It was the year 2016, when I was pregnant with my first child and those were the frantic days when I was fear personified! My days were starting with and ending with fear. It was just a few days after I missed my “days” and only I knew that there was a chance. My husband was away, working in another city. Now, who do I share it with? What do I tell? What if I was wrong and there was nothing? What if I disappoint everyone? Ah! There you go monkey mind! The first kind of fear kicked in — the fear of disappointment. That was over once it was confirmed that I really was pregnant and I can finally celebrate! Really? Was it really a time to celebrate? No! Why? ‘Oh! You can never be sure until three months’ and there I go again ‘pufffffff’! Deflated! Next is the fear of safety! ‘Be very cautious, anything can happen’. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. Don’t eat this. Don’t eat that! Don’t sit that way. Don’t walk that way! Oh come on! Just tell me what to do!
It was about four weeks into my pregnancy and time for the most awaited scan. I am at the hospital, I look for the scanning room, I find it and then I leave my footwear outside and enter the room along with my husband. The doctor was not around and what we do? Try to take a picture! That is when the doctor enters and laughs out. How many crazy and elated couples would he have seen in his service! The doctor asked me to lie down and I did. I was so excited!! And yes!! I heard it! I heard it loud and clear! The baby’s heart beating so fast and oh god! Did I become a mom right there?? I don’t know. It was something that can never be explained in words. So I am on cloud nine. We thank the doctor, get the printed report and walk to my gynecologist along with other blood and other examination reports. I give the reports to my gynecologist. She flips through pages through her specs and with wrinkled eye brows. Oh wait! I know that face…that face…there is something coming up! Oh I am sure! I wonder how bad could it be and there I go falling straight down from cloud nine! The scan revealed that there was a slight hemorrhage and could lead to a miscarriage if unattended. I was advised to take few weeks of bed rest. I wanted to go to office as much as I wanted to have my baby and there was no question of quitting. So I apply for leave, stay with my parents under my mother’s supervision. This is when I was spending a good amount of time with my baby. I had all the time in the world and I used to lie down in peace and a bit of fear (of course the fear never left me) and put my hand on my tummy and talk to the baby. By this time I was thinking who is it going to be? Is it a son or a daughter? Who did I want to have and most importantly….WHY???
This is when I had to encounter my greatest fear! What if…??? What if I lose….??? Nah! I was done with that fear. My greatest fear was- what if it is a daughter?? What if I had a daughter coming? A daughter was what my husband was hoping for and praying for! Least did he know about my fear and secret prayer. I was praying everyday to not have a daughter. I used to beg and go ‘Please, please, please don’t give me a daughter for I cannot handle that!’ Think it is misogyny?? I bet not!
I remember praying- God, please don’t give me a daughter for I don’t know how to bring her up. For I don’t know how to take care of her in this unsafe world, for I don’t know how to tell her it is okay for her to come to this world and it is a great place for her! I could not tell her that she could have the life she wants, have a dream and live her dream. I could not tell that she had all the power. And no! I could not tell her that she might have to go through several heart breaks! No! I could not do any of that.
For sure I didn’t want to bring up a daughter like I was brought up. In other words…like a son! Why? Because I know the price she would have to pay for it. I know the things she would have to face and I know how it feels!! It is definitely not a good place to be. And the last thing I wanted for myself was to see my baby going through all of it! I never thought I was strong enough to be able to handle that! Never ever could imagine my baby going through all of it. So I safely said ‘Please, give me a son!’ Give me a son because at least he will be physically safe. (I did not know at that time that my son will also have to be safeguarded!). Because I thought, at least I think I know how to bring up a son. I know what I should tell him. I can teach him how to take care of a girl or a lady, how to treat her with respect, how to look at her and how to be with her, how to love her, how to care for her, how to protect her and her dignity! Be it any girl, his or others’ , a friend or a girlfriend, his sister or someone else’s sister, his wife or someone else’s wife! I can at least teach him how to not break a heart!! I will teach him to be compassionate and kind.
Now, can I alone do it? Am I even on those lines, am I even close to it? Will I ever get there? I have no idea! But as a society, I think we all have got a lot of clean up to do and lots of work to do. We need to come together at the global level. We are humans and I don’t believe in borders. I am aware of it and I have started at it. Have you??? Where will you want to begin? Do you ever plan to? I leave it to you!
My question really is, whether it is a daughter or a son, yours or someone else’s what kind of values do you wish to instill? WHAT KIND OF WORLD DO YOU WANT TO LEAVE BEHIND FOR THEM???