Sunday, June 05, 2011


Note: Thanks to all bewdas for the overwhelming number of comments on the 3-part Xena posts. It was especially heartening to see such a large number of lurkers/first-time commentators sending their good wishes to the gundi. Please pardon the delay in responding to the comments. I have just finished replying to the emails I received. I will, of course, be responding to every comment.


More snippets from Xena's and my hospital stay

- Since I was in the hospital for a month with not much to do, I got really friendly with the nursing students. I remember one particular pair that had just started their internship that day. As expected, they were not given anything important to do. They were so bored they would come by and chat with me every few hours. "We have nothing to do!" They would lament. The next evening, they popped by my bed, looking super excited. "I reckon someone gave you some work?" I asked. "YES!" They said. "We just changed the diapers of TWO babies!" They said, almost breathless with excitement. I was so amused. Talk about crappy jobs!

- I hated the hospital food. But the good thing was that you could actually order the kind of food you wanted (Chinese, Malay, or Indian), so I kept trying different combinations to see if I would finally get something to my liking. I didn't, but one fine morning, I took the lid off my "Indian vegetarian" breakfast and almost fell off the bed with delight. Luckily the gazillion probes and sensors that bound me tightly to the bed prevented me from falling off. One of the medical students attending to me that morning stopped in the middle of his speech, eyed my plate enviously and said, "Is that pav bhaji????" Muahahahahahaha!

- The babies in the special care nursery had name tags on their cots. All babies were identified by their mothers' names, but there was a blank for the baby's name too which parents could fill if they wanted. The baby boy next to Xena actually had 'Superman' on his tag! I am not kidding you. We found out later that he was one of twins and the father had temporarily named them 'Superman' and 'Batman' for their SCN tenure.

- During one of the classes we took on caring for premature babies, the speaker wanted to say, "All visitors must wash their hands before touching the baby." He ended up saying, "All visitors must wash the baby before touching the baby." It looked like only Viv and I got it. Needless to say, we nearly fell over laughing in the middle of the class.

- Just before my surgery, the anesthetist held a slab of ice somewhere on my skin to check if sensation had indeed gone off and the surgery could start. "Sayesha," he asked, "Can you feel that?" I responded with a "Feel what? Where?" He laughed his head off and then said, "Okay then, that settles it. We'll begin."

- One of the cleaners in the ward took a real liking towards me. And like many people, she assumed that just because I am Indian, I could speak Tamil. She would talk to me nineteen to the dozen in Tamil and I'd pick up key words and nod along. She was really surprised to see me stay for so many days and one day she told me something strange. From the keywords and gestures, I guessed that either she was talking about someone who ran away from the hospital or she was advising me to run away from the hospital (an option which I did consider at one point). Anyway, I nodded along. The next day she came in, looked at me and said, "Still here?" Hmm.. So I reckon she had asked me to run away then?

- During kangaroo care, Xena would move her hands and legs a lot. One day, the alarm started beeping very loudly because her heartbeat was showing a very low number. DONG DONG DONG! went the alarm. The nurse came running, took one look at the number on the screen and immediately picked up the baby to check what was happening. It turns out the naughty girl had nicely peeled off the heart rate probe from her chest and stuck it -- guess where? On my chest! The nurse couldn't stop laughing.

- In a similar 'pin the probe' game, she had stuck it on her diaper. This time it was a doctor who noticed the strange numbers and checked. "Oh so that's the diaper's heart rate!" Both of us said at the same time! Heh heh! A doctor after my own heart.

- When Xena was moved out of the incubator into a cot, she was finally given some clothes to wear. All this while she had just been in a diaper. They put on what they called a 'baju' (Malay for 'shirt/top'). She was still so tiny that the baju reached her ankles, making her look very much like Yoda. I could totally imagine her rolling her eyes and saying, "Fashionable this is not."

- Once in a while, they also put on a cap for her. There was this one particular cap that came in a ghastly shade of orange, which was probably meant for an XXL baby. It was so big for Xena that they had to roll up the edge like a thousand times before it fitted her head. I swear she looked exactly like Shah Rukh Khan in Paheli.


Arun said...

Three cheers for Xena!

Pooh said...

Hi Sayesha,

I have to say I belong to the lurker category you mentioned. I stumbled upon your blog sometime last year and since then have read everything you have written right from the very beginning. But I have always been too lazy to comment I guess. :P Anyways, I love the way you write and check your blog almost everyday to see if something new is up at the bar.

And since you started writing about Xena and her brave struggle I have been compelled to comment but was waiting for the whole story before I did. I truly wish you and Xena the best of everything in life and am sure this is the beginning of all things wonderful for you both.

Love :)

Saru said...

Another one of your lurkers Sayesha. You are such a brave woman and your daughter is a fighter like you. I love how you retain your sense of humor even in such difficult moments. All the best to you and your lovely family. Take Care!

Unknown said...


Enjoying these posts Sayesha :) Good'ol bhai is back :)

Porkodi (பொற்கொடி) said...

:D you still havent picked up enough tamil??? Hmmmph!!!

Porkodi (பொற்கொடி) said...

and hey remember what Viv said? it's not for XXL baby! Xena is XXS baby!! ;)

Arun said...

XXS=extra extra special. Xena ki Ma, I want to ask a lot of questions, such as is Xena less restless and more comfortable with presumably no monitors and tubes? Is she well past 2.5kg, and so on. Then I think you will let us bewdas know whatever ia appropriate. In any case the best wishes cannot be repeated too often, very sincerely meant. All the best to Xena, you and Viv!

Angelsera said...

ur daughter is keeping up w the Bhai legacy :)

R said...

Xena is Bhai ki beti.

Now that I am over my initial shock, please give loads of love to Xena! Loads and loads!

Anonymous said...

Xena is absolutely precious! Her tales are so much fun! May she be this active and fun always!

Of all the things, Shahrukh Khan in Paheli was the best :)

nidhi said...

What do you think Xena will be more offended about when she grows up...That you dressed her to make her look like Yoda or SRK??? my guess is the latter :D

buddy said...

Best wishes to your baby.

My niece was prematurely born, I think at 25-27 weeks.

She pretty much went through all that you have described here. However after 4 years and the occasional hiccup, shes doing great today. I wish the same good growth for your daughter too.

Best Wishes

Geomon said...

Orange was my fav color as a child. i guess we outgrow our best colors as children as we reach adulthood.

Anonymous said...

Wishing all the best throughout her life for darling Xena :). Your posts on her are so adorable!!

Ilina said...

hi Sayesha... I had been away for some time and read the entire thing now. My heart went out for you, Viv and baby Xena. Though I dont comment here often, but follow your posts regularly. Wishing your baby a superb life full of health and prosperity.

Sayesha said...

Hip hip hurray! :)

Thank you! :)

Thanks! :)

Yeah! Bhai is back with chhota Bhai in tow! :P

It's a difficult language ok?? :'(

Didn't think the bewdas would want to know the details of her progress. :) She was 2.58 kg at last count. She seems comfortable at home, and is giving us friendlier looks these days so that's nice. :) I am also more relaxed and not checking every 2 minutes if she is breathing. She is on a lot of meds/supplements and has a lot of follow-up visits to do at the hospital.


Raam Pyari,
Thanks! :)

Thanks! :)

*I* dressed her up??????? :O It was the nurses!!!!! Though I must admit we bought several Yoda costumes, all in different colours, to make Xena's transition from hosp to home smoother. :)

Thanks. :)

I still can't make up my mind about my fav colour, you know! Though purple is the strongest contender... :)

Thank you! :)

Thanks! :)

diyadear said...


Are u sure she would like to be comapred to SRK??? Dont beat me if ur his fan ha ha ha


mythalez said...

rofl at "fashionable this is not"

perhaps she will turn out to be as wise as the Yoda too?! :)

bluejay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bluejay said...

Ha ha ha.. God bless her :D . Can't wait to hear more of her progress and all the laughter she brings to everyone! I am sure there are more to come. *hug*

Kay said...

OMG,OMG,OMG I was away from blogger for 3 years,yes not 1 or 2 but 3!! and my favourite blogger is a mommy now!!!Congratulations Sayesha,I havent really written a lot of bewdi comments on ur blog but I ALWAYS used to read except for the 3 year break in between.Welcome to the mommy club!

Sayesha said...

Yeah I *heart* SRK! :P

Of course of course. Isn't shyani another word for wise? ;)

Thanks! :)

Welcome back! Thanks for your wishes. :)
PS: 3 years away?? How could you?? :'(

shajitha said...

i just dont know what to say, i love you guys... God loved Xena and choosed to leave her with the sweetest people..

Sayesha said...

Thank you! That is incredibly sweet. :)

Sudeep said...

>>>Luckily the gazillion probes... falling off.<<<
he he he...

During my appendicitis operation I didn't feel the pain, but could feel the surgeon's first cut. I asked him if he had slit my stomach to which he said, "Yes and now I am inside. Still feeling it?" I asked for a towel to cover my eyes.

I can hear Viv sing this
Xena yaha Xena waha
iske siva na jaana kaha

Kay said...

This was the first post I read when I got back n just finished reading the others.I'm so overwhelmed Sayesha.You are so brave.I'm totally speechless at the moment but am so glad u r out of it and are in a happy place right now.U,Viv n Xena are amazing.Wishing u good health n happiness alwayz Bhai...

Baatein unkahi si said...

you know, I never mentioned to you but my son was born @27 weeks and all these post of yours brought back those NICU memories of him; those monitors and beepers, the respirator, monitoring every ounce of weight gain, those oversized clothes, kangaroo care, some horrific nights, some very pleasant mornings, everything!!
But now as he is going to turn 5, he has overcome all developmental chanllenges we were concerned about and noone can look at him and say he was is such a rush to come to us :-)
Thanks for sharing these little glimpses of your life with your little one
I wish you and Viv all the very best and happiest moment with your bundle of love

Arun said...

I will, of course, be responding to every comment.

That, too, is a feat of love!

Nidhi said...

I am glad everything is coming back to normal Sayesha! When I had read the initial posts about had all sounded so surreal and illusionary...I tried a lot to comment but was so speechless that couldnt write anything. "Hugs" to you and your lil one!!!

newmomontheblock said...

Hello Sayesha,

Long time lurker, but leaving comment for the first time. As a new mom myself, I cant even imagine the ordeal you had to go through. But now that you have finally brought Xena home, hope you can enjoy your baby and mommyhood.

Anonymous said...

I remember when Vihaan was in the NICU, the nurse used to always complain. When he cried, one would exclaim, "Ah that is Baby of Varsha", that is the name he was called. He had to be fed first and then the rest. He used to create the maximum noise. I could recognize his voice from outside the NICU where I did not have even a glimpse of him.