This has been a year of contradictions. With some happy and some sad moments, it has been nothing short of an adventure. While I am glad the year is finally coming to an end, it will forever live in my memory. They say when it rains, it pours. Well, this year the sky fell upon me on Sep 1 when dad passed away. But the seventh heaven beckoned on 12.11.10 when my child was born. In January, I felt sad shifting from my old rental place because Cubby was born there. Little did I know, in less than a year the new place would enjoy the same privilege.
The ped came out of the OT on that cloudy Friday morning and asked "Who's the father of the baby?"; when I went up, he clasped my hands and said "Congratulations, you have a daughter. Both mom and kid are healthy". This time, we were so sure it would be a boy (determining sex of the foetus is illegal in India, so it remains a surprise) that I was once again at a loss to react. Just like we were so sure it would be a girl the first time round. Happily, Bub (short for Babli, which is what I plan to Blogname her after that spunky movie character) completes that fervent dream for me and my family.
The next 3 days were just a pleasant cycle of going home to pack the food, visiting mom & bub during the day, and cleaning poo between snatches of watching "Rakhi ka Insaaf" on TV. Curiously, stormy winds and lashing rains kept the weather cold and wet. Who'd have thunk we'd worry about clothes drying for a November baby?!!
Wife's folks were such a fabulous support and continue to protect our sleep even today, isolating us from Bub's nightly wailings. No one can pamper us like moms can -- it is such a blessing! The hospital, a smallish affair close to home, was also a great caregiver. Pleasant rooms, pleasant nurses and despite the chaos in the outpatient area the inpatient billing was a breeze. The best part is how chilled the doctor was, making our lives that much simpler.
The highlight of this birth was to see how my first-born would react. We were all eager to know, and that wait got extended because he went to school, then went home, then had a bath and followed his routine before arriving around 2PM.
At first he didn't know what to make of this bundle in the cradle. He had always seen his sibling as this extended tummy of his mummy, and now to be asked to believe that this very real baby is that tummy was a bit much. But he is a sweet kid and within a few minutes, Bubli was in his lap. Of course, we sweetened the deal by making sure he enjoyed hospital visits-- Bourbon biscuits, fruit juices, chips, jumping on the bed and running down the stretcher-ramp. By the last day, he was all excited to decorate the house for Babli's welcome home and even helped carry the bags.
Ever since it is a pleasure to watch him copy us in every way-- whether rushing to fetch the wipes, replacing the nappies, singing her to sleep or just random acts of affection. Considering she gives zero response so far, I am impressed that he keeps at it without losing interest. I am told the sibling rivalry truly kicks in only little later. Somehow I have a feeling it is not going to be that bad for us...! In fact, he seems to have grown up little too fast-- and we need to consciously treat him like the child he is. Suddenly, he is all mature, all caring and very understanding. Believe it or not, he even seems taller than he was!
We are also experimenting with an ammaji imported from our native this time. That has been going great and she is a huge support. Such a professional despite her illiteracy, it is a comforting sight to see her massage and bathe the baby. Sadly, she's here only for 3 months and will get us addicted to the good life by then. Like all modern parents, our #1 worry is finding someone to raise the baby we produced ;-)
As we look back upon the last nine months, we have a lot to be grateful for. The best of all was the love and blessings created in the blogosphere, which truly made the experience fun and protected us from evil eyes and Voldemorts. As per the wife's instructions, one of the first few sms's to go out included the blogging moms. I even asked some of them to pray hard, when they wheeled her in for the (brrrr...) operation (ok, ok, i mean, the C-sec). The fabulous baby shower, the elated announcements, the many many congratulation messages, some very sensible advises on managing siblings, the baby-name polls.... thank you, ladies, for making it all SO special.
Sach, is baarish mein aaj doob jaane ko mann karta hai.
Welcome, princess. Wish you a life full of health, zest for life and a sense of humour...