~By Anu. Here he is!! The result of five years of wishing, hoping, trying... and buckets of tears (some of joy finally!). Our little boy was born on April 28th in London and as I write, he's lying on the sofa with his Nani (my mother) cooing and gurgling with delight!
What a rollercoaster ride the last 18 months have been! In November 2007, I left the BBC World Service's headquarters in central London for what I hope will not be the very last time. I'd decided to give up my job presenting radio news programmes to de-stress and concentrate on having a baby.
Like so many women in their 30s... I was facing a tough personal decision: stay, and possibly never conceive... or walk away, chill out, get pregnant... and let go of any perceived guarantees of doing a job you LOVE.
Heart in mouth... I walked away.
I was lucky. Financially, I could afford to quit. And lucky too, that less than a year later, I fell pregnant. Although those months in between were grim. Suddenly being unemployed AND un-pregnant was more than I could bear. My husband and all my friends were still busy going to work everyday, full of opinions about THINGS.... and I was sitting at home slowly trying to mellow, but getting progressively more stressed.
My friend Vimmi can attest to the sight of me crying, all day, in bed on my 35th birthday. She finally made me break into a weak smile by joking that I didn't need a baby, since I could cry far more than it ever would. (Thanks to her and Tarquin, I made it to my own party, albeit with a thick layer of make-up to hide sausage-bloated eyes...!)
A few months later... just days before our first IVF appointment... to my total shock and delight... that stupid little pee stick finally showed a positive result (I did four more tests, just to be sure!!) I thought I'd be able to wait a few days til Tarquin's birthday to tell him... but of course, by afternoon, I was bursting with the news and gave in. You never forget that look on your partner's face (hopefully, as in my case, of pure soppiness and joy) when they hear the news... and I will never, as long as I live, forget the tears in his eyes.
There's much to say about pregnancy... about all the things you need to know and don't need to worry about... about the way it makes you aware of frailty and vulnerability... and allows you appreciate those around you who move slowly or with difficulty...about what you need and DON'T need to acquire for you and the baby (!!) but all that's all for another post (when I can find 30 minutes to rub together!!) Most of it has been said before by more experienced mums... but I'll add my 2 cents for what it's worth.
Nevertheless, despite feeling passed by... and sometimes wondering how and when I will possibly get back to work... and how it will compare to the best job I've ever had at the BBC World Service.... I am deeply content, down to my toes, and into my bones. On Facebook, after he was born, I was marvelling at the deluge of praise, good wishes, and encouragement we received from so many people:
"Anu Anand Hall loves how the whole world is nice to you when you've had a baby... never had this much praise in 13 years as a journalist!! (Rightly)."
To which my friend Tim Porter (also a writer and photographer) replied which such encouraging, delightful metaphor:
"Think of it this way -- you spent nine months working on the story and 21 hours on deadline -- no wonder it came out so well!"