Samairra first six months
Samairra, you were born on 21st May 2014, a Tuesday at 7:07 pm (thought the time in my watch and on my phone was 7:04, the clock showing the time in the operation theatre showed the time as 7:07).It had been a tough birth for your mom, though the pregnancy had gone relatively smoothly.
Your mom somehow sensed that she was carrying, before any of the tests confirmed the same. I was a bit skeptical, because the positive test had not been confirmed by the urine or by the blood test, but she was sure, something was changing in her body. She was right, the urine soon confirmed pregnancy.
We were elated, I know it sounds so trite but it is true, we informed both set of parents and everyone was so excited. I guessed it would be a girl and your mom said there are twins. The sonography confirmed only a single fetus, and so your mom guessed and had a strong feeling it is a boy. The pregnancy went smoothly, mom did not face too many problems and she was doing well. She developed a sweet tooth during pregnancy, she would always comment the dal lacks galpan(sweetness). She also developed cravings at different stages, for a long period she binged on chocolate amul ice-cream, eating as much as entire tub loads of them.The only slight problem with regards to health she faced when she was in Mathura, she developed a stomach illness, at that time I was in Mumbai and I was really worried .
The original due date was 16th May, you were late. The doctor ,Dr Sadhna said, The baby is lazy she does not want to come out. Finally we she said labour would have to be induced, Mom was induced on 21st in the morning, and the first few hours were nightmarish. She faced indiscriminate pain. Then she got an epidural and then she was better. But you were not coming out, the labour was progressing excruciatingly slowly. You were not in the right position and finally mom was dilated enough, so we proceded to the operation theatre or as it was called birth room.
The doctor used suction pump and got you out, I was thrilled when I saw you, you were so cute and had a bunch of hair. However you didn’t cry immediately and you were panting. The doctors were a little worried, after weighing you , and putting you next to mom, they decided to admit you to the neo natal icu. Of course they did not tell us that , and it was a little confusing at that time. However there was enough time to take a few snaps immediately after your birth, which I sent to our family on whatsapp from the operation theatre.
The pediatrician later informed us that since you were panting, and tired, they wanted to keep you in neonatal icu. The doctor said you were panting as if you had come from a Himalyan expedition. I visited you the first night, and you were strapped up, with tubes all over you, I took a pic and I was worried , my heart went out to you, so tiny, so delicate and so many tubes all around you.
Next day in the morning mom and I came to see you and I grasped your hand, it was a feeling I cannot explain in mere words, it was just miraculous. Almost surreal. They allowed you to come to our room in the morning, and you received so many visitors, we were busy the entire day attending to them.
We were still learing to be parents, mom was learning to feed you and I was learning how to hold you correctly. We got you home after a couple of nights in the hospital.
First months at home
The first months at home were different, to put it mildly, To suddenly have a baby in your presence is a unique experience altogether. There were myriad emotions running through both your mom and through me. New born babies can be incredibly demanding, and your mom just after having given birth was confronting a range of different emotions- intense happiness, intense joy on one hand and doubts, anxiety on the other. I tried to support her and cheer her up as much as I could, but she had the primary responsibility of taking care of you- feeding you, changing you, putting you to bed etc.
I was sleeping away from mom along with chachu, and mom and Sumitra, the nanny were in our room. Sumitra was the nanny we had called from Kolkatta, she was good with you but her charges were too exorbitant ( Rs. 18000 per month). You took about a month to adjust to life on earth, the first month was tough both for you and for your mom. You would get up at night every 2 hours or so, you would not sleep easily, we would have to rock you to sleep.
And we were getting used to having you in our midst, it was like witnessing a new miracle every day. To process your being with us in real time is so amazing. We would just keep on staring at you. Starring at you I would ask myself and your mom, “ why are you the most beautiful thing on Earth?” ; “what good fortune we had that you came into our midst?” I could keep on describing your beauty, your cuteness, your toes, your emerging eyelashes, your lustrous hair: your hair had golden streaks, whenever we would take out, everyone would compliment you by saying, “ such a cute baby,” it became a cliché to say the least. The triumphant sound you made after a successful feed, your burps, the way you clenched my finger. A complete person carrying my dna! It was unbelievable .
And Samairra you were perfect, perfect, perfect. Perfect. I love you so much. The first month of bonding with you: playing, singing rhymes, changing diapers, everything to do with you was the most memorable, most wonderful, most exhilarating experience so far for me. I would admit I was pretty much clueless regarding how to handle your needs, but I was soldiering on, learning from your mom every day. I was certainly becoming a useful side kick your mom.
It was the most epic thing I ever experienced. As someone said, "It may be common as air, birds, flowing water, and the shade of tall trees, but it is a majestic and glorious thing to be a father."