A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Archive for July, 2017

This is YUGE! It changes everything – Part 2

Posted by Pepper on July 25, 2017

The positive home pregnancy test had left me feeling quite stunned for some reason. I had a million thoughts running through my mind. The very first one being that I had been on a high dosage of oral steroids to treat my eye problem. The steroids by the way, have completely ruined my face by now. My face is swollen, bloated and puffed up. Pregnancy is probably adding to it now. It looks like I have aged a decade in a mere 10 months.

All of that apart, I was really worried about how the consumption of steroids may have affected my pregnancy. I decided to try and wean off the steroids the moment I discovered I was pregnant. Unfortunately, the withdrawal made my eyes flare up almost instantly, but we were able to tackle that one episode. I have a lot to say about my Uveitis and the potential struggles I have been warned about, but I am choosing to not panic right now. We’ll deal with it if it happens.

My other big concern was my high heart rate. I remember some doctor expressing concern about how a pregnancy would affect my already elevated heart rate. And then there were the usual concerns. Will this pregnancy result in a healthy baby? Honestly, all these are concerns I still deal with.

I got myself to a doctor as soon as I could. Mind you, I was all alone. I had not told a word about the positive pregnancy test to my family. I knew they would be so excited, they’d be bouncing off the walls. And I wanted to confirm the news before I shared it with anybody. So other than Mint, nobody knew and unfortunately he was in the other end of the world.

So there I was at the doctor’s office, all alone. I shared all my concerns with her and she was able to alleviate some of my fears. She scheduled me for an ultrasound right away. We were hoping it wasn’t too soon to see a heartbeat. I would find out soon.

I remember lying on that bed and observing the doctor frown in concentration in the first few minutes of my ultrasound. What is it?! I wanted to yell. Tell me already before I explode. And then she let out a big smile and asked me if I saw what she saw? I glanced at the screen and honestly could not tell much. Also, I couldn’t believe I had allowed somebody to shove a wand inside my vagina. I wanted to hear that all was well and be done with this as soon as possible.

She went on to explain when all she got from me was a blank and confused look. “It’s too soon for you to be able to see clearly. But this part here is where the head will be”. And then she moved the probe and continued. “And this here, this is the second head”. I was terrified in that one instant. Two heads? Am I having a baby that has two heads, I asked her. She seemed equally confused by my reaction at first.

And then she said it. “I see two babies with two healthy heartbeats here. You are having twins! Congratulations”. I don’t exaggerate when I say my jaw dropped to the floor in that one instant. Twins? How’s that possible. These things can’t happen to me. They only happen to others. Is this real?

I’ve seen so many videos now of people finding out they are having twins, and jumping and squealing in excitement is the most common reaction. Me? I think my first few feelings were that of bewilderment, shock, panic and alarm.

Two babies at one time? How on earth would irresponsible people like Mint and me be able to shoulder a responsibility of that magnitude. I knew I always said I wanted two kids instead of one, but did I even know what I was saying? Would we be able to afford it? Would we be able to cope with the endless demands of parenting two kids of the same age?

I was told twin pregnancies came with a host of complications. I already had several health issues to deal with, and now I had to worry about not just one but two babies other than my own body?

I felt so overwhelmed that I burst into tears. And I am not referring to tears of joy here. The doctor on seeing my reaction asked me to not panic. “We always have the option of doing a selective reduction at around 12 weeks. Then you can go on to carry a single fetus”.  Great. Now we should consider killing one of the two babies at 12 weeks? I couldn’t believe the things I was hearing that day. The entire visit to the doc was a big shock to my system and I was dealing with it all alone.

I spoke to Mint on phone as soon as I possibly could. When I told him the news of the twins, that idiot boy continued to think I was joking. Duh. I finally sent him the report of the ultrasound. For a change, my ever calm, non-reactive husband seemed equally perplexed by the news. “I don’t know how we can possibly handle twins” is what he finally said and that made me let out another sob. It’s not what I wanted to hear.

I do understand the dilemmas he was going through. I had had to convince him to have one child and here we were having to deal with the prospects of two at once. Both of us felt completely unprepared and terrified. Our move back to the US seemed far more daunting now. How will we get by without support? I have had many episodes of sobbing and wondering how we will do this, many moments of self doubt, many fears and a ton of worry.

It has been a journey. From worrying and fretting to actually rejoicing and celebrating. It took us a while to get here, but we’re finally in a place where we see and acknowledge the advantage of having two babies at once. We’re in love with these two precious babies that are yet to make an entrance in this world. I now worry about their health and safety and pray that our cute hearts are well. Say a prayer for these two, will you?

Yes, we’re still dealing with the anxiety of how we will manage two kids, but we’re also celebrating what we have been blessed with.

To be continued..

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This is YUGE! It changes everything – Part 1

Posted by Pepper on July 21, 2017

Anybody who has been reading this blog for a while will know how keen Mint and I were to adopt a baby. We had registered ourselves as prospective parents, completed all the formalities and were just waiting for a baby to be shown to us.

And then life decided to intervene. We were compelled to move back to the US and abandon all our dreams of adopting a child. Immigration issues made adoption impossible. Let me not get into how hard this was for me. It was such a blow. And in order to recover from the blow, I wanted a plan of action. I wanted to move on. I started bugging Mint for a biological baby.

As expected, he wasn’t over excited by the idea. Adoption seemed to appeal to him a lot, but the moment we spoke about having a biological child, he’d keep throwing questions at me and asking me if I am sure. I’d keep hating how unsure he sounded, but thankfully at some point I noticed he was more in line with my thoughts.

We were busy trying to settle down after moving to the US. I knew that in about a month or so, I would have to fly to India for a while to wrap up all the work I had abruptly left behind. We made the most of the holiday season here. We even drove to LA to visit the BFF and brought her back with us to the Bay Area to help us set up our new home. She stayed with us for the entire time until I had to leave for my India trip. Well, except for the last weekend, when she decided we should have some privacy before I flew out and went to visit her sis-in-law in the Bay Area.

Now let’s fast forward a little. It had been a few weeks since I had landed in India and I was late. Having had PCOS all my life, I dismissed it as yet another wacky cycle without much thought. But then as days passed by, I started having these quiet conversations with myself – should I or should I not take a pregnancy test? Mint was in California and I was staying with my parents. I didn’t really want to discuss this with anybody at that point, because in all likelihood I knew it would be nothing. I decided to get done with it and bought myself a home pregnancy test.

You know where this is going, don’t you? It was 4 am and I was wide eyed in my bathroom, staring at the two pink lines on the test. I will never forget the sound of my pounding heart as I gaped at the stick. It took me a few minutes to collect myself and walk out.

Obviously, I called Mint right away. He didn’t answer his phone. It was late afternoon in California and I knew he’d be in the midst of some meeting. I could have waited for him to call back, but since I couldn’t contain myself, I sent him a message on WhatsApp that said ‘I think I’m pregnant’.

After around 5 minutes, I noticed that the message had been seen by him. But there was no response. Wow, really? Okay fine then! I decided to go back to bed and put aside my phone. It’s quite funny when I think of it in hindsight. Like I suspected, he was in an important meeting when he saw my message. The poor guy must have been jolted and yet forced to sit through his meeting before he could respond or connect with me.

Yes, we did manage to speak thereafter. I barely slept that night. It all seemed too overwhelming. But of course, since we’re talking about my life here, there were many more unexpected twists and turns and even shocks lined up for us. To be continued..

PS – So, yes. I am pregnant. If any of you remember this post I had written way back in 2011, let me tell you my thought process has not changed much. I still giggle when I see other pregnant women because I think of them ‘doing it’ and I still can’t bear to let anybody else think of me doing it. So to anybody reading this, I will say that I didn’t have sex. Instead I joined my hands and prayed to the Lord, and that is what resulted in this pregnancy. Okay? Okay.

Posted in This is YUGE | 93 Comments »

Year 7 – Happy Anniversary, Mint

Posted by Pepper on July 15, 2017

Dear Mint,

Let me start by acknowledging the fact that this letter is late by several months. Our anniversary was in the end of March and I am writing this to you in the middle of July. I wonder what the delay implies. Have I stopped attaching significance to the ‘little things’ like the letters I have been writing to you? I hope not. I will attribute the delay to the changes and events that took us by complete surprise, made us sit up and scream ‘Oh My Goddd, is this really happening?’. I know you understand what I am talking about, so you will pardon and overlook the delay.

7 years of this crazy ride. How did we fare in the past year? I’m not quite sure. To start with, the first half of the year was so full of stress, so full of unanswered questions and well, drama. Should we move back to the US? Maybe not. Let’s try finding you another job that lets us stay in India. What? You aren’t able to find a single job that is comparable to your current one? Time is running out. What do we do? Give up on the US job offer too and stay without any job?

Maybe that is stupid. With no other job in hand, maybe we don’t have a choice but to move back to the US. But I don’t want to move. Should we give up on our dream of adopting a baby in order to make the move work? Is it worth it? Where is life headed?  Argghh. I remember being full of tantrums almost all year round, blaming you for our inability to ‘decide’, hating the uncertainty we were going through and feeling totally out of control. I think a lot of our potential moments were lost due to me either sulking or being hysterical.

To add to the issues we faced, I noticed how much you grew this year. And how much I didn’t. Of course, I am not talking about the wretched growing up that we adults have to do. I talk about the growth in your interests, passions and desires. What were just hobbies at one time turned into full blown passions. Your heightened interests in the world of board games and frisbee as a sport left me feeling disconnected.

You joined clubs, became a part of several groups, devoted exclusive time to understanding the subjects of your interest, took these ‘hobbies’ very seriously and reached a whole new level of involvement. Sadly, I didn’t discover any new passions of my own. The very geeky board games that we play will always remain a hobby for me, I doubt they will ever turn into a passion. I blamed you for allowing these activities to eat into our time together. You blamed me for being dispassionate about them.

I suppose these unmatched interests is something we just have to live with and work around. We’ve reached a point where you forgo a lot of your interests in order to spend time with me. But I keep wondering if you are masking the resentment that probably lies beneath? On most days, you seem very spontaneous about what you give up. So I do try to be equally spontaneous about letting you go and pursue your interests when I sense you really want to. Trying to maintain this equilibrium is hard work though, and I keep wishing our preferences were more aligned with each other’s.

And then there was the move. If I thought the act of moving was stressful and tiring, coping with the move has been far worse. Time and again I have compared my present life to the life I had back in Mumbai and each time I end up feeling like I’m getting a raw deal now. I know most others feel differently so let’s not debate that. But the massive changes and the associated discomforts made sure I wasn’t at my best behaviour. And you smilingly put up with it all.

I have to say, I have only been able to tide through the madness because of your reassuring presence. I love the way you hold me. It calms me down magically. The coming year is going to be very intense for us, probably the most intense and overwhelming one we’ve experienced so far. If we continue to hold on to each other and take one step at a time, I think we’ll be okay.

Here’s a picture one of our friends took of us when we were cuddling up. I love candid pictures. No pretense. No posing. No being self conscious. Pretty much like our relationship.

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Thank you for being there. Always.

All my love,

— Pepper

Posted in Splashes of Mint | 10 Comments »

 
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