Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness | Shalini

The ability to bear children is God’s gift to women. Something to be cherished. Pregnancy is a revelation; it is a journey and like any journey, it has its ups and downs. Also, like any journey, your pregnancy experiences are unique. No two pregnancies are the same. Any woman who has had 2 or more children will tell you that each of their pregnancies has been different. For some, it might be a hardship but it is still to be cherished.

Ask any mother they will tell you that once they have their child in their arms all hardships are forgotten. There are no words to describe the feeling of holding your child in your arms for the first time. It is something to be felt and not be verbalized.

I would like to take this opportunity to share with you my pregnancy experience but before I do that, I would like to talk about the miscarriage I had before that. The experience was…… again, I have no words to express those feelings. All I would like to say is that it left a scar on my very soul which has still not healed completely. I think that it never will. So whenever I hear of anyone around me is pregnant, I go out of my way to make things easy for them. Get them food that they feel like eating or doing anything I can to make them feel more comfortable and happier.

I lost my first child in the womb at around 1.5 months and the very subsequent one at around the same time (I have lost 4 over the years). Every experience was bad and they all left scars though the first was the worst. It was the least expected. I was overjoyed with the news of my pregnancy as we had not been planning for a baby. It was one bright star in the otherwise dark night that my life was at that time and the loss sent me down the pit of despair. I lost the will to live. It took my body about 15 days to accept the loss and about 3 months to physically heal from it. Emotionally I have not healed to date.

After this loss, I did not wish to live at all and I was moving from day to day with no goals or motivation or the want to do anything at all. Around 6 months later my sister-in-law gave birth to her second girl daughter. Like any typical old fashioned Punjabi family, the birth of a girl child and that too a second one is not a very welcome one. I being the only childless female in the family was assigned to stay in the hospital with the baby while the mother recovered from her c-section in the post-operative ward. So, I went to the hospital just because I was told. But when the nurse put the baby in my arms my life changed.

She took complete hold over my shattered heart and made it whole again. She made me want to live once again. This baby in my arms is my elder daughter. She brought joy to my life and two months later I conceived again and went on to have my younger one. Both my girls are 11 months apart and are my life.

The pregnancy was a difficult one as I had had a miscarriage before. My doctor put me through the regime of regular injections and medicines to retain the baby and through this entire journey, my elder one was beside me making me a stronger person and going through all the hardships with a smile. The first three months the doctor told me would be difficult and I needed to rest.

Once this sensitive time was up, I gave a sigh of relief and moving into my second trimester I started a new journey. It was easier with my all-day sickness letting up and I was finally able to eat cooked food again. By the 5th month when the baby started moving, we used to spend hours looking at the movement in the mirror. My elder one use to talk to the baby in her baby language and the baby in the womb would kick around as if answering to her elder sister. Those were beautiful days.

Going into my final trimester was pretty much the same. Nearer the full-time sleeping became difficult and even lying down was difficult. I started wishing for the birth of my child to be faster. All through the hardship, the only constant and companion in my life was my elder daughter. She gave me the strength by being there for me. I try to do the same for any pregnant woman I come across.

The topic was pregnancy and infant loss and I have shared my pregnancy experience and the loss of a child/child in the womb. I can’t even begin imaging what a mother would go through



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