Every pregnancy and every delivery experience is always special but never the same. Sometimes, it can be very challenging, pushing you to extreme limits and bringing you back as the warrior who has an incredible survival story. But, most times it is the feeling of pure love, the surreal ecstacy uncomparable to any other joy or achievement in your life. One may read many feminist quotes and posters telling you that as a woman, you must learn to value your worth and being a mother or a wife isn’t or shouldn’t be the biggest achievement in your life. I beg to differ. I am all for women’s equal rights in this patriarchal world. But that doesn’t mean we must undermine the importance of the role nature has defined for us. I started travelling around the world for work at eighteen, which back then, was quite an achievement. I became a Producer in advertising by twenty four and then an Executive Producer on a feature film by twenty seven. And I was basking in all those ‘achievements’ of mine, till the time I became a mother and how instantly my focus in life changed. Nobody compelled me to do it, but it was a call from deep within, reminding me that while everything else can wait – my directorial debut or my unpublished book; my child and this ticking time, can’t wait. Time flies faster than we realise and a few years later, the child will be an adult and I would have missed his childhood in my chase for things that could have waited. Hence, I decided to take a break from full-time work and work in a way where I don’t have to compromise the time I spend with my child and at the same time have something to keep my mind occupied and my bank balance sufficiently filled.
Our first pregnancy had come in at a very challenging time in our lives. So much so that my husband wasn’t even present for the delivery and it was quite a dramatic delivery which started as induced labour and ended up being an emergency c-section because my boy passed meconium (potty) in the womb during the labour. So the operation happened in such a hurry and in the middle of extreme labour pain, that while everything else seems a little blurred what I clearly remember is me thinking in my head at some point, “Please get this baby out now, it feels I wont be able to take it anymore!” and then the baby coming out. One loving slap on the buttocks and the baby crying out loud, instantly melted my heart with love I had never experienced before. Tears started rolling down my cheeks, my lips started quivering and I wanted to jump out of that bed and hold my child.
Our second pregnancy was a more planned affair – from conception to delivery. Due to the the position of the baby, my previous c-section history and my body weight (100+ kgs) – we went for an elective c-section at 38 weeks instead of waiting for a natural delivery. I was admitted in the hospital a night before and this was my first night in four years without my son by my side. Lying there, having taken the enema at 5 AM in the morning, dressed in the hospital gown to be worn for the operation – finally the feeling sinked in at sunrise. It was going to be a big day, my second delivery, my second c-section. And there was no running away from it. Suddenly it all occured to me, I remembered all the post operation pain, the headache, the backache, the sore stitches, the initial immobility, other periphelia that will be hanging in and out of my body for at least two days, and my little boy who has never seen his mother in such a state. More than anything else in the world, even more than the child that was about to be born, I was worried about my four years old son. While I was going to go through a testing time physically, he was going to go through a testing time emotionally and psychological. I was more concerned about how he will adjust to sleeping without me while I would be in the hospital and how he will react to the new baby entry into our family. Anxiety tip-toed into my head and worrisome thoughts born out of extreme imagination started playing in my head in a loop. For these nine months, I had handled this pregnancy like an ace, and suddenly I was getting cold feet.
Everything around me was going as per plan, but my mind was going awry. My husband entered the room with a big smile and excited eyes. This was his first time witnessing the birth of his child. His smile help me relax a bit. I started chanting my ‘guru mantra’. The fact that my son had woken up excited and had finished his breakfast boosted my confidence even more. For once, I realised very consciously what they say about motherhood – while being a mother gave me so much strength, it also faced me with fears I didn’t even know existed. They instructed me to walk to the operation theatre. On the outside, I looked calm and followed all the instructions silently; but within me there was a hurricane – the chatter was getting louder while the chanting was getting faster. One by one, everyone started filling the room – the gynecologist, the anesthetist, the pediatric, the nursing staff and other helpers. Everyone knew what they were to do and were going about their protocol before the surgery. The dose of anaesthesia was injected and the gynecologist was checking all her tools for the one last time.
As the doctors geared up around me, I thought I should gear up myself. With my chanting getting louder in my head, pushing away all the other chatter, I actually told myself something, I had not told myself in the longest time, “This is your moment. Forget about everyone else – your husband, your son, your parents, no one. Your baby inside of you deserves this one time of hundred percent attention and love. And more than the baby – you need it. This is probably the last time you are going to experience a child birth – make this your moment – make it so positive and enjoyable that while you will cherish its memories all your life – you will remember it as the best experience life had to offer to you.” And trust me, what followed was ‘silence’. All those unnecesary thoughts vanished and the powerful chanting remained. And slowly even the chanting faded. And I lay there, with a big smile on my face, patiently waiting for the doctor to reach the baby hidden beyond the flabs of fat and the other organs under my skin. I saw the cut, I saw the blood, I saw the doctor struggle a bit because of my obesity but my mind – it struggled no more. On the contrary, I remember talking inside of me, telling the doctor to relax because it is all going to be fine, this child is destined to have a peaceful entry into this world.
Lying there, surrounded by an army of doctors, with my body cut open, blood constantly oozing out, and baby just about to be pulled out; what I experienced was divine. This is the one time, I am so proud of myself for being a woman. No man, how much ever he tries, however powerful he may be, how much ever money he is willing to shell out for it, can NEVER experience what I was experiencing. I was conscious of the fact that this was an important responsibility given to me by the Universe to bring this soul on to this Earth in a body that was compounded and created inside of my body, under my soul’s supervision. All through the nine months, I had taken utmost care, not in terms of food I ate; but the positivity I retained and the spirituality I inculcated not only in myself but passed it on to the womb for the unborn to experience as well. The idea was to bring to life the next generation nurtured only with the right thoughts and vibrations. And, finally in that very moment, when my child was born, all I felt so strongly was that I was going to be proud of this child for what it will give back to the society, especially the unpriviliged ones; and how she will lead a life that will be balanced, happy and purposeful.
She was pulled out and she started crying – a healthy sign of natural breathing. She didn’t even need a slap on the buttocks. She was waiting for her life to begin! But as they pulled out further, they saw a true knot in the umbilical chord. The doctors instantly sighed in relief for the call we had taken. One of them exclaimed to me how lucky she was to be born so healthy in spite of the true knot in the chord. When he explained further I realised why the Universe kept on pushing me towards a c-section this time and how this child and her karmic progression is more powerful than the shortcomings of my body. No wonder, I had such a smooth pregnancy in spite of my weight and other happenings around me.
If I had to sum it up, this delivery experience taught me humility and responsibility. It made me realise my role as a mother and how it is more important than any other role I play in my life. It also made me accept that nature has such an intricately coordinated system within us, which we may like to believe we execute; but in reality we have no control over. Yes, the child is inside your womb, but what happens in there you don’t control or create – it is the Universe! And you must just be ever so grateful for being able to be the vehicle that led to some positive change for the world to keep on functioning. That while all the other things you create as a part of your legacy may fizzle away, your children will continue to keep your print alive in some form or the other.