Friday, January 13, 2012

It takes a village to raise a child…

…and Samaira’s birth made us realize how lucky we are to have that village around us.
Samaira has a mind of her own, and she decided that she did not want to wait for her due date to arrive. Instead, she showed up a little over 5 weeks before her due date, when no one including the doctor was expecting her. My Mom was planning to come sometime in January and she had to change her travel plans to fit with Samaira’s plans. My brother was the first family member to show up on the morning of December 19th, and my Mom came a week later. My Dad wasn’t planning to come until April, but he showed up with my Mom and surprised me – he just wanted to let me know that he is there for me :). Samaira's fai, kaka and kaki showed up soon after.

If you are an Indian or know one very closely, you will have a little bit of an idea about the kind of food routine I am expected to follow right after delivery. Essentially there are a few things I most definitely should eat – such as *a lot of* ghee (clarified butter), fenugreek, cracked wheat, certain kinds of herbs, almost all non-fried yummy things that could make me fat :), etc., and other things I definitely should avoid – such as cauliflower, cabbage, rice, any kind of spices, etc. A handful of our friends (you know who you are) and family made me feel like my Mom was around me from day 1 of Samaira’s birth. They took care of all my super yummy and delicious meals, while strictly sticking to the do’s and the don’ts of post-pregnancy meals. They learnt it all for me and Samaira. We have friends who visited us every single day for the first several days of our NICU stay, and sometimes twice a day. We have friends who made sure I got plenty of rich sweets several times a week as it is supposed to help me with my milk supply. We have friends who were far far away, yet so close that we could feel their support and presence like they were with us. We have friends who were willing to just be at the hospital for the entire day, without involving us, just in case we would need their help. We have relatives who live in Seattle and they showered Samaira and me with gifts, food, sweets, emails, information and visits. Every single one of these friends and relatives offered unlimited help and support to us. And through this all, we have our families with us – in Seattle and far away – as our constant support system. I can tell that all of these family members, relatives and friends love Samaira unconditionally. I can’t help but feel blessed to have such a solid support system around us.

A lot of people surprised us with their creative talents and thoughtfulness for Samaira. Samaira received her first ever friendship band that her S fai (Aunt) made for her on the new year’s eve. Samaira's fai absolutely adores her, so much so, that she wants to eat her up sometimes :). She will be her designated baby sitter once we want to resume our date nights.
Samaira received an awesome pink colored woolen hat that her D Bhai Ji (Uncle) knitted for her in just two days! Without any bias I can say that Samaira looks like a doll in this hat :).
Samaira also received this beautiful hand knitted woolen blanket from her A Grand Aunt.

We are still staying at the hospital and continue to receive help from our friends & relatives around us. I want to thank these folks for their unconditional love and their never ending support, but I don't think any words will do justice to how thankful we really are.

While we realize (or maybe we don't, yet) that we have quite a bit journey ahead of us, we know that sooner or later we will be able to conquer it – because of this wonderful village and its love for Samaira!

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