A square pulse of happiness fluttered under the bulge of my belly. It lasted five seconds before ebbing just as quickly.
Growth scans are all fine, the gynaecologist said. I savored a moment’s relief until I heard rasping thoughts of panic- My baby was taking giant leaps to meet me halfway on the road to motherhood and here I was, exhausted with the effort of a few tiny steps.
Pregnancy guides in glossy covers never found their way to my bedside table. Looming deadlines of a busy work schedule spread like a black umbrella blotting out the pleasant morning sun, on many days. I scoured the crevices of my cerebellum for the faintest memories of my interaction with babies and came up at the entrance to a black hole. One dark night, two months after he had arrived, my son crinkled his nose and transformed into a lilac bawling machine. I hummed the tune of my favorite carnatic song and paced the carpeted hallway in the soft glow of the ochre lamp rocking him from side to side until he drifted asleep
A tiny flicker of hope glimmered as my son’s fingers curled around mine. I inhaled the first whiff of calm in the quiet probability that I could, figure out the calculus of motherhood, after all, One step at a time.
Preeth Ganapathy is a software engineer turned civil servant. She lives in Bangalore, India. Writing has been her passion since childhood. Her works have been published or are upcoming in a number of online magazines including The Ekphrastic Review, Buddhist Poetry Review(Upcoming), Potato Soup Journal (Upcoming), Snakeskin Poetry Webzine, Voices on the Wind(Upcoming) among others. She is the winner of Wilda Morris’s July 2020 Poetry Challenge.