Thursday, December 29, 2011

The end of a year

So here we are then at the end of the year again. Time to retrospect and introspect some. For me, it's been an unusual year - the year that saw my sister get married, my daughter move from a baby to a little girl, a year of surprises, some of them good and some of them not so good. My husband gave me a shock when he said some time back that this was probably the year that we had our maximum number of fights. I found it surprising when he said that and yet when I look back, I realise it's true. It's been a stressful year because we had to take so many tough decisions, our little one was becoming increasingly opinionated and we had to use all our patience to handle her. Our patience (at least mine) used to run out completely when it came to any others...

This is becoming a rambling post - one without much of a point..

Anyway here's wishing you all a very Happy New Year and let's hope 2012 brings more interesting things!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Christmas Party and other updates

Sammu had great fun this last weekend. There was a Christmas party at school and all parents, siblings, relatives of the child were invited as well. So we all went, R, me and R's mother. Sammu was very happy and proceeded to play with all the toys set out in school as well as participate very happily in all the activities intiated by the teacher. I'm sure she felt this was the 'right' way to go to school - with her family sitting around her!!

It's been a roller coaster of a ride the last couple of months with her, what with us deciding to wean her and her refusing to settle down in school and also having numerous sleep problems. May be all of these problems are related? I'm not sure. But she was a cranky and fussy kid through most of the time, given to throwing instant tantrums, crying at the drop of a hat for anything and falling asleep only after struggling against us and sleep for at least 2 hours.

Now we seem to have rounded a corner. At least with the weaning and sleep bit. She doesn't fight so much to sleep - meaning she doesn't fight over 2 hours, although we still have a bit of a struggle for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. I am also over most of my exhaustion and I'm able to expend that extra bit of energy and ensure she sleeps at a fairly decent hour.

I made a plum cake from for the potluck at her Christmas party. It came out well and vanished from the plates of most parents and kids immediately. My own kid of course refused the plum cake at school, she said quite clearly that she didn't want a brown cake and she wanted the white one with the cream. Sigh.... but i guess that happens.

Here's a picture from the party - trying to count on her fingers as she sings a rhyme about counting...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The end of a beautiful experience?

I have finally started to wean my daughter. For the last couple of nights, possibly the first of such nights since she was born, my daughter has gone to sleep without nursing. It's a bittersweet feeling. It's been 25 and a half months now and our nursing experience has had it's own highs and lows. At times, it's made me feel incapable, furious, frustrated, peaceful, relaxed and so contented.

When she was born, I was very worried. I did not trust that my body would be able to sustain her and feared that it would let me down yet again. So my first target was to nurse for at least a month. Then we slowly revised this - I nursed her through 1 month, through six weeks, through 3 months and so on until today. I was so anxious that I would have to stop when I went back to work. But with the help of the Medela pump that i bought and a very understanding husband (who ferried me back and forth to home and work for lunch until she was around 8-9 months old, we sustained. It also helped that she had always been a great nursling - she was perfect with her latch right from the beginning and she was always very enthusiastic to feed. My mom was another source of huge support, she patiently listened to all that i said regarding bottle feeding my baby.. the numerous instructions I had on giving her only solids when I was away and avoiding formula. The silent support and non-criticism she offered when I was unable to express sufficient milk for a feed for my daughter and was still unwilling to give her formula...

My daughter starting talking really early and this slowly became a slight embarassment for me with respect to feeding. She would tell me clearly, let's go to the room, I want 'amma te paal'! Then I convinced her that this should be a secret between us and she started pointing to the room and speaking in a hushed whisper (stage whisper though!), saying 'Ragasiyam, yaar kitayum solla kudadhu, come, let's go!'.

The last couple of nights have been tough, especially so yesterday because she asked me why I wouldn't feed her. She kept telling me that the milk tasted very nice and she liked feeding and asked me why I wouldn't feed her. We managed to get through with a lot of cuddling and distraction and I hope that it's going to work. But at the same time, it makes me a little sad.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Inclusivity - An Elusive Concept

Have you heard of the term inclusivity? Do you know what it means? We are trying to start a women's forum in my company and our aim is to bring as women-inclusive a work culture as possible.

According to a quick google search i did, this is the definition of inclusivity:
"(Social Welfare) (Sociology) (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) the fact or policy of not excluding members or participants on the grounds of gender, race, class, sexuality, disability, etc." How does this apply to a work culture? It means that at work, you cannot be passed over for a promotion as a woman, just because your boss feels you are more likely to get married soon, have a child soon, or are pregnant or already have a young child. This is the big picture. But there are also tinier details where inclusivity comes in. Like the cases where your team decides to go for a team dinner. Most women I know cannot stay the whole stretch of time required for a team dinner. Transport and safety issues in India ensure that they need to complete the dinner by 9 PM while the rest of the team stays back for another couple of hours and enjoys each other's company. Just by being female, you are excluded from this team building exercise.

Inclusivity implies an understanding of each other's differences and building a work culture that thrives on this understanding. What other common scenarios can you think of where inclusivity is required?

Friday, November 04, 2011

Such a rainy day!

It's been raining cats and dogs since morning today. It is almost a month since Samyuktha started going to playschool. But she has probably only attended close to 2 weeks of school because of the leaves for Dussera and Diwali.

The first two weeks were a nightmare... She used to cry from the time she woke up and would refuse to do every single chore - starting with going to the bathroom, brushing her teeth and taking a bath. Because she somehow used to realise that each of these chores brought her closer to going to school. We stuck with it only because of the 'senior' parents around us - everyone advised that this was a normal thing and it would be absolutely wrong to give into the child and allow her to take a day off. I had my doubts about this approach but we still followed it and now it seems to have paid off. She still cries a little when she realizes she has to go to school, but once we get there, she walks off without looking back. Yesterday she told me that i should go to work and she would walk down the driveway to the school by herself. She actually told me to open the gate and go :-). I hope that we have reached a turning point.

I only hope that twenty years later, some clever researcher does not come out with a paper on how young children are traumatized due to this approach of leaving them in playschool at 2 years!! You never know, with parenting, things which seem good today are always seen in a bad light tomorrow.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Passport to a healthy pregnancy

I've been pregnant twice before. The first time I conceived after a year and 2 months of trying for a child. I was delirously happy and looking forward to my child as soon as I saw the faintest of pink lines on my home pregnancy test.

We were staying alone in Bangalore then, just the spouse and I and I didn't believe in taking it easy during the early days of a pregnancy. I continued to do all my household tasks, travelled by two wheeler and auto just as I used to before and continued to go to work at my highly stressful job.

The thought of a miscarriage happening to me never even crossed my mind. The doctor didn't confirm my pregancy when I made my first visit. They wanted to see doubling Beta HCG numbers, heartbeat on the scan before they could declare my pregnancy 'viable'. 'Viable' - this was the first time I had thought that my pregnancy could actually be non-viable. Anyway to cut a long story short, I miscarried at just over 6 weeks on Aug 3 2008. It was a nightmarish experience and no matter what anyone tells you - it is still the loss of a potential child. A child that you had already conjured in your dreams when you realized you were pregnant. Your heart does not care if it was only 6 weeks - to me it was the culmination of a longheld dream and the dream was shattered.

I was asked to avoid pregnancy for three months following my miscarriage. Every single day of these three months, I shed tears for my lost unborn baby. I would be in control of myself through most of the day, only to lose it at the end. I was asked by family to visit a Krishna temple and hold the idol of the baby Krishna in my arms, in prayer that I would soon be blessed with a live baby. I hated every minute of the temple visit. People told me that God didn't want me to carry that particular pregnancy to term because there was probably something wrong with the fetus. To me these words were not consolation but nails raking on my bare wounds.

After the three months, I was fortunate enough to concieve immediately. How was I supposed to not treat myself as an invalid? I questioned every step I had taken in my previous pregnancy, every drink of coffee, every auto ride, every two wheeler ride, every stressful project call. I took it easy during my second pregnancy - I was on 'bed' rest, working from home for the first trimester. I didn't do much household chores though I went on my daily walks. I wiped every time i went to the toilet, suspecting that my lack of morning sickness meant i was going to miscarry any day. During my first scan I was rigid on the narrow bed, anxious to know if there was a 'viable' fetus in me. This state of nerves and anxiety continued well until my second trimester, when i finally gained the confidence to know that things might go well this time.

It is very easy to tell a pregnant woman that things will go well for her, that she's not an invalid. It is also more important to remember the personal experiences that colour each of our lives and tint the glasses we see our world with. The most important passport I can think of for a healthy pregnancy is to stay tuned to your bodies. Eat when you are hungry, eat good nutritious food, take rest when your body asks you to, don't ignore your body's signals. Don't spend all your time researching for information on labor and delivery and the symptoms that you are supposed to feel week after week. Take each day at a time and live in the moment. Enjoy your pregnancy for what it is at that moment - a fresh glowing promise of a new life.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Too many precious things have been happening lately and I feel overwhelmed as well as blessed!Samyuktha turned 2 on 6-Oct-11 - we had a small party for about 30 people in our apartment.I made 2 birthday cakes from here and they turned out wonderful. Received a lot of praises from all who tasted the cake... My sis-in-law made extremely tasty cutlets and we bought fried potato smiles from a neighbourhood place...I think that Sammu had a lot of fun that day because she keeps asking when her birthday will come again.
6-Oct-11 was also Vijayadasami and the day of Sammu's Vidyarambham. She joined Zoom Kids, a small playschool in our locality that day. I was really impressed with the way the teacher (owner as well) of the school spoke when we visited there for admissions and we made our choice instantly that this was going to be Sammu's school. The week since 6-Oct-11 has been not so great for Sammu, she gets ready to school all right but is cranky there and wants us to sit by her side all the time. Today was the first day we dropped her at school and just left... I spoke to her teacher just now and came to know that she cried for about 10 minutes and vomitted all her breakfast! She was so shocked at vomitting that she then kept quiet and started to play shortly after.
I have also made another discovery last Friday - I don't know if it's going to last. Will make updates on that later.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

So many things to say...

My little girl is going to turn 2 in a week's time :-)
I can't believe how many new things she keeps learning and saying!!!

The last weekend, she threw a tantrum and insisted that we visit her father at the swimming pool. We went there and she surprised all of us by going gamely into the baby swimming pool with a tube around her, kicking and paddling and somehow propelling her way around the baby pool!!

Yesterday was the beginning of Navarathri and we have kept Kolu at home.
Sammu has a Kolu all to herself, one at our home and one at my mother's. A small set of 3 steps with dolls that she likes - mostly animals, vegetable vendors, fruits etc!!

Ok i really have to go now.. just wanted to get this quick update on the blog.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Turning 29

I will not start of by saying how long it is since i last blogged. I know it's been too long. It's been too long since i did the things that I genuinely liked.

I turned 29 yesterday and received sweet thoughtful gifts from my mother, sister and my husband. My sister's wedding is in 10 days time and things are very tensed at home because of the financial and emotional pressures this brings. All the pressure has only served to highlight how lucky i was to find Rajesh. Arranged marriage it might have been, but it is sheer luck and God's grace that i found this guy. My pillar of strength in all trying times, my rock of stability in all the turbulence that's happening. Thank you for being all of that.

I am making several resolutions that I intend to keep this 30th year of my life - I will attempt to renew and maintain my friendships and acquaintances. I will revive lost friendships and relations. Even if i post only next year, I am sure that these are two things that i am going to give a real shot. I have realized that in life, it's truly the people around you who matter and it's important to keep in touch with the people that you love and who love you. I am going to stop running away from them during times that i actually need them.