From the diary of a mother

I had always believed that having a sibling is extremely important. But when my first born came into my life, that belief started to wither. I, no longer felt, we needed another child to make one happy family. My first born more than enriched every part of our lives. But some 6 years later, don’t know exactly what made me change my mind. Was it the abortion that left me feeling guilty, or was it the happy sibling pictures my friends posted online that looked super adorable? Here I am, 6 years and 10 months later with a little infant in my arms.

Well, this is not about my journey from a parent to one to a parent to two! This is about things that second time parents don’t tell anyone:

1) You won’t document everything: Baby bump pictures, first smile, first yawn, first romper, first eye contact… These are a few of the things that first time parents document but you will ease out with the second born. It’s not about loving someone less but not feeling the desperate desire to record every single milestone.

2) You will not be too uptight about hygiene and other things: With the first born, you want to do everything right. Not that you want to let go with your second born but somehow you don’t see your child as defenseless as your first time. You don’t fear germs as much – while you will dutifully sterilise bottles, soothers, you may not be too finicky about doing it all on your own (or under direct supervision). You want to let go and rely more on others to carry out some ‘very important’ tasks.

3) You won’t binge shop for the second one: Twenty rompers in different colours and styles, fancy diaper bag, imported diapers and the most expensive anti-rash cream – this is how you prepare for your first born but your second born will most definitely have hand-me-downs from your first born or from your close friends. You may even throw their clothes to be washed along with your other laundry.

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Have been waiting to take out time to log Leah’s delivery but just not getting time. Here I am – while LEAH and you are soaking sun with nani nanu, I am utilising the time to write – to unload some unspoken emotions.

It goes without saying that you were the most excited and impatient about her coming out of my tummy but your lymph nodes infection that aggravated days before my planned date managed to ruin it for all of us to some extent. 11th December night, none of us could sleep since you were in terrible pain. Even when you managed to catch up on some sleep, I couldn’t sleep.. not at all. I woke up at 5 finally, slightly anxious about the delivery process mixed with worry about your health. Your dad and I left for the hospital around 6.30 am (late as usual – we had to be inside by 6.30 am). I went straight to the labour room, where I was asked to change into hospital clothes. They checked my vital stats and readied me for surgery. I saw a woman there crying and begging doctors to let her go through c- Sec and somewhere I was glad that unlike your delivery where I was in pain for 12 hours almost, this time the process would be short. Around 8.45 am I was taken to OT. I was shocked to see the room full of doctors … my clothes were falling off from everywhere and there were so many docs witness to that (super embarrassing!)

Then the surgery started after local anesthesia and strangely I could feel all the sensation. I started to freak out imagining the process and my heart rate shot up. But then an anaesthesia doc put his hands on my forehead and said – we will soon show you your baby, please relax. I started to breathe deeply and focused on Leah- with visions of your new born face crossing through my mind. I heard Leah cry and I broke down. A doctor came to wipe my tears and asked – I hope khushi ke aansoo hain.. I laughed and replied YES OFCOURSE.. MY DAUGHTER WANTED A SISTER!

I am stuck somewhere between being normal and postpartum depression, but I want to thank you Thea for bringing Leah in my life. It has made me realise that I am not weak after all (later about this bit)

But a small request – don’t act all grown up just coz you have a small sister. For me you will always be a baby… my baby girl! I love you

 

Get well soon baby

my precious one! Your Leah is here but my heart is sad, seeing you in so much pain. The way you are still putting up a brave front, despite not having slept for 5 days in a row is something that makes me cry from within. I can see your excitement for the little one and I can see through your pain. And the very thought that I can’t take care of you at this moment is KILLING ME! If there is anything in this world that’s more precious than even my life, that’s you and how I can’t hug you tight to soothe your pain is a feeling that’s hurting more than my surgery stitches!! I love you my baby. Please get well soon

i know your dad is doing his best to take care of you but I KNOW THERE IS NO ONE WHO CAN HANDLE YOU BETTER THAN ME! No one!

You know when I conceived you, I was nervous and anxious both. The feeling was new to me. On top of that, I was not a very child-friendly person I confess. When you started kicking after 5 months, I started talking to you silently before repulsing the idea –  because I was never the motherly affectionate kinds and I didn’t know what would make me turn into one. Then you came and you turned my world around. Suddenly I had so much love inside of me to give that I felt so vulnerable. Never in my life had I felt like that before.

For starters, I couldn’t make myself go back to work after you. For 3.8 years I was with you, around you all the time. Even when I went back to work, my top priority remained you and that’s the case even today.

And then recently I found out that I am pregnant again – I wouldn’t call it an unplanned pregnancy but it was one where we hadn’t put much thought. I still remember the night I saw the kit show positive, I cried. You were fast asleep, cuddled in the bed but I couldn’t stop my tears. I suddenly felt why did I do it – You are my world and I didn’t have space to love anyone else. I kept looking at you for hours that night.. sleep having evaded me.

I have just entered my 5th month and I want to cherish every single moment with you – alone. I don’t ever want my love to be less for you or shared with you. I have my fears and anxieties again but you my ‘first born’ will always be the MOST SPECIAL person in my life. You made me a mom, taught me how to love and I have never looked back.

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My article in the Parenting section, timesofindia.com 

Kalpana Sharma | TNN | Updated: Sep 17, 2016, 02.49 PM IST

Motherhood is a roller coaster ride. But we all jump into it and dive so deep that the ‘pre-motherhood self’ would not even recognize us today.

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Many a times when you feel right on top of things, your kid will knock you down the parenting pedestal the very next minute. But you never give up, that’s never an option when you are a mother.

To describe my motherhood journey so far, I often use one quote -‘Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking out of your body.’ And unless you are a mother, you will never know the pleasure and pain of this quote.

I may have taught my 5-year-old daughter to walk, talk, hold a pen or a spoon but what she has taught me is far more priceless. Here are some lessons I would like to share:

Your child will never have a better advocate than you: When kids her age were starting nursery, I chose to give her another year. There were many who warned me of the consequences, of how I was wasting a year, but two years down I am so happy for having taken the decision. Your child turns you into the best advocate. It was strange how I never tried to hide the fact that she was not physically prepared to begin writing at that tender age. But did it make me lose trust in her? Not at all. This experience made me learn that I will never accept limits on my daughter. I will always believe in her and my instincts.

Crying is not the end of world : When she started school, she cried. When she saw me going back to work after my sabbatical, she cried. Not only her, but I cried along with her every single time. However, with time I realised that crying is a way of cleansing negative thoughts. So let the tears roll and don’t get stuck in the rut of emotions. Move on!

You will turn into your mother often: No matter how hard you try, you will end up applying some of your mother’s parenting techniques – even the ones you despised as a child.

Allow your kids to embarrass you: They will be asked some basic questions that they will pretend they don’t know answers to. Or they will announce in front of 10 people that you did not give them a bath because you were getting late. Or tell your parents and neighbours in detail about the ugly fight you had with your spouse last night. And if this was not enough, they will jump and show you the crack in their shoes in the middle of a sophisticated gathering. The only way to handle them is by embracing them. Don’t shut them up. Let them be honest and you will give wings to their thoughts.

Avoid the race: ‘Your child hasn’t starting reading yet? Mine started last year.’ ‘Your child looks underweight. Mine is of the appropriate weight.’ We all have come across mothers who are constantly competing against you, even when you choose not to play comparisons. Don’t be a part of this race, for the sake of your kid. There is no end to this madness.

Filter parenting advice: People will tell you your child eats less or her hair needs more oiling. Don’t fret. Take the advice you like and omit the rest right out of your head. Just enjoy being a parent.