My friend, Mongoose (yes, I call her that 🐻) became a Mausi last year, when her sister Neha was pregnant. Excited for her niece's first Diwali, she was recounting how Neha took care of herself during the previous Diwali. To share it with all of you, she wrote a blog on it.
Neha woke up as peppy as she could be. For someone who was seven months pregnant, that is.
From her condition, you couldn't have guessed it was Diwali the day before. The fireworks, mithai, guests, music, had lasted well into the early hours. But Neha had been sure to check-out early for her regular 10 pm bed-time.
This didn't mean she passed up on the fun. She participated in the merriment to a manageable degree. She chose to remain indoors, and she made it a point to dial down the over-excitement that accompanies Diwali.
When it came to meals, that meant on time, in the same volume as before. Not more not less. With all the recommended veggies and grains. She helped herself to a pinch of the sweets.
She didn't go overboard with the house cleaning and decoration. Instead, her husband and her cousin took charge of most of the prepping.
Just this once, she decided to depend a bit on store-bought delicacies rather than doing it herself.
NO CRACKERS PLEASE!
The one thing she did avoid altogether was the loud, smoky patakas which were inevitable every Diwali.
Every time an explosive one went off, she found herself as startled as her pet puppy, Olive. As with every Diwali, Olive hid under the sofa. Neha didn't have that option. So, on behalf of them both, she decided to keep him company indoors.
The street-facing windows were strictly kept shut. Though the noise of the crackers does not affect the baby in the womb as much, they do affect the mental peace of the mother, stressing her out.
Neha stuck to her regular exercise routine, morning, afternoon, evening. She made sure the deepas all over her home hadn't run out of oil.
She repositioned those deepas that were kept in unstable positions or in areas with furniture, fabric, or anything flammable. With Olive at her heels, she took care of the macro picture and made occasional interventions in the kitchens.
At the slightest hint of fatigue, she made sure to put her feet up and take a break, with Olive approving completely. Occasionally, Neha would pour herself a glass of Farmery milk, for that extra kick of raw, chemical-free dairy energy. Of course, she'd pour out some for Olive as well, and the boys too.
THE RAW MILK TACTIC!
Now, protecting the peace of her pregnancy also required some vigilance on the part of her husband, Rajesh. The trickiest part was handling the nosy guests who insisted on meeting Neha while she was resting. After one failed attempt, Rajesh succeeded in the art of the dairy-white lie.
The next time a guest bulldozed their way into meeting Neha, he confidently insisted "she was away at her parents" for now. If the guests were particularly dejected at being denied a meeting with Neha, he plied them with some sweets he had bought from the sweet shop on the corner. If that too didn't work, he offered them sweets he had made "with his own hands" with fresh, raw milk from the Farmery. That worked perfectly.
The conversation immediately turned to “Famery? What is Farmery?”
Rajesh rushed to the fridge to fetch an eye-catching glass bottle of Farmery milk.
Instantly the uncle-aunt were obsessed, insisting on holding the bottle as Rajesh held forth on its merits. On one such encounter at least, Neha couldn't help tiptoeing to her bedroom door to witness Rajesh pull the tactic and the guests going bonkers. At least two over-enthusiastic guests insisted on carrying back a bottle of Farmery milk.
That was not expected and it meant Rajesh and Neha were out of milk for the day. But it took only an instant, to order another two bottles from the website/app, which would be delivered the next day.
MORE MILK ON ITS WAY!
So it was that with precaution and a few white lies, Neha, Rajesh, Olive, and future baby Chetan had the safest Diwali any expecting family could expect to have.
It's true, they had to let go of a few bottles of Farmery milk, but replacements were already being arranged with a tap on the website.
If you're pregnant this Diwali, dial things down a bit like Neha did. Stay indoors to protect yourself from the noise and the smoke, and remember to take a few breaks to put up your feet, and sip on a glass of farm-fresh, raw milk from the Farmery.