All through my years of growing up, if there was one thing I always wanted, it was to have my own baby. But I ended up falling in love with someone who did not. Here’s how we reached a middle ground. 

You, Me & a Baby!

All through my years of growing up, if there was one thing I always wanted, it was to have my own baby. But I ended up falling in love with someone who did not. Here’s how we reached a middle ground. 

I met Kartik at a common friend’s party. We bonded over our love for discovering places to eat at, and he ended up asking me out to a new restaurant that had opened up in the city. 

That meal onwards, we were labeled the quintessential ‘happy couple’. Getting out of town for weekends, going on impromptu lunch dates, doing movie nights, game nights - my friends would ask me how I got such a great guy, and I would say ‘it’s just my luck’!

While having stuff in common - at the onset - did make me feel like Kartik was the one for me. But that was definitely not enough to sustain the feeling - and I learned it the hard way. 

We were two years into our relationship when one morning I woke up feeling sick. I was nauseous and wanted to throw up. ‘It has to be the tacos we had for dinner last night, I told you that place didn’t look reliable’, Kartik said. That month, I didn’t get my period. Upon testing I found out I was six weeks pregnant. I still tear up remembering how happy that made me. 

That night, to make the big announcement, I cooked dinner for him. I wanted everything to be perfect - almost like a proposal. Except that marriage is something we both didn’t care much about. So when Kartik returned to a candle-lit, incense-smelling, flower-decorated house that evening, he was pleasantly surprised. 

‘Am I forgetting something? Your birthday? My birthday?’ He asked. ‘Not really’, I said. ‘All this is just to celebrate that we will have to remember a new birthday, nine months from now!’ I noticed his face going from OMG to WTF in 3 seconds. He freaked out like a freak and began yelling at me like I did something wrong to him. 

He had never shouted at me before. He was mad at me for celebrating it like good news and accused me of taking advantage of him for my personal agenda. ‘I am not having this baby’, he made it clear. I was devastated to see him turn into a selfish person all of a sudden. Who was this man? Did I know him at all? 

‘I am not asking you to take care of the baby’, I yelled back to make him shut up. ‘I am independent and grown-up enough to raise it on my own. But now that it is inside me, what can I do?’ I asked. ‘Abort it’, he said. ‘This wasn’t a part of my plan!’ His words broke my heart. He made me feel so lonely. I loved this man, but I did not wish to complicate my life so the next morning I scheduled an appointment with my gynecologist and terminated my pregnancy. 

I didn’t speak to him for about two weeks after that. He would apologize on text every day, bring me flowers, takeaways, gifts - but I just couldn’t come to terms with his insensitivity. All this was taking a toll on my mental health so I reached out to my sister and told her everything. 

‘I’m so sorry for what you had to go through, Mili’, she said on the phone. ‘From as far back as I can remember, having a baby was your ultimate goal in life. But was Kartik aware of this?’ She asked me. I paused for a moment and murmured ‘No’. 

What she said next, changed my perspective. ‘So then perhaps he wasn’t prepared for the news. It was wrong of him to shout, but maybe he was feeling as betrayed as you were. When you’re in a relationship, then having a baby has to be a mutual decision - for everyone’s good.’

Didi was right. Kartik and I had decided to never marry, but we had never discussed having a baby. Perhaps because we were both so sure of our individual decisions - mine to eventually have one, and his to never. ‘No marriage’ automatically meant ‘no baby’ for him, and I felt differently. 

Kartik was cleaning the dishes in the kitchen so I walked up to him and told him I wanted to talk. He left everything, pulled out a chair for me and said, ‘Babe, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to say all those things to you’. I held his hand and told him that I wanted us to be honest with each other so that we could decide what we wanted to do next. 

I made it clear to him that at some point in life, I wanted to have a baby - and if that plan did not align with his, then we should not be in a relationship with each other. Kartik’s eyes welled up for the first time in two years. 

‘I had never thought of having a baby. I just wanted to travel and chill forever. But I realize I hadn’t even thought of being so much in love with a woman that I could not imagine my life without her. How we evolve in our relationship will forever be based on mutual decisions. The way we want to play our game could be different, but as long as we are on the same team - we will win. So I request you to be with me and plan our life together - even if that means having a baby at some point.’ - We both cried so much that afternoon. 

I feel that conversation helped us grow in our relationship. Our intentions were made clear and our bond was strengthened. For the first time in two years, we wanted to look out for each other instead of just focussing on our individual plans. For the first time perhaps that we were willing to commit, in its true sense. 

We channelized our loss into working together for a better future - one that was not mine or his, but ours. Kartik and I are currently in Goa, celebrating my promotion and planning our expenses in order to figure out when would be the right time to go ahead with our baby plans! 

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Teesta Rajan
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