A story of birth and death in the same breath!

Losing a child in the womb can be devastating, any woman on the planet will agree. But I like to believe that God gives it to those who can take it. He gives you not only the strength to deal with it but humour to ward off everything else that comes with it. 

 

Here’s my story! Read it with a really happy lens though: 

During the anomaly scan of my otherwise supercool pregnancy, doctor found that a critical development in the heart was missing. It’s called Pulmonary Atresia, a disorder that strikes 0.001% people on the planet and my baby was the chosen one! There’s no definite/ legitimate reason known in medical science as to why this happens so don’t introspect much if you are expecting. 

 

Great! What next?

This meant that this was not going to correct itself in the womb or, after birth. My baby would have had to undergo multiple corrective surgeries with infinite Ifs-and-buts and that too, with a massive clause – At parent’s risk – with no guarantee of his life at any age. Even if he lived, he might not have been able to play or do things as normally as other children of his age.

A leading neonatal cardiologist in Mumbai and my gynaecologist, helped me make one of the biggest informed decisions of my life! It clearly wasn’t a case worth pursuing. After all, why bring a life on to this planet if I can’t ensure his very breath!

Please note that I could have carried him until 9 months as he had no problem inside mamma’s cocoon! :-) We had to decide whether we wanted the grief now or later. We said NOW.

My husband stood there like a rock, helpless yet with me, always:-)

This was just the trailer! So doc advised that I go for induced labour. I trusted him. After all, it was his deft diagnosis that this got discovered. I got hospitalized at 9 pm, induced at 10:30 pm and I really don’t have the guts and the vocabulary to describe that separating labour ordeal which I went through for the next 12 hours! Nature really makes such fool-proof arrangements for the baby’s safety that disintegrating it layer-by-layer is a long, arduous process.

I swear, that pain itself makes you a mother! That pain makes you forget everything else in the world. The next day morning, I gave birth to a baby without life (the size of a large soft toy). I went through the entire termination in the Operation Theatre in my senses – without any painkiller, epidural, anesthetic… believe me, it was worth it! After the baby and the amniotic sac were, both out of my body, doc said “You did very well!”. Till date, that’s the best compliment I have ever received with respect to my body. Thanks to the prenatal yoga that I did on my own, reading books for the 4.5 months that it lasted! The area was so numbed with pain that I could see him stitching the torn part and I didn’t feel it!!!

 

Rest is history.

What I learnt from this half-baked pregnancy:

1. Always trust your instincts as a mother. I knew from Day 1 of my pregnancy and it was – a baby boy.

2. Enjoy the time with your child inside your womb. I showed him the world a bit as I travelled places with him inside. He waved at us in each scan and turned around on probing much :-)

3. Being a mother is not the culmination of a woman’s life, it’s just the starting point. The fact that I was working, helped me bounce back in 3 weeks as opposed to the doc’s mandate of 6 weeks rest. I infact, travelled overseas in the 4th week and joined a yoga class in 7 weeks.

4. A babymoon is a must– A week before the process, my husband and I had a great 2 day vacation at Gangtok, our best by far :-)

5. Work on fitness, happy or sad, east or west. Helps restore normalcy in your mind too.

6. Movies, music, books and family can help you sail through anything. I totally chilled out with my mother, mother-in-law and husband for those 3 weeks. A break that we would have otherwise never had. Downloaded close to 200 songs in a couple of days!

7. Strive at a natural birth as much as you can. Recovery is much easier than you being cut out.

8. Faith moves Mountains. My 2.5-year-old daughter is a blessing in every sense! HE (my boy) just made space for her :-) How I had her is the most beautiful story I ever know of a mother :-) . Will share another time though!

But most of all, this is what I learnt. To have loved and lost is better than to not have loved at all.

Enjoy motherhood in whatever way it comes :-)

For informative articles on pregnancy, read #PregnancyMustKnows

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Comments (9)



Sumira Bhatia

This could have been me and my baby daughter's story.  she had a congenital heart disease called DORV.  both her arteries were coming out of the right ventricle and it wasn't a corrective surgery.  I went through so many doctors to try and save her but couldn't have done once she was out of the womb so I had to abort her during the 5th month.  I also went through a 16hour labour and no baby in the end.  she had to go to somewhere over the rainbows. I am blessed now with a beautiful boy and I tell him about his sister in heaven. 

asha chaudhry

Rhituparna Mitra what a brave article. salute!

Rhituparna Mitra

Sumira Bhatia I had no idea I will get someone to connect over this too! My baby's condition was called Pulmonary Atresia, wherein the Pulmonary arteries don't develop properly. If I chose to give birth, the baby may or may not have lived. Or, may have had to go multiple corrective surgeries right after birth. Even after all this, the child may not have been able to lead a remotely normal life. Too many Ifs to all of this...We never had any thoughts other than termination ever since we discovered.

Rhituparna Mitra

@asha chaudhry I just went through it as circumstances presented itself. Yes a huge step then but somehow I didn't feel so depressed as people around me had made me feel.

Anchal Talwar

super brave article. hats off

Sumira Bhatia

Rhituparna Mitra when we discovered . . we thought it was something else which had a corrective surgery as soon as she would have been born . . so we had to fight for her . . everyone wanted us to terminate but we wanted to be sure . . I still remember when we first discovered the analomy my husband saying to , "tum ek yodha ko Janam dogi, begum" and she fought till she could . . and then Uday came to us . . Uday is Udaypratap . . Pratap means yodha :) eventually things just fall into place . . it was providence that Oas came to us and it was providence that  Udaypratap came to us :)

Ritika Nalwaya

A big salute to you

Shalini lakhera

This is so well written.

Dr.Preeti Singh

Big salute to u!!

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