I grew up listening to ‘horror’ stories about child-birth. Pregnancy was always to be dreaded and not to be celebrated because it left you exhausted and worn out. Well, that’s how the general perception of the whole experience goes in our country with a dearth of positive and inspiring stories to hear. Not to forget, the stereotypes, taboos and myths prevalent in our desi people only add fuel to the fire.
I found out about the conception only a few weeks after i had joined my last employer. I was super fortunate to have never experienced even a faint streak of ‘morning sickness’ or nausea and managed to remain active round the clock. One of my friends who lived abroad and had worked during her pregnancy suggested me to take a banana every morning which i did and i believe it worked wonders for the first trimester. The building i worked at didn’t have an elevator so i was climbing stairs up and down all day long, the office was an hours drive away from my place so my total commute time was 3 hr and some days even more. In short, i was trying not to let my pregnancy affect my work even a tiny bit and i would like to believe that i did a good job at that.
I was working full-time, driving, cooking and was exceptionally energetic. All this while having a low-lying placenta and not a lot of family around.
In between my 5th to 8th month i traveled to US ‘alone’ to be with my family since the chances for them to be able to make it for the delivery seemed thin due to certain circumstances. I was highly pampered during my vacations and now am proud of my decision to travel since contrary to the typical belief, its SAFE, helped me unwind and relax with family and of course, because now its next to impossible to plan a trip alone to the market nearby let alone a trip to a different country.
On my way back super refreshed and rejuvenated and with all the shopping taken care of, i resolved to go back home and do nothing else in the last two months except RELAX. Only if i knew what fate and my stars had in store for me……..
I came back to face the toughest time any woman in their last trimester could have. My home helps who had been with me for the last 1.5 year suddenly decided to ditch me and it was not until after my girl was one month old that i found a proper help. This all, with no family of my own around. My husband’s nature of work makes him work full-time, weekends, late nights, 365 days a year. During this period, i was on break from office. (I can’t thank my them for proving to be the bestest employers ever and being so supportive)
Like that wasn’t enough, i came to experience some of the strangest attitudes an expectant mom in her last trimester can face. People passing unsolicited advice and opinions without being much of a help, people leaving hurtful remarks about ‘your’ choices towards YOUR home, pregnancy, body and child, people showing resentment towards you for the oddest reasons imaginable. It was all emotionally very testing! There was definitely a fault in my star those last few weeks! What i deduced out of the whole situation was that some people would always want to be the centre of attention even if its your special occasion. Some of them would shower you with a free subscription of their expertise and wish lists while others would belittle you and compare you to their wonderfully perfect selves. Comparisons, comparisons & Comparisons! Back then i wondered how everybody around me was ‘more hormonal’ during ‘my’ pregnancy which technically i should have been. Why do desis want to reclaim their own interests on every special occasion, i have always failed to understand the algorithm!
Amidst all this turmoil, my health turned out to be the last thing on my mind. Certain deficiencies and a huge pile of extra pounds enveloped me. My body was badly swollen. The last thing i was taking care of was ME! But that didn’t stop some mean comments about ‘appearance’ from flying my way, even from close friends and acquaintances 🙂
The final straw was added to the situation the day i was to get admitted to the hospital. I went to Al-Fateh to pick a few essentials and on the counter a little boy kept poking me from the back. I discreetly told my husband about it and a lady, apparently his mom, approached me out nowhere and started cursing and abusing me loudly. Since i never looked back i hasn’t realized that the kid had some sort of mental handicap and the woman, even after listening to my explanation, kept cursing me and the baby to be. This incident on the exact day of delivery, left me utterly heart-broken and shattered my mental peace.
BUT as they say every cloud has a silver lining!
The purpose of sharing the pregnancy story was not to focus on the negatives but on how the incidents that followed later restored my faith in the most remarkable ways possible. They taught me lessons of a lifetime and i am a firm believer now that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel and when all else fails, the Mighty help stands there quietly to do His magic.
I went back home, cooked myself some “daal/ chaawal” that i was badly craving and late in the night left for the hospital to be admitted for induction.
The night i got medicated and waited for contractions but there were none. At morning, my doctor had to break the water to speed up the contractions. I had opted for an epidural after doing an immense research (i totally plan to do a separate post on the pros and cons of this one someday) and once done around 11-12 ish i was all set. In between when the contractions weren’t too strong i even dozed off. Within the span of next 2-3 hours, there was everything we have been warned about: excruciating pain, yelling, screaming, cursing etc……but if i be honest to you it was ALL BEARABLE. I had the bestest hospital staff to support me and i feel they were god-sent to drag me out of my despair. I had a positive experience and easy delivery where i was done in no time. At 3:15 pm the girl was already out, and although super exhausted, I MADE IT!
And guess what? I can not even for a moment recollect any ‘horror moment’ but all i have to share are positive stories. My personal experience changed my perspective for life, i was the first person i had encountered in life who could speak of their delivery in a happy way. With no family around, an ultra horrifying last trimester and some even trickier post delivery months, God showed me how He can give you peace, fulfillment and protection where you least expect it. Alhamdullilah! I will have an eternal love and respect for Medicsi staff who took care of me better than anyone i personally know could have.
I learnt that people will always be people and they will not fail to surprise you with their ruthlessness and lack of compassion. I learnt that sometimes even your loved ones can not be around for a number of reasons so pull your strong boots on. I learnt that positive will always attract positive, be resilient and let the One above take care of the rest!
HAPPY ENDING! 🙂