of us.

For at the other end, is my 4 month old squealing with joy on seeing her favorite toy. I need to fetch.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Back Home!

Its been 4 days that I am back with my partner.

The last 10 months, we had been staying apart due to my pregnancy and thereafter to look after my baby with my parents' help.

Now back to this city with my little one and husband, life is completely different this time around. I am no more corporate professional rushing to work in the morning and coming back 12 hours later. Between coming home and going to work again was what I called my married life. Oh, we were like room mates who were also 'really close' :-D

Now, I am a SAHM (stay at home mother), making breakfast in the morning, taking care of a 4 month old baby, changing her, feeding her and keeping her entertained. It gets boring having to wait for a husband who is out for work however, I saw something special today.

I saw a blue butterfly, a figging blue butterfly on the tamarind tree in front of my balconies. It was a vibrant blue, resplendent in its summer glory. I was jubilant. I must be crazy, eh?

The last 10 years of my business degree and work life, I have yearned to 'stop and smell the roses' figuratively speaking and quite literally too. And today, I just did.

I know what weather it is outside of a closed cubicle. I can feel the breeze, have an evening tea, plan my dinner and write my blog.

I had that life and it was good and bad ( a career with no personal life) and I have this life and it is both good and bad again ( personal freedom and career on hold).

In a couple of months, I might back to a grueling schedule putting all 'smell the roses' dreams to some unforeseen weekend.

Before that happens, let me just smell the roses.
 

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Walking with God

(I wrote this a long time back, but it is still very contextual to me)

God has been walking beside me in the strangest of ways. Have you ever felt God’s presence in your life so strongly, so earnestly, that it eased you into peace and re-surging calm. I think I have.
It is amazing…I read this short story killing time in the doctor’s reception.

I saw a dream the other night…I was walking along a beach with God. There were two pairs of foot impressions along the length of the beach.
I asked God what it was..God answered,"These represent your life as you walked through it".
“Then who does the other pair of steps belong to?” I asked.
“That would be me” God replied.
As I followed those steps, I noticed that whenever I was going through the toughest times in my life there was only one pair of step.
Deeply saddened that God left my side when I needed him/her the most, I asked God "Where were you when I needed you?”
God replied,”Darling, I was carrying you.”
That’s pretty much my experience with God…whenever I have wondered why God was not helping me in my times of distress.. I have come to a calming realization that God was busy carving out his best plans for me.
IMG-20150921-WA0018

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Transition

I wrote this piece of fiction prose a couple of years ago. From a mother to her mother.

You have told me several times that you love me and that you will hold on to me till your last breath.
And I have never really poured much thought into it. Moms talk like that.

You have told me that you felt all of your life's love surge in your heart, when you saw me for the first time.
But I never so much as pondered over the meaning of those profound words. Because moms always talk like that.

You have taken my hand in yours and looked at me as if your whole world finds it meaning in my eyes.
Although I never have glanced so deeply in your eyes to see that they well up when you do so. Because that is what moms do.

And now as I hold my new born child in my arms, my thought trajectory is taking me into all those moments, when you told me that you loved me and I never thanked you enough.

And so, today, I hold my little child in my arms and look into her eyes, the way you looked into mine and tell her - I love you so, just the way my mom loves me.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

#NewMommyblues

Last month, little Keisha turned 3!
She has started cooing, gurgling, singing and screaming her lungs out, yes! And of course, sucking her thumb :(
I am told the thumb sucking is normal if temporary. Hope so!
So she is basically having a great time being a baby.
I, on the other hand, find myself really troubled with a few things. Here they are.

1. The weight is so hard to come off. I last reported losing 2 kgs, and one month later it is still at 3 kgs. Progress, if you must insist.
2. The job - with a baby in tow, my heart fails to understand how will i ever get back to work. The longer the gap, the more difficult it will be to get back to work commensurate with my experience.
3. There is another thing, by end of July, I will be going back to our place (hubby and I) with the baby. Now the baby is so comfortable with her grand parents, I do not know if she will be able to cope with not being able to see them so often.

While No.3 has to be done, and No.1 must be done(Yes!), it is No.2 that I am very indecisive about.

Time shall tell ladies!

Baby Keisha at 3 months



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