Chapter 8: A Kick and A Nose


April 20, 2012

I’m sitting in the waiting lounge of Sitaram Bhartia Institute of Science and Research for my routine check-up. Just like that, out of the blue, there’s something like a pulse inside my tummy. I’m jolted to attention… what’s happening? There—there it is, again! Realisation dawns. I just felt my baby’s very first movements.

Wow.

And this is not the ecstatic, overjoyed kind of “Wow!”  It’s the silent, awed and over-whelmed, eyes-wide-with-astonished-delight kind of WOW… whispered to yourself at the sheer magnificence and un-believability of it all….

Wow. I just felt my baby move.

I can feel myself slowly smiling and wondering.

This is the exact duplication of my reaction when I got the report of my first trimester ultrasound on Feb 18. That’s when I actually saw the shape of a slowly-forming human being… a rounded head, a tiny forehead and—cutest, amazing , most wonderful of all … the NOSE!

The black images show me a teeny, tiny nose; and here’s what the report says:
Nasal bone, measuring 3.1mm.

A 3.1 mm  nose. Wow.

It’s the same wow again. The same smile….

I can see you, baby. I can see your nose.

And now, I can feel you move.

 

So, what was your experience of feeling your baby move for the first time? Feel  free to share !

Chapter 6: One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns; “May you have no daughters, only bear sons.”


(All rights belong to the nursery rhyme creator; my twisting of the second line is in no way intended to be a violation)

All my blogger friends, most of them pregnant women from other countries sharing their experiences, either know the sex of their unborn child, or are excited because they will get to know soon. Well, in India, this is banned—sex determination, I mean. Know why? Because the family of the unborn child will most likely want to finish it off in the womb if it’s a female. Welcome to our great land.

Alright, so not everyone is like that. Educated city people will not kill the baby, mostly. But they will heave a sigh of despair and people will give them consoling wishes instead of congratulations on the birth. Even the ones who consider themselves ‘progressive’ will spout stuff like “Oh, these days girls are as good as boys and they are also earning and supporting their parents…etc…etc…” which does not really sound like a congratulatory statement, does it?

All cultures value the love of parents above everything else. It’s supposed to be unconditional. So then why do I meet so many parents who want a son because he’ll provide for them in old age, or he’ll be a source of security and a daughter will be a liability because you have to start stacking up the dowry for their wedding right from the time they’re born? (I could get started on dowry and how hateful it is and why MEN need to stand up and speak against it, but this post would become a research thesis then and you probably won’t take the time to read it.)

So what I’m saying is, if parental love is indeed unconditional, why would you prefer to have a child who brings you more benefits (supposedly)? That sounds a lot like a transaction to me.

Anyway, to come back to the point, even before I became pregnant, I’ve been getting “blessings” from a whole bunch of elders to bear a son. Really, now. What about your own self, madam? Do you feel sad that your parents gave birth to you and not to a boy? I’m sure you spend your days filled with self-loathing, cursing the day you were born. Shame.

Okay, so I’m getting side-tracked. Back to my story: Farhan, my husband’s cousin, is living with us right now, and he’s such a godsend ‘cause I have someone to talk to while Sajjad is at work. So, I have these very strict instructions for Farhan:

“Listen, bro, I’m gonna buy a chart paper and a permanent marker, and if I give birth to a baby girl, this is what I want you to write on it and stick outside my hospital room: IF YOU ARE COMING TO CONSOLE US INSTEAD OF CONGRATULATING, PLEASE TURN BACK RIGHT NOW. WE ARE CELEBRATING.”

I’m a religious person, and though I didn’t wanna bring religion into this blog, I can’t help but mention this: When Moses asked the Lord what he does when he’s happiest, God replied: “I create daughters.” I’m so looking forward to having a daughter. But then again, I’d be equally happy if it’s a son. So long as she/he’s healthy, happy and sweet-tempered.

I’m not going to choose. God will choose for me. Because you cannot—and should not—be picky about gifts. Especially when they’re coming from heaven………

Chapter 4: Knock-Knock… @ 144 beats per minute


Jan 14, 2012

9:30 a.m.

I’m at the hospital for my first ultrasound—the TVS, or Total Vaginal Scan, to be more precise.  It’s one of those countless, hugely embarrassing exercises that you are subjected to during the course of your pregnancy. But the reason this TVS merits a mention is here is not because of it embarrassing nature.

It’s on this page because this is when I say “Hello…” to my baby for the first time.

It’s when I hear that sound.

Knock-knock-knock-knock-knock………..

Now, this isn’t like the twin bump-bump, bump-bump of your heart (that your palm feels across your chest) or your spouse’s (that you love to hear across his chest). It’s a steady, thumping knock-knock-knock-knock-knock…. Like a super-fast engine rushing ahead…. in fact, the super-fast little baby in a huge rush to reach its destination.

The sound fills my ears, it fills the room, and I am wonderstruck.

This, this precious moment, is my first pleasant contact with my baby. After days and days of whining, moping, crying and cursing (the world, not the baby!) this knocking gives me one little moment of simple, wondrous pleasure.

“Hello, little one…”   I feel happy.

My first thought, of course, is that Sajjad isn’t here to share this with me. He’s waiting outside and I wish and wish and wish that I’d called him in. I make a mental note to ask him to come inside with me the next time. He’s gonna love it.

Here’s what the report says:

Early live intrauterine pregnancy of approximately 7 weeks.  Heartbeat : 144 beats per minute.

That’s one helluva speed for that teeny-tiny heart, little one!  I can see you’re in a great hurry to be here….