Its been so long since I posted anything. I was on stealth mode, so to say. I wasn’t suffering from writer’s block and in fact I have quite a few posts in my draft ready to be posted…but I did not choose to post. Wanted some alone time with myself, with family and close friends before the roller coaster ride started. Yes, I understand there is a certain responsibility and discipline in maintaining a blog and I am aware I haven’t been fulfilling it. But try as I might, I am not feeling guilty about it. It was a conscious decision and I am not apologizing for it.
Warning: Long post. Verbal diarrhea follows
So coming straight to the point. I went into stealth mode, for some time even from my gtalk and facebook. I cooped into my shell. I was quite normal with my daily gang though. If you are wondering why, its like the darkness before dawn kinda situation And our dawn is the coming of our baby… Barely three weeks to go, unless the baby decides otherwise
The whole time since I got to know I was pregnant to now has been a roller coaster ride, although a very, very slow one. How I wished for March to come…and it still isn’t here. The experience was exciting, scary, heated, sad, happy, worst, best…you name it, and I have felt it.
No matter how much we took our time to decide and have a baby, when it actually “happened” it was just so overwhelming. I had always maintained with my parents, friends and husband that I would be adopting a baby when the time came. No one listened. Or, they listened and laughed. Except my husband who said, why do we even want to have children?
Till I reached my early teens I was brought up in a joint family where there were so many aunts bringing a new baby home. I have been around infants ever since I was 5 years old and I loved the feeling of babies, adored their smile, their cries, their smell… I enjoyed bathing and feeding (with a bottle, of course) them. Other than cleaning their poop and vomit, I was part of everything else. And enjoyed the experience. So why shouldn’t I have my own? I did want a child, that much I was sure…until I learnt how babies came into being.
It wasn’t until my later teens that I got to know about it. Movies with two fluttering flowers and the lady vomitting and wanting to have “khatta” was all I knew and had no idea what to make of it. None of the grown ups, including my mom, would explain it. “Your mom will tell you when the time comes”, said the others. “You are too young to know that right now”, said my mom. I think I did once suspect I was pregnant after a bout of vomiting. Sigh.. the innocense of childhood!! And then during my 9th std holidays or so, I struck gold. I was done with all my novels and library books and all the interesting magazines that were lying around the house. I was getting bored with nothing else to do. Then I remembered seeing a stack of my mom’s old Women’s Era copies – those of the late 80’s – that were bundled up to be given to the raddhiwala. Well, something is better than nothing, I thought, and went looking for it. In one of the magazines was an article about “how parents should answer those awkward questions that kids ask” and it was there that I got my answer. I did not believe it at first. After all we all know how parents lie to shut us kids up. I went to mom to try and coax it out of her one last time. When she refused I told her I knew how babies came to this world and if she did not wish to tell me her version, it was fine. She did not tell me her version. I went back and read the article 2 – 3 times and kept that copy hidden, all for myself.
Some time later we got Discovery channel. I was hooked on to it immediately. Then I happened to watch one of those “In the womb” kind of episodes. Maybe it was the same program. But that program was “it”. It told me everything I wanted to know about what I wanted to know. I also thought I knew how I was going to die. Somewhere during the program had me decide that I was going to adopt a baby.
Everyone in my circle who has ever “known” me knows about my fear of childbirth. I was so sure and stubbornly serious about adopting a baby for I did not want to go through the labor/delivery pains…like that saying goes: everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die. God alone knows when it all changed. When the fear actually turned into something else, maybe a dream that I wanted to live and experience. I was excited and quite in shock when I got pregnant. A baby? I mean, really, really, I am going to have a baby!!! We are going to be parents? We, Ashwin and me, who are still kids ourselves? And we are yet to feel “married” and all that and we are going to have a baby? And on the other hand, it was like, “Wow… this is the miracle of the century”. Hundreds of thoughts and emotions went through me when I got to know I was pregnant. And yet, behind all that, there was this ever-present fear that said, a few months later I would have to go through the fear I always feared. Just as we were getting settled to being “married”, I was gonna be a “mom” and Ashwin, a “dad”. Would I really get used to be called “mom” when all my life I have been called variations of my name? And Ashwin would be called “dad” and our parents, “grandparents”. Were we ready to share our life with another being in the house, in our lives? Oh yes, we were. But still there was this kind of unreality and dreaminess to it which I can’t really explain. I wanted to share the feeling and keep it to myself at the same time.
When I told Ashwin, he said in his usual style- “Oh…Ok!” When I told my mom her reaction was, “Thank you, thank you, thank you…” I did not know what to say. Looks like she believed I was going the adoption way all along.
Then began the wait. Waiting two days to go to the doctor for confirmation and further tests felt too long. When my scan reports came, it said I had subchorionic bleed which meant I would have to be on bed rest until further examination. For a month I literally became a vegetable. Mom stayed on with me for the month looking after, worrying, taking care, worrying, cooking, worrying, etc. I got frustrated having nothing to do, not having to walk, not having to ride… And of course the mood swings set in resulting in Ashwin and me arguing for anything and everything. The arguments only got heated up further each time Ashwin asked “whats happened to you?”, “now what did I do?”, “but this is ur favorite curry, and you say ‘yuck'”, “you were alright just a second ago, now you are crying.. you have become so unpredictable!” No matter how many times I explained, the next time he was the same clueless guy asking the same questions. Frustration levels had reached a new high. I hated my favorite food and could hardly eat anything and began hating food, in general. Thankfully there was no nausea and no food cravings. Secretly I did wish I had cravings just to irritate Ashwin. *evil grin*
Come month 5 and I was back in action. The condition was fine and I was asked to resume my normal routine. It felt so good. I still couldn’t eat, just the thought of food had me feeling like I was about to throw up. I started eating non-veg again, after a year and half of being a veggie. Although the situation got better it did not solve the problem. When finally month 5 completed, everything got better. My appetite grew a 100 folds. Ashwin was amused. He wanted to see how long I would take to overtake him on the weighing scale. He is happier now.
I missed riding a lot since I was told not to. I became too dependent on Ashwin and tagged him along with me. He did so without any complaints. He even took over most of the household work. You see, once my mood improved he went back to being a sweetheart
It was time to tell the near and dear ones the “news”. In one moment I told it to whoever I had to tell it to – via phone, chat, email, in person. I somehow could not bring myself to repeat it again – the moment had passed. Those who read the mail/sms replied with congrats and best wishes. Those who did not, I did not bother to remind them to read the mail or tell them again. One friend in Singapore sent me a bouquet of flowers and a packet of dry fruits :). Another friend who stays nearby, and who I had invited home for the weekend so I could tell her personally rather than on mail/chat/phone, got to know from a common friend and when she came home she bought me cookies and another bouquet of flowers :). Another friend came down from Pune for a wedding and bought me chocolates with a note that said – “because to be a mother does not mean a lessening of indulgences”. (I don’t have the pics of all these with me right now). Friends who had already stepped into motherhood came forward with suggestions for books, food, activities, things to do, advices, helpful links, horror stories and happy stories of motherhood, what things to avoid and what things to keep ready, and what not. Friends at work were the sweetest still… sharing their childhood and parenthood stories, the challenges they faced, helping me cope with my health at the same time. Each of them helped me prepare better and be stronger for the time to come. Those who weren’t mothers yet showered me with congratulations, asked after my health, my general feeling about the whole thing, helping me carry heavy stuff, sharing interesting articles they came across, etc and were genuinely happy for me. I am so thankful to have found such friends in life. Its true that they were happier for me than me myself :). And in all that I am sure there are a few grumbling individuals who feel that I should have come out with the “news” sooner than I did. Sigh… And then of course parents and in laws, and all the relatives had their own experiences to share. All in all everyone knew about my fear and everyone tried to prepare me for the times to come. The baby shower happened just last week and was just that – a shower – of blessings and blouse pieces (both expected), gifts and cash (both unexpected) from relatives near and far.
The D-day is just a couple of weeks away. I can’t wait to get it over with… just get the delivery thing finished. After that I have the confinement period to worry about. Since I don’t like milk, curd, ghee, etc, its a biiiiiiiig problem for me seeing myself through the confinement period without any event. Just hoping all goes well and we have a healthy baby at our hands, in our lives. God, it still feels so unreal… Speculations are going around about the baby to come, when it will come, which gender it will be… and some have already thought of names even. And all the while Ashwin and I are the only two samples who have no specific-gender expectations. Neither have we thought of any name for the baby