Only Me; not the mother in Me
As a little girl the one thing I knew was that I was fiercely independent. This is a revelation to most people as I was always the goody two shoes. I was even called a prude by my bestie, because I did not want to do anything which was against the accepted behavior. But the fact is, I was wild and free inside, still am, but only who those who know me very closely know that. I call myself an outgoing extrovert; I am friendly with everyone and have no airs but rarely open up completely. I trust people at the first meeting, but also trust my instincts. I can be fiercely loyal or dangerously aloof and uncaring, depending on how anyone treats me. I love fiercely and I don’t bother to hate anyone. All in all I am a bag of contradictions.
Add to this, my characteristics; I love cooking, I can paint (well), I love to decorate my home and strive to keep it spick and span; it is a need with me. I will spend money on a beautiful tea set rather than on a shoe. I am seen around house with a cleaning spray and duster and at the same time, I wear red lipstick without a thought. Well, I am writing all this about me to explain this; most people who know me would think that I was a girl who would love to get married and settle down into a cosy home environment. As a teenager even I had dreams about my prince, but while growing up, I kept realizing that I was not that keen about commitment. It was not sufficient that any guy who ticks all the checkboxes in my list would be the love of my life. I needed more, much more.
Add to that my father, who is as liberal as they come. My parents never once told me that anything was out of limits for me. The result was , that I never once lied to them in my life, about anything. I could stay out till late at night, or curl up with a book, they let me and loved me for it. Well, I wont say mom was completely relaxed and didn’t keep an eye out, she did keep a cautious eye on all my friends from the other sex. But my father, a Bengali, brought up in Delhi, and an alumni of the prestigious St Stephen’s College. He has always been bindaas. All he told me was “don’t hide anything from us”. Well, he is the one who actually didn’t ever want me to have an arranged marriage and neither did I. I refused to settle or compromise either. So it was that I was single when I joined my first job after completing MBA.
How I Met Your Father
My first day of job, 16th Oct 2006, I knew my life was changing and I would be achieving all that I had dreamed of. I was right, but had no idea how much change was in store for me, my life changed that day. I started my career and I also met the man whom I will get married to, in 3 years. When I think why I was ready to commit with Animesh? Is it because he is quite good looking / he loves me / he is smart and funny? I realize that these are the reasons, Yes but the most important one is that he respects me, as a human being, as a woman. He respects my life, my views and my brains, even more than he loves me maybe.
Beginning of another Chapter
Well, 3 years later we were married and then came the surprise that although I was now ready for marriage and home, I was definitely not ready for motherhood. I did not feel any maternal instincts oozing out of me which made me want to get pregnant instantly. Animesh was a bit surprised may be, but he acquiesced. So it was 5 years, 3 cities, a handful of vacations, 1056 fights later, on my birthday that we agreed that its time to get pregnant. This was December and I watsapped a positive pee stick photo to my husband on a February morning.
The Pregnancy Journey; Totally Unexpected
People lie about motherhood left, right and center, I know this because none of the things that people said were true. I never got the preggers glow, in fact I looked dull all through my pregnancy and only got my glow BACK once the baby popped out. Ok, Rant over now. Well my pregnancy was not what I had envisioned it to be. Soon after I got pregnant, I got a new Job, a dream job and just after that, Animesh got transferred and moved to another city. Amazingly I had spent my whole life without once staying alone at a hostel. I even did my full time MBA as a day scholar, staying at home. And then after I got pregnant, I started living alone. So it started, Animesh would travel back every 3 weeks or so, stay with me for two weeks and fly back. I was totally busy with my job, the days were spent in office work. I drove to my pre natal classes in the evening and late at night I would go alone for a walk in the park inside my apartment with my ipod. It was not all easy, on nights when sleep deluded me, and office work was over, I would sleep on the couch watching movies. I am grateful that my pregnancy was uncomplicated, and I did not even have any cravings etc so all was well. Animesh planned his visits in a way that he could accompany me on most of my dr appointments.
The Arrival: Total Filmy
My parents and my Father In Law came to be with me in the 36th week and stayed over. I was still working but had stopped driving to work as I could no longer reach the steering wheel. My birth plan was for a normal delivery and hubster would be inside the labour room with me. ofcourse, I had made him swear that he will be constantly standing by my head. I was due on 18th October which was Ashtami of Durga Puja. Animesh decided to come the previous weekend. He booked an early morning flight for Saturday, 10th October. He was coming for a fortnight and we hoped that the baby will be out by then. On Friday, 9th October, we had a huge event at my office and I was wholly responsible for this event. Post that, I was supposed to go on my maternity leave from 12th October i.e. the next Monday. On 9th October I came home at 11:45 PM, Mom was beyond being angry, she just said that I was hopeless.
Next day I woke up at 7:00 AM and looked at my phone to find a message from Animesh at 5:00 AM, saying that he was boarding the flight. I went to pee and came back to lie down. As soon as I lay down, I felt a huge kick from the human inside and water was all around. It took me a few seconds to realize that I had not peed myself, instead my water had broken. I called out to mom, who went into a panic almost immediately, muttering gibberish and being hysterical saying what now, Animesh is not here and what not. She riles easily. I scolded her, and told her to shut up and calm down. Yeah I did that, I scolded mom. She did calm down after that, and called my cousin who lived in the same society complex , just two towers away. Both my sister and bro in law were there within 15 mins and my brother in law drove us to the hospital.
I was taken inside and prepped up with the nurses checking stuff and putting drip etc. My doctor came soon and I was taken to the labour room at 8:00 AM. All this time I was praying to God to let me wait for some time. As the pains started and I would be rocking with pain during the contractions, I kept looking at the door. At 8:45 Animesh barged in and a wave of relief swept over me. I knew I could do it then.
Labour Drama; it Ain’t Pretty Sister
I have had a normal vaginal delivery and let me tell you one thing the pain was unbearable, it is not easy. Within an hour I was exhausted and tired and crying for a c-section. What is the pain like? It felt like huge shackles had been tied to both sides of my hips and some huge trucks were now pulling these shackles in opposite directions. That is the only way I can describe it. I tried convincing Animesh to convince the doctor to do a c section, when the doctor came and heard that, she laughed and went back. The next time she came I said give me an Epidural NOW. She said no you are too far along, already 8 cms dilated, can’t give. Thus I could not even get the damned epidural, in hindsight I am thankful I did not have to be injected with a drug in my spine with a huge needle. But at that point, I would have gladly taken that. No I was not screaming hysterically either because I was too tired to scream. But my labour did not last very long, by 12:00 PM baby A was out I am glad that Animesh witnessed this miracle along with me as our tiny human came out of my tummy.
The only thing that I have found to be true is that the first time you hold your tiny squish it is the most beautiful moment of your life.
Read about how I am learning to handle motherhood here My Parenting Mantra
How Motherhood affected me
The next year was a whole lot of roller coaster and I am grateful to my parents for staying with me as Animesh was not in Bangalore and I joined work after 3 months. How we changed after that? I know we became much more than we had expected of ourselves. I learnt how to express milk 3 times at office, as many times as possible at home, to keep milk ready for next day for feeding. I woke up 4 times in the night and smiled when people asked me “Now the baby must be sleeping through the night?”. I washed and sterilized bottles before going to office even if I rarely washed my hair. Animesh learnt to wake up really early at 3:00 AM on a Monday morning, to catch a 5:00 AM flight to Delhi, so that he can reach office at 9:00 AM. He learnt to change the baby without waking him up. I learnt through many mistakes and have been through a time when it was very overwhelming. But slowly I have become more patient
- I can sit and listen to my small human talk for hours even when I have work pending
- I have turned my watsapp notifications off, I cant let the phone decide when it gets my time. I decide that
- I just sit down and baby A comes and says, “come mama come” and I follow him, as many times as he says, and he says it quite a few times trust me
- I am not bothered with all the toys scattered all around the house, and all the things thrown out of drawers. I just pick them up every day after he goes to sleep to keep my sanity.
- I am less aware of social happenings and haven’t seen any of the latest series on TV
- I am much more confident and I know I can handle anything
- I don’t care much about what others think, dint do that earlier either though
- I understand and can relate to it when a fellow mom is overwhelmed or confused
- I don’t judge any parent for their choices and I know that there is no right and wrong in parenting. Each parent loves and parents his child as best as he / she can.
- I understand how heavy is the load of guilt, which motherhood brings with it. I know I will always carry it, it never goes away.
- I know that the most unbearable pain in the world is, when your child is in pain.
- Above all, I know that I love my baby more than I could imagine possible.
This blog is part of the blog train by a lovely blogger Pooja Kawatra of Mums & Babies who has brought together 41 moms from all around the world.
I want to thank Vaishali for introducing me as a part of this blog train. Vaishali is a high school teacher, mom to baby V and now a WAHM making the world a better place starting with her tiny human. She follows gentle parenting and attachment parenting. You can check her blog here