Every one of us has some time or the other cribbed when we were expecting. We have told our partners that they are never home on time, we have told them they should give us more attention and spend more time with us, we have sometimes been depressed when they have had to work on a weekend and rob us of the chance to be together, especially when those pregnancy blues hit us.
We have all been guilty of this, one time or the other.
So how would you react when I tell you about this young woman, who never ever got a chance to see her husband when she was pregnant? Who only heard his voice five days a week over the telephone and told him over long-distance how it was to be going through this amazing feeling, to see the changes in yourself and your life, to know that the little one who would soon arrive to be a part of your family was already lying inside in wait?
This is what Ruby Chakravarti went through during her pregnancy. Her husband, who is with the marines, was called to duty almost immediately after the young couple learnt of the pregnancy. And since there was no one to look after her during the coming months, her husband took her to her maternal home. And five days a week, throughout her pregnancy, he called her to know how she was, how the baby was doing, and what did it feel like to experience this joy.
Ruby, who is now 29 and had a C-sec delivery, is the proud mother to three-n-half year old daughter Omisha. Spending all her pregnancy months at her mother’s place, there were many things she was told to do, things that would ensure a healthy baby, things that would ease her delivery as well, but it was difficult for Ruby to understand what really to believe and what to give a pass.
“Mothers will always be mothers, concerned, caring and over-protective. So my mother too was nothing different. And there were a list of things she had already prepared for me to follow” Ruby smiles.
“One of the things I remember her telling me is that I should have lots and lots of coconut and coconut water, so that I have a fair child. But since I hate coconut, I hardly listened. And now my daughter is of wheatish complexion, but it is only sensible you know, since both my husband and I are of a wheatish complexion” she laughs.
Ruby definitely thinks becoming a mother has changed her as a person, and of course for the better. “I have become extremely caring now, and a lot more emotional than I was before. And one thing that has definitely changed after the birth of my daughter is my outlook towards kids in general. Earlier I never had a maternal instinct and I would get very irritated when I saw kids who were naughty or creating too much noise or crying. Now, after I had my daughter, I can see all that irritation has been replaced by love and understanding.”
To be a mother or to be a friend is a question every mother today asks herself. And Ruby is no different. “I definitely want to be a friend to her” she says with a nod of her head. Since her husband is away on the ship for months on end, it is only her and her daughter at home. And without her having to mention it, we know it can get very lonely and difficult to raise your child on your own. “We are friends” she says. “She has only me and I have only her around. I can’t afford to scold and discipline her all the time. Rather, we are more like friends, I take her out to the movies, to the mall, to the garden, and we have a good time together, all by ourselves, every day” Ruby smiles, sharing the secret of handling the pressures of raising a child all by herself, without any help from her partner (who misses his wife and kid every moment he is away), or help from any relative or maid.
But I am curious and I ask her what I have asked my other friends too.
“There must have been something that irritated your partner when you were pregnant? Any mood swings, any nagging, anything?” I ask her, trying to help her with the obvious clues.
But she sits quietly on the divan, trying to think of something. And she finally shakes her head.
“He never got a chance to see me then. And whatever interaction we had was always over the phone. And those few minutes that we spoke, he would always check after my health and ask how the baby was doing. He was extremely extremely concerned and caring.”
Many moments have passed and it has been years now that Ruby has been with her daughter on her own. And it is lovely to see how this mother-daughter bond. And even though Omisha is now a little lady who has begun school, her mother remembers each and every moment of having her daughter in her life, as if it was only yesterday that she was born. “I had a C-sec operation. Some time after the delivery, I was taken to the doctor’s room where my baby was lying on a small tray. The moment I began speaking with the doctor, my daughter turned her head and began saying mumumumum…..it was AMAZING and the look on the nurse and the doctor’s face was that of astonishment. I have no words to describe how I felt then. My daughter knew it was me!!! Can you believe that?”
Yes, I can. For wasn’t it the sweetest voice Omisha had heard in all those nine months she was already with her mother?
It is so right when we say that nothing and nobody can ever be even close to what a mother is…..
Wishing Ruby, Omisha and the family a wonderful experience and a happy life always. Happy parenting!