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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Thank You Letter to my Son

Dear Nico,

I know that over the past few weeks, I have lamented the loss of my sleep, sanity and general well-being in the posts in this blog.

Luckily, you are too young to read and so you don't yet resent me for talking smack about you behind your back.

All kidding aside, while I joke in these posts about you and your sister, Shaila, I do want to make sure that you understand that this is just your mother's way.

I also wanted to tell you a little story.

You were born earlier this year on August 6th, which makes you almost 4 months old as I write this. My pregnancy with you was much smoother than the one I had with your sister (and I have to say, sometimes I think it's a strong indicator of what is to come).

But you still kicked my a!@, just a little. I was on bedrest towards the end and the last few weeks, I worked from home while lying on the couch. I conducted conference calls with clients in Germany and tried not to be overly concerned about the frequent contractions that started in my 28th week . . .

The week that you were born, Shaila came home from day care with a fever and developed a rash. We did not think much of it, and being the feisty little trooper that she is, she kicked that virus in the butt and was on her merry way back to her friends within a day.

And then you came! 4 weeks early, but you were absolutely perfect. You had the teeniest hands and you seemed so much smaller to me than your sister had been.

But you
were YOU, and I was a fan. Instantly.

Uncle Al took this picture of you when you were 1 day old

When we came home from the hospital, I started to feel a little fatigued, and I figured it was just the "new mommy" kind of fatigue. I did not think much of it, until my sister (your Munni Mausi) suggested I take my temperature and I realized I was running a fever.

The next day, so were you.


We had to take you to the hospital and before I knew what hit me, they were taking you away from us to run a spinal tap on you.

My son, who did not yet weigh even 6 lbs.


When the test results came back, the doctor informed your father, me and your Munni Mausi, who was also with us that day, that you tested positive for Spinal Meningitis and that they would need to keep you in the hospital for several days until they determined if it was viral or bacterial.

If it was viral, they said, he will fight it on his own. If it is bacterial, well . . .

"Well what?" we asked.
"If its bacterial . . .we will cross that bridge when we come to it," the Doctors said, sounding more positive than their eyes indicated.

You were 7 days old.

I felt like I had lost the ability to breathe.

Within minutes, we were brought up to what would be "your room" for several days and your dad and I watched the nurses hook you up to an IV and a steady stream of the 5 anti-biotics you had to be on, just in case it was determined that this was bacterial.

It was your sister's second birthday the next day.

You lost some weight and before I knew it, were almost below 5 lbs. I waited anxiously and tried not to keep crying but I have to tell you now, that I failed miserably.

I held you as much as I possibly could and you remained pretty listless. We made a lot of promises to you, just making sure you knew what was in store for you if you pulled through. Of how much I would love you. And how much your Dad would teach you.

And how cherished you would be.

We were in the hospital for 4 days. It felt like 40.

I would hear other children in the pediatrics ward crying and my heart broke for them and their parents as well. I did not know what prognosis brought these other children to the hospital but I hoped that these parents would all be able to leave with a smile on their faces, their hearts intact and their children in their arms as soon as possible.

We prayed to God a lot.

So did the rest of your family and all our friends.

You had a lot of people rooting for you.

At the end of what felt like a four day sentence, your doctor came running into our room with a huge smile on her face and relief clearly spelt all over it to inform us that you could go home and that you would be able to kick this thing. That your little body had been working hard to fight what was a virus which had attacked your spinal fluid.

A virus that your sister had passed to me, which I then passed to you.

And you were going to be ok.

(Dr. Deepa Shah - I LOVE YOU. I will always remember your face telling me that news I prayed for days to hear. So beautiful.)

I know that over the course of your life, you will have challenges and you will deal with adversity. Some of it, we can help you with. And sometimes, you will have to face it alone.

But, from what I can see, baby boy, you are the biggest trooper. I know that whatever you will face, it will be with grace and dignity and that extra dose of spunkiness which I know you have. I have seen you in action and I am blown away.

It's Thanksgiving tomorrow and I just wanted to let you know how much you and your sister mean to me.

Thank you for making my life that much richer for every day you have been alive.

For all the jokes I make about you waking us up at night, another part of me is also always grateful to hear your cry.


P.S. And just so we're clear, I am still 100% on board with you trying to sleep through the night. So let's try to keep working on that, ok?


Amy P. Kelley said...

beautiful love story. Keep them coming!

Masala Chica said...

Thank you Amy. Both for the beautiful comment and for supporting my writing :-)

Happy Thanksgiving to you guys!


Glennon said...

"For all the jokes I make about you waking us up at night, another part of me is also always grateful to hear your cry."

so darn beautiful. thanks, k, such a perfect start to my Thanksgiving.

our family is thankful for your family.

love, g

Vodka Mom said...

That was INCREDIBLE!!!!!! I loved it.

I hope you and your family enjoy a most wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

Masala Chica said...

Thanks Glennon. It's mutual. Love you guys.

Deb (Vodka Mom) - you rock. Thanks for your support - I feel like I just had a celebrity sighting. ;-)

Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

Marinka said...

Oh my goodness, that is terrifying. I'm so glad that everything is ok now. That kind of an experience is scary at any age, but with a baby, and when you are dealing with post partum issues yourself. Yikes. He is absolutely beautiful.

Masala Chica said...

Hi Marinka. It WAS terrifying. And thanks for your compliment on Nico.

I love your blog by the way. Deb (Vodka Mom) told me about it and I am hooked.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Monique-aka-Surferwife23 said...

Happy SITS Sharefest Saturday!! (I wasn't the comment directly after you, but oh well!)

Lovely letter to your son. And my heart was breaking for you when I read about teh time you spent worrying about your little man in the hospital. I did the same when my son was 3. I am so glad we both have healthy, happy boys today! :)

Lemon Gloria said...

Poor little guy! That put big tears in my eyes. Thank goodness everything turned out just fine. And what a cutie! And a LEO! The best!

Caroline said...

This was absolutely beautiful. I got all teary-eyed. Truly. So glad your son was alright and that you shared this tale!


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