And; A Father Is Born!
And; A Father Is Born!10 mins 905 10 mins 905
He carefully parked the car in the parking slot, ensuring it was nearest to the entrance gate and equidistant to the bright yellow lines on either side. Turned off the radio station which is his favorite and a must for his drive back home on a daily basis. He quickly got down from the car and helped me get out. Holding me softly he ensured that I comfortably sit on the cushiony sofa at the reception. He moved towards the counter, spoke to the gentleman sitting there, gave him his credit card and with a serene face punched in his credentials in the swipe machine. The gentleman at the counter smiled, looked at me smiling and then asked a helper to guide him to the second floor. He continued to hold me to the second floor in the mirrory musical lift. I independently walked towards the counter, filled a form and signed it while he was looking for room number 102. Prancing like a ballerina with her hands resting on pelvic bones, he inspected the room again which was neat and spotless. He carefully held me and got me in the room and said: “the D Day is here and this is gonna be your room for the next 4 days. Hope you like it and are comfortable". I fake smiled at him and my anxiousness forced me to say just one word and that was WATER (Paani). "Jal hi jeevan hai" our childhood quote was feeling so apt at that point in time when you just want to ignore whatever is going around and gulp a glass full of water to handle the volcanic eruptions inside your heart. He passed on the water bottle to me and helped me sit on the adjustable bed so that I can breathe deep and relax for a while. I finally accepted the fact that I was in the hospital for something good and in an hours' time my life is gonna change completely. I am gonna get a life in this world which would be totally dependent on me. From that carefree, bindaas, happy go lucky young girl; I would now transform into a careful, responsible & amenable lady. While these thoughts were storming in my mind and the impact also visible on my face, reassured that he is and always will be there beside me to share each and every responsibility coming our way! In a jiffy my lips smiled and the tension faded far away..Seriously...That Jadoo ki jhappi concept..worked...I still thank him for that.
Back Home, his sister had arranged for a balloon decorator, who had agreed to put some 200 balloons across the rooms, in some patterns, the names of which seemed more difficult to him than a doctor's talk. It was done in two shades white and blue almost like a Blue Santa, with some neatly tied together in the shape of flowers, or hanging like a dangler with biggest one at the top and tapering to a narrow and small white one at the other end. So now here in the hospital, his eyes moved to other parts of the room, and locked itself on the small rectangle shaped pillow on the bed and a cot near the hospital bed. Neatly placed in the middle, barely large enough to support his palm, his fingers reached out and caressed the feathery plume, the softness sent chills down his spine. He had never been like this in his life; was he scared? No nervous may be? Or unsure or all put together. He had often quoted “Present fears are less than horrible imaginings” from the Macbeth and here he was with a knot in his stomach, short breaths, unsure of what the next hour would bring into his life.
A new person, a real one was going to be in our life, all this while it seemed only like someone on that ultrasound paper report, like a fantasy or more like stories you hear from friends, and we had never believed them, always pretty sure that we will be different. We had always been in command of our emotions, never allowing them to overflow, the dam had always withstood the pressure. A small person, a baby, a tiny tot, a cheeni meeni baby was arriving; and we were the adults, the caretakers, the grownups, the guardians and many such adjectives came to my mind for both of us. My mind was cluttered and amidst this emotional overflow, He was behaving like a jyotish that day and seemed as if he is reading everything going on in my mind. He held my hand tight and said "Sab theek hoga". This sentence said it all. I still sometimes feel that he is in a wrong profession (IT), he should have been a face reader or may be a stylish tarot card reader. Anyways jokes apart, on the other hand; equal was his anxiety or may be more but he was behaving better than me. I still don’t understand how some men behave as a pro in certain situations. He couldn’t have behaved better.
“Getup…its time” ….fell on my ear….who is that? I think it was in Hindi, must be my Gynae or may be the sister. I opened my eyes and saw the emotion of hurry on his face. I got up from the bed, chanted gayatri mantra and got a pic clicked on the wheel chair and confidently moved towards the OT with a sister helping me with the wheel chair movement. I insisted on walking till the OT but protocol is protocol, you know. Those tensed and love filled eyes said good luck to me silently. While I was taken to the OT, he ran towards the God's corner, prayed and ran back towards the waiting area outside the OT. He was lucky to have his family around waiting with him with the same nervousness and hidden happiness which was waiting to come out loud after an hour. Áfter the initial pleasantries of a C-Sec, I settled my eyes towards a digital watch hanging proudly on the OT wall. Watching the seconds go by and my mind regularly doing the reverse countdown, I continued chanting the gayatri mantra. As expected, a team of well-dressed doctors, assistants and nurses came and surrounded me while I was lying on the scary bed and the super scary OT setup. While they started their process, one of the doctors asked me my husband's name. I slowly whispered Hubby. In about 45 seconds he was sitting beside me holding my hand tight. I felt the same emotions occupying his mind which were natural for a mom to have. One of the doctors, I think he was the pediatrician, said “jis bhagvaan ka naam lena hai le lo, aapka baby next 30 seconds main aane vala hai”. His words seemed like those old epic serials where some guru did a bhavishyavaani and thundering voices surrounded that dialogue and that dialogue echoed in the universe. Amidst all those voices in the OT, suddenly I heard the first voice of my baby which was obviously a cry but still so beautiful. Tears rolled down my eyes and obviously got wiped immediately by my soul mate sitting patiently beside me. The doctor clicked a pic of 3 of us in the OT and said here is your family picture, enjoy! Hubby was asked to go out while I was dosing off slowly in the anesthesia. Someone along with him walked out and said something, and everyone was happy, wishing each other, some hands reached towards Hubby, my inlaws, my bhaiya-bhabhi and a voice reached out to my mom over phone as she was in the train that time, travelling to meet her angel's angel. They were saying something and seemed so overjoyed, what are they saying? I kept staring at them while I was about to dose off. This continued for some time, till everyone started walking towards a room, then they all stopped and looked at Hubby, what? Did he mismatch his clothes? Did he do something wrong? What? Someone tell him quickly! His mom and sis marched on to hug him, the baby was in his mother arms, and his sis was trying to view over her shoulders.
The celebration and exchange of wishes continued for a few hours till I was brought back to the normal room. Next day, Hubby accompanied my mom to my room and then came the much awaited magical hug of my mom. This was the time when I realized that I haven't hugged my baby yet. I looked around and looked at the cot near my bed. My mom understood my silence and carefully walked towards me with my baby in her soft arms. My mom called me, “Hold” and started moving forward, I wanted to run away, but my feet were stuck and my body did not allow me to even think to move a bit. I wanted to yell Nooooooooooooooo……my lips didn’t give way. I had always been scared of holding a baby, but whenever I held them everyone commented on how naturally I was holding, and that I would be a great mom blah blah. Grownups are so weak expressing their fears. Somehow my fingers moved and they were pointing to the bed, OK said my mom and asked me to bend a bit forward. I moved my finger to touch the baby’s palm, it moved softly to my touch, I touched again, it reacted the same way. The softness beat the feathery plumes on the pillow, almost soft & delicate to a scary level. I touched the fisted palm where the base of the thumb rests on the curved finger, it suddenly opened up and curled against my finger, holding so tightly and yet so gently, with all my strength I couldn’t pull my finger out. He had found me. Among all the noise, commotion, pain and people, he had found the finger to hold onto, I smiled for the first time. I realized, I was breathing normally, almost wanting to shout out aloud, my voice was back, but I did not, I was anchored by my finger. Hubby was watching all this very carefully and enjoying every bit of it. I looked into his eyes and he nodded his head trying to say something in mute mode. I think he was saying – do not worry, we will be good parents and will sail through this journey smoothly.
All these 4 days at the hospital, it was Hubby who took care of every small thing of mine like a mom does. He slept on the floor when the bed was occupied by both our mothers. He logged into his laptop at times to ensure that his office work is going smooth, he rushed to the baby shop nearby to ensure that all the required stuff is there and many more multitasking stuff eroded the energy on his face. All his day long tiredness just went away when he touched the hands of our baby and in return the baby curled around his fingers. When I was struggling with my body to get normal and when I was trying to overcome all the pain that came along with a C sec, he ensured my emotional well-being and speedy recovery. While others in his family were overwhelmed and super happy to welcome the new member in the family, he never failed to give me the required attention which others at home had almost forgotten. Everyone was so excited to ask about the well being of the little one that the focus suddenly shifted. But my son's father was there to give the special attention I needed. This actually helped me overcome the postpartum depression which otherwise could have been really risky. Days passed, weeks passed, months passed, I was back on track with still some glitches on my way. I actually was on my own just in a week's time after coming back home. I managed everything quite confidently and independently. I became a strong MOM that everyone knows but the assurance of those small fingers, the trust of that tiny thumb, the sleepless nights, the diaper changing days, the arms which became baby’s jhoola and many more such sweet gestures were giving birth to a Father every day. I silently saw a Father being born. It was a new beginning……Our Kid – our right direction in life was here. I was always sure that I married a good man as he made a really good husband but now I realize that he is equally a strong yet emotional father. I was the witness of his birth, his birth as a father and thus this small blogory (blog+story) is named – “And a father is born!”