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!”


Blogger anantha said...

Welcome backo! Now we shall go and read the post!

9:32 PM  
Blogger thennavan said...

We welcome the Maharaja, Gabby :-).

9:51 PM  
Blogger Quizman said...

LOL. We can relate! Superb article.

10:33 PM  
Blogger Rhyncus said...

The first thing I latched on to was 'in the throes of breastfeeding'. Vivid picture that. Hope you are having fun. :)

11:39 PM  
Blogger shub said...

GAWK! I came here from desipundit....it said "Minal" write about....and your name is Minal?! :O SUddenly I see a Gabby thrown in there and I'm ike huhh!!!
Welcome back lady!! missed you!!
now to read the post fully! :D
so glad u're back! :D

12:19 AM  
Blogger shub said...

awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!! >:D<
"...you realize that this is so much stronger than love. It’s like the foundation of all feelings, beyond description."
what can I say? awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

12:22 AM  
Anonymous Zoheb said...

Baby ko mera aashirwaad :-) Maataji ko pranaam. MisterG ko Hi.

1:12 AM  
Blogger phatichar said...

You'll make one helluva 'mom n son'pair,i tell u!!! congrats once again gabby...and enjoy :)

1:43 AM  
Blogger The Comic Project said...

Landed here via desipundit and two things had me hooked - Calling the baby "Maharaja" unlike prince or angel or something cute-ish - and the "Got Milk". Never thought "Got Milk" could be used this way :-)

Good luck with the milk monster. Will have you on the bloghop.

2:18 AM  
Blogger Dreamcatcher said...

Welcome back Gabby, beautiful post. Does he keep you up nights?

3:48 AM  
Blogger alpha said...

vey cute..touching indeed. tc gabby.

7:52 AM  
Anonymous Ash said...

Great to have you back !

Lovely post, filled with awww moments :)

7:56 AM  
Blogger Prerona said...

welcome back! hope u will keep posting :)

thank god for mat leave! no?

9:20 AM  
Blogger Cloudy said...

Wonderful read. Have a toddler, and relived those moments when he came into this world as I read this. When someone asks me "How do you spend time?" I go hysteric.

10:08 AM  
Blogger Thanu said...

came here through desipundit. Very well written. Congrats on the new baby. Enjoy ur parenthood.

11:30 AM  
Blogger anumita said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! Can we please please have pics of the Maharaja?

11:39 AM  
Blogger Patrix said...

Hey welcome back, 'mommy' :) Missed ya around here. Hope to hear more baby stories.

11:46 AM  
Blogger tilotamma said...

Uncle Ben? who was that? never mind. glad to have you back

1:24 PM  
Blogger Peeyush said...

nice post :) make sure you capture these moments... i still cannot believe ankit was that little once upon a time, and i used to look at him and think "i cannot believe he will be walking and talking one day".

6:43 PM  
Blogger AmitL said...

Hi,Gabby....grrrt post and descriptions.:)Hats off to Mr. G too.:)Now,may we await pics of the Maharajah one of these days??I do wonder,though,was the sense of humour which ran through the post, present during those precious moments?:)Good going,and,puhlease,don't use the 'Shh-he's waking up' excuse too many times.:)

8:33 PM  
Blogger Pallavi said...

COngratulations.. !! :) coo coo coo

10:01 PM  
Blogger Suhail said...

Congratulations and

Long live the king!! :-)

10:49 PM  
Blogger sanguine said...

wow ..
n awwwwww ...
n touchwood, you sound so so happy, gabby .
a wet wet kiss to the maharaja .

awwwwww again .

11:34 PM  
Blogger visithra said...

Sob sob awww this is my fav post my most fav one - awww so beautiful

12:20 AM  
Blogger Parna said...

CONGRATS girl. a tight hug for the Maharaja. and pics please :)

1:50 AM  
Blogger Twilight Fairy said...

gabs congrats once again! hope alpha delivered my wishes pronto :). Been asking her about jaccha and baccha all this while :p.
"got milk, will feed" eh? :)

Milkman rhyncus, shouldn't you have latched onto "got milk".. ! :p

1:54 AM  
Blogger Swathi said...

A huge congrats, i think u have described the entire experience so beautifully

2:01 AM  
Blogger Rash said...

This is lovely Gabby...can identify with every single thing...incl the unromantic planned trip to hospital

9:18 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Anti beta, still reading? Sylvan maybe? Nah, your blog is full of long hard words, so I take it all the breast talk has had you packing :)

thennavan - The Maharajah is giving you a sagely nod. Thank you, he says, now change me.

quixman - welcome! And thanks.

Rhyncy - Of course, the milkman loves to talk about milk. We should email eachother, everybody else is slightly grossed out I think. :)

Shub - Thanks kiddo. How're you doing?

Zo - Our joint-family blessings to you. May you be blessed with 5 sons and 3 daughters at least.

Thanks Phatichar! What do I say, your stories about your little one have inspired me :)

11:55 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Comic Project - Good, you're hooked. The fella calls the shots around here...a cutesy name just didn't come to mind. Welcome!

Dreamcatcher - Yes he does. That's how he reminds us of his power at night-time. :)

Alpha - Thanks girl.

Ash - It's good to be back too. Thanks!

Prerona - I know! The other day, my boss called and it took me a full 10 secs to place his voice. That world seems so far away!

Cloudy - "What time?" right? I so agree.

Thanu - Thanks. Desipundit is super cool that way :)

12:03 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Anumita - Thanks! Pics...now I'm dying to do that but we have the usual issues coming up. Let's see, let's see.

Patrix - you will scream for the baby stories to stop I suspect :). Thanks man.

Tilo - Uncle Ben's rice is what I meant. Much like Aunt Jemima's pancakes.

Peeyush - Great to see you back on the scene. Your blog asked me to register and what-not. Did that, now waiting to comment. Your "Ankit Says" does a great job of backing-up those memories, I think. Your fellow seems like a real smart motor-mouth :)

Amitji - What do you think?...No, I didn't smile too much for most of that day. I laughed once a while and I cried a lot.

Pallavi, Suhail - Thanks much!

Richa - I am. I never thought I would take to the Mommy role...but nature takes care of these things!

12:11 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Visthra - Thanks lady! Do you have kids?

Parna - Yes the pics, will do something, promise!

TF - Alpha did nothing of the sort. Now, if you had told her NOT to tell me something...:)...And looks like Rhyncy is trying to diversify!

Swathi - Thanks much.

Rash - Really..you too huh? O well next time something like this happens, I'll squeeze in a pedi-mani too. Why not make the most of it? :)

12:15 PM  
Blogger anantha said...

Gabby: We passed on our regards through Alpha too. We had lost some details that you gave us yourself and she refused to give the same thing to me! Bah...So we had to email!

12:59 PM  
Blogger Zeppelin said...


Glad to see you back.. Congratulations once again !


somehow the three words that you used -"we created life", made me remember Creed's - With Arms Wide Open....


1:08 PM  
Blogger Swapna said...

My sis just gave birth to a girl and when I read your post, it was like deja vu.

Congrats.. :-)

2:49 PM  
Anonymous VC said...

Khool! Congrats & a good post-partum post.

Q: What is the grasp reflex?
A: The reaction of new fathers when they see a new mother's breasts.

You got a name???

5:32 PM  
Blogger gvenum said...

Congrats Gabby! that's a great news. Felt like we all went through the pregnancy for the last few months:). Congrats to Mr.G as well. Now that his job is done. do we need him anymore:)

6:12 PM  
Anonymous karan said...

SUPERB STUFF!! Congrats gabby!
needless to say, a fantastic post. and making such a connection, that the happiness of this post is all mine now. :)
welcome to the li'll maharaja.

10:48 PM  
Blogger Aqua said...

congratulations!!! i loved your birth story... and all the best with the night wakings and feeds and diaper changes :) and keep blogging about the little one.

4:42 AM  
Blogger ?! said...


"The King and I": the details of how they lived happily ever after!

5:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

congrats G

9:12 PM  
Blogger Peg said...

A perfect gift, the perfect love, and all is perfect in your perfect world and shall be with every sunset and sunrise!
Much, so much congratulations to all three of you and so many more wonderful brand new days ahead!!


4:32 PM  
Blogger :-) said...

Gabby baby: Congratulations !!!!!!!!!!!! Didnt know this maharaja stuff.

Btw, this is easily one of the best personal posts I ever read.

Cant wait to see the pic.

6:10 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Anti - Alpha is not the most reliable when it comes to passing on stuff that is meant to be passed on. :)

zepplin - It would. What with your name and all. Thanks man.

swapna - how are ya? Long time! Wait till you have a baby...every story will seem blah then!

vc - LOL! My hubby goes "Leave my wife's boobs alone!" to the little fella...!!!!!

gvenum - we do, we do!!! The 3 AM feed is when I think Daddy should have his time with the maharaj...else how will they bond??

karan - thanks, thanks! Hey, do you have a blog?

Aqua - I am afraid I will not blog about anything but the little one. Now that might turn into a problem, non?

?! - So much detail will be provided, I am afraid my regulars will be absconding :)

Anon - Thanks.

peg - Well said, as usual! Thanks hon.

Smiley - Thanks ra :)

9:14 AM  
Blogger Weary Hag said...

Sweetie, I am SO sorry I've been away from here for so long! I have been terribly busy (which you now fully understand haha)

Congratulations with the little one. I'm sure it only took a moment or two for you to completely understand all the feelings attached to motherhood. Funny how that happens to us moms, isn't it?

I am SO very happy for you and Mr. Gabby. :)

And ... I hope your lovely little son will realize just how fortunate HE is as well!

Great job! (even if this does come months too late - it is sincerely heartfelt)

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice site!
» » »

2:42 AM  
Anonymous Cat said...

best site

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an amazing post...and your line about this being so much stronger than love, being the foundation of all feelings. beautiful, and so simple, yet so profound.
hysterical in bits too, your story!

hope you, Mr. G and the Maharaja are doing very well.

6:35 AM  
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10:14 PM  

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