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My husband and my older one took care of me and the newborn, while close friends and husband’s colleagues supported us in extraordinary ways; indebted to them for life.
It was 4 am in the morning. I felt that something was leaking out of my vagina and it was some liquid. My heart started racing, was it the water bag holding my baby? Naah my baby is safe (I was reassuring myself)!
Then, by 7 in the morning, I felt the bed was significantly wet. Yes, my water bag was actually leaking. I got scared and my blood pressure started shooting. It was just 36 weeks. I went to the other room and informed my husband about all this. In no time both of us could see a splash of water all around the floor.
We held each other tightly, and reassured ourselves that our baby was safe. I called the doctor and we rushed to the hospital in another 10 minutes. We left our elder daughter with one of the friend’s family. Despite all the speculations about the baby’s safety, I was optimistic that things will be fine.
It was 31st March 2020, and the country was living in the first and strictest lockdown. We were driving towards the hospital and noticed the complete silence in the busiest Boring road in Patna.
All the shops were closed, no vehicles on the road, no humans to be seen, could hear the chirping of birds very clearly which used to get lost in the buzzing horns on the usual days.
All those social media posts of the sudden improvement in the environment due to the halting of human activities came alive as if non-humans have rightfully claimed their world.
As we entered the hospital, there was calmness, only two emergency patients and very few staffs. After a preliminary check-up, they shifted me to a room and started monitoring the baby’s heartbeat.
The nurse informed us that the baby was fine. My husband came near me and took my hand into his, and silently, we comforted each other.
At 4.30 pm, the doctor came and asked if I was excited to see my baby, in her usual pleasant style (though I missed seeing her smiling face in the PPE kit she was wearing). With fear, curiosity, and desperation all running at the same time I did nod in affirmation.
It was time for the most painful injection in the world. While sitting for that I needed someone’s supportive hand. After many apprehensions about Corona, I was like, chuck de Corona for now and be prepared for this pain.
I grabbed the hand of a sweet and young nurse standing in front of me. I lied down, and gradually lost sense in my lower body. The doctors started the procedure and within no time could hear my baby crying. It was a girl child.
After few minutes a nurse came holding my little strawberry covered in a pink dress (as they do for the girl child). Tears started rolling down with a smile deep inside me that my baby was safe, the sense of contentment and happiness took over. I was overwhelmed to hold her right there.
I was discharged on the morning of the third day due to surmounting fear of Corona across the globe. Everyone, including the doctor, felt that the home was the safest place at that time.
We brought our bundle of happiness home. Her didi (our 6 year old elder daughter) welcomed her and named her Khushi (happiness) as she believed the newborn brought all the happiness into our lives under the looming fear of Corona.
The real ordeal started for us just after that. The house was in a complete mess. We had to manage everything on our own with no help from outside, and no elders to guide at home all thanks to the deadly Corona.
My husband stood like a rock and supported me physically and emotionally. My daughter took care of me and the newborn as a little mother. Our close friends and husband’s colleagues supported us in extraordinary ways. We are indebted to them for life.
It was a lot of work – cleaning, cooking, washing, massaging and feeding the baby. We could manage it with the love and support of each other (thanks to the long paternity leave my husband got from the office, and then work from home).
It’s been a year and we are still taking all the precautions to avoid any type of infection to the baby. The corona fear is still here with us. We spent one year without any help from outside and managed everything on our own.
Yes, with strong willpower and the support of our loved ones, we can sail the boat smoothly in any circumstance.
I have planted the strawberry again this season and the fresh red fruit reminds me of the arrival of my Little Strawberry Khushi who turned one-year-old at the end of March.
People tell me that they don’t want to remember 2020 ever in their lives but for me, it’s just the opposite.
I want to cherish this year for the rest of my life as our little strawberry bloomed under the shadow of a pandemic. It’s been a year of pain, anxiety, and blessed motherhood.
Images source: the author
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A full time mommy of two young girls, of which one is lockdown baby. She
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