First Day

Yesterday evening we left Sita in her room with babe in arms, trying to recoup hours and hours of lost sleep. We moved back to the waiting area where we spent most of the day before, waiting and, to pass the time, working. It still felt all very unreal – June 6 far away; the stresses, the scare when a pediatrician was summoned over the intercom, when some coded color was called – my gut tying up in big knots.

Our new grandson’s entry into the world was a little hesitant. He had to be assisted to get his first breath, clear his lungs and so didn’t get a 10 on his first test (the Apgar test). He spent his first few hours with wires and specialists around him, and his dad. Only in his fourth hour did he get some real quality time with mom. That was hard on Sita. He slept through most of it and didn’t seem to mind the poking and prodding but all the rest of us, his doula, his auntie Tessa and we the grandparents did mind. We watched him through the half closed louvers of the nursery, as if through a looking glass. Was this my new grandson?

Our little man spent most of his first day sleeping and didn’t seem to mind being handed off from one admirer to another. He would startle a little and then snooze again. He spent much time with mom, and dad, skin to skin. It is good that he is oblivious of his mother’s agony as she is adjusting to postpartum-with-belly-stitches and what appeared to be a hematoma. They will stay for a week in the hospital so that the pediatrician can treat the baby for whatever infection his newly deployed white blood cells are fighting. Having ingested meconium he was at risk and this should nip anything untoward in the bud. This healing time is also good for Sita.

I don’t think the new parents mind staying in the hospital with many helping hands for baby and mom, a bed that adjusts up and down, lactation support and Percocet.  Their home is not quite adapted to her special condition and making it so would be a major effort.

During the many hours of waiting I managed to read, breathlessly, the China Study, a book about the links between nutrition and disease that has smashed some of my sacred nutrition cows to bits. I already knew that a plant-based diet is good for us and our experience with the Ayurvedic cleansing and diet has been nothing but positive. But I didn’t know how bad dairy products are for us, the well documented associations between the major diseases of our time. I was weaned on the slogan that milk is good for strong teeth and bones and am now learning about some less than positive effects of calcium that comes from an animal based diet.  I am also learning how about grip the dairy industry has on us, starting early with kindergarten kids and learning resources (free) about nutrition for teachers – with dairy products playing the star and central role. Should we be surprised?

I have also started reading Gary Hamel’s new book (What Matters Now) – a book that is in many ways quite similar to the China Study. If I look at these (and probably countless other books) from a 30.000 ft view I am encouraged – the counter forces to corporate greed, hubris, blatant self-interest are starting to meet their opponents. I am not quite sure how and what role I am to play in this drama, but whatever it is I will take it on, on behalf of baby Bliss and all the new kids on the world block.

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