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The day Soha Ali Khan discovered she was PREGNANT!

March 08, 2018 10:17 IST

'As I waited in the bathroom for the pink line or lines to form, I caught my reflection in the mirror and held my own gaze.'
'My heart was thudding so loudly in my chest I thought it would wake Kunal who was sleeping in the bedroom some feet away.'
'I brought the stick up into my eyeline and there it was.'
'Two pink lines -- not faint or shy but bold and unabashed like the legs on a flamingo.'


IMAGE: Soha Ali Khan and her sister-in-law Kareena Kapoor pose with their cuties, Inaaya and Taimur. Photograph: Kind courtesy Soha Ali Khan/Instagram

Just what was Soha Ali Khan's first reaction when she learnt she was pregnant?

The actress writes about the most important chapter in her life quite beautifully in her book, The Perils Of Being Moderately Famous, taking us through the process of her amazing discovery to the glorious nine months.

There's a lot more in the book, of course.

Soha writes diligently about what it was like growing up in a family where everyone was a star, while she was, in her own words, 'a working actor.'

An excerpt from the book, where we introduce you to Inaaya Naumi Khemmu.

 

When I discovered I was pregnant, I wasn't prepared for the involuntary leap of joy my heart took. It was 6 am on 31 January, a time more night than day for me when my senses are as dull as lead.

I was only a day late but I am usually as regular as a coffee drinker, if you know what I mean, and so I decided to pee on a stick.

As I waited in the bathroom for the pink line or lines to form, I caught my reflection in the mirror and held my own gaze.

My heart was thudding so loudly in my chest I thought it would wake Kunal who was sleeping in the bedroom some feet away.

***


IMAGE: Inaaya and Taimur go for a drive. Photograph: Kind courtesy Soha Ali Khan/Instagram

I brought the stick up into my eyeline and there it was.

Two pink lines -- not faint or shy but bold and unabashed like the legs on a flamingo.

I was pregnant.

***

I wrapped the stick in thick reams of toilet paper, hid it in the back of my bedside drawer and went back to sleep.

I had read enough to know that a false positive on these things was rare, but I think it was too much to process, especially at 6 am.

When I woke up a few hours later, Kunal was already in the shower.

I thought about telling him, but then decided I wanted to be absolutely sure first, and so I texted our regular pathology guy Santosh to come home to take a blood sample to test for hCG, the pregnancy hormone.

Naturally, when he turned up at 11 am, I had to explain his presence to Kunal, which I did rather clumsily, mumbling something about feeling depressed and wanting to check my vitamin D levels.

Before he could quiz me further about the sudden onset of this 'depression,' I gathered my clothes and locked myself in the bathroom under the pretence of washing my hair for the next 20 minutes.

When I came out, he was watching 'Best crazy street fights' on YouTube and didn't even notice that my hair was as dry as a bone.

We went about our normal routines, including attending an important meeting in Lower Parel with a celebrated director for a film we are co-producing.

Although I made all the right noises, my mind was on the clock because Santosh had promised to email me the report by 4 p.m.

At 4.45 pm, we were midway through recording some sound bites for a charity fundraiser in support of stray dogs in Mumbai when my phone buzzed.

The report had come.

I scrolled impatiently through rows of numbers.

An hCG level of less than 5 mlIU/ml is considered negative for pregnancy and anything above 25 mlIU/ml is considered positive. And there it was in boldface: hCG 485 mlIU/ml.

With video cameras still trained on me as they changed magnification for a closeup, I texted Santosh with trembling fingers.

"What does this mean?" I asked him.

Within seconds, his reply came, "Congratulations, ma'am."

'Besides starvation and dehydration, stray dogs are also the victims of human cruelty. We appeal to you: Rather than buying a dog from a pet store, please adopt them from animal shelters.'


IMAGE: The moment Soha is talking about! Photograph: Pradeep Bandekar

If you find this video of me online, talking about the hapless condition of strays in India, grinning crazily from ear to ear, you now know why!

I couldn't wait to pack the crew off.

I took Kunal by the hand to the sofa in our study where, finally, we were all alone.

It seemed disloyal that Santosh knew and Kunal did not.

At first, I just smiled broadly at him, fully expecting him to read the significance of my happiness in my eyes.

He looked back at me quizzically at first and then a little nervously. Perhaps he thought my 'depression' had taken a turn for the insane.

I would have to use words.


IMAGE: Soha shows off her baby bump, as she gets clicked with husband Kunal Khemmu. Photograph: Pradeep Bandekar

'It's positive!' I exclaimed.

'What is?' he sounded concerned.

I suppose because positive on a blood test is so often a bad thing.

'You know... the hCG... I'm pregnant.'

It was so so so weird to say those words aloud and I delivered them like a stilted actor on a film set.

I then sat back to take in the effect of this momentous declaration on my poor unsuspecting husband.

***


IMAGE: Soha and Kunal bring Inaaya home from the hospital. Photograph: Pradeep Bandekar

Since then, over six weeks have passed.

My life is now divided into weeks, not days or months.

I am in my eleventh of 40 weeks and the fact that I have a life growing inside me is just about starting to sink in.

That is why I can now write about this.

We had our first ultrasound in Week 7.

Kunal and I went together feeling giggly and nervous, unsure of what we would see on the inside because there was absolutely nothing to see on the outside.

As I lay on the examining table, Kunal standing beside me clasping my left hand tightly (or was I clasping his?), a grainy black-and-white image popped up on the monitor.

I have to confess I couldn't make any sense of it and the doctor had to point out the little blob in the middle of my uterus -- the embryo, our baby!

And there it was... in the centre of the embryo... a heartbeat measuring 135 beats a minute.

If ever there was a reality check, this was it.

A single live intrauterine pregnancy of seven weeks.

We have told a few more people since: Siblings, close friends without whom this journey would feel incomplete anyway.


IMAGE: Hi Inaaya! Photograph: Kind courtesy Kunal Khemmu/Instagram

In fact, a spooky thing happened the other day, which prompted us to spill the beans to Bhai and Kareena.

I woke up to a text message from her which said: 'I had a dream that you're pregnant. Please check.'

WEIRD.

I poked Kunal in the ribs to wake him up so he could read it too.

'Maybe she has a new maternal sixth sense or something,' he mumbled sleepily.

I wrote back some fluff about how a dream about being pregnant actually symbolised something much deeper and that perhaps she was suddenly feeling a closer connection to me which I was very appreciative of.

There was no reply.

Only a few hours later, as we were returning home from a lunch we stopped at a traffic light under a bridge.

There was a massive hoarding of Kareena holding a PregaNews home pregnancy test and saying, 'Aaj mujhe good news mili'.

It was a sign, literally.

And so we told them.

We told Kunal's father. We told my sister and Kunal's sister.

Of course, everyone is thrilled -- we are married and over 16 -- but the funniest reaction was my brother's.

He looked... relieved.

"Thank God," he exclaimed, slapping his hand on his forehead. "Now you guys can take Taimur and your child to Disneyland and play football with them and do all the things I'm too old to do! And then they can come to me for a bedtime story."

Excerpted from The Perils Of Being Moderately Famous by Soha Ali Khan, with permission from the publishers Penguin Random House India.

Soha Ali Khan