How do kids know?

Today I called Suja to ask if Jeeju and Dad reached home safely. Its been raining quite heavily in Andhra for the past couple of days so I was worried if they had made the trip to Amalapuram, to attend a wedding, safe and sound. We ended up talking about my weekend childbirth classes and I told her that I was planning on taking epidural for the birth. She said the labor that mom and she went through was only for a short period of time for all their deliveries, so she feels that mine may not be that complicated either. Anyway I told her that after seeing all the trouble those couples in the video went through while giving birth with no medication, I felt that I don’t want to risk going through all that pain (especially if my labor ends up being a long one). We spoke about other stuff they taught us in class and she told me a few more things based on her experience (both personal and as a doctor). It is always nice talking to Suja. We usually end up talking about her two adorable little girls Eshitha and Sanvi. There’s been a drastic change in Esh since the arrival of her sister. She has become very well behaved and responsible. She is also very attentive and caring about her sister. Listening to these drastic changes in Eshitha and the daily changes my baby is going through everyday in the womb, makes me really appreciate the miracle of life. Just a couple of months ago, Eshitha was a typical 4-year old, who knew how to get what she wanted. But since the arrival of her sister she has become such a responsible child without anyone telling her. How could a 4 year old figure out that since her sister will need more of her mom’s attention, she will have to do most of her things on her own (like bathe, dress up and eat). I wish I could see them during these growing years. I always feel bad that I am missing out being a part of my nieces’ lives. Same goes for not being a part of Abhi and Snigdha’s lives. Can’t wait for my baby to be born so I can experience these growing changes. Even though I know that a lot of miraculous things are happening in my womb right now, like the baby being able to recognize the mother and father’s voice from inside the womb, it still feels very abstract. It would be much more wonderful when the baby is right in front of me and I am able to see all the changes with my own two eyes.

I also called Sari today. I read the news that it has been raining very heavily in Mumbai, so I wanted to see how she and her husband, Murali were doing. It is wonderful to talk to them. Being newly married, they are still adjusting to their new life. Murali is a wonderful guy and Sari loves her new life. I haven’t been able to attend their wedding due to my pregnancy. I can’t wait to go home after the baby is born. I want to see Sari in this new phase of her life and of course meet Murali.

Our Childbirth Preparation Class

It was a very busy weekend for us. We had to attend a childbirth preparation class on Saturday and Sunday (12 noon to 5 p.m. each day) at the Birthing Inn in Innova Loudoun Hospital. It was a little difficult trying to have lunch at 11:00 a.m. especially since we had our breakfast at 9:30 a.m. There were 10 couples in the class (including us). Our instructor, Mrs. Barbara Burgess is a registered nurse and a certified instructor. She was very sweet and we had a wonderful time in the class. She started of the class by asking all of us what Childbirth means to us. We had to complete the sentence “Childbirth means ….” using only one word and we should not repeat a word used by others. Unfortunately our chance was at the end and all our favorite words like ‘Miracle’ for me and ‘Fun’ for Praveen were used up by the time it was our turn. So Praveen said ‘Awesome’ (he said the whole process of making the baby and the growth of the baby in the uterus, the entire process is really very awesome). I said it was ‘Thrilling’ (meaning exciting, I will at last have someone to play with in the house when Praveen is at work, etc.). Other words used in the class were miracle, fun, complete, fulfillment, blessing, etc. All the words were good, positive words. The instructor completed the sentence with a bold “PAIN”. That’s when it hit me. We were so busy getting excited with the new arrival, that we did not spend enough time to dwell on the painful labor process. We were glad we were taking this class. It made us realize the most important thing that we were forgetting. The class was very interactive and we learned a lot of things like the intensity of labor at each stage, when to call the doctor, when to go to the hospital, various breathing techniques, what to eat once we are in labor, etc. She then showed us a video of a couple going through a natural, non-medicated vaginal birth. The poor lady was in labor for quite some time. It kind of freaked me out, I don’t know if I can bear such severe pain for so long. I was really looking forward to the next day’s class where she was going to talk about Epidural and C-section. I just wanted to see how safe the epidural option is, because right now I think I am really leaning towards that option. The fun part of the class came at the end when the instructor made us sit on the floor and practice breathing exercises together. That was really fun. Before leaving we were asked to bring with us an object that we can use as a focal point for the next class.

After the class we came home and then Praveen left to Aparna’s place to help them prepare for Neeraj’s (their son) first birthday party. He came back later at 7:30 to pick us up and take us to the party. We had a good time there. Neeraj looked very cute and Aparna was very pretty. They had good food, music, dance, singing, games and fireworks. It was 1:30 by the time we cleaned up, dropped off stuff at Aparna’s place and came home. We were exhausted and went straight to bed.

The next day we woke up at 10 and had to hurry to make it to the class at 12. Thanks to Aparna, who packed us some leftovers last night we did not have to cook today. So we showered, ate and rushed to the class. Today we took a tour of the Birthing Inn at the Loudoun hospital. The rooms looked very comfortable and clean. In the nursing room we saw newly born twin baby girls (15 minutes old). They were so cute. The nurses were cleaning them up. It was so overwhelming to see those twins. Today we saw a whole bunch of videos. The first one dealt with natural labor and various methods to deal with the pain (breathing, visualization, listening, hydrotherapy, etc.) The second video was about delivery using medication (epidural or other drugs), the third one dealt with C-section, the fourth one was about using forceps or episiotomy and the last one was about breastfeeding. The videos and instructions were very useful. The instructor also answered a lot of our questions. At the end of the class Praveen and I felt that we could definitely do this, and we both agreed that it would be best if I took epidural, so I could avoid most of the pain. Before starting from home this morning, we were thinking about what to take as a focal point for our class. Initially I thought maybe I will take a picture of Eshitha. I know her so well and I really adore her. I thought we will be asked to say why we chose that particular object as a focal point and I knew I could talk a lot, if it’s about Esh. But then I realized it would be unfair to Praveen who would prefer something that he might be comfortable with too. So in the end we decided we will take a picture of us in Europe. I am glad I did that because the purpose of the focal point is to create a diversion when we are going through labor, and are doing our breathing exercise. I realized that when I was looking at the picture and was breathing my mind was drifting away to the time we spent in Europe, the beautiful places we saw, and the wonderful time we had there, instead of concentrating on Praveen squeezing my hand to simulate a contraction. The instructor made us practice a variety of breathing exercises like slow and fast paced breathing and the Hee-Hee-Hoo. It was fun. Before we left she gave us certificates mentioning that we had taken the childbirth preparation class. After coming home we were both quite exhausted. We had something to eat, lazed around for sometime while Praveen uploaded Neeraj’s b’day pics and then went to bed.

child birth class

Sailaja and I took a childbirth crash course this weekend. It was quite long (12 – 5PM) on Saturday and Sunday but it was definitely worth taking. Before the class we were not sure of several things about pregnancy, labor, birth, etc., but now we know a lot. That’s definitely is a good thing – I think we are now capable of making our own decisions as required.

Beware people on the VA roads, Chinnari now driving !

so we took the car from enterprise – did a trial drive inside enterprise car rental parking lot to make sure she still knows which one is brake and which one is accelerator (well yeah I had to make sure she knows because this morning after she got up she asked Sailaja, which one is the brake – so obviously I had to be careful). She felt ok after circling the parking lot in the car along with me and said let’s go. I got down, picked up my car and told her to follow me. I took her in the back roads to home to avoid busy roads. We crossed couple of small intersections with no traffic at all (all way stops) and then reached the intersection at Old Ox and Ariane way:


It’s a 2 way stop not a 4 way stop. Since she was following me, I waved at her and said come by I will wait on the other side. She took it as I cleared the road for her (:-)) and asking her to just blindly follow me. 🙂 So she just drives on, stops at the stop sign after me, and then doesn’t check the traffic and just follows me and takes the left turn. Well now you can imagine what happened next. Chinnari just felt how valuable her life is for a sec – thought about “Heaven Almighty”. 🙂 Car honking wake her up and made her realize she is still alive and hit the accelerator slowly. Since then until we reached home, she drived at <20 mph and at all other intersections she double checked no no triple checked no no four times or even more I guess before she crossed the road. Took her another hour to reach home. Well it was fun teasing her after we reached home. I wish I took a picture of her when she was at that intersection. I will try to take some pictures when I get a chance of Chinnari's car driving skils and post them here. Anyway good luck guys on the road.

12 more weeks to go

Atlast I am in my third trimester. It feels like I have been pregnant forever. I am counting the days when we can see our little one. It’s also a lot of fun reading about what is happening and what to expect. Praveen is really very excited. He is such a good Dad-to-be. He takes time out of his busy schedule to read all the material relating to the baby, and also makes sure that I am doing all that I am supposed to do. Thank god for him, I really do not have to worry about anything. Being in the last trimester is quite exciting except for the fact that my dress sizes seem to be increasing by the week. Makes me wonder how large I will be, when I am full term. The only sad part about this pregnancy is that I still haven’t experienced any food cravings. Its very sad because I was really looking forward to it.

We did a fun Q & A yesterday to determine if we are going to have a boy or a girl. According to the results looks like we might have a girl (17:13). But based on my intuition I strongly feel that it might be a boy. Of course my guess is purely based on the fact that so far I have had a hassle free pregnancy (very little nausea). Based on what I have seen (my sister’s 2 pregnancies and pregnancies of other friends and family), and what I have read, a trouble free pregnancy usual means its a boy. But we also read that if the heartbeat of the fetus is below 140 then chances are that its a boy and above 140 makes it a girl. Based on this theory we should be having a girl (our fetus heartbeat has been a constant 150 for the past couple of months). Guess we should just wait and see. Should we have a girl, the happiest person would be Chinari, who is dieing to buy some cute girl outfits for the baby. Frankly speaking if anyone asked me whether I wanted a boy or a girl a couple of years ago, my answer would have been “Most definitely a girl”. Girls are so much fun to shop for, its like having a live doll with whom we can play dress up. But that opinion changed in the past couple of years. Thanks to Abhi (Praveen’s brother’s kid), I realized that boys are fun too. So right now i don’t care if it’s a boy or a girl. All that we hope for is a healthy baby.

We had our 28th week doctor’s appointment yesterday. The doctor said that the baby is fine, and everything is as it should be. I currently weigh 145 lbs, my tummy is 29 centimeters and the baby’s heartbeat is 150 beats/min. We have another appointment in 2 weeks.

woo hoo

it’s Sarivisetti’s month. Bobby got a project today in New Jersey (Princeton) and earlier this month Chinnari (his sister) also got a project in AT&T in Oakton,VA (close to DC and ofcourse to our house). So all good news and party time. Also Rajesh anna and Sailakka would be moving to Philly (actually close to) this coming weekend. So we will all be close by.

Baby now 28 weeks old

Got a mail from today that it’s 28th week and it says:

Your baby’s brain is really beginning to develop into a more complex organ. Up until this point, your baby’s brain has been relatively smooth, but beginning this week his/her brain will develop grooves and indentions along its surface. The amount of brain tissue also begins to increase during the 28th week.

The development of hair also continues. Eyebrows and eyelashes are visible, while the hair on your baby’s head grows even longer. Your baby is also starting to look a little rounder as the fat storage under the skin continues to develop. This is an important part of development that will continue through the remainder of your pregnancy.*

It’s really amazing to see how things start getting into place by themselves as if some one is passing instructions and leading the way. As we read these emails/newsletters and watch the baby (some times moving too) on the ultra sound monitor, the excitement keeps o growing. We officially started our baby shopping last weekend (finally – have been postponing since last 2 months). We got a long list of things to buy, things to take to hospital, things for mom, things for dad (though the dad’s list is the smallest of all :-(), etc.. from Aparna (our friend back from Vizag/Gitam). We had no clue we need to buy some of those things (many thanks to Aparna). Well anyway we bought mostly clothes/blankets kind of stuff so far, probably in the next couple of weeks we need to get the furniture too. We are taking a Childbirth class this coming weekend (23/24 June) – so we would have to post pone the furniture shopping to the weekend after next.

I will be San Francisco again next week attending the Burton Group’s Catalyst Conference. I will be talking about “Open Identity at AOL”. I am very excited to go, attend sessions and talk with like minded people over there.