When I realised I was pregnant, I was 28, unemployed and six months into my marriage (that had been arranged through our parents). As we had dated for a few months before we got married, we knew each other but there were a lot of facets yet to be discovered.
As a couple, we felt that it was too early for us to have a child but were averse to the idea of termination and thus decided to continue with the pregnancy. It was my husband who broke the news to the family. Though everyone felt it was a little too early, they were happy and soon started celebrating with us. I had a healthy pregnancy, but I hated what it was doing to my body.
As a teenager, I did not have any body issues. But now I hated what the pregnancy hormones were doing to my face. I did not feel like venturing outside the home as my nose had bloated and totally altered my appearance. However, I decided not to let this bother me and continued eating well and was bidding my time, reading books like What to expect when you’re expecting and trying to correlate my experiences with it.
When I broke the news to my friends, I received a variety of reactions. This, I realised later, was due to the fact that all of them were in different places in their lives, with most of them not having even been married and thus, their issues were very different from mine. They were facing different challenges in the form of a job change, a breakup or a new relationship and none of them could understand what I was going through. All their questions related to my pregnancy were mostly to address the stereotypes that they had heard around them and so I was often asked questions like, ‘did I feel like eating khatta all the time?’