Once you reach your first marriage anniversary your Punjabi in laws start questioning when you are going to start a family. Actually it didn't even take that long before they started bombarding us with their hopes of us having a 'puttarji', meaning son. Son's are still favoured in the Punjabi culture given they were traditionally viewed as more useful. It is still very common for parents to be disappointed if they are to have a daughter. This is why it is illegal in India to determine the sex of your unborn child given the popularity of sex selective abortions. Luckily for us my in laws are supportive of us having either a son or daughter.
Well we are excited to announce that we are expecting our first child. I am now just past four months pregnant with the delivery to be expected late November. Whilst living in India during the first three months of my pregnancy, it was extremely challenging. I was already unable to eat local cuisines and this put even more pressure on my in laws to look after me. My husband always made the trip to Subway just so I could eat something nutritional without solely living off snack food.
Not to mention with my over sensitive nose I could smell absolutely everything which made me nauseous all day long and had to remain in my room. I already have super sensitive smell and could already smell more than the family. The kitchen always had this bad odor coming from the sink as the drainage is poor in India. Yet only a few of my relatives who visited could ever notice it much to my dismay. Therefore it continued to leak this odor since it didn't bother anyone else. Even the smoke from the roti pan when my mother in law made roti was unbearable. Going for walks outside wasn't much better with grey water being drained onto the sides of neighbourhood streets. With the combination of food poisoning, a mouth infection and multiple bladder infections I then had to have all day morning sickness.
Fortunately I did return to Australia during the second month of pregnancy, although since returning I haven't been much better. The morning sickness has now subsided yet I now have too much stomach acid. Making me suffer with stabbing pains after eating and eventually vomiting as my stomach has too much pressure. So I have exchanged one health concern for another. It is also difficult to have to rely on myself for emotional and financial support. With no form of transport other than my own two legs I spend hours walking to, from and between bus stops. This can make grocery shopping a challenge and I need to walk to the supermarket every few days as I can only carry so much without over exerting myself. Coupled in with my regular hospital and doctors appointments it can be overwhelming. Renting is impossible when you don't earn an income and therefore rely on the generosity of others who allow me to stay with them temporarily.
Despite these ailments my husband and I are extremely happy with our pregnancy news. Albeit we are stressed about his residency and if or when he will be able to return to Australia. Especially should my health deteriorate even more during pregnancy. The thought that immigration might not allow my husband to experience any of the pregnancy or the birth is disheartening. I definitely need him with me in the delivery room as who knows what could happen. Especially since I am no longer a spring chicken and I already have chronic ailments that may impede the birth. Some may say that we should have waited till we were stable in life however who can say what stability is when we all go through different challenges. You just don't know what life brings and can't put your life on hold because of that. We have the love to give and that is what counts the most.
Is anyone else in a similar situation?