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Just not mother’s baby, her father’s too!

By Madhur Prabhakar

madhur-pic

Madhur Prabhakar

July 11th last year was like a normal Saturday, when I wanted to rest and my wife had already made her shopping list.

As usual, I wasn’t given a choice. It was an overcast day and to be honest, Delhi is the last place you should think about driving to when you are expecting a rain. But, we left nonetheless. I helped her sit in our SUV. You can imagine its little h….Oops I almost forgot to mention that my wife was in her ninth month of pregnancy and her gynec visit wasn’t due for another week. Her EDD (Expected Date of Delivery if you are not familiar with the acronym) was 24th July. We were told that she was in her safe period of pregnancy.

So, as I was saying, I helped her sit and we left our home at about 11 o’clock in the morning. The moment we left it started drizzling. I was brooding all by myself as I began to imagine how the drive is going to turn out to be. But alas, life had different plans.

“I couldn’t sleep properly last night.”
“Why?” I asked, while carefully negotiating a road full of potholes.
“I was feeling cramps in my lower abdomen and back.”
I tensed, “How are you feeling right now”
“I am ok right now. I woke up alright in the morning.”
“I think we should go and see Dr. Soni first.”
(Dr. Anita Soni is a very well know gynecologist in Faridabad).

“But she asked us to visit her after a week and we only went to her day before yesterday”
“There is no harm in visiting her again. It will be on the way,” I had an intuition about what was happening and when we visited her it turned out to be correct.

(She did an internal check up) “Swati is already through her first stage of labour, you guys should rush to the hospital and admit her.”

Swati and I exchanged looks. While she was smiling, I already started sweating under my t-shirt. All the pre-natal sessions that both Swati and I attended came back to me and I realized that we were not carrying her maternity bag, her exercise ball; we weren’t even carrying baby’s stem cell collection kit. I calmly called my father and brother and asked them to get everything to the hospital.

When we came out of gynae’s clinic the rain had started pouring. I carefully helped Swati to the car. The realization about her being in labour made me extra careful. The hospital was around four kilometres away. But, if you are familiar with Faridabad you would know that even this short a distance can be torturous and that too during the rains. It took us around half an hour to reach.

I checked my watch; the time was 12:30 when we entered the hospital lobby. While I completed the admission formalities, the staff shifted Swati to the labour room. My parents and brother joined us in about an hour. I took out my I-pod from her maternity bag and plugged in the ear plugs with Mozart’s music. We were told that it helps in relaxing. I requested the staff for an exercise ball so that Swati can do her pre-natal exercises for a comfortable labour.

Madhur with Swati

Madhur Prabhakar with his wife Swati just days before delivery

While I was making sure that Swati is comfortable, she wasn’t feeling anything at all. There were no labor pains, nothing. Dr. Anita came to check on her at about 3:30 p.m. and left with instructions to her staff to call her as soon as contractions start. When I enquired about the expected timeline, I was told that it could take hours and even a day.
It didn’t take that much time though, and her contractions started at around 5:30. They continued to become longer and stronger. Now Swati was in excruciating pain.

It was still raining hard and I was afraid that Dr. Anita, who had left for home, won’t be able to make it back to the hospital in time. She finally arrived at 6:30 p.m. Her presence itself assured me that everything is going to be alright. I kept on spraying rose-water on her face and back of the neck to comfort Swati.

At 7:15 p.m. Dr. Anita did another internal check up and within few seconds her team of four nurses, one assistant and a pediatrician joined her. I requested her if I can be in the delivery room.

“Are you sure you won’t faint?” She asked with a smile.
“I am sure,” I replied with a resolve.
She asked me to change into sterilized clothing and follow her to the delivery room. By now Swati’s contractions had become stronger and I could see she was in tremendous pain. They started working on the delivery. Doctor asked Swati to count till 10 and push, then repeat. These were one of the longest 20 minutes, with everyone including me trying to encourage Swati to push the baby out and two nurses helping her by putting pressure on her stomach. There was a time when pain was so unbearable that Swati almost pleaded with the doctor for a C-section. Of course the doctor refused, and assured her that it will be over soon, just few more push.

It was 7:36 p.m. when it eventually happened. Everyone was perspiring and out of breath with the effort, except the doctor, when came out a red slimy thing (head first) from inside Swati.

The doctor cut the umbilical cord.

Myesha

This is little Mysha at her first birthday party

When I saw the baby I couldn’t control my laughter. Everyone, including the doctor in the room joined me, “Why are we laughing?” They asked.

“Khoda pahad nikla chuha,” I said. 

The baby was so tiny that it was amusing to see something this small made us struggle this much. I was overjoyed.

I hugged my wife who was exhausted now. The pediatrician immediately wrapped the baby in the towel and took away.
“Baby girl or a boy?” Swati enquired in a whisper.
Then I realized that I was so happy to be a father that I didn’t even bother to check the gender of the baby. This was the moment that made me realize the true meaning of parenthood. Doesn’t matter if it’s a boy or a girl; It’s just your baby.

Delivery of a baby is just not about the mother. Father, if not equal, is at least an important part of the process. If you cannot be gentle with your wife during this period, then you are not a gentleman.

By the way, it’s a girl and we named her Mysha. She is 10 months now and the most beautiful thing.

I know. Of course, except my wife.

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I am Suhaan. I want to tell you a story…

 Good stories  have superpowers.

A good story can mend broken hearts, cheer and can even turn a bad day upside down on its head.

Little children live in a world full of stories. If you know how to get into a child’s world with your story, then you can make miracles happen there.

I made a miracle happen recently. I transformed a sad memory into a happy reality.

Without further ado, let’s meet the hero of this story.

Here is my son. His name is Suhaan and he is three years old.

Suhaan Cover Picture

Hi, I am Suhaan. I smile a lot.

Suhaan hates birthday parties. He prefers not to attend them. It is because in one of the parties, a big kid pushed him and he fell down on the ground.

The big kid also snatched the toy he was playing with. Suhaan came home with scratches on his hands, because for the longest time he had refused to let go of the toy.

Suhaan, therefore, hates birthday parties.

If you say “birthday”, Suhaan would make a face like this one below.

Suhaan birthday party

This is my reaction if you ask me to go to a birthday party. They push me and snatch my toy. I don’t like going to birthday parties. That’s when I don’t smile.

But all that was about to change.

Here is that story…



Suhaan is extremely close to his mommy and till now, they have not spent a single day apart.

Here is Suhaan with his mommy.

Suhaan with Mommy

This is my mommy. She loves me a lot. I love her too.

Reality was about to change for Suhaan.

One day, Suhaan’s mommy got a call which didn’t make her happy. Suhaan’s mommy later broke the news to Suhaan and Papa. Mommy said that she will be away for three days in Delhi and she will have to leave little Suhaan with Papa.

Not only that, there was worse news, Suhaan will have to spend the entire Sunday without mommy.

On Friday, mommy had an afternoon flight and she quietly slipped away with a heavy heart while Suhaan was at school.

Suhaan was delighted to see Papa come and pick him up from school. Suhaan was more happy because Papa took Suhaan out for a ride in the car and they had a wonderful time.

On Saturday, papa bought Suhaan a packet of play dough and he played with it the whole day while papa gave him a bath, fed him and even put him to sleep.

Here is Suhaan watching cartoons on the TV intently on Saturday. Yeah, Suhaan had had a haircut. However, we thought that he looked better with longer hair.

Suhaan first picture

Missing Mommy

He was with papa the whole of Saturday and the outside world didn’t matter.

But then Sunday was not as good. Suhaan asked Papa about his mummy.

“Where is the Mummy?” Suhaan demanded, twisting both his palms and looking straight into his father’s eyes.

Papa was expecting this question and had the answer ready because he had rehearsed this answer over and over again.

“Mama will come tomorrow. Mama has gone to Delhi to buy Suhaan a new toy,” Papa said.

“Mommy come back,” Suhaan looked at papa, his eyes welling up.

After two hours, Suhaan stopped playing. He sat on the sofa, looking all dejected.

He was depressed. He refused to eat, refused to watch cartoons or even stand by the window to count pigeons.

Papa was alarmed. There was a new toy in front of him and Suhaan was not playing with it.

Suhaan was very sad.

“Let’s go and find mommy,” Papa said.

“It’s rain, the rain,” Suhaan pointed out towards the window but he rushed towards the door.

Suhaan and Papa, then started looking for “the mummy” around their apartment building.

Here is Suhaan with mommy’s umbrella looking for mommy.

Suhaan puddles Picture

Look! I spotted a frog!

They went to the adjoining road, they spotted puddles. There were big puddles and small puddles.

Suhaan Puddle

Can fish live there?

They played with the umbrella. They spotted a baby pigeon under a tree. They spotted the mummy pigeon guarding the baby pigeon.

But they couldn’t find mummy.

So, papa said, “let’s look around some more.”

Papa took Suhaan inside the car and they drove off.

But Suhaan was really, really depressed. Here’s a video of how depressed Suhaan was.

By this time Suhaan realised that papa hasn’t been able to find “the mummy”.

Mummy was missing and this made Suhaan even more sad.

Suhaan was not crying but he was not interested in anything.

Here is how sad Suhaan was…

The sad Suhaan

It’s not helping papa. Bring back Mommy.

Papa had to do something really fast because Suhaan needed a miracle.

Then papa came up with an idea.

“Why don’t we have a birthday party Suhaan? Mummy loves birthday parties. If we have a birthday party, mummy will come back tomorrow.”

“A birthday party?” asked Suhaan.

So, papa and Suhaan went to the local cafe and ordered pastries.

Suhaan’s friends were not there but all the people present there clapped for Suhaan. They got pastries too.

Suhaan had some imaginary friends attending the party also. If you look closely, you will see some colourful chess pawns. Yes, they are his imaginary friends!

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Look! I am blowing very hard

Now, Suhaan was really getting into the groove. First, it was a birthday party and second, mamma comes back the next day if the party is a success.

So, they lit the candles and Suhaan blew them.

Suhaan was so excited that he couldn’t blow the candles off in one go. Here is the video of Suhaan trying to blow the candles.

But finally the candles were blown and the pastries were served. Everybody around Suhaan clapped and whistled.

Papa then fed Suhaan the “birthday cake”.

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The cake tastes nice…

Suhaan had a huge smile on his face.

As the party drew to a close, Suhaan just couldn’t stop smiling.

Suhaan smiling

It was a great party, papa!

A happy Suhaan went back home and as Papa promised, his mummy was back the next day.

Something changed after that day.

These days, Suhaan loves birthday parties because he believes that mummy and papa always come back when there’s a birthday party.

Suhaan dances and plays at every birthday now. But he has made it a rule that both mummy and papa should attend all the birthday parties along with him.

But now…. papa and mummy both keep an eye out for bigger kids so that they don’t push Suhaan, scratch him or snatch his toy away.

And…

Suhaan loves birthday parties!

 


All the good pictures of Suhaan are clicked by Harjeet Singh Jabbal.
The bad ones are clicked by Papa on an old phone that Suhaan hates.

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