I can’t possibly say something that hasn’t already been said about motherhood. The good, bad and the ugly side of it. But I’ll try, because I’m a writer and a new mom, and my days are all about a little boy, his needs, his poop and his gorgeous smile.
Almost exactly a year back an alarm bell went off in my head. Something wasn’t quite right and I felt the need to take a pregnancy test. Some part of me was giddy about this whole thing, with hope, happiness, anxiety, and the other part just kept saying on repeat, ‘you’re reading too much into this.’ And on December 1, after taking three pregnancy tests, checking with my OBGYN over WhatsApp, I declared to my husband that we were pregnant. We were going to have a lockdown baby.
What followed were months of anxiety mixed with a dash of anxiousness (yes I know it means the same thing), because bang in the middle of the deadly second wave we stood, me and my COVID baby. Locked in. From online yoga classes to buying everything off Firstcry, my pregnancy was nothing like Kareena’s super glam one. I even ordered those kaftans, you know, to wear at home, for no paparazzi to see, just me and my baby.
We tried to keep our spirits up. ‘Jalebi Baby’ was our jam and we danced to it pretty often. Mom or not, all I really knew then was that I was getting this forever buddy and like it or not, he was stuck with me for the next 9 months at least.
Do I remember the exact moment when the meta’mom’phosis took place? I think so. I remember after my surgery (it was a C-Sec, judgemental moms, don’t judge), while I was in recovery, going in and out of consciousness, I just kept thinking, I miss him. I want to see him. But how could I miss someone I barely met for a few moments during the delivery? That need to always be with him, that was the first time I knew I was now a mom. Baby before all else.
Fast forward to today. The baby is four months old, flashing smiles at whoever will look at him, charming the pants off pretty much everyone he meets and yapping about his 120 days as if so much has happened that he feels the world must know. His hopes and dreams, I suppose, in mysterious ga-ga- and goo-goos, that make me wonder in absolute aww what I have produced. A part of me, sitting outside me and chatting about what’s been up today.
My husband joked that I finally found a boy who enjoys talking (about everything). And I told him, well when I woman really wants something, she gets it — even if it means she must produce it! I want to say that this little boy has turned my life upside down. But the truth is that he’s turned it right side up. I want to say to all the moms out there that I see you … I finally see what it means to be you. And what a privilege it is to be a mom.
I’ve been asking myself: what is the life you want to give your little boy? Not the things, but the values. What do you want him to value? What do you want him to remember? How do you want him to experience the world? How do you want the world to see him? What are the memories I want to create for him? Each question and reflection forces me to look at my life and make alterations in my path. Each answer nudges me outside my comfort zone. So if someone tells you motherhood is all about your baby, don’t believe them. It’s as much about you and your meta’mom’phosis.