Sunday, May 12, 2019

Love in the O.T.

I am lying on a narrow table wearing a skimpy hospital gown. I have a tube fitted into my bladder and that makes me uncomfortable. On one hand I am being given drips, on the other is a tube – I am not sure of its purpose. 

I am surrounded by four gynaecologists, a couple of anaesthetists and surgeons. A male surgeon asks me to lie on my side. I hold my tummy and roll on my side carefully. I turn slowly and assume the fetal position they have asked me to be in. 

I feel my tummy hanging out of the table. The male surgeons hold me but I don’t feel any shame – shame is the last thing on my mind. A doctor comes and removes the flaps of my gown and marks three dots on my spine. With a pen, I suppose. 

The anaesthetist tells me he is going to give me injections. It might hurt but don’t move, he says. He gives me 3 shots on my spine. It hurts a bit and then they ask me to lie on my back. I see them fit something to a monitor so that they can see my heart rate. I have an oxygen mask on.

Slowly, it starts getting hazy. I can no longer feel my legs or hips. They ask me if I can and I mumble a no. A small screen is placed just below my chest. The surgeons put on their masks.

A lady doctor is standing behind me holding my shoulders. She tries to make some small talk. I see the youngest surgeon in the group take a pair of knives. I look away. I can’t feel the pain but I know they are opening me up. 

All of them are chattering happily. This is something they do daily, no big deal for them. I hear my gynaec say, “Now where’s the baby….ah there!”

She takes out a tiny, screaming baby covered in slimy white. “Namaste” she says to you. I have never seen the grim doctor happier than this. She holds you up for me to see and I manage a small smile. “What baby is it?” I ask though I already know. 

A boy, they answer. I smile and look at the clock on the wall. It’s 11.58 AM. This is the moment. The moment that I have fallen in love. I want to keep gazing at you but they have already taken you away.

And now I am being closed up. The screen is taken away and I am all stitched up. The male surgeons with the help of two hospital staff lift me and place me on a bed. And then I am wheeled out of the O.T. to be kept in observation. On the way both my moms come to see me. Their eyes are wet. 

In the observation room I feel like I have slept for an eternity after which I feel a range of things. First the anaesthesia wears off and the pain of the incision sets in. Next my body starts shivering badly – an effect of the medication, the nurse tells me. And then there is great difficulty in simply turning over. 

After a while a nurse brings me my bundle of joy - you. All covered up in a white towel. She asks me if I saw you properly in the O.T. No, I say and she holds you up. A sweet little face with eyes closed, a button of a nose, and darling mouth. Scarce hair. A beautiful baldy. I fall in love again. She puts you on my breast and you feed hungrily. 

They bring you in 2-3 times for feeds. And then finally they shift me to the room. Here begins our journey – together as a family. 

Your father is by my side all the time. While we are asleep, while we are awake. He helps me to the bathroom for 2 days as I am in pain. He bathes me, feeds me, helps me change my blood stained napkins. He holds us close, close to his heart. As your father sees to my needs with loving care, I hope you become that kind of man to your wife.

I did not write the harrowing details of my c-section to make you squeamish or to prove I went through a lot. It is just to tell you how much every woman goes through to nurture a life. Respect women because they deserve as much respect as any man. Respect everyone – man, woman, child, animal. For we are all equal. We are all one. We complement each other.


PS: This is an excerpt from my diary that I keep for my son. I will give it to him when he is old enough to understand. 

Also, a very happy Mother's Day to every mother - whether you pushed the baby out or had him/her taken out, it doesn't matter. What matters is what follows - the beautiful journey of motherhood. Huge shout-out to all our mothers, for setting the bar really, really high for us. We are supermoms if we can be half as good as they have been!

Thursday, May 2, 2019


Motherhood is laughter, peace and joy
It is confusion, chaos and cries
It is cuddles, kisses and smiles
It is worry, guilt and self-doubt.

Motherhood is hi-fives, love-yous and peekaboos
It is oh-mys, oh-nos and don’t-dos
It is bow-wows, quack-quacks and meows
It is tears, poker-faces and hate-yous.

Motherhood is porridge, milk and fruits
It is stains, messes and spills
It is cute bibs, mittens and caps
It is disrupted meals, me-times and naps.

Motherhood is baby powder, cream and soap
It is burps, hiccups and baby poop
It is soft cheeks, hair and bum
It is runny noses, colics and rashes.

Motherhood is parks, beaches and malls
It is immunization, admission and tension
It is screaming, running and playing
It is scraped knees, elbows and chins.

Motherhood is tickles, mirth and giggles
It is bawls, pouts and sniffs
It is surprise, excitement and amusement
It is boredom, silence and disappointment.

Motherhood is milestones, achievements and goals
It is sleepless nights, pacing about and prayers
It is gibberish, chuckles and squeals
It is facing criticisms, complaints and nay-sayers.

Motherhood is compassion, concern and care
It is anger, heart-break and pain
It is to give, help and share
It is ups-downs, wins-fails and losses & gains.

Motherhood is beauty, wonder and blessing
It is life, meaning and purpose
It is love
And it makes the world go round.  

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Travels through Oman – Nakhal Fort

Our trip to Nakhal Fort happened during Eid 2015. We had a week long holiday and we decided to explore Oman with a few of our friends. This dates back to the time when little Ishaan was not even in our scheme of things and we were blissfully enjoying our honeymoon period. I mention this, because after having a baby there are no unplanned trips. Everything is planned to a T before we leave the house, whereas this particular trip was the exact opposite. When we left the house, we didn’t even know where we were going.

My husband’s friend suggested we go to Nakhal and Nakhal it was. It is approximately 120 kms away from Muscat and we must have taken an hour to get there. Once you leave Muscat, the roads stretch out endlessly with nothing but mountains or barren lands. The roads are smooth as butter and that ensures a smooth trip.

Before I bring out the 4 year old pictures, let me give you a brief on the history of the fort. Also known as Husn Al Heem, the fort is named after the state of Nakhal. It was originally built by the Sassanids (last empire before the rise of Islam) against invasions by Arab tribes. Over the years, it has been through several renovations. It was reconstructed by Omani architects in the 17th century. The gateway and towers seen now were extensions built in 1834. In 1990, it was fully renovated. 

It was built to fit around an irregularly-shaped rock, so you can find some rocks jutting out into the interiors. The fort has exhibits of historic guns, traditional furniture, handicrafts and artefacts. 

The fort built around rocks
 We saw this as we entered, a quick brief for visitors. I wish it was more detailed because the day we visited there were no guides to fill us in on the history. 

There are plenty of steps to climb, and Eid is when Oman is at its hottest. I remember how we ran up the stairs to escape the hot sun. There are many rooms in the fort, each with some remnants of history, and we eagerly entered the rooms for respite from the heat. And believe it or not, even without air conditioning or fans, these rooms were pretty cool! 

Lovely artefacts we spotted as we climbed the fort
Our family friend's little daughter came hopping up the stairs with me.

And then the shutterbugs overtook us :-)

The rooms as I mentioned earlier are really cool and beautifully decorated with colourful cushions. The cushions I guess are later additions but the wooden chests and other articles have a rustic feel to them.

I also spotted some books and cutlery.

One room had the guns on display.

After climbing our way up through various chambers and separate rooms for men, women, and prayers, we reached the top. And the view that awaited us was worth the long climb.

View from the top
Another view of the fort

 By the time we came out, it was time for lunch. We had a nice picnic lunch ready and we decided to go to the springs for it. We left the fort with a feeling of having used our holiday well. Also to be mentioned is how well maintained the public washrooms here are. Brownie points to the authorities for that! 

A couple of pics from the springs.

The trip doesn't end here. More on it, in Part 2!