Thursday, August 30, 2007

The dream

When I was expecting the Little One, I had a dream.

I was playing with a baby. It was adorable, as babies generally are - and it was smiling, sweet-smelling, and very active. I tickled its belly, watched it gurgle. I touched it's soft head, put my finger into its tight little fist, and tickled its feet. I played with it for a very long time.

Gradually, the baby became restless, its smiles turned to whimpers, and soon it was crying. I had no idea what to do. Perhaps it is hungry, I thought. Or maybe it needs a nappy-change. Its mother will know what to do. I will take it to the mother.

I scooped the baby up in my arms, and ran into the next room. Nobody there. I ran back, and ran to all the rooms in the house. No one. The baby was bawling non-stop, and I grew panicky. I ran from room to room in search of the mother, but all the rooms were empty. There was no one in the house. I was alone. I ran back to the room I was in originally. As I stood helplessly with the baby in the middle of the room, the realization struck me like lightning.

I was the baby's mother.

At this point, I woke up sweating, my heart beating very fast.

This dream was a revelation.

When I had heard the heart beat of the baby for the first time, I found myself in tears with the enormity of the realization that there is actually another life inside me.

At the second ultrasound scan, I struck me that it was just not another life - it was a miniature human being in there. With tiny limbs and organs and a tiny head. A tiny person.

When I saw other babies around me, it hit me that the restless movements inside me are of another baby just like those - one with a will of its own - who kicks and punches, who is eating what I eat, who is growing inside me, waiting for the right time to come out and take its place in the world.

But this dream - this dream succeeded in doing what I had either ignored or not bothered enough about. It told me that in a very short time, I would no longer be a passive nurturer, but a full-time "care-taker". I would be responsible for the health, safety and well-being of another person. That I am going to be the one others will run to when a particular baby cries. That I am the one who will be expected to know what to do with the baby. And happily, I will be the one the baby is most likely to respond to.

It took three months but yes, it has happened. Now, I know my baby's signals (S: What does it mean when she has her right fist in her hair and the left in her mouth? I: She's sleepy), I am the one whom she responds to, and I am the one who can comfort her best (Ok, Ok, I lie about the last one. S can comfort her almost as well!)

And though it is a lot of work, it's a heady experience!

Here is a related post by my friend Madhu, who has started a blog recently. Back in college, we would sometimes look at each other and know exactly what the other was thinking. After all these years, I read this post by her and felt, whew, she still thinks like I do - It could have been me saying all that she has said here!

8 comments:

8&20 said...

gosh. beautiful post. where did you learn to write so beautifully. i love the way you take the reader's hand and slowly guide them through the post. everything is visual, identifiable, and is a treat to read.

i'm not exaggerating :). i love the patience you impart to your writings. it's a rare gift.

Srik said...

Wonderful! No words enough to mean it.

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

Lovely post !
In my case, Cantaloupe's father was a natural in calming her and I learnt by experience :)

Swati said...

Lovely post ..just too beautiful for any words

Madhu said...

Shruthi! Beautifully written, I could almost picturize your dream!
Thank-you for linking my post, I am honored I must say! Also, exactly what I think when I read your posts, that could have been me! I am happy and also surprised that we still feel that way after all these changes in our lives!

Shruthi said...

8&20, wow, that is high praise indeed! Thank you so much :D

Srik, Swati, thanks! :)

CA, welcome to my blog :) and thanks!

Madhu, you feel that way too? Cool :) *feeling all warm and fuzzy* :)

Veena Shivanna said...

This is a cool post. Yes, the way you narrate the whole incident looks like we are watching a movie or something.. :-)
I can say, hallucinations would be one of the best parental blogs shruthi. Keep an eye on its usage/blog hits :-)

Ashu said...

wow!

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