Saturday, March 31, 2012


My first letter to Jeevthi (whenever she is mature enough to read and understand this!)


It was a working day for me – Monday, 19th March 2012. Preethi, your mom, was due for a check-up. The due date for your birth had already crossed on 16th March. The investigations revealed that the baby (that is, you) had started positioning itself and delivery could happen any time in the next few days. If there were symptoms or emergency, we were told to get Preethi admitted directly in the labor ward any time. If not, we were to bring her for check-up this day, 19th.

The day started with a different note than usual. Preethi had not slept at all the previous night due to continuous lower back pain and the need to go to the bathroom several times that night. She was wondering if this signaled the start of the labor pain, but was not sure. But from her looks, I thought so and left for office with a second thought running through my mind whether I would be able to be at the hospital at the time of your birth.

Once at the office, work took priority and I got involved and immersed in clearing accumulating work one by one when I got a call from your grandma Vasanthi around 11 am saying that the check-up revealed the baby had positioned itself well for coming out and we could expect the delivery by that evening itself; and, therefore, she had got Preethi admitted immediately. That moment on, my concentration went off the office work and thoughts started revolving around Preethi, whether, being tender and having been brought up that way all through, she would cope up with the strenuous ordeal of delivery.

But Preethi proved us wrong. Fortunately, she and Prasanna had undergone a preparatory guidance programme for expectant parents. Whether or not that course prepared her physically, it certainly had her mentally stable and prepared to take on the delivery very easily in her stride, a fact confirmed by the doctor and attendants that she was doing the right things and cooperating very well in their efforts to have a normal delivery much as possible. By about four in the afternoon, the real contractions had started and we were told that the birth could happen in a couple of hours.

I couldn’t sit in the office any more and left immediately to the hospital, to join the eager crowd waiting there – Prasanna, his parents and my wife. We waited with bated breath for the good news. Emotions were running high in every one of us present there. Praying for a safe delivery, I recited Vishnu Sahasranama and other slokas, though thoughts were straying widely and wildly. Every time the door to the labor ward opened, the would-be grandmothers swarmed the nurse enquiring about their child.

Just a little after 5.45 pm, I saw a nurse carrying a tiny red baby bundled in a towel opening the door and calling my daughter’s name (officially, Sukanya), and announcing the birth of a girl baby (that is, again, you!) and gave the basic details – normal delivery, weight 3.02 kg and time of birth as 5.33 pm. We all jostled our way towards the nurse and in our eagerness to have a close look at you, we even forgot to thank God at that moment, and to congratulate each other! Prasanna, your dad, openly admitted he was so emotional as to feel like crying and we could see for ourselves how he felt so happy to have you and so concerned about your mom going through your birth. You dad’s side had all the more reasons to celebrate – you are the first girl child in their family since Athya, after a gap of almost 75 years!

Before we could register the bably's little details in our minds, you were whisked away. It took a whole three hours and a little more for us to get to see Preethi and you again. Preethi came out walking on her own as if just out of sleep! A nurse brought you out again in a bundle of soft towel. What a joyful time it was to see my baby having matured into a lovely woman and giving birth to her own baby! And doing it in perfect style – no unnecessary panic, no unduly long wait, no worries about any complications, etc. Your mom was so appreciative of you for not causing any difficulty to her, such a sweet, lovely baby you are!

Look who all had come to see you at the hospital – we, your mom’s parents, your dad’s parents, Geethamma, Kaka, Athya, Ramesh Kaka, Murthy Bavoji, your mom's aunt Lakshmi and even Gowri! It was well over 10:30 when all of us - but for your dad and Vasanthi - left for home; they stayed to ensure that you got a room and be by your side for immediate necessities. Priya aunty came the next day and joined you alongside Vasanthi at the hospital to take care of you.

The rest of your stay at the hospital was uneventful except for the high bilirubin count you had, for which they put you on ultra violet radiation for two days, your discharge from the hospital taking that much longer than the usual three days for a normal delivery. We thought that would hurt you, but you seemed to enjoy the warmth of the blue-lit table! Thus, you came to our home at the most auspicious time – Friday evening on Ugadi day, portending good for your and your mom’s health and well being. I will put it the other way – the time you came to our home was the most auspicious time!

May God bless you both (and your dad too) with all things good in life – good health, long life, wisdom, peace of mind and prosperity.


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