In the recent years, Turkey has emerged as one of the most sought after travel destinations. When the vacation hungry beast in me googled Turkey, I realized that April and May or September and October may be the best times to tour the country. The visuals of picturesque backgrounds and both the husband and I posing with trench coats in the foreground caught on to me. I even started checking my academic calendar to look for a good time to make a tour to Turkey. After a good long discussion and some rough budgeting, we decided to make the trip in June. The dream didn’t last for long. Before anything fructified, news came that we were due for December 2018 and travelling during the first trimester was a big no.
Until this news, our life revolved around weekdays and weekends. Weekdays were for slogging day and night in our respective workplaces while the weekends were timed to breathe and look around; and run those ghastly errands. Obviously with a pinch of little dressing up and partying. My husband and I both work in conventional professions (he is a lawyer litigating the Courts in Delhi trying to get Judges to grant his pleas; while I make my living teaching budding engineers the concepts of coding) and we get our long vacations in June and around Diwali. We looked forward to this time every year for some respite. Unfortunately for Turkey, 2018 was not going to be the year.
The feeling of voluntary travel exile had barely sunk in but the new lifestyle was already taking control of me. When I noticed, I found myself tip toeing while walking. The first trimester is supposedly the most crucial time for pregnancy. A woman carrying the baby has to avoid even the tiniest of jerks for safety of the unborn. Of course as the pregnancy progresses everything else also gets tougher, but for a newbie like me paying special attention to my gait was Commandment No. 2 (remember the 1st one was to keep the news secret for about 3 months). It means now I couldn’t whimsically break into a random little dance – Ugh the sacrifice! I realized I was the kind of person who rushed to getting things done. For instance, if my class was scheduled for 10.30, I would make a dash from my cabin around 10.27 and rejoice internally for making it just in time. I felt like I was made to enter a meditation camp forcefully.
The queries which I could not make while visiting the gynaec were now being answered by google and it became my first point of assistance. Should I drink this much water? Should I sleep in that position? Should I eat this fruit? Should I breathe that air? Even though an efficient search engine, with answers to most of the relevant questions, it was successfully in satiating me only with the assistance of my mom. She was the necessary sequitur to the abundant gyaan on the internet.
You will realize for your own self how the relation between you and your mother hits an all-time high during the pregnancy. Personally for me, after marriage my relation with my mother had strengthened considerably. The rebellious teenage acrimony I had with her once, had become a funny memory. She was also curious and concerned about my wellbeing and made sure I was well prepared for the task ahead. It is only after becoming a mother I realized the unconditional support a mother is to her girl; and how without an emotional connect, those days would not have been easy. Just like every mother, my mom has always been there for me, almost like the clichéd air we breathe but hardly notice (except in our masks these days). It is a blessing.
A year ago, a pregnant colleague in my workplace was literally rushing to the restroom every hour troubled by nausea. When visiting her cabin for an informal banter, I noticed a stash of tamarind tablets, a home remedy for this nausea. This and of course the cinematic visuals from growing up years made way for my first impression of pregnancy. I was certain I’d be vomiting away for the next nine months. Fortunately for me and my husband, I hardly ever felt this discomfort. I was happily craving and hogging on everything edible under the pretext of – “Oh now I have to eat for two”. It was not a surprise when I realized I had put on total 15 kg during the entire period.
My birthday fell during this period and it was special beyond words, because of the extra efforts made by my husband to decorate the house. Right from the cake to the wall décor, I could read MOM everywhere. The house exuded a scent of new beginnings. We both looked into each other’s eyes and imagined a new being with us on the next birthday. Everything was perfect that day, except for my aversion for sweet, which I discovered when I had a helping of the cake, officially marking the acceptance of the first trimester by my body.
A heart beat with its rhythmic up and down movement makes a sound of reality and signifies life. If you think of it, how often do we really hear our heart beating? There are moments in life that take our breath away and it is only then that we focus on our heartbeat; moments such as a tight hug of a loved one, seconds during the anticipation of the first kiss, moments when we fear separation from somebody we yearn for day and night, or maybe when we are nervous and taking a crucial decision. This brings me to a special memory I have of that time, my first ultra sound. It was pleasant November morning when my husband and I headed for the session. The doctor made us hear a soft dug dug sound which was to the heartbeat of the child. We were told that the child was healthy.
I am not certain of the exact emotions I went through at that moment, but I can clearly remember heaving a sigh of relief and feeling a sense of responsibility building up inside me from then on. That feeling has not left me till date and I guess this is what parenthood is. You feel attached to a being before it makes its way into the world as you understand it.