First things first, I feel like I am obligated to share a little background about myself. I’m Sneha and I’m Nepali. I was born and brought up in Kathmandu and for 18 years, I spent my days in Kathmandu, in my comfortable bubble. When I turned 19, I finally left home for Fergusson College, Pune. I fell in love with Pune and India so much that I decided to prolong my stay and completed my Master’s from the same university. I not only fell in love with India but also an Indian, so much so that I married him.
My husband and I now live in New Delhi and although life is rosy, there are a few things I do sorely miss about being away from home. When you live away from home, you not only miss the people you love and “Maa ka haat ka khana” but also the big moments and the small ones. I’ve missed out on weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and much more.
Another huge event I missed out on was the birth of my nephew – the first child of my eldest sister. My eldest sister is almost 10 years older than I am and although there is a huge age gap between us, we have always been extremely close. She has always looked after me like a mother and I look up to her every day. She is graceful, headstrong, beautiful inside and out and loves without restraint. It was a balmy evening in early April when she had called me over the phone to announce that she was pregnant. I could not contain my excitement and I immediately passed the phone to my husband. My hands were shaking and tears of joy were streaming down my face.
My sister was going to be a mother! It felt surreal and overwhelming. I’ve had many moments in my life when I had felt like I had experienced pure, unadulterated happiness but when I got that call, it was a form of joy I had never felt before. A few months after I got the call, I went back to visit my family. Pregnancy suited her, it was doing wonders for her. There was a glow and a quiet confidence in her that I had never seen before. She radiated so much grace and energy and each time I felt her baby bump, I would secretly hope that the baby would kick out or just do some kind of movement, any kind of movement. I wanted to be close to the baby as much as possible and forge a bond with him in whatever short time I had. My mother kept reminding me that it would still take some time for the baby to start kicking. Soon, it was time for me to come back to Delhi.
Also read: How I celebrated my pregnancy – Mom’s story
The next few months flew by with different family members sending me pictures of my sister’s growing bump. In each picture, she smiled a self-assured smile. In candid pictures in which she can’t be seen smiling, one could see the smile in her expectant eyes. No matter how relaxed she seemed on the outside, she wasn’t though. She would confide in us and talk to us about her fears. She was 36 when she was pregnant – pregnancy at this age is generally considered to be a little risky. We re-assured her time and again that everything would be fine. We knew deep inside that her baby would be a healthy, happy one.
I woke up super early on the 17th of December, 2018. This was it. The baby would be brought into this world any minute now. On the morning of the 17th, her husband called. Through heavy breaths and excitement he told me that she had gone into labour. I woke my peacefully sleeping husband up and both of us drank copious cups of extra strong coffee, just waiting, speaking to each other in words unspoken, both extremely nervous but trying to stay calm for the other. An hour and half later, my brother-in-law messaged, “Congratulations, Sano Mommy”. “Sano” is Nepali word which can be loosely translated to “small” or “younger”. My sister had given birth to a healthy baby boy and I had become a “Sano Mommy” or a “Maasi”.
After my brother-in-law messaged, my dad called; he calls me “baba” sometimes. Over the phone all he said was “Baba”, and I could tell he had been crying. Between silent sobs, we congratulated each other and thanked god and the universe for this miracle that was bestowed upon us. My sister had become a mother and my parents had become grandparents – both for the first time.
I went home shortly after my nephew was born and nothing, literally nothing could have prepared me for that first meeting. When I met my sister, she engulfed me in a warm hug and yet again, our tears were uncontrollable. Next to her, I saw my nephew for the first time. A tiny little bundle, sleeping without a care in the world. Covered in his blue baby blanket, I saw his small face. I had never seen anything as beautiful, anything as pristine and anything as pure in my whole life. I could not believe my eyes! Sitting next to him, I realised I could look at him forever. I touched his soft chubby cheeks and understood for the first time what soft actually felt like, I massaged his little eyebrows and saw just how much he enjoyed it.
I couldn’t believe that something as small could bring immeasurable joy. When I saw my nephew, my heart exploded. I couldn’t believe that there could be so much love to give to one single person. It felt like someone had physically wrung my heart out, carefully placed it on a tray and injected it with love. I had found a new purpose in life and I felt immediately responsible for his happiness. I vowed that I would not let anything happen to him.
Every little thing he did felt like magic. If he yawned, I’d cheer for him, if he was being breastfed, I’d say words of encouragement. My sister and brother-in-law haven’t decided on a name for him yet. I had suggested “Shashank” but they didn’t seem to love it, perhaps, if I ever have a son, I will call him “Shashank”. For now, my nephew is called “Fuche”, which means the little one. It is my nickname as well as I’m the youngest of three siblings.
Spending time with him was so rewarding. I didn’t get to spend too much time with him and he probably won’t remember me the next time he sees me but I want to thank him for coming into our lives and bringing us so much happiness. Thank you little one for bringing our family closer as well. We were all waiting for you!
Want to share your experience as a mom with other moms through words or images? Become a part of the Moms United community. Click here and we will get in touch with you