Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day thoughts

I call her my miracle baby.

To first time parents the very conception and eventual birth of their prodigy is nothing short of a miracle.

To me, 'miracle' took on a whole new meaning. Because at 36 weeks of gestation as I basked in the satisfaction of a natural birth (thanks to the yoga I'd undertaken throughout my pregnancy under the expert guidance of an elderly loving lady who ensured I didn't miss the attention or adoration of my mother as I grappled my first pregnancy, a full time MA course in Journalism and the distress of Harish's transfer on a frigate in the light of the Kargil war)....I was in for a rude shock.

My gynae in Cochin (where my parents live and where I thought I would be most comfortable having my first born), a robust Catholic woman looked at my latest ultrasound and declared, "Your baby is in breech and won't move at this stage. Go home, take rest for two weeks and we will plan a C section after that. Decide on a date according to stars etc...thats how you Hindus do it...."

To me, it seemed like the end of the world. Throughout my pregnancy, like any first timer, I'd debated, discussed, researched and done all I possibly could to figure out if I should have a natural birth, an epidural induced C section or simply go under GA and have the baby... Thanks to my yoga teacher, my mom, aunts, granny and other well wishers I'd decided that I would prefer a natural birth because recovery would be much faster etc....

And now, this baby was ditching me! After 8 months of yoga six days a week including the shoulder stand and pelvic exercises, was I to go under the scalpel?

I cried loads and buckets...and did the next best thing - called my yoga teacher in Vizag. She was shocked too but gave me a suggestion - Do shoulder stand (sarvangasan) 4-5 counts three times a day for two weeks (the time given to me by the doctor). She promised it would help although she didn't say how.

By this time, my huge tummy made it impossible to do this asana without taking the support of the wall. But I tried to do it as diligently as I could.

In just about 2 weeks, one day I felt unbearable discomfort as the baby seemed to go crazy ... tossing, turning, kicking...and what not! Mom was concerned as she placed her hands on my trembling tummy, soothing my aching body, whispering to the baby...placing warm water bottles to help ease the tremors.

The next morning all was calm and apart from the occasional kicks, I felt nothing.

Two days after that I walked into the doc's clinic to 'decide' on the day when she would surgically deliver my baby. She checked me physically and asked me to take an ultrasound immediately.

Minutes later she announced, "Its a miracle! The baby has turned... It never happens at this stage of pregnancy...." and went on to tell me that babies use up all the space inside the uterus by this time and have no space to move let alone turn around ....

Ten days after that, my water bag burst in the hospital where I'd gone for a check up. In six hours, our bundle of joy was in our arms.

Today she is over 11 and we fight. A lot. I crib. She back answers. I rave & rant. She gets mad. But, we make up. We listen to music. We sing aloud. We cook. We dance and most of all, we love...

On nights such as this one, as I cuddle her to sleep, I marvel at how she is as tall as me now and has a shoe size larger than mine...when 12 years ago, she was a speck, a cell, a being I harboured for a few months...a little person who was born 2.6 kgs, pink, healthy and perfect in every which way! I wait, excitedly, for the first zit, the first crush, boyfriend, kiss....and I pray that she and I continue to love each other this way forever...

I also thank God and her for choosing my womb...for making me experience the joy of being a mother...for making me HER mother!

And hey, I cannot thank God enough for gifting me the mother I have - loving, patient and ever forgiving. There's a lot I have learnt from her and a lot I still have to emulate.

This Mother's Day, here's three cheers from one mother to her own mother, and to her child for making her a proud mother.... Life's come to a full circle....

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