Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Everyone's been quiet for so long. I can imagine Andy being busy at work and then in the evening preoccupied with Riah and Anvita. I hope everyone is well. I really wonder what Riah thinks. Dad left a message a while back, Anvita and Andy were over, with Riah. On the phone dad said, "Aww she's yawning," in a "baby" voice. It was so cute. I wish I was part of that. I'm really glad Madhu Didi and Jared get to go soon. I hope I do too.

Friday, May 16, 2003

I am enlightened! Yeah. I heard Riah had a lot of shots and celebrated her one week birthday. :) Whenever I call home all mummy, daddy and Mitika talk about is Riah. I am upset I am not there. I have to agree with Madhu Didi, Riah is lovely. I cannot wait to see her and everyone else.
So, this blog is really called "Anvita." That's cool. Thanks for the enlightening us Andy.

Riah is now more than one week old. Mummy says she's really beautiful... and that she cries a lot. Although, yesterday apparently she was better -- staying awake during the day and checking out her surroundings. Must be a tough transition, going from a nice, warm tummy to the cold, outside world. Okay, okay, it's not exactly cold in India right now. (Unlike New York, where winter seems to be lingering eternally). I have to say, based on the pictures I've seen so far, my new niece is quite lovely. Most newborns I've seen look like grumpy old people. They don't become cute till they've been in this world a while and their circulation, skin, etc. gets accustomed to life outside the womb.

So, Mummy reminded me last night that Riah will tie rakhi on Jared! That put a big smile on my face. I hadn't thought of that. Jared was tickled to hear it too... although he was silent for a while when I first told him. Took me a minute to figure out why. I think he was trying to figure out how a little baby, who can't do very much, was going to tie something on his wrist! I'm glad he's going to have a sister in his life.

Bye for now.


Thursday, May 15, 2003

A mystery resolved: I often tease Anvita by calling her 'Anveeda da bournveeda' (Anvita the Bournvita). No, there is no hidden message or meaning. I don't know why I do it, I just do. I think because it rhymes. If you say it really quickly and blur your speech a little, it sounds like Babida da Babida. Hence...the name of the blog.

Now I know I've enlightened you completely.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Hello again. Madhu Bhua's back. I tried to post something earlier today, but it didn't take for some reason. Not sure why. Sometimes technology baffles me.

Anyway, I'm back to make a correction. Jared read my last post and told me in no uncertain terms that it is definitely NOT cool to say "whatupwitdat" on the schoolyard. Apparantly, he learned that from the Chris Tucker/Jackie Chan movies that he likes so much. He tries on different accents because when he grows up he wants to be a basketball player or an actor. So, "whatupwitdat" is just Jared practicing his "acting." Correction made.

The pictures on the yahoo site are so cool. I can't wait till there are new ones. Andy's promised to put up more next week, (right?). Forty-six days till we board the plane for India....


Monday, May 12, 2003

Hey! I just saved Riah's photo as my background. I also could not stop looking at the other photos. She is the cutest! I think she looks like Andy too. I think that slowly the resemblance will become more defined. But she has Anvita's nose, right? Madhu Bhua, I share your confusion, what is babida da babida? Is it some kind of baby talk? I was wondering why no one had written as well.I heard there is going to be some puja soon? I hope Anvita is recovering well. How are you all doing? I loved the caption "You think she sleeps all the time...No such luck!" I hope I can be there this summer as well. I cannot wait to meet the little one and everyone else. Riah has been in this world for 4 days now. WOW! Thanks so much for sharing the photos. Technology is really great.
Hello! It's Madhu Bhua again. So, after a flurry of blogs, including (some of my favorite) "monstrous" ones from Shruti Mausi, there has been silence for a few days. What's up with that? Or, as Jared would say "whatupwitdat?" He tries to put on a hip-hop accent every now and then. Apparantly it's "cool" on New York City playgrounds.

I hear everyone's home now. Anvita and baby Riah came home on what is "Mother's Day" in the States. That's pretty cool. Even cooler -- I heard Riah crying last night!! Called home, talked to Papa, and heard her howling in the background. I was so excited to hear that sound. Get used to it, Andy and Anvita! There's plenty more where that came from. :-)

Thanks for posting the pictures, Andy. What a cutie! She really does look like Andy as a baby. But then, I haven't seen baby pictures of Anvita... I love the internet at times like this. Can't wait to see her in person next month.

Okay, one question before I sign off -- what does "babida da babida" mean? I've been reading this blog for 9 months now, and still haven't figured that out. Anyone know the answer?

Bye for now.


Friday, May 09, 2003

Hello! This is Madhu Bhua, (I like the sound of that!) logging in for the first time. Wooo hooo! Hope I do this right...

So, Ms. Riah Malhan is here. What joy she has already brought to all our lives! All these happy, weepy people, whose lives are forever blessed by her presence in them. Welcome to the world, little one!

It's hard to be so far away. Shruti and I had a long chat yesterday. It was nice to talk to someone who's in the same boat... living on the East Coast of the United States, while our hearts and minds are in a hospital in Delhi. My baby brother is a father. Amazing.

The timing of Riah's arrival caught me by surprise. Papa's premonition was right on the money. With a due-date of May 10, I really thought she'd be here around the 17th or so. She had other ideas, of course. This girl knows what she wants and isn't going to wait around till it comes to her! I think she's going to be a fiesty one. I like that. She'll keep Andy and Anvita on their toes! ;-)

Jared was at Hank's place when news of Riah's arrival came. I overslept the next morning, so didn't get to tell Jared he had a baby sister before he left for school. He knew Anvita was in labor. Hank told him the news after school and left me a voice mail message that afternoon saying "When I told Jared about Anvita and Andy, you should have seen the smile on his face. It was so warm and genuine... and I just wanted to hug him up. He was just such a mensch. Anyway, he's very, very happy and very touched." ("Mensch" is a Yiddish word that means something like "good egg" or "really good person." My Nanaji was a real "mensch.") The first present Jared picked out for the baby (about two months ago) was a soft, terry-cloth basketball. He's decided that he's going to teach this kid to shoot hoops, regardless of whether it's a boy or girl.

I hope Anvita's recovering quickly. A C-section is major surgery. She must be in some pain. It's going to be difficult for her to walk around for a while. We use our stomach muscles for so much more than we are aware of. Thankfully she has lots of family around to help. I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE THIS BABY!!!!

All this is making me think of the time Jared was born. I was so glad to have Mummy here. I don't know what I would have done without her. Jared probably would never have been bathed, for one. The first time we gave him a bath, (in the kitchen sink), he screamed bloody murder! Scared me half to death. The kid had a set of lungs on him....whew! I was so shaken up by that experience, the next day when Mummy said, "okay, time for his bath," my mind was racing. We could give him a sponge bath. We could wipe him down with baby-wipes. He really wasn't that dirty... anything to avoid hearing my little boy scream like that. Mum just picked him up, stripped him down, and went about her business. My heart was in my mouth. When she turned on the water, I had to go into another room. There was silence. Nothing. No screams, no crying. I walked back to the kitchen to find my mother holding Jared's head under the faucet. He had his eyes closed and the most serene look on his face! It felt like a miracle. Mummy said he'd just become used to the water. The first day he didn't know what it was. Had Mum not been there, after the first day, I would have never given the kid a bath. I think about that sometimes, when I hear Jared singing in the shower. Thank God for Mums.

We want pictures!!!

Okay, I'm going to sign off here. Hopefully I'll "post" this correctly. {Shruti -- I miss your "monstrous" posts. Please don't stop. ;-) }

I hope everyone's well. I miss you all. My congratulations and love to Mr. and Mrs. Tewari, Shruti and Mitika, Mummy and Papa, Andy and Anvita... and most of all, to Riah.



I tried to post something here yesterday.. didnt work tho. So hopefully it will today. Yesterday i was so mixed up in feelings and emotions, today i'm more relaxed. The piece I wrote yesterday, was acurate of my feeling as I was there to experience everything first hand. Well not all of it.. not from when her being in labour started from the night before. I was sitting at work .. as usual... knowing that anytime, any one of these days, I'd be receiving a call from Andy or Dad informing me.. that they'd be taking Anvita to the hospital. What i didnt expect it to happen Yesterday, the 8th! First let me specify, I work at nights!
At about 1am if i remember correctly I was on another call at work, I got a call from Andy's cell on my cell. I already guessed what it would be about.. i forgot that i was on another call.. got really excited.. forgot what to say on my call.. put the customer on hold.. and got the call.. It was Anvita, told me she was having labour pains..and they were on their way to the hospital.. I wanted to leave work there and then.. Anvita told me it would take a while. I was relived that maybe I would not miss anything.

Later, about 4, Dad called...asking my plan... What time i was expected to come home. I told him by 7:30am.
The whole night just went by at work...really slowly, cus i didnt want to be there.. i wanted to be with Anvita and Andy at the hospital. I finally arrived at the hospital at 8:30.

I entered the room, and saw Anvita on the bed.. breathing..that funny way.. that women in labour are suppose to do.
I asked her how she was doing.., she reponded.. by smiling.. and saying.. in alot of pain!
I would have to finish this later on.. my cab has come to take me to work.
Spoke to Dad and he is so happy. He's a little worried about Anvita. He told me Andy's mum had stayed with Anvita the first night. Mum had gone to stay with her in the morning. Dad said EVERYONE went to visit. Nisha Masi and family. Suman Mausi, Mamiji, Sudha Mausi, Shifa Shreya. Gaurav apparently drove himself to go see Anvita at approx 11pm. I spoke to my friends Mugdha and Nishant. They were so excited about it as well. Mugdha wanted to send Anvita and email. Nishant said to say Congratulations.
I called on the cell and spoke with Andy for a while, who was driving back to the hospital. He was exuberant and had managed to get some sleep. I called back later when he reached the hospital. I spoke wtih Anvita. She told me because she was so heavily sedated she couldn't breast-feed the first night. Anvita felt really bad about it. However, she did manage to breast-feed her later. While I was on the phone with her, Anvita asked Andy to take a photo of Rhea.(Madhu Didi on the phone yesterday had said that she thought Rhea should be spelled RIA and I concurred---not that my concuring means anything! I just did concur). The baby was sleeping and she looked adorable. Andy was afraid he would wake her. I spoke wtih mummy as well. Mummy was so happy. She kept going on about how beautiful and cute the baby is. I cannot wait to meet this little one.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Madhu Didi just called. We spoke for a while about the baby, names and how far away we are. I am keeping this one short, as my last few ones were "monstrous"! I like to talk, what can I say?
Madhu Didi called me back after she got home from work, on my cell.(like 8:30pm EST) My phone was on silent, so it went straight to voicemail. She was so excited. I called India once again on Andy's cell. Nothing much had happened. Aunty had arrived, and had kicked everyone out of Anvita's room and was examining her. I tried to sleep. I have to teach tomorrow morning.

Mitika called from home. She had come home to pick up the camera. She also let me know that nothing had changed much either. She said it was difficult for them to call as no one had international roaming on thier cell phones. She was so excited as well. She asked me to call Dad and let him know that she had called. I was on the verge of sleep, so I told her I wouldn't. I did tell her I would call when I woke up. I am only thinking of Anvita. This is one night of restless sleep.

Approx. 4am EST Mitika called. She was bubbling with excitement. Anvita gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl at 12:09pm India time.The new mum was fine. Very tired though. (I'll let Andy fill in all the details, but I think Mitika said she was 2.7 kgs, which Mitika said, and I quote, "is normal, acorrding to everyone!" )Her name is Rhea. Mitika said Anvita cried, Andy cired and both the mums cried. She said Dad was almost crying as well. It was so emotional. Both mausis congratulated each other! (Rhea-get ready for your mausis!) Mitika also said Anvita had a C-Section apparently there was a cavity somewhere. Again I will let Andy fill in the details. Mitika added that she had taken so many photos. The baby had Andy's eyes. Mitika said she would develop and scan the photos to me ASAP (When have I heard that before!) Mitika said she couldn't possibly think of going to work now. She told Anvita she was going to spend the whole time with her.
I also spoke with Andy. I congratulated the new father. The papa/daddy/dad/daddi-O! (I know I'm werid!) He said both mummy and baby were fine. He also told me that Anvita had a C-section and he sounded exhauseted. He was getting another call and asked me to call on Anvita's cell as everyone was there. I sent my love to everyone and tried to catch up on another few minutes of sleep.

I woke up at 6am. Showered and ate breakfast. I called Anvita's cell at approx 7am EST. Andy picked up. Both he and Anvita were trying to sleep. I said I would call later. I just wanted to make sure everything and everyone was OK. I decided to log on here before work.

I cannot believe the little one is here. I cannot wait to see her. I don't know how I will contain myself at work! Congratulations again everyone. I love you all. This is your day, little Rhea. This is your day, Anvita. This is your day, Andy. May 8th 2003 12:09pm. Welcome to the world, beautiful stranger. Why is it we already feel like we know you? I love you all very much. Congratulations!

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

I am so far away. Waiting for the new addition to our family. Anxious. Excited. Emotional. I cannot believe my sister is going to be a mother. This will be the first grandchild for our parents. This new baby will fill in the footsteps of Anvita. Anvita was the first grandchild of Mum's family. Life changes so quickly. I think about the baby all the time. It's so weird you grow to love someone you haven't even met yet. It's unconditional love. I guess what parents say is true- you really don't know till you experience it for yourself.

I've been thinking about this little one since I found out. My biggest deal was finding a name.I looked on line. I know Anvita and Andy came up with Rhea if it is going to be a girl. Rhea is a beautiful name. For a girl, I liked Anya, and I also liked Aria (I know Anvita and Andy considered that one). For a boy, I like Neel. Let's see what happens. It's their choice. And also Madhu Didi's suggestions!

Since I last started this, I received an email from Andyinforming Madhu Didi and me that Anvita's contractions had started. They were calling Kum Kum aunty and take her to the hospital. Her contractions are 8 minutes apart. I called home and spoke with Dad. He was so excited. He told me that Mum was there along with Anvita, Andy, and Andy's mum. I called on Andy's cell and spoke with, as he called her "the hero of the hour." I was worried that she was in pain and that she would scream! We talked for a while. I am so excited. I feel really far away now. But it was good to be able to communicate. Isn't technology great? Madhu didi had already called and spoken to them as well. Mitika had been informed when she was at work.

As I'm writing this, I just checked mail and Andy has posted something on the blog. He asked Madhu Didi and I to post things on the blog- Just as I was typing! He is so sweet.

I know it's coming up on them really fast. I am certain they will be great parents. The love Andy and Anvita have for each other is rare. They will pass that on to this child and however many come after that. I'm unable to sleep. I have a cold and my body aches, but then I think of my sister in LABOUR PAIN!!! Anvita has probably already been in labour for 9 hours. Life is so much better when you look at the bigger picture! I cannot believe my sister is having a baby. There is going to be an addition to our family. I remember, Anvita, Mitika and I playing just like it was the other day! She looked out for Mitika and me, all the time when we were growing up. She continues to do that. When she met Andy, we instantly fell in love with him too. He also began to look after us. Isn't family wonderful? I cannot sleep. It's the 8th of May 2003 in India. Anvita's born on the 22nd and Andy on the 4th. Cool numbers! (The kid is going to think that their Shruti mausi is so weird when they read this!) Having a baby on the 8th and celebrate your first Mother's day on Sunday! What a wonderful mother's day present! Happy Mother's Day, sister, dearest. (May 11th 2003).

For the last few months all I have been talking about is my sister and her pregnancy to my students (OK I do teach them as well.) This last week, they have all been asking me if I've heard from my sister or brother-in-law yet every day.

Talking about teaching. I cannot wait to talk to the baby, when s/he is older and talk to them about politics, literature, feminism (do I see everyone cringe?!), movies- Hindi, Hollywood, Foreign, and OF COURSE cricket The whole world is out there for the little dear to discover.

I cannot wait to see this baby. I have dreamt about it. I have imagined it. But to actually hold the baby and to actually finally see the individual who is changing so many people's lives forever is going to be priceless.

I'm sitting so far away. When will I see this baby that I have grown to love? I'll miss the precious moments. Life. Life. Life. The miracle of Birth. The miracle of life. Life. I'm waiting for that phone call. I am so far away. Waiting for the new addition to our family. Anxious. Excited. Emotional.

I cannot believe my sister is going to be a mother. Andy is going to be “papa/daddy/dad/daddi-O?!”
Congratulations to my cool brother-in-law and my sister. Congratulations to Uncle and Aunty (Andy's parents); Congratulations to Madhu Didi and Jared. Jared will be such a cool cousin! Congratulations to our mum and dad. Congratulations to our Nani. (She is now going to be a great-grandmother- how beautiful is that? I'm so glad you got to give that to her, Anvita. Congratulations to Mitika and me as well. (the kids really going to think Shruti mausi is weird now!)

Anvita and Andy…. Life. Life. Life. The miracle of Birth. The miracle of life. Life.
I didn't realize how little time I did have. Or how prophetic Papa's comments were.

At midnight Anvita started getting contractions. Next one was at 12:20. Then 12:33, and thereafter varying between 5 and 7 minutes apart. Her water also broke - no flood, but dribbles. Called the doc, she said to come over. Went over. She said Anvita was in labour and we went straight to the hospital.

Odd how her labour kicked in the way it did. Apparently it usually starts with contractions an hour or so apart. Then during the course of anywhere from 6 to 12 hours they get to a stage where they're 10 minutes apart. Hers started at 7 mins or so!

Anyway - I don't have much time as I just came home to leave instructions for the guys and get Papa updated. Mom and Anvita's mom are at the hospital with her. Initially it was just me and Mom, but there was a time when the pain was particularly bad and Anvita started crying and said she wanted her mom. So I went and got her.

I hate seeing her in so much pain.

It made me want to cry when she looked up at me holding her hand in the middle of a contraction and whispered 'I love you'.

Ok. Gotta run. When I left the hospital the contractions were 3 minutes apart and lasting 45 seconds. Doc is expected by or before 7am and will give us a more accurate idea of what the rest of the day is going to be like.
Did I mention that we found out and were disappointed by the fact that I won't be allowed in the delivery room? Bummer and kinda ridiculous, in today's day and age I thought, but I guess you can't get everything! We're lucky we've got a gynie that pays such close and genuine attention to us, and a hospital that will take good care of everything. But yeah...bummer. I was a little apprehensive at first about being in the room (I don't want to see my wife suffer). But as time went by, I was getting more and more excited at the prospect - imagine being witness to a new life coming into the world. Amazing.

So yeah...bummer.
We went to see Kumkum Aunty yesterday. Says the baby has in fact dropped a little. Also says that even if it doesn't, there's nothing to worry about. It was a relief to see her. Again - no reason to be uptight if she wasn't here, but it just makes us rest easier.

Papa is starting to get a little jumpy now. He suddenly realized that today was the 7th and we're due on the 10th. This morning he was like 'Hey, we need to wake up and get everything ready. If the little one decides to come quickly, we've had it!' Made us all laugh because we're all thinking exactly the same thing.

So the cot has come out of the attic. Has been cleaned and the mattress ordered. It'll be delivered this evening...any time now actually. We've hired a nanny/maid to help out with things. Today was her second day at work and we were falling over ourselves trying to figure out what to have her do. She may as well enjoy it - once this kid actually shows up, she won't have much free time!

You know, I just realized that I'm close to what probably is the end of this blog and as yet, I have not even figured out how to put links here. I should actually go back through the whole thing and put in value adds. -laugh- I don't think I have the time for that.

Monday, May 05, 2003

Kumkum Aunty got back to Delhi this morning, and our family breathed a collective sigh of relief. It really wasn't an issue if she hadn't been here to deliver the child, but we're all just so much more comfortable with the thought that she'll be there. Anvita has an appointment with her tomorrow evening.

Anvita did speak with her today and said that she seemed a little concerned that the kid hadn't 'dropped' yet. Once I get done with this update, I'm going to pull out the books Madhu sent and read what they have to say about kids dropping. For the completely uninformed - as a woman approaches the final stages of her pregnancy, the child drops. i.e. it's head kinda falls into the pelvic cavity, setting in motion the things that have to happen for labour to begin. The plus side, is that if you're carrying the kid in front, or high, you get a fair bit of relief as the pressure on your internal organs lowers. Anvita is carrying in front, so she should have some (long overdue) relief.

She's also now officially on maternity leave. Her last day at work was Saturday, so today being Monday was the first day that she didn't go in to work. She says she's already bored.

Madhu and I were joking about it, but I think I really do need to have her help me out with some stuff at office. Part of her job is setting up SOPs for her company. I have a bunch of processes mapped. Maybe I should ask her to help me out with that - will keep her busy and prevent her from watching and waiting for the pot to boil.

There are a lot of things that remain to be done. The cot needs to be pulled out of the attic, cleaned, painted and a mattress ordered to size. Anvita's aunt has a pram that she's offered us - need to go pick that up. Need to get a bassinet (fancy name for a frilly basket that you put a baby in). Need to think up a name for a boy - for that eventuality. If it's a girl, we've decided on the name Rhea. Madhu has to give us a middle name - apparantly that's a tradition. Nice tradition though. :-)

I'm going to invite a bunch of people to become part of the 'team' for this blog. I think it'll be nice for Anvita to see what everyone around us has been thinking while I've been going on and on about what's happening in my head! So...anyone reading this, if you want access, you need to mail me. You should know my email address, so I'm not going to post it here! Please do ask for access and post something!