Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Book Fair

I have been home-bound since last couple of months. I don’t miss going for shopping or movies or eating out, but I cannot miss a Book Sale, can I? Since the time I read this piece of news, I was coaxing my husband to take me to the Sale. Now, he never really says ‘No’ to me but somehow we were not able to plan it through. Last Sunday, which was the last day of the Sale, we finally managed to go there :-)
Though I could not spend too much time over there, as our little baby had accompanied us; I still managed to buy 6 books.
By the way, it was our son’s first visit to a Book Fair, in hopefully many more to come ;-) I am just waiting for the day when I would take the little one to Book Fairs and Book Stores. 

Friday, October 07, 2011

Past 11 months or so

This post is long overdue (looking at my last post, I think any post here was long overdue in order to consider this blog alive).

Last one year has truly been life-changing. It all happened when it dawned on me last year that I would soon hit 30.

When I was doing my MBA, I was infatuated by Advertising and I was lucky to land the only profile available in advertising on campus, with nothing less than FCB Ulka! The first time I came to know that I had been selected for that profile had been the highest point in my life till then. An year or so in Mumbai doing Client Servicing, I more-or-less realised that advertising, or rather client servicing, was not for me. Moreover, life in Mumbai never appealed to me. Once you get the taste of Pune, it is hard to get over it. So, I moved to Pune about 5 years back in a Marketing Communication profile. I was asked, having worked in advertising, would I be able to adjust in a corporate set-up. I never had doubts about it. It was a great profile. But the only problem was that it was not my calling. It was not something which would fill me with pride 20 years down the line, or in short, it was not my passion.

The only little problem was that I had not really figured out my ‘passion’. The dream of being a writer is still very much there but no matter how easy it is now to become a writer, the kind of writing, I want to do still needs a lot of thought and time.

So, the idea of finding my true passion and doing what I really want to do and not wait for a lifetime to do it, I quit from my wonderful job last year. There was no plan, and nobody believed me that actually I had no plan on what I would be doing after quitting. Many assumed I was pregnant. I thought well ‘that’ you cannot hide for long.

My husband’s friends warned him that it was not such a great idea to let me stay at home. They assumed I would call him every hour, disturb him on his meetings and pester to come home soon. My husband can tell them all, I did not do that even for a day. From the past eight years of knowing each other, we enjoy each other’s company but we don’t need to sit on each other’s head all the time. We have different interests – I read, he is into gaming.  

Well, my original plan was to move around Pune and check out several tiny shops which we never really go to, spend leisurely hours at bookshops and even catch movies / film festival and plays.

We went to Mahabaleshwar on our anniversary in December and it is then that we discovered that we were expecting. I was already serving my notice period. Yes, having a baby in near future was certainly part of the plan but we never knew it would happen so soon. It was a moment of happiness as well as a lot of anxiety. We have never been able to picture ourselves as parents. Atleast for me, I get scared by the idea of having someone depend on you for everything – you more-or-less create an individual for the society and your choices will have so much impact on that individual’s life. I am more of a perfectionist and my husband is very hands-on about everything. As usual, I wanted to do everything perfectly. I was glad and thankful I did not have to run around for office and take it easy. I admire those who can balance work, home and pregnancy perfectly; I can’t.  Everyone said you could have resigned during your last trimester but I really wanted to take it easy and take each day slowly. I do not regret that decision even today, when I am sometimes overwhelmed by the demands of a two month old baby J

I had terrible nausea not only during the first Trimester but more or less during the entire nine months. Thankfully, I never threw out any food. On certain occasions I used to wonder if I would ever be able to relish food any more. Pregnancy can be overwhelming, especially the first one. Of course, I had 3 books to refer but actually experience is something else. I did not want either of our mums to be here till around delivery time because mums could be very stuck-up on their ideas and if you argue, they would always play the card of more experience!

I always went for my morning and evening walks and spent the rest of the day reading books, watching movies or sleeping. I wanted to have a normal delivery and I wanted to put in every effort in my capacity to ensure that.

I was fortunate to have no issues during my entire pregnancy but as the due date was approaching, I was getting scared. I had already discussed about epidural with my doctor but I had no idea what to expect. We even asked our doctor, ‘how are we supposed to know when to come to hospital’. I mean, it is a valid question. Nobody wants to make a fool of oneself by coming too soon or delivering anywhere except hospital; and delivery might seem easy in movies, it isn’t so in real life. Doctors are the best people to deal with it.

My water broke 12 days prior to my due date and the same day when I had met doctor for examination. She had not anticipated that I would be coming back in a couple of hours, neither had I. From what I had read in books, it appeared that my water broke and we decided it is best to go to hospital rather than rush in later. We carried our packed bag but we felt at the back of our minds that we would be coming back home and that it would be a false alarm. And thank god, we went when we went. I was admitted at 10 pm in hospital. Initially, I was at the common labour room where there were 3 women separated by curtains. Thankfully, we had checked out the labour room earlier and I was shocked to know that husbands are not allowed inside. Fortunately, there was a private labour room where husband is allowed the entire time. Of course it came at a price. I was praying that it should be available when I went into labour. The doctors at labour room had assured that usually it is available.

So, anyways, initially I was in the common labour room. Apart from the anxiety of not knowing what is going to happen in the next couple of hours, I also had to listen to the cries of fellow women who were already in labour. One lady who was next to me was crying out to get the baby out immediately. And add to that she had an old relative with her who was asking her to beg forgiveness from God for the pains the lady in labour might have given to her parents or something. So, what I deduced was that according to the old lady, the younger lady in labour was experiencing so much pain because she had given troubles to her mother / parents. I don’t have words to express myself here, on what kind of thoughts were coming to my mind for that old lady. I even asked the attending doctor to ask that lady to be quiet (I mean, the old lady). At the same time, I was also frantically messaging my husband to get the private labour room. I knew if I stayed there any longer, I would lose all my confidence.

I was lucky to get the private room. We sent my mum-in-law home and my hubby settled on one of the chairs because my contractions had not begun. My contractions began at 5 in the morning but they were not strong enough, so they induced contractions etc. I will not get into the process, but when the pain started it was almost unbearable. Since I had asked for epidural, I got it and was able to endure for another couple of hours. They let the effect wear off during the last part of labour so that I would push properly. The whole thing was a frenzy and I finally delivered at 11.56 am. I had read in books that you would never forget the moment when you first saw your child, and definitely, that moment was priceless. My baby’s eyes were wide open and he was looking at my husband. It was such a sweet moment.

Today my baby is 2 months and 1 week old (having born on 28th July) and every day is a wonder, every moment cherishable. Both of us have never been too much into kids, but our baby has transformed us. It is blissful to just look at him. Like every new parent, we click hundreds of pictures and record smallest of new things that he does. Attending to a baby is overwhelming and from what people say, it is just a beginning.

So many women have delivered babies in the past and so many would in the future. It is a natural process but now that I have gone through it, it does not fail to amaze me. It is such an incredible journey, and it seems so surreal to me now.

Sometimes when all three of us are together, I get overwhelmed by looking at our baby. It was just yesterday, we were just two of us, and now here is an adorable, tiny person, who has changed our lives forever.

I will take a moment here to thank my wonderful husband. I married my best friend. I have always considered him a better human being and much more balanced than I am. I get agitated by smallest of things but he never loses his patience. He took great care of me during entire pregnancy, attended all appointments, cooked for me when I was too nauseous and cheered me on when I used to get overwhelmed. I was extremely clear, I wanted him during labour, and he held my hand the entire time. I always tell him, he is so lucky to have seen the birth of his son, even I haven’t, and neither have so many other people! He stayed with me in hospital. During initial few days, ad even now, he would get up along with me to attend to baby, if he needs a change. A couple of days before I delivered, I wrote him a small note that said I would try to be a good mom, but I knew, he would be the greatest dad ever.

And now, with our son, we take each day at a time.