Chikki mamma’s Home Coming
Chicklet is what we called her when we knew we were having a girl during my neuchal scan. Chikki mamma is what we call her now because she is so much more gorgeous and so much naughtier now that she is out of her wombspa. She is an absolute joy – our Chikki mamma.
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We live in Papua New Guinea (PNG), a beautiful South Pacific country, north of Australia. Lack of efficient and effective medical services meant, we had to seek out a Gynecologist/Obstetrician in Australia. Found the wonderful Dr Christopher Price in Brisbane. Our Chicklet was safe in her wombspa knowing that Dr Price was only a 3 hr flight away. Chicklet became a frequent flyer right from the time she was conceived. We travelled to Brisbane every month for consultations and the necessary scans. We also travelled to Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Thailand in the months preceding her birth. And the certified crazy parents-to-be that we were, we got a scan done in every port!
By the end of the 2nd trimester, we began our search for the perfect hospital. It had to be nothing but perfect for our Chicklet’s “homecoming.” We ruled out Australia because we wanted our wonderful family to be part of Chicklet’s birth – she was the second grandchild after 14 years – very very special! We researched and got to know of a few gynaecologists Bangalore and Delhi – the two places that we decided on.
Delhi proved to be a colossal disappointment. We felt very uncomfortable with the gyne we sought an appointment with. The hospital, she said, the birth would take place, was appalling. Mind you, this was one of the premier private facilities in that city!
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We then left for Bangalore within three days of our arrival in India. My elder sister had already sought an appointment with Dr Prathima Reddy at Cloudnine, Jayanagar. We had got enough time to check out everything – the doctor and the facilities. Keeping all our fingers and toes crossed, we met Dr Reddy at Cloudnine on December 27, 2011. We knew we had chosen well, very very well. Loved Dr Reddy and loved the facilities. The smart PRO explained everything patiently to us and showed us around. We booked and confirmed that day. No regrets whatsoever!
I started dilating and bleeding towards the end of my 33rd week. Dr Reddy promptly made a hospital arrest and put me under observation. Within two days of being admitted, I was told to be prepared for Chicklet’s journey out of her wombspa. A natural delivery (unfortunately) was ruled out because Chiklet was in breach. Phoned Shiv, who was back in PNG to reach Bangalore and “planned” for a February 4, Saturday, 2012 birth. Why? Because Saturday was the day both Shiv and I were born. And since February 2 is Shiv’s birthday, we decided for a different birthday for Chiklet. I was impressed when Shiv arrived within 24 hrs!
Ha! Our little darling made sure that we never ever take her for granted. She also made sure that her ‘Type A’ Mamma learns to not “plan” everything. I started bleeding on the morning of February 2. Dr Reddy promptly asked the super efficient, super wonderful nurses to prepare me for the OT. I would lie if I say I wasn’t nervous. I was nervous because my planning did not work out! The next 2 hrs was very exciting. Scrubbed, shaved, sanitized, I was bundled into a wheelchair and into the OT. The calm, confident presence of Dr Reddy was reassuring. With her were Dr Girish, Neonatologist and Dr Gujar, Anesthetist and a small army of very efficient looking nurses. Shiv and I knew we had nothing to worry about. Very soon Dr Reddy took out our darling from her wombspa. Missy did not like it one bit. Her frown said, “Mamma, why am I being hung like a wet nappy. Why can you not take me in your arms!”
I am telling the truth – that little person actually looked into my eyes, when, after being cleaned and bundled up she was brought to me, and seemed to say, “You seem ok, my Mamma and I know I am going to love you as much as you love me.” Our love affair was cemented – for life! I felt miserable that I could not hold her in my arms as she was taken to the NICU for monitoring. Shiv was asked if he wanted to stay back at the OT. “Of course not! My new love is that little person and with her, I shall be.” The Daddy knew his heart has been captured by our beautiful Chiklet and held tightly in her little hands.
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She had arrived 6 weeks early and weighed 2.01 kg. By God’s grace, she was healthy and hearty. Within a day she was discharged from the NICU and was in our arms, in our room.
Sister Ruth, the super smart head of the nursing station made sure I started breastfeeding as soon as possible. My breasts were touched, squeezed, patted, squeezed some more…in an attempt to get Mother Dairy (as my elder sis put it) up and running.
It was so reassuring at Cloudnine – right from the dedicated, efficient and competent nurses, to their boss lady, Sr Ruth, to the doctors, and the facilities per se. I was treated, not as a pregnant cow and Shiv as a mere sperm donor, as we have seen in too many places in India, but as special people on a journey of their lifetime. Details like antenatal and postnatal classes, breastfeeding sessions post-delivery, to the nutritious, wholesome meals, to having a nurse visit us at home after discharge to ensure we are learning the nuances of taking care of an infant – every aspect in the entire value chain was a fantastic, relaxing and very pleasant experience.
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Naysa Sanaz, as our little Chikkimamma is 14 months old now. Naysa (meaning “Miracle of God” in Hebrew) and Sanaz (meaning “Full of Grace” in Persian) could not have been a more apt name for her. She is the answer to all our prayers, a graceful, joyful, generous, strong, brave and so incredibly kind little person. Shiv and I are becoming better human beings, every day, because in Naysa we have a wonderful teacher. There are days when the going gets tough. There are days when she is so infuriating, so exhausting, so exasperating, but a smile from her (and they are in abundance) makes everything so worth it. Her sense of humour never fails to amaze us. Already a frequent traveller, her sense of adventure, observation and curiosity is incredible for a person so young. She loves to eat and try different flavours and dishes. She has had beef, croc, emu, kangaroo and chicken and has made clear never to give her emu and kangaroo again!
Shiv and I feel blessed to have her in our lives and are forever grateful to the Cloudnine team for the wonderful experience of her journey from her wombspa to her home. We have been in touch with Dr Prathima, Kishore and Girish and would love to continue our relationship. One day we hope to take Naysa to meet them all – and to Cloudnine where she was born.
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