Six years ago, for the first time, I became a mother —to a baby boy.
A boy: who holds a lot of value in Indian culture and whose birth tags a couple as complete for now they have produced an heir for their family.
From a cultural point of view, with a boy in my lap – I was done with having children.
But from a personal point of view, I wasn’t.
I longed to have another child and gift my son a sibling.
I was overjoyed when I conceived again. My version of ‘complete’ family was going to materialize in 9 months! A month and a half passed and as expected, I started experiencing the early signs of pregnancy – nausea, fatigue and the like. But what didn’t sit right with me was their absolute contrast with the early signs of my first pregnancy. One of them being my cravings for desserts as opposed to those for spicy foods that I had while I was carrying my son. Just two months into the pregnancy and the different cravings set me thinking:
‘What if it’s a girl?’
Neither: ‘What if it’s not a boy?’ (This has a different meaning.)
Nor: ‘Whoa! This pregnancy is entirely different from the previous one!’
Not at all: ‘Yay! I guess it’s a girl!’
Rather: ‘WHAT IF, it’s a girl?’ which made my heart sink.
My real journey of pregnancy had just begun: over-thinking, flipping out, anxious and what not!
It’s not that I didn’t want a baby girl for the stereotypical reasons of dowry, futile expenditure on education and the like; but an entirely different reason — I never saw myself as capable enough to shoulder a girl’s responsibility.
I feel, girls in today’s world are unsafe, vulnerable and perhaps, that is why they are sadly also termed as the weaker section of the society.
‘How would I protect my girl from so many so-called vultures?’
Then, I was consumed by the vision of the day she’d tie the knot. The mere thought of my daughter leaving me and calling someone else’s house her home post-wedding; crushed me.
I was clearly not prepared to take on the responsibility of a girl child.
A couple of months of pregnancy crawled away while this ‘what-if-it’s-a-girl’ thought continued to haunt me.
When my gynecologist performed the prenatal scans, I looked hard into the screen to know the sex of the baby. I googled ‘the signs of carrying a baby girl’ day in and day out. I wasn’t looking to do away with the baby (had I come to know it’s a girl), but the answer would have surely helped me prepare myself better.
Meanwhile, my anxiety flared up and soon, it engulfed my family too, which was obviously concerned about my happiness.
“It’ll be great to have a baby girl. One child of each gender completes a family truly,” I was told repeatedly. But, no amount of convincing could stop my fear from running over. I was imploding with restlessness!
Then, one morning while practicing Heartfulness meditation in a cozy corner of my balcony, a beautiful thought changed my perspective completely. My soul came face-to-face with my fears and asked:
“If ‘you’ don’t accept the child growing inside you, who else will?
How would she feel when she learns that her own mother never wanted her?”
My eyes opened wide and fixated on my belly.
I could hear my baby saying, “Mumma! Aren’t you strong enough to protect me? Didn’t you get married and leave your mother’s house so that I could come into being? Would raising me be ‘really’ so difficult?”
Something pinched me on the inside, a bit of my real self, and left me pale and dull.
How could I have been so insensitive to my own blood?
How could I inflict it with the pain of rejection?
How could I be so indifferent to an unborn baby?
That was the fifth month of my pregnancy and the ‘heart-opening’ conversation with my unborn made the next four a smooth sail.
I looked forward to having a baby girl now. After all, raising another boy would be quite predictable on the parenting front! I started dreaming of a life full of bows and booties, tutus and tiaras. I waited eagerly for a beautiful baby girl to fill my world with her charm.
Finally, the D-day arrived.
It was a girl!
The first thing I remarked after knowing that was:
“I knew it will be a girl! I WANTED a girl!”
Probably, I was ignoring the cry of compassion which the soul blooming inside me was sending out. But that morning, one session of Heartfulness meditation, changed it all.
Having a daughter in the family has completed us to an extent that I can’t even mention in words. The intention to keep her safe always has made me more aware and alert now. The happiness of seeing her usher another wonderful phase of life on her wedding day has only made my heart grow stronger and bigger.
Although it took me a while to forgive the worried mother’s soul residing in me; I finally managed to pour the deserved compassion on her as well, since I truly felt sorry for her.
Just one peep into my soul through Heartfulness meditation was enough to make me feel compassionate towards my unborn baby and later even towards my own self. If each one of us, resolve to peep into our real selves by meditating heartfully, the world will brim over with compassion and love for all existent beings.
With just a small shift in perspective, life becomes beautiful – often even more than we can imagine. All we need to do is open our hearts, connect to ourselves and sit back to watch compassion bring forth a revolution.