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First of anything is always special and leaves a distinct mark behind.Travelling to hills with infants is not always thrilling but one thing that it renders is life lesson.Our first experience to hills with our infants or I would rather say our bundle of joy was a mixed bag of both good and bad.
“Oh, when I look back now
That summer seemed to last forever
And if I had the choice
yeah, I’d always wanna be there
Those were the best days of my life “……………
I still vividly remember that summer of June 2017 when i was humming this song, one of my favourite in the playlist. I had all the reason to be excited, cheerful as we were heading to the hills for the first time in our own vehicle after becoming parents.It was exhilarating for me especially after endless sleepless nights of almost a year and being in zombie state for 24/7 the entire 365 days. Finally getting an opportunity to put on that wine colour shade of lipstick which was lying there in the drawer for ages screaming at me ‘Pick me’, ‘Pick me’.
My pajamas were replaced by a pair of blue jeans and my heart was singing a happy song. Wearing that crop top, I felt so relaxed and free-spirited as if someone had gifted me wings to fly high. My tresses were free and neatly tied in a bun, not jumbled up by a clutch. That day i realized its so important to get dressed in our postpartum period. Dressing for yourself renders a feel-good factor for sure.
After, delivery of twins I felt that even 24 hrs was less for me. Initially, I had to feed both my babies in every two hours . To promote breastfeeding I had prefered spoon and bowl over the bottles. Feeding both the infants through spoon and bowl was challenging and time-taking as well.
After feeding them through bowl and spoon I had to change their dress, help them to burp and then rock them back to sleep, these activities were done in loop for the entire day. By the time I was through with both the babies it’s was time to feed the first one again . This I did relentlessly in loop without any break . The only break that i got was to have my meal and use washroom for nature’s call. Not to forget my babies did not latch properly then and I had to pump my breast milk in those sparsely gifted break times. I was trained by medical staff in the hospital itself and till date thank them for training me all the basics right from changing diapers, to help your child latch properly , personal hygiene, to bathe your baby everything that a new mom should know. But, in those initial days a new twin mom is nothing more than a zombie inspite of fully trained by professionals. I was craving to have a peaceful one hour sleep or an elaborate meal of my choice.
So, you could imagine my heights of excitement for this road trip to hills after all this chores and challenges of new mom.
In the past, when we were couple we usually go on a long drive especially to Shimla or Kasauli , Chail, a 3-4 hrs drive from Chandigarh without much of a traffic chaos. Over the years its been bad with more commercialization.
We both were excited and thrilled as we were heading to Mashobra, a virgin place in Himachal which is little ahead of Shimla and untouched by the cacophony that urban life offers. It was unlike Kasauli, Shimla or Chail as we had visited those places for several times.Moreover, these places are hot tourist spots of Himachal and the entire tourist crowd throngs there.
We wanted a serene and quaint place to enjoy the beauty of lofty and mighty Himalayas so we chose Mashobra for our weekend staycation.
My twinnies were just 11 months then and it was kind of pre-birthday celebration which was due on coming month of July. We started off early in the morning as our plan was to hit Mashobra at 1 pm so that we can have our lunch there. We were three adults and two babies, had to take our domestic help along with us as my husband was driving. I was holding my daughter and my son was with my domestic help, Khusboo. A pretty tribal girl quite well off with her mannerism and sweet to deal with.
Began our journey around 9 am as starting off very early in the morning might make the kids feel sick. Usually, early morning travel causes vomiting in infants not generalising it but that’s what my experience says. Had packed all the essentials that we required during the long drive and for our night stay at Mashobra, not to forget a separate box of medicines in case if any emergency crops up.Things are quite unpredictable with the kids. Getting medical help or any particular medicines is not that easy in the hills.We were well aware with this fact with our previous experience of 2yr stay in Shimla just after our marriage.
As a new mom, I had packed all the essentials that one could think off.
All decked up, we were about to begin our journey, my help and I carried our respective dolls in our hands and we quickly settled inside our SUV for the LOOONNNGGG Drive. Yes, that was the excitement ,my heart was singing, I was smiling all the way and felt as though I was a child again, curious to see the vibrant and colourful world.
Travelling to Hills with Infants is not always thrilling
But, little did I know what was lurking ahead of us. We had hardly reached Kasauli and my husband was driving very cautiously as he knew it was our Kid’s first experience with long drive and that too on the hills. Usually, with heights many have vertigo problem . Moreover, the turns on the hills make you feel sick.
Both of us don’t have motion sickness and our twinnies too looked quiet settled in the respective laps. All of a sudden, I noticed my girl was more quieter than usual. I was bit worried and lifted her from my lap to look at her face if she was OK. I did not utter a word, as I knew her daddy was a nervous freak, very bad in handling anxious moments. Dad’s heart melts faster than moms I believe. As such throughout that one hour drive he had kept asking whether the kids were fine or not.
But, as a mom I knew deep down something was not right and sensed that she was choking. I shouted, ‘Stop the car’ .’ I need to get down, immediately’.
He was completely clueless of what was happening .
I jumped out of the vehicle and ran to an open space and tilted my girl with heads down and patted her at the end of the neck (position of medulla oblongata) .That helped to clear her throat and nose and the puke came out. I could see her breathing properly now.
My husband was perplexed and looked at me with dropping jaws.
I will never forget that face of hers with half opened eyes and that helplessness that her face screamed out. She was choking as she had puked but that puke had got stuck in her throat and nose. Earlier also whenever she puked she always did it both from mouth and nose. This incident occured as she was sleepy and was not active in the car.
This incident give me jitters till date but all is well if it ends well. I was happy to see her normal and relaxed and I knew that now she is comfortable.
Now, the million dollar question was to continue further or return back to our home? Huge amount was at stake as resorts on hilltops are pretty expensive during peak summers and its non-refundable too.
I had heard a lot about motherly instinct and now I exerienced it for my child. I knew deep down that my doll was perfectly fine and was ready to rock, the rest of the travel.
We decided to continue but fear haunted that heights could make her sick once more and was praying frantically with all my heart.
Our troubles were not yet over
There was more to the story and it started raining cat’s and dogs as we entered Shimla. We were at the outskirt of the queen of hills and rain God had no mercy on us. Last, fifteen days we were experiencing sweltering heat and now when we flocked to the hills, Gods had meticulously planned to screw it up as far as possible. Our cheerful faces had drooped as we knew how bad the traffic gets once it rains especially when you enter Shimla. The traffic jam could extend for hours together making it difficult to even get down from your vehicle. All you got to do is to see your vehicle move at snail’s pace.
We could see our weekend staycation fun was flowing down to drains along with rain. It was disheartening but another fear that was haunting me was, ‘what if my girl starts puking again?’
With so many uncertainties and questions hovering our minds we had no other option but to sit duck in our vehicle. I kept praying and finally Gods were pleased it seemed, the traffic thinned out with the decrease in rain and we reached our resort around 3.30 pm.
Believe it or not the moment I stepped into the premises, all I heard was the giggle of my girl.
She was happy, excited and ready to explore this green, colourful place with exotic blooms and the lofty Himalayas at the backdrop.Ended our adventurous day with a hearty welcome dinner, a live band and some soulful songs from Bollywood. The picturesque beauty of Mashobra was breathtaking and mesmerizing. That place had so much calmness, serenity to offer that it healed all our fatigue both physically and mentally.
Next day, we woke up to a bright sunny morning, enjoyed the greenery and well-manicured gardens of the resort with exotic blooms all around. Sharing few candid captures and moments that refreshed our minds as well as our soul.
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Before I wrap up my travel journey would like to emphasize that ” We, women are the purest form of ‘SHAKTI’ the nurturer, the life giver . Beautiful, Strong, humble and pivotal of this universe.
We are strong. We are composed. We are life.
Motherly instincts never go wrong and I did what was right for my child. My instinct was my reflex that saved our doll’s life and our travel fun too.
Trust your instincts, for you are LIFE.
SHUBHO MAHALAYA !!
To all the 35 Shaktis who are all set to make a difference through their pen. More Power To US !!