I’m all set to dash off to the hospital anytime or so I’ve been saying for weeks now. But hey, you can’t blame me. Its all cozy inside says the Doc so LG is quite comfortable to stay warm in a hospitable environment for another two weeks. One thing is certain - he is as lazy as his parents are. I went in for my fourth and final Sonography last Friday and the doc was kind enough to run us (mom and I) through the foetus on the monitor. Believe me, I kept nodding my head as he showed us the liver, one eye (the other eye was underneath),heart, kidneys, limbs etc., but I couldn’t comprehend anything clearly. Its all hazy inside. And there in a flash I mentally did a rerun of the F.R.I.E.N.D.S episode where Ross tries his best to show the peanut sized foetus to Rach, except that in this case LG is a full grown 3 Kg baby.
My body structure now fits the bill for a “Happy Woman” if there were one like those Chinese “Happy Man” statues - a fat belly, short arms lifted upward in a comfortable sitting posture. Other than a heavy feeling and sleeplessness, all other irritating factors such as sciatica, vomitting, itchiness have been low this week. 38 weeks down…the finish line is so near yet so far.
Over 3 years, this blog has got 23,000 hits and has about 420 posts. Sure, there have been weird searches on Google as shown by my Usage statistics that lead to this blog but nothing as crazy as this one today - Pregnancy outsourcing to India ..now we are stretching our offshoring services too far, aren’t we?
It is time to announce my other blog titled Lil General Rules that I’ve been writing for a while now. A word of caution before I proceed further..since most of the regular readers of this blog are men, I think it is important to state this so that you and I are not embarrassed …Career, Pregnancy and Kids as the name implies is a week by week chronicle of what I’ve gone through since April..there is nothing gross in there yet that would make your stomachs churn. Having said that, there isn’t anything juicy or interesting like Formula 1 either. Its all mundane, boring stuff on weight loss, weight gain, blood tests, martial arts of the baby, visits to the doctor and some unanswered questions as i took a break in my career — which I am sure you can live without if your wife is not expecting. If you are single, then all the more better..don’t even bother to click the link.
If I still have your attention, go ahead and read it.
Officially, today is the begining of the 9th month. It can happen anytime after this is what I’m told…naturally the pampering has multiplied a zillion times. Now I call myself the “fat lazy pregnant lady” who sleeps, eats, excretes and repeats the cycle all over again without getting off her a*. And if neither one of the above happensas it should, then I rattle that question “why can’t humans reproduce like snakes and what was granny thinking when she gave birth to 11 kids?”
I have been out of work for nearly two months now and it has been amazing so far - contrary to what I feared. Ofcourse, pangs of guilt hit me often - for lazing around when a plethora of opportunities are knocking at my door and me not earning. Taking one day at a time doing freelancing when I wish to, Tanjore painting, solving Sudoku puzzles, GTalking….
Disclaimer: The foul language is not me talking. Its the effect the weight is having on my senses or so I would like you to think.
With 33 weeks over and the 34th week underway, the bump is drawing wide-eyed glares from passers by on the street as I go for my evening stroll. Mom had so much trouble getting our empty cylinder refilled here as it lay idle for over an year. I accompanied her to the cylinder station and there you go, we got it in 2 day’s time on “humanitarian grounds”. Not a day has passed when I have not got goodies from the neighbours - varieties of dishes and snacks to munch upon. In the shopping malls, on the streets, name it and its all respect for LG. For once in these 8 months, I am enjoying it
At home, the house is getting geared for the Lil General’s arrival. Closet arranged with LG’s clothes, getting the bag ready to dash to the hospital at any time of the day/night, getting the room in order when we arrive home, a place to hang LG’s washed clothes ..I’m just running out of the numerous things mom keeps doing the whole day and there’s still so much in her to-do list. I dare imagine how it would have been without her..
Baby Shower is a tradition that is followed in many cultures across the world. It is a special way of welcoming a new life in to the world and showing that you care. It is usually hosted by family/friends for the pregnant woman.
In India too it is observed in some states though called by different names such as godh barai in the North or Valakappu in Tamil Nadu. In Tamil Brahmins, Valakappu is performed in the eighth month of pregnancy in the mother’s house and Seemantham in the mother-in-laws house during the seventh month of pregnancy. However, of late both these functions are performed together either on the same day or on consecutive days keeping in mind the long hours it takes for the rituals to be completed which can be very exerting for the pregnant woman.
My valakappu was celebrated on 3rd November at Trichy. We skipped the Seemantham function. The dat began with me and everyone waking up at 4:30 a.m., granny (usually mother-inlaw does this) put some ceremonial oil on the forehead and I took the ritual oil shower. Following this, I was given a black sari..this is the only function when a black colored dress is worn. Black is symbolic to warding off evil spirits.. Adorning two flower garlands, I sat down while granny made a Ganesha (elephant faced god) out of turmeric and water. all functions begin with a prayer to Vigneshwara (another name of Lord Ganesha). She followed this by slipping 2 bangles in the hands of my cousin, any small girl would do.
Female relatives and friends who had come down for the function sang devotional songs while granny slipped two bangles on each of my arms made out of twigs/grass tied together. This act is supposed to the child from evil spirits. Then about 5 ladies slipped glass bangles in my arms totalling to 21 on the right hand and 20 on the left. Only red and green bangles made of glass are supposed to be worn for this function. it was a lil different with the ladies just touching the bangles and then handing them over to my dad. he is adept in putting me bangles as I have a very weird arm with bones poking at every corner. Finally granny smeared turmeric paste on my arms and feet. This was followed by another function called poochoodal in which delicacies made of white and brown color (21 each) were tied around by waist. 2 small kids were asked to pick one delicacy. The color they pick is a superstitious way of guessing the gender of the child. In my case, both the kids picked appam which meant it would be a girl child cotrary to everyone’s opinion. So lets see what LG turns out to be.
Though there have been times, when the education makes you question the relevance of such superstitious traditions and beliefs, it is amazing how rich our tradition is and there is apparently a valid and sensible reason why these rites were performed. What has got diluted over the years is the way it is done..and ignorance of why something is done. If only we had that knowledge it would be amazing..it remains to be seen how many generations can take this forward..
After the emergency incident, all I have been upto the past few weeks has been sleeping and eating. By sleeping I mean, for a good 15 hours everyday at any corner of the house that has a couch or a bed and is cozy/comfortable and this place has a lot of them. I look FAT now and heavily pregnant with just 7 more weeks to go when Lil General will make an appearance. I hope he/she is patient enough to stay in until then. A lot of people who are not familiar with the Indian laws have asked me if I know what the gender of the baby is. I don’t and it is illegal here to try and find out. Infact, either I or Vivek have to sign a form everytime I go for a sonography declaring we will not attempt to find the gender. From experience all the oldies I have met till now believe it is a boy..lets see.
I have a whole bunch of posts sitting in the draft stage and a couple of sites waiting to be launched. Amidst all the craziness that ensued over the past few weeks, the only work I got done was cancelling a whole lot of flight and train tickets and rebooking them and planning everyone’s itinerary. What a fun thing to do. And then there was Diwali on the 21st. I stayed away from the fun part this year - watching Vivek and his friends bursting crackers for the better part of that evening. It was fun nevertheless. Pune this year though did not have its usual enthusiasm and festive spirit as rains played spoilsport. There will be another spell of blogging hiatus as I travel to Trichy this weekend.
The last 2 days have been pretty crazy. I was staying by myself with Vivek gone for a week to San Francisco. Parents as such were very worried as to how I will manage. Used to being by myself, I put up a brave front and was holding up well until things changed for worse on Tuesday evening. I discovered something strange (I would rather not go into the details of what it was..it is grouse for guys who will read it) and called up mom. Frantic as she always is, she urged me to visit the doctor. Surprisingly, my good neighbor thought there was reason to worry too and accompanied me to the doctor.
My doctor who is as cool as a cucumber always, asked me to report in immediately to the hospital despite it being not one of her regular visit days. She examined me and remarked “You got to get admitted right away!” Knowing her, this took me by surprise. I pleaded with her to go back home and return the next day as there was no family with me. She quipped that is reason enough that you stay here right now. A sonography followed by the admission process saw me in the hospital ward in the next 2 hours. Thankfully sonography turned out to be normal with Lil General all happy and kicking as always. So it must have definitely been something that I must have done - overexerting myself.
Numerous calls across the globe, plans changing in a few hours with mom deciding to fly in as early as she could which is this afternoon and Vivek coming in by tomorrow early morning ensued in the 2 hours that followed - this briefly describes the turn of events. Ironically, V sent more hours travelling (close to 80 hours) than the no. of hours he stayed at SFO and mom’s willpower to make through this travel has sent me in a tizzy.
However, the reason I’m writing this post is because I was OVERWHLEMED by the support and hospitality of so many people - starting from my neighbor Radha/Sanjay who stayed overnight with me at the hospital, got me admitted, got food every 2 hours until Wednesday afternoon when I finally got discharged, despite their kids having exams. And then there were Vivek’s friends Nasir/Yasmeen who were present for a good part of the day taking care of all the bureaucratic part that a hospital admission demands. And then there was Surya who just took me by surprise and dropped me home. Sid, Subu, Kshitij and all others who stood by..thank you all!
I know that a lot of people are going to be mad reading this post as the doctor allowed me to go home early if I took complete REST. But I owed this to everyone. This is one of the things I have been completely advised against doing — getting stressed by spending hours on my projects which is totally not worth it!
This incident taught me one big lesson - I take family for granted but I shouldn’t. And friends never ever for granted. None of the people whose names are written here know about this blog but maybe someday if they do, I just want them to know I was grateful. And on a lighter note, never leave a pregnant woman alone especially one who is upto antics like me!
Have you ever felt like committing a sin taking a day off from work and just sitting at home doing nothing? Wonder why I feel awful? I felt terribly sick to crawl out of bed this morning because of leg cramps. But I kept telling myself it is only Tuesday and not customary to take the day off ..for the past few weeks I have been skipping work on Wednesdays - mid week and works out well with 2 more days to go before the weekend. I finally decided to call in sick.
Apart from these spurts of tiredness and a feeling of bloatedness, I have been holding up pretty well. Though at any moment I have totally different answers when people ask “How I am feeling?” From being great with a glow on my face to a grumpy sad puppy look you can see it all in a day. Meanwhile, Lil General is having a great time practicing soccer even past midnight.
Sometimes doing nothing and lazing around for the better part of the day does wonders … but the demons kept reminding through my afternoon nap that it was time to do something productive - work on my website, do freelancing, writing ….The work ticker is on. 5 more working days to go.
I am not talking Physics here - so it is definitely not about lenses or mirrors. This is how the shape of a woman’s body transforms over months as she progresses through her pregnancy. I’m not boasting of a flawless one before this but the change now is so apparent that stares from colleagues/passersby at work makes me conscious of the bump suddenly. More and more clothes are finding their way to the after-January wardrobe. What fit last week won’t anymore. Last Friday was fun when I tried confidently jeans after jeans while getting ready for work and finally settled for some old loose clothes. How can I forrget the smile on Vivek’s face as he watched me upto my antics? Well, on the brighter side I get to buy new ones.
I’m still weeks away from being “heavily”? pregnant(yet to find out what it means as the baby-center newsletter keeps referring to this). The baby center newsletter is just about the only literature we have been reading occasionally on pregnancy. And I must say the casual attitude has helped us not to get stressed and ignorance to an extent seems bliss. Friends who have gone through this say they used to flood their Docs with calls asking “the book says this should have happened by week xyz. but hasn’t, is it a cause for worry?” Our Doc fortunately is as casual as we are. On a recent visit, I complained of breathlessness and she calmly responded what’s the problem? Take a long deep breath 4-5 times.” you get the picture