Saturday, December 31, 2016

A long pending post: 2016 – by far the best year of my life

Today on New Year’s Eve, I had to write this piece as the curtains draw on the most rewarding year of my life. Mid 2015, I was touched by life, a tiny soul started taking its first breaths in its first home, its mother’s womb, my womb. After the initial jitters and excitement, I broke the news to ‘A’, he was thrilled. We did not break the news to our families right away as a trip back home was around the corner and we wanted to see the expression on the to-be-grandparents faces when we broke the news to them. A month passed after the other and the little soul kept growing, making its presence felt slowly and steadily. 2016 arrived and we accepted it with our arms wide open knowing we were to become parents this year. The never ending assumptions continued about the gender; some said you look exhausted, you have a little boy in there where as the others said it is going to be a little girl. ‘A’ and I cruised through open ended emotions and started shortlisting names. On some days the little wonder will not be in the right position for the scans and we would spend the entire day in the hospital waiting for it to flip. Once a Radiologist actually told us, “You have one stubborn brat in there” after his 5th attempt to get my baby’s nasal bone on his monitor!  As I entered the last trimester, we started shopping for the little bundle’s arrival and the baby showers followed. During my final checkup the Doctor said, ‘You are almost there’ but I was exhausted; I told her, ‘I have been better’. She understood I was getting impatient and was the only person to tell me the truth, ‘trust me, you are doing fine now, once the baby arrives it will be way more difficult, when you will not be able to figure out why it is crying’. ‘Huh’ I smirked in my mind, got help from the nurse and got up from the examination table and waddled like a seal out of her Cabin. The almighty must have smirked louder that day!

The extensive wait was finally over and the month of May arrived, the Sis-in-law arrived too to welcome the little one. I finally set OOO on my office emails and mentioned I will be on maternity leave and thought really? In spite of getting kicked over a hundred times a day, I still thought, really? Uncertain about what was to happen next.  By now all the apprehension was gone and I was exhilarated beyond imagination, I wanted to see the little me, period. From the time my Sis-in-law set foot in the house, it felt like we had all gathered for some wedding, a couple of friends (more of family than friends) arrived too to help us out. The final baby shower happened and we were all ready for the D Day. The night before I was restless and could not sleep at all, not knowing this was just the first of the countless sleepless nights to come.

And here was May 8th, a delightful Sunday, the day of the little bundle’s arrival. We left for the hospital early in the morning. The hospital authorities provided a special access pass to park our car for the next 3 days after which hopefully we all go home, hale and hearty. One thing followed the other and in no time I was in the hospital gown with the IV in place and a nurse was already there with a wheelchair to take me inside, close to an hour before the time given! With a final call to my Mum and a look at the door to my room, I was wheeled into the recovery area of the OT. 

It was cold inside and I felt a little fuzzy. This was the area where Mums and their babies are placed post the delivery to recover and then moved into their rooms if all the vitals were okay, this was also the area where pre-OT tasks took place. As I waited with bated breath for something to happen, I noticed this woman in the opposite bed, telling the nurse she could not feel her legs still, it was already close to 2 hours for her in recovery. Beside her on an elevated table was a bundled up little baby, a bright glowing light over her head. At the first sight, I thought it was an adorable miniature model when I noticed its lips quiver and gasped! It was a live baby, a couple of hours old, that Woman’s baby! WOW! This must feel tremendous I thought. I struck up a conversation with the woman and found out it was a little girl born just a couple of hours back, that woman realised I was next and wished me luck. I was taken inside in the next few minutes and told not to get nervous looking at the surgical equipment’s placed on a table nearby. In front was a big white board which had all my particulars itemised, the nurses confirmed everything that was mentioned on the board, I nodded. It was time for the spinal anaesthesia, the nurses explained they will push a local anaesthesia first which will numb the spinal area and then the actual epidural will be pushed. In the next few seconds, countless thoughts overlapped in my mind, all that I had read on the internet about the epidural, all that my experienced friends and family members had told me about it, but I could not feel the chill which these thoughts should have triggered down my spine, it was done and I did not feel a thing besides a tiny prick. My brilliant doctor and her team kept chatting with me trying to break my anxiety every now and then, all I kept checking with them was, if ‘A’ was ready outside, I wanted him by my side, I did not want him to miss the first moments, after asking the nurses a few times, the Doctor finally told me that he is waiting right outside and they exchanged pleasantries when she came in, she also said he will be in as soon as the baby is out. Amidst all this tête-à-tête I vaguely heard someone asking for a suction pump and within moments heard a loud cry, I was numb. I can still recall the precise intonation in which my Doctor said ‘It’s a baby boy, Ananya’ and I saw the first glimpse of my Son. How am I supposed to feel and react I thought in my mind, but could not comprehend. Before I could react, the Doctor informed again, your husband is here. I saw ‘A’, his face covered in a mask, I could tell from the look in his eyes, he was more scared than ever. He went with the nurses and clipped the umbilical cord. I asked him if everything looked okay with the baby, he assured our little boy was perfect. ‘A’ still looked dazed but definitely a little relaxed now as he left the OT to break the news to everyone. We had become parents to a handsome baby boy!

Back in the recovery room, I could not take my eyes off my little champ, who was now placed on the same elevated table under the bright light like that little girl was a little while back. I was ecstatic, I could not rest no matter how hard I tried. We returned home a couple of days later and our lives had changed forever.

We, lovingly named him Aarush - meaning the first ray of the Sun, our son-shine, the sunshine of our life! The first flutters and kicks still feels like yesterday but as I write this my baby is 7 months and 23 days old already and life has been a roller coaster ride. 

The day he was born, was a rebirth for us, as parents. We are not perfect, not even close to it, but I do hope we can learn and become the parents our little boy deserves. The most difficult yet the most gratifying year of our life is coming to a close. 2016 - You were amazing, thank you for giving us a new meaning to our life!

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