In one of the only prenatal classes I attended, a sweet-looking nurse sat opposite me and some other newly mummied people and told us about stuff that will help us in the coming months. Posture, diet, mental well-being, happiness. She talked about the actual physical formation of a tiny person inside us and the different stages that will follow. Fascinating stuff.

She commented on how we all must be (note: MUST be) overwhelmed by it all and perhaps feeling a bond with the baby? I darted a sneak glance around me and all the young early twenty-something moms were nodding vigorously, one going as far as to say in an emotionally wobbly voice that the baby was the most important thing to her now. Seriously? I asked in my head. What about your husband? Or family or work? Thats it, I thought to myself, I am devoid of the maternal gene. The nurse smiled patiently at this exuberant mom and looked at me, almost willing me to reply also. After a few seconds of studiously looking at the execise pamphlet in my hand, I looked up.

How old are you?” she asked.
“29”, I replied. Definitely the oldest one here.
Is this your first baby?”
How do you feel?” she prods.

“A little tired,” I answered, looking around again.
I sounded absolutely robotic and she looked at me enquiringly. So I took a deep breath and try to go on. “I actually forget sometimes. And if feeling a bond with the baby in the first trimester is any indication of what kind of mom I will be, then I don’t think I will be very good at what I do. Honestly, ” I add, as the other girls shuffle a bit. “Maybe you should ask me again in a few months.” Some of them nod, a little relieved. Maybe she’s just slow, I can almost hear them thinking.

We, again, as a society tend to want to do what othes want us to. We react in predictable ways because that is what is accepted. We indulge in banal small talk at social occasions and feign ecstatic responses at weddings because to say we are petrified for someone or possibly having second thoughts for ourselves is just too risky. We, as a rule, should exude glowing joy at having babies despite the fact that it hasn’t even hit us yet. We should suddenly start looking maternal and peaceful, call children “beta” and generally move into an advanced aunty type mode where the only “real” discussion of course is about children. Trust me I have seen it happen. One day you find out you are pregnant and the next day you are someone else. Sometimes it gets annoying. Mostly it stays amusing. Actually, it depends on the hormones.


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2 thoughts on “Orientations”

  1. cheeky said…
    although i don’t know, but seriously i had a big smile on my face when i read your post.

    12:33 AM

    Anonymous said…
    …wunnerful news and congratulations!…and don’t worry – i’m sure you’ll have more than enough time to develop the ‘bond’…can’t wait to hear all about your adventures!…maybe the maternal insticnt that i’m supposed to have (i’m sure it’s lurking there somewhere in me) will kick in?…


    6:44 AM

    Anonymous said…
    i feel some pregnant women are in denial cuz they just cant accept the fact that its NOT going to be just abt them ONLY once the baby is here.just my way of looking at it cuz it happened to me too.

    good luck!

    7:50 AM

    Anonymous said…
    i also feel its not when u get married you need to adjust/makes changes in ur daily routine/lifestyle its when the baby arrives you need to make major adjustments..so i would say its not the marriage thats not for the faint hearted its the parenthood thats not for the fait hearted:)!

    7:56 AM

    Clarice said…
    congratulations! Not sure if this helps, but one of my closest friends had a baby recently and she HATED her pregnancy. (She refused to let anyone call the “fetus” a “baby”!)
    To me, the never-been-pregnant friend, it seemed very unfair. She was going through this massive change in her life, and everyone had already decreed what the “right” way for her to feel should be.

    Utter rubbish, if you ask me. How can there be a right or wrong way about how you FEEL?

    As always, my best wishes 🙂

    4:35 PM

    jammie said…
    thanks cheeky- for the mail also 🙂 stay tuned.

    anonymous- ash- 🙂
    i agree marriage perhaps is not AS big a change as a baby- i cant verify it for a few month yet though heheh but the problem i currently have is with the word ONLY. how can it be ONLY about the marriage or the baby or you or anyone? cant there be some happy mediums? i look fwd to eating my own words of course heheh- if they case may be- but maybe i should change my tagline to LIFE is not for the faint hearted!

    clarice- agreed a hundred percent- there can not be a right or a wrong in a case like this- should be just how you feel. and you should deal with it as a personal gorwth experience- we are stuck in a world that LOPVES to compare something as incomparable as kids even! thanks for the wishes 🙂

    6:27 PM

    Mona said…
    i didn’t feel very maternal either – how can you when you’re throwing up and sick all the time, the first trimester?
    i think the first twinge of a bond i felt was when the baby moved. past 18 weeks. i still don’t know how i will feel when i do actually see/hold him/her or but i do know it’s going be overwhelming.

    7:43 PM

    Shezalldat said…
    love the new line. trials of the not-so-mommy. thanks for updating! waited VERY patiently. lol

    9:36 PM

    cheesoo said…
    i just had this feeling since the last few days, does that make me positively crazy or whaaat?… i am so happy for you and am psyched about reading you over the next few months…

    people will be people.. take advice and chuck it out if u want to.. i dont need to say this to you of all people, but be true to your feelings… ive been ecstatic, confused, depressed and positively miserable during my pregnancy and even once the baby was here and the only thing im glad about after 6 months is that i was honest, brutally so, about my feelings and thoughts all along.. dont give in to the ‘everything is perfect’ ‘this is the greatest thing ever’ role all the mothers around you will be playing… and believe you me, its a role if ever there was one.. like with all things society, this too is some sort of twisted competition amongst women

    having a baby is traumatic (good traumatic:)) your body is making and expelling a human and it leaves you stunned mentally, emotionally and physically.. surround yourself with loved ones and pamper yourself silly..they say life will never be the same, and to some extent its true, but then life never is the same after all firsts- marriage, first love, first time you cook, first time anything at all happens… koi aasmaan nahin toot jaata…
    im sorry this is so rambling but im so terribly happy for you… im sending you tons of duas and happy vibes from me and ali baba… cant wait to see you in the summers inshaAllah!

    10:44 PM

    sabizak said…
    So love you for this post, i am generally just a very upfront person and don’t belive in glamourizing things if they aren’t glamorous and having a baby is a strange, strange mix of feelings, certainly not the absolute delirium that some women try to make it out to be. Its not just one thing, its many things—responsibility, tears, laughter, frustration, joy– I am glad to see you are starting out on the right foot already by being honest about your feelings. 🙂

    Btw, congratulations!

    12:23 AM

    Anonymous said…
    …just to clarify, annoymous and i are not the same person…:)


    5:07 AM

  2. hey Sara,
    You obviously don’t know who i am, I met you once very randomly at a dholki of sorts, and introduced myself as a mad fan of your blog. Funnily enough I’m commenting on this post after re-reading it today, two years since you published it, ‘coz I’m now in MY first trimester and i heaved a huge sigh of relief when i read about the feeling-no-bond thing at this stage. Yes, I’m like that too currently. And knowing what a great GREAT mom u turned out to be, (i read your blog i cant help it, i know these things :P), I’m sure ill be fine too. InshAllah.
    I’m going to be re-reading all the pre-baby posts, ‘coz I can relate now more than I could the first time around 🙂

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