Crap that people say to pregnant women (and their husbands)

You know when parents say that they fell in love with their child the moment they saw him/her? They’re like “aww it was love at first sight” or “it was magical” and so on …  
Not usWell not immediately. 

You see when Sid was born, I mean like the 10 seconds after he was lifted above the operating covers for me and sang to see, and for me to reveal the sex of my child to my wife (cos that was too much to do for the surgeon), I think our immediate response was “WHAT IN GODS NAME IS THAT!!???”

Followed by a silent ..”PUT THAT BACK AND BRING ME OUT MY CHILD!!!”

 He was long, covered in dark brown muck (muconium apparently) and almost alien like. 

It wasn’t until he was cleaned up by the nurse did I really see how beautiful, pure and gorgeous he was. He was a little angel. A little beige angel.

I fell in love with him when i could smell that ‘new baby smell’ that they should bottle up and sell.. And that love lasts to this day..

See we went through a mad journey filled with hyperemesis, SPD, house build, decoration, 2 trips abroad (Canada at 14 weeks and india at 20) and we got a lot of advice, mostly unsolicited from all angles. 
We had 9 months of listening to some rather interesting guidance from people (listened to – not acted upon) who put rationalised their arguments in an almost scientific manner. 

We got everything from “how best to get pregnant” to “how to make sure your child is fair skinned”. Basically from the ridiculous, to the just down right stupid.

Most of the superstitions and commentary that I came across were to do with “how to make sure your baby is white and fair”. Honestly if we had a white baby there would be some serious chuffing questions to be answered in my household!!!

The irony of it all, is that its Asians that project these superstitions to other Asians… like it wasn’t enough to have an India free of Empirical Rule, but we now demand to have white babies now too? 

I’m not sure where this fascination with fair skin has come from, and this obsession that the world (and by world, I mean Indian desi mothers) has with fair skin = beautiful. What is the cultural bias that Indians have towards fair skin? (see number 1 and 2 below). 

India is a country full of brown skinned people, who have varying degrees of skin tone from very fair, to really dark skin, basically 50 shades of brown. So when someone said to my wife, “keep a picture of a white baby in your bedroom and your baby will turn out white” I had to give them the ‘WTF’ glare and then share the comment with the whole world.

Here are some of the nonsense comments perpetuated by seemingly intelligent and educated people from the Indian subcontinent (and some from around the world in general).

  1. Drink milk and your baby will be fair skinned.- unless you’re lactose intolerant. Like you need to have more gas seriously!Keep a photo of picture of a fair skinned baby and look at it everyday and you will have a white baby. – Makes ZERO sense to me (or anyone else ive met) We didn’t, and Sid was born very fair skinned… mainly due to the amniotic fluid leftover on his skin.
  2. Eat greasy food will help you push the baby out – Now this one was just crap.. Eating greasy food would just give you heartburn, and high cholesterol, which is the last thing a pregnant woman would need!
  3. When the baby is born, put a little black mark on the baby’s forehead to ward off the “evil eye” – NO! All you do is dirty a baby’s head and expose it to germs. 
  4. My personal favourite – and I witnessed it a little so im surprised it’s a superstition – A baby will be more restless during a full moon, and not sleep properly until he is a little older. I felt Sid was more active during the full moon nights – which tbh were just like any other night – just Sid waking up 8 times and crying his head off..
  5. Wait until the baby is born before making the nursery – LIKE I’LL HAVE THE TIME!!! It look 3 of us 1 whole day without distractions to make all the furniture, and decorate the room. Nah ha. No way. Take the appropriate opportunity and get it out of theway. Baby needs to be in his own bed as soon as he can!!
  6. At an antenatal appt, a friend asked the midwife when her genetic results would be back.. The midwife turned around and said “don’t you worry about the results hun, just blossom and bloom!” Nice and clear … 

The whole obsession with unsolicited advice for during pregnancy wasn’t anywhere as frustrating as the advice we got given when Sid was born.. But I’ll share that another time…

4 Tips for prenatal bonding for dads- how to get involved after your work is done

So you’re pregnant!! 

Well, not you per se, but you other half is. 

     
 And as dads, we get considered the accessory to all of this. The number of times I got ignored and pushed aside while people flocked to Wifey to say “wow aren’t you blossoming?” Was met with a number of stern looks from me and my casual response of “well I actually did most of the hard work but whatever” (rolling eyes emoticon). I had another 9 months of this. 

Now for the next 9 months you may be wondering what to do when you’re not building the nursery, or panicking if you’re going to be a good dad, or dealing with the surge of emotions (hers) and so on. 

But for me (like other dads) this was an incredible journey. 

I was able to witness the creation of life and the development of my unborn child in all its glory. Without having to actually have the morning sickness, or the mood swings, or the swollen ankles.

  We tracked the development of Sid using an app called babybump, and it was great. Week by week I took photos of Sang and tracked her development up till his arrival. 

This is about as much as most guys I’ve spoken to get involved. For me,this wasn’t enough. I often think that mums to be get the opportunity to develop a unique bond with their child, way before it pops out. They get to feel the baby and talk to the baby, they share a heart beat, and other bodily fluids. 

But dads, it feels like we kind of sit there twiddling our thumbs before we can connect to the baby, which happens after its out in this world, and at this time you’re fighting off all other relatives to get time with him…

Me, well my family say that I’ve been broody since the age of 19 (probably true) and so this journey was one waited for patiently and I wanted to get connected to Sid as soon as possible.

I thought I’d list a few things that I would do, every evening, to connect with Sang and the growing baby, to develop a bond as a prenatal family. 

These things kept me close to her, and I feel gave me a great connection to Sid before he arrived in June ’14. 

  1. Listen to the bump. Every evening I would stick my ear to Sangs abdomen to try and hear the baby swishing around. More often than not, especially for the first few months, I just got Sangs sloshing tummy thanks to her hyperemesis (a whole other blog). But as the foetus developed, i would get the occasional punch or kick from Sid- probably won’t to my weighty head resting on him too much. 
  2. Talk to the bump, really close up. Sid was a great listener. I did at times feel a little stupid talking to him, but being able to tell him about the outside world, how beautiful his mummy is, and let him hear another voice was a great feeling. For me it was a connection to him that I developed over time and I think it explains why he doesn’t bother listening to me now! 
  3. Mozart for babies. We found a great piece of music, about 2 hours long written by Mozart, on YouTube. It was a sleep remedy for me and sang and also something for Sid to hear over my snoring. Apparently Classical music is great for a foetus’ development. 
  4. Importantly – and this is especially useful for the mum- massage cream onto the bump every night and every morning. We used a Sanctuary Spa cream developed for mums in the evening which was loaded with collagen, and a tummy oil by the same people in the morning and after showers etc. I get a lot of praise from Wifey for doing that – not a single stretch mark from the pregnancy. Aside from the obvious benefit, massaging is a sure fire way to build a bond with mum and baby. Lots of kisses and hugs kept the love flowing. 

    So this was one part of my journey with Sang and Sid. It was a journey worthwhile. 

10 Things to do when visiting a dad of a newborn

When my son was born we had the dread and fear as new parents, of visitors and hygiene and our care for our precious new arrival. 

We knew that we’d have family/friends wanting to come over before we even step out of the hospital, and Indians are typically fast when it comes to seeing a newborn. 

It’s as if we’re gonna get real offended if you wait to see us. 

Honestly we’re not!

Now I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I was the more neurotic parent and I was really sensitive when people came round. I wanted them to enjoy their time with my son, as well as try to give as much protection to him as I could. 

You’re probably thinking “but kids need to have some exposure to germs in order to build up their immune system”- WRONG. 

A newborn doesn’t need that shit from the day they’re born.

They need a clean safe environment to stop them from developing complications such as meningitis, viral infections that cause problems later in life, or in my sons case- sepsis which he developed at 2 weeks old.  I’m not saying that visitor cleanliness was the cause, I’m convinced it was during delivery but let’s highlight the point shall we. 
And you’ll always get the older parents (and their kids who don’t have children of their own) saying stuff like- “well you forget that our parents had kids too” – AGAIN WRONG! 

Our parents had us 30+years ago. We’ve had numerous advances in research that give us the newest advice to help bring kids up in the environment we live in today.  An environment away from thalidomide for example. 

So now to the things that all parents of newborns dread. I have my personal list, and it’s made worse by the fact that desi’s are exceptionally difficult to “control” let’s say.  (you know who you are) 

Just as guidance – if in doubt – ask the parent!

  1. Stay for an hour – TOPS! Unless you’re cooking dinner or doing the dishes/laundry, or my project plan for work. 
  2. Wash your hands- and don’t pretend like we didn’t see you pick your nose, we know your gonna want to try and touch my sons face with those fingers. 
  3. Don’t – EVER kiss my child on his lips. Period. That is reserved for parental love ONLY. cheeks, head hand yes. 
  4. Ease off the aftershave/perfume. I don’t want my son smelling like he was out clubbing all night. 
  5. Shoes off at the door please. My son will crawl on the floor and pick up anything you bring in. 
  6. If you’re even marginally ill, come another time. We’ll love you a lot more if you do. 
  7. If you post a pic on Facebook of my child before I do, I will break your camera. 
  8. Use a muslin when requested. Or even if not requested. 
  9. Remember – the parent is ALWAYS right. Don’t second guess, over-rule or say things like “you’ll get it soon”. 
  10. Finally – I will and did look fubar’d. I don’t need reminding that “you look tired”. Great observation- now get me a coffee. 

Thanks for your understanding. 

Sincerely,
All parents of newborns. 

A mothers/fathers love

So it’s Valentine’s Day…

  And I hear a lot about love. A husbands love, a wife’s love etc etc and one ting I heard over and over again is a mothers love. 

I get it. 

She carried her child, she gave birth to it, nursed it, and nurtured it. 

So when I hear that a mothers love is great, I get it.

But what I don’t understand, and this is what really frustrates me, is when a mothers love is considered, and made out to be greater than a fathers love. 

So while we can’t compete with the child carrying, birthing, nursing etc, I think it’s fair to say that as dads, we have as much love for our kids as the mums do.

So when someone says that “a mothers love for her child is great” let me correct you- a parents love for their child is great.

This plays directly into the hands of people  who consider dads as the accessory parent .. the baby sitter, the part time care giver. 

As a dad who works away a lot, I can’t get my head around the whole thing … Any other dads feel the same way? 

Blueberry and Cherry Yoghurt

Sid is getting a little addicted to fruit yoghurts however they contain a little too much sugar for him. More than I want him to have that is 

I made him a healthy sugar free option today which he loved.  

Ingredients

  • A few defrosted frozen or fresh blueberries, chopped
  • A few defrosted cherries 
  • Some fresh fat free yogurt 
  • A touch of maple syrup 

As per the picture.

Enjoy!

#2- Meditate with your kids

I drove back through rush hour traffic this evening to get home in time for shrove Tuesday and pancakes … Little did I know that my son was looking for time with his dad. 

  I carried him to bed, as he said good night to Mini Pui and Daddi ma. He blew his mummy a kiss and we made our way to his bed. 

I sat with him, and he propped himself over my shoulders and I sat and he said “daddy shimmi (simran)” so I began. 

Any agitation he had during the evening started to leave him and he exhaled, yawned and said “daddy bed” and pointed to his bed. 

I realised there is immense power in simran and prayer with sensitive beings. Sid is a sensitive child and he is very attuned to positive vibes. 

He jumps into bed, pulls the blanket up and says “mummy love you” and “daddy go”..

I gave a kiss to him and said “good night” and left.

Simran is a power that I have seen the effect of it in my son.