By Shilpi Madan
She is a mint new mom and wears the maternal glow with pride as she rocks her beautiful baby boy. Actress Vandana Sajnani has always been an absolute livewire, wearing the mantle of a director and producer (of her own theatre company) with equal charm. She has starred in blockbusters like Main Madhuri Dixit Banana Chahti Hoon, Corporate and Dil Dhadakne Do; in telly serials Shaheen, Kartavy, Saathiya, and in popular plays including FourSome, Please Divorce Me. But Vandana Sajnani has had it anything but easy, getting little Vanraj into this world.
Three miscarriages, three failed IVF cycles, three unsuccessful IUI procedures, three surrogacies that went awry, and finally a pregnancy that saw her undergo hospitalisation for months, and a messed up caesarian delivery…Vandana has been through the agonising experience of it all. But Vanraj’s arrival, three months before his actual due date, has been totally worth it. Excerpts from a conversation:
Why did you name your little one Vanraj Krishna?
Vanraj is a combination of our names – Vandana, and my husband Rajesh (Khattar). Our baby also happened after our trip to Vrindavan, and he was discharged from the Newborn Intensive Care Unit on Janmashtami day. Another beautiful reason is that Rajesh’s father’s name is Krishan. Hence the name Vanraj Krishna Khattar.
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Never gave up for 11 years! Tried every science under the Sun … and finally the universe heard me … #Faith can move mountains ! For all women n couples , You can read my story online … #Google #Timesofindia … Pls #Keepthefaith .. After all the struggles and hardships that #God tests you with , remember he loves you ❤️ Welcome baby #VanrajKhattar … Our little #Krishna 💕 Thankyou for all your wishes and prayers. #Miracle
You’re 45. Did you plan a late pregnancy?
I have been trying for a baby since Rajesh and I got married. It hasn’t been easy, emotionally and physically. I have been through failed IUI, IVF, pregnancies and surrogacies, dealt with my own hormonal and related turmoil, depression, survived a botched up delivery, but Vanraj is here now. He is two-and-a-half months; a gift from God.
How are you feeling right now, having brought home Vanraj now?
Happy and exhausted. Staying awake at night, getting into sync with Vanraj’s changing sleep patterns.
You are truly a born survivor!
Everything that could go wrong, went wrong. I was pregnant with twins, and lost one of my babies a few months ago. I was on the verge of a breakdown, kept praying for strength and fought it out. What mattered was my child; my pain was nothing in front of this miracle baby, who has fought for two-and-a-half months in the NICU.
How hands-on is Rajesh?
Very. He is a doting husband and father. We have been through everything together. Rajesh wants to do everything possible for Vanraj. He is a fabulous father and I really admire him.
What is your intake like?
My mom is always concerned about me eating well and eating right. I eat only home-cooked food now. The vegetables include the genial bounty in tinda, lauki, turai, methi…thankfully, I am fond of eating simple, sattvik food these days. I have been breastfeeding Vanraj and my intake affects him instantly. He tends to get colic if my diet goes off-track.
You are stepmom to Ishaan (Khattar) and Shahid (Kapoor). What is it like, being a part of such a beautifully blended family?
Honestly, it feels wonderful to be a part of a big, lovely family. I believe in energies and vibes. Everyone in my family is very supportive. I have pulled through everything thanks to their support.
Any chance that you get a spot of ‘me-time’ these days?
It is quite something to be able to make that ‘me-time’ these days, though I am not complaining. Coffee is my weakness but I gave it up when I became pregnant as it is not the ideal thing to have during pregnancy or when you’re breastfeeding. However, I do have some decaf once in a while. The best thing now, to get through a challenging day, is singing Wahe Guru and Hare Krishna songs to my little one.
You are a mint new mom. Share a word of wisdom with our newbie mommy readers.
I am as raw as raw can be at the moment. The entire experience with your newborn can be extremely overwhelming at times. There is so much of trial and error for first-time moms. Often, many questions crowd your mind, with sometimes no answers in sight. But my approach is to simply go with my gut instinct and with the flow. At the end of the day, it is all about bonding and patience.