It has definitely been a while, and I have been giving myself the much-needed time off to really soak in mommy-hood. Baby D is now almost 5 months old and I am getting back to work and life in general. Work for me never really stopped but post bubs being born I chose to take it a bit easy and enjoy this time with him.
As if it wasn’t enough being pregnant and delivering in the midst of a pandemic – trying to raise a baby in the midst of one is a whole other ball game.
So here’s a quick update on life up until now in our new normal.
I’m going to break it up for you…
My little boy, Savir, was born on the 16th of July, 2020, but not without some (okay, a lot) of drama (because being born in the midst of a global pandemic was clearly not enough for him. Hahaha!). Let’s back up a little. On the 15th of July around 11pm, I started to cramp and spot. I followed my gynecologist’s advice and began to time the cramps to be sure they were contractions. We were already full term and had decided to give Baby D two more days after which we’d induce the labour. The cramping however, did turn out to be contractions and we were finally ready to head to the hospital. Deep breaths… At the hospital they told me that everything was perfect and that we are on track to deliver soon. Now ‘soon’ is a relative term and has a certain ambiguity attached to it.
And ‘soon’ in my case, implied 15 hours of labour!
I was told very early on in my pregnancy that I had a narrow pelvis and that could result in longer labour. My baby was tall, just like his dad, while mine is a petite frame. I had mentally prepared myself for nine months for the long labour that I might have to endure. What I had not prepared myself for was the fact that I would have to do it completely without epidural. I was taking very long to dilate, and until you dilate a good 4cm the doctors cannot administer any epidural. This meant 15 hours of excruciating pain, tears and screaching. No exaggerations. After which I had still not dilated enough. We decided not to stress the baby further and opted for an emergency C-section. And one hour later my little man made his entrance into the world.
…Baby D comes home
We stayed in the hospital for a total of 3 days including the day spent in labour. And honestly going by the experience I was having in the hospital, I thought childcare was a breeze. ‘What is everyone talking about, this isn’t difficult at all!’ she said. And boy, was she wrong! There should be a disclaimer that they share post delivery in the hospital, warning you of what is to come when the medication wares off and nurse bell is taken away. The reality is very different, beautiful and chaotic but different. Because of the Covid situation hospitals were weary of keeping anyone for too long. So if everything were in order they encourage you to head home.
Despite all the reading and researching, I don’t think I was prepared for what was to come. I had fabulous help and that I think made this whole transition a bit easy. But postpartum coupled with a perpetual feeling of being lost and helpless led to many tears and little sleep. People don’t talk enough about ‘postpartum’ but that’s a discussion we can leave for another time. Adding a mental note to myself to remember to write about my experience later.
Having said that a week at home and I was beginning to make sense of things. Diaper changes, feed timings, sleep timings – we were able to set ourselves into a kind of routine. I was able to sleep better and the recovery from the surgery also seemed to be going well. I won’t lie there would be moments of utter chaos at 3 am in the morning but waking up at unearthly hours and being absolutely alert became a new superpower. I will say this to every new mom, trust that you are doing the best you can and give yourself a break. You are amazing and you are loved. Take a moment for yourself and breathe!
I chose to breast-feed and later used expressed breast milk for night feeds. I wanted to avoid formula (as a personal choice) and I'm grateful that I am able to provide the needed nutrition for my baby boy. I’m also happy to report that 5 months in and we are still going strong. I had a shaky start and didn’t think I’d last more than a couple weeks but I’ve grown to love our feed time and the time I get to bond so closely with my little man. The constant fear of messing up and second guessing whether you’re making the right decisions has now been replaced with a sense of calm and the assurance that when you need it, the mommy instinct will kick in. This new normal is something I am still getting used to - it breaks my heart to have to see my baby boy house bound on most days, and it has made me truly appreciate the days we take him for a walk in our building garden. It also makes me appreciate the fact that we were able to head out of the city to our holiday home, in Lonavala when Savir was 3 months old. Taking him there was the best decision we made. To see him in our backyard enjoying the open air and clear skies and fascinated at the outdoors was priceless.
We've been having a lot of fun indoors too and doing a lot of fun activities. I’ve been making note of all these over the last couple of months, and I’m going to share it all in the posts that follow. Hoping you'll will enjoy it too.
…And the journey continues
With each passing day, there are new challenges and new firsts. Each day is different and no amount of planning is ever enough. My to-do list never seems to end, I find it hard to get to any zoom meeting on time, and most days end with me falling asleep on the couch, with a breast-pump attached to me and Gilmore Girls playing in the background. My ears have developed some kind of super sonic hearing powers that penetrate the thickest of walls and my body has learn’t to function on even two hours of sleep. But with every first smile, first coo, first laugh, first roll and first crawl everything else seems to fade into oblivion and nothing seems to matter.
A friend of mine, who has a baby 3 months older than my own, once told me – ‘You are the best mom for your baby and he needs nobody else other than you’. That is what I tell myself everyday. And that is what you should tell yourself too.
Still finding my groove and hoping you join me on this journey!
- Veronna D