Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I dont know if its luck or careful planning followed by focus on execution to make sure their goal is attained or its just that the Universe is always on their side to make sure things work out exactly per plan......let me explain..

Many years ago, when all of us siblings were in India, my brother charted his life over ten years, with milestone events - admission into the prestigious engineering school, admission into PhD program overseas, new job, when he would get married, when he would have his first baby etc....and amazingly everything has turned out exactly as per his plan. And I am very happy for him, nazar na lagey...

His wife also must come from the same planet in terms of plans working out perfectly for her or maybe my brother's luck is so strong that she is swept into it, they are still making plans and are able to stick to them. Vacations without kids, longer India vacations between transitions from one job to the other, building their perfect home, you name it...

They had a baby girl last year and my sister in law declared that she didnt want to expose her baby to a daycare until she turned one atleast. Thats a noble intention which many women have. But she wasnt planning on any personal or professional sacrifices to make this happen. She was counting on her Mom and my mom (her MIL) to stay and look after her baby for 6 months at a time. My Mom's shift is due this June. I got pregnant last year and their well laid plans were shaken up, I would have delivered in June. My mom naturally would shift her priorities to me. But see everything worked out, I ended up losing the baby, my mother is on to report for Grandmother duty in June. All is well. I am not saying they didnt feel bad for me, their hearts were as broken as mine but I am just saying "Look at how everything works out for them, one way or the other".

Now my sister in law has planned to go to India with her kids and my Mom for company (an extra extremely helpful valuable hand with the baby on the plane) in November. My brother will follow her and they were all planning to have a good time in India etc. Now I am due to deliver in November....

Just once, just once, I am begging this Universe to side with me. I dont grudge you the tension caused by my in laws, I dont grudge you the lost baby, the lost months, I dont grudge you the tears and the pain both pregnancies bring, I dont grudge anything......Please just let me hold my beautiful happy healthy baby in November.....Pretty please.....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Trying to keep smiling....

For 2 weeks after I had found I was pregnant, I realised that I could no longer multi task ie listen to music while work etc. Today I can, I am listening to Pandora's box (which I LOVE btw; you need to try it, you can put in your favorite singer/song/movie and it customizes a playing list for you!!)..Anyways as I listen to music and work, I suddenly freaked out - OMG my baby is no longer there, thats why I am back to normal :((

My legs hurt, I freak out suddenly thinking - Am I going to start bleeding and lose my baby!

My lower back hurts, inspite of myself, I have that melt down moment when I cry and think - Oh man, lower back pain is a sign of low progesterone, my progesterone must have plunged, I am going to lose my baby!

This time around though, I know what happens in a miscarriage and have lived through it already and do not want to face it again. So the urge to mentally shield myself from that pain makes me think optimistic.....

Deep breaths S, you wont lose your baby, your baby is fine, its thriving, progesterone will be tackled, it doesnt mean anything is wrong with your baby, tomorrow when you get blood test results back, you will see, HCG will have gone up, progesterone will have improved, you will hold your cute baby in your arms in November. For now, do not freak out, stay strong, stand strong.....Easy peasy giving advice to oneself, now to go ahead and follow it.....Pray for me, will you?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Here we go again....

or rather I hope not...

Friday blood tests show a drop in progesterone so I need to start on the gel supplements right away. If they dont work, the dreaded shots will be back. The silver lining this time around is that the baby hormone is going strong, atleast I owe it to my baby to stay positive and strong and get through whatever comes my way.

Please God, I am begging you, please let the supplements work. I dont want to have to take the shots, they just made me feel awful with dizziness and fatigue and what not. Please God, let my baby stay healthy and strong. Please God, let me hold my healthy baby in November. Why do simple things have to be so hard!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Life is precious

When I was three, I moved to Mumbai to be with my Aunt and Uncle who adopted me. Since then over the next 10 years of my life, every vacation would be spent in Pune with my grandmother and birth mother. Every time summer/Diwali/Christmas vacation would roll around, my bags would be packed, my father would drop me at Aaji’s and pick up my brother and return in a day to Mumbai.

Looking back in this age of heightened awareness around child psychology and women’s liberation and nuclear families and what not, it seems strange – this living adjustment that we had.

My Aunt and Uncle; who are my Mother and Father in the truest sense, it doesn’t matter I wasn’t born to them, (as I had read the concept coined on this blog ) I was born of their hearts I guess. They have a daughter and a son. My birth mother just had me at that time from her previous marriage. My Aunt let her son stay with her mother. My Aaji let me stay with my Aunt. Confusing? But we have all still managed to grow up without any relationship issues whatsoever, and me, my brother, my sister and parents are incredibly close.

Flashback to my vacations with Aaji and birthmother – Sometimes love can be nurturing, freeing, enriching and sometimes the same love tends to have the exact opposite effect – suffocating and limiting. My Aaji and birth mom took advantage of the limited time they spent with me to din into my head about how the world is a cruel place and how every one is out to take advantage of you. How I had no one in this world except for Aaji, birth mom and God (this statement has had an impact on my mind, for years later I would feel lonely for no reason and insecure). Every evening my birth mother would return back from work and a post mortem analysis of the day would be done. Even at that age, I used to wonder how the vilest and meanest of people found their way to my birth mom and brooded over whether there is any truth in the fact that my birth mom has super bad luck etc.

In those days, I was constantly compared to my adopted siblings and told how they were academically more brilliant than me, how they were quick in outside matters, independent and in other words the perfect kids while I was one with many many faults. Of course, my parents never ever thought this and never made me feel that way. My mother tells me that Aaji and birth mom used to criticize the ones they love the most to protect them from the evil eye. What twisted logic was that, I still fail to understand.

But I grew up with my Aaji actually trying to create a rift between me and my siblings while she tried to push me to be closer with my birth mom. My birth mom on the other hand was this beautiful Meena Kumari, the innocent one wronged by everyone with no fault of her own, the unlucky one who always met the wrong people, always had the worst luck in her life, and always got the short end of the deal.

My letters to my friends and parents were censored, I was asked to change wording. All the letters received from my friends were read and analyzed. Clearly there was no freedom of speech in that household…..As I start to write this, if you would ask my brother; how life was growing up with Aaji, he will very well have a different story because every one of us was treated differently by Aaji. I don’t want to make her out as an awful woman; she was extremely strong and independent. Even as a widow, she had the guts to stand up and support her pregnant daughter and lead her through the divorce. Somewhere in that duration, my birth mom stopped growing up and taking responsibility for her life and my Aaji became more protective of her daughter. They forgot their ages and time froze.

My poor mother was always torn between her loyalties as a daughter, sister and my mother. She would feel guilty when people would praise me and would feel that her sister is missing out on it. She would go out of her way to tell those people “but she is not my daughter, she is my sisters” because she didn’t want to take credit for the praise. For the longest time, that used to break my heart. Now my mother has realized that she is deserving of the praise – for being proud of how I have turned out to be, because she and my father are the ONLY ones responsible in this world for me being an independent, sane, sensible person. Everything I am today is because of them. And if my birth mom has missed out on this, it is because of the choices she made and the attitude she chose and the way she lived her life.

Children are very observant, they know right from wrong at an early age and when they grow up, they know about choices and how you could have turned a situation around with the right attitude. I could have been extremely proud of my birth mom today if she would have stood up, shaken herself out of the depression, after her divorce and gotten along with her life. After all she got married right after to an extremely well educated good man and everything is just right with her life now. She could have put a positive spin on every obstacle she faced instead of running home and crying in her old mother’s lap. She could have shown her daughter what it means to be a woman and I would have been proud to be her daughter. When now, the only thing I remind myself is how to not be like her. I wonder how life turns out this way.

My mother reminisces about her childhood and how my birth mom was a different person at that time. You can never predict what life is going to bring your way or your children’s. I am extremely grateful to have a wonderful husband and wonderful friends, parents, siblings…..I don’t know what surprises/difficulties/happiness life has in store for R and my baby, but whatever it is, I hope I can always be there for them with unwavering moral support and remind them that they always always have a choice in every situation – If you cannot change the outcome, you can change your attitude towards it. You can choose to cry and be miserable and wallow in self pity or you can get up, and live another day and hope that something better will come along soon.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Aal izz well

Blood test results came back normal!! As I was high risk, the doctor wants to repeat tests twice a week to monitor trends but atleast for now, the first blood test is good :) Baby is doing fine, progesterone levels are fine.....yaay.....

I am on the lookout for deserted floors bathrooms now, then also there is the odd person who rushes in so I wait till they leave. Yuck! But I am SO grateful for this nausea, this sickening feeling all day which reassures me of my progesterone levels. I dont mind puking my way through the first trimester but I dont really want to have anything to do with the shots and the tension and monitoring blood work.....Last pregnancy and delivery then I am done!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

The birthdays that were…..

Every 8th March, the phone would start ringing early in the morning. One of my Uncles is awesome about remembering everyone’s birthdays and is always the first one to call in the morning. The phone would actually ring ALL DAY! Without any exaggeration. In the evening my friends would come over. Aai would be cooking yummy things for my birthday, a gooey delicious chocolatey chocolate cake would be ordered. Building friends, school friends, college friends, cousins and family would all stop by with small gifts, cards and our small apartment would be filled to the brink with laughter, non stop chatter and a festive spirit. A new dress would be worn and compliments would be received by the truckload. Every birthday in India has been unique and fun! I have so looked forward to my birthdays in India. One birthday, my best friend brought a watermelon to class which I cut like a cake during recess. Another birthday my Mom packed bhel and juice for us which we took to a park nearby and ate on the green lawns. An 18th birthday I had renounced material things (only for one day) and had told everyone I didn’t really want any jewellery, gift items etc; result was being presented with love birds, sparrows, fish tank complete with fish…..Every birthday was special in its own way.

So when I moved to the US, I was plunged into depression and loneliness when my birthday approached. I was working with a CPA firm at the time and it was tax season, which meant long hours. On my birthday, my seniors pushed me out of the office on time, to go home and enjoy. As I opened the door to my house and walked in, I saw P video shooting me. One by one my brother, my sister in law, my sister and my brother in law stepped into view!!! It was the most amazing surprise ever!! I was so shocked and thrilled!! They had flown and driven (respectively) hundreds of miles to be with me. Needless to say I had an awesome time on my birthday. The weekend zoomed by with siblings around me. Loved it!

Slowly over the past ten years, anticipation and eagerness of my birthdays has dimmed a little. I guess they have transferred to R’s birthdays now and Christmases and Diwali celebrations which are planned with more gusto and friends/family gathered. My own birthdays are very low key now. With the advent of internet networking sites like Facebook and Orkut, I received many many messages wishing me but I still miss the phone ringing off the hook. Of course my cell phone kept buzzing all morning but as I was in a meeting, I had to ignore the calls (India US time zone differences kya karey!). I am lucky to have family here and we did go out to eat but it wasn’t the same. I miss my parents, my friends, my siblings, my cousins; a happy event is not the same without loved people to celebrate it. I have still dressed up, received compliments from co-workers unaware of my birthday, for the shocking fuchsia pink blouse I am wearing today. P is insisting on accompanying me to the mall to buy something of my own choice for myself. We will go out to dinner but it is not the same anymore.

In India you didn’t just go shopping unless it was a special occasion. Here in the US, we go shopping so frequently, in the winter especially. Every long weekend, there is a sale going on, I window shop even though I don’t need anything and pick up bargains when I see them. The fun of buying something for a special day is lost when you shop all through the year. I miss those trinkets which my friends used to pool money together to buy; as we grew older, our contributions grew bigger resulting in expensive gifts but it was so precious, those gifts which my friends spent so much time scouring different shops, shopping for me and their delight when I wore the earring, necklace, bracelet, kurti, tshirt etc…..the numerous birthday cards, especially the ones which one or the other random guys would give, which we would read into unnecessarily, trying to decide if he had a crush on me or not etc.

I guess I will celebrate my birthdays through R now as I watch her delight and excitement when her birthday approaches, her excitement at ordering that Dora or Mickey Mouse or Barney cake, her jumping up and down with happiness while getting dressed in her special birthday dress and greeting visitors at the door, her squealing with delight when she tears open the wrapping paper off the countless gifts she receives. And one day, I hope she also looks back at her childhood and her birthdays and thinks about how special and wonderful each of her birthdays was…

For the time being I am grateful for my wonderful husband who knows how much birthdays mean to me and is trying to make it a special day. I mean, he even called me at work to just chat!!! ;)

Thank you God for a wonderful life, a wonderful husband and a wonderful daughter! Thank you God for giving me the opportunity to nurture another baby and no matter what that blood test says tomorrow and whatever the outcome of this pregnancy is, I am eternally grateful for the thousand other good things in life you have bestowed upon me. All my days are special because of it…Thank you…

Monday, March 1, 2010


I got a doctor's appointment for next Monday, my birthday! Of course I wouldnt know the test results right away but have to wait till Tuesday then.

P has asked me to be numb to the realisation of being pregnant. Neither rejoice nor get freaked out. Just stay neutral and not react to anything. Neither dream of the future nor discuss anything baby related. Neither tell anyone nor think about it.

Its so difficult and like today when I burst out crying in the middle of the day for no reason, alone in my cube, I sat for fifteen minutes tears streaming down my cheeks. I finally told one of my closest friends at work. I cant hide sorrow inside my heart. I have to share it to reduce it. Or it multiplies until it suffocates me.

I want to be sick with nausea, I want to have all the normal symptoms of pregnancy that other women have. I just want to have a normal pregnancy.

R would be such a wonderful older sister and she is absolutely ready to have a sibling. Please God, please help me.

:) Blogging sure is my mufta ka pscyciatrist :) I feel so much better already. Let me be grateful for the one kid I already have and for my wonderful husband and not cry over something that might not happen. I might just have normal levels and might have a normal pregnancy and might have a sweet baby by the end of this year in my arms. Be positive S...