Call it motherhood, mommydom or mommyville – the experience of anticipation over having a baby is so great that it may make you imagine the loveliest and the scariest possibilities all at one go. We may be scared about the delivery, handling the baby, latching it correctly to our breasts and so on. And we may be feeling ecstatic about sharing the very first moments of our baby’s birth with the ones who are closest to us. We might feel so emotionally overwhelmed that we would like the whole world to witness the arrival of our baby, well if not literally, kind of metaphorically.
And who could be closest to us? Someone who has been there and experienced it before – nobody better than our own mum. Isn’t it? And what if we share a wonderful, warm relationship with our mother-in-law? Couldn’t she also be a part of this family moment? Indeed, she would love to be.
Strangely, I have forgotten to mention the other half, who by virtue of their anatomical and mental frame, seem quite incapable of handling such a sensitive and important event. He is the father of the child, and therefore holds a unique position, but outside the birthing room.
With these thoughts in my mind, I did exactly the same. I made my partner wait outside the labour room because I genuinely felt that he couldn’t be of much help with all his anxiety and inexperience. I was happy that I had two ladies, who were strong-minded, knowledgeable and supportive.
But things were not as I had imagined. They were ever so concerned that even the slightest whimper from my side made them jump on their feet. Not only this, they even got an entourage of doctors and nurses if they felt my discomfort appeared a little too bothersome. This was really embarrassing because I was in a labour room and I was SUPPOSED to experience pain and discomfort.
I spent about 18 hours in the labour room, and I saw a totally new side of both the moms. When they see you in such intense pain, their vulnerable side comes to the surface, and they are incapable of hiding it. So, you aren’t sure who you should feel sorry for- them or yourself. As the contractions began to intensify, the mums began to lose their minds due to anxiety. I wanted them to assure me that these pains were a part of normal childbirth, but I was more pained by their concerned and stiffened mien.
In this process, I learned a few important things:
- The moms are moms first. They will always stand behind you, like a rock-solid support and will do anything to help you out, but not before melting at the sight of you in pain. So, be more accommodating and generous. Accept their help and support with that extra dose of love and concern.
- Birthing support is asking for help. If you have people in your labour room, they are there to help and support you, and not just to witness the birth. That is a common perception and we can’t blame if the people turn a bit over-protective or over-supportive, especially if they happen to be our mums.
- Your delivery might not be a very private affair. If you have more people by your side, it is unlikely that you would have those quiet moments of cuddle and warmth with your newborn child. Instead, there will be cheers, exclamations and discussions regarding its cuteness, features and imaginary semblances with relatives.
All in all, it was indeed lovely to have them by my side. There aren’t many occasions when the grannies become the firsts to see the baby. But the next time, we want to experience it solo, just my partner and my elder baby by my side.
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