She was born as a spark in my heart, a glint in my eyes, a happy thought humming in my mind for a long time before she actually existed. She was always there in my dreams, lurking in the shadows, playfully teasing me with hopes of blissful days yet to come. She had forever been in my consciousness, as much a part of my existence as breathing. Just like in my heart I had always been a mother aching to be born, she had been right there all along, waiting to make a mother out of me.
She started as a thin pink line on a white stick, the most blessed pink line there could ever be. She made space for herself in my core and our heartbeats entwined; her galloping seed of a heart joined to mine. I saw her and heard her and knew in my heart that all those dreams of mine were turning into reality. I held the blurred ultrasound image of a minuscule dot dearer than anything else. Hi baby girl, hey pretty girl, I kept muttering and it became my litany. Two more months it took for my intuition to be proven true. It’s a girl, the doctor announced, as we looked at the ultrasound screen. My thumping heart soared and floated away and brought me back all the beautiful things from all over the universe.
For nine months and two weeks we were one, and she was all of mine, only mine. We sang together, we cooked elaborate dinners and lazy suppers while listening to the radio together. We devoured book after book after book. We watched chick flicks with our feet up on a stool and shamelessly wept during emotional scenes. We craved and ate more cupcakes than we ever thought we could. We went on slow walks, aimlessly drifting through the neighborhood park. We rode buses with fierce determination, spurred by the urgent need to surround ourselves with books in the library. And oh we talked… I hate red lights, she’d kick and thump as we sat in the taxi, stuck at the traffic light. Hush baby girl, patience pays, I’d say, patting my round belly. I love this song, she’d kick some more, as I’d listen to the same song over and over again. I do too baby girl, I’d smile and say. It’s playtime, I’m wide awake, she’d kick and roll at three in the morning. Please, please let’s sleep, I’d plead and shift once again from side to side, desperate for her to be in my arms already.
She decided it was finally time to meet me when I was least prepared and perfectly ready. On a sunny Saturday morning, after kicking up a storm on Friday night, she conspired to be let out of her warm shelter. Nine long hours she made me wait in profound agony, while her reassuring heartbeat from the monitor kept me company. But before I knew it, I was lying under a bright light with a screen in front of me with only one thought in my mind “I’m going to meet my daughter!”
I heard her before I saw her. Her piercing wail broke the hushed room, drowning the monitor beeps and muted conversations, and all of my emotions rolled through my eyes. Relief, inexplicable satisfaction, surreal happiness and maybe a hint of sadness at the cord being cut… Then they showed her to me, red and wrinkly, but took her away before I could figure out how she looked like. After what felt like eternity in my state of exhilaration but was probably just ten minutes, I saw her again; this time white and wrinkly, with a frown on her face. “Do you have a name for her?” They asked me. “Tanvi… Hi Tanvi” I kept muttering, stroking her cold cheek with my trembling finger. I felt absolute and empty at the same time. I wanted to hold her, kiss her, tell her how much I love her, and that she is the most beautiful thing I had laid eyes on, and that she is perfect in every way. But I had to wait and watch in unreasonable sadness as they took her away while I was to be taken to my room. Not until two hours later did I finally see her again.
She came to me wrapped in a towel way too big for her, all snug and nestled in the hospital bassinet. Her eyes were wide open, unblinking, as if she wanted to take in everything on her very first day. I waited with paramount patience as the nurse lifted her from the bassinet and brought her to me. I stretched out my arms and held her as tight as I dared to. And at that moment, all things beautiful that I had known in my life paled in front of that tiny little thing in my arms. Any doubt that I’d had about being a good mother readily left those dark crevices in my heart, leaving only sunshiny credence in its wake. All those million questions that I’d had were overcome by warm assurance that glowed inside me. I became a mother.
She looked right into my eyes and everything that I’d thought I’d tell her flew out of my mind. But then, maybe she already knew. That she is everything I had dreamt of, and some more. I finally met my daughter.