The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.
It has been a fortnight of being a mother, and I have been realising the truth in this saying of Osho’s every single day. Every single day, I have been learning how to be a good mother to my little girl. I have been learning to understand my daughter, her moods and patterns. I have been trying to decipher what her grunts and cries mean. It has been an overwhelming process, yes, but a very satisfying one too. Also, I have been falling more in love with her every single day.
Bubboo is a tiny child. She was tiny at birth, and is tiny still. The spot of jaundice that she had before being discharged from the hospital ensured that she lost more weight. Then, in her first week, she went on to lose even more weight, more than a normal infant should or would do. Our heart broke on hearing the concerns of the pediatrician. To add to our woes, Bubboo was a poor feeder, finding it difficult to get enough milk from her mother. We were told, on discharge, to work on ensuring better feeding and on increasing her weight, by hook or crook. We have been trying to get her to do so since, and though things are a teeny-weeny bit better now, I know we still have a long way to go. She is still quite a bit underweight, as compared to her counterparts.
Presently, our life revolves around Bubboo’s feeding cycle. Days are, hence, chaotic and nights sleepless. TGND, the mother, has taken over TGND the person. I can’t think of doing anything now without thinking about Bubboo and her needs. The three major caregivers for Bubboo – the OH, Amma and I – developed a viral infection during my stay at the hospital, and the symptoms of severe cough and cold still persist. We try to take our medicines on time, but none of us have been able to really rest or take better care of ourselves. Our health concerns have taken a backseat for now.
Every time I look at Bubboo or hold her, I am struck by just how tiny she is. I marvel at her tiny, tiny toes, lips and fingers, and I am almost scared to lift her, lest I hurt her in some way. I am also, always, struck by just how helpless she is. She is so trusting, so confident of her parents, believing that they will take care of her, do the best for her. She doesn’t know how confused her parents are at times, or how overwhelmed. She lets us hold her this way and that, and drinks whatever we feed her, medicines included. That in itself inspires us to do the best we can for her, to never break this trust she has on us.
As of now, I am only someone who feeds her and takes care of her. I can’t wait for the time when she recognises me and smiles at me. When she smiles sweetly in her sleep, I hope at least once in a while, she is thinking of me.