You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey
You never know, dear, how much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine away
On eve of World Prematurity Day 2016, I unwrap the memories of my own experience of the birth of my sons. My boys came to the world 3 months before their expected birth time and all the world stood still. On 13th of January, 2012 the unexpected contractions serenaded my body throwing off my wonderful illusions of going through the pregnancy full-term.
When I was wheeled to the birthing room, I didn’t know whether to be happy or sad. Don’t get me wrong! Happiness is to see your babies no matter how tiny they are and sadness is all the more overwhelming since you expect the worst. Between the contractions, I was battling the happy-sad roller coaster ride all alone. I just couldn’t shut my brain and relax. Despite the fussy nurses telling me to do so.
Finally, my sons were born one after another. The firstborn was whisked away immediately due to extremely low weight – just 860 gms. The second born was weighing 980 gms and they showed him to me before taking him away. They needed to be in incubator and I was made to concentrate of myself. My gynecologist, Dr Seema Khandelwal being one of the most amazing persons I met made me feel positive throughout the whole ordeal. What next? I had a million questions to ask my doctor and she did reply as factually as possible without getting me lose hope.
The next day however my world crushed. Positive efforts of the people around me didn’t take me anywhere.
The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping
I dreamt I held you in my arms
When I awoke, dear, I was mistaken
So I hung my head, and I cried
One of the most heart wrenching news that a mother gets is the loss of her baby. How I wish even today that I had held my second born in my arms. Make him realise that he could breathe and take in lungs-full of air. Assure him that his mother was with him. Unable to cope with the untimely birth, he died due to the inability of his lungs to respond to the birth trauma.
Now all energies and focus was channelized on my first born. Feeding, holding him at a different angle to enable him to swallow milk, Kangaroo care, countless sanitizer and washing care and so much more. I watched him heave his lungs to take in air. His fragile body looked as if it could break with a slightest touch. Therein I was wrong. His fisted hands and his attempt to breathe through life showed me what a fighter he was. Battling all odds, he survived. He’s a Miracle Baby.
Innumerable tests, operations, checkups, injections, vaccinations and visits to hospitals, one whole year after the birth went with a blur. Gradually the frequent visits trickled down and I could heave a sign of relief after 2 years.
He’s 4 year old now. He’s normal. He loves his books – just like his mom. He began scanning picture books since he was 5 months old. He could sit with support on my lap and look with wonder into the big picture books I had brought. I would read out all the stories to him. He still loves doing that – listening to me read out the stories.
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine….
I often wonder what I will tell him when he grows up. Maybe I will show him the stars and point out to one of them and say, “That’s your brother, Maan. Up there is a beautiful part of our family.” Till then, what all a mother’s heart must hold…..