Tuesday, April 6, 2010

of minor things....


Have you given birth? Well, I have, and I had presumed that after delivering two kids, my 'lajja' would have been lying in some trash bin in a desolate place. I can see nods, yeah ! yeah! the deal starts with the first chec-kup does'nt it? The apprehensive wait on that table with a white sheet, inside the doctor's chambers. The ever smiling doctor, the gloves that go up her hand and the pulse that starts racing in your heart as you begin to comprehend her action. Every time now that my kids trouble me, it's the familiar pulse rate that I feel, and I can trace it back to that first check-up on the table at the doctor's chamber. "Relax" she says in a voice that is softly matter of fact and breezy, "How the hell?" you wonder.. the scene here is best left unmentioned as those who have gone through it know it only too well, and those who havent, well, I dont want to discourage you from entering one of the best moments in a woman's life.(hahahhaha!! did I say that?)



Another scene that follows a few months later, especially if like me, you have had your kids in India, this will be familiar. A crowded waiting room, the women looking around trying to gauge, who's ahead in the race to the delivery day, the husbands not far, nor close, an aloof, safe distance(maybe they think its a communicable thing..and they might just catch it if they sit close to their wife), messaging, leafing through magazines, checking the time, and at times , asking if the wife needs something( well she does..she wants him to lay prostrate on that table in there and get checked up in the insides!!) How about that, but she just smiles like a fool and says "water". A nurse comes swaying into the room and shouts at the top of her voice, "Sonography ka pati." And a few of the husbands by the magnificent grace of linguistic skills understand that phrase and respond by walking towards her, she hands out forms to be filled and says in a not at all soft and breezy voice, "Make your wife drink water till she's all full and wants to go to the toilet, but dont let her, we will call them in one by one." Well if that is not punishment what is? Like God's command and as if the life on earth depended on it, the husbands fill up the form in a precise manner and queue up in front of the water dispenser to fill bottles for their respective wives. I think they are happy to have been given something to do at last, and they feel blessed that they are a part of the process towards bringing a life on this planet. So they make sure that the last drop of water enters the squirming wife, who has her legs crossed tightly and her face in a pinched frown praying for the ordeal to end. Since then, how many times have I prayed for ordeals to end? The neighbourhood bully teasing my boy - "I wish this ends", the pre teen rage of my daughter - "Oh God how I wish we get through this soon" . Yah !Yah ! you got that right, I trace it back to the day I waited for a sonography to check whether my unborn kids had all her limbs in the right position.



There's more, the water breaks at the most inconvinient of times. Fortunately in my case, I did not have a hard time locating my husband, many a times that is the case too. So we manage to land up in the hospital, the husband looks a mix of joy and panic, I wonder, what on earth for? Its me who is going to get that coconut out of my nostril in a few hours is'nt it? So why the hell is he panicking? All this while I keep timing my contractions, to take my mind off the unfairness of it all. And then the actual horror starts. It's not just about pain... It's humiliation of the worst possible order. You are given a room and a flimsy gown to hold on to for dear life and shame. Your mind is a blank apart from the pain, and thankfully so, atleast the first time round, you are till now blissfully ignorant of things to come. Suddenly the door opens and a young guy comes in and has a dekko..just like that!! Thats the moment when I felt I woul;d never be able to face humanity again. leave alone the men! I cannot believe what just happened!! The husband is a mute spectator, its not violation of human rights you see, its a junior doctor cheking up on the dilation!! This continues for the next hour or so and each time a different doctor, till I start feeling like they are joking about me at the end of the corridoor. "There must be something you have to say to these people, where the hell is my doctor, why is she not here? I opted for a female doc just so that at the last moment any tom dick and harry comes in and takes a bloody peep? what do you think you are doing standing there?" How many times since then have I said this, "What do you thing you are doing standing there?" I think that day was the first when I screamed my lungs out at my husband, I wanted to blame him for what I was going through, desperate, uncomprehending, insecure, on the verge of hysteria and delivery...all these emotions, I can trace right back to that lonely, sterile room in the hospital.



There is more but it gets boring after this point, because the pain overtakes the shame and you just dont care beyond the fact that you want to have the baby out and go to sleep! The point I started this was because I thought after two such harrowing experiences, I would be better adjusted as a female with unknown people looking me up like a course book, but thats not the case, it seems. An annual checkup, a pap smear and a mammogram makes my blood drain, my feet get cold and my pulse well that has never stoped racing since that day. So I guess the 'lajja' never really got deposited in the trash bin, maybe it was the husband who was asked to throw the trash that day!



Motherhood does bring in unknown emotions in all of us!

33 comments:

R. Ramesh said...

omg...the physical pain endured by the woman is endured in the form of mental pain by the husband waiting outside to hear the good news from the labour ward...but of course...it is more tough for women ya...

Nona said...

I squirmed reading this! I wish you were not so eloquent in describing the "lajja" part! Nevertheless, this is a good post! :)

Arun Meethale Chirakkal said...

Were I supposed to read this? I don’t know. Now, for me, it’s like a little boy running enthusiastically to a room in which he thought his friends were waiting and found total strangers to his embarrassment. The little boy is walking out with a furtive smile.

Anamika Sureka said...

Well What should i say Sujata...I am dreading this now as I have not been through this.

sujata said...

@Ramesh its a life changing thing for women...

@Nona squirming just by reading / ask your wife what squirming means!

@Arun the room is still full of friends... realities of life can be embarrasing as hell right!!

Destiny's child said...

There! You've done a nice job of scaring me out of my wits. A very interesting read though the real-life experience must be far from interesting...er...right? I know you are going to say, 'you have no clue dear!' ;)

Indrani said...

hmmm... reminded of everything that I went through... the stories aren't different. :)

Meira said...

GULP.GULP.GULP! PANIC PANIC PANIC! phew! really? I mean really really? Not joking, are you? :P

Kavi said...

Goosebumps all around.

Aparna said...

Hahahahahahahaha!!! Let me laugh first and then I will comment :)

You left out some interesting parts. You should have been more explicit...that would have left your men readers a bit more guilty and the women readers a bit more scared.
As for me, I'm still counting the number of times I felt totally, absolutely humiliated. Why the hell did we go through it? We needed our heads examined and not our girl parts.

kavita said...

Haaaahaaa.Ask me ehhhh !!All those infertility treatments for eight long years,so finally when it was SHOW TIME...it was a piece of cake.But girls don't fear mammograms ,pap smears...we need to do it for our health.

Sujata,write more often girl.Completely enjoyed this one.

Jyothi said...

Ha ha...oh my God! Being a woman who has also gone through two such ordeals, I have the right to laugh!

Perfect description. Thanks for reminding me of those horrors. Lajja...he he...

I refused to let the male doc enter the room. My mom and hubby were like, please let him check, please let him check, what is wrong with you?? I mean...What kind of a question is that? But I had to give in, since my son's heartbeat was slowing, and the faster he examined me, the faster my son would be out safe!!

Nikita Banerjee said...

Good lord! I remember being in the psychology lecture where they should us a video of a woman delivering a child! I was out of my wits...so dreading it ya!

Mothers are so brave!

Gymnast said...

OK...so now you've scared all of us enough!

I've only seen videos of deliveries during bio class in school.

I guess we all just gain the courage when we come to it!

sujata said...

@Anamika Sureka dont worry you will sooner or later join the gang!!

@Destiny's Child truly you have no clue dear!!

@Indrani yah same old! same old!

@Meira save those emotions for when the doc screams "Push!!"

@Kavi remeber this post when you wait at similar surroundings with the missus!! Maybe you will ask her more sensible stuff..

@Aparna LOL!! its out of my system now...you come out with your tidbits as well.

@Kavita and what a showtime it is..!!

@Jyothi Moms are known to behave strangely under duress... no wonder she said that to you!!

@Nikita Banerjee Yah, our bio teacher, poor thing, had no access to videos and so she coined the phrase"coconut out of your nostril" the guys laughed mercilessly and the gals had sleepless nights for months!!


@Gymnast We dont gain much courage but we have no options you see, but to deliver, cannot keep carrying the baby eternally..so we lose it a bit and do the needful!!

BK Chowla, said...

I think "lajja" could have remained out of this.

R. Ramesh said...

u should have seen that poor Gangurde sujata...he was baashed up so many times by wife and v used to rescue him..anywy..cheers and best wishes friend

ZB said...

:D,,,LOLS....I understand this post of urs fully, my wife shares the same thoughts.....and i have been her companion in several pap smears and other tests....But it happens with men too.

I had a cardio-thoracic surgery few years back, and in the process got my whole body shaved by one serial-killer lookalike hospital barber....when he reached the genitals i was sure he would do a bobit-job on me. I was so shit-scared....but i know pregnancy tests can be worse....as my wife explains. TC , loved reading this:)

indranil said...

Possibly written in retrospect but reads like a live commentary from a ante-room of the gynaecologist's den....

well... we have had not the opportunity of going through this ritual, so really dont know if we missed this life-changing syndrome or was it best avoided but no regrets...

possibly motherhood or even parent hood manifests itself in various ways, so waiting for the physio to do her rounds mechanically or waiting in the closed chamber of an adoption agencey, the feelings are the same. just that the physical atrributes are not present. of course in ceratin ways its a different ball game but some where there is a strong common platform which unifies the feeling.

so patiently waiting beneath a life size poster of "adoption-the only option" i am sure my M went through the same apprehensions and feelings till it culminatd in a 6-month old m joining us.... and even i played the role of the fumbling husband to perfection.... so perfect that i missed out on an attempt to get the mobile number of the buxom lady who was taking care of the reception.... some people never change..... previously it was M who would scream out, "ufff!! tumi thambey" now m screams, " baba !! stop it".... Life is beautifull !!

The Holy Lama said...

Two kids through C section. So, I shall never know this. But I have a different set where it is not dilating, you have pain, They put a belt around the belly to read baby's heartbeats, someone gives you an injection, another prepares you, someone tries put the catheter in for urine passage....Can't say which is worse. Pain after the ordeal once the pain killers are off, a scar, Bad suturing, muscles lax...

Neel said...

The "Sonography ka pati"...is sooo amusing!!!

deeps said...

sure.. spot on..
money wont be what it is meant to be if not spent for the proper purpose...

hey i think it s time you seriously thought about bringing out a book on motherhood or related topic...
just look at those few posts you have written... wow!!

Sorcerer said...

*faints
A very good post!
:)

sujata said...

@BK Chowla 'lajja' is ingrained in me.

@ZB I am sure you understand. Esp after your own experience of the pre surgery proceedings!

@Indranil wow!! I went and checked your famous orkut albums for the first time after reading this comment, and there she was.."Misha" her smile says it all!! I think Shes just beautiful and loved by both of you. Mousumi Boudi is very pretty!

@The Holy Lama the first time, I was in labour for more than 11 hours and the doctor ultimately told me that if the baby was not out withing the next 5 mins she would take me into the OT for a C-section, I guess, imagine having both the labour pains and all the post c-section worries..fortunately, fortunately my daughter decided she would not trouble me more and came out.

@Neel thanks, they shout at you and its a common term!

@Deeps thanks, I managed to scare girls and make the men squirm..so dont think any publisher would be willing to publish a book on parenthood by me..

@Sorcerer lol!

R. Ramesh said...

thanks su:)

Debopam Chaudhuri said...

Hmmm! Difficult subject! I cannot say what i feel! Really knowing and feeling are two different things here! And remebering my 'husbandhood' days in the same period for my wife Sushree, I feel the 'lajja' in the way she used to hold my hand on our way home in delhi after her check ups!! Words fall short on these occasions!
And I believe (as I have felt it as well) a rage similar to yours is bulging inside Sushree as well!

Sumandebray said...

This is an overall experience to be lived atleast once.. the expectation .. the joy.. the worries... everything put in the package!
Some does it many times. I wonder if they relive the same experience over and over again or it becomes a routine.
But I would agree that it is the mother who labours and the father who proudly claim the fruit of that labour.....

sujata said...

@Debopam Chaudhuri I am sure Sushree felt the same emotions like all of the delivering mothers do..its anxious paranoia!!

@SDR Not only does the father claim the fruit of labour, the in laws point out in joy how much the kid resembles the dad!! talk about fuelling the volcano..and then they say moms go through post delivery depression..!!

R. Ramesh said...

thankssssssss my dear friend:)

RGB said...

It's something that we all go through, eh? The first time was really hard. Quite embarrassing, actually! Loved the way you described it in your post.

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arvind said...

love to cry - THANKS MAA!!!

hi.. just forgive ur husband.. he in endanger your relation for the sake of a new relation.. let him panic on the love on you..

sorry for the humilitation (may be sort of doctors)

may write more - but this is not the place..

just loved u - ur writing..

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