Monday, December 24, 2012

Up On Cloud Number Nine

Here I Am, __ __ __ _ _____ !!!

I am sure some of you reading this blog post would have filled in those blanks with "rock you like a Hurricane" , taking cues from the song by Scorpions :)  But those blanks only indicate my long absence from the blogosphere; I went blank in a much bigger way while composing this post, got a little out of touch now. 

I am now a mother of a baby boy, we named him Kashyap and he was born in Bangalore on Aug 26, 2012. The new role as a mommy is keeping me far from phone, newspapers and world wide web; therefore my blog too has been lying in abeyance for some months now.

On the front of managing baby affairs, I have just begun to get a grasp of it all. After three months of hands on training, I am still learning to become nocturnal and virtually shift my time zone from IST to USA's EST.

I gave this post the title "Up on Cloud Number Nine" for two reasons -

1) My baby was born in Cloud Nine Hospital, Old Airport Road, Bangalore; every time I visited my doctor here, this line from one of my favorite Bryan Adams' song used to hit my head. 
2) Also, I intend to write about my doctor - gynecologist and obstetrician in this post, she has a huge share in my elation, "the cloud nine feeling" of becoming a mother. 

Dr.Praveena Shenoi MBBS, MD (OBG), DGO, MRCOG(LONDON) is my doctor. I came to know of her from few of my office colleagues; and personally, have known her since June 2011. 

A search on the Internet for good gynecologists in Bangalore brought me to her again and again; she had an impressive set of "clearly positive" remarks. There were even two blog posts that thanked her immensely. So here comes my turn to chip in some good words about her so that people looking for similar information can benefit and turn to her confidently for medical guidance.

The best thing I like about my doctor is that she follows some very simple principles like - let nature play its part; human body and its systems naturally adapt and react; prevention is better than cure - these clearly govern her methods of treatment and work wonderfully for you. Surgical means of intervention come as last resort and she turns to them only when absolutely essential. 

Since conception, I was advised to avoid eating outside food (strictly) and I followed her meekly. Pregnancy is definitely a period where unnecessary medication must be avoided at all costs. Also, my 8 weeks Oral Glucose Challenge test showed me little inclined to gestational diabetes, therefore I was advised to go off high glycemic foods like maida, potato and consume less rice. Dr. Praveena Shenoi really knows how to get her words across, there is a lasting smile on her face but important instructions are nailed in crisply and curtly, with no lenience in tone. 

For those of you who complain she spends little time answering queries from the first few consultations; just hang on! As time progresses, rapport with her builds up and she spends more time with you during consultations. You can rest assured that post delivery she will remember you and your baby for her lifetime. 

With a huge base of patients, when you see her scurrying between consultation rooms; to and from operation theater and labor wards, her abundant energy trickles down to you too and helps you sail through a weary first trimester. She infuses high energy levels and confidence with every visit during the entire course of pregnancy. Even now, when I wake up through the night attending to my baby, I think of how she attends to her patients round the clock, anytime she is summoned; yet makes it to her routine consultation hours in mornings and derive inspiration from it. 

My 37 week ultra sound scan revealed my baby's weight was above average for Indian standards. With absolutely no cervix effacement and dilation until 39 weeks, my doctor showed no hurry in inducing labor or pushing me to a C-section. I had concerns if I would be able to deliver a 3.3+ kg baby naturally but she only put my anxiety to rest by saying labor is the best judge and things will take a natural course. And true, I delivered my 3.69 kg bundle of joy naturally with her by my side at 39+3 weeks. 

In this world that is hard pressed for time, I feel she could have always wrapped up her work in 15-20 minutes performing a C-section. I am not denouncing C-section means of delivery but I strongly feel a person should be given a fair chance and sufficient time to deliver normally if medical parameters suit the case. And to find a doctor who genuinely believes in this and implements it seriously, I believe, is sheer fortune. 

She is reachable on her mobile for queries and concerns outside appointments, one can leave SMS s to her mobile number and she will respond to them. 

When I first consulted her, she handled out patient cases at her clinic - Perinatal clinic, Domlur and at Manipal Hospital, Old Airport Road. Eventually, through the year 2012, she shifted her base completely to Cloud Nine Hospital, Old Airport Road. To me, consulting Dr.Praveena Shenoi alone mattered, I knew I was in safe hands and the hospital set up did not quite matter. 

About the hospital, Cloud Nine is definitely heavy on wallet, call it more appropriately a boutique birthing center. However, with support from medical insurance, one does not get much room to complain. The support I received from nursing staff during my stay in the hospital was stupendous; I am highly grateful to all of them. The labor wards were clean and maintained well. There are visits by lactation and diet experts, visits by doctors for the baby and you that keep you alert all the while during 2 nights and 3 days stay at the hospital. It is this limited duration of stay at hospital that puts parents/elders to question if the establishment is a hospital or a resort. I personally feel that one gets bombarded with too many details in this small duration at the hospital, may be little extra time will help. However, an extension in stay is recommended only if doctors observe something abnormal. 

To end with, it might seem an ordeal to manage an appointment to meet Dr. Praveena Shenoi, waiting time for consultations may make you groan and complain. However, that little extra effort and time you give for your visits pays well in the end without doubt.