To start off, let me assure you that this was, by far, the most difficult pregnancy we are going though, our second. The first one gave us our darling daughter Aarohi, who has enchanted our parental lives for the last 6 years and is growing up to be a very remarkable human being. Just by her presence in our lives she has fulfilled all our hopes and dreams. As you may already be aware, by the articles under Great Schooling, we are homeschooling her as an outcome of our ambition to spend more time with her. The biggest difference between her and the new baby will be that she was a planned baby, whereas this one is a child of passion. In her case, we voluntarily took the decision to upgrade our marriage to parenthood after being married for 1 year, which was presided by 1 year of friendship and 2 years of dating. So, basically we tried to have a baby and then were blessed with her. Once she was born and we decided to homeschool her, it was an uphill task from the start. As first time parents, everything that could go wrong went wrong. But we persevered and as of today, every decision we’ve taken about raising her has completely shaped our very lives.
In the case of the new baby, between the two of us, I was very against having another child. Whereas Snehal (my wife) has been wanting to have another baby for a while now. My argument being, we’ve got our hands full raising one child. Lets concentrate on making her life better rather than bringing another child into our family. There are a multitude of arguments in favour of having 2 children though, ranging from the need of a sibling for Aarohi to having a complete family, so on and so forth. We were even told that raising the second child would be easier than the first time. But my resolve was undeterred. In the year of 2016, the month of June, Snehal started getting nausea and morning sickness. After a week of the same chronic sickness, we got our doubts and checked with a Pregnancy tester. She came out of the washroom with a grin on her face and thus started the journey of our second pregnancy.
We were in Dubai during this period of time. In fact we had been in Dubai for the previous 2 and a half years. The first thing we did was visited the Al Noor Clinic near our house. After a few early tests the Gynaecologist confirmed that Snehal was in her 8th week of pregnancy. That would place the date of conceiving somewhere near the mid of April. As she was detailing all the steps that we need to follow now that Snehal’s pregnancy was confirmed, it slowly dawned on me as to how and when this slip-up might have occurred. April is the month when I was born. Snehal got together with some of our friends and planned a surprise party. One of my best friend Anthony’s wife, Preetha baked a Rum Cake and brought it along for the celebration. It was divinely delicious and we all hogged on it. It was a very pleasant surprise for me and obviously Snehal and I got busy once everyone left and Aarohi was asleep. So, I entirely rest the responsibility of this new baby on Preetha’s Rum Cake. The argument goes, why is it that only we conceived and no one else did and my reply to that is I guess no one else got busy after the party.
Well, this is where the fun ended and the real drama began. Once Snehal’s pregnancy was confirmed we had to decide how we were going to go about it. First of all we had already made plans for a very long vacation travel. Also, since we were living in an overseas country and my workplace was an hour and a half drive away from where we lived, it was impossible for me to be able to take care of Snehal in case there was an emergency. So, the first decision I took was that Snehal would stay with her parents for the duration of the pregnancy just like the way we planned during our 1st pregnancy (What Parenting am I talking about). Snehal was totally against this idea of staying away for such a long time but I was able to convince her with the point that this was best for the baby. The vacation travel turned out to be the worst journey we had ever embarked on and by the time we reached her parents house she was severely ill. The doctor diagnosed that it was due to travel stress and recommended complete bedrest.
So, after all my decision to have Snehal and Aarohi stay with her parents turned out to be right.
Boy, was I wrong. The separation that this decision caused between us was especially difficult for Snehal. Even though we were in contact via phone and internet, the physical distance caused a lot of stress on our marriage. A lot of trust issues creeped in and we started having a ton of fights over our calls. Aarohi, of course, was a complete trooper. Although she suffered some amount of anxiety due to her changed geographical location, but she soon adapted to the new environment and completely gelled-in with her grandparents. Snehal did try to keep up her homeschooling as much as she could, which was very tough. Not to mention the damage the separation did on me. It was particularly difficult to live away from my wife and daughter, but I soldiered through it as it was what was needed to be done. Although I did fill my free time with various artistic activities like, I learnt Oil Painting (For the Love of Painting) and also took part in a Theatre Play Festival (Return to Theatre – Alex Broun Play Festival).
At the time that I am writing this article, we are in the ninth month of our pregnancy and boy, has it taken its toll on all our lives. I didn’t realise how much stress I had been dealing with. This has led to an increase in consumption of alcohol and the temptation to start smoking again is near unbearable. As we enter the last couple of weeks before the delivery, Snehal is just about ready to burst and to be completely honest, so am I. Not in the same sense of the word though. But then I do remind myself why we are going through all this trouble in the first place and the amount of distress becomes worth it all. This has inevitably triggered a reaction in me. I have decided to quit my job and to be with my family full time again. This is something we did when Aarohi was born, as explored in this article – First Steps for Brand New Parents. As of now, the next step is to join my family and get though the delivery with a little prayer in my heart for the well being of the mother and the new baby. People keep asking us whether we want a boy or a girl and the answer is always, no preferences, we are happy to welcome either. Whatever it is, lets just pray for a healthy baby and speedy recovery for the mother. What the future holds for us, only time will tell. All we can do is what we feel is the right thing for our family.