Parenthood: The Beginning

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Parenthood is a unique experience besot with joy, ecstasy, learning, and a fair deal of challenges thrown at you when one least expects. When my wife and I decided to tread the path to achieve this important milestone of our lives for the first time, things didn’t happen “naturally” as we had thought they would. We hit rough weather at the onset, and I wouldn’t be wrong to say that we did find ourselves caught a little off-guard in the situation we were in. I mean, here we were, a couple in their mid-thirties, settled a bit in their career and now planning to raise a family, the situation and timing couldn’t be better. Or so we thought, but as they say, “destiny always has something else in the store,” and we at the time were handpicked by destiny to have the proverbial “tryst” with it.

Since mother nature didn’t seem to be in the mood to oblige, the only recourse left was to resort to the assisted form of the reproductive technology, not once but multiple times, draining us and especially the mother to be, both physically and emotionally at each attempt.  This was one situation we had never envisaged in our wildest of dreams, and yet we were living it now. We did not give up our resolve to have a baby and pushed ourselves emotionally and physically, and much of the credit can be attributed to my wife for being so resolute.

I could see in her eyes the dream to be a mother, and I was prepared to go along with her in our pursuit to fulfill this dream. It was not before 5 IUIs and 2 IVFs, spread over a span of about two years that we finally got to hear the words which every married couple wishing to become parents, longs to hear – “Congratulations! You are pregnant,” announced the gynae to my wife. This was the first ecstatic moment for us after a grueling long phase, which unarguably was one of the most challenging experiences we had faced together in our 7 years of married life till then.  From there on, we assumed that the entire pregnancy under expert medical supervision, complimented with a disciplined regimen of diet, precautions, and prescribed physical activity, would see us through to the D-Day without any more surprises. Things went fine, the regular ultrasounds showed the fetus to be developing well, and my wife continued her routine as usual. She chose to be driven to work and stopped driving as a precaution. However, towards the end of the fifth month, there was a concern. It appeared she would be unable to carry her pregnancy till the due date, and we were looking at a pre-term delivery. After 28 weeks of pregnancy, our precious little princess came into this world. Our joy had no bounds, but challenges also seemed to play their own game of hiding and seek, never making us miss them for long.  The baby was born just 1.2 Kg and had to be put under NICU (Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit) Care at the hospital almost immediately after birth. The four weeks that she was in NICU till her weight came to be 1.6 Kg was an intense and unprecedented phase of uncertainty, anxiety, and extreme stress, both mental and physical. All the turbulence that we went through for more than two years just seemed to vanquish on the day when I held our little princess in my hand and walked out of the hospital, thanking the team of doctors, nurses, support staff, and above all, the Dear Mighty God.

The joy was writ large on our tired faces, and my wife and I looked at each other filled with emotions, no words to share, we drove back home with our “bundle of joy.” We knew there would always be challenges around the corner, but for now, we wanted to immerse ourselves in that feeling of completeness which one experiences only on becoming a parent.

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