It was one of those nights when I was complaining again of an unfamiliar, unrecognizable pain in my stomach and my husband was giving me ‘Here she goes again’ look. I was back from a hectic day at office – back to back meetings, software release just around the corner, fights with the development team – and had buried my face in the pillows to comfort myself.
“This is a daily thing with you these days”, he said. I gave him a nasty look and said, “Be at my place and then say it.” And then added that it was anyways not a false alarm. This thing, this mass of cells, these tiny legs and arms were ready to stretch and the little bobbly eyes were seemingly hungry to see the world. Till 11 in the night, we kept fidgeting with the idea whether it was the real siren of a long pending arrival or just a fake. But now the pains were regular and I was writhing every time. One call to the doctor and she told me to time them and if they were less than 10 minutes apart, to come to the hospital immediately. They were indeed less than 10 minutes apart and I was about to get into the one and only action scene of my life where I would be screaming out my lungs and my guts literally.
“But there are still 3 days left before my maternity leave starts. The product release is due in two days.” I wondered loudly while sitting in the car and my husband couldn’t help but laugh at me. He said pointing towards my unimaginably inflated tummy, “Look at our product which is about to release now.”
I sprawled on the bench for the nurses, doctor and attendants to see what was happening. I was their guinea pig for the night. I kept kicking my husband the entire night with every gush of pain. That day, my husband understood why it was called the labor pain. By early morning, I was exhausted, my husband was bruised and my son was showing no inclination of leaving the safe havens of my tummy which I felt was way too cramped for him. But as soon as the doctor came and checked on me, he decided to burst open his watery cushion and there, I was wheeled into the delivery room which was not even remotely close to the set you see in the movies. Or maybe I was too faded to notice.
All I remember from that moment is the high pitched “Push” “Push” in a chorus and one of the over-enthusiasts screaming right in my ears whose collar I grabbed and asked, “What else do you think I am doing?”
And then my stomach just made a ‘thup’ sound on colliding with my back bone and a little screaming boy was put on it. Little did I know that this small wonder was going to be my lifeline from now on. My maternal instincts were like a tubelight so the relief on my face was more from getting rid of the pain and the exhaustion than seeing him for the first time. Please, no brick bats for me. I warm up to the new friendships a little late you see :-)
6 years have gone by since then and that little neatly folded package with an alien elongated head is now a naughty brat who fights with me, teases me, makes me smile at the snap of his tiny fingers and already knows the tricks to make my heart melt when I am angry with him. These years were not a cakewalk and I am sure even the next 6 or 12 or 24 won’t be but the cake cutting at every birthday will continue. His favorite characters will rapidly change from Doraemon to Spiderman to Selena Gomez and Kim Kardashian but we will always raise the toast to this friendship that begun 6 years ago and will continue for our lifetimes. To the rising son of my life.