• Shreya Teresita

A Letter to My Unborn Child

Copyrights: Ipshita Mitra/Carpe Diem Tales
A Letter to My Unborn Child. (Art by Ipshita Mitra)

My darling baby

the world wants me to have you

it’s been subtly demanding

ever since I started to bleed

when I was 12.

It’s been telling me, one way or another

that I, a woman, was put on this world

to birth a child...to be a mother.

I’m in my late 20s now

all grown up and somewhere to be;

all fertile and young

and amped-up

and no

I am not ready to have you.

Your grandmothers — and many others

they keep telling me that

my biological clock is ticking

that soon, it will be too late

for my body to form you;

that one day, I’ll regret having wasted time

chasing career goals

when I should’ve had you.

But here’s the thing, you see

there’s a tick-tock

louder than my biological clock;

life is running out as we speak

and Mamma’s got miles to go

before she sleeps.

Mamma’s got dreams, little one!

I’m sure you’ll be cute as a button

but my dreams are big and shiny

there’s so much to do and so little time

the shoes still too big to fill

the bar still set too high.

Your grandmothers — and many others

they keep telling me that

my career and my aspirations are fine

but it’s motherhood that should be

the mother of all my dreams

that procreation is my duty

that birthing you will COMPLETE me

else I’ll only be half of a woman.

My darling baby

let’s agree on one thing

you will not be the product

of the society’s expectation from me

or a consequence of others’ decision

of what I should do with my body.

Little one

you will be my CHOICE.

Speaking of choice

I don’t care what gender you have

or if you choose

not to have one

but if you are a girl, know this—

People will ALWAYS judge you.

They will always try to dictate you

and bully you

about your rights and choices

about your body and your life.

To such people, pay no attention

ignore when you have to

but never stop the fight

and even if they're not enough

always know

you have RIGHTS.

My darling baby

I don’t know when I’ll have you

but when I do I hope the world

is better and brighter for you than it is now.

I hope you have more rights than I do

more love and better people around you

than those before you have had

and less to be scared of.

Little one, right now

I’m a grown-up and a child

all rolled into one myself.

Still figuring things out

still trying...

trying to weave out sense

from the chaos

weed out groping hands from

the caring ones.

So, my darling baby

you’ll have to wait

as many eggs as it takes

for mamma to be ready first.

And when you are here

know that for many, I'll be a bad mom

for I'll not make all the sacrifices expected of me.

Know that you will be here because

I'll choose to be your mom

but when your time comes

you can choose otherwise

and that is okay.

So, hang in there, little one

until we meet.

With lots of love,

Your not-quite-yet mum

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