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Kalki Koechlin: When you’re pregnant, everyone around has advice to offer

"Guy and I do not want to rush into marriage because of the pregnancy. The pregnancy has already brought in enough changes that we are happily dealing with at the moment. Marriage can wait."

Updated: November 26, 2019 11:17:16 am
Kalki Koechlin pregnancy Kalki Koechlin

By Shilpi Madan

Kalki Koechlin makes for a radiant mum-to-be. Now in her third trimester, with folic acid singing through her gorgeous skin and hair, a warm, beatific smile and laughter to match, the award winning actress (of Dev D, Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani, Margarita With a Straw, Sacred Games fame) is busy netting in the accolades for season 2 of her podcast on BBC, Kalki Presents: My Indian Life. All while she readies to have a natural birth, with her partner Guy Hershberg holding her hand. Excerpts from a conversation with Express Parenting.

You’ve never looked better. How has the pregnancy been so far?

Thanks! Honestly, this is an unexpected pregnancy but we are very happy about it. The news came as a pleasant surprise (laughs). We were shocked at first, taken off guard completely, and I even went in for a repeat test to confirm the news. The initial disbelief then made way for joy. Guy and I did plan to have kids in a couple of years but we are delighted to welcome our little one sooner.

You have always been unconventional. Do comment on your choice to have a baby without the perimeter of marriage.

Guy and I do not want to rush into marriage because of the pregnancy. The pregnancy has already brought in enough changes that we are happily dealing with at the moment. Marriage can wait. I can’t even think about it right now. It would be too much to deal with. Thankfully, neither set of parents are traditional, so there is no pressure at all either.

No pressure?

As grandparents-to-be they are just so excited and enthusiastic and want to be involved in everything from doing up the baby’s room to the delivery.

How do you feel right now, in your last trimester?

Tired. The first trimester was a bit challenging, but I have been enjoying my pregnancy, working as well. We have announced the third season of my podcast on BBC. Honestly, there have been good days and bad days during the pregnancy. My work has seen me through the bad days, keeping me preoccupied.

How have you been staying fit?

I have been swimming aplenty and doing yoga.

You plan to have a natural delivery in water. Any reasons for your choice?

It is the least painful form of delivery for the mother, damages the perineum area less, and is a natural progression for the baby from the amniotic fluid environment that surrounds the embryo inside the womb. We have found a trained midwife in Goa, with 20 years of experience in water births, and will be heading there in January.

What about plans to work once the baby arrives?

I will be on maternity leave for three months to rest and regain my energy levels and bond with my baby. Then I will go with the flow. It is a little difficult to imagine how it will be like later since this is my first pregnancy but we will have a nanny. Guy and I are very clear that a nanny cannot replace a parent. We will be hands-on for sure, one of us will always be around with the baby and we will work it out between the two of us.

You will be bringing up your child in a mutlicultural environment. Any thoughts on that?

Luckily, I do not come from a religious background, so there is no pressure to conform.

Any ‘discovery’ you would like to share with other moms-to-be since the time you got pregnant?

Once you are pregnant, everyone around has advice to offer. I get articles from moms, some are useful, some are about how good it is to eat your placenta, store stem cells…I am a vegetarian now (laughs). You have to sift and sieve through the information. But everyone means well.

What is your support system like?

Beautiful. All my friends who have babies have swung into action and I have a ready stock of everything, from the baby cot, pram, car seat to clothes and toys – name it. Everyone is so excited.

Kalki Koechlin plans water birth and gender neutral name for her baby

One pearl of wisdom?

Being creatures of habit, we often resist change. Go with the flow. This year has brought in multiple changes for me, on the work front, on the personal front – with the baby bringing physical changes. I have the new responsibility of taking care of a new life. It is a humbling, fulfilling experience.

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