Monday, October 10, 2011

Being a Parent

Watch this TED talk-

The couple is right. But in my case it was love at first sight. Yes, I definitely love my son now more than then. But maybe I was very pleasantly surprised when I first saw my son. Because of what the doctors told me, no scared me during my pregnancy, I was expecting this skinny baby. But when I saw my son I was overjoyed. I was overwhelmed with gratitude and thanked God that my son was healthy. Every day since his birth has been a learning experience.
I read many books on post delivery. I thought I understood the various feeding positions. But when it was time to feed I realized I was ill prepared. Then I realized wrong positions add to gas in the baby.
Nobody tells you, atleast nobody told me that you would be feeding your baby almost all day and night. I read we have to feed a new born every two hours. But that they left out a small detail that this feeding pattern is followed only when the baby sleeps throughout those two hours. If the baby is awake, you would be feeding more frequently. So, you end up feeling that you are only feeding your baby and doing nothing else.
The first three months are the toughest with lack of sleep, exhaustion, harmones and so on and then you just get used to it. I heard about post partum depression mainly in the western media. I wondered why we didn’t have any in India. Atleast if we had, it did not seem very common, or not commonly reported. I found the answer post my delivery. It is because of our support system. Your family does not let you feel isolated. You would feel isolated because you just cannot run out of the door and do something spontaneous everytime you feel like it. You need to plan and pack even if you have to go to the Church or a shop close to your home.
You have to hurry up your mealtime. No more long relaxed meals with your family. You have to eat, pee etc before your baby wakes up. Your entire schedule is managed by your baby’s sleep times. My parents and my brother were very supportive at this time. They would give me breaks when I needed them. My brother bought me an IPod. He said I could listen to books, chat, browse all while taking care of the baby. His only condition was that I send pictures of the baby frequently. He set up a wireless network at home so that I could use the IPod anywhere in the house. This was the most thoughtful gift I ever received and I could access the world with it. My parents would keep talking to me and ensured that I was in good spirits.
When you become a parent you worry a lot. You worry about everything possible. I actually had tally marks for the number of times he went potty, had wet diapers, and the number of feeds to ensure that everything was ok with him. I would wake up in the middle of the night to check if his blanket was not covering his face. I panicked and I still do about him meeting his milestones on time.
Your baby will give you a million reasons to grin like a fool. His smiles, his laughs, and all his antics are pure joy.
Just like nobody knows the secret of a successful marriage irrespective of the number years one has been married, you realize that nobody knows the secret of being a good parent. One keeps trying so many things equipped with the little experience and knowledge one has and only a few of these things actually work. What works in one family may not necessarily work in another. So, parenthood is more of a scary, challenging, exciting, and a beautiful journey. Good luck if you have already embarked on that journey or planning to.

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