I discovered I was pregnant when I was 35. It was quite unplanned. When I started experiencing mild symptoms, my husband joked that I might have conceived, and we both laughed it off, because we honestly didn’t think it was possible. I decided to do a home pregnancy test when the symptoms persisted, and I can’t describe to you how shocked I was when the test came positive.
35 isn’t considered a typical age to conceive a baby. And so, when I received the news, I told myself that I’d have to take it one month at a time. I had a tough first trimester. I had terrible morning sickness, lost a whole lot of weight and was constantly exhausted. I went into hibernation. I’d always been such a busy person. I was working on launching a brand of my own and I was used to being on my toes. I felt that with pregnancy, my life would come to a screeching halt.
When I was in my fourth month, I made a trip to Delhi. On the way back, just after landing, I visited the airport washroom. There was a queue there, and as I waited, I noticed a mother and her little boy at the head of the line. The boy was inconsolable, pleading with his mother as she attempted to enter the washroom stall. She told him she would take only two minutes, but her little boy couldn’t be pacified. A few minutes later, as I was still waiting, I saw a repeat episode of the same scene with another mother and her little girl. The girl was bawling, tugging at her mother’s kurta to stop her from using the toilet. I completely freaked out. I realised that my life was about to flip 180 degrees, and I should be making the most of every moment that I have between now and the time I have the baby.
Until the little spectacle that I witnessed at the airport washroom, I had been on the verge of cancelling all my commitments for the year in favour of my pregnancy. It hadn’t struck me that I could manage both. I think it was a combination of unwanted advice from others and my own personal fears that had taken root within me. People told me not to do yoga, not to take walks in the evening, not to spend time with my dogs. Consultations with my doctor didn’t do much to instil confidence in me, either. She would pronounce the course for the next month with a deadpan face, without the slightest hint of a smile. But that moment at the airport changed my attitude towards my pregnancy, and I shook off all the nervous anxiety that had built inside. I changed my doctor and my priorities.
I started consulting Dr. Prakash Kini at Cloudnine Hospital, Jayanagar, towards the end of my fourth month of pregnancy. Dr. Kini was wonderful. He was comforting and positive, and that gave me confidence to continue leading a normal life. There was a trip to Sri Lanka in the pipeline that I had been thinking of cancelling. Dr. Kini encouraged me to go, and my husband and I even extended the trip and had a whale of a time. When I came back, I took up my pre-pregnancy routine, and I travelled without a worry in the world. I continued travelling until I was in my 30th week. I continued bathing my dogs, and taking them for walks myself. Some days, I woke up at 4 am for work commitments. I was good to go.
I was convinced that I didn’t want my baby bump to rob me of my style, nor did I want to spend a fortune buying a whole maternity wardrobe. So, I took great care to thoughtfully piece together a few smart ensembles to last me through the entire 9 months and beyond. I feel a lot of women lose their sense of self, giving their everything to their pregnancy and then their baby. Over the past few months I have come to believe it is possible to make room for oneself while also giving your newborn all the attention she needs. It truly depends on your attitude towards life. My friends say I am more fun to hang out with since I got pregnant. I make an effort to join every plan and every party, whereas before, I’d make it only to some. I’m making the most of my pregnancy and I intend to thoroughly enjoy motherhood as well.