Ma Wednesday- A year like no other!

I was too tired to even think of a blog post last night. And on such nights, Lil’ Z usually helps Mama by waking up as many times as possible. I woke up at 1:02 AM, 2:56 AM and then again at 5:13 AM. She is neither teething nor unwell, it’s just how some nights roll. Or maybe, she’s excited for the day to begin. Remember how we could barely stay asleep on the eve of our birthdays, school picnics and festivals?

It is a little past 5 AM, and I can’t seem to go back to bed. I am awake, restless, alert and I cannot stop reminiscing.

It’s been a year folks. A torrid, bizarre, exciting, tiring, eventful, fantastic year!

It was a Wednesday that made a Mum out of me last year. The birth, just like everything else thereafter was utterly unexpected and off the script. I think back to the day and I remember almost everything – The Moment (9:24 PM!), the first touch, the green- hazel eyes (which changed in time), the smiley nurses, the Whopper burger and the tepid tea that I wolfed down in the recovery room, the Ride of Pride to the room with a little trolley beside mine…..

I look back with a sepia- rose toned mental filter and the pain part of the whole episode seemed to have been selectively altered by my conniving brain. I never thought the memory of what I felt would fade or dullen with time, but it has. I guess it has to, for women to continue to procreate!

So, did the year pan out as expected?

Yes, sometimes. But mostly, no.

The tiredness, sleep deprivation and the endless chasing of time was exactly as expected. I also expected us to be on the breastfeeding track, firm and strong, at one year. We are. I expected there would be an actual sense of “family- ness” after the babe addition- there absolutely is. I expected it would make our already crazy, chaotic lives more crazier and chaotic. Oh yes, it did.

My friends always tell me I’m not the typical “motherly” figure. I have often wondered what that means/ meant. I am still no closer to figuring that out, but every single one of them is pleasantly surprised when they meet Zoe and I together for the first time. They say we look ” easy” and meant to be! That is exactly how I feel. It has been an unexpectedly easy transition I must say. And I’m thankful for it.

The previous year also held several other unexpected surprises. We used cloth diapers (Whaaaat??) successfully. I never expected that.Cloth diapers were never quite part of the plan.

We also traveled quite a bit with a baby in tow.

Getting back to work was far more difficult in my head than in reality.

I was up and running, literally, in less than six months time.

Unlike popular perception (at least among cousins and family) all my pre- pregnancy clothes fit me postpartum. (Sadly, I could not use that as an excuse and shop an entirely new wardrobe 😦 )

I also learned to worry and if needed, bawl compulsively.  Crying was once not my forte, now I can bring the waterworks on at will!

The start to the journey of motherhood was rough and rocky. The hospitalization in the early days, and the mental agony associated with it is hard to describe, but we got past that. It has  been one heck of a ride.The Mister too has passed this year with flying colors (don’t tell him I told you so!). He is as hands- on as I could possibly ever imagine him to be. And together, we have made it work. Somehow!

We are told we surpassed all exceptions. 😛

On to Year No. 2 then..


Till next time..

Dr J.

Runday Monday- Working out at work- 1

Holding a retractor still for 5 hours, or being on call for 24; I have opportunities aplenty everyday to do my top 5 secret exercises. All you hotshot executives, high- flying bankers and pressed- for- time, maven IT folks; you too can try these. In your corner offices, cubicles, conference rooms, restrooms, even the airplane; time and space are non- issues!

The first two require you to stand and are obvious, but the last three are truly “secretive”.

1. Calf stretches

Do them on any flat surface, or better still (for a deeper stretch), on a random step or the stairs. Or if you are adventurous enough-  climb up onto a chair in the office/ hospital. Just go up and down,  up and down…

Soon enough, you will start to notice some killer calves.

Looks easy enough. Try two sets of twenty and then be the judge… And yeah, great to improve balance.

2. ITB stretches

I have Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS or ITBFS for iliotibial band friction syndrome). These stretches help keep the pain at bay for folks like me.


Stretching the ITB

3. Abdominal muscle contraction

Last night I tried on a pair of old jeans. The ones I wore while in high school. I have filled them out a bit, but I DO FIT INTO THEM. I would have never thought that possible, at less than a year postpartum; especially considering the waist size. I am surprised and delighted in equal measure. Some credit must go to all the secret ab- work that I do ‘at work’!

Suck in your tummy and hold it there. For as long as you possibly can. Repeat.

4. Gluteal contractions.

Another surreptitious exercise. The trick is figuring out how to flex your glutes while standing in a normal stance. Try it a few times, I promise you will figure it out eventually. Shapely glutes are considered prime assets these days!

5. Kegel exercises.

This is a special one for all the lovely ladies. These are the famed pelvic floor exercises. I shall not elaborate here how important these are for ladies who have recently given birth or for those who have incontinence or are pregnant (a post for another day perhaps?).

Trick- imagine stopping your urine midstream. Those are the muscles you want to engage. Do as many reps as you can mange, each time you remember these exercises. The best part is that you can do them standing, sitting or even lying down.

So what are you folks waiting for? Go on, suck that tummy in… engage your lax core I say!

Till next time..

Dr J.

Chasing the sun!

At the crack of dawn, The Mister and I sneaked out of bed. Like an elite, enemy reconnaissance and rescue team, we made no sound and went about the motions in nigh darkness with trained precision.

The Little One was to be left behind, and we were to leave without her knowledge. The poor thing would wake up to missing parents!

It was a day- trip out of the city without the Little One in tow, hence there wasn’t much to pack. Couple of phones, sunnies, iPads, IDs, water and cash. Aah! It was reminiscent of days past.

Of free and flighty days.

Feeling oddly bereft and bitter- sweet, the silence in the car sitting heavy on us; we were ill at ease with our new found emancipation at first. We hit the road, not like the travel junkies that we once were, but like rushed, purposeful business travelers whose eyes are always on the destination and on the clock rather than the way and the experiences along it.

It took a while for the clouds of liberation and the pangs of guilt to settle. Once they did, we transmuted back into the carefree gypsies of yore. We paid heed to the roads and people again, like old days. There were no diapers to change, no baby food to be mixed, no staccato breaks to the drive.


For the mind disturbed, the still beauty of dawn is nature’s finest balm. Edwin Way Teale



Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. Rabindranath Tagore


The rising sun seemed novel and promising. Promising a future of love, joy and togetherness. Worries whooshed by as the nippy morning air stung our sleep riddled faces. The weariness of everyday life leaked out of us, and light, fluffy contentment settled in. The burdens of marriage and family seemed light for once, and the simple pleasure of camaraderie and easy friendship seeped into us. We felt young and free (which we are in reality!).

We literally and metaphorically chased the rising sun. We stopped when we felt the urge to eat, click pictures and whenever else we felt like it- just like that! We sorely missed The Little One, she was never more than a veil away from our thoughts, but we were thankful for the little exemptions her absence offered.

As fresh, busy, working parents who are struggling to keep the romance alive despite the thousands of miles separating us, little moments like these are precious. The pressures of career troubles, the restraints placed by time and the sheer incumbrance of responsibility and separation does stretch even the most pliable and  compatible relationships.

Time and space have new meaning and significance. The unwashed car on the eve of a long trip, riddled with bird droppings and masked by dust is testimony to the fact that we have changed irrevocably. We did not mind the dirty exterior; our younger, prissy selves would have.

The fingerprint laden, greasy iPad screen is another reminder of change. The unmade bed at home, the overflowing laundry bag, the forgotten camera, the nagging worry; I can go on. From machine and gadget loving, nerdy freak-shows; we metamorphosed into something tangentially different. I am not obsessive about home- cleanliness or order any more. The Mister can live with juice seeping into his car upholstery. Something has to give in somewhere, rather this than our sanity and togetherness.

Freedom is always a gift given by accommodating, helpful family and friends- mostly in the form of reliable, trusty childcare. Steadfast parents become annoyingly overbearing but undeniably helpful and ever ready ‘to-take-over’ grandparents.

Chasing the rising sun..



There is only one day left, always starting over: it is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk. Jean-Paul Sartre



New promises made.



Fresh perspective, when least expected!



The trip was borne out of compulsions imposed by circumstance, but we made the most of it. We made a trip to a another-city- hospital a mini- break. A weekend getaway.

By afternoon, I was itching to get back though. It was as if a part of me was missing. I had left something important behind. She seemed to be calling out from afar. I made half a dozen phone calls in less than half a day.

Alas, there is no switch- off button to parenthood.

I realize, I can never truly be free. From work, family, parenthood… But I don’t crave freedom anymore. Not in the sense I craved for  it when I was younger. The defintions have changed. I can live within the constraints life imposes.

Of course I shall often test it’s limits and stretch it every which way I can, whenever I can!


Even the long queues at the toll- booths did not sway our mood!



Almost caught you friend.



Scenes we miss on our paths



Morning cuppa on the road, with a waking Sun for company.



Eerie light of dawn



Highway sustenance.



Full- blown morning finally!



Till next time..

Dr J.

Saturday evening odds and ends!

“Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.”
Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

There is also a wonderful, blissfully peaceful, serene silence that accompanies a sleeping baby. Silence; not necessarily due to the quietening of the Little One, but mostly as a consequence of the efforts made by the caretakers to contribute to the silence by practicing it themselves. God forbid the Little One awakens from her rare daytime slumber thanks to a cupboard closing, a phone ringing, or a doorbell!

The Mister and Dr J had a few precious, afternoon hours to themselves,which they chose to not waste snoozing. While the Little One slept, they caught up with one of their favorite TV shows (the last ever episode of The Mentalist no less!). That done, they moved on to more individual and diverse endeavors.

The Mister spread out on the couch flipping channels on television while The Doctor perused her magazines, planned her week, logged her cases and dug up some skincare samples that she’d been wanting to try.

Here’s a peek into what The Doctor was upto.


Saturday afternoon wonts.
Saturday afternoon wonts.


Trial ahead! It's Midnight Recovery versus Advanced Night Repair. Will let folks know the results soon!
Trial ahead! It’s Midnight Recovery versus Advanced Night Repair. Will let  you  folks know the results soon!




Highly recommended, Dr J will let you kow how it fares.
Highly recommended by several folks, Dr J will let you know how it fares.


Old meet new. Black meet white. 4 meet 2 Air. 32 meet 64. Dr J loves thee both!
Old meet new. Black meet white. 4 meet 2 Air. 32 meet 64. Dr J loves thee both!


Isn't she a beauty?
Isn’t she a beauty?


The H family then get together again for their evening snack, beverages and a tranquil stroll in the park.


Good ol' filter coffee for The Mister, Earl Grey and digestives for Dr J and the rest for You Know Who...
Good ol’ filter coffee for The Mister, Earl Grey and digestives for Dr J and the rest for You Know Who…


Oops! One pair missing?
Oops! One pair missing? And yes, those are size 11 and size 2.5 (3 maybe?)!!


There it is!
There it is!


Mama's day off!
Mama’s day off!


The day culminated with a cozy but raucous dinner (and a food fight!) and loads of cuddles and laughter.

Aah! Thou lovely Saturdays, may thine tribe increase!

The Little One has been tired out, cleaned up and tucked in by The Mister, hence the leisurely blog post by a delightfully and uncommonly free Mama. And as the Doctor types, she listens to a song that reminds her of her balloon belly days and the winter of 2013. A song that may be reasonably obscure, but is a great car song. Especially if you have a great car stereo, a hardcore amplifier, a kick- arse subwoofer and some nifty tweeters. It’s a fun, uncomplicated song with some catchy lyrics 😉 and a beat perfect for a drive on the expressway.

The Mister, Doctor and The Little One (nestled in the balloon belly) have sang along* to the song and driven endlessly on the Land Cruiser infested roads of Doha…

What are YOUR special Saturday wonts folks?


*Please do not be judgmental of their musical sensibilities. They like to believe  they can listen to and enjoy almost anything!


Till next time..

The H family Angel.

Baby shopping- The UAE blues!

Wish The Mister hadn’t moved from Dubai.

Everything I look for and want seems to be available in Dubai!


Anyhoo, for all you Doha Mommies, there a few online stores that may be of help when you are looking to buy baby related items. The problem with the stores is Doha is the inconsistent availability of items. It is most often ‘there one day and gone the next’!

I found these online stores when I was trying to get hold of a Storksak Elizabeth (then an Ergo… followed by Sophie!)

All these online stores are based in the UAE, but do ship to the GCC (and elsewhere). They all sell a whole range of Mummy and baby related stuff, and have different shipping policies and rates. Do check them out, and if you order from them do let us know how things panned out- it will help other mommies!



Blush and Bloom 

Major USP- they stock some Storksak bags.  They also have a nice selection of un- frumpy nursing and maternity wear.

Currently available at for 1,250 AED plus 150 AED shipping (QAR has a similar rate)
Currently available at for 1,250 AED plus 150 AED shipping (QAR has a similar rate)


Visit website



They probably have the largest selection of items; across the entire mommy- baby spectrum. Visit mumzworld to get hold of Belly Bandits and Sophie la Giraffes.

Shipping charges to Qatar- 55 AED

From www.
From www.


Visit the store


Luxe Little

Probably the best bet to purchase a baby- carrier (if you live in Qatar and want anything other than a sling, a Mothercare/ Stokke/ Ergobaby carrier).


Almost the entire collection is available on
Almost the entire collection is available on


Go to the website


Please note- I am in no way affiliated or sponsored by the above mentioned websites/ online stores. I found them during my endless research for baby stuff in the GCC. Do check the websites for details and shipping/ payment policies. And do let us all know how your experience was- if you ever order from these sites.

Till next time..

Dr J.


P.S. I’m told there is a problem with the links on this post and that they don’t take you to the websites. Apologies. Will fix it ASAP.

Ma Wednesday! This time, last year.


This time, last year..

At 37 weeks.

Anxious and brooding.

Gravid and bothered.

With a lately blooming belly.

And a rickety back.

Breathless and bladderless.

Refluxed and sleepless.

Ever planning, and replanning; obsessively.



This time, last year.

I am yet to meet my life’s greatest joy.

Yet to tune into her cries.

And melt under her unreserved grin.

Yet to wither with the fear of losing her.

Or cower under the dread of the responsibility I am handed.

Yet to know what joy a gentle touch can bring.

Or what profound sadness seemingly trivial matters can usher.



This time, last year.

I am days away from the moment that would be like no other.

Of unimaginable pain and inconceivable delight.

Not knowing what the future held.

Not knowing what experiences lay ahead.

I waited.

With bated breath and sleepless nights.

I waited.



This time, last year.

I thought my world would change.

In ways I wanted, and did not want.

In ways I would like, and not like.

I ways that would make ME less significant.






This time, last year.

Little did I know.

I would be wrong.

Wrong on most accounts.

I am no less ME.

I am more of ME.

So much more!




Till next time..

Dr J.





The Ladies Lounge Reviews- Si Lolita!

The Mister (aka Mr. H) and I are on the opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to to fragrance choices. My favorite scents trigger his migraines, while his favorites (for women) usually languish unused in my closet for eons before they see light of day. Then one day, I wear it out of sheer boredom, and  almost always- I fall in love!

Case in point- Especially Escada and Si Lolita.

I must give credit to Mr H for seeking out and gifting unconventional, not- the- usual (read Chanel No. 5, Gucci Flora etc) fragrances. These unique scents definitely stand out and usually lead compliments and enquiries my way.



The Scent of Happiness

So feminine, so wonderful… Si Lolita, the new fragrance by Lolita Lempicka invites you to a world of happiness.
An Eau de Parfum floral and incisive who vibrates of a new breath : the Secret Spicy Freshness of Sweet Pea.
The character of a feminine interpretation of spices, on the skin.

The Secret Spicy Freshness of Sweet Pea

The story of a fragile wild flower that is refreshing and pure, enhanced by the impertinent accents of spices, from the opening to the fragrant trail on the skin.

Pink Peppercorn top notes accentuate the fresh, exquisite citrus aromas of Bergamot and Mandarin.
A heart of Wallflower brings out the spicy fragrance of Sweet Pea whilst Heliotrope brings out its sunny character.
Peppery, spicy Elemi gum at the base adds a touch of spice to Amber, Patchouli and Tonka Bean.

A Lucky Bottle

A four-heart clover, inspired by both Nature and Couture. A new object of desire, extravagant with voluptuous curves emphasised with a gold outline.





A very Parisian creation :

Around its neck, a scarf with a floral and polka-dot pattern.
And the name, in the guise of a clasp which is engraved like a jewel.



From the official website


Si Lolita to me is a deep, spicy scent;  with a slightly overpowering musky note. I get the peppercorn, bergamot and mandarin but can’t really differentiate or appreciate the other notes mentioned.

It is an almost unisex fragrance, and I believe even men can get away with wearing it. Someone asked me if I was wearing my husband’s perfume when I wore it to work today!

It is definitely not girly or flirty. Sensual, maybe. Flirty, no. It is a strong, mature scent. But it  is not “granny mature”. I honestly wear it on days that I want to smell older, more “womanly” and sophisticated!

It would, in my opinion, fall in the autumn/ winter fragrance category. I associate it with knitwear and coffee.

I love the the packaging. The clover inspired, floral shaped bottle with the amber colored juice is quite the stunner. The polka- dotted scarf around the neck is a chic touch. It does not have a cap though, and it is not a travel- friendly bottle (Hail the Travalo!).

To me, the most important attribute of a perfume is it’s lasting power. A true working day for me can easily mean 12 hours and more. This one does linger for long. After about six hours or so, the smell is almost powdery; like you have worn a musky talcum powder. Subtle and barely there, yet there. I layer it by spritzing it on my clothes as well. This trick always makes my fragrances last.


Bangalore- I have never seen Lolita Lempicka perfumes in stores. I have seen them online though.

Doha- Paris Gallery (385 QAR/ AED for 80 ml)

Lolita Lempika Si Lolita Eau de Parfum
Lolita Lempika Si Lolita Eau de Parfum


I take this opportunity to publicly extend my heartfelt gratitude to The Mister for passive- aggressively urging me to try new things!


Till next time..

Dr J.

The Ladies Lounge- Bags I’d love to take to work!

These might not be appealing to everyone, obviously. I love blacks and neutrals, with the occasional pop of color, especially in the bags that I carry to work/ hospital. I carry tons of stuff on most days, hence the size.

And yes, by no means is this an exhaustive list. These are just a few that I currently fancy!  🙂


Balenciaga Flap Satchel Bag, $2,025


DKNY French grain shopper bag


Fendi Peekaboo Mini Satchel Bag, Light Pink
Fendi Peekaboo Satchel Bag, Light Pink


Lanvin, 'Miss Sartorial', bag, £1495
Lanvin, ‘Miss Sartorial’, bag, £1495


The Row, leather and suede doctor bag, £3210
The Row, leather and suede doctor bag, £3210


Hobbs, 'Kara' bag £229
Hobbs, ‘Kara’ bag £229


Chanel Brown Caviar Kelly Tote


MICHAEL KORS Miranda Large Leather Satchel, $1,195.00
Miranda Large Leather Satchel, $1,195.00


Alexander Wang Prisma Skeletal Backpack
Alexander Wang Prisma Skeletal Backpack


Rebecca Minkoff Julian backpack


Notice a trend here?

What are your favourite workbags?

Till next time..

Dr J.


The Ladies Lounge Reviews- Bioderma Sensibio H2O.

I am suddenly on a French trip. Skincare wise. Vichy, La Roche Posay (now both under the L’Oreal group ), Bioderma…

The Bioderma Sensibio Water is the brand’s best seller. A hit among beauty gurus, bloggers and YouTubers I’m told. I picked it up before I knew about it’s superstar status though. I was intrigued by it’s name and look. It honestly does look and feel like water.





Before we get into the review, let us see what the company itself has to say about this miracle water.


A cleansing and make-up removing water that respects the fragility of sensitive skin

  • Sensitive to intolerant skin
    • Combines performance and very high tolerance
    • Cleanses and removes make-up from the face and eyes
    • Soothes and clears up irritated skin
    • Produces a feeling of instant freshness
    • Non-rinse

    Product + :

    • Even removes water-resistant make-up
    • One bottle of Sensibio H2O sold around the world every 5 seconds


    • Fragrance-free formula
    • Alcohol-free
    • Paraben-free
    • Hypoallergenic


Sensibio H2O is the 1st and only dermatological micellar water perfectly compatible with the skin: its fatty acid esters, the constituent elements of micelles, are similar to the phospholipids of the skin cell membranes
and naturally help rebuild the skin’s hydrolipidic film.


Morning and/or evening – 7 days a week

  • Soak a cotton pad with Sensibio H2O.
  • Gently cleanse and/or remove make-up from your face and eyes.
  • Re-apply until the cotton pad becomes clean.
  • Lightly dab your face with a clean cotton towel.



Official Website

I have the one for sensitive skin. Here are my two cents on it.

First off, the ingredient list sounds like an IV fluid!

It does what it claims. More or less. It gets my daily grease- paint off and leaves my skin fairly clean without making it feel stretchy and dry afterwards.

But I do have a couple of grouses. It isn’t so great with water- proof make- up (though it claims to be otherwise), especially water- proof mascara. I have to keep working on them to get them off with the Sensibio H2o. And after being on dusty Bangalore roads, I feel compelled to use another cleanser/ face- wash after I use it. I like my face to feel squeaky clean after I come home from a long day at work. And this does not give me that “clean” feel. It does feel very gentle though.

The consistency (just like plain ol’ water) takes some getting used to and it also means you need more product- compared to your usual cleansers/ makeup removers.


Bangalore- Online (Amazon, Flipkart, Nyka, Purplle, StrawberryNet) and some pharmacies.

Doha- Will hunt for it and update this page!

Price- Seems to vary depending on where you purchase it from (Approx. 850 INR for 250 ml)

I am using it everyday at the moment. It has been kind to my skin, and it’s simple to use. On long work days, I might just pop some on a clean tissue and wipe the grime off my face; this is where the “no- rinse” claim comes in handy. If only they made a travel friendly, tiny bottle. Sigh!

Or, I could keep a full size one in my locker 🙂

There's oen for sensitive skin and one for oily- combination one.
There’s oen for sensitive skin and one for oily- combination one.

Till next time..

Dr J.

International OMS day.

Hella folks!

oms day



Well this might sound a bit like self- promotion, but I’m tired of being stuck in professional limbo and will therefore go ahead with a teeny bit of self- promotion (for the sake of the OMS community).

In most countries, even with dual degrees and more than a decade and a half of training, most Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons are stuck in a weird place between dentistry and medicine. We ourselves are sometimes not sure of our place in the medical spectrum.

I can perform a jaw resection/ reconstruction or a tracheostomy but I can also still do a composite filling if I have to do one to save my life. It was part of my early dental training and I do not think I can ever “forget” how to do one.

I can do a rhinoplasty (aka nose job), but I can also remove impacted (embedded in the bone/ jaw) wisdom teeth. We treat cleft- lip and palate babies and children and perform cosmetic jaw surgeries and scar revisions, but as a resident I also did oral prophylaxis (scaling and cleaning of teeth) as part of prepping the patient for surgery.

Therefore yes, the dual training comes in very handy. I only wish more people were aware of it and understood the scope and level of our training and expertise.

Anyhoo, I doubt if there are any OMSs reading my blog (nobody at my workplace is aware of this!) but if there are- here’s wishing you a fruitful and “bloody” OMS day. Spread the word folks!

And to all the to the others, here are some interesting videos for you to spend a few idle minutes on.




Have a lovely weekend folks!




Till next time..

Dr J.