Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dying to be a momma

Again that is! The whole world knows that I adore kids of all shapes and sizes. I was born to be a momma. Now you know it too my dear two and half readers! Off late inspite of my ''the spirit is willing but the flesh is week'' state, I have been pondering upon thoughts of having another baby. I have been thinking thoughts of seducing hubster too in to the baby making business but more of that later. As of now, my body is simply not ready for another c-sec. Owing to my diabetes I have to be careful....but these thoughts take me back to the time when Yohaan was admitted to the hospital for a week this May.

Yohaan was in ward number three and one morning Abdullah walked in. All of three and half years, in his jammies, clutching an old ragged bunny, nose running and with a self important swagger. I could immediately see from his features that he had Downs Syndrome. He walked up to Yohaan's bed and smiled at him. Pointed out to him and informed me that Yo was a ''baby'' . And in that instant my heart broke. I fell in love. As I smiled back I looked around to check who were his parents. Nobody. There was a nurse rushing along with a bottle of milk and she came in and sat next to me. She told me Abdullah is an abandoned child. He was left at this hospital gates when he was just a few days old and now the ''palace'' owns him. I cringed at the use of the term but what she really meant was that the ''palace'' would take full responsibility of bringing him up. The ''palace'' in Dubai means, the ruler and his administration. It is a loosely used term to refer to the government sometimes since we have monarchy here. There was now a designated palace official who would be incharge of Abdullah's well being. That's good I thought. At least he wont be languishing on the streets...unlike milions of children in my own home country, India.

Abdullah had been admitted for mild pneumonia. He was having problems breathing but one look at him and you couldn't say! He was here, there, everywhere. Sometimes he would come to me and demand to sit in my lap, sometimes he would wander off to yet another parent in the ward. Whomever he went to, he won hearts. So openly affectionate and expressive. He took a great liking to Yohaan for some reason and wanted to play with him but ofcourse had to be kept away due to the risk of infection. One day he brought all his toys and dumped them on Yohaan's bed! Hubster tried to spend some time with him too. Whenever the nurses were too busy to keep an eye on him, he would be put in his crib with all the railing bars pulled up. Abdullah would then give hubster pleading looks to be let out...much like a little puppy! But we could see he was more comfortable with women care givers and mothers around rather than men, which made me feel better because clearly this child is being safeguarded well.

We left the hospital after five days. I tried to make inquiries if there was any possibilities of adopting this adorable little fella. The nurses informed us rather abruptly that it was not allowed, not even to Muslim expats. I was deeply disappointed because I know, hubster would adopt Abdullah in a wink! We came home but till date, we think of Abdullah and even miss him. He would make such a loving big brother to my little Yohaan. In those brief five days he left such a deep impression on us both. Inspite of his special needs, Abdullah's spirit has to be seen to believe. Happy and fun loving, full of joy and life! I hope one day, Yohaan too would grow up to be like that special child...

Achy Breaky Bones

Honestly, I have no ideas bursting in my head to blog about. My days and nights often pass off in a blur and if I get time to even go to the loo I consider it a good day! So here I was, sitting on the toilet seat trying to take a quick leak with (who else) Yohaan also sitting in my lap. When I was expecting him nobody told me about this. This, that I may have to often lug the kid in to the toilet because somewhere between sitting up and trying to crawl babies can harm themselves quite happily and without a care in the world. Least of all without any thoughts for the poor,hapless parents! Yohaan is fortunately or unfortunately, no different from such babies. Which means that just as my bladder is bursting I spot him concentrating on trying to maneuver himself out of his bouncer on to the floor with an almost disastrous potential to kill himself...maybe...hmm, I think I am exagerating here. But you do get the drift, eh? I give up the battle and pick him up.

Our time in the toliet is action packed. With one hand I am trying to get my jeans unbuttoned, hold on to him. Sit down and hold on to him. He cranes around, lunges for everything he thinks he can chew on and I hold on to him. He tries to peer behind me when he hears some sound from within the toliet bowl and I hold on to him. He stiffens himself with some vague excitement when I use the flush and I hold on to him. I wipe myself, wash my hands while he bends over completely to lean in to the basin, I hold on to him. After much struggling we come out with my jeans pooling near my feet, I hope and pray nobody rings the bell and I dont trip! I put him down again in his bouncer and our man lets out a huge wail..waaahhhh....wt..? Well, mama not only cut short the adventures in the toliet she also put him back in his boring old seat, that is simply not on in his agenda for the day. *sigh* Hang on! I gotta pull back my darned jeans Kid! I dont intend letting any neighbour of mine have a free for all view of my backside!

Which takes me to the next problem. Why did nobody warn me that after the baby comes, every body joint would ache! And ache like -endlessly. My elbows and wrists are gone! Bummed! From lugging Yohaan around. For some women it is their backs...for me it is my hands. I have googled it and the wise internet tells me that I gotta live with it till he outgrows the need to be held so often. It has put me in a very bad mood. I stare at him ever so often now willing him to grow up fast, like really fast! Things have gotten so desperate lately that I find myself hoping for visitors to drop in and hold him for some time. We go to the malls, resturants, parks I am more than happy to offer him to perfect strangers. Anybody and everybody is free to carry my child. I shall not discriminate. Americans, Phillipnos, Pakistanis, SriLankans, Indians, Norwegians, Germans, old, young,men,women,children, teenagers, maids,drivers, CEO's, other mommas and daddies...anybody, just about anybody is free to hold my child. I will not even cry kidnap! Look here now, I dont resent this. I am enjoying being a mommy a bit too much but my body isn't cooperating and I need a break. My wrists are gonna get carpel tunnel, my elbows good for nothing, my knucles can forget about kneading any flour for making chapatis etc. I have had the baby so I better handle him yeah? Noooo. I need a human sling, NOW!

In return for services rendered, I shall do my bit. Since I am a socially concious citizen, I shall accost all mothers to be and warn them about these two issues. Woman, once you have a baby, you need to kiss goodbye to peeing in private and your body will make you familair with joints you didnt even know existed pre-pregnancy! There, that should do no? Now tell me readers, who amongst you is willing to volunteer? Pretty please?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Life's simple peasures

This evening we have been asked out to dinner by hubster's kind-of -''client''. He is going through a bitter divorce and needs my hubster's professional advise. Although, hubster has been giving that already, in plenty, I am touched that he has included me and Yohaan also in the invitation. I am sure there is a lot he needs to unload and his lawyer's wife and kid might be getting in his way. But who am I to refuse a chance to dine out and that too at a stylish place. My life is pretty much home bound these days. I luuurve going out. If I had a choice, I would take up a room in a mall around town. Even if I am dead beat tired, I still don't mind going out. Hubster tends to like being home. Not me. Gimme an outing any time of the day and I am your girl. Absolute city girl.

The evening promises to be nice mainly because we will be dining at a new Indian joint at a mall close by. It specialises in doing Tandoori cuisine which is a personal favourite. I totally dig kebabs and rotis. Yummy. In fact, I cant make them so well at home much to my dismay. So am always looking forward to eat it at a proper Mughlai restaurant.

And how can a girl not talk about the clothes she plans to wear? I am planning to wear a red south cotton saree with a black and gold border. I got it this time from India and have been waiting for a chance to wear it. Agreed, with a baby it might be challenging handling it all, but am determined to lead a normal life. Will have to rope in hubster though, to help me drape it nicely. Pre-pregnancy I used to wear a saree only with high heels but I think that has to be permanently abandoned now in favour of some sensible flats. I do have a lovely one in maroon and black actually , which I think will team up well with the saree. Hubster will no doubt think, I am overdressed because anything other than jeans for him is over doing it. He seems to think mommies should be in the jeans-over sized shirts uniform all the time. I don't agree because with 24/7 of poo, booger, pukey, sleeplessness, baby talk and baby tantrums, a mommy needs a break and grab whatever piece of joy comes her way. For me it is an outing and the anticipation of dressing up. And that, is my simple pleasure folks!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Happy to be Home!

So it will be almost a week on Sunday without a maid and today marked a week with me taking over all my household chores. Even though the maid-from-hell left for India on Sunday, she went on strike on Thurs, which basically means she refused to do any work from that day on. Fine, I said and plunged headlong in to all things domestic. I mentioned earlier, we have had a crazy week but hey, I survived to tell the tale.

My mother who has domestic assistants galore back in India to manage her house, has been feeling very sorry for me. I understand her concern, but now I am a wee bit irritated. It's not like I am the only woman in the world having to manage my house alone! Far from it infact. I call her every morning and if I can't, she will call me instead and so we talk everyday,mother and I. We are best friends too. Which means I tell her everything. But that also means I am foolish because there are some things moms needn't know! Else they go crazy on you. In my case, mother decides to throw a pity party on my behalf. So she will rant and moan about how much her baby is having to handle. It is annoying. It is discouraging and above all tiring. I have told her that it is my house, my husband and my baby and errr, my garden too. So it is a pleasure looking after all of these. No issues.

Seven years ago when me and hubster met, we decided that once we got married, I would stay home and more so after a baby. We were both very sure and comfortable with the whole idea. We had already decided that we would downsize our lifestyle but would essentially live on his income. I would look after our house and he would go hunting and gathering. I was infact very grateful that he didn't assign me extra worth only upon getting a job outside or working on a career. He was delighted that I chose to stay home and serve our home and us. We as a husband and wife team, consider it an invaluable investement towards making a comfortable and a harmonious home life.

It gives me a deep satisfaction when he wakes up in the morning and looks forward to starting his day with clean and ironed clothes. He realises the value of freshly brewed coffee followed by a hearty Indian breakfast. He still thanks me everyday, even after so many years being together. And my heart sings! I love to make him happy, it is so easy! I have such a sense of accomplishment when a day's work is done as I look around. The house is sparkling, the bathrooms squeaky clean, beds made, Yohaan's food pureed for the day, hubster's lunch packed, laundry folded and as evening falls heavenly smells from my kitchen remind me that hubster must be on his way home. I love to cook. It is a stress buster for me and no matter how tired I might be, I make it a point to cook something nice for ourseleves because dinner is the only meal we have together. Although I am a control freak, with Yohaan's arrival I have learnt to let go a lot. So yes we dont follow a strict schedule for the day, we have plenty of fluidity to our routine. That means if the guest bathroom is not cleaned by mid noon so be it. If the plants have not been watered for the day, never mind. If Yohaan has not had his quota of fruits, no problem, I will give him an extra feed from me, which is better anyways. The point is we have fun. We are a team and above all as my blog title suggests, we are happy to be home!

I read so many blogs by women who talk endlessly about the virtues of being a stay home mom or a working one. Personally, it has never been an issue with me. I am higly educated with a profesional degree. Prior to getting married and two years in to marriage, I worked for some of the best known companies in the world. I have travelled a lot , I am well read and I have made my own money, plenty of it. It is a different matter that I blew away my money anyhow, now I am at a stage in life about which I used to dream as a young girl. I have all that I wanted. A loving husband, a baby and a lovely home. Education and a job and travelling and living wild happened rather in an unplanned manner. It just happened to me. But all along I knew where I wanted to be and I am there!

Frankly I dont even understand why would anyone find it a point of contention-this stay home vs working woman thingy. Isn't it more about the freedom to choose? As women dont we get to choose? Although in my case, it helps that I am a christian so taking certain decisions becomes a lot more easier. I dont have the usual worldly pressures to conform, to seek after a career, wealth,prosperity and status. The Bible encourages us women to seek our fullfilment and identity as home makers and child rearers. I have no agenda. I have no urgent goals to achieve while working for outsiders and I am my own master. I decide when I get up for the day, what I wear, when I take a break or even take the whole day off!! For me it's a no brainer. And I do realise that it must be so for many women on the other side of the fence. I am sure they would find my existence mundane to the point of death-by-boredom. Well anyways, I would rather die peacefuly on my couch rather than the office cubicle! All I am saying is that I am happy with my choices which is what is true liberation and peace. I am indeed very happy-to-be-home!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Done for the day!

Today has been a mad mad day! It is 1.00 a.m and I have only just finished my chores for the day. Hubster has invited over a childhood friend from Oman who will be staying over the weekend. My house is like that....always full of visiting guests. Which we don't mind but now is not the best of times. Anyhow, we got a major load of grocery done and I am feeling better that my pantry is well stocked for all the meals. I am anal about hospitality. It's got to be done supremely well, else nothing at all.

But the main reason why I had a mad day was that our man, Yohaan, fell from a three feet height head down, while I was out watering the garden. I wanted to get a better grip on him and so sat him down on the garden table. But as I did so, suddenly my right arm froze and I felt a sharp shooting pain go up to my neck. Something like a pulled hamstring muscle. In that split second, Yohaan slipped from my grip and went headlong to the ground. It happened so fast I didn't even get a chance to break his fall. He was not hurt but very very shocked and bawled! But amazingly enough, he stopped crying in less than a minute and was soon cooing away at the birds. I hugged him tight for several minutes, imagining the worst! Washed his face, gave him some cool melon juice and changed his diaper. Our man was good to go. Called the hubster and broke down....was shouted at by him but overall peace and calm soon returned because Yohaan was not hurt. It could have been nasty...only God's mercy saved him.

My right elbow muscle has been in agonising pain now since ten days. I feel it is because of lifting our man. Like how some new moms develop back ache etc, mine is the right arm and am not able to do pretty much anything. Anyways, like I said it is late now and I have only just finished putting away the grocery, clearing out the fridge , washing the dishes and marinating the meat. My day was redeemed however by hubster's comment: ''babe, you have lost a lot of weight''. I know he exaggerated a bit because I haven't lost a lot of weight but lets just say ever since the maid left, I am the new slave and hence it shows!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My Little Trooper

....Yohaan that is. We have been terribly busy making hospital follow up visits for our man. At week five and again at month five, he suffered from seizures and both times had to be rushed to the ER. I remember those times, me hysterical and wailing and asking the doctors, nurses if my baby was going to die. Yes, raw pain does that to you. You dont think straight, you dont know how to. I remember each time his tiny body convulsed the nurses rushing to him, grim faced and working hard to bring him out of it. I remember hubster holding me tight and reassuring me that our man would live and he would live well at that. I remember breaking down when they couldn't find a vein to hook him to the various tubes and machines. The first time was especially agonising and the nurse had to order me to leave the room. Hubster stayed behind holding on to his son's fragile body so he wouldn't wriggle and thrash around in pain.

I stood outside the ER, crying loudly, tears of pain, helplesness, desperate to please God or bargain with him. At that point , time stood still, nothing the doctors would do was fast enough for me. Nobody was giving any answers. I heard terms like brain damage, oxygen supply cut, premature, hydrocephalus etc being thrown around. Untill the specialist on call made a snap diagnosis , that the baby was hypocalcemic and therefore convulsing. And her diagnosis was spot on. Nothing alarming, definetly no brain damage and curable! I almost kissed her in gratitude. She gave instructions for admitting him and getting him started immediately on calcium/magnesium infusion. We heaved a sigh of relief. We cried for 48 hours straight. Hubster and me. Maybe not him so much, but me as a mother was completely broken. My husband was stoic, brave and held up well because he saw his mad wife collapse. Ah, I do love that man, my pillar of strength. Yohaan was discharged after five days and things were right on track.

Untill he was five months old and his mother had like a fool stopped all medication. The convulsions came again. This time more in number and stonger too. As we rushed him to the ER, there was much history to support us all. Once again, the same protocol was followed although he took time to recover. Between these two episodes, we have consulted so many doctors, done so much research and been to so many hospitals. Made new friends, lost some . Realised the true value of a crisis and what it does to our person. Hubster and me have emerged so much more stronger. We have given up our baby to the Lord and know that we are only his caretakers here on earth for a brief while. And amidst all this who is the best of all? Our trooper, Yohaan. Pokes and pricks, bitter medicines, x-rays and scans, disrupted schedules and routines, student interns prodding him at unearthly hours, feeding sessions interupted and so much more and still this lil' fella smiles and smiles like theres no tomorow! Yohaan is easily the happiest, chirpiest baby around. Even with a canula splint he would be cheerfuly making baby sounds and smiling at all the staff at the hospital. Nurses would delight in him because he lapped up his meds. Visitors would be glad to see him still able to recognise them and leap at them to be held! This mother's heart is bursting with pride and awe.

And now, after six long months, yesterday his paediatric neurosurgeon pronounced him fit as a fiddle. He told us there is nothing wrong with him, espeically his brain and over all development. As I heard the doctor say these words, I almost choked trying to keep from crying. Hubster kept asking the same questions again and again , I think he was nervous and expected just something tiny to be still wrong! The doctor was confident but offered to see Yohaan after six months if it made us feel better. Kind doctor that!

To celebrate this awesome event, we picked up some yummy food on our way back, yayyy, I didn't have to cook. And lots of new clothes for our man. While I was picking out t-shirts and shorts for him, I must have told him ten times how much fun it would be if he was a baby girl, even hubster agreed on that, shopping for boys is almost boring! Anyhow, can't wait to see him in all the lawyer-like serious clothes his dad insisted we choose...I managed to pick up one bright red shorts though much to the father's shock! And so we came home with our hearts thankful and awed by God's goodness. For lessons learnt and for our baby surviving all of this. With a big goofy, toothless smile...always and for anyone.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Just a plain mamma....

As I walk down the aisle of my local super market I spot her. I stop doing what I was there for and for a few minutes just stared at her. Perfect body, perfect skin, perfect manicure and a pedicure, beautiful floral summer dress which did wonders for her complexion, flawless makeup, the right shoes and bag, the mandatory blackberry and above all the supremely with-it attitude. I quietly admired her from far and moved on... to finish off my to-do list.

Compare all that to my state if you will. Straw like hair tied up in some unknown part of the head, nails cut sharp and cruelly short so that I don't end up hurting Yohaan, faded capris and an even more faded T-shirt which has some inexplicable stains on it, hastily applied lipstick which come to think of it, looks pretty incongruous....a huge handbag which immediately informs everyone that I am a new mommy, my sunglasses the stems of which have become so loose that it keeps sliding off my head at the slightest movement, unbathed, unwaxed, sleep deprived with a bad back and even worse pain in the wrists...hungry, coffee deprived, hassled because Yohaan decided to have a crying fit for some vague reason...a dangerous state to be in.

Now that I have it all out, I would like to inform anyone who cares that I am not having a pity party for myself here. I don't neccessarily want a manicure or a pedicure. I am not hung up on the latest bag although I do have several nice bags and shoes, I dont care for a new hairstyle because currently Yohaan tries his best to chew on it anyways, I am not going to pine for lovely clothes because most of the lovely clothes will make breast feeding in public a tad difficult, I don't want a Blackberry because errr, even the simple cell phone I do have is a major irritant at best of times.... no siree, I want none of those fancy things.

I want instead, more hours in the day, most of which I would like Yohaan to sleep. I want him to be more indipendant and stop clinging to me like well, a cling film I guess. I want him to know that daddy too can be a great companion when momma is busy and I want him to stop feeling bad for himself, the little brat loves attention and only from me that too! And I certainly wish he knew a bit of biology and realised that mamma has only two hands and sometimes needs to pee..urgently. And that if he doesn't let go of her, how in the world will she cook for him? Or get anything done for that matter. I shall not however miss the maid and am determined to stick it out. Yes for now the mighty may have fallen (snicker snicker) but we shall solve all the issues by sleeping them away....

*dust myself off , get up and walk away sans make up, pedicure,manicure....It's Ok, really!*

The one where everything comes undone...

...and I should shut up and stop gloating about my beautifuly run home even though I have a small baby and not so great health! As of tomorow , I will not be employing a full time, live in maid anymore. It is a long, sad story in which I have been hurt and bruised beyond belief driving home the point yet again that we really cant depend on people because they let us down again and again. While the maid was efficient and served us well from the day Yohaan was born, we reached a stage when the price became too high to pay. She turned out to be a maid-from-hell and I am so relieved to be getting rid of her-at last. Half of my post partum blues wouldnt go away because of dealing with her tantrums and what not....! Anyhow,me and hubster decided that we can do away with a whole lot of comfort and luxury in terms of having a live in maid in exchange for peace and harmony at home. We had been trying to terminate her services from quite some time now, but kept feeling bad for her since she really is from a very poor family. But obviously, our help wasnt needed, our kindness and genrosity taken for granted and the final icing being us taken for a royal ride!

I have been busy like crazy the whole,cleaning, baby sitting and I feel like kicking myself for letting go of the reins of the house was such an effort to get back to the grind...I am tired, stressed and need of a long hot shower followed by some good, Indian dinner. Am off to nag hubster now to take me out......wish me luck folks! I am the new 'avtaar', the new in house slave to Yohaan and his daddy!