Sandeep was with Preeti every step of the way, and couldn’t wait to share their joy with the world. “Before we made any announcement about our pregnancy, we needed to be absolutely sure we were expecting. We met with Dr Kiran Coelho at Hinduja Hospital. After confi rming that Sandeep and I would be parents soon, she did ask me to take it easy, and in fact, advised that I take complete bed rest. I was not allowed to do yoga or join any antenatal classes, either,” says Preeti.
Instead, she whiled away her time with multiple baby books and even read up on the nutritional needs of expectant mums. As precautionary measures, she heeded her doctor’s advice and took complete bed rest. “I made sure to take all my medicines on time and I maintained a nutritious diet as well. I used to love listening to meditation music,” she says. Sandeep and the rest of her family were extremely supportive throughout her pregnancy. “Sandeep not only took very good care of me, but he also ensured that he was present for all my check-ups and meetings with the doctor,” Preeti gushes.
Preeti does feel like she missed out on some precious pregnancy moments, like a baby shower, for example. “Since Dr Kiran advised me complete bed rest, I had to miss out on a baby shower. The last few months were very tiresome and for the sake of both, the baby and me, we did not have a baby shower,” she says, admittedly a little disappointed.
But as they say, all’s well that ends well! However, considering Preeti’s pregnancy was one that required utmost care and caution, when she needed to go in for an emergency C-section in the eight month of her pregnancy, the couple were rather calm about it. “We knew that a fair deal of risk would be involved and we were mentally prepared for whatever came our way. It was after a routine check-up that I was asked to be admitted in hospital. Dr Kiran had informed us that my blood pressure had shot up and that we would need to have the baby now. We didn’t want to risk losing our baby, so we did as we were told.”
Lo and behold, their beautiful daughter Arianna, born a month before schedule on July 23, 2016, was certainly the greatest work of art the couple had created. “While I didn’t experience labour in the traditional sense, this labour of love was certainly an experience that’s been etched in my memory, but more importantly, caught on camera! Sandeep recorded the entire birthing process. I have watched the tape, and looking back now only brings a smile to my face, even though back then, I was in a semi-conscious state and vaguely remember the nurses and Sandeep cracking jokes to lighten the mood. If it wasn’t for the video, I probably wouldn’t know any of the key moments of the day the light of my life was born.”
Fortunately for the couple, Arianna was a preterm baby, not a preemie, so after the stipulated recovery period Preeti had to undergo, Arianna was ready to go home. Of course, Preeti was instantly drawn to her baby and got rather protective when she saw the nurses handling Arianna. “I could not trust anyone, including the nurses, to take care of Arianna, and I felt very insecure when I saw others handling her. Gradually, my insecurities eased out and I could relax a bit,” she recalls, with a smile.
However, it was only once the couple got back home that things started to get a little difficult. “The first month after Arianna was born was definitely not easy. I was in unbearable pain from the C-section, and everything was exceedingly difficult. I’d stay up all night in pain. Even sitting up to nurse became troublesome as the stitches would really hurt,” she says, grateful for all the help she got from family, friends and the nannies. With time, however, things started to ease out and the couple took to parenting like it was second nature. The couple were also indeed fortunate that their baby didn’t really give them much trouble. “She only cried to be fed and changed, and was quite peaceful the rest of the time,” says Preeti.
And while she’s named after a Greek Goddess, that means ‘most holy’, Arianna is defi nitely got a naughty and playful side that she shows her parents every now and then. “In fact, Arianna always looks out for me, demands my attention. And while she’s not fussy, she defi nitely does have a strong personality. Like, for example, she loves her music and defi nitely loves to dance. But, when it comes to making sure she eats every last bit of her food, then that can be achieved only if Rihanna’s This is what you came for, or Justin Bieber’s Sorry is playing in the background. And she can listen to them on loop!” laughs Preeti.
Our family portrait
There’s no doubt about how much Preeti and Sandeep have been blessed. And their daughter Arianna seems to have showered them with even more love than they could have imagined. “I cannot imagine or dream of a better, more loving and caring family. And the best part is that Arianna is as attached to her father as she is to me. Right from her birth, Sandeep has been a very hands-on father. From changing her diapers, bathing her, feeding her and even putting her to bed, he does it all! He dotes on her every chance he gets and, in fact, insists on doing most things himself. I wasn’t quite surprised when her first word, at seven months, was ‘papa’. It’s a moment I’ll treasure for the rest of my life,” says Preeti.
Preeti admits, with bittersweet tears, that Sandeep is most certainly her soulmate and one of the best fathers she’s ever encountered. “I know that I can rely on Sandeep to take the reins when it comes to raising our baby girl, should something happen to me. I know that I can count on him to make sure that Arianna is not only well taken care of, but grows up to be a compassionate, determined and successful human being. Sandeep can easily play the role of a mother—nurture, care and create a strong bond with Arianna. He is completely devoted to her whenever he is around and can easily take my place,” she says.
As for what their future holds, Preeti can only hope and pray that both Sandeep and she, do more than their best for their daughter. “Arianna is almost a year old, and I cannot remember a time before she arrived that I have been this happy. She’s certainly the light of our lives, and above all, has the best of Sandeep and me. We, as parents, can only hope that we teach our daughter well, and pray that she finds her place in this world,” says Preeti.MB
Sandeep not only took very good care of me, but he also ensured that he was present for all my check-ups and meetings with the doctor