Saturday, April 30, 2016

#AtoZChallenge - Z is for 'Zzzzz'

Thank God  Zzzzzz means sleep. I have no idea what else I would have done with Z!

Sleep is a luxury. Insominiacs know it. So do new parents. 

It starts off in the last trimester of pregnancy. Nights are long. Bathroom visits are often. Sleeping pillows are useless and no position is the right position to sleep comfortably through the night.

Once the baby is out. There is no concept of day or night. Time is redefined into 2 hours slots. Sometimes the baby wants to play all night and who would not want to watch. Night feeds, burping, nappy changing, add to that some vomit and the sleepless nights can really get to you.

Towards the 6 month mark, most of babies start sleeping through the night and then teething starts.. so yes more trouble. 

I really admire parents who get their kids to sleep by themselves very early. I never did. We co-slept with our babies. And now they refuse to leave and no one one has any room. 

I'm signing off the challenge with this really funny illustration from about 'sleep positions' when kids share the bed with parents.  

We have a lot of Snow angels, H is for Hell, The Roundhouse Kick and the Neck Scarf happening in our place.

Friday, April 29, 2016

#AtoZChallenge - Y is for 'Yoga'

When you think about it, having a baby is like doing yoga. 

Well, in yoga they tell you to take deep breaths and slowly. Don't we do that when we smell our little one.. Oh that scent! Milk + baby powder + I don't know what else, but its good.

Yoga tells you hold your breath. Of course! This is exactly how we get through the diaper changing process. 

Yoga teaches you about meditation. Tell me humming a lullaby does not put you in a meditative state. 

Yoga improves self control. The baby vomits all over your hair and new dress. What do you do? You swallow any swear words. And you go "Aww, lets get you cleaned up sweetypie..." and you clean up. (this takes practice though)   

Yoga teaches you about stretching and 'asanas' or poses. You find yourself stretching like a rubber band. Ever tried reaching for a phone with your toe while feeding the baby? 

Yoga improves balance. Its amazing how much you find yourself doing with a baby in one arm. From cooking to  eating to ironing to grocery shopping to everything.  

Yoga is said to give inner peace. Yup its indescribable. That peace when the baby finally goes to sleep. 

Yoga tells you how to end your session with a Shavasana or the corpse pose. Oh yeah! We sure are knocked out by the end of the day.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

#AtoZChallenge- X is for 'Xanax'

I had no idea what to do with X for babies and new moms. Then I remembered 'Xanax' from TV advertisements while I lived in the US and that it was used as an anti-anxiety and and anti-depressant medication. So this post was reserved for X and is dedicated to all moms who go through this ugly thing called postpartum depression


Its interesting, how we give birth and suddenly we are supposed to transform into super-moms

Until now the baby was inside. And technically our lives didn't change much. But now that the baby is out. Everything is different.

No one told us how awful it is to be sleep deprived, even if we are waking up to the most beautiful thing, every two hours

No one told us how much it will hurt- everywhere.  

Its not someoneelse's baby that you can cuddle for a while and then return. This one is yours. Forever. And suddenly you are not sure how great a parent you are going to be.

And for some moms, this anxiety keeps growing and feelings of sadness and hopelessness continue to increase. They don't feel motherly and joyful and they can't seem to bond with their babies. They just don't feel like getting up and facing the day. Food may not be appealing or they may binge. Nothing seems worthwhile. They are miserable and in extreme cases they feel like ending things.

Moms who feel this way should not feel guilty. They just need to get help

Love can be hard work sometimes. We can do this.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

#AtoZChallenge - W is for 'Words of Wisdom'

We get so used to doing everything for our little children that we assume they know nothing and whatever they learn is only what we expose them to

We sometimes we forget that they observe and understand a lot more than we think.

And then suddenly they stun us with pearls of wisdom. Wisdom that is organic and unadulterated by knowledge and cynicism. Wisdom that uses limited vocabulary but is deeper than deep, truer than true and cuter than cute.

Once my son and I were doing some craft and he suddenly looks up and said, 'Amma, you sound really strange when you shout.' I tried to explain that I was having lot of work to do around the house and so I got upset and so on; to which my then 4 year old replied, 'When I grow I up I can make you a cleaning robot and then you can smile'.

And another time a friend came to visit and as soon as my son saw her he eyes lit up and he squealed in delight, 'You look like a monkey'. I almost died with embarrassment. My friend was sweet enough to laugh it off. She is actually a very nice looking person. Its just that her ears are a little big and protruding and her eyebrows were long and arched like ... erm... Curious George?

What words of wisdom has your little pearl taught you?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

#AtoZChallenge - V is for 'Videos'

When I was pregnant with my first child 7 years ago, the two things I had a lot of was time and Internet bandwidth. And so I binged on Netflix and 'How to' videos. 

No, not 'how to give birth' videos. I don't think I can stomach that.

I had my mother coming to help. But I was still nervous and one of the things that reassured me was that I could refer to any of these instructional videos at any time.

How to bathe a baby
How to swaddle a baby
How to put a baby to sleep
How to position while feeding
How to burp a baby
How to anything

I was so impressed. My mother was so impressed. I could find almost anything via my PPA Google and her first cousin YouTube. There were videos by experts, by other moms, some had subtitles, many involved real babies.. and though I never found the time to comment and appreciate the creators then I'd like to say now that they definitely made my journey into motherhood a little more well informed. 

Do you watch instructional videos?

Monday, April 25, 2016

#AtoZChallenge - U is for 'Ultrasound'

Can you imagine a pregnancy without the 'ultrasound'?

Its like the only window to the inside. You hear the good news. The not so good news. It can determine if the baby is a he or a she. And you even get photos that you can share on social media!

What's not so much fun though is having this really cold jelly paste slathered on to a belly that's holding not just a baby but a 'ready to burst' bladder (what with the 3 litres of water you had to down) and then prodded on with a rolling device. Of course you are excited to see the head and the little legs and arms.. but can you even concentrate when you are trying really hard not to pee?

And for those who just can't wait till the baby comes out.. there are now ultrasounds now that give you 3D images and 4D videos too. 

And for the extra paranoid- you can apparently buy your ultrasound devices and DIY. They don't come cheap but apparently there are fetal dopplers that allow you to listen to the baby's heartbeat and there are sonogram kits that you can hook up to smart phones.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

#AtoZChallenge- T is for 'Teething troubles'

Just when you start enjoying your baby's gummy smiles and responses and feel proud that he is beginning to sleep most of the night, the teething nightmare starts.

There's a lot of drooling, sensitivity, pain and crankiness. Some kids have fever, vomiting and mild diarrhea. 

And there is gnawing, chewing and biting. And if you are still breast feeding... you are going to see some stars.

One night when my son was teething, we woke up to a gnawing sound and found him literally chewing on the crib bars. And it was splintering.. that's how sharp those little teeth are. 

There are many that help soothe a teething baby- medication, teething toys, a cold washcloth. A little massage to the sensitive gums also help. For the mothers, we might just need that drink ...and a whole lot of patience - Yes, this too shall pass. 

Legend has it that the Tooth fairy's evil twin is the Teething fairy! (source: Pinterest)  :)

Friday, April 22, 2016

#AtoZChallenge S is for 'Social (Media) Babies'

New parents are ecstatic. Our babies are the best and we are over the moon every time our bundle of joy reaches a milestone. And we want to shout it out from the roof tops.

Roof top = Social Media status update. 

Every single milestone in bits and bytes. Hundreds of photos from every single angle regardless of who's interested. 

We can't help it. It's just too easy.

Facebook and other Social Media sites have become so much a part of our lives that it seems only natural that everything we do has to be on it. I mean did it really happen if its not on FB? Did my baby really turn over? Did it really eat mashed bananas today?

A friend of mine created an account for her baby soon after she was born. I'm not sure how this is possible (considering FB does have some rule where one has to be 13 years or older to have an account) unless you change the birth year. She felt it was an easy way to share pictures and updates with a close circle of friends.
There is also a story about a couple (from some years ago) who used an ultrasound image as profile pic and created an account for their unborn baby. The belly-baby was connecting with friends and family and keeping everyone updated on the kicks. But apparently FB took it off. 

OK maybe the baby can grow up and decide if he really wants an account. But you still can create a Facebook page for your baby.. and get 'Likes'.  (I think we all do it for the likes, BTW).

Or create a FB scrap book for your baby where you can keep all his photos in a central location. Which sounds like the same thing as keeping it in your photo album in the first place.

What do you think about sharing everything about your baby online? Do you think a baby should have a Facebook or Twitter account?

Thursday, April 21, 2016

#AtoZChallenge - R is for 'Reflux'

Reflux a.k.a spit up is not the most glamorous thing to write about but ask any new parent and they will tell you how annoying it is. 

No one wants acidic food coming back up their baby's throats. Certainly not out the nose. And they definitely do not want their little darling choking on it.


Parents will try anything- smaller feed amounts, proper burping and upright positions after feeding. But spit just happens.   

And no matter how many burp clothes and bibs you get, chances are the vomit will land every where else. On you. On the sofa. In the car. 

Both my kids had it and I hated it. I'm glad it was not the severe version though. And exactly as the picture says.. it was always perfectly timed!!