The anticipation of the first cry

The anticipation of the first cry

Last night while I was sleeping, I tried to convey to my partner the feeling of panic recorded inside my gut. “It’s like I’ve paid for a rollercoaster ride and waited my turn and any time now I’ll be sitting there,” I said. “there’s no going back.” Unlike my sister, or my siblings, I always have to indulge in vertical rides. When I consent, reluctantly, my way of coping with the unknown is to keep my eyes closed until I make it to the other side. I can hardly hide my relief when it’s over. I am happy to be back in the comfort of the field. I remember being five years old and on a rollercoaster in Fun City, Kuwait. I screamed so loudly that I wanted to get off, they stopped the ride and let me go. I can’t confirm whether this actually happened, or if I imagined it, but I remember it clearly. It was no surprise, then, that when I fell asleep last night I had a recurring dream that has appeared before on many life-changing occasions—I find myself at the wheel of a car, except I don’t. Knows how to drive, but I expect it to be fake. I somehow usually manage to remind myself of whatever basics I’ve absorbed osmotically. Last night, for example, I kept saying, ‘Put your feet to the brakes’ over and over again.

However, I do not know that I have ever encountered such a moment as the climax – a clear case of the end of a phase in my life and a new beginning. Truly no one is going back, no one is going east. Today is Wednesday, and while I usually send my columns on Thursday, this time I know I will spend tomorrow recovering from a scheduled C-section and navigating the start of motherhood. Although I know that I have ceased to be a singular entity since I imagined myself to have become host to another creature, I am still amazed at the knowledge that I will finally give birth to my child in all its flesh. And will meet in the bone, that in whose presence I have felt from the moment it fell into my uterus, whose heartbeat I had seen and heard when it was still a fetus, and which I would have developed for months. Have seen—the space the expansion of her four-chambered heart, occupying her thigh bone wonderfully stretched to suggest her advanced height, would no longer be a sovereign entity in my womb, rather protectively.

I don’t know if I will be undone by the first cry that will announce her fragility. The inability to anticipate how I’m going to feel is exactly what compares this moment to a rollercoaster ride. I craved and felt intimidated by the notion of being dependent on me for my existence, which is why I’ve never had a pet in my adult life. I chose motherhood only when I felt secure enough not to go it alone, that I had someone who would testify, and participate in that journey. And that’s why, I guess, I told my partner that I’m not so afraid of rollercoasters. “You are with me,” I said. It’s not just the two of us. The feminist village that I have been building for the last 15 years is coming with us on this journey.

I think about the leap of faith that I took back in June 2020… It would have been two years in three months and here I am able to understand and communicate completely in my language, not in this feeling of being at home. I fully accept the sentiment. And apart from all the people who are with me and my family back in Mumbai and Dubai, I have this scattered circle of dear friends who have been in constant touch, participating in my journey, holding my hand, holding me advancing. My Village is surprisingly diverse and is represented by not only those who have made the transition to motherhood themselves, but also those who have the wisdom and courage to make the decision to be child-free, people who couple with- Are single and independent with the audacious; as well as those who are dealing with the complications of being reproductively challenged. For those who have enough grace to see beyond their sorrow, it is a blessing to have joy in one’s corner. It reveals the vastness of the soul.

I am excited for my child to slowly encounter each of the incredible people in our lives and be transformed by each exchange. Yesterday, as I lay on my balcony, soaking in the joy of the early spring sun, I also thought how wonderful it would be for our child to return to a state of bloom in the radiance of the alpine landscape for his fourth quarter. .. Apple and cherry blossoms wild and cultivated, their sight arresting the lush of magnolia, the gentle green-bitter-sweet shoots of fig trees swaying on the tail wind of the afternoon winds that make their way from Lake Garda Banega, the yellowness of the flexible dandelion being harvested by my father-in-law to make salads, the snowdrops penetrating the valley and the penance-pilgrim-like postures of daffodils, the heady sweetness of night jasmine stuns our senses. It is within this wonderful relational village-universe that we will take our first steps as parents.

Deliberating on the life and times of Everywoman, Roslyn D’Mello is a distinguished art critic and author of A Handbook for My Lover. She tweets @RosaParx
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The views expressed in this column are those of the individual and do not represent the views of the paper.



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