Note: Today as a part of the #WriteWithOSMe exercise, Medha ji asked us to, among other things, imagine a character and their stream of consciousness – their thoughts on education, background, family, financial status, professional, daily activities, etc. I selected the character of a new mother to explore this topic and write about it offline after the meeting. Read on.

They say that a child gives birth to a mother. This couldn’t be any truer based on my experience. I am a grateful mother to our newborn girl child.

We had been trying to get pregnant for some time and had had our share of disappointments for more than 18 months. Then, after a long time – three years and a few months later – the Devi answered our prayers. For all those years, we were bombarded with the sometimes unsolicited and sometimes polite yet barely concealed questions on our ability to reproduce – when will you have your baby?; you know the biological clock is ticking for you, don’t you?; is something wrong with the both of you, why don’t you get support? We didn’t get pregnant because of these questions – they were a nuisance for sure – but because this was something which we both wanted. We were so glad when the test announced my pregnancy!

The first trimester was quite a struggle with a balance of feeling of nausea and perpetual tiredness. They say the second trimester is the best – I agree. But the third trimester reintroduced me to the same things as the first one along with a growing impatience of when I will get to see our baby. My entire pregnancy was not exactly the glowing experience that you see people talk about on their Instagram reels or those ads on TV. I had gestational diabetes and had to monitor my sugar levels and my diet throughout those months.

Throughout my pregnancy I tried to ensure that the peace and growth of my baby is not jeopardized. This took the form of eating fruits, which I am not too fond of generally; exercising, which again I am not a regular at; meditating and listening to Vedic chants, something I have read may help with healthy growth of my baby and an easy birth experience; and listening to and exposing my baby to music from the likes of mantras, Indian classical music and even Beethoven or Mozart for its better brain development. In general, I don’t really follow what the everyone advises and my parents ha e allowed me to live my life based on my choices. However, the fear of even the slightest negative impact on my baby led the mother within me to lean over the happy-go-lucky girl and follow the suggestions from the old wives’ tales.

My husband has been the most supportive over these months, however, I do have a compliant that he hasn’t quite balanced the pushiness of his mother with my needs. I have voiced my concerns to him. In return he said that he was sorry, but I think it was just a cosmetic response. I had thoughts of storming out to my mother’s place in the initial few months, but I held back considering that they say that my state of mind will determine that of my baby’s through out his or her life. I am glad that I have spent the last month of my pregnancy and beyond with my mother – someone whom I can openly and unabashedly state my demands and be sure that in turn I will not be judged!

With my stellar academic record and corporate performance, I had thought of myself as a career-oriented woman but those plans now stand paused in the wake of the pregnancy and now the baby. I had heard that the corporate machinery considers this phase as an inconvenience from my friends, but my experience has been quite positive. I am glad that my company and supervisor has given the all the support in terms of a reduced work burden,  unconditional leaves and the option to extend my maternity leave while I tend to my baby. I do hope to join back as soon as I think my baby can stay without me and continue from where I left.

It’s been three weeks since I gave birth. As you heard from me, my pregnancy was not very pleasant and then the child birth was a trauma what with the scare of Covid all around the hospital. I wonder why they sell this phase of the life as something that every woman should not only experience but also wear on her sleeve as a medal of achievement! I am still learning how and when to feed my daughter, change her nappies that just keep on piling on and catch up on my sleep while my mother steps in to look after her.

The birth of our daughter has revealed an unknown pleasant side of my husband. I have seen him transform into a person who’s shielding me from all the worries of the world while I nurture our daughter. My husband is here now at my parent’s place, just for 15 days mind you, as that’s what the government thinks is enough for a spouse to support his wife who’s now a spanking new mother. It’s okay. I have seen him gush and coo with our baby. He admonishes me to get some rest while he tries to pacify our cranky daughter. I am indeed glad to see this side of him.

Despite what I have undergone, I feel so very, very protective of this bundle of joy that I am fortunate to cradle in my arms! I am grateful for her presence in our lives. We want the best of all things for her. I hope me and my husband can give her everything that she wants, needs and deserves.

These dreams of the perfect future for our daughter are but just a luxury right now. My daughter has just woken up from her short sleep and a groggy me needs to rush back to my motherly duties, now!