I finished my light dinner and got ready to leave. N had already taken the packed up bag to the car. My brother S was waiting in the car, happy and ready to act as my driver for this journey. Amma stood before our huge array of Gods, asking them all to give me strength. I joined her, heart beating fast with excitement. Five minutes later we were speeding towards our destination – the Maternity Hospital.
I had asked for a private room, but at that point of time, none was available. So I was made to lie down on a bed in a semiprivate ward, with another patient in the room. The nurse arrived soon to work on me, to ready me for the big event. I kept looking at the clock – 10 pm, 10.05, 10.10…
I asked Amma, “When will it start?”
“It will soon. Be patient Mini.”
Well, that I was, lying in a hospital gown on the hospital bed. I wanted to see the outcome soon. What will it be? I couldn’t get to sleep thanks to all the questions ravaging my mind.
“Amma, I think it is paining,” I said, my eyes wandering towards the clock that struck 11. “No Mini. This is not enough. You have to wait still.”
“Amma, I have to pee…” 11.15pm
The poor lady, my mom, had just rested her head on the backrest of her chair and closed her eyes. Without as much as a sigh, she accompanied me to the washroom where I relieved myself. The nurse smiled at me on the way back.
“Amma, I can’t sleep,” I sat up on the bed. “This bed is very uncomfortable.”
Mother’s eyes seemed to ask, “What did you expect? The presidential suite in the Taj?” But she just helped me turn over and propped an extra pillow at my side. The clock struck midnight.
A weird sensation started radiating in my lower abdomen. It was as if someone was tickling me from the inside. This tickling however, was not funny. It was not making me laugh. I moaned and looked at the clock. It was 1.30 am.
“Amma…” I called out.
“Sleep, Mini,” she said, groggily.
I kept moaning for some time. After a while, Amma realized something was happening. Eyes wide alert, she sprang to my side and held my hand. “We are still not there sweetheart,” she said.
“Oh goddamn it! Why can’t we just get over with it!” I wanted to shout.
At 2.30 am, I called out to Amma again. “Amma, I think I just peed on the sheets,” I said to her, my face flushed with embarrassment.
“What?” She rushed to call the nurse. The stocky old lady came to check and announced, “The water has broken.”
I was relieved. Finally!
But it was not over yet. I lay in the operating theater, my legs open for a free for all, moaning and blabbering in delirium. I remember continuously muttering God’s names, asking him to please be done with it real soon. I remember calling out to the nurses there, “Akka… Akka… I want water.” But they had strictly instructed not to give me any. It was only after my moans became incessant, that an old nurse came to my side with a bottle of water. She opened the lid, poured a teeny weeny amount into it, and wet my lips. Hmph!
Around 4.30 am, the nurse who checked announced that it was time. The doctor came in, and they all started chanting, “Push! Push!” I felt like I was in the middle of some secret pagan ritual. Yet I pushed, asking you to come out, Please Now!
At long last, after a night that had threatened never to end, you were there in front of me, in your first pediatrician’s hands. I still remember seeing you and calling out in glee, “Hai, Sidhu kutti!!!!”
It seems to have happened only yesterday, but here you are today, touching 4 in a month, zipping past me in a cycle, racing your friends, and playing dandiya. How in the world did you grow up so fast! From the time you were out of my womb, you took me on a roller coaster ride. Happy days, torturous days, dull days, crazy days. Now you have grown out of the infinite infancy, the terrible twos and the thrilling threes, and are fairly settling into boyhood, giving me a bit of a breathing space. I feel as if the roller coaster has just slowed down. It won’t ever stop and neither will I ever get down from it, will I? Do I hear you asking if I am enjoying the ride? You bet! This is the most thrilling, most adventurous and the most happiest experience ever for me.
This post was written for Project 365: We Post Daily. Today’s prompt was – When you’re giddy with excitement, does time speed up? Slow down? Tell us about the experience of anticipation.