Pure-Love Story contributed by Mrs.Gokula Lakshmi.
[A homemaker and a mom of three, on a soul searching journey.]
Thirteen years ago, during the first-ever ultrasound scan of my pregnancy, the radiologist said that I had ‘one healthy fetus’. It felt so amazing that there was a life growing inside me! For a moment I thought, ‘Oh, only one?’ because I had always nurtured a deep desire to have twins! However, I got so involved in raising a happy, energetic and a lovely boy that somehow, the desire to have twins was soon enshrouded. Three years later, I had a miscarriage as the baby’s heart stopped beating. It was a crushing experience. But, my Heartfulness meditation practice gave me the strength to gather myself and understand that there is always a reason behind everything.
When my son was almost six years old, he saw that most of his friends were having a baby brother/sister and he wanted one too. My heart too yearned to have another child. A girl would be lovely, I thought. But I’d be happy with a boy too. My son needed to experience the joy and fun (among other things 😊) of being with a sibling, just like I did.
I soon conceived. When I went for the ultrasound scan, all I was hoping for was to hear the baby’s heartbeat! The radiologist had gone through my history and her words during that scan still ring in my ears. She said, “Congratulations, you have twins! You lost one earlier and now you’re blessed with two!” Those words took my breath away! I was in tears and was unable to speak! And then, I heard the hearts beat… one after the other! I was so happy and so relieved!! It was an experience that felt so new and so unforgettable!
Morning sickness had the better of me, not for 12 weeks, like I had earlier, but for 20 weeks! A few extra weeks of nausea as a bonus for having twins. 😊 Funny it should be called ‘morning sickness’ when it practically lasts all day. I was always sleepy (the twins-effect again, I suppose) and always nauseous. I survived only on oranges. On the days my husband left early for work, my son would wake up and sit quietly next to me reading a book without disturbing me, while I was totally unaware and fast asleep! Such an angel! It made me so guilty to wake up and look at the little one waiting for me!
Once the morning sickness faded, I felt more energetic and alive. I enjoyed every moment of my pregnancy. I had started to feel the kicks and elbow jabs! Oh, this fluttering was so exciting! I wondered; Will they have enough room for free movement? I hope they don’t hurt each other!
Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.-Linda Wooten
Having twins sure brought double the delight and excitement. Soon it also brought something else along. One morning, I woke up with a fever and my whole body was itchy… more so on my hands and feet. The fever reduced after taking the prescribed medicines but the itching stayed on. It got worse during the nights and I was unable to sleep (seemed like I had exhausted my sleep quota during my first trimester!) My obstetrician suggested some blood and urine tests.
My husband, an ardent disciple of the ‘Google Guru’, researched on the internet and said that I might be having Obstetric Cholestasis, a complication of the pregnancy that may occur for women carrying multiples. It is a condition where the pregnancy hormones affect the liver by preventing the flow of bile into the intestines. The build-up of bile spills over into the bloodstream causing severe itching. But this may not show up in blood tests until after four weeks, by when it could cause fetal distress, preterm birth or stillbirth.
Sure enough, my obstetrician said that she suspected Cholestasis, but since my blood samples didn’t show any traces of bile, the results were pronounced inconclusive. She was a very experienced and confident doctor, who would not encourage all the fears that we acquired owing to the enlightenment we received through the internet.
My family was my pillar of support through all this! They were doing everything they could, in every which way, to ease my pain physically and emotionally as well. With each passing day, the itching got worse, I was sleep-deprived and exhausted. And, all those sleepless nights were filled with fear for the wellbeing of my babies. I could feel every move of each of my babies inside me and I loved them so much! But I feared the worst. And, through all those grueling weeks, there was one thing I would fall back upon to quell my fears…the Heartfulness meditation practice! It kept me sane and it kept me going.
During my weekly checkup, the obstetrician said that I must take the utmost care and hold on to my babies at least until week 34. The routine went on. I spent the days and nights itching with whatever sharp and pointy I could get my hands on (Read: comb, pencil, pen, etc.).
[Week 31, Day 5]
As usual, I went to bed at night but was unable to sleep due to all the itching and discomfort. I fell asleep at around 2:30 am. An hour later, my water broke and I woke up with a start! I knew it was time. The wave of emotions that gushed through me during that time is hard to explain, but still remains fresh in my memory! I felt so still and quiet from the outside. Within me, there were a thousand thoughts trying to voice their opinions!
Isn’t it too early… just 31 weeks and 6 days?
Would the babies have developed enough?
Will they be able to survive?
Will everything be ok?
How will I handle myself if something happens to even one of them?
…. There was a deafening cacophony in my head!
I resorted to my only solace: prayer! I just prayed fervently and began surrendering these thoughts to the higher power. And suddenly, it dawned on me…
It was all happening just on time! Any later than this could be disastrous to the babies! They were God’s children and He knew how to take care of them. It was not about me, but it was about them and what was best for them! I must accept His decision.
And then my heart just held on to that feeling! Long before I reached the hospital, I had calmed down from within and was clutching on to my faith!
The most important thing about miracles is that they happen.-G K Chesterton
At 7:32 am, we were blessed with two healthy baby girls weighing 1.7 kgs each. Their weight was equivalent to the weight a single fetus would have at that age. The little ones did not need any external supply of oxygen. They needed to be in the hospital for just 12 days. All this didn’t seem short of a miracle to me! And when the doctor found that my itching had vanished, she confirmed that it was Cholestasis.
I was allowed to hold them for a brief moment before they were whisked away to the Neonatal ICU. That moment was magical, filling me with tears, relief, overwhelming love, and gratitude all at the same time! I realized that as stormy and dark as things might seem, holding on to love and faith can make the most amazing things happen!