By Manasee Joshi
Want to be good parents? Sprinkle some magic of attention on yourself first.
Sounds mean doesn’t it when I put it out there so bluntly, but it’s true. If anyone ever asked me what is the best parenting advice I ever got, I would say this is the one. I would have never accepted it otherwise if someone hadn’t pointed it out to me in a critical situation. Your cup needs to be full of love, relaxation and calm if you want to pour it into your child, and to achieve that you need to take care of yourself first. I learned this the hard way.
I was always adamant about having a natural pregnancy and a normal delivery. I am the kind of person who likes to keep things as natural and basic as possible with minimum interference of external chemicals in the body. So naturally, that’s how my parenting was going to be too. Throughout my pregnancy, I did everything, followed all the healthy home tips and advice. I never took any medication and managed to get rid of my cold naturally. Being a vegetarian in a foreign country, I was always worried about my iron and vitamin levels, but everything was normal.
On the delivery day, I went through 12 hours of labour pain and delivered my baby naturally. No epidurals, no pain killers, not even IV – only gas in the last pushing stage.
Everything went according to my plan. I was over the moon. I had my beautiful baby girl in my arms. I was tired as hell. Still I guess I was high on adrenaline so walked to Birthcare just a couple of hours after delivery and then suddenly things started to unfold that I never predicted.
My beautiful baby girl, my precious bundle of joy, needed immediate medical attention. So we ran back to the hospital. Mind you by this time, 16-17 hours had already passed since my labour pain had started. I had not eaten anything. I had just delivered a baby, but how could I let her out of my sight? My husband was there, my mother was there, but still, I had to be there too. What kind of mum am I going to be if I leave her now? So I ran back with my husband. We were carrying our bags, the baby capsule, food bags and what not but we still ran. I ran as fast as I could. She got admitted to NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit). My heart just stopped. It was so difficult to fathom.
What was happening? Imagine for a girl who almost got everything she wanted, the tables suddenly were turned – my baby was so far out of my reach to even give a hug.
For the mother who wanted to provide the best natural start to my child, she was on all kinds of machines. I didn’t even take antihistamine throughout the pregnancy, and now she was on IV, painkillers and so much more. Don’t get me wrong, I have the deepest gratitude to this hospital. They saved my daughter’s life and helped us in every way thinkable and beyond throughout our stay there, but at that moment when everything was escalating so fast, I was living my worst nightmare. No, my daughter was living my worst nightmare, and I couldn’t do anything but watch helplessly. My world was coming crashing down.