Here he starts his arduous journey to outside world with elbows bent, hips and knees flexed, arms and legs held close to the front of body. His nails were sharp enough to hurt one, with fine soft hair present on face, shoulders, and back.
Friends and near ones use to ask me quite often then - Do you feel the movement?
No (use to be my reply).
Somewhere, I use to wonder how it feels like the movement of the baby inside. It was tough to answer as first timer. On routine check -up my doctor asked the same whether I feel the movement and I nodded in negative. Immediately asked her how it actually feels. She says like bubbles or you'll feel tiny flutters as your baby moves – I smiled and said yes. I had my very first experience on 5th month.
There's something really special about feeling your baby's kicking, squirming. You begin to realize that some life is really inside you and that is just as exciting as the first time you heard your baby's heartbeat or caught a glimpse of her moving during the first sonography.
You begin to feel the movements as your baby's bones harden. Movements become more intense with hardening of bones as baby grows. First-time moms like me usually feel their babies move bit later than experienced ones.
As naughty as our son already is, he use to kick like as if having fist-fighting inside or trying to create more space for himself by stretching. Even his dad could feel his kicks by placing his hand on my belly. We enjoyed as he use to mark his presence by movements. At earlier stage it use to be rare but slowly and slowly I felt his kicks several times a day, every day. It is just amazing! Later even doctor asked me to keep an count of number of movements. According to her, it should be 10-12 per day.Certain time felt jabs from his arms and legs. But baby does not move all the time. They have their own patterns.
In our custom, M-I-L presents all the garments which mother-to-be wears at the ceremony. This occasion happens twice once from in-laws side is over then only my mom can have but because of my critical condition, from both sides were done on a single day in the seventh month.
Expected mother have to sit on the floor facing east and sometimes puja is also performed; but as I was medically unfit to sit for a longer duration so certain rituals were curtailed. Alpana (with powdered rice) designs are usually drawn on the floor. In the middle of the design, an earthen or copper pot is kept decorated with a red swastika and filled with pure water, mango leaves and green coconut is kept. This is considered as an auspicious sign.
Last but not least expected mother is fed well with seven different types of savory traditional dishes. A feast is prepared for the guests as well. In Bengali, no ceremony be it a wedding or baby shower is complete without elaborate serving rituals, but nowadays professional catering or buffet-style dining is common. The courses progress from lighter to richer and heavier. Rice remains common throughout the meal.
Starting course is bitter a soupy mixture of vegetables in a ginger-mustard sauce, called shukto. Followed by Dal lentil curry - the most substantial course accompanied with fritters (bhaja). In fritters tailfin and head of fish is must to be served to expected mother. The next course is two kinds of vegetable curry which is followed by fish course of two varieties. Finally comes the chutney course, which is typically tangy and sweet; usually made of mangoes or tomatoes or pineapple etc. And of course at last sweet dish be it rice pudding (kheer) or rasogulla is served which is not to be missed.