The smell of surgical spirit and the cold gel on my abdomen made me feel nervous. I was glancing at the screen at every possible opportunity through my peripheral vision. I am no sonologist. I could see nothing but patches of black, white and grey. I hate this thing about doctors. They never slip an expression, even accidentally, that might help the patient deduce something during diagnosis. I broke into a fit of giggles lying on the couch, tears streaming down my face when the doctor finally announced, “Yes. Look! Your baby is suckling its thumb!”, turning the monitor towards me. After all, the home strip test was not a hoax! “Can my husband see?” I asked and a moment later, my husband was looking at the screen stunned, while the doctor was pointing out the head, arms, legs and spine.
My efforts to hide my conception till the second trimester went in vain due to my evident change in gait and exhaustion levels. I was then exposed to regular doses of advice from aunties and their rantings on how they swept and mopped the floor when they were carrying and how girls these days are too delicate to have a normal delivery. Google was my nutritionist and coach. My mobile overflowed with pregnancy related apps. Keen on not wanting an incision on my abdomen, I walked and climbed staircase like a maniac. Had I walked with a map, I would have completed a World Tour!
I took the privilege of spewing verbal obscenities whenever I had to turn from one side to another lying on the bed, feeling like an upturned tortoise. My husband was a darling coping up with my sudden mood swings. No! I didn’t crave for ash or mangoes or ice cream. I would sit down looking at my tummy for hours to see the little kicks and punches. My son is a ninja!
I got accustomed to pain so much that 20 days before my expected date, my mom looked at my sweaty face while I was walking and exclaimed, “You look pale. It doesn’t seem like false pain”, and I delivered three hours later with no C-shaped incision, by God’s grace.
It has been four months since Shayaan was born. Zombie eyes, stretch marks and overweight don’t bother me anymore. I take it as a “Badge of Honour”. Only for the time being!
All the things that were once ugly are not ugly anymore. Once a baby is born, the house lifts its curfew on ‘unparliamentary’ words, as my mom calls them, like poop, urine and fart, uttered in vernacular language. “Why is it green?!” I would ask my mom having my son’s soiled cloth diaper in my hand. I wonder how mothers are not even mildly disgusted to examine their babies’ stool. That’s the beauty of motherhood! I have learned to eat, walking with my baby in one hand and food in another. I pop ‘Vicks’ Cough drops into my mouth one after another, to talk endlessly to my son despite having sore throat, to see him laughing, gurgling and cooing. I make funny faces, and blabber absolute non-sense as soon as I sense that my child is going to cry. My respect for my mother and all the mothers out there grew boundless after I became a mother. The sentence, “Life changes after having a kid”, seemed so clichéd to me earlier. But not anymore!
Indeed, Life Changes. Beautifully!