To have a second baby or not is always a question of concern among modern woman, thanks to the societal pressure where having one child has become a norm and rising educational cost, medical expenses, can be blamed for it. In this article, I want to share a sad experience that one of my friends recently faced.
A day before yesterday my friend broke the news that she was pregnant and my happiness knew no boundaries, but instead of being happy she was sad and when I asked her what’s the concern, she told me about her non- supportive in- laws and husband. She could have easily gone to her maiden home if her big son school was not there. Things were really worse with her. Though she didn’t want the second baby too because her mother had also undergone an operation and financially they were not too secure. But then, she enveloped all her fears and took courage and tried to convince her husband that having a second child would do no harm and then they can go for family planning operation. Her husband started arguing with her and the worst part was when he said what if a baby girl is born we have to give her a dowry and all boys families are not like him who don’t take dowry. I was really perturbed by his narrow thinking. If that’s what enough he argued about financial constraints (he earns 70,000 a month and his father gets interest of Rs 50,000 and they have their own home) and about her mother who had undergone a heart surgery five years back (though she is still quite expert in doing household chores). My friend convinced her husband that things will fall in place when the second baby will be born. She cried incessantly in front of her husband thinking that he would listen to him at least once. She literally begged her husband don’t destroy my womb. He was adamant and he explicitly said to her nobody except you want the baby, the reasons are clear. He also argued that the attention, love, money would also get distributed (which was an invalid reason because the mother loves her babies equally, isn’t and nothing can match the siblings affection.)
When she told me the whole story I understood that no reason was valid except that her in laws don’t want to support her. A day before abortion she literally cried in my arms went to temple thinking that God will be the savior of the child but finally she had to undergo scissors. When I asked what thoughts she had on the operation table, she said that though tears trickled down from her eyes but inside she felt numb.
This story made me feel that what kind of relationship was that, who was at fault, husband, in laws, baby in the womb or the friend who cried. The saddest part of the story was the narrow thinking of her husband and in-laws who understood the feeling of their son but not their daughter in law. Times have changed, but for a woman especially the house wife nothing has changed barring a few, where earlier she used to succumb her desires and now she had to succumb her womb.
In the end, I would like to pass a message to all the husbands don’t treat your woman with harshness, live with them honorably and give her innate strength to take some decisions.
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