In a pregnancy which you believe is going pretty normally, you don't really expect to be told in your 20th week - halfway through for those of you not so quick with the numbers - that there are not one but two babies inside you.
Quite a roller coaster it is then, and the Highlights include:
''Here's one head...here's the other''...
''What? My baby has two heads?''
''Of course, it's a twin pregnancy. Who did your earlier ultrasound?" ( tone implying it must have been some incompetent buffoon)"
"It was YOU, Doc"
....more mumbling and digging out of earlier ultrasound records and explanations of how ''this almost never happens"
...and followed by ''You're not going to cry, are you, beta?"
...and numerous other less funny incidents including your regular doctor going ballistic on you, saying things like
Ultrasound waale pagal to nahin ho gaye??....
Ek minute, Mind if I sit down, I'm reeling from the shock (?!?)...
Ab hum kya karen...?
Gee, I don't know doc. Kya karen?
...and even less funny ones like the scare that they are in the same amniotic sac ( they are not, a later ultrasound confirms), that they have Down's syndrome ( the test apparently has no meaning for twins, again recommended by our super competent doc and pooh-poohed by others)...stuff I'm too tired to even go into and am past caring about.
So at the end of it all, how do I feel, a month or so after the discovery of an extra baby?
Tired, yes. Very heavy, yes. In some pain and discomfort, yes. But all that's quite irrelevant.
Anyway, task is now to keep them inside for at least another 8 weeks - so have been advised taking off work from Mid-May. Am thinking will listen to the doctors this time round, kind of important.
Net-net: send good vibes my way, eh? I need all the good luck I can get!
Finally: Papad was picked because the other options were -
Pickle and Pretzel
Pickle and Popcorn
Pickle and Parantha
Pickle and Pepper
Pickle and Patty
...I forget the others, but they were pretty forgettable.
Yes, they are identical.
Goodbye for now and remember... let the good vibes flow...