Posting a piece I wrote years ago and hoping it will bring smiles to all of us on Akshay-Neha’s birthday. Thank you so much- for sharing our pride in Akshay, and for standing by me and my family in our hour of sorrow.
As a young bride, I was propelled into the “Never a dull moment” lifestyle at an Air Force base in Ambala. Caught between the “no kids for at least 3 years” ultimatum from dear hubby and “have your kids as early as possible so that you can “grow” with them” advise from well meaning, experienced mothers, I was confused about starting a family. Call it divine intervention or a failure of contraception, I soon found myself pregnant. Despite hubby’s 101 reservations on the “issue”, he gracefully accepted the inevitable.
The next couple of months were spent “throwing-up” everything my wonderful friends cooked for the mother- to- be. “At least there’s no discrimination on your part, so nobody should feel bad” said hubby, trying hard to hide the “you asked for trouble” expression on his face. Other women tried to make me feel better by describing in graphic detail their “nauseating” experiences. I started reading Benjamin Spock bought thoughtfully by my “bitter” half. But learning to deal with runny noses, diaper rash and infant colic hardly made me feel optimistic about the future.
As time moved on, I was sent to my mother’s place at Bangalore. Home sweet home at last. One morning as I admired my ample self in the mirror, mummy walked in. ‘Aren’t you rather large for just 7 months?” she asked, “how would I know? “, I shot back. “Maybe it’s going to be a big baby”. After all, by then I was feasting on food fit for a king six times a day, yet felt hungry all the time. It must be the baby gorging on all that food.
On a routine prenatal check, my doctor looked worried. “There’s something wrong somewhere,” he said. “Your blood pressure has shot up”. An ultrasound scan gave us a real shock…I was carrying TWINS!!! My dad recovered quickly and showed me a magazine cover that said “Double Trouble” or “Twice as Nice?” My husband’s face loomed large in my mind- his frown became deeper. “Double Trouble Daddy” I cried. “No darling” he said trying to comfort me “its going to be a unique New Year gift for the family”, “Wow! 2 little girls in pigtails”, my brother piped up, and our old maid let out anguished wails of protest.
The next month was a flurry of activity for mum and mum-in-law. While I longed for a hair-cut and some tent sized nightgowns, they were busy making diapers, sheets and warm woollies by the dozen, for the babies due in Jan. True to the uncertainty principle, the twins arrived a month early and our world has since remained topsy-turvy. Thanks to lots of help and support, we have coped. Having successfully navigated past the “Demanding Ones”, the “Troublesome Two’s”, “The Terrible Three’s”, the “Fearsome Four’s” and so on, our son and daughter are today a “Terrific Thirteen”. And yes daddy dearest, NOW they are “Twice as Nice”!
(Published 5/23/99- South Asian Women’s Forum)
P.S. Love and God bless Neha on her 31st birthday today.