December 08, 2006
My topic for today’s session is “Mitra”. I never thought this 5-letter word would change my life so much. This word has got all my attention in the last one month and is going to get my full attention for the rest of my life. For those who are wondering who or what Mitra is – She is my 1-month-old daughter. She was born on 31st Oct. Today, I am going to talk about my early parenthood experiences.
The journey into parenthood began when I cut the umbilical cord. The delivery happened late in the night in Kaiser Hospital, Santa Clara. We were allotted a shared room and there was another new born in the room. My wife and I were extremely tired and we went to sleep immediately. The fun began after midnight when our neighbor's kid started to cry. By the time his parents woke up, consoled him and put him back to sleep - Mitra woke up and started to cry. We have to do the same thing for her. This went on in a loop throughout the night. Both the kids’ parents had a sleepless night.
It took a few days for Mitra to learn to breast-feed. She found it hard to latch. The lactation consultants in Kaiser hospital tried a number of techniques but nothing helped. Finally they suggested to use a syringe taped to finger. We tried that just two times and Mitra learnt to suck. From then on, breast-feeding was easy. I was very proud of feeding my daughter first, even before her mom.
We were so happy to bring Mitra to home. However, there were many challenges ahead of us. Putting Mitra to sleep is always a challenge. We sing rhymes, we play music, we walk with her on our shoulders, and we even dance. She goes to sleep when she thinks “poor folks … they too look very tired… let them go and sleep”. However, she wakes up again in an hour and says “okay guys… sleep time is over”. My wife and I have had many sleepless nights.
Mitra likes to listen if someone talks to her. She doesn’t even blink her eyes if you talk to her. At times she even forgets that she is hungry or sleepy, when someone talks to her. The first thing I do after returning from work is to talk to her. It is a very good relaxation for me. The only person in the world who is not bored of my talks is Mitra.
After being a parent for the past 1 month, I understood the routine that kids follow. They cry, then feed, then sleep, then poo, then pee and once again they cry. They do this repeatedly until their parents get tired and even after that.
Fortunately, my mom is here to help us out. Otherwise, it would have been even tougher for us. My mom takes care of all the household activities when my wife and I take care of Mitra.
5 minutes is just not enough to share all my early parenthood experiences. I’m sure many of you would have already gone through this and may have many more interesting stories. Raising a kid is very challenging. At times, we have to sacrifice the things that are most important to us, for the kid. While Mitra learns to live in the world, my wife and I are learning to live with her.