Monday, September 20, 2010

Junior comes calling... and how... !!! (Part-III)

Well... continuing from where I left off in Part-I and Part II...

I underwent an elective LSCS in view of the previous myomectomy. Due to the spinal anaesthesia... I was able to hear and observe everything... even though a little drowsy. Only a bit, that is. I couldn't feel my legs and had no idea when the operation commenced... since a drape was put up before me. Else I would have seen the entire operation with my own eyes... and then would have required smelling salt, gulab ke phool, shoes, even buckets/mugs/jugs of water!! Perhaps... all of them and more!! Or... may have met with Chitragupta... for a li'l face-to-face chat. Not very appealing... what say??

Within 5-10 minutes I heard the anaesthetist say that I had a cute looking boy baby and that everything was fine. He congratulated me... and I heard the cry of a newborn baby. My baby! My little miracle! Then the drape was lowered temporarily and my baby... my own flesh and blood... was held up before me by the doc. He was crying full throttle... while I was staring at him totally fascinated! The nurses said... they will clean him up and bring him back... so that I could get a better view of him. He reappeared after a few minutes... all cleaned up and wrapped in a white towel... and the nurses held him close to my face. I kissed him and said: "Baby... welcome to earth." He just kept looking at me! And no... he did not resemble a prawn (!)... thats what I used to think all newborn babies look like *Hee hee*

Those were moments I will never forget... ever in my life. Nothing whatsoever... no achievements, rewards, awards... nothing at all... ever or will ever compare/match up to the feeling I experienced and still do. Of seeing my baby and hearing his cries for the very first time. And I said so to my doc as well. She just smiled. Having helped deliver thousands of babies for so many years... 3 decades to be precise... she is a veteran... and has witnessed this scene or heard this line... many times over. I'm sure.

Thereafter the rest of the surgery was completed... and I was wheeled into an 'observation room' inside the OT. After half an hour or so... I was taken to my room... where M and other family members were waiting... eagerly. The doc had already met them... and reassured that everything went on well... and that both mommy (yours truly) and baby were doing fine. Baby was already there... being carried/held by everyone... in turns. He must have been a little (or is it totally?) bewildered with all the sights, sounds and fussing over. A far cry from the compact and quiet world of the mother's womb... that he was so used to until a few minutes ago.

Even dad (M's father) had come... despite having undergone a cataract operation a couple of days ago. I told him... he was looking like a matinee hero of yore... courtesy his new glasses. He laughed... his usual boisterous laugh.

Now to chronicle M's experience: When our (newborn) baby was taken outside the OT (to be cleaned up)... he saw his 'papa'... looked at him and then slowly licked his lips with a languid grace. M says he doesn't know what happened to him thereafter. He just ran behind the nurse... following baby. Even though the nurse said she'll clean baby up and bring him back... he followed her and baby all the way and back. That's how the new 'papa' in him reacted. He too will never forget this experience. For sure! Truly priceless... our 'baby shona'. But... there was no couch-jumping for the new daddy. Sorry... Tom Cruize!

In keeping with the south Indian tradition of "auspicious time"/"muhurtams" we avoided "amavas" (amavasya) and got our discharge accordingly. We left the hospital in time to get home well before 1.30 pm... since 1.30 pm (on that day) was the deadline (under the "auspicious time") for baby's homecoming... after a short puja, that is. It is so exciting to bring your brand new baby home from the hospital! You want everything to go just perfectly. The cradle had already been bought the previous day... while the fumigation and a bit of carpentary work (fixing mosquito nets on the windows, etc) were completed a couple of days before. Courtesy baby's papa! Had it not been for the sudden and stressful dash to the finishing line (to quote Deepa)... things would never have been so rushed.

Sleepless nights, changing diapers or feeding him... nothing seems to be a chore. For all those out there... in the blogosphere and elsewhere... who are 'scared' of parenthood... I say that it is truly an amazing experience. And very enriching too. Not at all scary... unless you listen to Mel B of course!

We are savouring every moment spent with our 'baby shona'. His naming ceremony is yet to happen... so thats his name... for now. We are enjoying this experience of nurturing our baby... his cries and smiles mean the world to us. He still goes 'la-la-la-la-la' when he wants to be fed. Methinks... since 'L' is the word that comes right before 'M'... that magical word 'Ma' is not far away. What say... ??? *I'm beaming already*

He loves to pull my nose, tries to reach out for me or wraps his little fingers around mine... and I melt totally... everytime he smiles... when I kiss those tiny fingers and toes. Just a couple of days ago... I was rewarded with a kiss... 'baby shona style'. In response to my "give mummy a kiss"... he gently rubbed his lips against my cheeks! And... I still have no words to describe the feeling! Its just three inches short of heaven... or perhaps this is heaven. I am reminded of Amir Khusro's poetry (in Persian): "Agar firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast, Hameen ast-o hameen ast-o hameen ast." Meaning: If there is any paradise on the face of the earth, It is this, it is this, it is this. (He was referring to the unmatched beauty of the 'Paradise on Earth'... Kashmir.) I recollect this poem... with suitable customization of course! Baby's excitement and wonder at every new thing... a sound, a new movement that he has just learnt (self taught)... has to be seen to be believed. I can spend all my time just looking at him...

Mom and dad (M's parents) say that 'baby shona' is their 'li'l daddy' as well. I agree... and have told dad that baby is most certainly his 'li'l daddy'... since both do not have teeth! My nephew... all of four-and-a-half years... is very keen to cook - biriyani - for baby. He was the youngest in the family... until the arrival of 'baby shona' that is... and is keen to move up the ladder, so to speak. He makes it a point to go near baby's cradle several times a day to say, "see baby your big brother is here". More so if baby is crying! As for the biriyani... I have asked dad to lend his dentures (to baby) once Y succeeds in his culinary aspirations!

Though much of our time goes in feeding him, changing nappies and trying to get some sleep (the first 3 weeks or so... we hardly slept) we love spending a lot of time just watching our li'l son. He has started making different sounds (must be 'baby language')... and loves to move his hands and legs. I guess that has to do with this being the cricket and football season! Somehow... we are missing nothing else... not even sleep. I never knew... having a baby is such a joy!

Note: Bollywood isn't educational... it takes its own (patented/copyrighted) theatrical liberties. An OT (operation theatre) is usually a large room with multiple operations happening simultaneously. The relatives/friends/attenders of patients are never allowed to stand/sit/walk up and down the corridor outside the OT/or peep into the OT. They have to do all that... at a distance (quite far away)... from the OT. Nobody is allowed to assemble outside the OT. The doc does not meet anybody (relatives or attenders of patients) outside the OT. Get that...?!! '3 Idiots' is another matter altogether.

Caesarean section: Etymology: The name for the procedure is said to have been derived from a Roman legal code called "Lex Caesarea", which allegedly contained a law prescribing that the baby be cut out of its mother's womb in the case that she dies before giving birth. The derivation of the name is also often attributed to an ancient story, told in the first century A.D. by Pliny the Elder, which claims that an ancestor of the Roman Emperor - Julius Caesar - was delivered in this manner. An alternative etymology suggests that the procedure's name derives from the Latin verb caedere (supine stem caesum), "to cut," in which case the term "Caesarean section" is redundant. Proponents of this view consider the traditional derivation to be a false etymology, though the supposed link with Julius Caesar has clearly influenced the spelling.

Bindusara (Born c. 320 BC, ruled: 298 - c.272 BC), the second Mauryan emperor of India after Chandragupta Maurya the Great, is said to be the first child born via surgery. According to a legend, (which is a later jaina invention) it is believed that while Chanakya served as the Prime Minister of Emperor Chandragupta Maurya, he started adding small quantities of poison in Chandragupta's food - so that he would get used to it and develop resistance to poison. The aim for such an action was to prevent the Emperor from being poisoned by enemies. One day the Queen, Durdha, shared the food with the Emperor (the Queen was in the family way then). Since she was not used to eating poisoned food, she died. Chanakya was determined that the baby should not die; therefore, he cut open the belly of the dead Queen and took out the baby. A drop ('bindu' in Sanskrit) of the poisoned blood had by then touched the baby's head, and hence Chanakya named him 'Bindusara'. Bindusara later went on to become a great Emperor in his own right and also fathered the greatest Mauryan Emperor since Chandragupta - Emperor Asoka.

Caesarean section usually resulted in the death of the mother; the first recorded incidence of a woman surviving a Caesarean section was in 1500, in Siegershausen, Switzerland: Jakob Nufer, a pig gelder, is supposed to have performed the operation on his wife after a prolonged labour. For most of the time since the sixteenth century, the procedure had a high mortality. However, it was long considered an extreme measure, performed only when the mother was already dead or considered to be beyond help.

Y2K miracle: On March 5, 2000, Inés Ramírez performed a caesarean section on herself and survived, as did her son, Orlando Ruiz Ramírez. She is believed to be the only woman to have performed a successful Caesarean section on herself. The lady certainly walked on water! She was born to. If you're going to walk on water, you better feel it in every fiber of your being... and prepare yourself for the pain. You better be born to do it too! After all, flying is harder than walking on water (I think) and we've already achieved that.

I think she deserves a 'platinum medal' for unmatched and unmatchable bravery as well as craziness! Homo sapiens sapiens are surely the greatest wonder of the universe and beyond! Don't you agree??


P.S. My IndiRank had taken a tumble from 82 to 69... courtesy my long hibernation from the bloggersville. But... is now back at 81 *a big smile*


Tiny little feet (Pic courtesy: link)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Junior comes calling... and how... !!! (Part-II)

Well... continuing from where I left off in Part-I...

The first thing that both M and Lakshmi asked/told me was about the "auspicious time"... for the following day (meaning... the time that baby should make his/her appearance on this planet). I had no idea... yours truly not being a stickler for such things/matters/stuffs. But I guess... in the south of India... folks do believe a lot in "auspicious time"/"muhurtams". And so "auspicious time" it was.

We found that 6-7 am in the morning was a 'very auspicious time'... but I vetoed it. I have never woken up that early even during my 'egg-jams'... what to say about the sudden arrival of a freshly-minted baby!!! From 7-9 am it was "Raahu Kalam" or "Rahu Kal"... that part of that day that should be avoided for all auspicious activities. From 9 am-12 noon it was "Yama Kalam"... or "Yama's time" i.e., 'influenced by the redoubtable Yamaraj'... no less! Yama/Yamaraj being the 'Lord of death'... as per the Vedas. That he is also referred to as 'Dharmaraj' (the Lord of justice... in reference to his unswerving dedication to maintaining order and adherence to harmony) and is believed to be the eldest Pandava and the epitome of piety and righteousness - Yudhistira's father... is conveniently forgotten! And since I had no intention of meeting his assistant - Chitragupta - during or after the operation... we rejected this time slot altogether. Then we discovered that 12 noon-4 pm was also a good time.

Even though yours truly is no stickler for astrology and/or muhurtams... I felt that it was inappropriate to have the baby during inauspicious hours... knowingly. It was simply not the right thing to do. Hence I obliged. Noblesse oblige (?)... well, not quite. Or maybe. We informed the doc about it... and she very graciously agreed to reschedule the operation at 12 noon (the following day). And yours truly gave 'strict' instructions to the nurses... to wheel me into the OT only at 12 noon. Not a minute before. They too obliged.

Continuing our discussion about Yamaraj... he is also called Kāla ("Time"). Lord Shiva is also called Kāla ("Time") as well as Mahākāla ("Great Time") in his form as the destroyer of the world. It is said that Yama is also one of the wisest of the devas. In the Katha Upanishad, among the most famous Upanishads, Yama is portrayed as a teacher. He is the father of Yudhisthira (also known as Dharmaraja), the oldest brother of the 5 Pandavas (Karna was born prior to Kunti's wedlock, so technically Karna is Yudhishthira's older brother) and is said to have incarnated as Vidur (known for speaking the truth and for his intelligence) by some accounts in the Mahabharata period. But then... we no longer follow... nor are guided by the Upanishads. 'UPAnishad'... is the new way to go! *wink wink*

Frankly speaking... noone can claim to have ever met or seen these two gentlemen... Messers Yama and Rahu. Yet all are convinced beyond a shred of doubt that certain timings belong to them i.e., to say are influenced by them. Ha!

Through the night and the following morning... preparations for the surgery were carried out. Checking of "Bleeding Time" and "Clotting Time"... apart from B.P., temperature, enema (the procedure of introducing liquids into the rectum and colon via the anus... for complete evacuation of the lower intestinal tract)... and finally the urinary catherization (wherein a plastic tube known as a urinary catheter is gently slid into a patient's bladder via his or her urethra. Catheterization allows the patient's urine to drain freely from the bladder for collection in a urine bag... outside the body). Frankly speaking... I find the catheterization and the enema... truly disgusting. But did not have a choice.

I was allowed to have solid food till 7 am... after which it was "nothing by mouth". Meaning: no intake of solid food... not even liquid/beverage or plain ol' water... since the digestive tract needed to be empty. Around 11.30 am I was dressed in the green hospital gown (patient gown) and cap (to cover my hair), while my legs were wrapped with a white cloth cover - individually. Then I was asked to get on the stretcher. The nurses helped me of course. Thereafter I was wheeled into the OT (operation theatre)... after 12 Noon. Once there, I was shifted onto the operation table... or rather asked to shift... with assistance from the OT staff of course.

Ummm... I understand... that the 'hospital gown' is also called 'exam gown', 'johnny shirt' or 'johnny gown'. I have never sat for my 'egg-jams' in this gown... and I thought that Johnny was only a 'gaddar' with a weakness for Bips! With a dash of vidya thrown in for garnishing. You know... to spice things up *wink wink* Or is it to please the goddess Saraswati... ?!! My guess is as good as yours! Apart from being fond of wearing yellow-coloured itsy-bitsy swimming trunks to flaunt his body beautiful, that is... !!! I couldn't have been more wrong...

Ummm... since I have mentioned both Yamaraj and his assistant Chitragupta in this post... I guess it would be appropriate to share this humorous story (involving 2 trainee Yamadoots or messengers of Yamaraj and 5 other characters besides Yamaraj himself along with Chitragupta) with you all. Read and enjoy "First Day At Work".

(... to be continued)

Note: Some info courtesy Wikipedia.


1. Tiny little feet (Pic courtesy: link)