My baby would have been 39 weeks 1 day old today, if she was still in my womb. Now that she is out and about, tomorrow will mark her special 1 month anniversary. She is still hosting us in her private NICU room but I am hopeful that we will go home sooner than later now. In some ways this past month feels like a day, and in other ways it feels like ages. I am not really sure when which feeling triggers, it probably depends on my mood.
Here is a summary of some of the major happenings, learnings and my feelings over the past month:
- I went into labor 5ish weeks before my due date and welcomed our Samaira on December 17th at 10:50pm.
- I was super duper thankful for the fact that Siddharth was with me through the entire process of labor, birth, and everything else that followed. There was a possibility of Siddharth not being in Seattle during these dates due to some potential travel, but he refused to leave insisting he wanted to be with me towards the end of my pregnancy. I am glad for that as I can’t imagine going through a single second of this last month without him.
- A few minutes before Samaira was about to enter this world, in the middle of me pushing, I had some random thoughts about forgiving all the people who have knowingly or unknowingly hurt me, and let go of (almost) all the jealousy I may have had. Don’t ask me why I started thinking about it in the middle of something so painful. But at that point, I actually thought Samaira’s birth will somehow make me a better person.
- Shortly after Samaira’s birth, she was diagnosed with down syndrome. Siddharth and I are going through the process of receiving, reacting to, accepting and dealing with this diagnosis. We are not fully there yet, but are taking one day at a time. Now that she is growing up, one day at a time, there are moments and minutes when I forget about down syndrome and just experience her for who she is. She is nothing but delight and is full of surprises.
- We have joined a couple of local support groups in this area and have already received a lot of helpful information from other parents who are in the same boat as us. We have also come across other blogs of parents with kids who have down syndrome. It is pretty uncanny how similar the first few days for most parents are – similar emotions, similar journey, similar responses, and very similar next steps.
- We have been staying with Samaira in the NICU for 4 weeks now and before long, we will be home.
- We have realized the depth of our relationships and friendships as we have received unlimited support and love from our family, friends and co-workers. Siddharth and I often tell each other these days “we must have done something right to have such fantastic people in our lives.”
- People often ask me how I spend all my time at the hospital and if I get bored. I spend about 30% of my day feeding or pumping, another 15% holding or looking at Samaira, about 15% eating, about 20% sleeping (which is pretty luxurious because I am in the NICU and have constant help from the nurses), and the remaining time in miscellaneous things. So, I don’t really get bored. But I am at a point now where I am itching to get home.
- Siddharth and I went on a date to Kirkland down town sometime last week. We have also managed to watch a couple of movies on our laptop – thanks to Netflix.
- Samaira really does have the most peaceful and divine face I have ever seen!
- At just one month old, I am trying to read Samaira. It is not always as easy. So far I think she does what she feels is right – like entering the world when she thought was the right time for her, eating when she wants, pooping when she wants and crying when she wants. I also think that she is kind of funny – the only reason I say that is because she often smiles, most of the times it is in her sleep. So I am guessing she must have cracked some joke in her head and must be laughing at her own jokes. I wonder what kind of things would make her laugh – and I am pretty confident they are milk, poop or fart related.
- This is for the first time ever (at least that I can remember) that I wish I had more than two hands. For example, it will come in really handy when I am feeding her as I try to juggle her, myself, her clothes, etc.
- I have realized how rewarding feed and poop related conversations can be. On most days, the highlight and lowlight of my entire day revolves around how much Samaira ate and how much she pooped.
- My Mom has been pampering me with the most rich and awesome high calorie food for the last few weeks. That routine will last for at least a few more weeks before I can resume the regular eating routine.
- I am a planner at heart. I like to plan things. I like to plan my days, weeks, future and life in general. The one thing I have thoroughly realized, but not fully learnt, over the last month is that as much as I obsess about it, I can’t plan for everything.