February is a special month for us. Not because it is the month when the world celebrates Valentine’s Day, but in addition to that date, February is the harbinger of good news for us. It is about Pampa’s journey in to the world of Motherhood. It is all about love – love that makes life worth living and the future worth loving.
Circa 2008—Pampa and I moved to Singapore. For me, it was another new country—new job and as with every change, a new set of challenges. After India and the US, Singapore was my third country of work. But this blog is not about Singapore. This is about someone special to both of us!
Pampa had a relatively event-free pregnancy. 14-November, 2008 was her delivery date. Coincidently, this day is celebrated, in India, as Children’s Day. We had decided that Pampa’s delivery would happen in India, with our family around us. Hence, Pampa travelled back to Hyderabad in the sixth month. And my dear lady had maintained a strict diet regime so as to avoid the typical pitfalls (like Gestational Diabetes, Preeclampsia, and others) that women encounter during any pregnancy.
Then came November—I arrived in Hyderabad and saw Pampa; she looked like a little doll with an enlarged tummy, walking with her baby steps to welcome me. I can still remember the joyous expression on her face. I think, for a wife, the presence of her husband besides her at this life-changing moment in life is the most gratifying thing.
And then came the day—I still remember, we had finished our dinner and after watching the television for a while, we all decided to call it day. It was around 1.00 PM, when Pampa started getting labor pains. We immediately rushed Pampa to the hospital, Rainbow Children’s Hospital at Banjara Hills, which a stone’s throw away from her sister’s residence. The doctors started by inducing labor. As this was all happening, I was doing multiple things at one time – sitting, standing, walking, thinking and talking to Pampa and sometimes with the nurses and doctors. The night passed. It was around 11 in the morning, when Pampa’s gynecologist had a word with me; she told me that since the balloon (using a layman term) has already busted and the fluid was draining out we now have two choices: either wait for few more hours or go with a C-section. The waiting option also had a side effect; with the fluid draining this could impact the baby. She asked me to discuss this with Pampa and let her know the decision. I don’t know what went through my mind – I immediately told her, “My only concern is Pampa and the baby. Do what you think is best for both; I have full faith in you.” So, it was decided that Pampa would be having a C-section. I accompanied Pampa in to the operation theater. In the operation theater, I was standing near her head. Local anesthesia had started, and then the operation began. I kept cheering Pampa as I kept my eyes on the monitoring instruments that showed so many graphs. And then finally came the moment! I saw my Little Sunshine as they took her out of the cut belly. For me, time stood still; it was 1.07 PM, on a Tuesday afternoon, the eleventh day of November 2008. They immediately took her out to clean her up. She weighed 2.85 gms on her birth. And you won’t believe, we had beautiful instrumental music playing in the background.
Pampa at this stage was heavily injected with anesthetic drugs, but even in her semi-conscious state, she asked me, “How is she?”, and I said, “Like a star, shining brightly in our life now”. I think every father tend to get philosophical at this point of time. By this time, everyone in Pampa’s family were eagerly waiting outside the theater to get a first glance of the little angel. What a Moment—Priceless! I immediately called up my parents in Kolkata to give them the good news. I still remember that I was in tears (of joy) when I was talking to them, and I had said, “Ma, Ghore Lokki Aeseche.”
What a great start to the week – Our Little Sunshine, Ridhima had arrived in our life. The name Ridhima means a heart full of love. Love that makes life worth living and the future worth looking!