“I could not get my fill of looking. There should be a song for women to sing at this moment or a prayer to recite. But perhaps there is none because there are no words strong enough to name that moment.” ― Anita Diamant, The Red Tent
Oh! Yes! It was a golden period that lasted for precisely 24 hours for me. I couldn’t get enough of her too. I kept craning my neck to take a glimpse at her. This baby that I created, this pink being with such chubby cheeks that led us to name her ‘Ching Chang Choo’ because she looked Chinese. She lay sleeping for the better part of the day and the night even as relatives, friends, and nurses poured in and out of the room to look at the ‘pink baby’.
Proud and tired, I lay down answering calls and kept saying, “Oh! She is very quiet. She sleeps the whole day. She is the most peaceful baby I have ever seen.”
That’s the first lesson to learn. Never take (these tiny Chinese-looking peaceful) babies for granted.
Hungry, tired or angry (can’t still figure out) she arose not unlike a Chinese dragon and showed the world that she too had a voice. Man! What a voice that was! With her pink face screwed up she turned red and violet with a span of five minutes after she started her kutchery in the dead of the night.
I tried to feed but didn’t have an idea whether she was getting anything out. My mother tried to imitate Bombay Jayashree’s Kanne kanmani song, which would have had me in splits, if I had not been so tired. When the song didn’t work, we tried to feed again when I learned yet another lesson.
I found this quote in Goodreads and completely agree with it – “Breastfeeding is a beautiful thing, one of the most beautiful things that exist in nature.”
Breastfeeding is indeed beautiful thing but only after the first month
(However, what no one tells you even in those Lamaze classes is how painful breastfeeding really is at least for the first month. )
The ‘pink peaceful baby’ now was anything but peaceful and was fiercely attacking my breasts. After about four hours of feeding and groaning (that would ‘me’) I was ready to kill myself for shooting my mouth off. What possessed me to say that she was the ‘most peaceful’ baby of all things?
Thankfully, the brisk professional nurses from the Neo Natal section rescued us and took that ‘bundle of screams’ away.
As days progressed, the peaceful Chinese baby issued different degrees of wails, screams, complaints and baby rhetoric. At the height of her colic episodes, we would play passing the parcel – mom to sister, sister to great grandmother, grandmother to me and then it would continue until the wee hours of the morning. If by some chance the ‘pink baby’ stops crying while in someone’s hand, they had the honour of keeping her for the next one hour, while I gleefully tucked in for at least ten minutes sleep!
And this continued for the next three months, like a never-ending mega episode of a mega serial. It took about five more months for me to get at least an hour’s sleep in the night and yet another year for a bare-minimum of two hours of sleep.
Despite the lack of sleep, the constant depression, and almost permanent sore nipples childbirth was really a fulfilling journey.
If you have missed read the first part of this blog you can click here