Celebrating the First Trimester of Pregnancy 42


An enchanting aspect of Indian life is the marking of important milestones with traditions, rituals and celebrations. Completing the first trimester of my pregnancy was one of the special milestones we celebrated, a special milestone in pregnancy all over the world. The morning sickness is fading, you’ve had an ultrasound and you can start to expect those first flutters of baby’s movements.

Once I had completed my first trimester, my mother-in-law invited a group of her friends to the house to celebrate my pregnancy under a full moon. It was definitely something I wanted to celebrate, I had spent the last couple of weeks vomiting, feeling nauseous and anxiously waiting for that all important ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy was progressing well. Slowly I was considering eating Indian food again (I just couldn’t during those first couple of weeks, food aversion being a very common first trimester symptom) and starting to relax and look forward to the rest of my pregnancy.

You might be wondering why the moon had to be full for this celebration…

Once the women had arrived and the moon was high in the sky, we all went outside to the garden and sat down on blankets around clay idols of Goddess Gauri (the mother Goddess) holding her baby, with her consort, Shankar. In front of the little altar sat a large bowl of milk to absorb the rays of the full moon. Amongst the rose bushes, under the huge moon and stars, the women started to clap and sing Marathi folk songs about pregnancy, mother-in-laws and lemons (I’m not sure what lemons had to do with it, but apparently it was hilarious).

shankar gauri pregnancy

They sang, clapped and laughed until no one could think of anymore songs to sing, then we all drank the milk that had been offered to the moon (prasad)! I really feel that rituals play such an important role in helping us feel connected to the world around us, even though I didn’t understand much of the folk songs, I felt a connection with that circle of women, all of whom have experienced pregnancy themselves. I hope to learn a couple of these funny Marathi folk songs for a possible next time, or when I am invited to someone else’s first trimester celebration as a mother myself!

***

Check out my Instagram and Facebook pages for daily updates and discussions!


About Lauren Mokasdar

Lauren fell in love on the internet, took a one way flight from England, got married & started a new life & bicultural family in India. She writes about finding happiness & balance between two very different worlds, when her baby takes a nap.


42 thoughts on “Celebrating the First Trimester of Pregnancy

  • Susan

    As I am in the beginnings of pregnancy myself I find this a delightful way to celebrate the life that is within. Wishing I was in India in a few weeks to have my own celebration.

  • kanak

    Congrats Lauren , it’s really amazing that you are waiting to become a mom . Hope you have enjoyed the celebration. In other parts in India , there is another celebration, a special feast is celebrated only for the would be mom at the later stage of pregnancy. Best wishes for you , your loving hubby the would be father and for the would be baby who is growing each day

  • Rhoda

    That is so beautiful. I’m glad to hear that the nausea is going away . Your one of the lucky ones. Congratulations!!! Again ? Sounds like you had a blast

  • ranjana

    Sounds like a fun ritual. In India if a newly married woman craves for lemons and pickles, the womenfolk generally start joking that she may be expecting.Hence I believe that Lemon is considered symbolic of pregnancy cravings. In my first trimester I had pano puris everyday for dinner and it is my daughter’s fav God.?

  • friend

    it is good to know that u are coping well. It is believed that once a woman is pregnant, she craves sour food like lemon. perhaps that’s what the reference to lemon is.

    It is also believed that milk or rice porridge kept outside during full moon is magical and beneficial.

    If I am not wrong pretty soon women are going to come to your house to bless u with fruits especially coconut. This is called “god bharai” (filling up the womb) or blessing the womb among north Indians. mosomething similar happens among all communities in India.

    Make sure there are people around u all the time during this time. Take care

  • Wellwisher

    Congratulations Lauren! You are entering the so called “golden period” of the second trimester of pregnancy :). Time to catch your breath after the first trimester and revel in the miracle of new life growing inside you. Being Maharashtrian myself, my guess is that the lemon reference is to the sour things that pregnant women apparently crave in the first trimester to overcome the nausea. It could be a reference to no longer needing those (or at least not as many of those)

  • Jay

    Congratulation Lauren!!!
    I think songs you were referring are known as BhulaBai che gane(Song of bhula bai), In my childhood I use to go with my mother on this type of programmes in Nagpur , these songs are funny and with catchy tone. Theme of song is mostly on relation between daughter in law and her in laws. Songs are mainly sung on Kojagari Purnima in Vidharbh region of Maharashtra(In which Nagpur Comes).
    My favorite song is “Ya gaura ya rani rusun baisali kaisi” it’s about daughter in law who become upset and every one form her in law side tried to appease/placate her with different gift and finally when her husband promise her for child she come home. Guess what I found this song on YouTube as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XMgv58LMhc

  • Catharina

    How interesting! I haven’t heard about this tradition, but then again, my mother in law has been far away at the end of my trimesters! Take care!! xxx

  • manjumodiyani

    Hey there. Guess what? This might sound weird but I got a dream last night that you had a baby boy! 😀 My dreams often give me hints about the future, and most times they turn out to be true. Six sense I guess. Other times it’s just my mind messing with itself! :p Also, if it happens for real in your case, you are gonna get “I told you so” from me. :p Hugs! Take care.

  • pardha saradhi of 63 years age

    Hearty congratulations. You are luckiest woman. ” SEEGHRAMEVA SUPUTRA PRAPTI RASTU”
    the meaning is that ” you bless with a son at the earliest” ( son on par with the good qualities of your husband and adjustable qualities of you.).

    • Nicola

      And if it isn’t a son? (Traditional “blessing” or otherwise, I think this is a grossly insensitive thing to say to a pregnant woman. You might as well say, “We hope it’s not a girl, as we will not value her. Sons are all in India.”)

  • Nicola

    Hope everything is okay with you, Lauren. You posted six times in January… then in February nothing at all.
    Thinking of you, Nicola xxx

      • Nicola Figini

        Lovely to hear from you again, Lauren! I only discovered your Instagram account a couple of days ago, and I’m not on Facebook, so I had no idea what had happened to you since your last blog post. I was so relieved to see the photos (once I’d found them!) of the continuing pregnancy… and then Rohan!
        I discovered your blog when you were still living in England, and working as a trainee pharmacist, and remember biting my nails with anxiety for you when you chucked it all in and went to India earlier than planned. How wonderful it is, today, to be able to rub my hands with excitement in anticipation of hearing all your news about the latest, and most precious, development in your life.
        Welcome back! We all missed you.
        With much love to you, your husband and child,
        Nicola xxx

        • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

          Aww thank you so much, Nicola!

          This really means so much to me! When I look back, it is incredible how things can change in quite a short space of time! I’m so glad I documented it all! 😀
          I hope you are well. Lots of love from us xx

  • Ivy

    Hi Lauren, congratulation on your pregnancy. I’m an expat wife staying in Bandra West and looking for a gynaecologist doctor. Would you recommend me some doctor which is good? Thank you! 🙂

  • friend

    Congratulations Lauren,

    Just saw you pics with you son, you are looking every inch a mummy. God bless the child. We are eagerly waiting for your blog posts, but then I guess that you must be having sleepless lives with the little bundle of joy. Are you back in India? Once again congratulations to both of you.

  • Anshuman Mishra

    H Lauren,

    Long time that this blog is not updated, I was anxious to know about any news related to your family.

    Regards,

    Anshuman

Comments are closed.