(Names changed to protect identities)
Two pink lines changed my life!
Two positive pink lines on a pregnancy detector kit have a huge impact in a married female’s life. I am Arti, mother of a 10-month-old daughter and pregnant again!
Now the big question was, “What next?”
Obviously, it was not a planned baby. My husband Saurabh wanted the baby and thought that we would manage by employing maids. On the other hand, I was not happy with the idea, because I know that HE hardly helps in daily chores and baby care. I remember how my first delivery was a C-section and Saurabh hardly took leave from office. It was very difficult for me to manage the baby, house and daily chores with sleepless nights. Saurabh has forgotten everything and was adamant that we would keep the baby.
He shouted, “Are you listening to me or not? What is the problem in having second baby when we can afford a full time maid?”
“Who will take care of the baby at night? You just sleep by my side and snore!” I shouted back. And the fight went on. I remember when he accused me of being lazy, as the maid does the entire work. A full time maid works from 8 to 5 and gets a good amount and everybody acknowledges her work, but nobody applauds the housewives who work 24×7 without a single penny. A baby is the responsibility of the couple and not the mother alone. I am sure all of you have experienced this: when a baby does something good it is dad’s child but if something wrong happens it’s because the mom never taught her anything. In the end it’s a man’s world and the baby’s responsibility should be borne by the mother alone.
Both our families are very orthodox, so we didn’t tell them. I shudder to think what their reactions would have been.
I told Saurabh, “I don’t want to go through the trauma once again and that too this early. Don’t you remember, my gynaecologists told us to have a gap of three years before my second time pregnancy, as I had a caesarean delivery?”
He shouted, “Don’t give me this crap. You’ve found another excuse. You must be the only woman in the world who doesn’t want a second child quickly. It is God’s will. It’s done now and both the kids will grow up together.”
I responded, “I am going for an abortion tomorrow.”
“Do whatever you want,” he slammed the door.
“Saurabh, I am talking to you, you just can’t decide everything in the house and boss me around. It’s my body and I have the right to plan the second baby,” I yelled after him.
I consulted a gynaecologist and opted for an abortion through pills. I told Saurabh and asked him to come along, but he refused.
Saurabh took leave on my abortion day. I lay quietly in the bed half dead as blood oozed out. Since it was my decision, Saurabh watched TV the whole day, cooked and ate his meal and didn’t bother to offer me anything.
This is what a woman undergoes when she decides something on her own. We didn’t speak to each other for a couple of weeks, nor did his attitude about abortion change. Finally I gave in and resumed talking, to save my marriage and for my daughter.
(As told to Namita Aggarwal)