Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Miracle of Life

I always wonder do miracles really happen...does every human being come across a miracle atleast once in a lifetime...well believe it or not...i found the answer. Miracles do happen and God sends them in the form of babies!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our miracle was born on Jan 3 2008 at 11:05pm after I spent what seemed to be the longest day of my life. Sushma started getting her contractions early morning at around 5am and we knew it was time. We waited till it was really no longer possible for her to bear the pain, and we rushed her to the Durham Regional Hospital at around 11am. The doctor put her on a sedative and said we need to wait for another 10-12 hours till it was time. She was in pain and there is nothing much a husband can do at the time, just give some moral support and make her strong for the ultimate challenge of her life.

When the pain became unbearable, the doctor advised for a dose of Epidural which is a painful injection given directly to the spinal cord. It made her go numb and she had a smooth journey thereafter. After all this pain and time spent waiting for a normal delivery to happen, we were told a C-section is inevitable. This was decided at 10pm and sushma was taken into the operation room, I dressed up in the gown, cap & mask given to me and joined her at the operation table where there were around 5-6 doctors and nurses around her, belly already sliced open, 2 anaesthetia doctors behind her head asking her whether she is feeling anything happening except the pressure on her stomach. Seeing all this made me go numb in my legs, but i tried to remain cool and sat down next to her and held her hands, never daring even once to look across the thin sheet they had put up in front of her face, basically covering all the action at the other end of the table!!!!She had had enough of pain and struggle throughout the day and what we thought was going to be an enjoyable experience, turned out quite a nasty one. Well, once again, i was just able to hold on to her and wait for the procedure to get over without any major issues.

It was almost like 15minutes after I had walked in, that the doctor said the baby is almost out, so I jumped up on my feet to have the first glimpse of our miracle. There she was, Dr.Avery holding her up, patches of white fluid all over, gasping for her first breath of air, suddenly feeling all cold and exposed to the outside world. Till that very moment, we didnt know it was going to be a girl, and once i realised it, i cried out loud to sush that we got what we were always hoping for - a beautiful little girl.

I sat back down waiting for the moment to sink in and exchanged tears of happiness with sush, the moment was precious and I wanted to spend as much time with sush, meanwhile our daughter was drawing all attention at the other end of the room where there were atleast 4 nurses attending to her, cleaning her up, and keeping her warm. I had to capture these precious moments on my camera, and I came back and showed sush how lovely our little girl was looking, hoping that would ease off all the pain she had during the day. The doctors were still working on her belly, stitching away in glory, constantly laughing and chatting amongst themselves, I wanted to tell them, 'hey take these things seriously in life, itz my wife laying down there', but of course they were used to doing dozens of this everyday, and it was like they were stitching some tear in their garments.

Once our baby got wrapped up in warm cloths, with a small pink cap, looking like an angel, a nurse brought her to us and asked if I wanted to hold her. I put down the camera and for the first time picked up my daughter in my arms, the moment was so overwhelming, and really difficult to express in words. Since sushma's hands were not free to move around, I brought our baby's face close to her's, so that she could kiss her and experience the first touch. She had tears in her eyes, seeing her daughter all awake and keenly observing it's surroundings, trying to get accustomed to the sudden changes. It really makes you think how wonderful a miracle life is, growing up nine months inside the womb, secured, fed and protected by her mother all throughout, to grow into a pefect individual having similar traits of both parents, to have developed all the right organs in the right places, leaving nothing to chance, this is God's ultimate miracle!!!!!!!!

I can keep writing about all the events that followed that night, but I want to take a step back and give some thought to the wonderful chain of events that lead to this beautiful girl whom we named Neha. It was in April 2007 that we realised Sushma is pregnant and we broke the news to our parents who were extremely overjoyed hearing about this. Sushma was working at AICPA at the time and decided to continue with her job till she could manage. She started feeling nauseous during her 2nd month which continued for almost 3-4 months, she couldnt stand the slightest smell that could make her throw up. She had phases of cravings for eating, though we cooked as much as we can at home, we did enjoy the early days of her pregnancy going out and eating at various restaurants here.

We wanted our parents to join us here in the US, by taking turns so that we will have them with us for a continous stretch of 1 year. Sushma's mom joined us in October and sushma had left her job by then, she has been a tremendous help for us from the day she has arrived, preparing tasty indian dishes and freeing us up from so many household chores that we used to do before. Sushma's dad is joining us in a couple of weeks and later on my parents will be arriving at the end of march. We will be so used to having people around us now, i cannot imagine how it will be when everyone leaves and we are again alone.

Well, now we have Neha in our lives, who has taken the center stage, demanding our attention every minute she is awake, we have realised our responsibility towards her. She has brought a storm of changes along with her into our lives, and has filled it with happiness and joyful moments. We will continue to cherish these moments throughout and hope to make good parents for her. Sushma has given me the ultimate gift a man can ever want in his life, thanks honey, we make a perfect happy family now.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Technology at Minus 4

Yes, finally i was able to come up with a name for my blog that would confuse you and give you absolutely no clue as to what i am writing about!!!!!

4 is the number of months i have to wait to see my baby out in the open. So technically it is -4 months old, but for me, it is already completed 5months. You must be thinking now, what does technology have to do with all this....well, a lot actually.

Yesterday was the first UltraSound scan of my baby.In my previous blog, i had written how amazed i was upon hearing it's heartbeat, but this was an out-of-the-world experience. I was speechless when i actually saw my little baby moving around, i have to say that i was never ready for this sort of a feeling.

We went to this diagnostic center and the doc-cum-technician there was very friendly, and asked a few questions before we got ready for the scan. Of course, i made it clear to her that we do not want to know the gender of the baby. So there was this small monitor and as the tech moved her scanner over sush's belly, my baby was all over the screen. I was so completely absorbed into watching this, it seemed like nothing else really matters any longer, i have before me, what i have been waiting for. The tech was trying to explain where the head is, the hands, elbows, legs....does she think i cant see or what??

Every few seconds, the baby used to bring its right hand up to its face, maybe already developing the sucking instinct. But to me, it felt like it knew we were watching and wanted to wave at us and tell us "i will be out in a couple of months!!!!". I could actually count all the five fingers on both of its tiny hands and also the five toes on the legs. While I was more involved in looking at the face and observing the movements of the baby, the tech made sure all the internal organs worked fine. She even showed us all the four chambers of the tiny heart(pumping at 140bpm!!!). She showed us the stomach, lungs, kidneys, inside of the brain, spinal cord, eye sockets, cord connecting the belly button of the baby to the placenta, everything in tact and in place. One more interesting feature which the tech was observing was the diaphragm, the location of which decides the upper and lower halves of the human body. To us laymen, she told what all organs need to be on the upper half of the body are there above the diaphragm and similarly the lower half.

She kept moving the scanner to get different views and sections of the baby and even printed out a few pictures for us. The best shot at the baby was when she zoomed in on the face,and we could make out every individual feature. Immediately I asked for this to be printed, and I have been looking at this snap all day long. It is as good as any real picture with such resolution, and my baby is resting its head on one of it's hand and the other hand is on top of the head, cheeks filled up, nose pointed, round face with a high chin. This made my day!!!!!!

The EDD (Expected Date of Delivery) given by the doctor is 3rd of Jan 2008. By measuring the length of the femur bone(thigh bone), and the girth of the belly and the head, this software was programmed to arrive at the EDD. She first measured the femur bone which was 5.3cms long, then she took 3 separate readings of the belly(averaged around 18cms) and the head (12cms). The EDD arrived at was 2nd Jan 2008, and she told we could not get any closer than this, with just a day difference. Finally she added, the baby will come out only when it is fully ready!!!!

Both me and sush feel now that it should be a girl (for obvious reasons) and we hope it is, with all the wonderful features it has. But hey, a handsome boy or a beautiful girl, we are open to both.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


No, i am not writing a blog on the kannada film titled 'heart-beats', it beats my mind, how i came up with the same title for my new blog.

Last friday i heard a pleasant sound that is still ringing in my ears, and taken control of my mind and body since then. It was just for a minute or two that i was engulfed in an ocean of warmth and caringness of a distant voice which i am not able to take off my thoughts.

You must be wondering what is this, that i am making a big deal of; huh?? Well, you will soon realize how significant this is to me. The sound that i heard was that of a tiny little, thumbnail sized heart pumping away as if calling out my name and wanting to come and embrance me. Yes, i heard the heart-beat of my yet unborn baby!!!!!!!!!!!!

My wife, sush is 12 weeks pregnant and we had her doctor's visit on friday. She was tensed as to what tests are required to be performed and I was waiting anxiously to hear my baby. The doctor was so friendly and made us both at ease and did her routine checkups. Once done, she said she will try to get us hear the heart-beats. She took her device and started searching on sush's tummy, and immediately the entire room which had fallen silent, was filled with this rapidly beating sound, and we were amazed at how fast it was going. It was just for half a minute, and it was lost again. We requested to hear it again, and she searched around for a while, and finally was able to locate it. Again, we could hear the perfect lub-dub, lub-dub sound of the tiny heart.

It was one of the most memorable moments of my life and how i wish i had recorded that then and there. I am sure i will do it in our next appointment, and play it back again and again every day of my life. This small incident in my life, has aroused so many questions and thoughts in my mind, and i feel like i have come to realize God's best ever creation - the human body. Once we learned that sush was pregnant, we spent time browsing the net for articles about pre-natal care and even watched a couple of DVDs. It was informative and told us what to expect in each and every week of her pregnancy. But somewhere deep in my heart, there was this empty feeling, something amiss around the whole episode. Why is it not sinking into me, why am i not feeling any different about this most important phase of my life, i had been waiting for this for a long time. Well, this was it, the moment i heard this breath-taking sound, it filled up my whole world of happiness.

We were really expecting the doctor to perform the ultra sound scan, so that we could actually see the baby. But then we were told it will be done later on in the 5th month of her pregnancy, so that we can see the well formed organs of the baby. Well, just hearing the heart beat was mind blowing, i cannot imagine what the scan would be like. Now, i know there is a life in there, waiting to come out and fill our lives with joy and delight. At the same time, it has also dawned upon me that this little baby will come into this world relying upon us to teach lessons of life in due course. Wow, that gives me the jitters just thinking about it, "lessons of life?????" - how am i supposed to know what is that!!!!!!!!!!!!!Then again,we are quite ready to deal with it as we go ahead in our lives together, just having the baby around us will make us realize the importance and responsiblity now vested upon us.

Here, in the US, it is common practice for people to know the gender of the baby well before it is born. It helps them to make decisions about the type of clothes to buy and colors to choose, but for us, it is a strict NO NO. We want it to be a surprise till the D date. But as everyone knows, "curiosity kills a cat", so we tried out many traditional methods which have become beliefs to determine the sex of a baby. First was the "fork and spoon" test, you keep a fork and a spoon under two different cushions of a couch, and ask the pregnant lady to sit on any one of them. If she sits on the spoon, it will be a girl and a fork means a boy!!!!!!!!!!!!Does anyone really believe that???Well, we wanted to have some fun, and decided to try it out. For crying out loud, i thought fork means a girl and kept 2 forks under both the cushions:-) Now you know what i want....well, we again tried it out properly, and sush sat on the spoon....yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

The other belief is that if the pregnant woman is liking to eat a lot of sweets, then it will be a boy, else a girl. Well, sush is definitely eating everything that is sweet nowadays, but then, i think it will be a very sweeeeet girl at the end. Now, that is my optimistic brain at it's best. There are still others for which we need to wait for a few more weeks to determine the tests, maybe my next blog will include them.