Monday, March 30, 2009

Things I've learnt in the last few days

1. When baby cries much more than his usual quota and at a different time of the day than what he usually does, take him to the doctor to get his ears checked, or check if there's a lot of wax / something else coming out of his ears.

2. When you're all set to go for your first hair cut in several months, to get those estrogen powered long hair styled into something short and chic, don't expect your stylist to listen to you - especially if it's a hi-fi hair styling salon.

3. When your baby is small, it is best to call small groups of friends home late evening when he'll be asleep - best way to inject some life into an almost dying social life.

In the middle of last week, my parents came visiting for a day to play with Atri, as I'd been raving to mom that he's getting very playful and she doesn't want to miss this stage altogether. So enthusiastically, here there were in the morning, which is Atri's best time of the day. He plays, coos, gurgles and naps and things are usually on schedule. Contrary to the regular, that day he had severe crying bouts, falling off to sleep in exhaustion for 10 minutes or so only to wake up bawling. I was wondering is it colic, is it an effect of seeing too many people at a time he's only with me, or is it his cold of 3 days bothering him somewhere? Colic aid and nasoclear nasal drops did not help, and I was lucky to have my people at home that day as I'd have been driven to tears of frustration seeing baby suffer and cry. I'd taken an appointment at the salon for the afternoon, with mom to babysit Atri, but those heartrenting cries made me promptly cancel the appointment. He was much better by 4 and slowly getting back to his usual self. Around early morning while nursing him I felt a big ball of wax sitting in his ear, almost popping out and easily flicked out with a finger tip. I immediately jumped to the conclusion that the impacted wax was the reason for his ear-ache and cries - and since it is out, he should be fine. Well, I was wrong. After the hubby left for office I was with Atri in the balcony where I wanted to check his ear in natural light, and to my utter horror there was something bloody in his right ear, almost crusted blood and some more oozing. Blood and babies don't mix at all. Seeing blood on her baby, is the most horrible thing for a mother I guess and I thought my knees would give way and my innards would fall out- such a sinking feeling that, especially because I was by myself. I immediately paged the paediatrician on his mobile and he said the cold, the crying, the wax pushing out and now the bloody discharge all point to an ear infection leading to a perforated ear drum - spelling out my worst fears. Luckily my presence of mind prevailed and I remembered that one of my neighbours is a senior ENT surgeon. He was kind enough to check baby before leaving for his clinic and said it is a perforation but the extent of it can be known only if checked under the microscope. I called the hubby back home from office (living 15 mins from the office has its advantages) - and we took him to the ENT clinic where the doc cleaned his ear and found a tiny perforation. Antibiotics, cold medication, ear drops, nose drops and lots of cuddles and hugs later, Atri is much better, but this is a big lesson I have learnt. Never ignore a baby who is crying much more than usual - it always means something. It is better to think of the worst than attributing it to cries of boredom or something non-serious.

My big question to doc was why did my baby get an infection - he is exclusively breast fed and we don't even expose him to the polluted environs of this city! He said it is very common, especially after a cold and nearly every baby has his share of ear infection. My biggest worry was the after effect of a perforation, but he said being a tiny one, it will heal by itself. As much as I want that we don't load baby's system with medications especially antibiotics, at times like these, we rarely have a choice.

Since two weeks I've been losing a hell of a lot of hair each day, I believe a week's hairloss is enough to weave a wig for a small head. So, I did keep my Saturday appointment at the salon to get my hair cut - however not in the style that I'd visualised. I wanted something wash and wear, managable and easily styled and the stylist said in his matter-of-fact way that the styles I wanted did not match with my requirements. Besides he convinced me to maintain the length. In short, it is the usual client proposes, stylist disposes. My hair has never ever been so long, thanks to all the humungous calcium pills I regularly popped through pregnancy. Anyway, I did manage to go to the salon leaving the dad and son to have some guy-times and manage to have my hair styled after ages which itself is a huge positive and a big reason to be happy, even though the end result was not as I'd imagined it would be. Is it ever?? Until then, I'm just going to make myself happy, trying out loads of hairstyles and haircolours and make up - virtually. Try it, it's loads of fun, I promise.

I finally feel upto posting a pic of me with baby on Facebook :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A perfect women's day!

As I write this, we have shut every single window and door in our house to cut ourselves from the maniacal noises of bollywood songs blasting from every possible direction, one trying to out do the other in matters of boom-boom. (It is Holi today!) I haven't heard a track that is as much 'emosional attyachar' as the track that goes by the same words!! The husband has wisely shut his ears with his noise cancellation earphones and singing to his dear son, some favourite tracks from the pod and I am trying to watch the match while trying to immerse myself in some writing. Needless to say, we are driven crazy living in one of the noisiest neighbourhoods in the city (are there any quiet ones at all?)


Both the hubby and me are not big believers in any 'days', but we sometimes manage to surprise ourselves or each other. Not that it is actually related to this post.

The past Sunday was Women's day - even if we forgot we had 3 Sunday newspapers to remind us of it. That morning I decided to visit the salon close to my house (2 buildings away) instead of the usual one that is a bit far that I used to frequent in the days before I became momma. These days all things close by are preferred - due to the race against time to be back before Atri starts demanding his next feed. I had decided that it was time to get in shape - not the whole of me, just the eyebrows - as it is definitely the easier of the two. So eyebrows neatly threaded and feet tended to, talons painted a rose pink, I felt like a new woman. Routine things of the past seem like the luxury nowadays, which I guess is a part of becoming a mother, our needs clearly (and willingly) sent to the back seat.

In the afternoon, we decided to test-drive the Mothercare carrier (I call it the space suit)for the second time. We hit one of the newer malls in the suburbs, which has wider corridors, lesser crowds, espcially in the late afternoons. The husband and me also managed to eat Natural icecream in the food court - I cant remember the last time we ate together :) so this was quite a celebration. We didn't want to outstay our welcome ( read time allotted to us by Atri) so we made a dash home after doing a good amount of window shopping. He seemed pretty comfortable in the carrier throughout except for the time we are trying to get him into the space suit and figure out how to affix the numerous buckles and straps.

The third outing of the day was the building gettogether party we attended in our terrace, the first we have attended in over three years of living here. The highlight of the evening was some fantastic food catered by an authentic Tamil caterer who on learning that we are Tamil insisted on serving us with double the gusto! The party was on the poolside and the breeze was just superbly cool - I rushed downstairs to get some cotton to be plugged into Atri's ears, but his superactive hands pulled them out twice, after which I gave up. I'm surprised he could sleep in his carrier on daddy's tummy even as the speakers blared out the same old bollywood hits (is there any function that happens here without the DJs dishing out this fare in full blast?)! The funny bit is that we tiptoe and shush each other around the house when he is sleeping so that we don't disturb the Lord and there he manages to sleep in ear splitting music - so Atri's first party was a very positive experience, giving us hope for many more in the future. After a couple of hours upstairs watching the couple games and straws-stuck-in-the-head catwalks to 'Fashion ka hai yeh jalwa' I came back home leaving the hubby to have his grub, managing to catch the Filmfare awards from 9 pm -11 pm after which I decided to call it a day. BTW Deepika Padukone seemed so dead in her compering - did the others think so, or is it just me? I always liked her!

So a record three outings in one day surely made this woman's day PERFECT!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Q1 results

Dear Baby,

You completed your first quarter yesterday and equally exciting news is that I completed the first quarter of momhood. It is a weird phenomenon where each day is so full, long and tiring and then weeks fly past us in a blur. From being completely at sea and overwhelmed when we brought you home on 8th December to today, we have matured as parents, as people.

The past 3 months, were a lesson in patience, love, selflessness and everything else that we had to learn to take care of the little helpless life in our hands - You. Today, I wont claim too much, but I am more confident that I can take care of you - and if we've done alright in the first three months, we wont err too much in catering to your needs - which for now are only milk and loads of love (this includes regular bum cleaning, singing, reading, rocking, hugging, kissing et al).

Your smiles have both dad and me weak in our knees. Especially the goofy smiles you give us when cleaning an especially big poopy job - it does make the smells more bearable :)

Your gaze is more fixed and I'm amazed how even boring stuff like curtains can hold your attention so.

You were born with a good head of hair, but your attempts at pulling them out with one hand while trying to stick the whole of the other hand into your little mouth, is not helping their growth. I try giving you a cloth to hold so that your poor head can be spared, but since you are a man of determination - you refuse to accept my offer.

You've become a pro at looking at dad and me, from time to time with your lower lip pouting out so cutely that we'll throw anything that's in our hands (yes even the laptop or expensive crystal) to attend to whatever it is that's troubling you. Such is the power of your little pink lower lip. I've always found this the cutest trait in babies and you've been reminding me of it since the last one month. Sometimes it's a prelude to a cry and sometimes you just make use of the lip alone to summon your slaves. What power!

The head holding bit, you managed to get that alright from the end of the first month itself, which the maushi (massage lady) gives herself all credit for and of course to me for getting her in so quickly on the job. Now when I put you on your tummy to give your bum some 'air time', you left your head perfectly well and even manage to do some push ups on your chubby little arms.

You've developed a huge fascination for your hands - and spare no effort in sticking one or both of them into your mouth. It can keep you occupied for a long time, well long enough for me to have my afternoon nap. Since your doctor declared that it is an important development milestone, we are in no way trying to get in the way of this love between you and your hand. Actually, it is this love that has got in the way of you turning on your tummy. About 6 weeks ago, your desire to get on your tummy was so fervent, that you'd try, try, try and then cry in frustration that you are not able to get there. But today this desire lies blissfully forgotten and I can see that your favourite rhyme is going to be 'One luscious, two luscious, three luscious lollipops'.

Your day time sleep has gone down sharply but since you sleep and let me sleep as well for most of the night, I don't mind keeping you entertained during the day.
You come up with a new word almost everyday. It started with 'Agooo' and now it includes many more like 'Tll', 'Dll', 'Khoo khoo', 'Gaai' and something that even sounds like 'Google'. I wont be surprised at the last one as my googling had sharply increased during pregnancy. Mornings and afternoons post-nap are the best times to have a meaningful conversation with you and I have noticed that you are happier to talk to me if I keep your bum free of nappies and diapers and pajamas. You will admit I am a very observant mom :)

Your legs are getting stronger (read kicks) especially when a hassled poor mom is trying to keep your bum dry by changing your nappy regularly. Also when I make an appearance at your crib after being absent for exactly 2 and a half minutes, you kick away in excitement as though you haven't seen me for months! When I hold you upright, the slightest something coming under your feet, you push down and do a jump of sorts - for which (also) maushi gives herself a lot of credit.

You've also learnt to stay alone with your mommy all day since you were two months old. I know it can be a bit boring seeing just one face apart from the house help and maushi's but what to do darling, something's gotta give!

I may have missed out on some things, but post pregnancy my memory has done a nosedive and I have no time or inclination to do a google on that.

Overall, we've been having a whale of a time, not counting the times I cry with you when you cry inconsolably for some reason, or when I feel I'm not keeping up with mommy duties as well as I should, or when I crave to go out and mingle with the rest of humanity.

It's a very long post this time, but hey its the First Quarter result after all.

A few more months / years down and we'll (me and dad) be reading this post fondly.

Lots of love and kisses to the pouty boy.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Isn't it a reason... jump with joy when baby has slept an 8 hour stretch at night?

This miracle happened for the first time Saturday night as Atri decided to give his mom a weekend treat of an extended snooze. I was praying that he does a repeat of it Sunday night, but who says miracles happen everydaynight? He was back to his 6 hour stretch last night, and I'm really not complaining :)

Taking multitasking to new heights

Indian Goddesses have always been portrayed as having many pairs of hands. Alas, I am not one and I seem to be sorely missing another pair.

Some examples of multitasking since Atri was born -

1. Checking on facebook while filling hot water in his tub and keeping an eye on the sambar bubbling on the stove. I need FB to know what goes on in the world outside baby and me.

2. Shaking the rattle with one hand while holding tea cup with the other and keeping baby's rocker going with one foot (this one takes my dexterity to new levels)
Why rattle and rock at the same time you may ask? This was discovered by my Mom in law and me that the rattle distracts him from crying and the rocking motion makes him drowsy - in the initial days I would find it difficult to handle two different movements with two different hands, but as they say - practice does make a man mom perfect.

3. Listening to FM radio (even though it sucks), catching up on reading during an extended nursing session

Looks like I'll totally forget to do one thing at a time. Isn't that a core competency of moms anyway?