Every doctor I saw, told me babies weren’t an option. So I dismissed all those little signs, assuming they were more symptoms of my 8-year dance with severe endometriosis. Life for my baby began with the odds stacked against her. And that’s before we add the meds and pain killers to the mix – candy for a body in pain. I spent the six aware months of my pregnancy scared for her, fearful of the damage I had inflicted during those three unconscious months. I counted digits at every scan, listened for every heart beat, paid attention to every flutter, every nudge, every kick. And I waited for my little warrior.
Even the way she decided to make her entry into this world was dramatic. I had a birth plan. When pain is a constant, you do your best to avoid it when you can. So I made sure everybody knew I wanted the drugs. I even told the lady at billing when she reserved my room, 3 months in advance. But Thing had other plans. The day she decided she wanted out, she wanted out in a hurry. The heaviest rains of the year, flooded Bombay roads, a high-speed car race, the shortest labour for a first timer (so short, my doctor didn’t make it to the party) and a baby that almost got born in a car. She came out with her eyes open and aware they tell me, looking about her like she knew exactly where she was.
She’s almost 4 now. A big girl as she insists. A big small girl whose first word was ‘hungry’. Who loves centipedes and little bugs, but not spiders. Elevators are her friends. And people in elevators her social experiments. She’s acquainted with Jumping Jack Jeetendra and best friends with Downlow Ducky. She believes with all her little heart that a kiss from me can make a “booboo get all better” and that a band-aid is useless without it. Angry crocodiles come visiting sometimes and she ‘pritecks’ me from them, my little Samurai. She’s memorised most of Green Eggs and Ham and insists we call her ‘Sam-I-am’ at dinner. And then there are the little sketches she makes us:
She punctuates her little victories with “Success” while pumping her fist in the air (no prizes for guessing who taught her this one). When she’s really, really mad at us, she asks for her clothes and her piggy box to be packed up so she can run away in a taxi. Some mornings we wake to find her sitting cross-legged on the floor of our living room, sunglasses on, looking out the window. Just sitting still. And then she gets that glint and sitting still is a distant memory. We dance every night, Thing and I. Sometimes there’s music. Sometimes there’s just our song, but you have to be tuned to our frequency to hear it.