What the storks did not deliver ! | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 04, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 04, 2020

What the storks did not deliver !

There comes a time in most of our lives when we begin obsessing about motherhood. And the realisation spiritedly sets in when bouncy little monst ers of the next-door neighbour plays skirmish with treasured home-decor, and yet, this tragedy does not bother us at all. I knew my time had come when I began trawling through social media just for a glimpse of cute-little-kid stories, becoming doe-eyed at every random tyke that passed by. It’s also when I realised that it was the fitting time to meet with the gynaecologist, of course with the spouse, who was ‘oblivious to my obsessions,’ by my side.

On our first visit, both of us were nervous, dreading the conversation that was to follow.

Will the doctor give us “the talk”? We certainly did not need one at this age, or so we both thought! To put an end to our rather wasted guesses, she entered the room with a long list of tests, which we were supposed to take before knitting fables about a hypothetical tyke or ballerina.

Me, being a terror-stricken haemaphobic, with a mild associated childhood trauma related to vaccines, the list was certainly a sight to get the ol’ ticker pumping. Nevertheless, the latent mother in me trumped all, and I took the tests anyway. The results were scarier than the groundwork, much to the annoyance of the spouse. With a plunging Vitamin D level, I was asked to raise it to a doctor certified level before even contemplating anything close to conceiving.

Well, so much for storks delivering babies!

Thankfully, after three months, both our blood works came out satisfactory, with all kinds of vitamins spiked up to stunning levels.

Having passed the test with flying colours, we were both in the seventh heaven, unduly thinking half our work had been done. This is when we began looking at tiny clothes at random department stores, and probably, God resonated with our thoughts because just after a couple of weeks, I was screaming with joy as I was late. Little did I know that it was just the glorified beginning of a long and bumpy road ahead.

First Trimester

The doctor had prescribed me pre-natal vitamins and a healthy pregnancy diet list to follow through, and I did so diligently. Well, that was at least how it began! Just as my blabbermouth would have it, I had already informed everyone in town, starting from the newspaper boy to the milkman about our forthcoming little one.

And nearly everyone had their own words of wisdom for me...our help would not stop until she fed me, till I heaved and gagged. My aunts brought me baby coconuts every day for a sip. All this because of an old wives’ tale claiming that the baby would be fair and beautiful…and this racist attitude got me into nothing but trouble, because soon enough, I’d be diagnosed with borderline diabetes; having to submit to a strict, and tasteless diet.

By the end of the third month, I had a baby bump, and I was thankful for that, because now, I could also show while I told! However, the pregnancy glow was yet to make any appearance. I had already witnessed a surge of hormones, mood swings, headaches, a few zits here and there, but no sign of a glow!

What were they talking about in the commercials…I still wonder?

Second Trimester

Finally, the doctor waved the green flag, and informed me that the risky months were over; as if that even mattered! Because I was already ecstatic, without properly realising that I had been prancing over a thin line all along. The red flag might have been lowered, but there were other triggers that began bothering me; mental volatility, forgetting dates and numbers, hating the smell of fish — despite being a borderline pescatarian, I was almost on the verge of a meltdown. But soon, all my snags were to vanish, with just one glimpse of the sleeping baby inside the womb.

Thank God for 4D ultra sonograms! It was certainly a lifesaver at that moment, because otherwise, I was hell-bent on wreaking havoc on everybody around me, especially the spouse — who had nothing to comfort me with except for a sheepish smile and few words of condolence.

Month six was certainly a turner for me. With a sudden indulgence into ice-cream and anything tangy. So, every night, the Mr had to take me to an ice-cream parlour, where I would gulp down a few pints of ice-cream to my heart’s content, or so I would say to comfort myself into being 15 KG overweight. To meet the thirst of my latest craving, mom would prepare jars of pickles, and advice anyone visiting me to gift similar items. You can just imagine what my once posh, mahogany table top had been turned into…

Third Trimester

To admit that the former months were upsetting would be a preposterous claim, because they were actually the best, and not the other way around. Unfortunately, I had to find that out soon first-hand. The worst, as they forget to mention anywhere in the books, was yet to come.

You may have heard, seen, or experienced first-hand, the terrible sickness of puking at the sight of anything or everything untoward by a pregnant lady. Well, that somehow did not happen to me till the last trimester, and I do not know whether it was something to be happy for or to grieve over.

To add to the complaints were the excessive sweating, sleeping disorders, and severe back pain. As usual, throughout all the trouble, the Mr was the most helpless of them all, as he could not do much except for sleep a bit more on my behalf, or gulp down an entire chicken every day to match my weight. 

The final month

Nine months and few days more! To be frank, I do not remember much of the final month, maybe because I was groggy, too tired, and dozed off ‘all the time’ until the water broke. And then, I did not know what to do!

Still two weeks to go, I thought I had some time in my hands to pack the bags, put on some makeup for fake pictures on social media, and for some maternity photoshoot, which never happened. My baby immediately informed that no longer did he want to stay cooped-up inside mom’s belly, because she was not devouring tasty treats like before.

And so, one fine day it finally happened…

“Waahhhhhh!” came the screams, and I could not hold my tears. A beautiful, soft and cuddly blob of flesh was handed to me, squeezed in a blue towel, with a tickled face that glowed more than the sun. That was just my son’s way of assuring me — everything was alright, and he had come to the rescue.

Well, this was my story.

I may have never experienced that special glow, and may have never enjoyed the baby shower as much as I had pictured it in my dreams. But none of it mattered, because my son, my beautiful, beautiful son, had arrived to instantly remove all the pregnancy woes instantaneously.

And yes, I no longer felt the screaming pain of a C-section, or the awful daze of morphine through my blood, because all that mattered was my love, hope, heart and soul, wrapped up and snuggling in my arms.

** This narrative is just the writer’s own perspective, and may have no resemblance to anybody else’s experience with pregnancy.

Photo Courtesy: Mère Maternity Wear

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