Hey dear friend,
You know who you are, and that this note is for you. I know how you must be feeling. As someone who has been there twice already, I’d like to share a few things I have learned.
I know you are nervous. Will my pregnancy progress perfectly? What will happen then? Will labor be painful? Will I be able to cope? What will my baby be like? I hope to answer a few of these questions for you.
The pregnancy will progress smoothly and without a problem. Keep a positive frame of mind. Meditate when you can. Enjoy every second, every moment. Every kick that your baby awards you, is a sign of the privilege you have been given. Of being its mother. Stay focused on the positive. It rubs off on your baby too. Every wave of anxiety you feel is felt by your baby too. If you are afraid, the baby senses it. If you are positive, the baby senses it too. What do you want it to be?
Labors are never easy. Whether you deliver naturally or through a c-section, giving birth to another being is not easy. But we, as women, are naturally equipped to handle that stress, and forget it sooner than you expect.
The baby will arrive nothing like you expected. It looks wrinkly, a little powdery skin, eyes closed most of the time, tiny awkward little hands and toes. But to you, it will be the most beautiful thing you have ever seen. And then the baby cries. And wails. And you get afraid. What did you do? Is my baby in pain? Is she hungry? Is everything alright? It leaves all new mums, flabbergasted. Don’t worry, you’ll figure it out. We all do. 🙂
Babies for the first month, do not respond to you at all. You are just a caretaker. The feeding machine, the cleaning machine, the comforter. That is all you are. Be patient. Baby gets into the second month, and begins looking intently at you. The third month comes, and baby begins smiling. The fourth month comes, and the baby gets a mind of his/her own. Life gets so much better after that 🙂
There will be advice. All the advice you have been getting up until now, as a pregnant woman, multiply it by 10 and that is the amount of advice you will get. Anyone and everyone is more qualified to take care of your baby than you are. You don’t know anything, and they know everything. Why am I using the word ‘they’ here and not something specific? That’s because it isn’t specific. Everyone from your maid, to baby’s malishwali, to watchman, to the beggar on the street…. A piece of advice from me? Invest in a good pair of earplugs. Learn to nod okay, and leave it at that. Don’t argue, don’t fuss. Just say, okay. As far as the closer ones are concerned, saying okay and forgetting about it is not enough. Take the advice which is seemingly harmless, but put your foot down as far as things like putting kohl in the eyes, or oil in the nose and ears is concerned. ONLY LISTEN TO YOUR PEDIATRICIAN.
Do a little homework before the baby arrives. Look around for a good pediatrician. Ask your neighbours. Ask your friends. A pediatrician is going to be your friend for many, many years to come. Get this right, and everything else will fall in place.
Baby will fall sick. You can’t prevent that. We all try our best that our babies should be completely protected, but it is not humanly possible. Just heed the ped’s advice and do your best to comfort the baby.
And there will be times when you feel like you just want to scream. There will be times, when you reminisce about your carefree days, and long for a nice long undisturbed hot shower. It won’t come for a long time.
I had a colicky baby. For the first six months of her life, she screamed non-stop between 5 p.m. to 10.30. p.m. and then she would sleep. I would begin dreading as the clock inched closer to 5 p.m. We tried everything. From colic medicines to craniofacial osteopathy. Nothing worked. Baby still screamed. I read countless number of articles on colics, visited endless number of forums where a surprisingly large number of new mums went through the same thing. One thing all of them said was to comfort the baby as much as possible, and keep saying to yourself, “This too shall pass.” As impossible as it seemed at that time, it did pass. We have moved way past that time. I take it as a positive experience, which taught me a lot.
Through all the experiences, ups and downs, if you ask me, having kids was the best thing I have ever done in my life. They are my source of joy and happiness. They let me re-live my childhood again through them. They give me so much more than I can ever hope to give them.
Motherhood is a demanding job, an endless one at that. But if you take my word, it is the best job you will ever do.
All my love,