Friday, March 18, 2011

A Bit Heavy

It is getting hotter in Delhi as we pass mid-March.  And with the heat comes an increase in pollution and dust -- and the smoke hangs heavy in the air.  I went out for a run this morning and thought it was just a bit overcast until it struck me that my lungs were struggling a bit.  Only the hard core locals were out walking the park this morning (they now nod at me and smile - almost like I belong!!).  The back of my throat was burning and post-run my lungs decided to spend some time ridding themselves of the pollutants (ie I was coughing up sludge)!  Ouch!!  Sticking to cardio-blast until things clear up around here!

I am happy that this was a planned day inside because I doubt this heavy air is good for newborn baby lungs.  I've been told that this gets much, much worse in Delhi as the heat really sets in in June and July.  I guess people treat if more like Jan/Feb in NY and stay in as much as they can.  Not pleasant and I feel for you locals.

Neve had her one week birthday this morning.  We celebrated with a bottle of milk and reminisced about the days before we knew each other, about how we fell in love at first sight and about how our love has really grown.  I remarked on how her new double chin and round tummy really suit her and she said the same about me (thanks Coke addiction)!  I agreed that she could have her own cake when she reached the one year mark and persuaded her that she was a bit young yet for a champagne toast!!  She just laughed, burped and went back to sleep!

Neve had two big firsts last night.  First, she lost the beef jerky thing that has until now been attached to her belly button.  Some medical experts might refer to it as the "umbilical cord" - but around here it's been Neve's beef jerky.  It was not a momentous occasion as she did not seem to even notice - but it makes diaper changing much easier (and it looked really gross) so I'm happy it's gone (sort of).

I say "sort of" because Hamish thinks the Neve jerky is a good momento and is keeping it on his bedside table!  He says it's sort of like how my Dad kept my little sister Margi's hair after her first haircut.  Margi had the most beautiful, thick long brown hair as a little girl - down to her waist - and my parents forbid her to cut it (which made her want to cut it).  And when Margi finally won out, my Dad insisted on keeping her hair as a reminder of when she was his beautiful baby girl.  That is a touching story and the hair is still beautiful and you can just see little Margi with that long hair as a child.

But the Neve jerky?  That is not, in my opinion, something that we will look at in 20 years time (not that it could last that long - even jerky rots at some point) and have a good walk down memory lane about back when that disgusting thing was attached to Neve's stomach.  I think this baby thing is starting to fry Hamish's brain.  Although if he adores her Neve jerky just think how much he must adore the overall package! So it's gross but still sweet, in a way, I guess.   I photographed the Neve jerky but it is so outrageously nasty, that in the interest of those of you who might be enjoying a nice cup of coffee or a sandwich, I have chosen to omit it from the blog. I'm sure Hamish will show it to you in person if you are really interested!

The other first was her first real bath with us.  She had a bath in the hospital, but since the Neve jerky was still attached we were mostly spot cleaning until the thing fell off.  And, honestly, the bathing thing really intimidated me.  We watched the nurse give Neve her first bath and it look highly hazardous to me.  Think trying to hold on to a wriggling, slippery 6 pound fish with no gloves - that has been covered in soap.  Like I said, intimidating. But, it was really passed time.

The night before while I was feeding Neve, I leaned down to give her a sweet little kiss on her cheek  an chirp to her about how she was my sweet little baby girl and got a whiff of this nasty spoiled milk smell.  I thought it was the burp cloth or her clothes or blanket and immediately changed everything.  In the morning when Hamish took over he confirmed what I had suspected the night before -- it's Neve, not her stuff, that smells like an alley way.

So with the cord off and the smell on, we set a time to attempt the bath that evening.  We boiled water in preparation (not wanting to run the risk with the tap water here), readied the plastic bath thing, set out all the clothes and soaps and towels, and turned on the shower to hot in the bathroom so that the air temperature would not bother her little baby body.  There was major prep work done but alas -- SHE HATED IT!  Cried her head off, thrashed around and really put on a good show.  I had a consultation with an EP after the event to calm myself and she suggested we might have let the water get too cold.  We are going to work on making the bath a more pleasing experience for Neve, but either way, she's getting baths every day from here on out.  Can't have her going around smelling like the garbage can at the milk bar up the street!!

Today has been quiet.  Hamish is working and he's been giving me little admin jobs to do cause he thinks I need to be occupied or else I'll get on the blog and make fun of him!!  Mr. Mohank made us some really tasty chicken soup for lunch (which is really more like egg drop soup) and nice omelets for breakfast.  The food is really all too great!!  Last night at the Lady of the Manor meeting Dellip and Mr. Mohank sensed that I am running out of ideas.  When that happens they try to offer up American type food like pasta and garlic bread which seems totally WRONG to me.  I  love sampling all the Indian food they cook up, so I say why be saddled by the Lady of the Manor -- just make us whatever (within reason) you want!!  But alas, that is NOT going to happen so, yesterday, I got some recommendations from some friends back home (thanks guys and anyone else has any, it would a BIG help!) and did some internet research and I'm going to attempt to make some new requests tonight at the meeting.  Wish me luck!!

So with my heavy lungs (and heavy heart - some bad news state side), I am signing off for today.  Sending out healing thoughts of love and comfort that I hope eases it just a bit.

All our love,

G, H & N

Daddy & Neve having some tummy time!  


  1. The air in NYC will never seem so sweet as when you finally find your way home! Re the jerky, all I have to say is...eeeewwww! We used the tap water for bath time and set an assembly line on the dining room table using a large plastic bowl....but we had slippery 4 and 5 pound soapy fish. It is daunting but gets easier, especially when they smell like an aged piece of cheddar! Keep on writing!

  2. Thanks for the tips!! We need all the help we can get but we are loving it!

  3. Gael, love your updates and am in awe of your dedication to exercise during your stay! Loved the description of your one-week birthday "conversation" and suspect your family will have lots of laughter in the years to come. When you get back to the states, buy yourself a "spa baby" tub -- looks like a trash basket, and allows you to give the baby a hot-tub experience (minus the jets and the boiling water) -- transports them back to the womb and makes bathtime a pleasure!

    Am wishin we had had cooks and cleaners when we were in India.... sounds like it makes life much simpler!!!

  4. Lauri directed me to your blog. CONGRATULATIONS! Welcome to parenthood. It's like nothing else - scary and exciting at the same time. Neve is beautiful! Shanti is a pisces too - she was born on March 13 and just celebrated her seventh birthday - slumber party with nails, hair, and make-up. You have so much to look forward to. I find it personally gratifying that your journey brought you to India - I took Aaron and Shanti 2 years ago and it was truly magical and overwhelming (just like for you guys.) I'm amazed at how much you've posted - Neve must be a good sleeper. Have fun and welcome to the next chapter. Much love and safe travels. Angela Singla

  5. Beautiful little baby girl. Exercise? In Delhi? Out doors? You are a trooper!

  6. G! So so so happy for you guys - I love this blog - it make me laugh and cry. I can't wait until you come home!

  7. btw, its kirsty a.k.a 9d9ea6eo