A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Archive for November, 2017


Posted by Pepper on November 28, 2017

is the day my mom leaves for India. After three and a half months with us, it is finally time for her to leave. I know most parents have an inbuilt nurturing instinct that compels them to care for their children, but I can’t even put in words the kind of care I have received beneath her wings. It’s been months since I cooked, did dishes, laundry or changed sheets. And as exhausting as it is given our circumstances, being forced to take on the mantle myself is not what will make me miss her the most.

What I will miss the most is the freedom she gave me to take liberties with her. I knew I could count on my mom to help out in times of need, but my mom stepped in even when needs didn’t exist. Did I need to take an hour long bath when even a 5 minute shower comes at a premium? No, but I would often tell her, ‘Mama, I am done with this. Deal with it alone while I park myself in the bath tub’, and she would actually encourage me to get away despite knowing how hard it is to juggle with two crying babies all alone.

Did I need to sleep in even after 10 am despite having had a relatively good night? No, but there would be times where I would say I don’t want to wake up, and she would pat me back to sleep at the cost of driving herself into a tizzy as she washed bottle parts, ran to tend to Cotton as he yelled, ran back to finish chopping her onion, rushed to feed Candy when she got cranky, ran back to get Cotton’s bottle out of the warmer before it got too hot and so and so forth. Yes, she would run her own private circus for the sake of my beauty sleep.

‘Mama, I’m hungry’, I’d say and she would make sure I eat first while she held the babies. ‘Mama, I’m sick of cleaning poop and don’t feel like it anymore’ and she would tell me to take a break while she would take care of the dirty bums for the day.  ‘Mama, I have a headache’ and she would apply balm on my forehead and give me a head massage. ‘Mama, the babies just refuse to sleep’, I would go to her room at 4 am and complain. And she would gladly wake up and take the baby I was handing over. ‘Mama, I feel like buying myself a new pair of jeans’, and she would assure me she could manage two babies while Mint and I went shopping.

My mom allowed Mint and me to be children. She literally took care of 4 kids. All of that will end tomorrow. My MIL arrives the next day. Can I really tell my MIL I don’t feel like cleaning poop without being subject to a few kilos of judgement? Can I tell her I want to sleep in even after 10 in the morning, or tell her I want do indulge in frivolous activities like shopping while she managed the kids? Most certainly not. After all, I am supposed to be a responsible and caring mother who is unfazed by baby poop or a lack of good jeans.

My MIL is going to stay with us for 6 months, and while I genuinely appreciate the help she is willing to offer, I am also worried as I enter this period of transition. Let me also say that our relationship with the in-laws hasn’t exactly been spectacular. We’ve been riding on rough waters ever since we expressed our desire to adopt a baby. You would think things would get better since we actually ended up having biological kids, but then we chose to give the kids my last name and things went south again.

We’re still in the thick of a storm as we convince the in-laws that no, Mint has not denounced his family (their words) or changed their family name altogether (!) by giving the kids my last name. Mint and I are trying to deep breathe and calmly point out to them how supremely sexist their thought process is. It has been very unpleasant. So I have no idea how the MIL’s trip will pan out. Please do wish us well.

Meanwhile, I will try to hold on to the good times we had with my mom around. There is absolutely nobody who can pamper you the way your own parents do. Here is a picture of all of us, my mama sitting in the midst of Mint and me, as we hold our babies. She has literally been the central pillar of our lives these past few months.


Posted in Meet the family | 20 Comments »

The birth story – Part 1

Posted by Pepper on November 15, 2017

Where do I even begin?

Let me start by saying that the twins were actually due in mid October. Anyway, during one of my ultrasounds, we saw the doc frowning in concern. He said baby B wasn’t growing the way they would like. It was probably a good idea to pull them out soon. Before we knew it, they went ahead and scheduled my C-section for a date just 10 days away! That is what I mentioned in this post, that the babies were coming in 10 days.

Those 10 days were precious to us. From believing we had at least a month to get things together to coming to terms to having not more than 10 days, it was a lot to take in. We were completely unprepared, we were yet to buy car seats, the crib, the works. We decided to work on our massive ‘to do’ list from the next morning.

Life is funny though. The very next morning after I wrote that post, I woke up at 7 am and thought I felt some dampness in my underwear. TMI, I’m sorry, but this post is going to be full of it. I didn’t even bother waking Mint at that point. I turned to my side and tried going back to sleep. After an hour, I thought the dampness was more evident. Or was I imagining it and reading too much into nothing?

Strange things happen when you are pregnant and the dampness wasn’t something that made me bat an eyelid. At this point though, I sleepily mentioned to Mint that I thought I felt damp. Not wet, mind you, just a little damp.

He woke up right away and told me he was sure my water broke. Let’s go to the hospital, he said. I almost laughed. You see, my idea of water breaking was a gush of fluid running down your legs. Not a minutely damp underwear.

I agreed to call the hospital though. They said they would like to examine me and asked me to come in right away. Really? Okay, I told them we would be there soon, but I certainly wasn’t serious about the ‘soon’ bit.  I continued to stroll around the house sleepily after that and showed no urgency to leave.

I told Mint we would head out for an Afghani lunch to one of my favourite places after my check up at the hospital. I was dreaming of their bolani. He kept shaking his head and telling me to listen to him, there would be no lunch, the babies would be coming today. I dismissed it. I was just 34 weeks. I saw no signs of labor at that point. This was going to be just another check up. After all, we had another 10 days for my scheduled C-section.

I decided to fix myself some breakfast, only to see Mint shaking his head again ,asking me not to. I had chosen to have a c-section (different post on why I made that choice) and that required 8 hours of fasting. He told me it was safer to fast until I got done with my examination, because what if they had to go ahead with the c-section today?  I was so confident that this check up would lead to nothing that I insisted on eating.

He looked so uncertain as I continued to fix my sandwich that I decided to let go of my plans. Instead, I grabbed a cookie and told him I would stop at that. He told me how pointless he thought that piece of cookie was, so after nibbling on it, I let go of that too.

I then went for a relaxed shower. I wondered if I should shave my legs, because God forbid I actually was in labor, I didn’t want to be operated upon if I had hairy legs. Yes, talk about being vain. It was too much effort to bend with my humongous belly though, so I decided to let go. I would make Mint shave my legs later. I was also going to get my eyebrows done the next day, so I would save all the cleaning up for tomorrow, I thought.

Mint, mom and I then drove to the hospital. I walked to the labor and delivery unit leisurely, only to have one of the nurses tell me they had been waiting for me since the time I called. They whisked me away and strapped me to the monitors right away, an exercise I was very used to since I used to go for my non stress tests thrice a week.

A doctor came by my room and told me he would ‘check’ me and send the fluid to the lab for testing to find out if it indeed was amniotic fluid. He had just about begun the check when he let out a little laugh and said, ‘Okay, you’ve definitely ruptured. I can totally see it. I don’t even need to send the fluid for testing. You can wait while we go and prep the OT for the c-section’. With that, he walked away. I was in SHOCK.

Wait while we prep the OT? Right now? Did he mean the babies are coming today? I had strolled in to the hospital not carrying a thing other than my wallet. And how will we manage the babies? We didn’t even have car seats to take them home. We had to make a zillion purchases before we could begin our life with them. How would we do it? They said my water broke? How can I possibly not feel a thing?

It was a public holiday that day so the hospital was a little understaffed. I was concerned about how everything would go, but as usual, Mint seemed all zen and kept throwing the ‘I told you so’ line at me, other than making jokes about me going into labor on labor day. Me? I was also coming to terms with the fact that I had hairy legs, undone eyebrows and unwashed hair. The first few pics I would have with my babies would have me looking like crap. Oh well, I shouldn’t be so shallow, I told myself. It was a good idea that the images would feature the ‘real’ me and depict me in all my bareness.

In a few minutes, one of the nurses came by to tell me they were setting everything up and would take me in soon. She just wanted to know when I ate last. I told her when I had had dinner the previous day. To double check, she asked me if I had eaten nothing after that. Okay, fine, I had had half a cookie a few hours ago. She looked skeptical the moment I said it.

20 minutes later, she was back to tell me they couldn’t operate on me till evening because of that half a cookie. I needed to be fasting for 8 hours straight. But that was just half a cookie, I told them. She said it wouldn’t work. Great. Of course, Mint had a million opportunities to tell me, ‘I told you so’.

Mom, Mint and I continued hanging around in the room, talking about the sudden change of events. By around 2 in the afternoon, I could feel the onset of strong, painful contractions. They told me it was only going to get worse from here. I was going into active labor since my water had broken a few hours ago. They could do nothing but wait to make sure I complete my 8 hours of fasting.

By 4 pm, I was in a hell lot of pain. The monitors showed I was having full strength contractions that were less than 2 minutes apart. I even made Mint take a picture of my contraction charts so I could have proof of having endured those full strength contractions. I am a drama queen, I know. And they were still forcing me to endure this instead of going ahead with my surgery because of that half a bleddy cookie! They kept saying they didn’t want to take any chances. Jeez!

Another 2 hours passed and they *finally* said they could take me in. They gave Mint a clean set of scrubs and a face mask to get into since he was going to be in the OT with me. My mom was pacing around nervously. She said it was going to be nerve wrecking for her to wait outside the operation theater all by herself. We had to keep asking her to calm down. None of us could really believe we would be seeing the babies soon. Babies that were due to arrive in this world in the middle of October were being pulled out in the first few days of September. This, when they were already having growth restrictions in the womb. I hoped everything would turn out okay as they wheeled me in.

To be continued..

Posted in This is YUGE | 14 Comments »

The grandfinale

Posted by Pepper on November 8, 2017

I’m happy to introduce our little boy, Cotton, and our little girl, Candy! They are now 2 months old! Their arrival was so sudden and unexpected, it took us a while to put things in place and ‘settle down’. I’m waiting to share their birth story and all that transpired after that. Will do it soon. Hopefully in the next few days once I come up for air again.

Meanwhile, sharing a pic of who Mint refers to as our ‘Twin’kling Stars, enjoying their tummy time.


Posted in This is YUGE | 52 Comments »

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