This story is written as a part of Mommy Guilt contest on Women’s web.
And the good news is that, although this entry hasn’t won, it has received a mention on the Women’s web blog as one of the notable entries 🙂
Bela was a healthy and intelligent woman of 25 married only for a year. Holding the strip in her hand over the sink all she could feel was disgust. She did not want a baby now, not now. She was in the peak of her career. Her boss had proposed for her to go to the US for 3 months and she had been looking forward to it. He had also hinted that she may have to be there longer. And now she would have to drop it. All because of the baby who did not find a better time to arrive than this.
Naina was 26, intelligent and married to a healthy 27 year old guy she loved. She planned to have a baby after a year, she wanted to spend a year with her husband before the baby came. She needed the year free from cleaning nappies and staying awake to shut the baby’s whines. But her husband wanted to wait. And there was that other thing – she had to be on pills to regularize her cycles. Her doctor had advised it. “It’ll help regularize your cycle and at the same time act as a contraceptive. Take it for six months. It is safe, don’t worry,” the doctor had assured. But deep down inside she felt guilty. She was keeping herself from getting pregnant. She wanted a baby and soon. It was almost two years now. She hoped for some miracle.
Kiran was 38 and married for 15 years to a man she thought loved her too, only to realize 10 years later what a fool she had been. She never realized he had been cheating on her from the past 5 years. Not even when he suddenly started to stay up late in office. Not even when he refused to attend the annual days and parent-teacher meetings in the school. Not even when he made weekend plans with “the guys” without her. And when she got to know she had divorced him. But when she picked up her son sometimes after school and the other kids ran to their father, did she notice a hint of sadness in his eyes? She could not help but feel a lump in her throat. Did he miss his dad? Had she been wrong to divorce her husband?
Seven months later, room #10 of Tara Clinic echoed with the baby’s cries. Bela was blessed with a baby girl. The three women were finally alone when Bela’s husband went out to get some medicines. “I wish I had enjoyed my pregnancy,” she said to her friends Naina and Kiran, “I was so unhappy.. and had wished I did not have her…and I feel so guilty now. She looked at her child sleeping peacefully wrapped in white muslin. “I’m sorry, baby, I’m so sorry, you have brought me such happiness..” she said to her newborn. Her friends squeezed her hands. When all the congratulations were done, Kiran told them that her 13 year old was a “man now”. “He had somehow sensed that I was unhappy even though I pretended to be happy all the time, at least in front of him. And the other day he said ‘what if dad is not around? I don’t need him…as long as you are there. I want you to be happy, mom.’ There was nothing I could say to him then.” Tears welled up in her eyes. After a while Naina said – ” I have something to tell you girls…,” she paused and then continued, “I’m 12 weeks pregnant,” she said beaming. When Bela’s husband returned all he could see were three women with tears in their eyes. “Women!” he sighed. But only they knew that it was guilt that was being dissolved by happiness.
PS: The stories are taken from real life, names changed to protect privacy.