Monthly Archives: March 2007

Is it them … Or

….. is it just me?
Or is just the latest in-thing to not think before speaking?
So, I have had some troubles with my pregnancy, but nothing that was never a precedent with another mom-t0-be.
What prompted me to write this post was- Oh well, idle mind. I have been cramping and so am in bed reflecting upon the last few months and among other things was reminded of some people’s not so thoughtful comments. Like, take this couple for example. The husband is DH’s colleague and team mate. So, every time we have to rush to the ER or when DH had to take leave of absence, when I was on bed rest, he had to inform this guy.So, his lovely wife calls me up, while I am still on bed rest and asks me, ‘Oh i heard you are on bed rest’ and even before I can answer, goes on to say- ‘So, what’s the latest complication??’
Uhhh, wait lemme think of a new one!Like I am fabricating these troubles.
Then she goes on to say-‘we haven’t been out anywhere ,even on the long weekend we stayed in.So think we’ll visit you this weekend.’
I say- ‘Yeah sure we’ll meet up. But lets do it some other weekend, I am not up to it.’
She Says- ‘Oh don’t worry about it,we’ll come over and help ourselves to tea/coffee whatever we like. As it is my kids are sick and I need to take them out somewhere.’
I say-‘ My doctor told me about this RSV virus, which affects kids during these months and it wont be a good idea to take your kids out if they are already sick.
She says-‘ Ohh Indian kids have great immunity.they are not like the kids born here!!’
Hello!!! I am pregnant, on bed rest, in the last few weeks of my pregnancy, why would you want to expose me and my baby to a deadly virus, just so you can go out.
Now, don’t get me wrong! I am a gracious host and love entertaining and I love kids, have always loved them.My home has always been an open playground for all my friends kids. Before I got married, My dad would come home every evening to a living room full of kids books, scattered toys and at least 3 kids. And, I was a teacher. So, I thoroughly enjoy kids. But these kids make me nervous. More because of the fact that their parents just don’t stop them. they think its the hosts’ responsibility to take care of their home and belongings and also take care of the kids.
Anyway, for some reason, they couldn’t make it that weekend, and haven’t called back either. But every time DH has to take me to my OB’s office ( and now its twice a week because of my Gestational Diabetes), the husband never fails to comment on how his wife just had one trouble through out the pregnancy and that was labor pain.
Oh come on, every pregnancy is different and are we keeping scores? Ultimately what matters is that the baby should be healthy and safe.

May be my patience is running out with such people or may I am just becoming anti-social. For as long as I can remember, I have been taught to respect other peoples feelings,being polite and courteous towards others and last but not the least-‘ If you cannot say something nice, Don’t say it at all!’
Am I over-reacting or asking for too much?

My american Maid!

My Home looks beautiful.Its spic and span and I challenge you to find even a speck of dirt! And the Credit goes to – NOT me , but my American maid.
Since I left my beautiful country , crossed the 7 seas and started a new life, I had forgotten the luxury of having a maid. The wonderful person who came every morning like clockwork and did the dishes, the laundry, the dusting and cleaning. OH, that beautiful peal of the door bell, announcing her arrival that should have been music to my ears, but I took for granted. Then we moved here. And I remembered and appreciated her so much every day- When I was doing the dishes, When I was sweeping the floor, when I was lugging piles of dirty laundry to the common laundry two floors down.
This continued for the last 2 years.Then,I went home for a vacation and got thoroughly pampered by Soni.Soni is a girl of 20-22, who worked full-time at my dad’s place. She would come in at 8.00 every morning and make breakfast and tea for everyone. Then she would pack lunches for my dad and sister and then get on with her daily chores . Since I was visiting, she took it upon herself to pamper me. And everyday she had a new mid-morning snack for me, which I devoured shamelessly. She would clean the house from top to bottom,my dad’s house being a duplex with two terraces. And she would also do the laundry! And not to forget, the fabulous meals that she cooked for us. 2 months of this is enough to make a normal person insanely lazy. Well, anyway,I came back to reality as soon as my flight landed and I came home. Then it was back to cooking, cleaning, laundry and the works. There was no Soni here.
Fast forward to about 10 months later and you’ll see a heavily pregnant me and DH struggling to cope up with all the chores that I cannot do anymore- cleaning the bathrooms, vacuuming the carpets, and the likes. Anyway, we gave up trying to do everything ourselves and called the cleaning service.We tried two different ones and if I was happy with the first one, I am exhilarated with the second one.They were in today and did a fabulous job.Though I must admit,it was awkward to sit and watch someone else work in my home. And I don’t even feel a tad bit guilty to say that my home has never been cleaner.And the tulips that I bought 2 days back have bloomed and are adding to the beauty of this beautiful home!

Baby SS- Your Crib is waiting for you

2 weeks back, as it dawned on me that I would be completing 36 weeks soon , I knew it was time to set up a crib for baby SS. Everyone was telling me that its going to be anytime after that and apparently, I took it literally. That could be one of the reasons for my disappointment and impatience.Anyway, back to the crib- so, we had start from the very beginning and that was choosing the crib. Now we had been looking at cribs for months and had also picked out a favorite. But the trouble was getting the crib home. The crib that we liked was beautiful. But,it was also Big and heavy. And DH didn’t have lifting buddies to carry it home from the parking lot. And the stores were charging exorbitant delivery charges. So, our search for the perfect crib was still on.
That’s when my friend Pooja came to the rescue. I came to know Pooja through a pregnancy website.She is also due in April .What is so great about our friendship is we met as strangers, exchanged emails and as our pregnancies progressed we have come to be good friends. I wish our friendship continues to grow. So, Pooja suggested that I look at the crib that she picked up for her baby from Babies’R’us and we went and checked it out and we loved it. So, there it was.. Our perfect crib. We had probably seen that crib during our previous trips to BRU , but just never saw it in the color and finish that we liked. And that day, there it was. Just waiting for us. We even picked up the perfect bedding set to go with it and set it up when we came home.

So, the crib is ready, waiting for Baby SS to arrive and grace it.
But looking at the empty crib makes me yearn for Baby SS even more. Every time I enter our bedroom,yes , I plan to room her in for the first few months( or forever), and see the crib , I wonder if I left SS somewhere unattended and then I look at my belly and remember that she is fine, safely snuggled inside.

Ashtami

Ashtami always brings back fond memories to me.
My mom used to fast for 9 days during navratri and on the 8th day that is Ashtami, she would do the Kanya pooja or Kanjakein. She would invite 9 girls or more depending on the number of little girls, who were our friends or neighbours. Little boys were also invited so as to not make them feel left out. But the chief guests were the Little girls. These girls were invited home with love, their feet were washed and decorated with haldi-kumkum and aalta. The holy thread was tied to their tiny wrists and then they were all made to sit in a line and a group aarti was performed for all of them. And then came the best part. Then they were all served the traditional bhog of Halwa-Poori- Chane! And there were also gifts – money or bangles, toys or something appealing .
And this scene was repeated so many times that day and the next day because in our colony and also at most other places that we stayed at there were so many women fasting for navratri and performing this pooja on either Ashtami or Navmi( the 9th day). I remember feeling so important on those two days .Mom would wake us up early, give us a nice oil massage and bath, and then dress us up in new clothes.And then we would be ready to visit all the different aunties in the colony,armed with an empty lunch box!She always said -She was so lucky two have to Devis at home! And we would giggle at that.
Now that I am having a little girl,I know what she meant.My mom would do this ritual only during the Badi navratri- the one preceeding Dushera.But I know a lot of other women who did it even during the Choti navratri, the one preceeding Ram Navmi. And year I decided to start a new tradition and make halwa-poori-chole Prasad even for the choti Ashtami.

Here, I am sharing with you the recipe for Halwa –
Ingredients-
  • 1 cup Semolina
  • 1/4 cup ghee
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water +1 cup milk- boiled
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • Raisins
  • almonds, soaked and slivered
  • Saffaron strands for Garnish.

Take 1/4 cup ghee in a pan and heat it to melt it.When it melts , reduce the heat and add semolina. Roast on a medium flame till it gets a nice brown color.Take care to keep stirring it,so that it doesnt stick to the pan and get burned. When the Semolina is done and starts giving the wonderful roasted aroma,add the raisins and roast for 1-2 mins.As the raisins swell up, add the boiling milk-water mixture, after turning the heat to low. Take care as the steam that arises will be very hot and some of the semolina- water mix might splatter.Keep stirring it,so as to avoid any lump formation. When this starts to thicken, add sugar and stir intermittently, again to avoid lump formation. Add cardamom powder. and let it thicken again, stirring constantly.When it becomes almost dry, turn off the stove and remove from heat.Let it stand for 2-3 minutes. Garnish with Saffaron strands and Slivered almonds.
Note: Traditional Halwa for Prasad requires equal quantities of semolina, ghee and sugar but this is a healthy version of the same.You can vary the amount of sugar as you like.

PMS & DH Dilemma

Last couple of days , I have been so emotional and hormonal. 9 months back I would have passed it on as PMS, and it would have lasted for just a week. During the last 9 months,i could have passed it on as ” Hormones”.But now,I don’t think its any of those. Or may be its the new PMS- Pre motherhood syndrome!
I feel so lost and over-the edge all the time. I feel that time is rushing by and there is so much I want to do. For starters, I want to spend a lot of quality time with DH! Lately, we both seem to be doing our own things, each one preoccupied with his/her thoughts.I keep nesting..Nesting and More nesting. I have rearranged the kitchen cupboards at least 3 times and redone the clothes closets- God knows how many times and still find it messy! I am wondering how it will be once the baby is here..will I be able to do a good job with her? Will I be able to manage everything as I planned? OR will there be some hitches ?Or is there something that I havent thought of?
DH is preoccupied with changing his career path, trying to make some major decisions. I know with the baby coming anytime now, he feels rushed too.And he is trying to help me at home, trying to finish off his work so that he can spend more time at home later when we become a threesome.But I want to spend some more time together as a twosome. I feel guilty for feeling this way and God knows, We have both been looking forward to having this baby. But at the same time, I cant help but feel that these are the last few days that we will ever be alone .And what are we doing..? going grocery? or shopping for other essentials? or just lazing on the couch watching TV! Yeah, yeah.. according to DH , we are spending all the time together except when he is at work . But I feel spending time together is not just this. We should be talking more. I know making plans can be overwhelming, but just fun talks..I remember our dating days , when we would spend an entire evening together and then still spend hours on the phone, talking till almost sunrise. Sure, we were just beginning to know each other then and we weren’t living together then, but we were talking.. Nothing in particular most of the times.
This weekend when DH was working again and I was sitting on the couch, feeling low, he came and hugged me and asked me what the matter was. I told him I was just feeling low, and he tells me- why don’t you call up your sister and talk to her. I said- No i don’t want to. then he says, call up Tina.Now,Tina is my best friend and we share almost everything.But at that moment the only person I wanted to talk to was DH! Is it so hard to understand?Why has he changed so much?
Same story yesterday. Yesterday, I decided not to say anything. I mean he is the one who claimed that just one look at my face and he could tell something was bothering me. He just had to hear my voice and he could tell I was upset or happy. So, I didn’t say anything and just went to bed and snuggled up with my book. He came a little while later and tried talking.
I didn’t say much.He tried again,I answered in one liners.The charade continued for some time and then he broke down. He told me what was bothering him and why he was quiet and preoccupied. What both hurt and pleased me at the same time was that he didn’t want to share his worries with me because I was as it as overwhelmed with the changes in my body, hormones and not to mention the pain because of baby pushing down.
He just needed to take some time-out to figure out how to best deal with his problems at work and look for options. While I was hurt that he didn’t share his worries with me as he used to..I was also happy that he was thinking of me all the time.
HE was still the same! He was still thinking of me and trying to make me comfortable! OH! he is such a sweetheart! And I fell in love with him all over again.This time even more deeply.

37 weeks….

And still waiting.My patience is running out, its getting difficult to move around and not to mention the backaches. To top it all, my emotions are all over the place!
In the last 2 days, at least 4 people told me that when I didn’t take their calls, they thought I had gone into labour. Or that the baby was already out! You WISH!
Its so funny.Now the BH contractions are getting stronger and they are lasting longer, So, everyday, DH and I are sitting with a pen and paper and writing the timing of the contractions.This goes on for 2-3 hrs sometimes even 4 and then they stop! Yesterday the contractions started coming 5 min apart. and I was excited. YES! excited.. now if only they would last for a Little longer than 1 hour. UGH! no such luck They stopped after 20 min!!! Come on!!! another 40-45 min.. !!! Oh Well, another day!
I keep checking at least 3 pregnancy sites and everyday there are at least 7-10 births on the April board. I was so frustrated ,I didn’t check this site for the whole weekend and then checked it again this morning and guess what? there were 60 new posts in the birth announcement section!! 60 new births!! When the first of the babies were born, I was so thrilled.It reminded me that it will be my turn soon. But as the number of newborns is increasing, makes me feel.. when will it be my turn??
Every time Baby SS kicks me in my ribs,I tell her.. ‘aww sweetie, that’s so sweet.. now practice punching.. and punch a big hole in that bag of waters!’But does she listen..uh No! She wants to do her thing! ‘Come on Mom kicking you in the ribs is more fun!’ Alright baby girl,take your time.. Mommy is not going anywhere.. Just a few more days and then it will be just you and me! And daddy too!!! yeah he is that other voice you keep hearing!
We went for this parenting class at our local hospital- Newborn child care! The instructor made the class so much fun. One of the things that she said and I really liked was- for the first few weeks, your baby doesn’t know that you are a separate entity. For her, you are a part of her and her own limbs are something new.She is trying to explore them. And when she looks at you, she thinks she is looking at herself, but when she looks at herself in the mirror, she feels that she is hanging out with a new buddy! Now isn’t that cute?
Everything about a new baby is so beautiful and new. And may be that is what is making me so impatient.I want to start my new life as a mommy. And haven’t I been patient enough? Last 9 months and what about the months before that , when we were TTC? Surely that counts too. Oh Well! At least I know it can be anytime now!That’s consolation enough.

amniotic fluid scare!

I have been posting since morning. I feel as if I am rushing against time. But who is to blame? My own fault for having been so lazy all these past months. I am tired of writing in past tense and feel like I am just documenting- which is essentially what I am doing right now. But,I also don’t want to miss out on anything important from my first pregnancy. And so, I decided to try and get to the present as soon as possible. That way I can write my true feelings and not just document!
Anyway, on Feb 28th, 2006, we were scheduled for another ultrasound. Dr.H felt that constant monitoring was required with GD. After the ultrasound as we were waiting for Dr.H to come in, we were laughing and joking.We got a side profile of Baby Sunshine. And Boy! did she look angry. DH was joking about her being a private person and not appreciating the constant monitoring.And then Dr.H. came in and she didn’t look too happy either.She got straight to business and asked me if I was leaking fluid.I said no..butI wasn’t sure.She was really upset and told us that my fluid level was too low and it could be a potential risk to the baby. She decided to run some test and left us alone , while I undressed and she grabbed her apparatus. DH was upset too. And I started crying,not because Dr.H was mad at me,but because I was worried how could I not know. Not that I was a pro at being pregnant,it was my first pregnancy , but if I couldn’t be aware of such an important thing, what kind of a lousy mother was I going to be for my little angel. What if we had not come for the ultrasound today? All that was so overwhelming and I started crying.
Dr.H came back and apologised for being so harsh and I am thinking OH that’s so sweet of her. Anyway, she checked and found out that I was not leaking fluid and so referred me to a high risk specialist Dr.G., after 2 days of bed rest.
We went and saw Dr.G. and he told us to see Dr.H again after 2 days. So back we trooped to Dr.H’s office after 2 days. And then she had good news for us. The bed rest had helped raise the fluid level. Baby was also doing fine and I didn’t need to be on the bed whole day.
We had a follow up visit on March 20th. And the ultrasound results were heartening. Baby Sunshine weighs around 6 lbs now and the fluid level is great too. Our precious angel even gave us a smile!
I have completed 36 weeks! Dr. H gave us the good news that the baby can come anytime now!

Baby Shower!

Feb 10th, 2007!
We decided to have a traditional Maharastrian Dohale Jevan for me and Baby Sunshine.DH,being from Kerala, had no clue what is to be done, but he knew I would love having a traditional shower.So he started asking my family what is done. Fortunately for us, my dad’s cousin and aunt were visiting USA at that time. We had met them over Christmas and they wanted to do the ceremony for me.My friend Vidya also wanted to throw me a shower. So, we invited everyone over -Vidya stays on the East coast and My aunt(atya) and grandma were in California.And I was not crazy about travelling anywhere in my 3rd trimester.
So, they flew out to shower us with all the love and blessings. It was so exciting to have family over in this country.It was also the first time after our wedding that we had someone coming over for a visit.So, we were super-excited. DH ordered all my favorite food from a local Indian restaurant-Sans the sweets ,of course. Vidya ordered a beautiful cake. Atya pampered me for those 2-3 days by taking over the kitchen and we were all talking non-stop,making the most of all the time. On that day, we got up, had a leisurely breakfast and then went to the temple.Before that DH,Vidya and Atya decorated the living room beautifully with all the baby banners.I just sat on the couch with my feet propped up on the coffee table!Then we headed off to the restaurant for a much needed dose of chaat and also to pick up food for the evening’s party. DH had also invited some of his colleagues and I was meeting most of them for the first time. but it was a great party. Atya performed all the traditional rituals. And DH had another surprise for me. He had ordered glass bangles for me. How they managed to get those beautiful bangles all in one piece is still a mystery for me. But, I was so thrilled, happy and emotional all at the same time. The only downer was that I missed my dad and sister, and judging by the number of times they called ,I know they were missing us too. OH well! may be next time!
Baby Sunshine got some lovely gifts-
Bath tub
A hoodie
dino pillow and a complete yellow set of onsies,socks,hat n towel
Rattle,soft toys.
A crib mobile
A high chair
All this cute stuff makes me wish I was a baby too!

Our Anniversary

Dec 20th,2006-Our 3rd Anniversary- I had plans to make this anniversary a special one as this would be the last time we celebrated our anniversary as a twosome. But, it turned out to be a busy busy day.

We scheduled our regular appointment with Dr.H for around 3.00 pm so that DH would come home postlunch and we would have a longer evening. But as luck would have it, he was swarmed with work and we barely managed to reach the Doc’s office for our appointment. It was a good appointment and then DH had to go back to office. And he ended up working late that day!We still had plans to eat out, but he didnt get home until 9.30 and most good restaurants in the valley close by 10.00. So, we just managed to get take-outs and finally had dinner and cake at around 11.00. By then,I was so tired,I headed to the bedroom and he to the den, for more work!

So, that was our anniversary!
GESTATIONAL DIABETES-

The rest of the weeks flew by peacefully up until my 28 week check up.

That was when they poked me yet again, drew another sample of blood and discovered that I had Gestational Diabetes.
I was bummed.I had never felt healthier. I was eating healthy, excercising, doing everything I could to make sure that I had a healthy pregnancy,then what did I do wrong? I went for diabetes counselling and also receieved a glucometer to monitor my sugars 4 times a day. DH was very supportive, attending the counselling with me, encouraging me every step of the way and even giving up some of his favorite foods( just because I couldnt eat them).I tried to control GD with just dieting and it didnt work and I was still depressed when I went to see Dr.H .She explained to me that there was nothing I could have done to prevent it. I had PCOD, I had a family history of Diabetes and So did DH.She explained to me that it was not my fault and that sometimes the body needs a push in the form of medication to get back on track. But she didnt talk about Insulin and decided to try oral medications and that was a relief!
So, I started talking oral medication and it really helped. My sugars are in control and now, as on march 23rd, I am down to testing just twice a day. Dr.H is happy, I am happy-Its a win-win!
Sure,I still crave for the no-no foods but DH is very encouraging and reminds me gently that its not too long now. We’ll soon have that beautiful baby and then I can eat whatever I like.

My Initiation in the Kitchen!

Before I write about my initiation in the kitchen,its important that I write about the circumstances that brought it on.
When I was almost 10 and my sister 7, my dad was transferred to Saudi Arabia.He worked for a reputed Cement Company and was deputed to their cement plant in S.A. As with all chemical industries, this factory was also situated away from the city. They had built a colony for their employees a few miles from the factory and that became our new home.It was the most beautiful place I ever saw. No matter where you were you could see the sea-The Red Sea.And we had our own backyard filled with SAND!! What more could two kids want?Apparently there was something that was missing- a school. The only big school was in a city called Jeddah 4-5 hrs away. To make this the best arrangement for their kids, all the ladies in the colony decided to start a small school in an empty Villa. Each class had about 2-3 kids .The maximum strength that year being of grade 1 and that was 6 kids. As it turned out ,I was in grade 5 and there was no other kid with me. And so, I had to be home tutored. My mom taught me all the subjects except Science and Maths. And another lovely lady started tutoring me with those two subjects.It was not the best situation and definitely not one my parents would have chosen for me, given a choice.But that was the best we had.
But keeping a high energy 10 year old entertained all the time was not easy.Since I was used to studying independently from a very young age, I found it easy to fit in this pattern. I would be done my assignments long before I was supposed to, and then would go and hang out in the kitchen with my mom. I would pretend that she was a big chef and I was her assistant and a TV show host,commenting on her each and every action- rite from rinsing the veggies to chopping them. Mom decided to channelise this into something creative and asked me how I would like to be a big girl and help her out. I was thrilled. The first thing I learnt to make was Tea! A nice hot aromatic cuppa chai! But I was still not allowed to light the gas stove. Mom would do that for me and keep a close eye on me. I still remember how I memorised the proportions- in a sing-song way-
1 cup water,1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp chai!! yayyy 1 tsp chai!
2 choti elaichi. boil boil,boil!
1/4 cup milk.. simmer simmer simmer..
Its brown! Its done!yes its done!
hahhaa.. and that’s how I made my first few cups of chai! Perfection came with practice and I graduated to other more important things like rice. I had a similar way of remembering the proportions for making rice too.
But every time,someone came to visit,I had to show off my newly acquired skill and ask mom coyly -“Should I make tea?” And when the guests would say- “No no beta.. No need”. I would insist..”But I make good tea!” and wouldn’t give up till they complied! And I do make a mean cuppa chai! Anyone for tea?