After all the pushing and waiting, Dolly finally gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Amay, on July 11, 2016, a little after five in the evening. “For someone who has never been physically strong, giving birth to a child through vaginal delivery was quite a feat,” she chuckles. She further adds, “It was a magical feeling. It was almost like all these days were nothing but a dream. The entire family was gleaming with joy to hold Amay. He truly is a gift bestowed to our family.”
Initial days can be really cumbersome if a new mother does not have the right guidance and support. Dolly is blessed with a really supportive husband and family that helped her recover quickly. Dolly says, “We were scared as a newborn is so tiny and delicate, but over time we became more confident. Having a supporting family for a quick and healthy recovery is extremely important. My mother made sure I got ample amount of rest and sleep.” During Vijay’s stay in the US, he made sure that Dolly rested through the night and would also feed the baby with milk that was earlier expressed by her. She adds, “The nights were time for father and son to bond while I took over during the day.” Dolly also started working from her phone right from the second day after her delivery.
The first three months were bonding time for Dolly and Amay. “Once I came to India, Vijay and I would alternate nights if he would wake up,” says Dolly. He used to wake up in the middle of the night in the initial months for two feedings but that gradually decreased as Amay started sleeping through the night. Dolly did face some challenges while breastfeeding her baby but she was able to combat that after consulting a lactation specialist. “Amay used to fall asleep during his feeding sessions and so he did not get the required nutrients. Alongside breastfeeding, I started pumping with an electric pump. I realised pumping was more efficient and better for my baby’s health as I was able to monitor the amount of milk.” Slowly, Amay developed a routine, he would go off to sleep right after his massage at 10 am and wake up at four in the evening. “This routine followed in the first five months as someone would bottle feed him every two hours in his sleep. This allowed me to go back to work and I slowly increased my hours of working as I was sure that Amay could manage without me for longer hours,” says Dolly.
It is a delight for every parent to witness their baby’s firsts—his first smile, first tooth, first walk and more. Dolly clearly remembers each and every one of them. “His first smile was the day of his naming ceremony, which happened six days after he was was born. He crawled for the first time when he was eight months old and also learned to clap around that time. He started walking just
before he turned one. His first words were ‘tata ’ and ‘dada’,” Dolly says, enthusiastically.
Amay started teething at five months, a rather young age. “He loves biting, and many a time one of us in the house who is playing with him has been heard screaming as he has just taken a bite into our flesh,” says Dolly, laughingly. As any other concerned parent has done, Amay has been kept away from all the gadgets for his entertainment. Dolly says, “Amay loves to be kept entertained while eating. So if one person is feeding him, there is always somebody around who is singing, dancing or playing peek-a-boo with him, to keep him occupied.”
In the first year of his life, Amay took a flight from the US to India when he was only two months old. He has also travelled to Kolkata, Indore, Dubai, Amritsar and Dharamsala. Dolly says, “His first days without me were in February, when he was over eight months old. My husband and I decided to take a trip to Seychelles for a couple of days. It was nerve-racking to leave him behind but I realised that if I clung to him, he would cling to me all the more.”
Memories are cherished forever and what better way to relive those precious moments of your baby than capturing them on camera. Dolly says, “We’ve photographed Amay from the day he was born through each month in his first year. These are memories we would like to gift him when he is older. We have experimented with different concepts in each month.” For his first birthday photo shoot, Amay dressed up with different professions as he stepped into the shoes of a doctor, chef, superman, cowboy, businessman and sailor.
Amay’s first birthday celebrations did not quite turn out as the parents had hoped. Dolly says, “We wanted to travel instead of having a lavish party. But due to personal commitments, the trip had to be postponed. Hence, we had a small celebration at home with our close family members.” Later, the family flew to France for a delayed celebration.
Having a hands-on father is what every mother hopes for. The responsibility gets divided and the father also contributes to the upbringing of the child. Dolly is all praises for her husband. With pride, Dolly says, “Vijay has done everything from feeding to bathing our son. In fact, Vijay changed Amay’s first diaper as he wanted me to rest in the hospital while he learned the process of changing a diaper from the nurse.” Vijay has taken a keen interest in learning as much as possible, and tries to pitch in whenever possible. Speaking about supporting Dolly to get back to work, she says, “There have been times when Vijay has volunteered to look after Amay if I couldn’t be there due to work. He has also asked me to go out or enjoy a movie with my friends, and he would spend time at home watching and playing with Amay. The father and son share a special bond and I always spot a twinkle of mischief in Amay’s eyes as soon as he sees Vijay.”
A Matter Of Choice
A baby is the most welcomed addition to the family. But, a couple’s life drastically alters and a lot of changes have to be made. Being a working mother, Dolly not only looks after her business but cherishes each and every moment with her son. Dolly says, “My life has completely changed. Now even after a good day at work, when I return home, I feel a sense of guilt for not having spent enough time with my baby. Being a working mum is a choice I’ve made. Sometimes, I do wish there were more hours in a day so that I could spend more time with Amay, but whatever time I get, it is blissful. I look forward to going home and not opening my laptop anymore as I have a beautiful smile waiting as he jumps right at me as soon as I enter home.”
Dolly is also able to juggle back and forth between home and work because of her amazing and supporting family. Dolly says, “I am blessed to have my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law around. My mother-in-law watches and takes care of him while I am away at work. Amay is equally attached to my sister-in-law as he is to my husband and me. He even sleeps with her during weekends.” It is because of her family members that Dolly is able to have some ‘me time’ and go out with her husband or friends.
For A Bright Future
“Amay is born into a family who loves him dearly and we hope to give him a good upbringing, and one that uphold good family values, respect and, most importantly, love. We also want to inculcate habits such as reading as he grows older and give him a wholesome childhood with a good education, travel, happiness and lots of beautiful memories,” says Dolly. |MB