Now when you are turning 10, I can’t help but reflect on the time passed by since you entered my life! Everything as vivid as a movie reel projected on mental screen. For world the child is born the day she exits womb, but for me you were born the day you entered it. The day is still fresh in my mind when my gynaecologist broke this news to me. She said more, but oh God! Was I there? As if the whole world danced in a circle around me, I could see showers of stars, full of all brilliant colours possible. I was shivering with excitement; tears followed their own course. My doctor calmed me down saying this excitement was not good for you. She next handed me over a verbal list of do’s and don’ts and some pills to pop up regularly.
For the next eight months I was declared empress of the house till you dethroned me, permanently. Then on, my life changed forever. I became conscious about everything I was supposed to do; how to walk, how to sit, what to eat but more about what not to do. I still remember checking labels before eating anything. I said strict no to any outside food, anything that contained ajinomoto or was too spicy. I carried every instruction passed on to me by any elder or experienced lady to a tee. If somebody said, eating amla was good for your brains, eyes, skin, I filled our kitchen cupboard with packets of amla jam. If somebody advised, eating bananas made child grow tall, I had them enough to last for a lifetime! If story of Abhimanyu was true, I tried my hands on many new things, I picked up new recipes, learnt driving, read more books. Silly antics of a first timer!
Every moment became special, your first movements to full blown kicks, your rhythmic hiccups, every single sign my bulging belly gave out was enough to drive us crazy! I often wondered whether I would miss you inside me once you were born. Yes, I did!
I was so curious who you would be, who would you look like, which date would you pick to arrive, would you like Maths or Literature! Crazy!! I tried to flaunt ‘be positive’ attitude with all sincerity but there was a certain anxiety and an unknown fear lurking nearby. I prayed incessantly to be blessed with a baby who is healthy, lucky and beautiful, in that order. Someday you may frown upon ‘lucky’, but could I help it!
And then the moment came…after all the wait (those were the longest eight months of my life) and agony, you were born. My doctor cleaned and held you before my eyes and everything became blurred, ‘cause my eyes were welling with tears. I couldn’t believe you were my daughter, my child! In this world where daughters are not even allowed to born, you were received like a precious jewel, an angel given to us out of some unexplained kindness. You were a perfect healthy baby, oh! So cute, cottony white, reddish at some spots, a little swollen, red lips, closed eyes, palms open. You cried and our hearts went aflutter with joy.
And as my doctor always used to say, giving birth is the easiest part of it, there started the roller coaster ride of nurturing that little speck of life. Early anxious moments of a first time mother, never let me relax. I wanted to be particular about everything, how to hold you, how to feed you, how to wrap you…The harder I tried, the more I fumbled. How I felt guilty for not understanding the reason behind your incessant cries. You laughed, the entire world looked alright. You cried and everything came crashing down. Sometimes I just kept looking at you for hours but couldn’t get enough! Sleepless nights, blissful days all went hand in hand. Only solace being that I was never alone, your dad always became my biggest support. Your milestones became our personal achievements, your tiny achievements became our proud medals. You kept growing; we as parents kept growing too, learning from our own mistakes, making some new along the way. On every stage I thought next stage would be easier, only to realize later how wrong I was. For every stage brought upon new excitement, new anxieties, new challenges. Even relationship I shared with your dad took new tangent. One of my ex-colleagues often remarked that after a child you are no longer husband and wife, just mummy and papa. I then understood its full meaning!
To be continued...
Picture taken from: inmagine.com