Tuesday, 11 December 2012

The other side of the story!

This is the story of birth of a mother, well, almost most of the mothers. Some scrape through it easily. This is definitely my story. You would have seen photos in my facebook profile when my little one was born. A happy, smiling mother with her precious darling son. I was definitely happy, on cloud nine, but there is this other side of that story...

There were three more weeks to go, yet, on that Saturday morning I woke up startled with this excruciating pain and I just knew it. I called up the hospital and they asked me to take paracetamol. Yeah, are you serious? Paracetamol for labour pain?

Finally, by evening we head to the hospital. The mid-wife who examined me says I could go up to four to five days. No way!! We were sent back home and that night, I kept waking up every 15 minutes with this cry which eventually would wake up my husband who sat by my bedside and starts his duty of rubbing my back. And this went until 5 in the morning and after which I could take it no longer and we went back to hospital.

A god-sent angel midwife looked after me on Sunday. She promised she would break my waters artificially and have the baby on the very same day. Oh yes, she promised epidural too! Her decision helped speed up my labour and after receiving epidural, it was all good. My worried mother came straight from the airport to the labour ward only to find her daughter smiling and 'pushing' through the labour. And after an hour, it was the birth of the tiny little thing and he was put straight on my chest. Before tears could well up in my eyes, he started making funny faces at me! Bursts of laughter everywhere!

The real drama began then. They do not let your mother or husband stay at the hospital at night, the new mother and the baby were left all alone. And I realized, I was not prepared for our first time alone together, that too straight after the birth as T was born in the evening. This was the scariest bit of all! I was scared to sleep because you need to keep an eye on the newborn, and I was exhausted from 2 days of labour and sleeplessness. 

After a day, T was diagnosed with high levels of newborn jaundice. He was put under lights and I stood helpless there when he cried and looked for comfort. I was not allowed to take him out other than his three hourly feeds which the nurse said should not last longer than 10 minutes. He remained under the lights for two more days. 

End of it all? No, I was hit by Bells palsy, another consequence of pregnancy and childbirth. It was no good looking at the mirror everyday at your half-drooping face. Well, it resolved in four weeks time. 

Blame it on hormones! I made the life hell for my parents, sister and husband for the following two months. My anger flared up instantly at anything which does not work my way, my OCD way! Worst of all, I hated when they said it's all hormones! Had not my mom and sister stayed here for two months, I would have struggled. A big thank you to all of you!!

I hate to keep my posts long, but could not help it. Here is the final verdict - it was all worth it, trust me!

Friday, 7 October 2011

A word to those who have gone through it...

I have always wanted to write about this for a long time. Now that I am a proud mother of a little boy, I guess this is the right time to write about it. I am normally not the kind who write about the most personal details of my life, but I need to write about it because there are many out there who have gone through the same trauma as what I went through 2 years back.

Well, one of my friends back in India messaged me saying she suffered it too and asked me if I wanted to tell her anything about it as she knew I was once in the same situation as hers. It is for her and for all those who have gone through it. And I sincerely pray to God, that noone goes through it.

Miscarriage is the most common complication during pregnancy, and according to statistics, about 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriages. In my circle of friends here, there are about 5 out of 15 ladies who have had miscarriages in the past. And all of them have healthy children now.

Yes, I was heart-broken for a while and still shudders at the thought of the whole experience. There are many out there who cares for me, and for them I put a straight face. I felt it was necessary to keep it aside so that it does not affect any of my relationships and live my life to the fullest. It's very essential not to feel frustrated.

As soon as I miscarried, I went to the GP here who was not at all interested to give a reference to a specialist. He kept on emphasizing that it's common and said there's no need for further investigation. Well, it really angered me and I walked off from his clinic, all ready to file a complaint. As soon as I reached home, I got the call from my GP saying he will give the referral! I got myself checked, did all the possible blood tests which turned out all normal. I was quite aware that most of the miscarriages will have no known causes, still I wanted to be sure. Please follow your conscience, and if you feel who have to be checked, go ahead so that when you are pregnant the next time, you know there is nothing wrong with you or your hormones..

My dad used to say all the time. "Keep aside all the negative thoughts and stay positive". I did. When I was carrying T, whenever I had bad cramps or whenever any negative thought crept in, I kept telling myself "It's all going to be fine, all your blood tests were normal, worry not". And I think it really helped me!

It was in August 2009 when I lost my first child. Though I was just 8 weeks pregnant at that time, I clearly remember seeing a tiny-being flickering when I had an ultrasound scan at 6th week. Life starts very early on. With this post, I would like to spread another message to STOP ABORTION as well. As I hold onto my little one, I just want to say life is precious...

Finally, have faith in God. He will answer all your prayers some fine day..And smile and stay positive!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

A Trip to Remember...

Having seen few places around UK, my husband and I decided to explore few cities in Europe to mark our third year of marriage together. Despite Paris and Switzerland being our favourite destinations, we decided to settle in for Amsterdam simply because of good flight and hotel deals. However, we were totally oblivious of the amazing days we were to spend in this historic city.

Day 1: It was sunny and bright and we loved it. Our hotel was just 15 minutes away from the airport. We checked in and were out in no time to enjoy the city. During our train journey from Schipol to Amsterdam city, to be honest, we were not at all impressed by the places we saw. “Alright, this might just be the outskirts of the city”, we thought; rather pacified ourselves. After reaching the city, we walked straight to Dam square. The first sight we saw was a Krishna temple right in the middle of the square. And, a Dutch guy doing bharatnatyam! After enjoying the hustle and bustle of the square, we decided to take a canal cruise. We started at a stop near Dam square, still apathetic with the old buildings around.

Dam Square

The cruise took us to several canals or grachten (in Dutch), which run through the heart of the city. We were awestruck by the beautiful cobbled streets that lay on either side of the canals and the narrow pristine buildings. It appears that there are number of people who live on boats (houseboats) along the canals due to shortage of houses in the city. The common narrow buildings are dated back to those days when owners had to pay taxes based on width of the house. The canals, buildings and streets added a special charm to the city.

A House Boat

Grachtens (Canals)

The canal cruise changed our perspective about Amsterdam. We were mesmerised by the city. After the cruise, we decided to explore the city by foot. Amsterdam is a small city, meant to be seen by bike or on foot. We strolled through the streets, enjoying every minute of it. Finally, our hunger got the better of us and we decided to settle in for Spanish tapas in the most beautiful street along Prinsengracht (Prince’s Canal). We savoured on every dish that came our way; ending the day with a sense of contentment.

Narrow Street along Prisengrachten

Day 2: We began our day with the trip to Vincent Van Gogh museum. After waiting for two long hours, we finally entered the museum and must say, it was worth the wait. We simply loved the beautiful works by the painter and also got a glimpse of his life.

We decided to walk through the streets of Amsterdam to the city centre from the museum. On the way, we stopped at several places like Vondel Park, the famous flower market in Singel and a busy square named Leidseplien.

I was purely fascinated by these arch-shaped windows.

Without seeing a wind mill, a trip to Amsterdam would be never complete. Our final destination was the wind molen in the city. Picture perfect it was, set along a canal.

The canals were more beautiful by night with lights adorned all over the bridges and streets.

It was indeed a trip to remember. Amsterdam has a unique historic and untouched charm. We would definitely go back, given a chance.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Food For Thought

Here's an article in response to my previous post Who's to blame?, sent by my junior from college, Thomas Abraham. Thank you, Thomas, for sending this. It is quite common to hear mobile beeps all around you from the moment the flight lands. Quite disturbing when people do not comply with the safety regulations. We have these regulations for a reason..

Switch Off That Mobile!

Thomas Dominic, Kuwait
26 May 2010,Khaleej Times Online

It's easy to blame the captain of the ill-fated AIr India Express for the tragic accident that occurred in Mangalore, since he is not there to defend his case. Also, one can blame the airline management for not maintaining the aircrafts.

However, I would request all the airline passengers to do an introspection of their role on board, and the readers to consider the following facts before handing over the death penalty. The state-of-the-art plane (B-737-800) was inducted on January 15, 2008. Hence, one cannot say that its conditions were so bad.

Every day, 32 domestic and international flights operate from Mangalore airport. Hence, one cannot caregorically say that the airport or its runway were not safe for landing.

Fifty three-year-old Captain Zlatko Glusica who died in the crash had 10,200 hours of flying experience and his licence had been endorsed by the Directorate of General of Civil Aviation, India. The commander had flown in and out of Mangalore airport at least 19 times, while the co-pilot had operated 66 times from the same airport.

So the pilot and co-pilot were fully familiar with landing at Mangalore Airport, and therefore it’s not right to put the blame on the pilots. Further, the commander did not report any malfunction before landing, to the Air Traffic Control (ATC).

Visibility at the airport on the day of the accident was six km, ‘which is more than that required’, when the ill-fated plane landed in Mangalore.

So then, what could be the reason for this air crash? Possible malfunctioning of the navigational system during the landing process caused by a cell-phone switched on by an ignorant passenger? I have noticed that many passengers switch on their mobile phones while landing as if they are in a race to inform their arrival. It is also possible that someone did not switch off the mobile phone while taking off from Dubai, despite being warned by the cabin crew, and it started searching for signals as the flight descended at Mangalore airport, which could have interfered with the functions of the landing system?

It should be noted that all three recent air crashes — the first one at Russia killing the Polish Prime Minister and his team, the second one at Libya last month and now Air India Express at Mangalore — all occurred while trying to land, thereby strengthening my suspicion about the possible interference in the navigational system by cell phone signals. Any takers?

Monday, 24 May 2010

Who's to blame?

Some disasters are destined to happen, nothing can avert it. Risk assessments may sound silly to some, but it does save lives to an extent. Deep down my heart, whatever might be the core reason for the recent Mangalore air crash, I feel it is largely due to the table-top runway that rest on top of a hilly terrain. A top official said "There have been no accidents in Mangalore airport till date, so cannot really blame the runway". Have they done a risk assessment for it? Have they considered a scenario if human error occurs, what are the chances of correcting it? If a plane overshoots the runway, can a disaster be prevented? There was a huge probability of a disaster to happen in this runway. A probability which turned into reality with 159 people on board perished at site.

India can learn a lesson from UK in this regard, I would say. Being a risk analyst in marine field, I know how norms and regulations are kept and followed here. All companies in UK even have to manage and assess risks at workplace. I am not exaggerating when I say that they take care of little things such as an exposed cable in the office walkway that pose as a hazard to the employees. They assess it and correct it as soon as possible. They do not wait till an employee trips over that cable.

By risk assessment, one cannot fully avert a disaster but can ofcourse minimise the degree of damage. Well, many lessons to be learnt from this mistake -a grave mistake which claimed 159 lives.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

My Undying Passion!!!!

Learning to drive has been one of my dreams since time immemorial. I was determined to take my driving license on the day I turn 18. However, I was in India doing my Engineering when I turned 18 and stayed in a hostel. Well, that did not matter since my father's home is just an hour away from hostel and I enrolled in a driving institute. Things were totally different when my classes began. My instructor used to pick me up from my home and the car was filled with her students. I hardly got any space to sit, let alone to drive. Out of an hour's class, I drove for only 10 minutes. Not to mention, the irritated instructor's constant rumblings!! Finally, I got my first driving license in India. Sadly enough, since I stayed in a hostel, I never got a chance to drive a car later.

After completing my studies, I went back to UAE. Once again, I decided to take the license and with it, started the trauma of taking classes and giving tests. Tests in various forms; theory tests, hill tests, reverse tests, road tests; were nerve-wracking! The stern-faced traffic police did not help at all. Finally, the day arrived when I got my license. I was so elated; I distributed sweets to everyone around me.

The fun started when I got to drive my father's car. I agree I was very careless and my sense of Geography was horrid. The very first time, I almost hit another car. There were times I took a wrong turn and ended up stranded in the horrible traffic in Sharjah and Dubai for hours! My parents and sister thought they kept their life at stake when I drive the car. And, they were on their toes constantly checking mirrors with me. Any nick on the car would have surely stopped my driving saga.

I reached UK after my marriage. Again, I decided to hit the road and start the never-ending ordeal of getting the licence. With the license in my hands now, I can proudly say I learnt my biggest lesson - never go on a ride with your husband in the passenger's seat! If you want to enjoy the drive, go alone or you will end up fighting!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

To Kill A Mockingbird

During one lazy afternoon, I decided to google top 100 novels of all times. I opened two out of thousand search results Google had to offer. Both the surveys showed "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee to be the No.1. I quickly made a note of the book and decided to grab a copy from the library. Weeks later, I had a chat with a good friend about our favourite books. Coincidentally, she recommended me to read the same novel and she had a copy too. Thus, began my journey into the life of Scout and Jem.

The story is set in 1930's in Southern United States and explains the racial prejudices and various social stigmas prevalent in those times. The highlight of the novel is that it is envisioned through the eyes of two children - Scout and Jem. For this very reason, the book offers an element of innocence that makes one fall in love with its protagonists.

Atticus Finch, father of Scout and Jem, is a leading attorney and is appointed to defend a black man charged with raping a white girl. The symbolic representation of the mockingbird is simply striking. This book is highly recommended. You will never be disappointed reading this novel. You will surely end up with a sense of content of having read a true classic. I guarantee!