We all usually imagine scenarios about how we will convey the “good news” to everyone. But our story was different. Instead of me conveying the news to them, my mom told me over the phone that I was pregnant, based on my blood test report. My husband and I were both at work. I told him the news over the phone, waiting eagerly to rush home and hug him. We had mixed feelings. Like all other parents-to-be, we were excited yet anxious and nervous. We were ready to become parents but didn’t know it would come so easily. We also didn’t know if we could handle another human being who will be totally dependent upon us.
My pregnancy was smooth and a wonderful opportunity to get pampered by everyone. I enjoyed it thoroughly and sometimes still joke around that I would like to go through the whole process again just to enjoy all the pampering. The greatest mystery of pregnancy is whether it’s a boy or girl. In India, there’s no way to find that out. Some people advised us to take a trip abroad to determine the gender but we finally decided against it since we wanted it to be a surprise.
In my heart, I always wanted a girl. Having been raised in a household dominated by women and being one of the two daughters of my parents, I felt daughters are more affectionate and expressive. This thought lingered on to me for quite some time. In baby stores, I used to look at the girls outfits and accessories – so colorful and adorable, whereas there was generally only a small rack for boys stuff, dominated by standard colors.
Having read many pregnancy books and subscribing to myriad newsletters, I soon learnt that the baby’s genitals get formed very early and the mother usually gets an intuition about the gender of the baby. And I sure did. I felt it was a boy with all the kicking it did in action movies. I tried the old wives tales to determine the gender and got a boys prediction every time. I used to attribute my fairly active lifestyle also to the fact that it had to be a boy only. Everyone I met would try to guess the gender depending on my facial glow, tummy shape, eating habits or my walking style. I have to admit those who were leaning towards a girl surely made it to my good books.
We soon started preparing for the baby’s arrival. We bought all gender neutral essentials as per the lists my friends gave. We washed all baby clothes – old and new, in mild soap with a dash of antiseptic liquid. The first stuffed toys and rattles were sanitized. Baby gym and bouncer were wiped with water and antiseptic liquid to make them germ free. My hospital bag was finally packed with all that we would need in the first couple of days.
Soon the delivery date came. Even through my contractions we were trying to predict the gender based on the heart beat range. My husband was by my side all through the delivery providing the necessary support and encouragement I needed through that pain and exhaustion. However, as soon as our baby was born, he rushed out to share the news with those waiting outside. I softly asked my doctor if it’s a boy or a girl. Before answering, she asked “What do you want?” At that moment all I could think of is – “I just want a healthy baby” to which she responded with a smile “Yes the baby is healthy and it’s a boy!!!”
The moment he was placed in my arms, he snuggled right into my heart. My subconscious preference for a girl had disappeared and I realized that all I actually wanted was a happy and healthy baby. Soon we got him home and the whole family came together in making him comfortable in the new space. We requested guests who visited him to use sanitizers, mopped the floors twice a day and took all such measures to provide a germ free environment. All my apprehensions of being able to handle a baby melted away once I took him in my arms and felt the strength of this bond. I then realized why motherhood is rightly called a re-birth for any woman. A new mother undergoes many emotional, physical and psychological changes. She goes through multiple emotions every single day concerning her little one – anxiety, guilt, apprehension, nervousness, doubts and love. I went through this roller coaster of emotions and the support of family helped tide over the initial phase.
As a mommy, I continue to give him the best I can. Our son is active, affectionate, and full of mischief and enamours my heart with his infectious smile. No matter how stressed I am, his hug relaxes me. And I’ll make sure he grows up into a fine human being by ensuring a protected, safe and germ free environment.
This article was first published on Momspresso (erstwhile mycity4kids) sponsored by Dettol.