Birthing a new love
Mother & Baby India|November 2021
Mumbai-based Chloe Qureshi tells us about her painstaking preparation to bring baby Aayatt into this world—in the most natural way, possible
Kriselle Fonseca

Chloe Qureshi is a known name in the telly world. With an illustrious career as creative director at Balaji Telefilms, Chloe has been at the helm of numerous award-winning productions. However, this time, Chloe details a new project, one that involved extensive prep work behind the scenes, physically and emotionally— becoming mommy to baby Aayatt. Read on as she revisits a life-changing birthing experience and her elaborate travels with a seven-month-old baby in tow...

SURPRISE! IT’S A BABY

“I’ve been with Balaji Telefilms for the last 18 years. I’ve always been a career woman, and work has kept me on the go. December 2019 was when I was in the busiest time of my career—I had to oversee 26-odd shows in various stages of development. And right in the middle of it all, I jetted off to Rajasthan with my husband Aslam Qureshi for our anniversary celebrations. My time there was supposed to be a break after being on a choc-a-block work schedule. On the day of the anniversary, we went out for dinner and I just couldn’t eat. I grew suspicious of what it might be, but I decided to do a test to rule it out. Turns out, my suspicions were right! At that moment when I found out, I was overwhelmed with joy, but, somewhere at the back of my mind, I couldn’t stop thinking about those 26 shows I had to come back to, and how I would manage my pregnancy through it all.

“For the first three months, nobody knew I was pregnant. Not even my boss, Ekta Kapoor. I wanted to keep my eye on the ball with all the launches and projects lined up. I didn’t want any fuss or special treatment. So, you can imagine her shock when she found out that I was constantly on my toes while growing another human being inside me! Just as my first trimester ended and my workload somewhat eased up, we were hit with the pandemic and subsequent lockdown. And it couldn’t have been any more of a blessing! Suddenly, I was forced to stay indoors after coming home at 4 am for the longest time, even while pregnant. Just when I thought there was no way out of my hectic schedule, we were hit with the lockdown. It was like a miracle for me, a much-needed break. All production halted, but we decided to continue scripting from home to keep ourselves sane.

“However, despite it all, I believe I truly had a beautiful pregnancy. I was unwell for barely two days. I’d like to think my bub was kind to me, and did not give me anything to complain about. The only challenge was being pregnant in the middle of a pandemic. Doctor’s appointments weren’t as frequent, and I had to wait ages to get my sonographies and scans done. But I passed my time doing things I love, like cooking, listening to music, etc. I truly was a happy mama-in-the making.

BIRTHING WONDERS

“As my pregnancy progressed, I started thinking of my birthing options. I never attached fear to giving birth, all thanks to the people in my life who went through it. Right from the time I was a little girl, I always heard stories of strength from my mum and grandmum—how my mum walked herself to the hospital, and gave birth by herself, because my dad wasn’t around. I think it’s important for women to hear positive stories about birth, so that they ‘look forward’ to it rather than fear it. Of course, it’s not easy, it’s a literal hurricane in your body. But it’s not impossible!

“I always dreamed of a water birth, but didn’t even know if that was an option in India. Through my research, I found out about Surya Hospital’s (Mumbai) water birthing facilities, and even booked my room there. However, all the leisure time I had made me think long and hard about the process, and the environment I wanted to bring my baby into.

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