During the ninth month of pregnancy is normally ‘pamper the mom and baby’ time for most pregnant ladies. They get pampered and showered with extra love by family and friends. So, it should not come as a surprise that I’ve been quite comfortable with all the extra love coming my way since 2017 (result of having back to back pregnancies).
Back in November, my husband, Raj, had planned a week long ski trip for March 2020, which was a point of debate for us as the COVID – 19 situation had just begun spreading to Europe. After a lot of discussion, debate, and assurances that he would take all the necessary precautions, it was decided that he would continue on the trip. These precautions included having to self-quarantine once he got back in case he exhibited any symptoms. At this point, I was preparing my mind for a 3 week pregnancy journey without Raj’s support and honestly, that was hard to imagine.
To my disbelief, On the last day of his trip, I got a call from him saying that he had suffered a major knee injury. Luckily, he managed to get his knee stabilized at the local hospital and flew back to India in the next 24 hours. My mind went on a roller coaster ride for those 24 hours. I was numb and didn’t know how to respond to this situation. As embarrassing as it is to admit, not all my emotions were positive. As much as I cared for him, my instant reaction was ‘how will I pull off the entire pregnancy without his support’. I already spent a week without him by then and it was not easy settling into the new house, caring for a toddler and taking care of myself. However selfish it may sound, I felt ripped off my pregnancy privilege.
However, once Raj arrived I understood the intensity of his pain (it was a torn ACL, MCL and damaged meniscus) which would require surgery and about 6-9 months of intensive rehab, things started to change. He couldn’t move his leg without support. I had no choice but to step up and actually help Raj, since he needed my support during this painful time. This happened 5 weeks ago and reflecting back, these are my three major takeaways from this incident: 1. Stepping up: I changed into the role of a caregiver very quickly and stopped expecting him to pamper me. I understood that he was feeling even worse about not being able to help me out the way he used to and that caused him a lot of mental anguish. By not using the “I told you so” line, and instead just saying that it's okay and we would get through this together, was a bigger relief to him than any painkiller.
2. Mental Strength: ‘Our body is but a slave to our mind’. Never have these words been truer! I had no idea I could be this active in my third trimester. While my last pregnancy was more about resting during the last trimester, this time I have been handling my toddler physically, taking care of my husband’s needs and focusing on my professional life (of course this would have been impossible without the family care and staff support). Being active makes the days go by much faster and more over makes me focus on the important things.
3. Acceptance: Instead of debating endlessly about why certain things happen, I have just accepted the situation and made the best of it by spending quality time with my husband and supporting him through his rehab.
Once I realized and accepted these three points, there was a shift in my mood, behaviour and thought process. I was no longer being hard on myself and started letting go, taking one day at a time.
Thought to ponder upon: Will these same concepts help us get through other difficult times as well?