STAND UP FOR YOURSELF
Pregnancy cannot be described, it’s but an experience!
Ours was an arranged marriage. Horoscopes matched and we were married with blessings of parents, uncles and aunts, families and friends!
Soon after the marriage, I realized that there was a world of difference between the two families. I struggled to know him. He’s from a very conservative family. His family continued to live in a village named Thiruvanaikaval in Tamil Nadu, while we both lived in Kolkata due to his work in a bank. I was a teacher in a school. At home, I constantly felt suffocated even in day to day activities. There were lots of ‘do’s’ and don’ts!
Being brought up in a cosmopolitan city, I’m used to moving around in buses, electric trains, biking, attending evening music and dance classes, going alone but usually back home by seven pm. Whereas in my husband’s family, women didn’t go anywhere without a male escort! It’s either the father or the brother or the husband. My life was completely narrowed down after marriage. I felt like a fish from an ocean to a fish in a rain water pond in a village, completely controlled and suffocated.
One fine day, I realized that I had missed my period and my heart started pounding. Sure enough I went to my doctor with my husband and was confirmed pregnant!!
It was the scariest moment of my life. I tossed and turned all night, could not sleep. I have not got adjusted to this new role and gained a knowledge on my responsibility after I have been uprooted.
This is how our life was! Finance was always a problem. My husband and I would start our conversation with a difference of opinion in every little thing, then to a discussion leading to an argument, fight, anger, exchange of words, and end with an emotional eruption of words in high volume. The tone, intonation did not ever show any respect, care, compassion or kindness for the other from both of us. This often led to few days of silence between us.
Now, how will the future be with an addition to the family? Will I be able to give psychological, emotional support to this new life in this universe, especially when I’m looking for one? Is it right to bring another tiny life in my situation?
Will it be an easy adjustment for me, or will it be a drastic, dramatic downturn spiral confining me inside the four walls? I felt the constant agitation from within with fear and worry.
Why is it that it’s always the women who has to adjust and adapt while men get their own way? If this news spreads to the family, they all are going to be jubilant except me! Do I not count in this universe? Can I not do what I want, choose the life I want,live the way I want,? What should I do? Whom should I turn to? I was confused, scared, tired, frustrated and exhausted to sleep.
Next day was a holiday and I shared all my anxiety with my husband. To my surprise this time, he respected my thoughts, fears and anxiety. Unusually he was in full support of my feelings, patient with listening and showed his unlimited emotional support that I had never felt before. Perhaps he experienced the same too! He then shared his feelings with one of closest friend Arun Banerjee, whose wife Kavita, was a doctor.
They quickly visited us and promised to help us in whatever way we needed. I decided not to continue his path for now until I felt comfortable with my partner and his family. It was solely my decision with support from three others around me. This was kept highly confidential from both families and Kavita’s mom,a gynaecologist helped us in the process.
Everything was over in a week. I stayed at Kavita’s for a week, felt relieved in my mind and got back to normal in my body. This incident brought us together much closer. Next year our life was calmer and quieter.
After a year, we migrated to the US. We spent a lot of time together, both learned to understand each other, saw the differences and accepted the differences. We developed love, care and compassion. Our life together was blossoming to wonderful days of togetherness. We learned to give and take, expect and accept, love and care. We both started to see in the same direction together. We visited families and built bridges.
After three years, I was pregnant again. This time, we both were looking forward to the new arrival together. It was an exciting, enthralling, educational and wonder year!
We went to many movies, hiked in the nature, did water aerobics, met a chiropractor, ate in every type of restaurant eating Thai, Moroccan, Mexican, Italian, African, enjoyed all kinds of music concerts, attended parenting class, made new friends and learned a lot more. This time we did all together. I could count on him and he reciprocated the same. That increased our trust on each other to work as a team in the game called life. Together we enjoyed shopping for the baby’s needs, and were ready for the beautiful day!
The day arrived and the bundle of joy in our hands! I was looking forward to a beautiful future as a family. It was a gift from heaven, felt we were blessed. I’m deep gratitude for a wonderful life.
Today that little child is married and is pregnant. We’re the proud parents with a sense of gratitude without any guilt. When one door closes, another opens for sure! Now we both experience the union of souls. That one incident has brought us closer. Will it be the same for another couple, I don’t know.
We all make decisions based on our own circumstances, there’s no right or wrong, good or bad. It’s others viewpoints that makes it appear so.
Do what’s right for you, listen to your inner voice. That’s the inner torch, inner guidance. Pregnancy is a divine experience which everyone should experience but only when they’re ready.
Every woman in the world have the right to her decision and no man should force a woman to do what she is not ready for! Stand Up for what’s right, what you believe in, even if you’re standing alone!
“You not only have the right but the responsibility as well to stand up for yourself and once you stand up for yourself you’ll be surprised that the people would ask ‘Can I help?’” ~ Maya Angelou
The author, Vijaya Jayaraman has written this short piece of what she feels represents what many first time mothers’ feel.
Vijaya, fondly called VJ is a 71 year evergreen personality from Boston, Massachusetts. She has many feathers to her cap, a motivational speaker, a Toastmaster, an avid biker and a hiker to name a few. She has had most of her innings post 55!!
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