AN UN­EX­PECTED SUR­PRISE WITH LOADS OF LOVE

For 32-year-old com­mer­cial artist, Nikita Cho­pra, her un­planned preg­nancy gave her a whole new per­spec­tive on just how un­pre­dictably won­der­ful life can truly be

Mother & Baby - - CONTENTS - BY CHAR­LENE FLANA­GAN PHO­TO­GRAPHS BY AK­SHAY KULKARNI HAIR & MAKE-UP BY SACHIN GATHE

Nikita Cho­pra’s un­planned preg­nancy gave her a whole new per­spec­tive

The story of Nikita and her hus­band, Aakesh, be­gins with a sim­ple meet­ing, ar­ranged by their fam­i­lies. For the cou­ple, an ar­ranged mar­riage set-up was not ex­actly what they were hop­ing for, but have come to value, now more than ever. “My par­ents al­ways be­lieved in rais­ing in­de­pen­dent chil­dren. They en­cour­aged my ca­reer as a com­mer­cial artist, and never stopped me from pur­su­ing my dreams. The only stip­u­la­tion they ever laid down was that I needed to marry within our com­mu­nity,” says Nikita. Since Nikita fo­cused on her work, she never re­ally found the time to meet some­one and fall in love. Since she be­longed to a Mar­war­iJain com­mu­nity, she let her par­ents find her a part­ner. “My par­ents in­tro­duced me to Aakesh, and I can’t ex­plain it, but I just knew that he’d make an amaz­ing hus­band. We were en­gaged when I was 24, and mar­ried the next year in De­cem­ber 2009. I was 25 then.”

Mar­i­tal bliss

Af­ter a lav­ish Mar­wari wed­ding, Nikita moved into her hus­band’s home, and re­alised just how dif­fer­ent things were from her own pre-wed­ded life. “I live with my hus­band, his par­ents and grand­mother in his fam­ily home. And while my in-laws are un­der­stand­ing and sup­port­ive, there are a few dif­fer­ences in their out­look. For­tu­nately, Aakesh and I weren’t forced to start a fam­ily im­me­di­ately af­ter mar­riage. Af­ter all, we were young. But, I wasn’t al­lowed to work full-time post my mar­riage so I had to take up part-time em­ploy­ment close to home. The truth, how­ever, is I re­ally didn’t need to work. My hus­band is do­ing well for him­self. He’s one of the direc­tors for a real es­tate de­vel­op­ment com­pany called Cos­mos Group and has re­cently launched his own nu­tri­tional and health­care brand called FIC Lyf. I re­ally don’t want for any­thing,” ad­mits Nikita. The cou­ple wanted to take their time, get to know each other bet­ter and en­joy them­selves be­fore tak­ing on the re­spon­si­bil­ity of bring­ing a child into this world. And that’s ex­actly the cou­ple did for five years. Af­ter Nikita turned 30, she be­gan con­tem­plat­ing start­ing a fam­ily, but then de­cided to hold off till af­ter Nikita’s youngest brother got mar­ried and set­tled down. “I didn’t want to have to deal with preg­nancy symp­toms while I was run­ning around with wed­ding preps. But, life has a funny way of sur­pris­ing you. I had missed my pe­riod and I just brushed that off to stress or PCOS. But when my pe­riod hadn’t come for a while, I fig­ured that it was time I go get a rou­tine checkup with a gy­nae­col­o­gist, just to rule out any­thing se­ri­ous. I was con­vinced it was noth­ing more than that; I was con­fi­dent that I wasn’t preg­nant and I even did a preg­nancy test at the doc­tor’s of­fice. The re­sults came out pos­i­tive. I was in shock,” she ad­mits. Her hus­band, how­ever, took the news well, and was very ex­cited that he would soon be a fa­ther. “He even com­forted me by telling me that things hap­pened for a rea­son, and that God had some great in store for us. I was just wor­ried about what would hap­pen. My brother was to be mar­ried in Novem­ber and that was the month we would be­come par­ents. I was an emo­tional wreck, and just un­sure about what to ex­pect next. For now, we only broke the news to fam­ily and de­cided to take things one day at a time,” she says. Nikita is grate­ful for the love and sup­port she re­ceived from Aakesh dur­ing this time. “Af­ter our sonog­ra­phy, we learnt that I had ges­ta­tion hy­pothy­roid. This made me more ner­vous about this preg­nancy. There’s no doubt that Aakesh proved him­self, and gave me his un­re­lent­ing sup­port dur­ing this emotionally-chal­leng­ing phase. We spent a great deal of time, as hus­band and wife, talk­ing about our unborn baby. He helped me stay pos­i­tive and con­vinced me that we’d make great par­ents. We even spent the next 10 days in prayer. Be­fore our next sonog­ra­phy,

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