I have been itching to write this blog. Not just because I love to write but because the last two months have been quite tiring for me physically, mentally as well as emotionally. Somehow I felt, writing might give my mind a break from all the disturbances. Things had been wandering in my mind since long but I was unable to find the time to put them down into words.
While I do not wish to delve much into detail about the overall emotional balance of my mind, I do wish to share something that I underwent while my stint at the hospital, where I delivered my baby. Like they say, “in the history of so and so..” for me too, the birth of my child coincided with a historical change that our country witnessed on the day. I gave birth to a baby boy on May 26th, on the very day, when India swore in its 15th Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Everyone was excited about the fact that the birth of my child will coincide with NaMo’s new birth.
But this blog post is not about this coincidence either. You must be wondering then what is it about? I am sure you would have got a certain hint from the title of this post. If you haven’t yet then let me take you through it. On May 26th, I was admitted into the hospital at 9:00 am. I was supposed to be operated upon at 2.30 pm. Prior to my admission, two days ago, my grandfather had called my mother and asked her, “When is the expected date of arrival of my great grandson?”; To this, my mother had very candidly asked my grandfather, how he was so sure that the coming baby will be a grandson. Whether it will be a boy or girl, I had not known till the very day I gave birth. However, everyone around me, from my mother to my relatives to people seeing me and even my iron lady, maid-servant, had forecasted that I will have a baby boy.
Each ritual associated with pregnancy that happened at my home had everyone saying, “ah! She looks like she is going to have a baby boy.” I was even fed sweets by kids (read: boy). This whole idea about boy or girl made me jittery from within. I always wanted a baby girl, so did my husband. The keenness to have a baby girl was so intense in me that I had to make up mind towards the end of my pregnancy- “what if, I had a boy.” I almost started planning the “Things I would do, if I had a boy.” I know I sound crazy, but I was scared. I was scared of the fact that I may not be able to react in the way I should be when I see my first child. Thus, it became extremely important for me to stay happy and content imagining different baby boy names. My husband, on one occasion, even asked as to how am I so sure that it’s going to be a boy; I just had one reply to his question, “it’s my conscience that’s telling me.”
This isn’t the first time that I had desired a baby girl and it turned out to be a baby boy. When I was in Class IV, my mother gave birth to my brother. Then too, I had wanted a baby sister but god had different plans. Now my mother tells me that my father and the doctor had known earlier that it was a baby boy in the womb. Though, they never told my mother about it.
Till the time, I was being taken into the Operation Theatre, I had been asked umpteen times by the different hospital staffs that came to check on me at the hospital room; “Is this your first baby?”…. “What do you want? Boy or girl?”… Finally, when I was being taken to the OT, my anxiety had reached a level that I couldn’t hold myself anymore. I just wanted to have the baby at the earliest. Seeing my anxiousness, my cousin sister, who is a doctor, very spiritedly told me, “don’t worry, it is going to be a girl.” Soon she jokingly added, “But, if it’s a boy please don’t come running after me.”
I was too nervous to imagine anything at the moment I was being made to wait inside an area, before being taken to the OT. At 2.30 pm, I was shifted to the stretcher that would take me inside the OT. The two male nurses, who were dragging my stretcher, were too kind to boost my spirits. One of them asked whether it was my first child, when I replied in the affirmative; he was too considerate to make me feel comfortable and said, “Don’t worry, all will be okay.” (He might have realized how anxious I was, considering my whole body had become cold)
At 2.45 pm, I was inside the OT. The local anesthesist asked me to sit straight and loosen my back so that she could give me anesthesia. Once the anesthesia was given, I was made to lie down and the rest of the procedures followed afterwards. The only thing that I can recollect of the time I was inside the OT is the “cry” that I heard when my baby was taken out. Though it wasn’t as loud as they show in all those films and TV serials, it was loud enough for me to notice. And, soon I heard my doc say, “boy.” That isn’t all. I was shown the baby after he was cleaned by the nurses. (It is mandatory to show the baby to the mother and take the thumb impression and the foot impression of the mother and the baby.) My baby was born at 3.22 pm.
Lets fast forward a bit. I was shifted to the post-operative care to bring me out of anesthesia. My husband came to meet me, 10-15 minutes later; I could see the happiness on his face. Hours later, my mother came to meet me. The happiness on her face cannot be described in words. It was like she had given birth to another child. Her happiness was akin to a child being given a toffee or being let to play. It was close to two hours, I was kept inside the post-operative care. I was getting too excited then because I wanted to see the people, my family, which had gathered in my room to welcome the new member of their family.
At 7.45 pm, two ward boys came to shift me to my room. One of them asked, “Aapko bachcha hua hai?”, I said, “haanji, bhaiya,”; He then asked, “ladka ya ladki,” I said, “ladka.” Then came the most expected response, “Madam, aap bohot kismat waali ho, aapko pehla bachcha hua aur wo bhi ladka.” I did not know whether to get angry or happy at his point. I was too weak to say much. I just managed to say, “Kyu Bhaiya? Ladki hoti to bhi kismat wali hoti.” The ward boy, very sheepishly said, “haan, wo to hai.”
The happiness on each member of my family was expected. They were on cloud nine. So was I. I was happy that all was finally well. My child and I, both were safe and sound. But there was just one thing in my mind, and which still lingers on in my mind however, I don’t know whether any one would ever be able to give a fitting reply to it.
"But..isn’t it a ‘girl’ who gives birth to a ‘boy’?"