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"Mummy, where did I come from?" When a child poses this infamous question to her parents, the birth story her parents tell her is priceless.
“Mummy, where did I come from?” When a child poses this infamous question to her parents, the explanation her parents give her is priceless.
She was around three when she started asking about where she came from. One line responses never did work for the inquisitive little one, so mummy decided to skirt around the bit about conception and focus on the journey of her birth instead.
And thus began their relationship with her very own birth story. It didn’t need any imagination on mummy’s part, as she recalled “how thrilled mum and dad were when they realised that a baby was growing in mummy’s tummy.” She was only too happy to share how she sang and read to her during pregnancy, and cared for her by looking after herself as best as she could. How mummy hated walking like a duck but loved swimming like one, which made mummy feel light and fresh. How mummy had decided not to find out if it was a girl or boy because she wanted it to be a surprise (and how daddy found out and had to work very hard to keep it a secret till the end.) How mummy loved hearing the sound of her heartbeat at every doctor’s visit and waited eagerly for her to kick from inside.
She was glad grandma had come over to stay and amused to learn that she was in such a hurry to arrive before grandma that she decided she would be born two weeks early. She paid close attention to the details of the waters breaking, of mummy rushing to the hospital and being examined by the doctors.
Her favourite part was the ominous pause at this stage, followed by “in the middle of the night, mummy woke up with pains in her tummy.” She giggled when she learnt that daddy woke up too, but only to take pictures for the baby book and went right back to sleep.
She held mummy’s hand when she heard about the pains getting worse and mummy being taken to the la-bur room. She stared in incredulous wonder trying to imagine the part where mummy had to push and push the baby out. She stopped herself from asking the hundred million questions racing through her head, because the next part was her favourite.
Mummy slowed down her narration here, as she herself savoured the memory of pushing out the wriggling and wailing energetic little baby girl and waiting impatiently with relief and joy, while they weighed and cleaned the baby, the howling only to stop when she was finally placed in mummy’s arms.
She snuggled up close to mummy as she heard how happy mummy had felt holding her for the first time. How daddy was so excited that he called up everyone in the whole wide world telling them that he was a father. How they both stared at her baby version in amazement. Was it possible for anyone to have such tiny, tiny toes and such a pink, pink nose? How that was the best moment in their lives and how proud they were to have a lovely baby girl? She loved this story because she was the star and no one else in the world had the exact same story as hers. It was a favourite with mummy too as it never failed to calm them both, especially on the days when the she was out of sorts.
Eventually the questions would follow. “But mummy, how did I get in your tummy in the first place, did you have to eat me?” “Did they have to cut open your tummy? Where did I come out from?”
Eventually the questions would follow. “But mummy, how did I get in your tummy in the first place, did you have to eat me?” “Did they have to cut open your tummy? Where did I come out from?” Eventually mummy would find the right words to satisfy her curiosity, but for now she was content and filled with happiness at the joy felt by her and dad on her arrival.
Have you shared your little one’s birth story with them yet? Post them in the comments below!
Header image courtesy Shutterstock.
I'm a Psychiatrist & Family Psychotherapist specialising in maternal mental health and attachment disorders. Apart from supporting new and future mothers in recovering their mental health, I'm keen to reduce stigma around mental illness read more...
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She would serve everyone fresh food and serve herself the stale rice and curries from the previous meal. Some days after finishing the leftovers she was so full she would not even be able to even taste the fresh food.
When I married the first time, my MIL told me that during the Navratri the lady of the house should not eat stale food. ‘Gharatlya bai ni shila khau naye’ — in refined upper caste Marathi.
I was just 26, eager to please, not versed in patriarchy or feminism, and it seemed like a positive thing — respect for the goddess in woman.
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