This is a short story by Nazeen which she wrote for TabooDana’s Ink It – T Tale Writing Contest. Its a journey of a new mother and how she her search for the bliss in after so much changes and new roles.
With Ink It, we at TabooDana wanted to offer an unfiltered and rewarding opportunity to bring out bold and authentic writing in those talented and looking for a chance to tell their story.
What’s this Bliss? Short Story by Naz
Sanya was struggling. The challenges of marrying into a different culture.Quit her job because she knew she couldn’t take it for one more day. Insecurities surrounding what she wanted to be but no inkling as to how to go about it. These were all not ENOUGH at the moment. She had to get pregnant. Was it was planned? Yes, but not by her. It’s not like she didn’t want to be a mother. She wanted kids-Eventually, but the minute she got off her pill, she was pregnant. It just seemed too soon.
Sanya had always been a rebel as a child. Her parents had shared numerous stories of her giving them sleepless nights. Now she was an adult and the epitome of obedience. All the things a good mom-to-be should do were on her list – 5 soaked almonds early morning, the iron, the calcium, the folic acid, the protein powder mixed in milk, the banana which she had hated and had hitherto avoided at any cost, no spice and what not.
Greens were made all the time with the expectation of happy consumption. Though she craved only the darkest chocolate walnut brownies and the spiciest szechuan rice, she didn’t touch any of it. No one even knew of her cravings. Simply because she didn’t want to make a fuss. She was an adult, soon to be a mother; Mothers don’t fuss or complain about sacrifices made for children. She was firm about setting a new standard in that department.
A lot of things went wrong during the pregnancy – UTIs, bloating, high sugar, sleepless nights and just some good old fashioned bad luck forcing her to change gynecologists’ thrice. She had vowed only to go with her one favorite. But she braved it all, telling herself everything would be absolutely fine once she had her baby. Everything would finally go back to normal. (No such thing).
This is about the feelings mothers are forced to feel even when don’t feel them
Just immediately after delivery, Sanya felt nothing. She was immensely disappointed and guilt-ridden that she did not feel the bliss of motherhood. That feeling one is supposed to feel immediately after giving birth. It was not a ‘precious’, ‘divine’ moment. The tears rolling were real as she was in immense pain and discomfort from the long hours in labour. She only felt relieved that it was all over… Haahaaaa… it had just begun but Sanya hadn’t twigged on yet. That was her only ‘bliss’, ignorance of what lay ahead.
Still ridden with guilt, her best kept secret, Sanya dutifully dived into the ablutions of a new mom. Yet plagued with why she wasn’t feeling anything remotely motherly. Was it a lactating problem? Or was she just exhausted? Was it because each time she looked into the mirror she thought she was the fattest, ugliest woman ever?
Sanya felt lost and more alone than she had ever felt in her life, This is despite being surrounded by her loving husband and extended family.
Why is it such a big deal to ‘feel the bliss’?
What was blissful about her life turned upside down? The unpredictability of it all had transformed her into an emotional mess? Sanya didn’t know whether she was coming or going. She couldn’t see or think straight due to the lack of sleep. She was torn between listening to the doctors or the adages of her mother or well-meaning relatives and friends. She didn’t let herself even think about the deep feeling of depression engulfing her.
The one thing she felt was that someone had put her into a mixie jar and pressed ‘High Speed’. When would the spinning end?
Questions troubled her mind all the time especially when other moms spoke about their journeys – Why wasn’t she filled with love and bliss? Or the patience and all the happiness and divinity that motherhood was promised to come with? What had she done wrong? And what was this new feeling where though she couldn’t seem to handle being a mother? But she couldn’t bear to be parted from this little bundle even for a second… it was frustrating!!
The frustration never ends!
Sanya’s story doesn’t end on a sad note
The feeling of satisfaction and moments of true bliss did come… in little bits. An unexpected big hug with those tiny hands. An out of the blue – Mumma you are so beautiful. The most ridiculous combination of utter joy and copious tears when her bundle shakes 2 left legs on an annual day.
But even now, when she looks back, that sinking feeling of not feeling any blissful emotions of motherhood just when she had her baby and for months after, haunts her and still fills her with guilt… to the extent that she may not even share her story after all.
What is this overrated bliss?