5pm: Waiting for Doctor’s appointment. Doc says, everything looks fine. Baby should be out anytime after 3 weeks. Yay! I congratulate myself. My Gestational Diabetes is under control with diet and no meds. We reach home. I take a warm bath followed by light dinner. I slip into bed. I’m reading Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In and Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog simultaneously. I am also listening to the Ramayana (SundaraKandam) on Youtube. Apparently listening to Ramayana makes the baby brainy instantly. For the record, there is absolutely no pressure on the little pea-pod in my womb!
3 am: I wake up to find out my dress is all wet. I think my water just broke, I wake up my husband.
3.30 am: We are at the hospital. I’m panicking as I haven’t watched any “How to push” or “How to breath” or “How to expect the unexpected” videos. Totally freaking out. Baby wasn’t due in another 3 weeks. What went wrong? Is it my fault? I’m in my labour bed, calling out for the nurse. “Sister I think I’m passing out!”
11pm: I’m super hungry. Contractions get stronger. Junior doc comes to check if I’m dilating. She does her “PV” ritual for the 5th time. No luck. “Don’t worry. If you don’t dilate in the next 2 hours, we will go for C section”. Yeah like I stopped worrying. I wonder what happened to my yoga lessons that assured natural labour? Thankfully, my husband is a Zen, takes everything under control.
4am: It’s a baby girl. I pushed her out. I congratulate myself. I’m officially a mother now. I suppose I should be consumed by motherly love instantly but I doze off to sleep.
After a series of unexpected events, Viana and I are home. The full time maid we hired apparently doesn’t know how to cook, clean or look after the baby. Suddenly water supply has stopped. Adding to the chaos is the unannounced power failure. My mom who is usually on top of things starts freaking out. Viana is crying. I feed her. Still crying. I feed her. Still crying. I’m worried. “She is still hungry. I think you don’t have enough milk” remarks my mom. I’m about to lose my cool when my Zen intervenes.
The thing is..I had meticulously planned everything. Made lists of things to do and things to buy. Looked up the internet and read a lot. But I ended up at the hospital without even new born rompers. Entering motherhood is like learning to play chess with a pro. You are low on confidence. Clueless about the next move. You are being judged, criticized and advised constantly! Like chess, management of baby affairs cannot be learned through play books or videos. Only way to learn is to hang in there and play along.
When you have something the size of a walkie talkie with two legs and two hands totally dependent on you round the clock, you cannot afford to be sad, depressed, anxious or stressed out. Every child is different, so is every mother. For what its worth this is not a competition and there is nothing to be proven. When you go by your intuition sometimes you get it right otherwise you learn through mistakes. Something that I have learned on the go is to appreciate self for small achievements like burping your little one or successfully putting her to sleep.
To all the first time moms to be..It’s okay if you don’t feel that motherly love instantly. It’s okay to lose your calm. It’s okay to feel guilty at times. It’s okay to run around the house covered in piss and puke. It’s okay to look like a zombie. It’s okay to not have answers. It’s okay to wonder what’s wrong. It’s okay to sneak out for a pedicure. Trust yourself and your instincts and both of you will do just fine. It’s important to find little things that you enjoy doing in the midst of all this chaos. Remember happy mother happy child 🙂