Wednesday, 12 April 2017

#AyuBabu's first week home

All the following posts are going to be in retrospect, for well, our lives have just been "so happening". And, it seems like with the blink of an eye, you've turned 6 months old.
With time, my anxieties of getting back to work have surfaced, coupled with the fact that you've completely rejected taking the bottle - but these posts are reserved to celebrate you and our small victories together, so all such transient stuff shall be sidelined for good :) For you, Ayu, have grown into such a cute, joyful and social baby - and let's focus on that. And well, let's start from the very beginning :)

Day 1: The Pediatrician gave the "thumbs up" sign and we were all excited to go home ! We hadn't really bought any clothes for you prior to your birth, as in our culture, we don't buy baby stuff, unless the stork delivers you safely in our arms. But, as luck would have it, a kind and thoughtful secretary from my workplace, gifted me a newborn-baby set, prior to me starting my maternity leave. So, that had been washed and packed in our hospital bag.
So between the nurse coming to cut your 'safety bracelet', thus snapping all your bonds with the hospital you were born in; and your father going downstairs to pay the hospital bills and register your name, Ayaan Kamath Mazumdar, as is to appear on your birth certificate (while shortlisting names for you, we loved this one; it means 'God's gift' and that is exactly what you are to us - and heh, don't worry about being amongst the first few, during Practicals/Viva exams - the examiners are usually in a good mood in the beginning ;) also, we chose to let you know you belong equally to both of us, so we decided to let you keep both our surnames - once you adult up, you can choose to shorten it, the way you like, I guess); you were changed from the hospital swaddle cloth, into your first pair of clothes. Our precious little one, in an oversized t-shirt and blue-and-white striped shorts, complete with it's matching cap, mittens and booties, swaddled with a blanket, all set to step into the big world outside.
We then, took our first Uber ride home! You lay quiet in your Mamama's gentle embrace, squinting away, as the bright sunlight peeping in through the windows, warmed us all. The ride was just a short 15 minute one. When we got home, your Thamma and Dadubhai, were all ready, to welcome you in. And on your very first day, you won everyone's hearts with that beaming, dreamy smile of yours!

By the time we got home, I had been up pretty much for about 50 hours+, so desperate for some shut eye, I handed your father a "feeding cues" image, which I whatsapped him from the adjacent room, and I finally, finally, stretched my legs, to catch some rest. And it hadn't been 5 minutes since then, that I got a notification, which read "moderate feeding cue!" Hahaha! You missed me already, you naughty little one :) Here, I must add, you were such a darling - you gave me no trouble of sore/cracked nipples, inflammation of breasts etc - 'cause you were literally a pro at breastfeeding. I honestly have no idea how nature bestows such a complex skill in a newborn but there, you were, making it seem so simple. The initial days were admittedly tough on me, as I was still recovering myself from a normal delivery. But whenever, I looked down at your face, which is all I had eyes for, nothing else mattered. With a baby, a mother is born; and all I really wanted to do all day, was hold you close...

You fed, peed, pooped (initially black coloured - "meconium" it's termed, and after a couple of days, curdy watery yellow orange coloured) and slept - and the cycle repeated! It seemed like you were tired from the ordeal of labour and being born, so you rested well, all day. Your Baba picked up diaper changing quite soon, and I made a trippy song out of it too "Diaper Change Time, Diaper - Diaper Change Time"! Your eyes funnily seemed to light up to such mum-composed jingles all the time, or maybe it was just my voice :D

We had to find some awake time, to bathe you! And when we did, your Mamama held you steady in the bathtub, while I checked for the tenth time that the temperature of the water was just right; and your father was all over us, to click pictures of a naked you, having your first bath with us :) We were amazed at how you loved it - you didn't cry at all and on the contrary, you seemed to be amused by it all. I made a gibberish song for "Busha (bath) time" as well. You looked absolutely adorable in your bath towel :D That was then followed by the dressing up routine, which included wiping dry your shrivelled up umbilical cord stump, and the rest of your body, before applying lotion powder, diapering you up and dressing you, in soft white cotton clothes, which left you with a fresh glow, and bam! You would quickly feed and fall into sweet slumber. 

And thus soon, it was the first night at home, with you co-sleeping so peacefully, between your Ma and Baba; we had our dim yellow lights on, all night; and I was up, frequently, to feed you, at every stir. You didn't cry much those first few nights - but little did we know that, that was perhaps the calm before the storm (more about that, in another blog post)

That first week, in the mornings, I had a lady, come home to massage me and tightly wrap around my post-delivery tummy, a long piece of herb-laden cloth, traditionally believed to not just help in firming up the abdomen, bridging gaps in the muscle groups of either side, and in getting the uterus/womb back to its original state; it also gives a new mother, some much needed relaxation as well, while helping in blood-making. There were days, when your Mamama, who would babysit (while I was in the adjacent room) would walk in with a hungry you, and I'd have to ask the lady to pause, so I could quickly nurse you; and the lady was accommodating indeed.

On day 3, we had to visit the neonatologist for a repeat 'Bilirubin test' - which is to check for jaundice. It was our first 'outing' so to say, with a newborn you. You slept through most of it. You got up when it was time to undress you and weigh you - and you had not only gained weight since discharge, you had crossed your birth weight. The doctor was appreciative and I couldn't be prouder of the team we made. Yo! Infact, I managed to feed you and change your diapers on my own, in the baby care room - which obviously was a good boost to my confidence as a first-time mom. Thank you partner, for being so kind in your own endearing way. Anyways, the bilirubin level was normal; and we were back home soon enough, while you continued to sleep and dream, in your "Thinker" pose.

Your Baba was on paternity leave as well, so he could help with not only shopping for baby care stuff; but also other paper work. The most important being the application for your passport. And that required a photo of you, with your eyes open! And both your ears visible, 'chin up' and what not?! That was a task indeed - to get an awake picture of you, and one with your head not tilted! But after about twenty shots, we managed to get a decent one - and then the next task? To get your thumbprint - Are you kiddin' me? We got a smudged print somehow, and thankfully, the lady at the counter was understanding enough to not object. Now, you have a passport, with a photo of you, when you weren't even a week old - and when you're old enough to recognise yourself, you're going to object with that infant photo of yours, that barely looks like you, now - :) But we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

There were many people who visited you as well, family friends and colleagues; and you got some nice new clothes; one grand-aunt gifted you doctor-scrubs like tee and shorts - how cute! Your Baba's work colleagues (#HappyTribe), amongst other gifts, got you a "diaper-cake" haha - which was very helpful, considering you were wetting diapers real fast :D Oh and a cricket friend of your father's came home with a kid-cricket bat - which was obviously bigger in size than you - but his desire, just like your father's to get you started with the sport was clearly evident!

You were mostly asleep, when all those people visited us. They gaped at your head full of hair, which I took the liberty to style with spikes and all; and at your tiny little toes and long fingers (which were very much like your Rohit uncle's infact). As usual, pretty much everyone had a comment or two, on which one of your parent you resembled. And though, your father was leading initially on the vote count, with passing time, it tilted quite heavily in my favour. There were some, who'd want to console your Baba, and say, perhaps your ears resembled the father's (facepalm!).

Before, we knew it, amidst all the feeding, diaper changes and co-sleeping, a week had passed. And soon, it was time for your 6th day ceremony- Sashthi/Chhathi ceremony. In the next post, I shall cover that and other celebrations that followed in your first month. If you've reached this far, you've probably realized that, with your birth, you became the centre of our universe and rightfully, so. You filled our home and hearts with overwhelming love and happiness; and as your parents, we couldn't be any luckier.