Anand takes a moment to collect his thoughts on the journey to becoming Nanna to three-week-old Anagha.
Life has always been kind to me. Fortunately I never had a big testing moment and I think one of the biggest decisions if not the most for me was about the place where my baby would be making it into the world. Thanks to my friend Chetana Kulkarni, who is leading advocacy efforts on natural birth and breast feeding awareness as part of Banglore Birth Network, me and my wife Anusha Debbadi made an educated decision in choosing Healthy Mother Sanctum. Their website is http://healthy-mother.com/.
Healthy Mother practices a midwifery model with a core philosophy that pregnancy is not a disease and all mother needs is a friendly and comfortable environment, encouragement and making them aware of things to expect in days to come. The model of care was starkly different from a hospital we had visited during initial four months of Anusha’s pregnancy. On the day of arrival of Anagha Dhriti (my daughter), I could really appreciate the whole support system at the facility. Anusha’s mom, Nuring staff, and Dr Vijaya were continuously encouraging Anusha during her active labour.
I was eagerly awaiting Anagha’s arrival outside the labour room. A lot of thoughts were looming in my mind. I was really wishing so hard for safety of mother and daughter, though I knew that they both were in safe hands and in good care. Stray thoughts kept creeping in my mind in between, like if I am really ready to be dad, would I make a good father, my parents did sacrifice a lot for me and if the same is required of me would I be able to do so? All this while I could hear Anusha groaning in pain and I was feeling helpless.
It was a great relief when Anagha arrived, to hear her cry and to know that mom was doing well. It was undoubtedly my happiest moment in life so far. As soon as I saw the baby, I fell in love with her. To my disbelief she looked just so much like me. I could see myself in her, and felt I was damn good looking — a thought which had never passed my mind. My mind was so much at peace after hours of turbulence and all the questions that were propping up earlier came to a sudden halt. Those thoughts made way to a renewed thought that I should and will be able to provide her the best I can.
I would like to see Anagha grow up as a fiercely independent person and for that matter independent of thoughts that her parents themselves carry. As a symbolic gesture, when it came to naming our daughter, Anusha and I have decided that our baby would not carry my last name nor part of her parents name. We decided to have two part name so that one could be used as last name. Both mine and Anusha’s family carry conventional thoughts which have been their way of life. They put lot of faith behind the rituals that I feel are redundant, discriminatory and rooted in caste. This has raised some conflict already and hope we manage to fight out more healthily in the future battles that may arise.
My aspiration would be to nurture Anagha such that she would be independent and be conscious of environment and people around. Would love to provide her with an environment that would make this possible. Looking forward to grow along with Anagha as our main parenting guide. Will try to keep learning and to share those learnings.