Disclaimer: the contents of the story are all true and prevalent in our very own society. Till date even in the most educated sector a mother going in for elective c sec is looked down upon as some kind of a zombie trying to escape the pain, tagged as an incompetent mother, where as the ones undergone c sec in case of the need of the hour are given a pitiful stare.I urge you all to kindly sit back and take it personally. And if possible change your mindset. Your comments and suggestions are all welcome .
The moment the anesthesia’s effect used to wear off and painkillers had done their duty for 4 hours in her system, Pragati’s lower body and back started screaming of the excruciating pain she was experiencing. She became a mere mortal again,in spite of the fact that she had been fed with the knowledge from last 9 months that mother is a Goddess,the moment she sees the face of her progeny her pain vanishes in thin air.
For 9 months she was being looked up as a holy being, given the most comfortable chair in the living room,served food first,asked to rest all the time. She was always thankful for the fact that she was not married in a family stung by the boy bug, all the clothes were bought in neutral colours. The nursery had a fair share of both pink and blue. Then how did the tables turn now.
In her naiveness Pragati was wondering that she had seen her daughters face thrice but why isn’t the feeling of syringes poking through her skin going away. Her grand mother had the perfect answer to her dilemma. ‘ You won’t feel connected to your child , she was delivered by air , cut the stomach get the baby out, disgraceful. In our times woman used to bear pains for 3-4 days that is how the bond between mother and child got stronger, even your mother took two days to deliver you,that too forceps, that is the reason you love her.’
The opinions just didn’t end there, her mother in law amicably announced ,’ oh! She wasn’t too active, that’s why the baby didn’t come down in time.’ Even her mother was wondering, how come her daughter had a caesarean, when no one in the family had a history of having babies the easier way.
She was awestruck, easy,really, with so many layers cut down ,with no food down the throat for two days post such a major surgery, after being unable to stand up properly even after 3 days leave apart walking, This was the easier way. How does the method of delivery vouch for how good a mother a woman is?
The cherry on the cake was Pragati wasn’t oozing out milk the first thing her baby walked out of her. Her stitches made it difficult for her to sit up for long,her nipples were sore,milk trickled at its own pace,maybe good enough for the baby,but not the spectators who used to keep an eagles eye on her breast and kept examining her as to why wasn’t she leaking,because everyone else in her family did in there lactating days. Her mother was so ashamed of her daughter, but her mother in law consoled, ‘its OK, this generation I tell you,she never drank those ghee laden bowls of food ,that’s why,not your fault.’
C sec,they declared, that was the culprit, only mother’s who have a normal delivery have ounces of milk flowing out there breast,these antibiotics and painkillers might have dried up her feed, was the best logic presented, so her kind of delivery was an abnormal one.
Pragati and Piyush were alone at the hospital when they chose for a c section,with reasons best known to them. Nobody asked them and they never intended to share why they chose how they wanted to welcome their baby in this world. But being scrutinized for this had become a way of life. They often talked about it at night trying to sooth their little girl to sleep that how does it make a woman any less of a mother if she delivers through a c sec and not vaginally.
Doesn’t the time during pregnancy and post delivery actually define you as a mother. Why is there mom shaming for mother’s with a history of caesarean birth,not just by another generation but co mothers too. She was the one who nurtured her daughter for 9 months in the womb, she bathed her, nursed her woke up at odd hours, she was the one who had put her own life at a halt to invest all her time and energy in raising her child, then how did it matter whether the stiches were down there or at the bikini area.
Where was her right to chose how she wanted to have a baby. How does the means of delivery make a mother good or bad or brave. Pragati knew a part of her was at fault,she never prepared herself for a c sec mentally, she never had a birth plan, she forgot there were other ways to have a gleaming healthy baby, Caeserean surgeries are being performed from ages, there was nothing unusual about them. Just because her mother and grandmother had a normal delivery,doesn’t mean she would too. She decided it was her right not to be answerable to any living being as to why a c sec happened.
What made her sadist heart take respite was she was not the only one, there were many more Pragati’s out there.
This is the sad reality of the hour. A mother who needs all the love and compassion,a mother who might be fighting post partum depression, a mother whose heart might be aching at every stance of being called an incomplete mom, has to defend herself that she indeed is not any less of a mother than her counterparts.