Mommy mood swings series :1
A mother’s love
I was lounging on the settee ,reading the Sunday newspaper when a group of well meaning people (WMP')s came to ask about my health.
After the initial pleasantries the conversation naturally drifted to my pregnancy. Unsolicited advice is part and parcel of every new mommy to be and all of that can easily be a fun read for another column.
The WMP proceeded to tell about this centre in Bombay where one could, you know, find out whether one had a boy or a girl. A friend of a friend had used the facilities and had been very happy with the services provided.
For a few mind numbing moments I didn't quite get her drift and then -
It struck, me like a bolt of thunder, was this person threatening the existence if my unborn child! Did she in no uncertain terms suggest aborting my flesh and blood?
Now, the most rational and expected reaction would be by saying that sex determination was illegal and a punishable offence in India, and may be quote a line from. The 'beti bachao beti padao' political rhetoric.
But I saw red.
All of a sudden I was the Japanese samurai swinging a set of deadly swords and then standing on one feet and arms ready to strike anyone down. I felt like wolverine at that moment and if I had clenched my fists,I swear I would have had four deadly adamantium blades come out of my knuckles.
All I managed through clenched teeth was 'this is my baby'.
As a doctor I realised that at that time, it was only a ball of cells, cells which were multiplying and differentiating at a high speed. Up till that moment both me and my husband, rational doctor couple had kept to the science. Maintain healthy amounts of folic acid so that the neural tube developed properly was the upper most on our mind. None of us had actually ventured into the whole emotional and spiritual existence of a new born life. It was still very much in the realm of medicine and biology and wham! By that out of the blue careless sentence by a WMP I was flooded with emotions I had never experienced before.
I had heard it many times before, this phenomenon called mothers love, I had heard my colleagues say things like ' you won't understand until you are a mother’. But that day I found my ' day of love' much like the platinum Jewellery couple in the television ad.
I always thought of maternal love to be something beatific and placid, mothers gazing lovingly at her child as she rubbed him with baby oil, or smiled gently as he took his first steps.I realised that day that a mothers love is anything but gentle, it is all consuming, ferocious and powerful.
She will fight until death, she will fight even death when it comes to her child.
There must be a reason why ‘ Ma’ Durga sits on a lion and Shere wali ‘ma’ on a tiger. I felt it too in that moment as a feral energy with eyes blazing, claws outstretched and a blood curdling roar , rise within me to attack the next person who dared to take MY baby from me. “you dare suggest taking my child to a sex determination and fetal abortion centre!” my mind adled with maternal hormones screamed in my head, even as I tried to come to terms with the strong surge of emotion.
Harry Potters mother saved Harry and her love was so powerful that even the most powerful of death curses did not work on the infant reducing the dark Lord to a shadow. Voldemort, who? One of the most popular book series of our time ' Harry Potter' was all about the extraordinary strength in a mother's love and her over reaching need to protect. At that time I smiled and said to myself ' they just have to add an emotional angle..' But now I knew better, now I was fairly convinced that even in the world of magic and make belief , a mothers love would be the most potent of magical powers.
For days after the incident I remained shaken by the flood of emotions that threatened to swallow me, leaving me vulnerable and wondering if I had the courage to face down all dangers ‘real and imagined’ that faced my unborn child.
We all have that moment when we find our day of love. Love for our parents , our family, friends and life partners, so at times it’s not a day , but a series of events and a lifetime of days until we realise what the other person means to us, and what it would mean to lose them. Many parents said it was the moment they held their baby in their arms, some say when they saw the first ultrasound picture of little hands moving and fingers clenching, some when the baby started kicking, but most agree that it came forth most when their child was in danger.
Mothers waiting outside NICU’s have battle ravaged eyes, even as other family members contemplate the cost of the care. You can see it in the eyes, even as they wage a war against death itself willing their child to live.
Sure she is the gentle caress and the benign smiling mother cradling and cooing, but if you try and take her baby from her, hell hath no fury like a protective mother.
I too had discovered my day of love, it was the day I became a mother and discovered the warrior within me, the sword wielding ninja, the sharp shooting commando, I may not have looked it, but I was a lean mean fighting machine. Any war in the world could be fought and won, if the army consisted of mothers, and they were sufficiently convinced that the life of their child was at stake, that is the immense power of a mother’s love.
*all images are from google images and I have no copyright for any of them. for illustration purpose only.