Inspite of writing a really long post I’m still not satisfied. Have the feeling I’m missing something. So to get that annoying buzzing out of my head, let me add a few more things.
Anna was born at 3:11 am. Around 4:30 R and S left for home while Mom stayed with me. Anna was sleeping peacefully in her crib. Mom was also tired and soon drifted off. I was tired too. The past week hadn’t been easy specially the last 2-3 days. I was feeling really drowsy and was just drifting off when it struck me – what if she forgets to breathe? And that was it. I just couldn’t sleep. Every 5 minutes I would lean over crib and check if she was breathing. Yeah I know it’s crazy but at that time I was genuinely very concerned. I finally slept sometime in the afternoon when I was sure that R would keep a watch on her. But the same thing happened at night. I didn’t want to wake Mom so spent most of the night dozing off and then waking with a start to check her breathing. It took me a few days to believe that Anna would not forget to breathe while she was sleeping.
I had read and heard from people that most new babies don’t want to feed and mostly only sleep for the first 2-3 days till the milk starts flowing. Not so with my little glutton. She was born hungry. After every feed the nurses had to take her for a top-up of formula because she wouldn’t stop howling. Even after we took her home we had to give her formula a couple of times because she would nurse for half and hour and STILL be hungry.
The first day, all day I just couldn’t believe that I had a baby. A real live baby. All mine. The incredible high that feeling gave me is unbelievable. No matter how much you want a baby and yearn for one, nothing prepares you for the way she completely takes over your entire being from the moment she first draws breathe.
Everyone loves to hear their birth stories. I love to hear from my Mom and Nani how the nurse first came out and told Nani – ‘Badhai ho, ladka hua hai’. How the ladies who were with Nani started congratulating her only to be stopped short when the doctor came out and told them that it was a girl. How the congratulatory ladies’ faces fell but Nani was really happy because everyone had been wishing for a girl. But then she was scared that maybe the baby got swapped. But Mom later reassured her saying that it was actually a girl. How the nurses got so enamoured with the pretty frock and sweater/mittens/booties set Nani had made for me and started admiring it instead of dressing the baby who was shivering in the cold.
I hope Anna will also love to hear how we went to the hospital thrice for her to be born. How she was born with a head full of silky straight hair which she got from her Papa instead of the wild curly hair her Mumma has. How she wailed loudly as soon as she was born. How she had an apgar score of 8/10 at 1 minute and 10/10 at 5 minutes. How she made perfect eye contact even when she was only 30 minutes old. How her neck was never very unsteady and she tried to sleep on her side when she was a day old. How my nani started crying when she called S on her phone and heard me screaming in agony. How her Dadi was travelling to some wedding and remained awake the whole night in the train till she got the news of Anna’s arrival. How everyone kept calling that night and the day after. How her Papa’s new N97 was put to good use by mailing photos of a new-born Anna to her Nana, Dada and other people wanting to see the baby that very instance.
I hope you know how very cherished you are Anna. You are the first and only baby of your generation on my side of the family and everyone is crazy about you. Your Nani and Dadi are taking turns to stay with us while Nana and Dadaji stay alone so you don’t have to go to daycare or be left with a maid before you are at least a year old. I hope you will be able to someday grasp just how much you were waited for – and how much happiness you have given so many people just by existing – just by being you.