I have not written to my baby for a long time. I have been busy. There have been so many deaths in the family of my close relatives and social responsibility has taken much of my time. So many times I wanted to write and yet, I gave priority to my sleep, for I always returned home tired.
But this does not mean that I have forgotten the baby I’m carrying, this soul, this person I’m going to bring into this world and want to see grow up into a very fine person. It is just like the birthday present you receive when you are a kid. You want to so open the gift you have just received and yet, you can’t. You want to see what it is that your friend has given you and the enormity of your curiosity and eagerness grows as the time prolongs. Just like that, I imagine the face of my baby, I even see myself holding hand of a beautiful girl as I wait to cross the road. Maybe I have failed to live in the moment, but I think it is natural for a pregnant woman to imagine herself with her baby, even imagine the beautiful moments, the joy its birth is going to bring and the many happy moments following the birth.
As I talk to my baby, I always begin by saying, ‘Dear Baby’ and I sign, ‘Mom.’ I write letters to my baby too. When I wrote my first letter to my baby, it was strange how it sounded to sign ‘Mom.’ I have never felt that tingly mixture of discomfort, anxiety and happiness. I was in the far east of my country – touring the country on an official work, two days away from my residence when I was told of this news.
Seeing New Meaning
A woman with regular period, who never really believed in using contraceptive, I waited for the fate to bestow me the gift when it deemed the right time. Not knowing that my fate would have chosen that period of time when I was travelling away from my office for months where, I would have to use physical strength and mirth to walk to the remote villages, I carried the sanitary napkin every day, only to find that my regular period had missed its time for the first time.
Finally, after a month, I get to a clinic where a doctor is my friend. When her colleague who took my test tells her, ‘it is positive,’ I cried. I did not know how to react. I didn’t just think the right time was then. I wanted to receive news such as this in a perfect environment where I had my husband next to me, taking my hand and kissing me in happiness. But that was that.
There was no sign of completing the task I was given. So despite the doctor’s advice, I walked to the furthest village in the eastern district, where I had to climb as high as 2000 meters. With luck, I did not have problem but I began to notice that my energy dwindled, my appetite faltered and I started missing home more than ever before. And it was not until my baby was three months old that I got to meet my husband.
Baby must be a boon for sure. I have heard people say so. It is usual for a Bhutanese to ask you if you have a baby once you are married. The first curiosity people have is whether or not you are married and the second is, if you are married, whether or not you have a child. With each new day, I feel that I’m becoming more ready to welcome this new soul in my life. And I find myself breathing happiness even as I sleep next to my husband and feel his hand caressing my belly. In more happiness than anticipation, I say, ‘Dear Baby.’ I haven’t got a name for the baby yet. It is not in the Bhutanese culture. But to me right now, talking to her and calling her baby sounds like the most beautiful words. I’m going to be a mother and there is no excitement about reading about how to be a mother or how big my baby must be at 7 months. I think it is all about natural instinct and I want my baby to know that, it doesn’t mean I love him/her less. Being pregnant isn’t comfortable. But the feeling you get is surely of happiness. There surely is something more you can look for and you find yourself planning life the way you never did.
(Dear Baby, I see you now as I write this and I want you to know that I love you.)