Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Great Expectations

I began this year, determined to stay optimistic and positive. But have you ever noticed, that the moment you take some important decision is exactly when life / fate / God puts you to the test? Its like He thinks, hmmm, so Shalom has decided to do so & so; well, lets see how she handles this. And BAM!!! Something happens that tests that decision's strength to its limits and my optimism flies out the window.

I am not naturally optimistic. In fact, I am the exact opposite, a total pessimist. I came to this self-realisation in college, and was quite disappointed because I'd always believed myself to be the "glass is half full" type of person. Its easy to be so when things are going great, but when problems hit, or any challenge comes my way, I realised that my instinctive reaction is full-on panic. I immediately think of everything that could possibly go wrong, and how completely unprepared and unable I am to deal with the situation.

But then I also realised something else: after the force of that initial panic ebbs a bit, I pray, and prayer and effort get me through the challenge quite well. So that's my modus operandi, that's how I function. I don't deny the panic, but I don't let it stay too long either (and here, fans of Lost might recall the pilot episode where Jack describes something similar, but I'm digressing, so back to the topic). I have to fight off the panic, I have to consciously choose to be optimistic and say, yes, I can do this, and I can do it well.

So now back to the start of 2009, where I was revelling in my optimism and the strength of my faith. Just a day later, and something happened, or rather didn't happen, that put a dent in my optimistic armour. Over the next few days, that dent became a mighty gash, and I panicked like I've never panicked before, all thoughts of optimism forgotten. I actually questioned God, why are you doing this to me NOW? We had had other plans in place, big plans, so how were we going to manage this ..... situation, along with all that???

I broke down in front of hubby, who bravely comforted me, suppressing his own worries in the face of my obvious distress. His one solution for me if I'm in doubt, is to talk to my mother who'll put us in a right perspective. And as always, talking to her helped control that panic, and then hubby & me both felt comforted. Practical as ever, she said we didn't know anything for sure as yet, and even if what we suspected turned out to be true, we could indeed manage it quite well.

Thus bolstered, I went ahead with my trip to Bombay, eager to see my mom, dad and sister. A couple of days later, something happened in the morning that completely clarified the situation - I threw up. Very resignedly, I then accepted it: I was pregnant.

After that, the changes hit almost instantly. Barely three hours into a shopping trip, I, who could happily spend a whole day shopping, suddenly turned to lead, plopping down in the nearest chair. I, who have always been a foodie, couldn't bear the sights or smells of most foods. I would bolt from the room if mom started cooking. I could keep down merely a fraction of my usual quantity of food. And though the number of times I actually threw up were very less, I spent hours feeling miserably nauseous.

When we returned to Bangalore, I went to see a gynec. At my first ultrasound scan, I lay down, and was craning my head to see the screen, not that there was anything much to be seen. I thought I could distinguish this line, so I asked the doc whether that was it. She said yes, that's your baby, and its about a centimeter big right now.

Oh, I thought, okay. She rolled the sensor thingy some more over my tummy, pressed a few keys on her keyboard, and then all of a sudden, this steady thump, thump, thump filled the room ...... and my mind went blank. I knew what I was hearing ........ but I had never imagined, never thought that there would be a heartbeat this early. Barely a centimeter big, but with a heart that thumped away strong and sure at 123 beats per minute!

Till that point, I think I'd been completely overwhelmed by the sheer responsibility we faced and how we would go about managing it; I was grappling with the nausea and crying jags so much so that I hadn't really thought about the baby itself.

Only after hearing that heartbeat, did it strike me that this is not a thing or a situation, its a new life, a new person. Hubby's best friend had a baby some months ago, and we just dote on that kid. I used to look at the new parents, and the pure love on their faces as they held their son or played with him, or just looked at him, moved me very deeply. I thought of all my blog friends here who are mothers, and the way you write about your children regardless of their ages, with so much love and joy ......

..... and it started dawning on me that we had been blessed!!!

The panic and the worry subsided then, for both hubby & me, and we started getting excited about our child. I won't say that its been all hunky-dory since then, because I went through the most intensely awful nausea, and its only in the past couple of weeks that its started to phase off. That affected my mood at times too, and it was again a struggle to not sink into a pessimistic slump.

But then, my family used to pep me up, and I would try to focus on my blessings to fight off the gloom: that we could conceive so easily when there are couples we know who have struggled to; that my parents happened to be here when we first found out and they eased hubby & me into this stage; that my mom-in-law then stayed with us a month taking care of us; that other than the nausea, I have had no serious problems ....... and so, managed to hold on to that optimism.

Last week, I completed my first trimester. This time, at the ultrasound, there was no need to strain to see anything as the image on screen was quite clear - head, body and limbs ...... our child, fully formed!!! And to our surprise, very active too, though I can't feel it yet since its only about 3 inches big! By God's grace, baby & I are both healthy so far, and I pray, and request your prayers too that we remain so.

Phew!!! Sometimes I still can't believe it ...... I'm going to be a mother!!!!!


  1. And what a beautiful post.....was glued to every line in here.

    yes tht heartbeat makes it real....brings back memeories:-)

    "I still can't believe it ...... I'm going to be a mother!!!!!"

    U knw even after the baby is born for a few months u'll go around shaking ur head in wonder.

    CONGRATS Shalom!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Anonymous8:26 PM

    Oh Shalom, congratulations. I am so very happy for you.

  3. Yipee.....CONGRATS....i read lapping each line there :). I am eagerly awaiting Shalom Jr. Keep us posted on the journey. So So So happy for you.

  4. Reflections - Thank You!!! A few months after marriage, I was shaking my head in wonder, the fact that I was a wife still sinking in, so yeah, I guess I'll go through the same after the baby arrives too :)

    Agnes - Thank you so much!!!!

    A - Thank You!!! Well, we don't know if its Shalom Jr. or hubby Jr. I'm ok with either, though I would love to have a daughter :)

  5. wow ! A very big congratulations!
    You are truely blessed . I was wondering why are you depressed?
    Achild is a true gift of God and once u take him/her in ur arms...u will never be the same again:) They always bring a new perspective to life:)

  6. Anonymous10:00 PM

    As A said, do keep us posted...

  7. congratulationsss!!!! i am speechless!! i was so so so pleasantly surprised!!!!

    and yea i can understand wht u said.. u r still getting used to being a wife and now u gonna b a mom too!!!!!

    Good luck lady!!!! boy! some news u gave :D

  8. Renu - Thank you!!! Yes, I know the baby is a blessing, and I wasn't at all depressed about the baby.....but the nausea I went through most of the time......God, that was just awful. That was really depressing, but I'm mostly over that, thank God!!!

    Agnes - definitely!

    Amrita - thank you :D :D

  9. disappeared again??????
    This is getting to be a habit with u:-P

    Come onnnnnn, post something!!!!

  10. Ohhh... I cant believe I missed this post O_O

    Many congratulations to you Shalom ...really happy happy for you :)

  11. Reflections - :D

    Smriti - thank you so much!!!

  12. you know Shalom i read the blue jeans post first and then realised i missed this one! I am so so so happy for you :) :). CONGRATULATIONS mommy to be!
    This news more than makes up for the irregular posts lately...

    And like everyone else has been requesting, do keep us posted on your journey to motherhood...would love read all about it :)

  13. Deeplydip - Thank you so much!!! Will definitely be updating significant events (and not-so significant ones :)) as they happen!

  14. Congrats again and welcome to the world of parenting. The beginning of a long and arduous but thoroughly enjoyable journey. Are you ready for a total makeover of your life? A true cliche. Oh and do make sure to watch all movies and make all trips you can if you haven't already done so. If not, it will be a while before you get to watch something other than Nemo or Cars in the theater. But don't worry, one toothless grin is all it takes to compensate:-)

  15. Lan - Thank you!!! Fortunately, hubby & I don't mind animated films so much, so we're sort of ok on that front :D, but yes I guess one grin makes it all worthwhile :D