Tuesday, November 08, 2005


I have been reading mukul's blog, after the birth of my little girl, sanah. post-partum passtime...thats been one way of keeping in touch with my world, friends. its like listening in to friends chatting, while i stay silent.

well, i cant really stay silent for too long, can i? i sit by myself, nursing sanah, gurgling to her, massaging her, bathing her, cleaning her... and keep thinking of little notes -sometimes to myself, sometimes to her, at times to george, to friends, and often to no one in particular. so then a blog seemed like a good idea...lets see...

the scribblings in my head began with the birth of my girl -sanah surabhi george. The above still is george's first glimpse of sanah.she is two months and 24 days old today.

as usual i am going to ramble, and put down thoughts and experiences in an anarchic way - cant even say non-linear- non-linear structures have a stark , strict logic to them- something many of my fellow filmmakers disregard when playing with non-linear structures. anyway, these ramblings are arbitrary - maybe anarchic is also an erronous adjective.

so sanah was born at 11:46 am on 14th august. my labour, that i was managing so well with the huffing and puffing i learnt at the birthing class- not lamaze but yoga -was rudely interrupted by a c-section. the control freak that i am, i managed everything damn well- the pain, my bp etc etc- but that one thing i had no control over- my cervix- dammit- refused to dilate. my postpartum reading was largely on the damn cervix- so it seems age played a factor in this- cervix not supple enough at the age of 35! damn damn damn. and they did not allow george into the operation theatre-because c-section. that was the biggest let down.

and when i was wheeled into that glass door and kept in a corridor-with contractions every five minutes- all by myself -i was pretty pissed off. tried to keep myself calm by smiling at the nurses and trying to make small talk. but they were not interested- not like the sweet mallu nurses in the ward who were most comforting and very chatty -small talk cheers me up like nothing else! so waited and huffed and puffed through the contractions while there was a frantic search for the anaesthetist. i am not joking- there was a search on for her- with my doc, susan, getting more and more impatient. the anaesthetist rushed in after what seemed like ages- huffing and puffing louder than the woman in labour-me! she was this fat, pink, punjabi/sindhi looking woman -very scattered looking. i must say i panicked- she did not have the confident air of susan -and this lady was to inject my spine! the moment i was wheeled into the operation theatre i began shivering like crazy- not sure if i finally lost my nerve or if the temperature was dramatically low. but clearly it was expected- the shivering - and i was told that i would be given a blanket after the spinal injection.

i must say i was relieved that my unending labour had been nipped in the bud- and my baby would be picked out of my tummy within the next ten minutes!

the huffing puffing anaesthetist was really quite nice- she gave me the injection- and went and sat behind my head- comforting me- actually making small talk- which as i mentioned before is very comforting to me- i conducted faltu conversations with her, with my doc while they cut me up- i asked to see the placenta after they removed it- i think they were a little disgusted, but tried not to show it.

the doctor started putting some pressure on my stomach- it was not painful, but very uncomfortable- at that point i felt like i might start freaking out- so quickly decided to take off from that room, mentally. in retrospect, i think i began tripping on the anasthesia- really- i took off to jammu- saw bauji playing the banjo for me when i had fever as a kid, near the window in his room- mataji touching my long plaits- she could not see by then- then went to ludhiana, to nanaji and naniji being flirtatious with each other- then strangely to kerala- to amma smiling- she had severe dementia when we got married-but through her childlike blur she seemed to recognise george, and then to velliappan, george's maternal grandfather- the prem nath in bobby look alike- the one who was thrilled to see a 'penjabi' when i arrived on the scene. i think they were all secretly dissapointed that i looked like a malyali and not a fair strapping penjabi!
anyway, all these images ended with my darling naniji reciting her crazy rhymes- tu jodha balwan banegi, tu mardon ka naash haran karegi... dr. susan announced" surabhi, you have a girl..."all through the tripping, i think i had a demented smile -and with this announcement- smiled, a focussed, thrilled to bits smile. but no tears, no overwhelming - i become crisp and defined in my emotions at critical moments. i did lose that crispness when i heard my baby cry- it was an undefined moment- not sure if i blubbered, or just looked like i was at the bottom of a deep ocean trying to spot the sky...i heard her, a good five to ten minutes before they showed her to me- and that was also a fleeting glimpse, before she was taken outside to the three men, george, papa and ajay! it seems the nurse looked for the nani or the dadi, and at not finding either showed sanah to mummy's friend vikram's wife, seema- the only woman present- all of 28 to 30 years old- they actually went past the father , the grandfather to seema, who was merely accompanying vikram. poor girl! maternity wards really dont know how to deal with men- they move from disdain, to irritation, to plain impatience with their presence...

i did get to see the placenta a good half hour or hour later- but by then it was black and dead- all oxygen drained from it. i wanted to see my live throbbing placenta- the one kilo of flesh that nurtured my baby- i was to take its place- my lactating self would nourish her...

two months and 24 days later she has grown from 3 kilos to 5.8 kilos- the 2.8 kilos is all me - my lovely lactating self! ( borrowing anita's description of us mothers...)

ok, not as arbitrary as i imagined- i did begin with sanah's birth- it cant get more linear than that!

2 comments:

The Mad Momma said...

wow... that was intense.... have linked you up... and thanks for the quick response... looked for an email id in your profile but none was to be had... you should add one that you dont mind strangers mailing you at!!

paige said...

I am a Lamaze-trained childbirth educator and doula from the US living in Bangalore. I offer private as well as group childbirth prep classes. Topics covered include anatomy of pregnancy and birth; pregnancy exercise and nutrition; stages of labor; developing and maintaining confidence in the inherent ability to give birth; strategies to facilitate normal birth; movement and positioning which enhance progress and comfort; technology, interventions, and pain medication; cesarean births; postpartum issues; breastfeeding; and newborn appearance, needs and capabilities. For more information, contact me at nycdoula@gmail.com, or on 99863 80303.