When mom told me she was going to have a baby, it phased me how a human being could fit into another! And how would it come out? But when she said two months later that there are two inside there… I thought to myself that my mom was just bullshitting me. At nine, I may not have been the strongest believer nor did I have a very active imagination. But she grew and she was cranky like a child most of the times. Everyone took more care of her than they usually would. I knew then that she was telling the truth. Dad wanted me to understand better and thought it was best to get me a CD that explained it all. It was a little kiddish but I got the basic point of how it happens and that it’s a normal thing.
As a kid I was really inquisitive, and that wasn’t a good thing for the nurses at the hospital that night cos I kept whining and trying to get into the operation theatre to see how the hell they were going to remove TWO kids out of mom! But finally I gave up and paced outside the OT like an impatient dad. The nurse came running out 20 minutes later and said that the first one was a girl. Disappointing. That was what I thought. I was already building defensive arguments against sharing my clothes, shoes and dolls. The stupid nurse came out again and in a very excited note said it was ANOTHER girl! I looked at my gran and ran up to her and started crying. It was so unfair that I would have to share the attention with two girls! What if they turned out to be prettier than me?
And I was right.
I had fallen asleep crying and was lying on the extra bed in mom’s room when I woke up. Looked to my side and there was a cradle rocking to and fro. I sat up and looked in. One extremely red faced baby was lying beside a really fair one. Gorgeous little baby girls who I knew I could only love unconditionally. At least until they started talking. Both looked so peaceful and they were tightly wrapped. In my head, I wondered how far they could get if their hands and feet were left open! I sat and stared for a very long time, marveling at the beauty of life in its purest form.
I named them Snow white and Rose red, cos I clearly couldn’t call them Silvester 1 and Silvester 2 till we named them! We took them home and life changed forever.
I want to write so much more about how I learnt to feed them, dress them, bathe them, yell at them… but I’ll do it justice and take it one stage at a time. I guess this post was long pending and is still incomplete in so many ways.
If only my words could capture the million emotions that flowed through me that June 5th in 1997.