Feb 2, 2010

Celebrating Motherhood


For Sarah it felt like only yesterday that once again a Martian was born to another Venus!
Boys are a whole lot different from girls. That’s what was taught to her as a child and that she understood better only after she’d got married.
So when the doc’ announced, “It’s a boy!” Sarah’s immediate reaction was of dumbfounded ambiguity.
“How am I going to play my role well? Will I be able to understand him better than I understand his Pa?”
However, no sooner was the little 3.3 Kgs, fair, bundle of joy in her arms that all her doubts and apprehensions about her maternal instincts went out the window.
Her son nuzzled in the crook of her neck and snoozed in the cradle of her arms. That beautiful, perfectly chiseled face in deep peaceful slumber seemed to award her ‘The best place on Earth!’ title and Sarah gladly accepted it with a ‘Thank You!’ speech that mentioned GOD. “My son, my trophy!” she gloated.

This was at 3 Am. - the wee hours of the last day of the 1st month, last year.
Sarah had gone into labor at 6Pm.a year ago.
At this very moment, a year ago she was standing on the scales showing a good 4kgs increase in weight from last week as her Ob-Gyn’s assistant peered over her shoulder and took notes on a yellow sheet. The Ob-Gyn’, also a mother to a 2 year old was an amiable lady generally very easy to talk to. She now stared at Sarah’s extremely large belly from her table. Unlike most other docs her table was uncluttered and she was always in control of her dual life as a doc’ and a mother. She had to be on her feet constantly because her residence was right above the maternity ward in the same building. 
The doc’s shrill yet stern voice snapped Sarah out of her reverie. “You should have been more on the alert about your health” she admonished her “…After all, this is the final week of your pregnancy and you have to be ready for what’s coming!”
The Doc’s specs were perched on her petite nose and she was acting unusually edgy, almost unnerved. 

Sarah’s hubby, Jacob sat across her table with a half worried, half scowling face. He was the one most troubled over the past couple of days with his beloved, a to-be-mother, throwing tantrums and acting stubborn like a child herself. Sarah had been acting really difficult and had refused to leave the comfort of her snug bed to arrive at the Doc’s clinic for the routine checkup. He had had a tough time in coaxing her out that chilly December evening. Had he not, Sarah would have been in deep trouble!

She tiredly dropped into the chair besides her hubby, with swollen feet and sunken eyes, out of lack of sleep over the past couple of nights, dazed and jittery. “It would help if someone gave a smile right now!” she thought and did it herself, at that moment a little too oblivious of what was to happen within the next 8 hours.

Doc’ just responded to that smile by lifting her off the revolving chair, gently by the elbow and guiding her towards the Ultra-Sonography room. With great difficulty and with the help of the stubby assistant & a foot stool, she hoisted herself up on the bed and lay there with bated breath.  She could hear Jacob hurriedly scuffle after them. Once the Doppler tests were over and the fears of a breach baby were out of the way, tension waned from everyone’s faces.
Moments later, she was being led to the labor room and now it was Sarah’s turn at draining color to look like a whitewashed board when Doc’ declared suddenly out of the blue, “As I’d guessed, you’re already into labor dear!”

Then the real drama ensued. Jacob, obviously unprepared for the sudden turn of events, looked far more flustered than Sarah. Though he was the one, more eager to have the baby as soon as possible, he wasn’t ready for it right away! Flitting in and out of the labor room, he reminded Sarah of a butterfly. Restless! But something you couldn’t help falling in love with.
The labor room was impeccably clean, well-equipped and well-ventilated, thankfully! Sarah could look out of the window and see the streetlights switch on. The nurse at her aid was also in a cheery mood. She took all these as positive signs to fight the fear that was slowly rising in the throat.  The doting hubby darted in with a bottle of ORS water, bringing Sarah much needed relief.

The antenatal stress testing machine, by now, had its straps wrapped around Sarah’s swollen tummy like a seat belt and she set off on the journey of her lifetime. The rhythmic beep of the machine was telling her that all was well. Sarah now surfed through one painful contraction after another. The clock on the wall behind was ticking, its face showing 7.30Pm. The beat seemed to grow louder as the intervals between the contractions lessened. Hours flew by as she swiftly grew delirious out of pain. The nurses told her later that she’d not screamed as much as other birthing mothers had.

Sarah’s exceptionally good hearing brought to her ears, from between all the excruciating pain, bits and pieces of a dialogue between Jacob and the Doc’ standing right outside the door of the labor room. It was unmistakably her Ob-Gyn’s trademark shrill voice enquiring, “Could you give me the details of her Insurance or Medical cover?” and being a man of tremendous order, Jacob answered affirmative, going ahead and providing with the details.
“ He must have had the data saved in his Blackberry!” thought Sarah weakly. All the pain couldn’t keep her from brimming with pride for her superbly organized hubby. “ Aah ! I’m truly blessed to have the security of such a wonderful hubby around!” She continued her soliloquy.
The doors swung in and as Jacob walked in she couldn’t hold it anymore.  She burst into tears, enquiringly hysterical, “Am I going to die?”
The expression on his face was worth watching!
Though he’d reassured Sarah that nothing like that was happening, her imagination was running wild and the clock on the wall went on to strike 12.
Like a cuckoo from the clock, the Doc’ popped in and gave a throaty “ hrmmph!”
Sarah tried to decipher the encrypted language while continuing to concentrate on the huffing and puffing.
“Its time!” the Doc’ had plainly put it, preparing her crew of motley nurses who busied themselves around Sarah.
She had to now give the final heave and push. She did just that with all her might until she heard her baby’s wailing. It was sheer music to Sarah’s ears!

And it must have meant a lot to the Doc’ too ‘cause Sarah’s Ob-Gyn was all smiles, end to end, finally!
The Doc’ had seemed very proud of her and the nurses in awe of her grit and strength in bearing the pain.
The proud father, Jacob burst in and scooped his little son into his arms. After the initial euphoria and declaration, “My son looks totally like me!” he realized that a new mother was waiting. The beaming Pa proudly presented Sarah with their son and planted a kiss on her tired, sweaty forehead.
As Sarah held her suckling baby close to herself, all previous fears, ideas and notions about a boy-child were replaced with unprecedented love for the baby.
Sarah wondered why people said it’s a rough journey to get to this beautiful place called motherhood.  “And even if it was, it was truly worth every bit of pain!” She concluded.
Sarah was head over heels in love again and her heart was pumping with a plethora of feelings she’d never known before!

A year later from then, today Sarah undoubtedly believes motherhood suits her. “Fits me like a glove!” It has truly given more meaning to her womanhood. “My son has shattered all my previous notions. He’s proved that mother’s love sees no gender bias, knows not the Mars-Venus argument, loves any sun-sign or star-sign her child maybe!”
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