Originally written on 3rd October, 2016
At the time of writing this I’ve been a mom for precisely four days. Four. That’s all. And yet the people at the hospital seem to think it is okay for me to take this little baby home. I feel like a bit of a fraud.
Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to leave the hospital (and especially the light pink pajama suit which never fit me quite right). I am also happy to finally drink in the sights and sounds of my baby without a nurse or doctor interrupting us every hour. But am I ready to become a parent?
I thought that pushing the baby out would make it all real. But no, I think that the moment the doctor actually says, “Okay, you can go home” is when it really sets in. One moment I am happy beyond words and the next I am terrified.
As we process the discharge I keep waiting for the doctor to tell me what I am supposed to do next. Surely there is some instruction booklet like there was for the epidural I took? But no, it seems not. Looks like they are just going to let me leave with this tiny gem.
We get home and my mom is all smiles and tears at the same time. Her little baby is all grown up and has a baby of her own. There’s too many people waiting to welcome Baby M and once the celebratory snap has been taken, he’s out of my arms. Even with his tiny fists shut and eyes wide open, Baby M works the crowd like a pro.
That evening, the only time I get Baby M in my arms is when he starts crying. “Why is he crying?” they ask, and a silent look passes between BawaGroom and myself. It’s only been 4 days after all. Why would these people who have grown up three and four kids each think we’d have the answer to that question? I simply grin and work off my checklist – feed, burp, change, sleep, repeat.
Before I know it it’s night. I am secretly proud that I’ve managed to keep my baby relatively happy for a whole day without too much of ‘adult’ supervision. Ofcourse, the bubble bursts two hours later when Baby M won’t stop howling in the middle of the night for no apparent reason. But atleast I don’t have an audience for this except for my mom who magically puts him to sleep again in under 10 minutes.
She sees a helpless tear in my eye and brushes it away. Don’t worry she says, a child gives birth to a mother and you will slowly figure out what Baby M needs. Suddenly, I am reminded of my favourite art installation at Bandra which says just that. It’s only now that I completely get what they meant.
Welcome home Baby M. There will be tears and I will likely not know why you are crying most of the time. But, know that there will be plenty of laughs too as we both grow up together!