Having a baby surely comes with its share of pros and cons. Those sleepless nights, hair pulling, moments of shocks & surprises, freaking out, hand-on experiences, learning, unlearning, re-learning, making mistakes, lamenting, moving heaven to earth and running from pillar to post while trying hard to figure out why your baby isn’t calming down, despite you religiously following all the rules of the book: “how to calm a baby down”; and finally, being envious of parents who can pull it off together excellently – these are the cons of parenting. Some of the pros include – giving life to another human being, rejoicing and spending your quality time with another little living being, small triumphs and gratifications, watching his growth spurts, witnessing his fascinating milestones, receiving praises and accolades over successful parenting, and definitely the rejuvenation you experience when you see him smile.
Four months ago, I gave birth to a beautiful human being, having gone through twelve hours of labor pain which didn’t even recede despite anesthesia, and the only savior was epidural; followed by intense post surgery pain due to last minute cesarean, medicine to abate pain and inconsistent bed rest. It was even painful for me to hold my baby accurately and breastfeed him. I made a conscious effort always to carefully get up, walk, bend over and carry him fearing that I might exert too much pressure on my c-section stitches.
I had turned into a zombie with numerous alarms beeping on my phone for every three hours to remind me of his feeding times. I have even woken up at wee hours in the morning like 12 am, 3 am and 6 am – just to feed him, change his diapers, swaddle, sing and rock him to sleep. Several times, I have even pulled my hair out trying to figure out – What else should be done for his wailing to stop? Why wasn’t he feeding right? Why didn’t he have accurate number of wet and dirty diapers? Why wasn’t he sleeping right? et al. Our house had even turned into a war zone trying to find the other person to deflect the blame on.
As he started growing from Day 1, I noticed tremendous changes in his personality. It was amazing to watch his growth spurts and be present for some of his milestones. These are surely my favorite times with him that I will cherish throughout my life.
- Cooing – he started cooing and making sounds when he was 7 weeks old. That was the first sound that filled me with happiness, instead of his crying and wailing.
- Responses -Once, P and I suddenly played carnatic music and tabla on youtube and he went bonkers. He started cooing along with the music and the beats. We were spellbound
- Saying AMMA (MOM) – This is definitely every mother’s desire. I also wished for his first word to be AMMA(or mom). I was on cloud 9, when he said “Amma” when he was just 12 weeks old.
- Turning over – One day, he lay beside me on the bed, and he suddenly turned over from stomach to back, even before I had time to process this new change and grab my camera for picture/video.
- Books – I started reading books like “Dear Zoo”, “Little Blue Truck”, “Peek-a-boo”, “Good night Moon”, etc and was super happy to watch him coo and his eyes gleam with joy, when he looked at colorful pictures and heard rhyming words come out of my mouth.
- Singing – Whenever he wailed, I started singing “wheels on the bus”, “you are my sunshine” and other songs, that pacified him and immediately calmed him down. “You are my sunshine” has been his favorite sing since his birth.
- Hi-Fives – Once I just raised my right palm in front of him and said “Baby give me hi-five” and he started imitating me. It was such a joyous moment.
- Solid Food – When he turned four, we made him sit upright on his high chair and fed him his first morsel of carrot puree. He enjoyed his new form of food, having drank milk all this while. Now a days, whenever we sit at our dinner table, he insists on sitting beside us on his high chair and enjoying his family dinner, which is super cute for his age!
Thus, bringing up a baby does have pros and cons, but if you are optimistic, the pros supersede the cons leaving an irreplaceable impact on us.