8 Things I Learnt About Motherhood in The First Few weeks

 

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Me and Vir @Kemah Boardwalk in Houston

I don’t think there is any manual or a “how to” book that can teach us how to be a perfect mother. I believe I am learning daily and this will be a learning process for my lifetime. Becoming a parent teaches us to live in the moment.  Our focus in life becomes our children, what we teach them, feed them, buy for them etc is an important and crucial household affair. Motherhood also teaches us a whole lot about ourselves; it might even shape us into the person we become.

It has just been 2 months and few weeks since I had “Vir”, and I have already discovered some my new traits and strengths, that I never knew existed.

  1. There is a “No sleep” function mode we operate on – I am amazed how mothers function with such less sleep. You don’t get a break with an infant. Wake up every 2 hours in the night to feed, change the diapers , sing them back to sleep; and by the time you are able to get back in deep sleep, the kiddo is up again. No wonder I am waking up with dark circles and baggy eyes in the morning, with a slight headache and lethargy, looking like a mama zombie or as I like to call it a “Mombie”. (A sleep deprived supermom who feeds on caffeine and survives on sticky kisses and messy smiles) Internet is full of articles telling us to catch short naps while the baby is asleep. Easier said than done, especially if you’re not a nap person.
  2.  You are now a MOM – Master of MultitaskingI was always proud of my multi-tasking skills, be it at work or at home. But now being a full-time work-from-home mom, with a 2 month breast-feeding baby and a furry terrier competing for my attention, I am able to simultaneously perform endless tasks and chores. I was an amateur multi-tasker before; motherhood has helped me master it and yes I already feel like a Supermom!
  3. No matter how strong we think we are, we can also cry like a baby – Some of us are strong, we can hold back our tears. I thought I was strong, until I saw tears in my baby’s eyes. Babies don’t have tears in their eyes until few weeks. But when I first saw his tears it broke my heart, and then when he got his first shots, I think I cried more than him. Now I understand why my mom can’t handle my tears.
  4. Appreciating your genes – With every passing day our babies start resembling one of the parents. “Vir” looks more like me. Yeahh !! His smile, eyes, long fingers and his full head of hair have suddenly led me to appreciate my genes more. “Doesn’t he look like me?” I ask with excitement to all my family and friends. And to the one who does not agree, I only have to show them my baby pic. Dare I say, he has my genes and they “suit” him better .
  5. Patience – the word gets added to my dictionary Patience never came easily to me. I’ve always wanted things to be fast paced and my way; it was my weakness. But as a mom our limits are pushed on plenty of occasions. Sometimes it drives you crazy, makes you go nuts! But now, every day my lil’ one is teaching me patience. We learn to understand and calm ourselves for this new life we brought into the world. And for the days when one just can’t and it gets overwhelming, then just take a pillow press your face against it and just scream! (I read it somewhere, it works) They say “this is just the beginning , wait till he start walking !!! “
  6. Dirty House , I can take that. In these few weeks I have learned things cannot always be perfect. Some days, it is okay if the diapers are everywhere in the living room or your stuff is spread out on the dining table, and that the laundry is still lying in the washer after its cycle . It is all about getting that one hour and boom! “Its SHINY” (The strength of Multitasking)
  7. Life is like a talent hunt show From feeding, to bathing to just making Vir sleep, I sing or hum numerous times of the day. Dancing and making animated faces, talking like a baby or making funny sounds are also a part of my daily acts that I break into to calm him. I have started enjoying this as I am rewarded back with his smiles and coos. I will continue to do this no matter how foolish I look, so I guess vanity also goes out of the door.
  8. Yoga pants a wardrobe essential: Our bodies change a lot and seriously when you don’t fit in anything and feel all crappy or more like a morbidly obese penguin, Yoga pants or stretch leggings come to the rescue. The only pieces of clothing which I could fit in from my pregnancy to my postpartum stage comfortably. They have been supporting me for so long that today they are my best friends (literally). The stretch fabric and elastic waistbands holds everything together and gives you a sense of tightness. I am so glad that these are more acceptable form of dressing to coffee shops and grocery stores. You can make your own personal style statement with it and stay snazzy. I have been buying more of these lately.
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10 weeks Postpartum  on a jog with my elder son ” Rio “

Welcome to the world Vir ! My Labor and Delivery story.

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Its my 39th week , I am big, round and hungry and all I want is to indulge in my favorite desert.  “Ahh , more aches and pains, I don’t know if these are contractions but I definitely feel uncomfortable” I said to my Mom at the cupcake store, assuming it to be false labor . My mom replied with some concern “Please, let’s go home. There is no need for any cupcake”.  “Mummy but this baby needs a cupcake. I can feel it! And If I am going to have him anytime soon, I better not be craving”. Exactly six hours later I find myself in the hospital bed connected to a machine monitoring my contraction frequency & intensity. Deep , my mom and my mother in law , sat beside me with a big smile on their face  and a sparkle in their eyes.

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My Mom , Mom in Law & Deep

 

I was 2 centimeters dilated and had the official word that I was in labor. At that moment I was experiencing a riot of emotions …excited, anxious, nervous, overwhelmed, scared. Very similar to how I felt a few years back in Colorado, standing at the threshold of the jump plane, ready to plunge from fifteen thousand feet.  “I am so ready to have this baby now” was my first sentence to that nurse and she looked at me smiled and said “Let’s do it Mama”.

Most pregnant women reach out to other mom’s to discuss how pregnancy feels. There are so many questions going through their minds- How much was the weight gain? What were your cravings? When do you feel the baby move? etc etc… However, they are most inquisitive about the “birth experience”, “Was it Natural or a C section?”, “Did it hurt a lot?”, “How exactly does pushing feel?” I too had the same questions and fears, and for the answers I didn’t get, I googled my way through pregnancy and calmed my unsettling nerves.

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The image of delivering a baby for me was shaped by the movies and TV soaps… That my water will break and splatter on the floor !! The contractions , the stabbing pain will make it the absolute worst experience! That someone else might be delivering my baby (I read an Uber driver delivered a baby) or that the doctor might have to vacuum the baby if the head is stuck and yes of course, that there will be so much blood that the room will look like a crime scene. Women acting crazy, clawing at everyone within reach, choking their partners…Phew!! So dramatic, so stereotypical (now when I think of it).

Thankfully none of this happened!!!

Yes, my water didn’t break naturally and the contractions felt more like my insides being twisted!  And of course, Epidural saved me from the labor pains; although I was shaking with fear of the pain I would feel in my spine (it was not that bad.) Now I knew I won’t be screaming and cursing my head off while pushing; I was spared from that horror. Also Deep’s presence in the labor room kept me safe and supported.  (There is something about his calm energy)

However, after being in labor for more than 12 hours and huffing and puffing  for almost an hour, the baby wasn’t interested in coming out.  I was sweating, shivering, having a bad headache and running a fever too, but, hey I was ready to push again. The doctor said it was a “sunny side up baby” , his body wasn’t turning in the right direction and due to my fever, his heart beat was getting faster.

 We had to go for the inevitable C section. A cold fear entered my heart as I was being strapped while I was conscious (made me feel like one of Dexter’s victims from the HBO show). The white light of the operation room was blinding. While the anesthesia was kicking in and helping a lot, I was grateful for that curtain, concealing everything from me. I remember the sensation under my rib cage of someone rolling a heavy pin and I asked my doctor “Is the baby out?”. Deep, and the anesthesiologist kept talking to me as they tried to keep me distracted from the surgery. But I was only waiting, waiting to hear the cries of my baby enter this world.

At 7am and few minutes later,  I finally heard his cries and he was held up for us to see. I screamed “OMG !! That’s my baby?” He was pinkish-red, wet and crying, and I felt my heart was going to burst.

That Feeling …. I can’t explain, I don’t have the words. It is almost like an explosion of emotions. And by the time I could realize that my baby had finally arrived and the feeling could sink in, he was swept away to the NICU. My mind went blank, I had no thoughts… (It was a state of disbelief, a similar feeling I had, after free falling at terminal velocity)

I immediately started sobbing my heart out as it felt like forever until I could see him again. .(Sometimes I envy Deep, as he was the first person to touch our baby and see him up close when they took him to clean and measure)

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Few minutes later the nurse zoomed in with my little bundle of joy with Deep accompanying them.

They placed him in my arms and right from that moment he snuggled straight into my heart!! We are grateful for our blessings ; it was magical to hold my baby in my arms after nine months of waiting.

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The whole experience was amazing and not scary as the hell I had imagined ! My recovery has been great too. I was out of the hospital in three days and was off pain meds within a week. And now almost 8 weeks later it doesn’t even feel like I had a surgery just a couple of months back.

PS : (I have a new found respect for all mothers. And want to applaud those women who go for natural deliveries without any medication-  “Hats off”).

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Missing the Bump

Every time I see my lil one, I can’t believe a 7 pound 21 inches living being was inside me. I ask my husband (Deep) every now and then,”Can you believe it ?”  And his response is inevitably “No.  But, I was not pregnant, God has given you women the gift of child bearing.”

Becoming a mom, a parent is such a big event in one’s life,  it feels like a miracle to me. The 9 month process which looked like a never ending affair, now is just a memory.

I have been lately missing that phase and now look back to those memories on my iPhone pics and my maternity book.What am I missing about being pregnant ? The waiting period to have the baby out, the pampering from family and friends,the planning and organizing, the curiosity of who will the baby look like , the routine I set for myself or is it my big heavy bump?

I realized its my BUMP!  The part of me that made my nights so uncomfortable, my clothes shrunk, mobility so difficult, driving uneasy , back pain, shoulder pain and what not. However, right now at this moment  I miss putting my hand on it, rubbing it , measuring it and looking myself in the mirror everyday and being amazed at what a human body can do. Our body goes through a lot during pregnancy and this experience has made me love it and respect it even more.

Seeing my bump grow each month and taking its pictures, finding that T shirt and maxi dress that I can still fit in, feeling the baby’s kicks, hiccups and movements, listening to his heart beat on the baby heart monitor or eating food by placing the plate on my round bump, are all faded memories. At that moment it was not a very pleasant experience ,yet today it has become the most important and memorable phase of my life.

True! pregnancy is not easy, they say its preparing you for whats going to come next. My friends told me to enjoy this phase as your life will change forever. But, how does one enjoy being hormonal, cranky, always hungry, tired and of course the elephant in the room (I mean that literally). Pregnancy wasn’t easy for me. I had Sciatica pain, morning sickness and sleeping problems that made me very uncomfortable. I often would get irritated and upset with the fact that I had to wait for another few months and weeks and that  I couldn’t control the situation and I had to be patient( which I am not). Also my weight gain was causing me grief and the thought of loosing all of it was making me anxious. I was waiting for all of it to get over and praying that I don’t have to wait for more than 40 weeks to deliver.

I am 2 months postpartum today as I write this post and all I miss right now is my pregnancy,and my bump. It was special , it was a life changing experience and it was the period when I felt most complete. I just din’t realize it.

Gosh ! I had 2 hearts beating inside me !!

Below are few pictures from my pregnancy.I feel I haven’t looked so beautiful  in my entire life as I do here in this pic. Its my best 🙂

@ Herman Park in Houston for my maternity shoot in March 2016 , by our very close friend Abhishek Anchliya

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At our baby shower in April 2016.

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This picture is just a day before my delivery on 12th May 2016 . Thanks to Pinkblushmaternity for this beautiful maxi dress.

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My Bump Style

I have always believed in effortless style. My fashion has always been minimal and comfortable. Dressing up for me is more casual, more like “untucked glamour” (a term I came across). My ‘go to’ dress code is a classic denim jeans and white T or a good plain black dress. I stuck to my personal style and continued with my minimal look during my pregnancy too.

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2nd Trimester

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3rd Trimester with a Jacket

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38 weeks pregnant, Almost there!

For my daily maternity style I loved layering up. I would usually team up my favorite H&M denim shirt with my midi dresses, it made me more confident with my curves. I would also layer it over my T shirts for the extra room with my maternity jeans, flats or converse all stars! I avoided heels my entire pregnancy.

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Motherhood Maternity Jersey Dress and Express Shrug

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Motherhood Maternity jersey dress with H&M denim shirt

For my workouts I stuck with dark color bottoms like yoga capris and sweat pants and for the top, it was loose racer backs and stretch fabric tanks to hold my  growing bump. For my workout routines I mostly stuck with 3 mile brisk walks with my scruffy puppy Rio, and on alternate days did low impact exercises like squats and lunges with light weights .

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Abercrombie Sweatpants

I planned to celebrate my pregnancy with an outdoor maternity photo shoot at the beginning of my third trimester. It was spring and Houston had some beautiful Azalea trail events around the city. We went to the River Oaks trail I was too tired that day but didn’t cancel the shoot. This is such an important memory and I wanted to frame it on a wall at my home. I dressed in a light peach color lace dress to capture the spring season and my husband- Deep went with an all denim look to have a good contrast for the pictures. It was simple and sweet and effortless for both of us. I am so glad the pictures are so pretty.

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I had the hardest time finding my baby shower dress. Whereas, my entire pregnancy I had no problems with my maternity wear. I definitely didn’t want a maternity dress for the shower, instead I preferred a regular gown or maxi dress which I can use later too (although a size or two up.) My first preference was a gown mostly which was long ,flowing with drapes and in pastel colors. After an exhausting shopping exploration of three weekends, I finally managed to find the exact piece of clothing I was looking for.

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My BCBG gown in mauve.

Thanks to  Pinkbushmaternity for collaborating with me . The maxi dress fitted me so well. This picture was taken exactly 1 day before my delivery. The dress is very versatile as it can also be worn post pregnancy and the overlapping V shape neckline makes it perfect for breast feeding.

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