Motherhood: A brave new world

— Internet photo — Internet photo

"However impatient she might be in the day, however filled with little sudden angers, at night she was all tenderness".

- Pearl S. Buck

Warmest greetings to all the dearest mommas or going to be mommas around, I feel your pain and pleasure and do know that being a mother "IS DEFINITELY CHALLENGING AND NERVE RACKING." Yet it is a journey that despite all its hiccups has a sublime aura that can never be emulated. With all its responsibilities and challenges it sometimes feels like a rough patch , but within it there exists the best ever purple patch that womanhood can ever experience.

My story of motherhood started from the day I realised that I am pregnant. It was the best thing that has ever happened to me. I felt like I was on the seventh cloud. My motherly emotions started to take over that old rebel, savvy, bold and socializer me. I just knew that I had a life inside me which needed to be protected at all cost. I began to make notes on how to take care of my newbie. I had completely filled up my Pinterest with pins of baby dress designs, room décor, baby exercising materials, breastfeeding tips, first birthday planning, etc. I was enjoying my maternity period to the fullest. Then a huge storm of morning sickness hit me and made me fragile. Every night I puked almost for 3-5 times and then after the morning prayer I would puke again, There are few mothers who don't experience such malady. But that's quite rare. The good thing is, in most cases it lasts only for the first 3-4 months.

Do you know, what's the most fun part of being pregnant? You get immensely pampered by your loved ones. Starting from your simply favourite home cooked meals to your favoured street food you get it all in one huge platter. Even the shashuri of yours will also act sweet and overindulge you. I cannot stop thinking of those times when I had all things on my plate ranging from perfect bhunakhichuri and the crunchy ilishbhaja mingled with my cute mother-in-law's special aameracchar to indulge on. My beautiful Maa, used to send me boxes of payesh and jilapi (not jaleebi) to balance the craving of a serial sweet tooth like me. Those invaluable moments are memories to cherish for a lifetime. So to all those ladies out there indulge yourself on your favourite foods and cravings during this beautiful period because food is a really good stress buster and only avoid foods which you are allergic to or might develop health issues or may be harmful for your baby.

During this 9 months' journey, I had my ups and downs too. There is a term called "Mood Swings". This eventually happens either during your menstruation days or pregnancy period. I faced it perhaps for trillions of times. Can you even think of shedding your valuable tears watching fantasy wizard warfare? Guess what? I shed them! Things will be very uncanny and you will be pretty vulnerable to all types of sensitive stuff. I would suggest you to skip your favourite horror or gruesome crime novels or movies for a while because it may create a bad impact on your mental health. However, if you are strong enough for handling it then binge on but also include rom-coms and feel- good animations. Such stuff helps you to relax your stress.

There's something you need to buckle up for, especially those who are experiencing their pregnancy for the first time. You will feel haunted and tormented by irrational thought. It mainly happens due to stress which is very common too. I couldn't stop thinking about all the eerie things that might happen during pregnancy and childbirth. The most common thought that arises in most mothers' mind is whether their babies are developing safely inside their wombs. Don't worry too much, your babies' safest place is their mother's womb and you shouldn't really give a damn to your irritating peers and their antagonizing advices.

How can I forget the pillar of my strength, my dear husband. He was there with me in this journey through thick and thin. Nurturing me during my morning sickness and horrific nightmares, he was there indeed. My handsome hunk was always ready for me lean on his shoulder. I cannot thank him more. At times he even cleaned our messy sheets after I threw up because I wasn't able to move due to weakness. Sometimes I felt perhaps I was taking him for granted. When reminiscing all those memories of our first ultrasonogram when we together saw I was pregnant, getting to know we are blessed with a baby girl and till the day of my delivery are all treasures to me. So to the lads, please be supportive towards your wives, they just want you to be by their side.

These nine months require lots of patience. It's wonderful and hectic at the same time. Guess most of you are planning to go for normal deliveries but even if you have C-sec its nothing wrong. It doesn't make you less of a mother. In my entire journey, I did every single pregnancy workouts to induce my labour. I eagerly wanted to have normal delivery but it completely depends on God and your body. I had a failed induction and thus needed to go for C- sec. Now lots of you might think that, what's the use of working out if you cannot have a vaginal delivery? To be honest there's definitely a wide range of benefits; firstly your chances of getting gestational diabetics decreases, your blood pressure will remain normal , your baby will get abundant space to grow and hence will be healthy and weigh more prior to the delivery. You will also not gain too much excess weight which increases chances of normal delivery too.

Now let's focus on the main challenge i.e. taking care of the neonatal. There are lots of things to jot down in your expecting mom's must remember list. It's imperative to remember that you are not anymore the girl you were. You have evolved in your life now and with evolving you have radical responsibilities. Your inventory to encounter the early challenges of motherhood may include objects like container of formula milk (Incase if you're having trouble in feeding directly), diapers, nappies, bibs, swaddles, rompers, etc. I know there are many who believe that buying products before the child arrives is a bad omen. Please ignore these weird superstitions because they will just increase eerie thoughts in your minds. Just deem those objects as essentials. But will these suffice? No, you need a human touch-- someone beside you to share the new changes too. You need a constant companion to comfort, console and in cases chide you. In such cases, you may find your mother as your best friend. I literally didn't know anything about parenting. I puzzled the second day when new responsibilities were laid down over me. As usual there were many cases of finger pointing and in cases I have been branded as a pathetic would-be mother. These types of comments sometimes lead to a very disturbing issue known as Postpartum depression. Thanks to my mom for helping me out to face it and giving me the space I required.

Sometimes debutant mothers, especially in the aftermath of child birth, have obnoxious and dark thoughts about their appearance. The mirror on the wall suddenly stops telling you that you are no more the fairest maiden of all. Your body changes like anything, probably from zero figure to curvy body with scars and stretch marks. You start missing your previous self. But always remember that this also makes you beautiful and be proud of carrying them as a trophy of childbirth. Maybe you are not any more the fairest damsel but you are now the most beautiful and loving mother.

The most nerve-racking task is to understand the body language of babies and their gestures. Babies have their unique ways of communication and thus they need to be observed 24/7. It is also imperative for you to make hubbies come out of the stereo type perspective that moms do all the works and dads are only for the fun part .They have to be equal partners in nurturing the baby and contribute in its growing up. So it's time the dear handsome husbands shed off their patriarchal mindset and embrace a modern and equal Mapatriarchal ( matriarchal + patriarchal) one.

Finally as a tailpiece my concluding advice to the new moms is to give top priority to your feelings. Do whatever you feel right and enjoy your maternity as much as you can. Spend all the time you can with your baby, talk gibberish and play goofy, click maternity pics. Remember motherhood is a brave new world and you are the monarch of all you survey in it.

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