Friday, 2 October 2015
The Bun in the Oven!!
I often wonder - now that after four years plus of eventful parenting it all looks like a past as distant as if the rest of my life was not coherent but a past life – as to how did I, we, at all go about it? How did we come at it, at making her? At making our daughter - a blossoming fairytale that she is unfurling every day to be?
Going back to the times when we were “planning” for a baby – I wonder what we were thinking. On the surface of it, it was rather plain logic. Just the way it seemed normal to us that we have all who we have in our families, we will, too, have a kid or two. And, unlike the other ones that we already have, this last one would need some conscious decision-making and efforts from our sides. And, we were game for it. And then, if we so chose to, we would rather choose an age that suits it well - the statistics of new moms at the wrong side of 30 look a lot less impressive than the ones on this side. With such thoughts, and notwithstanding the implications this might have when my promotion seemed just round the corner, or when we thought we’d finally take that road-trip to frosty mountains - having deferred it for some years already, or when I had almost really planned to set myself right - shape-“wise” - in honor of that pretty off-shoulder gown I bought but never wore, I set out for the journey to become a mom myself… And whoa!
Now, from this side of the fence, I smile when I hear them “planning” for babies. For - for all I know from my own journey - you can never plan for something that is so purely emotional, so genuinely unadulterated, so utterly inexperienced. All you can, and the only way you can go about it, is to go with the flow. Go with the flow – that is what I did. But there I digress. And here, I bring myself back on track!
Inflicted with PCOD like another nine of every ten girls at my time and age, I took myself to a doctor and got myself into a few routine rounds: blood tests – medicines - follicular monitoring – shots - repeat. After a couple of months’ of failed attempts which were neither too many nor that I did not let myself sink into desolation with, finally, one time, the usual affair of the monthly Beta-HCG test recorded an unusual number in its report. It was high – but then, while it was just high as to waive off that nothing had happened, yet, it wasn’t high enough so that we could be happy without a worry. As I stood outside the small “report-collection” counter inside the hospital - alone and strangely cold, not knowing what I should really be feeling - before calling my husband, I called my doctor to read out the report to her. Concurring with my apprehension, she too didn’t say anything concrete to it, other than instructing that I repeat the same test at forty-eight hours gap a couple of times further. I did. It could be a scene of ectopic pregnancy is the number didn’t rise as much as it should – she had later told me, once I was out of risk-zone in that. However, it wasn’t! It jumped up and up merrily, the Beta-HCG number. It was on the third installment of test, I think, that my doctor finally heaved a happy sigh of relief, and then she told me – first – what I was to hear for several more times for the immediate days and months that were to follow.
She said: “Congratulations!”
The reports said it’s positive, and with time my tummy said it too, and the guy at the medical shop would give funny looks when I went back to him the umpteenth time to buy yet another test-pack at even fifth month running- I just could not sink in the news for months together!
I. Just. Could. Not. Sink. It. In.
And then, at about five weeks since that day, my doctor ordered me an ultrasound test - which is what I am here to write about, today.
I visit the hospital. Much used to the faces around and the process - out of the numerous follicular monitoring that I had undergone already – I complete the formalities at the billing desk and bring myself to the queue outside the semi lighted blue tinted ultrasound chamber. The nurse, acquainted smiles at me and gets me ready for the doctor t walk in. “I am pregnant” – I hush to her, indicating that this would not be a repeat of the regular trips I had been making since, but different.
Different… Oh yes, different! “Congratulations” – she smiles back. The lady doctor walks in…
The usual several glasses of water to put my bladder brimming, the usual dab of cold, transparent blue gel on my abdomen, the usual rub of the round mouth of the ultrasound probe - and there, up there, on the monitor screen… look at that! Amidst the white and grey on the screen, there - a tiny dark thing, clear and distinct, floats about slowly, very slowly! No – no limbs, no features or shape until then… but then, the radiologist says – there, you can see it.
It looked like a boat – a life-boat – sailing amidst the waves of the Sea. The ultrasound monitor screen… it transformed!
With her trained, experienced eyes, the doctor said she can spot its heart too!!! And then, she made me hear some faint galloping sounds and said those are her real heartbeats. “It is a unique time that you have two hearts beating inside you!” – The doctor tells me, looking down at my eyes with a motherly smile.
A routine, clinical procedure that it is – have you heard of anyone having her heart race, tears fill up, lump in the throat. Oh, ask an expecting mother who has gone for her first ultrasound!
“Thank you, thank you!” – I whispered back to the doctor, to the nurse…
That was special. That was special! As cliché as it may sound, as common as it may sound – it still overwhelms me how I – we – hold within us that divine ability to create lives inside us. Hw a tiny, tiny thing starts in us, lives in us, grows in us, starts looking, starts hearing, starts moving, and how, on that final day, it comes out from us – one whole, full, complete individual!
Oh, it beats me, still!!
As I wrap up this flash-back, she – now all of four years – comes rushing to me. The conversation that follows, between us, goes as this –
-Mum, let's play Sun-family. You're the Mum Sun, and I'm your baby Sun.
- But you cannot have two Suns. There's just place for one, in the sky.
After a brief thought...
-Okay, then I'll play the Moon and you play the Sun.
- But then we won't even meet!
- Ohh! Now I know... That's why we are playing the human, both of us! – She smiles.
And she makes me smile. Like always!!
Okay, now, here the trumpet's going to go honk, honk, honk!!
Well, because... my this post won a contest, too!
Yay! Yay! Yay!
An alumnus of Indian Statistical Institute, Sinjini Sengupta is an Actuary by profession and a Writer, Painter and Public Speaker by passion. She writes in several literary genres ranging from social columns to poetry, novels to screenplays, and has won several national and international awards. As a poet, she won the national level English Poetry contest – Rhyme India – hosted by Times of India in 2016 and several of her poems got published in Feminist anthologies like She The Shakthi, etc. In fictions, her story won at the South Asia FON contest to be published into an anthology. One of her stories made into a short-film got selected at the 69th Cannes Film Festival, 22nd Kolkata International Film Festival among many others and won best film award in Caleidoscope (Boston), Best Director in Kolkata International among many others. As a scriptwriter, she won the Best Screenplay award in International Film Festival PickurFilms among 550 films from across the globe. As a Columnist, Sinjini writes mainly on emotional well-being, gender issues, social reforms and parenting in a plethora of publications including Huffington Post, Speaking Tree – Times of India, Youth Ki Awaaz, Anandabazaar Patrika, Readomania, Our Front Cover, Baby Destination, World of Moms, Feministaa and several popular magazines. She was recently awarded the prestigious Orange Flowers Awards 2016 (RU) for her social columns. She won the coveted “Iconic Woman Award” at the Women Economic Forum in May 2017. Sinjini was a finalist at the Quarter-Finals of the World Championship of Public Speaking in 2017. Sinjini is now working on her debut novel, Elixir. Sinjini’s blog can be found at: https://sinjinisengupta.blogspot.in/