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Welcome to Motherhood

- By Kirthi

There I was, strolling on the sand, the waves touching my feet occasionally. It was dusk and the sun had just set, the world seemed so peaceful. Suddenly, somewhere far off, I heard a voice. It seemed familiar. It grew louder and louder, and I pried my eyes open. Welcome to motherhood!

The 4:00 am alarm is screaming. It’s time for another feeding. The little one doesn’t even open her eyes. Very smart, you think. Here I am, sacrificing a beautiful dream, and she won’t even open her eyes. But that’s just the way it is, and you can’t even complain. You try to feed her as quickly as possible, but she’s in no hurry. She takes her own time stretching and yawning and gurgling. You look at the clock and think “Ok, I can still manage some extra sleep,” as you put her down. “Forget the burping, I’ll do it later,” you mumble to yourself as you slowly move towards your bed. You close your eyes but keep your ears open just in case. Experience has taught you that one can never predict a baby’s next move! What was that noise? Maybe she spit up? After all, you didn’t burp her. You peep into the crib and let out a sigh of relief. She’s sleeping well. You tiptoe back with a smile, thinking about the sleep you are finally going to get. 

It is a bit cold. Is the blanket warm enough for her? Perhaps she needs a thicker one... You think about the cap your baby refuses to wear and think about what is going to happen in the cold winter...You think about the mittens she has grown out of...You think about making a schedule for her...You think she is breathing heavily and wonder if she has a cold...Thinking, thinking, thinking... You hear a cry and as you wonder why she has woken up so fast, you glance at the clock and see that 3 more hours have passed by. It’s time for another feed. 

The morning begins. You start the day by changing your baby's diaper. (Wow, what a start!!!!) Then you try to juggle between making breakfast and keeping an eye on the baby. Easier said then done! The baby decides she doesn’t like being alone, so you start talking to her from the kitchen and keep running out to check on her. Somehow you manage to prepare something totally tasteless, but that’s okay. Your husband better keep his thoughts to himself if he wishes a peaceful start to the day!

A continuous program is going on in the mother’s head: after this, this... And an even more complicated program is going on in the little innocent mind: after this, this.... So goes the day: massaging, feeding, bathing, feeding, dressing her up, feeding, playing with her, feeding... Just when you are exhausted and decide to bathe, your baby decides she has had enough of feeding and playing and starts screaming. The day carries on in complete chaos and as night approaches the only thing you wish is to hit the bed. But hey, you have to wait your turn. First – the baby. Feeding, burping, changing her diaper, singing her a lullaby and hoping she drifts off to a deep sleep otherwise – welcome to another sleepless night! 

Somewhere it strikes you that you have not combed your hair today and you look down at the tiny one in exhaustion and think, “Oh dear God, why did I ever have a baby?” And your baby chooses that moment to give you a toothless grin and you’ve got your answer. Your heart fills with a love so strong; you cannot begin to measure it. And you can’t help but return that beautiful smile which stays on your face as you fall asleep...but hey! NOT FOR LONG!

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