[Written on 23 December 2015, soon after I learnt that I was expecting]
The simplest, everyday things of my life have suddenly become questions.
I get into a lift, and my mind wonders if it is safe to take a lift when you have a baby within you?
I’m due to get rid of my body hair and almost head for the bathroom, when I wonder if my epilator is safe to use any longer!
I look at each fruit in suspicion, after having read that certain fruits like papayas, pineapples and grapes are best avoided during pregnancy.
Am I lying down too much? Am I resting too less?
Am I exercising adequately? Am I exerting too much?
Is the milk I’ve been having safe? All my life, boiling cow milk was enough. Now suddenly I find myself hooked to the laptop, checking the process for pasteurizing milk at home!
There would have been an age, when these questions may have struck young mothers-to-be, but with no clear answers in sight, they would have just hopped along, hoping for the best. Now, with Google and the internet a click away, I find myself looking for answers to every budding question in my mind.
And sure enough, more often than not, I find conflicting answers. After all, other young mothers are not to be left behind. They have participated in forums and answered questions from their own experience, and of course, everyone’s experience is different.
So to the epilator question for example, someone says, “Ohh! Was I not supposed to use it? I used it all through my pregnancy and my girl turned out all right.” Meanwhile, another cautious lady mentions that the instruction manual with the device cautions against use during pregnancy. A third lady muses that it may have to do with it being an electronic device, while a fourth points out that the electricity is not entering the body, but only being used to power a motor to pluck out the hairs. Phew! I signed off after thirty minutes without a clear answer.
I also find myself narrowing in on my present state as an answer to anything new and different in my life. My hair is shedding- it must be because I have conceived. My tummy is hurting- it must be the fetus inside. I’m nauseous- wait, am I really feeling queasy or am I telling myself I’m supposed to feel that way in the first few weeks? A nerve is twitching on the right corner of my calf muscle… umm, am I taking things too far? No, it’s got to be the baby!!
So well, while I struggle with all these new experiences, I am also amused at myself. Maybe I just have too much spare time on hands? Or do all new mothers feel this way?
Oh great! There I go wondering, pondering and asking questions again!
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Piyushi Dhir is the author of 'In Search of Love', 'I'm Yours, The Next Time', 'Silent Promises' and 'Enmeshed Evermore'. She is a contributor in 'Nineteen Tales of COVID-19', a collection of short stories. A voracious reader, a keen traveler, a businesswoman and a mom, Piyushi currently resides in Canada. A nomad at heart, she loves to discover new places and capture the hues of life with her pen.