Tag Archives: husband

What I did not do yesterday…………..

Yesterday was Karwa Chauth – a day when married women fast and pray for the prosperity and longevity of their husbands. This ritual signifies their devotion to their husbands because they are willing to suffer for their husbands well-being.

Karwa means clay pot and Chauth means fourth night after the full moon.

On the morning of the fourth day after the full moon in the month of karti (9 days before the festival of Diwali), married women will dress in fine clothing, don bangle bracelets, and eat a meal prepared by their mother-in-laws. The meal is prepared and eaten before the sun rises. Then they will begin a day-long fast. They will eat nothing – they will not even have a single drop of water for the entire day.

henna-tradition

www.karwachauth.com

The women will spend the day visiting with family and decorating their hands and feet with henna (mehendi).  It is believed that the darker the mehendi appears, the deeper the love of their husband is for them. They also exchange gifts with their in-laws.

At the end of the day, the women of the house will gather together and sit in a circle and share the folklore of Karwa Chauth. They will go around the circle 7 times. After the story-telling, the women will go out and make offerings to the moon. The offerings will be put in a clay pot and will include flowers, specially prepared food, and jewelry. They will light an oil lamp as a symbol of their reverence.

They will look for the moon in the reflection of water in a thali (selection of different dishes served on a round tray) or through a dupatta (long scarf) or sieve (a colander). After they see the moon, the women will break their fast with a meal offered by their husbands.

One of my friends in India told me about her experience with Karwa Chauth. Last year was her first year as a married woman and her new husband joined her in her fast. Then he gave her a diamond necklace in appreciation for her devotion. This year, he did not join her in her fast. But this year, he is giving her a car. That sounds like a fair tit for tat. 😉

I know what some of you are wondering – is there a day that the husbands return the favor? The answer to that would not be yes.

Needless to say, I did not participate in the fast. Today, I am diamond necklace-less. But I am not hungry.

All in all, it sounds like a lovely way for women in a family to bond and celebrate their lives as women and as wives. Kind of a “we’re all in this together” experience.

The story below is an example of the legends the married women will share with each other (taken from Wikipedia).

The Story of Queen Veeravati

A long long time ago, there lived a beautiful girl by the name of Veeravati. She was the only sister of her seven loving brothers, who was married to a king. On the occasion of the first Karva Chauth after her marriage, she went to her parents’ house. After sunrise, she observed a strict fast. However, the queen couldn’t stand the rigors of fasting and was desperately waiting for the moon to rise. The seven brothers who loved her dearly, were very disturbed watching the distress of their sister and decided to end her fast by deceiving her. Then the brothers reflected a mirror through Pipal tree leaves. The sister, taken it as moon rise, broke the fast and took food. However, the moment the queen ate her dinner, she received the news that her husband, the king, was died. She wept the whole night. Then suddenly Goddess appeared and asked her reason of weeping. She explained the whole story. Goddess told her the truth that how her 7 brothers cheated her. She prayed Goddess to get back her husband. Goddess convinced her to repeat the fast again on Karwa Chaut with full dedication and devotion. She did the same and got her husband back alive.

I am not joining the pity party…….

As I have had more time on my hands lately, I have been reading (a lot) of blogs. I have found this network of women who are lamenting over the fact that they had to have cesarean sections to give birth to their children. They drew me in and I read several of them. But I had a hard time making a connection.

I really, truly appreciate the fact that many women want to fully experience childbirth a la natural. Me, well, I am more of a bring on the drugs kind of person. Epidural – yes, please. C-section – if you insist.

However, I, too, was all set to deliver my babies the old fashioned way – well with the benefit of modern pharmaceuticals and a building and doctors – no woods, no medicine men for me. Thanks anyway. Number one hubby and I checked the box and attended a Lamaze class – watched the video – and realized that we had absolutely no idea what we had gotten ourselves me into. I have to do what? And you get to sit there and tell me how to breathe? I am quite sure that is (not) going to prove to be very helpful.

Our Lamaze instructor was very excited about all things birth. However, being so close to the actual event myself (coupled with the fact that I was the one actually responsible for accomplishing it), I found it hard to share her enthusiasm. So, when she got to the part on c-sections, I remember turning to Number One Hubby and asking if he wanted to go get some lunch. Enough already. There are truly only so many home videos an about-to-be-mom can watch.

I think I can quote that instructor exactly, “I want everyone here to pay v.e.r.y. close attention to this part of the class. No one here thinks they will have a c-section, but I can guarantee you that at least one person in this room will deliver by c-section. You will want to know what’s happening.”

Me to Hubby: Oh, that’s really too bad. I wonder
which one of THOSE women it will be.
Hubby: Yeah.
Fate: You my sista.

I spent several days in and out of the hospital in the days before Bear was born. I won’t bore you with the details – we all have a story – but the bottom line was the doctors think I was passing a kidney stone. Yes, that was a great idea. Welcome to my little corner of brilliance. Give birth – pass a kidney stone – oh heck, let’s just do both – at the same time – sure. But in a way it was lucky, because in searching for the stone, they found my amniotic fluid was low and that my little Bear was breech. They scheduled me for a c-section a few days later. Seems they were very busy on that particular day and could not do it right away. But didn’t you say my amniotic fluid was low? Whatever. At least I thought I would have time to review the tape. That Lamaze lady was right, maybe I should have paid attention. Oh, you meant me?

I thought I had time to review those tapes until my water broke and we found ourselves in an emergency c-section situation. And, by ourselves, I do mean myself. Oh yes, doesn’t that sound a lot better? My husband was conducting a science experiment to determine exactly what type of fluid was gushing out of me at record speeds, while I was busy doing my best to convince him that we needed to go back to the hospital. Immediately. As in Right. Now. It was the stuff that sitcoms are made of. It seems he was tired and he really just wanted to sit down. Seriously? Let’s leave the alkaline test to the professionals. You know – the brilliant ones who just sent us home.

Needless to say, I had surgery. I recovered from surgery and got pregnant again. I ended up with 3 sections. All three of them emergencies. You’ve now read about Bear. Flower was also breech. I had a granola doctor who wanted to try to flip her for me – but I read about it and decided it wasn’t so much for me. They do it in the operating room in case you go into labor or stress (translation – something goes wrong or worse, very wrong) – it was only about 50% likely to work – and they expect the mom (and I am guessing her little bundle of baby) to get pretty bruised and therefore to be pretty uncomfortable – yes, with labor looming. No thank you. I survived one c-section just fine. Bring on number two. Flower’s birth became an emergency because apparently slipping on the ice late in pregnancy can bring on labor and my water broke again. There is just no rest for the clumsy.

Angel – well, it seems they don’t want you to even consider a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean – if there are any men still reading at this point -sorry) after two c-sections. But just to keep it interesting, I was in a car accident the day Angel was born and learned what decelerated heart rate means in triage. I can assure you that labor and deliver triage is neither the time nor the place to review SAT vocabulary words like decelerated heart rate or STAT.

Because my water broke twice, I had the initial experience of being in labor. Yeah, it is not all it’s cracked up to be. Going into labor gives me the thrill of shaking like a meth addict in rehab. It ain’t pretty. The first time it happened, I was terrified that the anesthesiologist would not be able to get the needle in the right spot. And, YES, I had read all those articles about the potential for paralysis with a misplaced epidural. (note to self – step away from the internet.) The doctor said as long as he wasn’t shaking we were fine. Oh good, I got a comedian. Thankfully a very steady comedian. I can still walk.

The bottom line in all of this is that c-sections are not perfect. But I am very thankful modern science has brought them into existence. If you have ever had a c-section or are facing one soon – even if, my friend, it was something you chose to do – please do not feel short changed. It is one of your first journeys into parenthood and it foreshadows what the rest of your parenting journey will be like – at times scary, at times rushed, at times overwhelming, at times disappointing, and at times rewarding beyond measure. When they put that little baby in your arms, it will not matter one bit how he or she got there. You’ll be just as overwhelmed as any other new parent – with love and joy and a whole new sense of responsibility.

I think it might be the loss of control that is so hard to forget and forgive. And the fear that follows it. Not knowing what will happen next can be extremely overwhelming, especially when a life seems to hang in the balance. But again, that is just one pebble in this parenting path. A pebble that will forever hide in the corner of our shoe as a constant, irritating reminder that we do not control the cosmos. Sometimes we have to walk uncomfortable journeys to get to our destination.

The tears really worth shedding are for those men and women who never get to hold a child they love in their arms.

NOTE: after writing this post, I received a lot of comments via email and on the blog – as a result, I followed up with a post called “Digging Deeper”

More reason I miss Mr. W………….

6th grade math.
(Yes, this is a repeat, but not because I am lazy, but because it’s not getting any easier.)

Mr. W lets me sleep in.
(I had completely forgotten about this one – but it is a big one.)

Number One Hubby let me sleep in while he was home for Thanksgiving. And, while I slept all nestled in my bed, he and the kids decorated the house for Christmas and hug the stockings by the chimney with (out) care. He is good like that. That is why you might see mommy kissing Santa Claus underneath the mistletoe.

On the other mornings that he would let me sleep in, Mr. W would make the lunches for school, get the kids breakfast and then take them to the bus stop. Have you been to a bus stop in the morning lately? Baby, it’s cold outside. Today I learned that 2 degrees Celsius equals about 36 degrees Fahrenheit. (I also learned how to spell Celsius and Fahrenheit.)

Maybe I am not so big on spelling either.

Have a mentioned that I am not a morning person?

Our dishwasher has this unique (translation…..unnecessary) feature that allows you to actually turn it off. Not just have it not running – but truly turn it off – like a light. Mr. W feels that it saves on our electricity bill to turn off the power (what about the over 100 recessed lights you had installed, honey – oh, I forgot, that’s different -never mind). So, every time I filled the dishwasher (no, he didn’t do that – he didn’t want me to miss him too much) I would have to wait for the dishwasher to “initiate” before I could start it. It was annoying. Now, I miss that part of my day and I think of him every time I run the dishwasher.

I bought 2 white t-shirts and 1 off-white t-shirt yesterday. Mr. W would laugh at that. More white shirts? He would laugh. I miss sharing the tiny details of the day with him that never quite make it into our phone conversations.

He does know I bought Christmas dishes. He also knows I did not need Christmas dishes. But he does not care because he knows I really love Christmas dishes – even if we might not use them for the next two years. He is probably laughing at me for that too. Or maybe I should say laughing with me. 😉 (And, yes they are also white.)

My prayer list has gotten so long that it’s hard to remember it all. And now I find it necessary to pray every night.

Sleeping alone still stinks.
(Also a repeat – but a self-explanatory repeat, I believe.)

Top Ten Reasons I Miss Mr. W

10. Sleeping alone stinks

9. We had a snake in the driveway yesterday – a black one – but a snake nonetheless

8. He doesn’t mind killing the bugs in our house – probably the snake wouldn’t either but it’s not getting in

7. Our son had a big school project due this past week that involved a lot of reading – our son is not a big fan of reading, especially for a school project

6. The toilet over-flowed today

5. Sleeping alone stinks

4. If he was working here, we wouldn’t need to move there

3. We had back-to-back swim meets at 7am in Maryland

2. I am not as much fun for the kids as he is at the end of the day

1. Did I mention that sleeping alone stinks?