Once upon a pregnant time ….
I was like an exhausted exhilarated marathon runner, slow-motion sprinting to the finish line, with one hand on my belly and the other wolfing down a black forest cake. A new mother-to-be and Oh! what excitement. I simply could not wait to dive right into maternité, especially after 8 months of what seem to be like the most evil episode out of a pregnancy horror series. (Obviously in my view …)
I almost certainly endured every symptom pregnancy could throw at me, my morning sickness was all wrapped in an all-day–all-month value deal. The package was no short of surprises and treats, towards the end of my trimester, I suffered from a rare condition called Obstetric Cholestasis. A complication during pregnancy whereby the liver gets tired and does not function at its optimal performance. Subliminal messages my body was trying to send me.
This led to undue build-up of bile acids in the blood stream causing extreme itchiness leading up to weeks after I gave birth. The continuous need to scratch and fidget was more than an irritable awkwardness, especially around people who were not only oblivious of the condition but also oblivious of the fact that I was pregnant.
The doctors played safe, decided my labor had to be induced in time before the toxicity levels got too high to harm my little baby. This news was met with a dull stab in my heart. Disillusionment – not only did it not feel natural anymore, it felt as though my little son’s natural birth date was taken away from him. It was as if, somehow I felt cheated by nature, as though, the agony of the past months was not enough. I found it jarring to select a date for him. Was one better than two? Three better than four? My heart full of tumult, I had to digest the pill that his date was preset like everything else to come. In short, my eight months was nothing as I expected it to be.
To add some strawberries on to my not-so-happy-bake, after 5 hours of induced labour, fully dilated, pushing on every contraction, my little one decided he needed to get a little comfy and change position. All cozied up in my tummy, I had to be rushed in for a C-section. Ah! why not feel what it feels like to give birth in both ways!
Ooh wait did I forget the cherry? I was going through a divorce during my pregnancy; leading up to my labor… Nonetheless, this is by far NOT a blog about a sob story!
There was no way I was going to let circumstance, fate, or anything take away the delights of my ribbon-cutting moments into motherhood. I jumped into this new life with a three-heel-clicks leap.
There were no balloons, flowers, frills, and thrills. Some people found it very daunting to give birth alone, but in my view, it was probably the most profound intimate moment I will cherish for the rest of my life. A raw instinct kick life into motion, when a mother holds her little one for the very first time. It is simple, pure and spiritually natural. I shared this moment with my little son.
“I am insanely blessed…”
It was surreal hearing his little noises, that will one day be his voice calling me “mama”, or his cat-like cry, which will one day be an uncontrollable laugh, or watching him open his little eyes, that would one day adventure the big wide world around him. We finally got there! we are finally here! From here on our adventures were to begin….
I arrived home from the hospital with my little bundle of joy. My emotions were salad of overwhelming joy, ecstaticism, nervousness, happiness, relief and excitement. I was ready to begin my journey down new-mother-lane.
As a new mom, I was elated by the finest details ….The first time I latched him close to my heart to feed, the overwhelming emotion was an unnatural rapture of pure love, every moment was an ecstasy of a heavenly selflessness and worship. As each day passes by the love grows and grows, like an uncontrollable chain reaction. Its so hard to believe how little he is yet he exuberates such a great amount of love and happiness for everyone around him. The joy and purpose my little angel brought into my life was immeasurable.
“I now understand the purity of happiness….”
Though, recovery was like a physical catastrophe my body endured, excruciating and emotionally draining. It was also frustrating, especially when it came in between nurturing my little one or mending myself. I was put to the test, like a flash in a pan, the old me had to change over night, my old habits, my old life had to be replaced by a new responsible me. It is as though I seized to exist, a different person contained in the same body. But such is the power of a mother.
By far all the contentment of my first baby supersede the months of anguish and distress. We instantaneously forget, within us, we have the power to disremember pain. Now, 9 months down the line, I still cannot get enough of him.
The happiness and reward override the memory of the preceding pain…”
Rhymes, cooing, high pitched motherese and funny tones, “yes, yes you know….googlie wooglie, you do what I mean, oh yes you do… you’re so cute when you smile like that, oh yes you are, oh you so are …..Gilandos and exaggerated gestures, a clown in me unabashedly replaced the old me. Jesting funny faces, squeaky voices and peek-a-boo actions, Arjun first language is in the making.
“Instinctively within us a loving babble language develop and we love unconditionally…”
I was one of those mothers that said “Oh my baby will never use the dummy!” It only took the first week of a colic upset baby and the dummy, is practically family now! it also has a name, Dodo. A baby plug? Noooo are you kidding me, Arjun’s dummy is his first best friend. I learnt on the go, I am still learning as we speak. It is these little fly by lessons that helped me brace myself for the amount of work and energy I had to endure … to put my baby to sleep.
As 9 months have pass by and still immersed in all night pajama-milk-parties with booming remix of baby wails with nursery rhymes, stoned with the smell of stale rotten spoilt milk, or wait! is it a nappy change? Notwithstanding , by a relative disorder my days seem shorter and nights longer.
“Motherhood injects a witty sense of pun and humour…”
Then one day, as Arjun was asleep, in silence, i grabed a few minutes to steal a stare while on a pee break. The horror staring back at me! “Hello there – who are you?” Who is this person staring back at me? A right mess is an understatement. My breast droop like bota bags, only in this case, carrying milk.
My eyes finally absorbed the shock and gathered the courage to look below my torso, and there snuggled in the layers, I introduced my shy belly to daylight “Hello baby fat! Have you found a home in my hips, my belly, my arms … are you visiting? On holiday? Or moved permanently!
I found every excuse in the book to make myself feel better; I am a mother, I just gave birth! The world will understand, I went through all this pain, I deserve to keep the fat. But wait …..when you ebb into motherhood you loose all sense of poise, presences and control.
“Vanity and embarrassment are a thing of the past…”
Remember that friday feel? In motherhood that feel ceases to exist anymore. There are days and all days are the same, period!
What has changed? As I moved on, month over month, all the night party extravaganza takes the shape of normality and it feels like a natural course of action, rolling with the day to day punches. But guess what had changed?
I had changed… my outlook to life had changed. Life is not as serious as it was and I don’t want it to be, because all that doesn’t matter anymore, the moment matters, the now matters and the today matters.
I laugh; Arjun pees while I changed him into a fresh nappy, I LOL, Arjun drenches me with baby vomit, immediately after a shower, I LOL. He decides to grab my glasses and straighten them out, I LOL. He constantly puts gravity to the test, I LOL. I get angry and I laugh with my heart. I’ve learn to be a kid again and I’ve learnt to play again. My life does not belong to me anymore, it belongs to my Son.
And, still looking at myself in the mirror, I may have an abysmal dress sense, I may be shabby in shape, I maybe apologizing a little more, I may plainly and simply be an utter mess, but within this messy state of affairs I have the gift of love.
Together my son and I are on an unending learning spree filled with joyful moments, tickle-in-the-belly and laugh-out-so-loud moments waiting to happen. So who needs the shabby chic statin furniture over a persian rug when I don’t care about the fine materialisms anymore. There is so much more to life and this is only but my start.
“Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour. All that is important is this one moment in movement. Make the moment important, vital and worth living. Do not let it slip away unnoticed and unused.”
Walt Whitman and Martha Graham