Sunday, July 1, 2012

Welcome home

Dear Arjun and Anirudh,

I wanted to write this first blog on Tuesday, 26th June, when you finally came home after spending your first 17 nights in the hospital. But time is of a scarce resource now as two of you have already started stealing my precious sleep time. So it is really more of your fault than mine.

Not sure whether I am writing this for myself, or for you both thinking you will read this sometime in the future or to others who would be interested in seeing how a person like me handles the big change of being a dad of two little boys.  The last one year have been really different for me. I was getting myself prepared to a whole new world and sure I had learned a lot in that time. Tonnes of information from the internet, psychological changes, meeting new people, getting time for personal stuff, all were part of this preparation. I am sure some part of that would be useful for you as well when you come to this stage one day.

I can no longer keep myself ordered any more. So don't expect me to write anything in the order as well. I will just write whatever I feel I should on that day. After all what I see as ordered might just look haphazard for you. I can see the world only through my eyes.

You both(tired of saying both, so will skip that here onwards) were taken to SCBU, special care baby unit immediately after the birth. When I came to see you, you both were in the incubator, which looked like a glass cage. There were pipes all over your tiny body. Surprisingly I didn't feel much different than a normal baby. Not sure whether my previous visit to SCBU earlier made that difference. We were expecting you to be in the SCBU due to your lower birth weight. For some reason I have difficulty in thinking negatively, so I was always confident that you will be safe. So, those pipes couldn't distract me from taking a good look of you without any anxiety.


The staff at SCBU were really very kind. I am sure they have taken a good care of you. In a way it worked really well that you were kept in the SCBU. I had never held any newborn baby in my entire life. Neither I was very affectionate about any new born babies. I only liked their innocent face, nothing more. It would have been a nightmare for us if we had to take care of you at that stage.

SCBU in Royal Berks hospital had three stages. Initially babies are kept in the incubator till they are able to breath on their own and able to maintain the body temperature without much help. Later they will be moved to the next stage were body temperature is maintained using hotbed. Finally they will be moved to the nursery, where they will be kept in the normal bed with very little monitoring. For my surprise, Arjun was moved to hotbed in the third day and nursery in the fourth day. That was really a tremendous improvement. Anirudh was struggling with the breathing initially. Occasionally he had to be reminded about breathing, as he seemed to forget about that. But he recovered quite quickly as well. In day two he was able to breath  on his own and by 6th day he was in the nursery. By that time Arjun has already moved to demand feeding.

Other really good thing about SCBU is that I got the free parking pass:) Till that time I was really tired of putting £1.50 for every hour of parking. Most of the time I ended up putting £2 as it was hard to get the change every time. Anyways, I didn't bother paying the fee for every hour that I have parked. But I always had the fear of my car getting clamped! You completely resolved that problem by staying in SCBU! I used to visit you three times a day. I was very curious to see your improvement day by day. I was very eager to learn the art of handling newborn babies from the experienced nurses in SCBU. It took under two minutes for me to change your first nappy! I slowly learned the art of taking wind out of your body, feeding you close to 50ml by the end of first week. I had never liked any kind of routine work, but this time I liked every bit of what I was doing.

At the end of two weeks I was completely confident of handling you both on our own. Ashwini also got plenty of rest by that time. Luckily Anirudh was also moved to demand feeding and we were asked to stay in the flat for two nights. We had to assure them that we can take care of you both without their help. It was tough in the first night. Both of us were without much sleep for the whole night. There were a lot changes for you as well. You started experimenting with the breastfeed, the bottle nipples were changed and you were getting handled by the inexperienced hands. All those made the task little more difficult than we originally thought. But I never felt it is something that would go out of our control. The two days in the flat were really tiring, without good food. We were desperate to go home. But we would be allowed only if you have showed some weight gain in those days. Luckily both of you gained 40gms on those two days and finally we were ready to go home!

On the day I met another Dad in the SCBU who has been coming there for more than a month. Unfortunately his baby was still in the incubator and not showing much improvement. After talking to him I felt how lucky we are to go home in 2 weeks without any issues. It was raining when you came home. I don't believe in any signs so not sure whether it is considered lucky or not. But I like rain, so it was a good feeling carrying you home in the rain.

Hope it continues like that.


Sriram said...

Good luck my friend and welcome to the world Arjun n Anirudh. Am sure, ull have more to write in coming days.

Giri RP said...

welcome to the club.!! This is just the beginning.
Well on Tuesday-26th June, we also celebrated.. It was Rashi's 1st birthday.

Sathisha said...

Thanks Ram Bhatre,
Yup, there are more to come. Hope my office continues to provide the time for all these :)

RP, Thanks. Belated happy birthday wishes to Rashi. Hope you had a wonderful time.

Swathi Kishor said...

Good luck to the new parents. I quote what RP said - it is just the beginning, you are in for a treat. You were so right of the innocent faces, I mean their innocence will make your life so wonderful, each passing day will be a wonderful experience! Be it sunny, rainy or snow my friend...I'm telling ya your house will never fall short of sunshine with the 2 little stars you have got. Welcome my dear little ones- Aunt Swathi :)