Wednesday, April 26, 2006

How uncool am I?!!

## I can stare at the Maharaj's face for 2 hours unblinkingly, while he is sleeping no less.

## I can easily manage 10 photos a day. I can photoshop them into sepia or whatever and send them out to family and friends, almost on a daily basis. And yes, family and friends don't request them any more. But I still send them anyway. We are talking rock bottom of uncoolness barrel here.

## When asked how I'm doing, I have to fight the urge to go into great detail on how he is doing.

## The red tee would go better with my skirt, but I bought the blue. Now we have matching outfits.

O my God. I am going to asphyxiate him with love.

"Few misfortunes can befall a boy which bring worse consequences than to have a really affectionate mother." - W. Somerset Maugham

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Make way! The Maharaja is here!

“Got milk?” his huge eyes ask greedily. “Yes Sire, I do” I mumble softly as I pick him up for the 306th time that day. No, this will not be a 101 on breast feeding, though the topic is a riveting one actually (Example: “Isn’t it orgasmic?” Asks my pal who is also in the throes of it. I look at her agape as there are 2000 things wrong with addressing that question. But yes, the endorphins that are released in the process are good guys...we like them, we do. They are God’s consolation prize for the soreness and what-not. In general the breasts do play a big role in life nowadays and they tend to look down on all the non-working ones...all that preening and perking and nowhere to go, if you know what I mean) But again, we shall not talk about all that just yet. Let me tell you instead how the Maharaja arrived, how he tore to shreds Gabby’s old life and how what remains of it is beyond recognition and how I could not be more thankful for all the damage done.

We had Plan A and Plan B. We also had E thru Z but we didn’t share that with public in case they thought we were over-prepared or something. We would take the freeway all the way to the hospital if I went into labor at 3 AM… but any other time of the day and Mr.G would execute one of the above mentioned plans and get us to the hospital deftly avoiding traffic. We practiced Plan D on an ultrasound trip in mid-March, arriving at the hospital beautifully in time avoiding the crazy lunchtime traffic of Boston. At the end of the session where we looked at the little bugger in black and white, the radiologist went to chat with my Gynac and came back singing “It’s time to get the fellow out!”. Yes, labor was going to be induced the next morning, the reasons aren’t as important as was the fact that she was doing the right thing.

I shampooed and blow-dried, feeling weirdly like I was going to a party...getting pretty for the Maharaja’s arrival. So much for Plan A-Z, we arrived well in time. No romantic dash to the hospital, nothing. Induction was followed by an epidural which I begged for in record-time. Let me pause here and tell you about this great, great thing. It will change your life one day. I proclaimed eternal love to Larry my anesthesiologist and he was very reciprocating. Larry then went to the next room and was very receptive of the undying love proclaimed to him by the next girl he put out of misery. That’s his life – he just gives. At the pearly gates, he will be like No.1 I tell you. Labor continued...I was only 5 hours into the game, the first couple of hours I was still smiling into the video camera so they don’t count, my nurse said.

What changed everything was when our little fellow’s heart rate fell at 8:20 PM. It came back up but the doctor warned us that if it fell again we were heading to the OR. It did at 8:40 PM and in that instant of time, I have felt fear like never before. It was a gripping, desperate fear, mirrored in Mr.G’s eyes. I was undergoing the C-Section by 9 PM. What was lovely about the process was that I was awake throughout the procedure and Mr.G was right by my side (He has a way of describing the color of my insides that I find quite disturbing!) The doctors chatted about India, babies and what-not while they pulled and tugged at my abdomen (pressure is all you feel with an epidural). It was all overridden by the cry that every cell of my being was straining to hear. You wait for that cry like your life depended on it. And the room filled with it at 9:06 PM. The image that I relive again and again is that of Mr.G coming toward me with a swaddled bundle which had just the profile of the Maharaja popping out. I was looking at a mini Mr.G. We had made him. Created life. That too, so perfectly.

With every passing day, every feed, every teeny super-tight grasp of my finger, every gaze that just manages to focus and lock in with mine, every vague search towards my voice, every smile, every coo, I learn so much. Not just about my darling milk monster but about myself too. I am not completely self-centered, and as a mother I am invaluable. I don’t know about maternal instincts and I don’t know about falling in love with your baby in the very first ultrasound. I know though that the first time you are alone with your baby and he cries and you fumble with the diaper to check and then take him to your breast and he fusses and refuses to latch on and you try this and that in a crazy haste because you cannot bear to hear him cry for a second longer…and after he does latch on and is comfortable you break down in a flood of tears because you realize that this is so much stronger than love. It’s like the foundation of all feelings, beyond description.

So the Maharaja has arrived and I’ve found out that the very useful excuse “He’s waking up!” that I use when on phone conversations that run too long is somehow understood by him. He keeps us occupied, to put it lightly. I’ve realized how ridiculous I must have sounded when I used to use phrases like “Too busy” or “No time” while talking to people with kids. I’ve realized I used to have so much free space in my head and in my life it was insane. Being on maternity leave and a mother to only one baby I guess I still don’t the true definition of busy. The woman down the hall from me in the hospital that had had triplets the night before I had delivered, she could surely through some light on this subject. It had been a full moon night so the place was very happening. The maternity ward tends to be. They keep themselves busy doling out so much advice, it’s funny. More on that later, “He’s waking up!”