From discovering the twin pink lines on a home pregnancy test, sharing the news, day-dreaming of cuddles & baby laughter to throwing up each morning is one start to the bumpy ride we women gladly take upon! Then followed the Do’s and Don’ts, advice from left, right and center and the fear of not adhering to them and this is exactly what happened when I discovered I was expecting! My first trimester was spent in FEAR- what if I bend down to pick something? What if I squat to pick vegetables from the refrigerator? What if I don’t throw up? Am I still pregnant?! Should I be walking or go on a bed rest? Shall I sleep on my back, my tummy or my side? If my side, which one- left or right?
I realized all sorts of notions limited me from leading a normal life! Pregnancy became complicated, in many ways curbed the real me, who wanted to enjoy each moment, smile and bask in the glory of being able to create a beautiful life!
Yes, all the advisory boards in my life consisting of my parents, my elder sister (mom to twins) to my 7 aunts and my 16 first cousins (yes, it’s a typical family straight out of a Sooraj Bharjatiya movie), each one had their bit of “don’t do this and make sure you do that”. Some of it quite helpful, especially the home remedies while some were outright ridiculous like having tea will turn the baby dark skinned! I for one can’t start my day sans my bed tea and to give up tea- No way I was doing that even if it meant risking my child’s skin tone. My biology lessons on DNA in school had taught me that the parents DNA define the child’s physical characteristic with diet and lifestyle influencing degrees but definitely can’t change the base skin tone! But then again, it was my first so I didn’t have much of a say, did I?
So here I was giving up on my tea, eating for two because that is what I was told to do, downing milk, not bending or sitting down, not eating in front of house helps (nazar lag jayegi), not sharing the happy news with all since it was too soon, et al! Trust me I hated it! My baby and I were definitely not enjoying ourselves!
None of my friends were expecting along with me nor did I know of anyone in my circle or residential complex to be expecting either! So how do I bounce thoughts with someone who is going through this along with me and won’t be advising me but empathizing and sharing notes! Sigh! I needed a vent!
Google and Facebook seemed to be a solace, hunting for groups, blogs and then I discovered prenatal and Lamaze classes. The major part of me who only wanted to sleep all through the day and night definitely didn’t want to join in an exercise or yoga class! I am allowed to be fat, round and be lazy, isn’t it? But then again, had to kill the curiosity and one morning I found myself at a local prenatal and Lamaze class and I was dumbstruck!
The trainer made me squat, sit down, stretch, do surya namaskars, sit on a bounce ball and allow myself to bounce, lots of breathing exercises etc.! It was scary to say the least! Wasn’t I NOT supposed to do all this? All my ‘’are you sure I can do this” questions were laughed at lovingly by all the other expecting women in different stages of their trimesters and the trainer! I was finally among women who knew what I was thinking and had answers which made so much more sense! I was explained as to how squatting will make it easy for me to have a natural birth. How sitting on a cushion will help my posture and how a certain exercise will help ease my back! In fact I was even taught how to sleep! Then followed a Sunday session with the hubby and many more couples on the right eating habits and diet plans and whoa! I, a pregnant lady must not put on more than 800 grams of weight per week!
I need to consume maximum 3-4 fruits only per day and that proteins is what I needed to pile on rather than fats! I can actually eat the much needed fully ripened Papaya and my favorite Pineapple! I don’t need to become a Godzilla though I had turned into a Pregzilla!
In the months that followed, I learnt a balanced mix of scientific reasoning and traditional Indian Garbha Sanskar behind every change in my body, state of mind, the baby’s development, things I need to take care of, do to make life easier for me and the baby.
The delivery, Labour pain, Birthing choices, massage for the baby, post-delivery child care lessons, all the things I don’t need to buy for the nursery, all were eye opening and extremely special because my husband was right by me learning with me! It was even more important for me given that I was living in Mumbai sans any elders around. My team of maids and cooks and my husband were my pillars. Yes, our parents advise us throughout, our doctors too provide us with the right guidance, however, a group learning in a fun atmosphere which is patient and allows you time to ponder over and not rush through because of a waiting line outside, exchanging notes, bonding over weight checks and baby kicks is an experience one has to have. At one point, our Whatsapp Prenatal group was renamed as Prenatal Eating group because all we did was discuss our food cravings! What also helped me was that my Husband was a true blue partner in every little ounce of pain or smile and could actually help me deal with each situation! Often he seemed more tuned into the pregnancy progress than me and he knew to track the time lapse between my contractions and actually was able to tell me what to do during the massive labor!
So yes, one class changed my 9 months, my attitude, and my emotions. One class gave me friends for life because we are connected on our journey of being a mom, one class helped me debunk myths, rationalize my actions and just made it so much easy that I think am going to have some more kids!
Note: Images used are for representational purposes only!
- Ritu Mittal-Mukherjee
- September 30, 2016
- 7 Comment