NIRASHA JAGANATH, Mommy Niri
Million Moms Challenge Blogger
Nine months after my mom passed away, I left South Africa. I had plenty of siblings, but not having any parents (my dad passed away when I was 13) made me feel like I had no roots anymore. It was so much easier to start off fresh in a new place than to be somewhere that constantly reminded me of my mother.
Everything was going along as planned, well kind of, as I conquered hiccups while dedicating my time to my engineering career.
When I found my dream man and decided to marry, I missed my mom. Then I decided to have the wedding in his country, India, with my sisters in attendance. I guess it was a sly way to not be home, where I would think about my mother again. Then I got pregnant. Any attempt to avoid thinking about my mother was futile; I missed her every single day.
You know some people just die to have kids? Well I was not one of them. I was eager but never went gaga over them. I used to dread when people visited with babies and they assumed I would want to carry the baby (just because I was female). I really didn’t. In fact, I was the super-fussy one with my nieces. I insisted they be neat and I walked behind them with a little broom. Yes, I was one of those girls. So it will come to you as no surprise that I never ever changed a diaper. Yes, my sisters back home were giggling when I told them I was pregnant, probably even more than when I told them of my decision to marry.
Yes, this straight-laced (and snobbish as I have been told) career girl did delve into unknown waters.
So as I took the subway to Cambridge, to my little Internet start-up company, I rubbed my belly and grew worried. How was I going to do this? Alone! My father-in-law (whom I adored) had passed on by this time. My mother-in-law was not exactly seeing eye to eye with me, so I was unsure about that influence. No one else on that end cared much.
My sisters back in South Africa were ecstatically excited but financials and logistics made it impossible to visit. While I loved my husband I was unsure of how our relationship would change with a third individual demanding our attention. Always being the confident “I can do this all myself” kind of girl, I dared not admit to feeling any other way. I felt like a kid myself, with no one to turn to.
I wanted my mom, her cuddles and kisses to make it all OK. She was the perfect combination of heart, strength, courage, adventure and principles. The fact that my pregnant raging hormones were making me an emotional mess did not help at all. I used every commercial as an excuse for the tears I shed thinking of her.
Meanwhile, the days grew to months and I grew bigger. Thoughts of “what the hell I got myself into?” flitted through my mind each passing day, as my trimesters progressed.
If I ever loved my husband before, I fell in love with him all over again after our daughter was born, as I watched him with his new baby girl (and later girls).
Missing my mom and my community made it difficult to raise my children. And on a daily basis I try to build my own “village.” But I would trade anything to see that one member in the village who would give me the signaling nod saying “It’s going to be all right!”.
Becoming pregnant changed my life, and I’d love to hear more about your best or most difficult pregnancy moments. By replying, you will be entered to win an exclusive Million Moms Challenge Gift Pack, which includes an all expenses paid trip to a conference on mothers hosted by the UN Foundation in DC (Jan/Feb 2012), an iPad2, a custom-made Million Moms Challenge pendant and $50 donation in your name to Global Giving. Contest and prize details here.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Million Moms Challenge. The opinions and text are all mine. Contest runs September 19 to October 16, 2011. A random winner will be announced by October 18, 2011.