Want Natural Childbirth?How to say “No-epidural”!

Want Natural Childbirth?How to say “No-epidural”!

My childbirth story:

As I sit here and wait for her to come from the school gate, I remember my child birth story and how did I say “No-epidural”. I can’t believe this school going girl now was once a tiny  2.9 kg beautiful looking new born.I had terrible morning sickness all through my first trimester. I got my appointments with #Seethapathy Clinic ,Chennai and my Obstetrician was none other than Mrs Uma Ram. I went through all the check ups and everything was just fine.Thanks God!

Ante-Natal classes and my health regime:

Well, I took the 3 ante-natal classes which were conducted by #Rekha Sudarsan. Little Anusuya inside had taken classes more seriously than me. I have always been working out,from my twenties. And when I was pregnant, I was even more cautious. I ate what I craved for but of course in moderation. And I was determined to deliver a baby normally.Every mother wants a normal birth,right? Long walks, Long dog walks(with extreme pulls by my dog(pup then) formed a norm. Climbing stairs to home was a routine as we don’t have a lift/elevator to it.

I joined ante- natal classes and I was taught exercises which I incorporated as  my routine. Kegels,lunges,squats,yoga(prenatal )and many more. I thought the moment I sit comfortably I wouldn’t be able to hit the goal .To my surprise not many encouraged me. Some people also told me that odds for normal delivery are more as I am a short person. But I didn’t give up. It was final trimester and I was already nesting it up.

The Alarms,Contractions and the fight with Epidural:

Series of false alarms followed a week before my due date. I got admitted to hospital one or two times eagerly waiting for some good news only to return without the baby to my dismay. Every time amma would give me ample vibhuti/sacred ashes to be applied on forehead before going to the hospital.

God couldn’t be present everywhere and so they sent mothers and mothers-in-law.

On one such Friday evening I got hell of contractions. I downloaded an app to quantify the same. Numerous trips to bathroom. A sudden irritability. Vomits and more.  I thought this is also a false alarm. Without panicking my husband drove me to hospital along with my sister. Doctor checked and confirmed that I was in the process of delivering a baby. But they said the contractions were mild and they would expedite the process when I get strong contractions. I felt like hitting the face of the doctor who came to check me every single hour.Well, I was dying of pain. Of huge inexplicable pain. I resorted to all the tips shared by Rekha Sudarsan at her prenatal classes. Every time a contraction came I would breathe in and breathe out, diligently.

Visitors came and couldn’t help me but just empathize with my pain. My sister was with me all through. She held my hands and told me to breathe in,in case I forgot to succumbing to pain. It was 11.30 pm that night. We lay down with lights off and hands held together. Me and my sister. As the night set its mood, baby tricked me more. Suddenly my water broke the moment we slipped in some silence and were passing each contraction.

Lady doctor came in for examination. ‘She is dilated….but a long way to go!’ she exclaimed.
What!? I am dying here, don’t you have heart? Do something. Move things fast I told.

And thereon every contraction was a humongous mountain to pass. Amidst everything, my co-blogger Snehal took to every thing which would meant to make us both calmer. I knew if I panic now, the battle would be lost. I also resorted to japam…repeating a mantra for several times. And one  Lord Rama shloka was getting reverberating my mind.

The next 3 hours from  the time I got dilated.

  1. A lady doctor came with a proposal of getting epidural. I knew what it was and I was of the opinion, that I would bear the pain until I could. I rejected the proposal. Thanks to my ante-natal classes and labor classes.Everything was happening as I had pictured during the class.
  2. In the next hour another stronger proposal came knocking my pain. Making me little softer for the epidural injection. But I have worked for sales of a reputed bank. I knew the power of second try.I didn’t budge and refused politely.Next hour saw more dilation and more contractions.We were worried as what to do now! 
  3. “Knock knock” said epidural. This time I vented out my entire pain and blasted at the lady doctor. In a stern voice I told her not to insist on it, else she may have to bear the severe complain.

Within next 15 min I was shifted to the main room and I was put on the table. It meant I won’t be with Snehal. Snehal thought as it was excruciating pain, I may opt for C-Section. But I was only strongly experiencing pain,mindfully. I breathed whoosh when I saw my husband Arun walk into the labor room. It was a rule of Seethapathy Clinic to let husband be with the mother delivering the baby.

It was the time  to push the baby and to breathe out instead of shouting. I tried my level best. All the literature I had read prepared me to visualize what could happen and how to battle it out.My husband was standing behind me and helped me push the baby. Until we heard,’Beautiful baby girl for you, congratulations!’They showed me the baby and took her inside. my husband kissed me.

People take advantage of your problems. Pray God. Seek blessings. Prayers and meditation bring in the internal strength.Stand strong when you can. Ask for support. Read more. Understand more. I wouldn’t know what is delivering a baby until I attended ante-natal classes and the labor classes. Exercise. Bond with your partner or your mother, sister. Speak to your doctor frankly. I had also registered myself on online community of mothers, called www.babycentre.in. After all, I had no mom to tell me what can I expect at my delivery.Hope you have a smooth sail too. Every birth story is different and every mom is different. I believe you must have a great story too. Share with us the same and if you are a new-would be mom then share with us later.

Stories help healing. Happy parenting till next post!

My breastfeeding story – International Breast-Feeding Week

My breastfeeding story – International Breast-Feeding Week

As they say, no two pregnancies are same. Everybody is different, each body responds to the changes in a different way. The world and specially moms are celebrating International Breastfeeding week from Aug 01 to Aug 07. Most of us (our readers dads as well as moms and grandparents) would have passed this phase in their lives. Some may term it just as a single phase in their lives and some like me would say, it was a life changing experience. In my life, exclusively breastfeeding my little one is a greatest chapter which I will never be able to erase from my heart.

Not having a mother to help me with my motherhood was the biggest challenge that I faced during my delivery. That is where my dad stepped in and he helped me being my mother in every challenge that I faced. I hope my breastfeeding story inspires other people.

Dr. Jayashree Jayakrishnan of Happy Mom helped me immensely in this journey of Exclusively Breastfeeding my little one.

Since, 5th month I religiously attended her pre-natal classes and as per her suggestion, I kept myself active throughout the pregnancy. The best part about her classes were the handouts that she gave for practicing the exercises at home. The last scan revealed something else. They said the baby was too heavy to be a normally delivered baby. As I had planned and visualized, I could never get any labor pains at home. We went to St. Isabel hospital after one day of the due date to be induced. After the induction, I gave birth normally to the little one after being in the labor for 5 hours. She passed meconium while in stomach, so she was in neonatal care for around 7-8 hours.

Breastfeeding Journey

Later at night, they bought her for the first feed. Latching was an issue; she could latch but I was not feeling that she was comfortable. I was diligently noting down her feed timings to show it to Dr. Jayashree as she stepped in the hospital the next day. She helped the baby latch properly and told me the right hold. Taking a pillow below the baby helped me with my posture and prevented backache.

We continued breastfeeding exclusively, in between I had my own struggles as around 3rd month I had to resume my office. The lil one was in no case ready to hold bottle in her mouth. So, I got an Avent Breast pump. It was a great help. La leche Pan League group from Facebook was very helpful here. I would get up at 4.00 am, pump the milk, keep in freezer for my dad to thaw it and feed the baby using bowl and spoon. It was a couple of months till the ordeal went on before we could feed her some raagi and semi solid food. He did it with all his heart and my office people helped me too. During the lunch hour, I used to go to my female colleague’s place who stayed nearby to pump the milk again for the next day.

After a point of time, breastfeeding is not the child’s need but more of the mother’s. I needed that time to be with her. My bonding with her was only those couple of breastfeeding sessions through the day as I was a full-time working mother.

 

They say breastfeeding works on the demand supply concept. I would say “Yes”. My grandmother made sure that I ate everything nutritious during those crucial first 2 months. Eating a lot of greens, fenugreek seeds and the delicacies made with it, ghee, ahleev kheer and other kheers helped me enormously.

Me and my daughter felt like a team when we started the journey and around 2.5 years. It continued till she went to Kindergarten. I did not have to wean her using anything else but just my talk and assurance. She weaned off it just in a day, this again with the help of Dr. Jayashree and suddenly, I was back to be who I was 2.5 years before. I was no more her comfort food source. I was no more a breastfeeding mother. It has been close to 6 years, but the memories are as fresh as it all happened yesterday.

Once you are keen on what your child needs and are ready to provide it “Come what may”, place is seldom a concern.  “We got to do what we got to do” – was my standard concept when I was breastfeeding. My family protected me from those odd glares which did not bother me because I was the mommy on the JOB.

Happy Breastfeeding Week you all!! Hope we raise a lot of awareness for making the world a better place for breastfeeding moms.

Snehal – A Happy Mom 

You can check my testimonial just after my daughter was born here 

Important Facts about Down Syndrome You Should Know

Important Facts about Down Syndrome You Should Know

March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day, on the occasion of the same we thought to spread the awareness about it and to present some facts…

He is 14 but goes to class 5! He has a different facial structure. A little longer tongue, big head, small and peculiarly shaped ears, and chubby unusual fingers. He can’t speak fast leave aside walking and running. He speaks slow. No! He isn’t mentally retarded. Krishna is smart. He is compassionate. He is fun to be around and yes, he loves unconditionally!

He is a little slow but just uniquely gifted as all other kids. Only that he has inherited a genetic anomaly which makes him a labeled as a child with Down-Syndrome. There are many other Down-Syndrome children who are misconstrued for being mentally retarded when they are not. Lack of awareness about
this syndrome in Indian society is the primary reason for such misconception.

Down-Syndrome in lay-man language means that the child is slow in reaching developmental milestones in its life. Science says that this syndrome is caused when a child has 3 copies of the 21st chromosome than the usual 2 copies. This state where there is an error in cell-division before or at conception leaves the cell with an extra chromosome-21 and this condition is also known as Trisomy 21. This may lead to some level of intellectual disability in the child but doesn’t certainly make the child mentally challenged. Statistics say that this genetic condition is very common with a ratio of 1 in 800 live births getting affected by it every year,in the US.
Is it a curse in the family or the wrath of the Goddess? Why does this happen?Are these children abnormal? When do we get to know this? Is it fatal? How to raise these children? Is there a cure for this condition?
These are a few panic questions which are faced immediately by a doctor after a child is diagnosed with this Syndrome. The disappointment which a parent undergoes on realizing and understanding the question initially exhibits itself in the form of denial. There are parents who denied the condition for years and lost their time which could have otherwise been used for a happy, healthy and loving co-existence with the child.

It is important to understand and accept that life comes in many shapes, sizes,colors,and dimensions! Life is uncertain and that is what makes it more beautiful. Isn’t it?
“Acceptance of the condition and the child is the first and foremost important step to raise a child with Down Syndrome”!

  • A Down Syndrome child is a perfectly normal child, but the imperfect society makes it abnormal to have a special child with special needs. Yes! The syndrome is neither fatal and nor is it the wrath of the Goddess. It is a simple condition which makes the child way different than the regular flocks of doctors, engineers, and other rat-racers.
  • Sadly, there exists no cure for this genetical disorder but it can be diagnosed in prenatal diagnosis when the mothers are 14-18 week pregnant. Nowadays diagnostic tests and screening tests are recommended to all mothers irrespective of their age. In case, the fetus is diagnosed with this medical condition, then it is left to the decision of the parents to abort the child or let the child be born and accept the anomaly.
  • There are more myths than proper information associated with this syndrome. Another popular myth is that older women (age > 35) are prone to give birth to a child with Down Syndrome. People also feel that
  • Down-Syndrome is not a contagious Disease. It is mandatory to understand that children are born with this syndrome.It is a chromosomal abnormality and cannot be caught by others like any infection.There doesn’t exist any vaccine or medicine which can prevent the occurrence of this syndrome. This syndrome may be inherited by a child from its parents but mostly it is due to the chromosomal addition to the cell.
  • It is utmost important for a parent and others in society to understand the syndrome and to accept the child born with it. Children need love and affection to grow. They thrive on positive reinforcement and special children are no different. The only factor which changes the ball game is a parent’s confident approach to raise a special child. Easier said than done, unconditional love and living life in the given moment can pave a successful path ahead for the child.

In our next blog post, we will bring to you more about parenting special children and also share some first-hand success stories.

5 Reasons to Start Journaling Right Away

5 Reasons to Start Journaling Right Away

Journalling

 

Today, my 7 years old niece took me to a surprise when she promptly ticked on her bullet point in her to-do list for the day after her cycle ride. As they say,, the children are the best imitators. They copy, or most of the time they ape the elders. We, my sister and me, have this habit of writing down a journal since we were kids. I have been a fan of a routine which is followed religiously even during my leisure days. I remember of keeping a timetable for my vacation too. No one forced me for this diligence. But I think I am wired to have a tab on time spent.
That was childhood. Time of course flew in no time(sounds filmy) isn’t it! But when I look back, I realize that this prudent habit has made my job much easier now.

Once a pattern is persuaded regularly becomes a way of life.

Journalling for me meant writing down how am I going to spend the whole day given so many activities and my varied interests. And mainly it helped me gauge myself when Mumma was not around during my vacations. Wise allocation of time, putting the same on the wall, decorating it and sticking to the timetable was all an easy task for me. It used to give me a sense of achievement when I had ticked 90 percent of my day’s task. It involved reading books(academics/shlokas/or story), cleaning my mess, helping mom in her chores, watching TV (MTV with Nikhil chinnappa, and Gaurav Kapoor on V TV), watering the plants, drawing/ painting, playing indoor/outdoor games, eating and chit chatting around.

The habit continued for my good, and now it has become a part of my life. The daily life today isn’t easy, but when priorities are jotted down in the form of a journal or to-do list, then it is just a cake walk.

Many successful people have emphasized a lot on the process of Journalling for million reasons. Journalling is a process of writing a diary. It is a simple activity where you note down what has to be achieved by you for the day/month/year. It is often said that when you write or record, you give clarity to your thoughts. Journalling helps in prioritizing the tasks. Important and urgent tasks can be written on the top followed by the rest.

A continuous tab on what has been done and what has to be done gives an idea of how much we have achieved of what we had set for at the beginning of the day. With multiple tasks at hand, now, at this stage of my life, I always resort to my journals. They are the mirror which tells me what to do and what has been left out.
This is a time saving simple method for people who have a lot of tasks and can’t keep a check mentally.

Let it be office work, household chores, payment of bills, meal prep for a week, a vacation planned or diet and fitness related regime, Journalling is the solution to ease your life.

Today, I go by the ‘done list’ which is to write down what has been done throughout the day instead of what is to be done which we l talk about in the next blog along with the various methods of Journalling.

Colors play an important part when It comes to writing a diary. It is in fashion now to also be expressive at Journalling than the monotonous tick and cross method.

I play multiple roles and have many hats to wear. With two hands full and a mobile in my hand which is the most essential gadget of my life, I feel the popular applications of Journalling are booming up.

I prefer my old school of writing a to-do list early morning than the various apps. And why not a pen and paper have a magical impact.

When you sit, think and write, you visualize the day further adding to the power of its manifestation. Achievements are seen to multiply when you exercise this one activity religiously.

With this blog, I am 10/10 for the day and heading off to sleep. Are you a fan of Journalling too! If yes, then share your secrets and experiences about the benefits. Else why not try once this awesome art to success.

Krishnammal – Her Majestic Being

Krishnammal – Her Majestic Being

I saw her first during my first visit to Chennai and fell in love with her. Her Pillai style Madisar usually green, maroon with a matching blouse, with a signature KumKum on the forehead brought in all the beauty. She was amazingly beautiful but looked gorgeous on Friday as she brightened her skin using some Manjal or Haldi. Grey hair tied in a bun always I mean always adorned with flowers.

This was Krishnammal whom we fondly called “Aachi”.

Aachi married Thatha when she was in teens. From her village she came to a city called Madras. Back then, Thatha was working in a temple at Nungambakkam. There were no all weather roads in Madras but Aachi used to deliver his lunch box by walk. Whenever somebody tells me this tale, I can imagine old madras and the way this beautiful saree clad would carry the hot lunch box ( 6 tier with spoon) for her husband.

How lucky Thatha was to have such a dutiful wife.

She was diligent in her chores. As they stayed in temple house or Agraharam, she used to do all the household work looking after her kids, grandkids and great grandkids. Till she was alive, the house was always full with people. She has brought up number of children with such an ease. I now feel that Aachi loved to be surrounded by people. Her way of welcoming and feeding each one of us is unforgettable. Once I remember I overate enormous amount of food because I could not say no to her. This is not only my story, they say, one could never resist overeating food made by Aachi.

All her recipes are gems, food made at Aachi’s home would give run to any five star hotel food or for that matter Aru Suvai’s food (no offense to Aru Suvai 🙂 ) ( Aru Suvai are the Famous Caterers in Chennai) may be as

Aachi would pour all her heart in the food that she would make.

We used to stay near her home in Mylapore then. She would come home around 5.30 in the evening walking from her house just to see us. She would come, ask me about Sham’s whereabouts, my job and what I made that day. At the age of 82-83 she would walk and come home. She used to rush back home immediately because she never liked to stay outside home after 7.00. I have got scoldings many times for being out after 7.00.

An ardent believer of god, she was the only person in Mylapore who can call Lord Kapaliswarar by a pet name “Kapali”.  I was amazed at the way she could walk and go to Sabarimala even at that age.

There is a Nellika(gooseberry) tree at Aachi’s place. While being pregnant, I used to munch on those, even now I do but then it was special. She noticed it and one evening she brought a fantastic tangy pickle of those hand picked gooseberries. A gesture which I would never ever forget. Aachi has touched many lives through her food, her demeanour and her number of kind gestures but what remains with me is a loving and caring being who was standing for 5 long hours outside the labour room just to overlook whether the doctors are doing their job properly in making me deliver a baby girl.

Rightly so, we named our lil one after her.. Because her majestic being lives in our heart day in and day out.

P.S. I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter. This is my first post.

Foods Dogs Crave But Should Never Eat By Ishmeet Chandiok

Foods Dogs Crave But Should Never Eat By Ishmeet Chandiok

With an overwhelming response to the last guest post, Ishmeet is back to give us some information on Canine Nutrition. We are happy and grateful to host him on “The 5 AM Mommy”.


Who can resist those big brown eyes and cute doggie grin? Can a little reward from the table really hurt your dog? Well, that depends on what it is and what’s in it.

A nacho chip with salsa can cause your dog some real problems.

In fact, there’s a lot of “people food” your dog should never eat. And, it’s not just because of weight. Some foods are downright dangerous for them — and some of these common foods may surprise you.

Cooked Chicken Bones-

Cooked chicken bones can be very dangerous for dogs to eat. Not only were they often cooked in such a way that is unhealthy and even harmful to dogs, the bones can break and splinter, puncturing the digestive tract. Dogs can also choke on broken pieces of bone or have larger pieces become obstructed in the intestines. No matter how tasty you and your dog think cooked bones are, do not feed them to your pooch.

Alcohol

Beer, liquor, wine, foods containing alcohol — none of it’s good. That’s because alcohol has the same effect on a dog’s liver and brain that it has on humans. But it takes far less to do its damage. Just a little can cause vomiting, diarrhea, central nervous system depression, problems with coordination, difficulty breathing, coma, even death. And the smaller the dog, the greater the effect.

Onions

Onions – in all forms – powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated — can destroy a dog’s red blood cells, leading to anemia. That can happen even with the onion powder found in some baby food. An occasional small dose is probably OK. But eating a large quantity just once or eating smaller amounts regularly can cause poisoning. Symptoms of anemia include weakness, vomiting, little interest in food, dullness, and breathlessness.

Chocolate

Most people know that chocolate is bad for dogs. The toxic part is theobromine. It’s in all kinds of chocolate, even white. The most dangerous kinds, though, are dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate. Eating it, even just licking the icing bowl, can cause a dog to vomit, have diarrhea, and be excessively thirsty. It can also cause abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, and death.

Salt

It’s not a good idea to share salty foods like chips or pretzels with your dog. Eating too much salt can cause excessive thirst and urination and lead to sodium ion poisoning. Symptoms of too much salt include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, and seizures. It may even cause death.

Sugar

Sugar is also surprisingly found in a lot of dog foods and treats and is completely unnecessarily added. Sugar is not good for dogs and just like people, they will start to crave it when it’s removed from their diet. It can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly the onset of diabetes.

Caffeine

Caffeine in large enough quantities can be fatal. And there is no antidote. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, fits, and bleeding. In addition to tea and coffee — including beans and grounds — caffeine can be found in cocoa, chocolate, colas, and stimulant drinks such as Red Bull. It’s also in some cold medicines and painkillers.

Fat Trimmings

Fat trimmings are bad for humans so it should go without saying that they’re bad for our dogs too. Excess fat can lead to more than just obesity in our canine companions. Pancreatitis is a real problem for many dogs and can be a very deadly disease and fat trimmings are known for being a culprit.

Being a pet parent comes with an immense responsibility – these are our children who will never grow up and be able to fend for themselves.

Hence, it is our solemn duty to be able to make thee right decisions and feed them the correct food.

Remember – An Educated Pet Parent = A Responsible Pet Parent = A Healthy Pet.
Happy Petting!!

 

Author Bio:

**Ishmeet Chandiok is the founder of Harley’s Corner – India’s first Ready to Eat Wet dog food brand. A pet parent and chef turned canine nutritionist – Ishmeet consults pet parents on how they can give their dogs the very best food.**