You know when parents say that they fell in love with their child the moment they saw him/her? They’re like “aww it was love at first sight” or “it was magical” and so on …
Not us … Well not immediately.
You see when Sid was born, I mean like the 10 seconds after he was lifted above the operating covers for me and sang to see, and for me to reveal the sex of my child to my wife (cos that was too much to do for the surgeon), I think our immediate response was “WHAT IN GODS NAME IS THAT!!???”
Followed by a silent ..”PUT THAT BACK AND BRING ME OUT MY CHILD!!!”
He was long, covered in dark brown muck (muconium apparently) and almost alien like.
It wasn’t until he was cleaned up by the nurse did I really see how beautiful, pure and gorgeous he was. He was a little angel. A little beige angel.
I fell in love with him when i could smell that ‘new baby smell’ that they should bottle up and sell.. And that love lasts to this day..
See we went through a mad journey filled with hyperemesis, SPD, house build, decoration, 2 trips abroad (Canada at 14 weeks and india at 20) and we got a lot of advice, mostly unsolicited from all angles.
We had 9 months of listening to some rather interesting guidance from people (listened to – not acted upon) who put rationalised their arguments in an almost scientific manner.
We got everything from “how best to get pregnant” to “how to make sure your child is fair skinned”. Basically from the ridiculous, to the just down right stupid.
Most of the superstitions and commentary that I came across were to do with “how to make sure your baby is white and fair”. Honestly if we had a white baby there would be some serious chuffing questions to be answered in my household!!!
The irony of it all, is that its Asians that project these superstitions to other Asians… like it wasn’t enough to have an India free of Empirical Rule, but we now demand to have white babies now too?
I’m not sure where this fascination with fair skin has come from, and this obsession that the world (and by world, I mean Indian desi mothers) has with fair skin = beautiful. What is the cultural bias that Indians have towards fair skin? (see number 1 and 2 below).
India is a country full of brown skinned people, who have varying degrees of skin tone from very fair, to really dark skin, basically 50 shades of brown. So when someone said to my wife, “keep a picture of a white baby in your bedroom and your baby will turn out white” I had to give them the ‘WTF’ glare and then share the comment with the whole world.
Here are some of the nonsense comments perpetuated by seemingly intelligent and educated people from the Indian subcontinent (and some from around the world in general).
- Drink milk and your baby will be fair skinned.- unless you’re lactose intolerant. Like you need to have more gas seriously!Keep a photo of picture of a fair skinned baby and look at it everyday and you will have a white baby. – Makes ZERO sense to me (or anyone else ive met) We didn’t, and Sid was born very fair skinned… mainly due to the amniotic fluid leftover on his skin.
- Eat greasy food will help you push the baby out – Now this one was just crap.. Eating greasy food would just give you heartburn, and high cholesterol, which is the last thing a pregnant woman would need!
- When the baby is born, put a little black mark on the baby’s forehead to ward off the “evil eye” – NO! All you do is dirty a baby’s head and expose it to germs.
- My personal favourite – and I witnessed it a little so im surprised it’s a superstition – A baby will be more restless during a full moon, and not sleep properly until he is a little older. I felt Sid was more active during the full moon nights – which tbh were just like any other night – just Sid waking up 8 times and crying his head off..
- Wait until the baby is born before making the nursery – LIKE I’LL HAVE THE TIME!!! It look 3 of us 1 whole day without distractions to make all the furniture, and decorate the room. Nah ha. No way. Take the appropriate opportunity and get it out of theway. Baby needs to be in his own bed as soon as he can!!
- At an antenatal appt, a friend asked the midwife when her genetic results would be back.. The midwife turned around and said “don’t you worry about the results hun, just blossom and bloom!” Nice and clear …
The whole obsession with unsolicited advice for during pregnancy wasn’t anywhere as frustrating as the advice we got given when Sid was born.. But I’ll share that another time…