Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A baby of her own

After 15 years of trying, my cousin Raktima finally got her baby.

Her uncluttered, orderly house these days sport a new look. It looks untidy and messy.Walk a bit and you will stumble across a teddy. Explore further and you will surely find a bassinet in the living area. The pillows have been thrown on the floor. There are some really cute toys strewn everywhere. Considering how finicky she was about her designer home, I can only marvel at this transformation.

She has been married for 16 years. The last 15 years went in trying for a baby. She quit her job to be a full time trying -to -be- a -mother..There have been monitoring temperatures and maintaining charts. There have been 4 doctors in 4 different cities. There have been various drugs that saw her weight balloning to 74 kgs from her normal 55kgs. There have been routine pokes and invasive procedures. There has been a surgery.There have been the rather humiliating experience of revealing extermely intimate details of her life to all those in her family who considered themselves feritlity experts. Then there was the exorbitant cost of the treatment. Plus she also went through the mandatory pilgrimages. Why leave everything to science. God also performs miracles.

So her god finally performed a miracle and fulfilled her greatest desire. She became a mother last June. Beaming grandparents, exhuberant friends and well wishing cousins all lined up in her home to welcome the new baby. She was a scrawny,hairless bundle. Her tight fist held on to my cousin's finger. Even sleeping her face would at times turn to her mother as if seeking reassurance. When her aunt tried to take away the baby from the mother, she protested loudly. None of us were in any doubt about her spunk. The baby made her presence felt from day one. The entire household revolved around her schedule and she knew it. Her every whimper would bring her doting parents to her side and she made full advantage of it.

Nothing really has changed since last June. The baby is spunky still. The parents are doting as ever. They just look exhausted all the time. After a really exhausting cleaning ,feeding and cleaning again spree, I asked my cousin whether all this was worth it. The numerous visits to the doctor. The traumatic treatments. The severe depressoin. All that money spent. She could have taken the short cut long back... got a baby home from an adoption centre.

My cousin disagreed. The last 15 years strengthened her desire to be a mom. Motherhood was not easy. And if she could handle this pain, she could handle anything. Because she went through all this, she realised how precious each child was. And because of that realisation, she could so whole heartedly embrace this precious new baby.

Raktima is not the biological mother of her baby. After 15 years of trying, she defied nature and became a mother. She adopted a tiny little girl. She opened her heart and welcomed this miracle into her big family, waiting so long for a child. She showered her love and care, her patience and her devotion and transformed this once scrawny, underfed little girl into a healthy, happy one year old. This was not a short cut to motherhood. This was an obstacle course that finally led her to joy.

After 15 years of trying, my cousin Raktima finally gave up depression and adopted happiness.

39 comments:

Imp's Mom said...

Oh Wow!I was hoping by the end that your cousin would have adopted a child... :)

Beautifully written!

hopped over from Sakshi's cracked chronicles..

AnjuGandhi said...

To be a mother is the best thing any woman can ask for. each and every moment spent with your child is worth any thing in this world.your cousin is lucky . congrats to her and all the best

sujata said...

Great writeup. A world of happiness for her and her bundle of joy!!

Prathik said...

Being just 18 and furthermore a male.. I cant comment with authority on the whole deal about being a mother.. i can only imagine what a joy that must be..
But I can say this abt ur post.. Extremely well written.. and really happy for your cousin!.. :)

Jyothi said...

Great write up!Best wishes to your cousin,her hus and their new addition....Kids bring joy to everyone...Can imagine what she must have gone thru for 15 years.

SJ said...

Why do all your posts make me cry?? You write SO well! I am happy for your cousin and her baby!

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Suspensefully written. I kept wondering, "did she, didn't she?" and then finally I was overjoyed to learn that she has adopted her little bundle of joy. All the best to all of them.

eye-in-sty-in said...

Thats a very nice thing to do... Congratulations to ur coz...!

Shalini Gowrisankar said...

Beutifully written and congrats to your cousin :)

Aparna said...

Thank you @Imp'sMom, @AnjuGandhi,@Sujata- I recently saw her photos and that inspired this post.
@ Prathik and @Jyothi, thank you very much.
@ SJ, didnt mean to make you cry, but I know these are happy tears.
@ Sucharita, thank you. Some of us take motherhood for granted, but my cousin, like many others, had to go through a lot of pain to be where she is right now.
@ eye-in-sty-in and Shalini, thank you a whole lot.
I will definitely convey the best wishes.

Poppins said...

Oh wow. What a beautiful story, so well written too..

ZiLliOnBiG said...

A very warm post. I could feel the pain of the mother since my wife and i went through this for a short time. When we married, we decided we wouldnt have babies for the next 3 years. Everyone back in india was behind us inquiring after the very first year and we somehow carried on to the third year. Come 3rd year i fell sick and was on heavy medication, and DOC advised not to try. another year past before we could try and this time, no matter how much we tried she failed to concieve. after a year of waiting she conceived but went through a miscarriage in the 2nd month. Finally after many prayers, we had a baby this year in FEB. And life has changed ever since. Its a huge break in ones life, and parenthood cannot be explained, it needs to be felt.Check my post re: my baby on,

http://zillionbig.blogspot.com/2009/05/those-tiny-soft-pinkish-feet_28.html

Ciao Take care. Let me add you to the follow list.:))

Meira said...

This requires a lot of courage, which your cousin surely has. Well narrated :)

Priya said...

Good for her and I am glad she is happy:))

Aparna said...

@ Poppins, thanks a lot.

@zillionbig, yes, having a baby does change your life for good,forever. Thanks for sharing your story.

@ Meira and @ Priya, thanks for your words.

Smita said...

wow!!! You have written this so well, not even once did I feel that it is adoption that u r talking about :-)

Congrats to your cousin :-)

Ms. Neha Gandhi said...

its a beautiful post...wonder what ur cousin Raktima feels if/when she reads this post and the comments...

kavita said...

Awesome story........your cousin is blessed.
Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment.

Sakshi said...

You write to touch hearts...just happy to know that your cousin found her own happiness. God Bless the parents and the little girl...

Nona said...

Congratulations to you and your cousin. I winced when I read about the pokes and invasive procedures. Are these harmful for the health (read it as weight inducing)? Or is it stress?

Aparna said...

Thank you Smita.

Thanks Neha, my cousin does not know i have written this blog. She will be angry if she reads it. She does not want to let anyone know that the baby is adopted.

Thank you Kavita for dropping by.

Thanks Sakshi, your words are very encouraging.

Thanks Nona. The invasive procedures, are indeed painful. Ask any woman who has gone through the entire gamut of fertility treatment, she will tell you. But the desire to be a mother is so strong that one just lives with it. The drugs administered are steroid, hence the weight gain.

Sai Charan said...

Your style of describing events is really appreciable. Nice piece of writing :)

My good luck wishes to both to your cousin and her child.

Cheers,
Charan.

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

I'm so glad! people place probably undue importance to giving birth to a child. Taking care of and nurturing the child is as (or probably more) important in bonding with a child in order to call it your own!
I'm so glad that your cousin had the courage to adopt given all the social stigma against such decisions!

Kishore Choudhary said...

After 15 years of trying, my cousin Raktima finally gave up depression and adopted happiness.

Its beautiful...

nsiyer said...

That's fantastic.Giving a new life after waiting and a lot of atience. Good luck to the mother and the child.

Aparna said...

Thank you Charan. Where were you all these days?

Roshni, some women (and their families) are obsessed with having a baby of their own. Adoption is such a beautiful option. But finally things are changing in India and it is no longer so uncommon.

Thank you Kishore. I loved your last post by the way.

Aparna said...

Thanks nsiyer. My cousin is very happy these days.

lala said...

being a 23 year old relationphobic male i have often wondered what being a parent will be like(i absolutely adore kids by the way... back home there are always a few extra kids growing up at our place... the neighbours are more than happy)...

you know, this post took me back to a moment when a girl i was (and still am even though we havent talked in months) in love with told me in response to what my friends were saying about my kid being a 'bakar' kid (i talk a lot, as is apparent from this comment)... she said not if we have kids together ('mujhse hue to nahi' were her exact words...). and it was then i truly realized what it would be like to have a kid... and then i realized how big a thing it must be for a woman... very beautifully written. my congratulations to the mom.

Onkar said...

Beautifully written.

R. Ramesh said...

hi friend thanks 4 passing by and the motivating comment

Margaret said...

Beautifully written Aparna. I felt the sheer stuggle your cousin went through for 15 years.
I'm so happy she finally opted for adoption. Not only fulfilling her own dream but also giving that child a wonderful chance in life.

Thanks for your visit to my blog.

Anonymous said...

Hi Aparna,

We are filing a public interest litigation or a class action against travel agencies functioning in India that risk lives of pilgrims in kailash manasarovar. Amongst other things we will be requesting the Court to instruct the Legislature to pass a legislation that lays down certain quality requirements for travel agencies to organize such tours. To be successful in this we need to bring to light as many cases as we can of people suffering on their pilgrimage trips due to travel agencies. Could you please request your friend to contact us?
We can guarantee that he will never be called to court. The only think he might have to do is sign an affidavit stating how he lost his wife and post it to us (we can prepare the affidavit and post it to him to sign).

Thanks for commenting on our Blog.
Choices International.

Zeba Talkhani said...

Congrats to her!! And congrats to you for writing it so well! Loved the post.

Rachana said...

heartiest congratulations to your cousin's family for the newest addition! :)

pretty neat blog u got...got ur link through Purnima's! :)

Cheers!

SGD said...

What a beautifully written piece.
And how wonderful that your cousin is a mother and showering her pent up love to her little one!

Aparna said...

Thank you @ Lala, Onkar, R.Ramesh, Margaret, Zeba,Rachna and SGD.

My cousin's life has changed completely since the baby came. I thank you on their behalf for wishing them well.

BK Chowla said...

Our best wishes to her and the child.God bless them.One needs a big heart to do what your cousin has done.

Guruprasad said...

i believe that by adoptin a child you are saving two lives... the child's as well as the mother's!

Meghana said...

Hello Aparna,

Beautiful post!Its really a a different experience being a mother.Do read my first post 'Journey From Woman to Motherhood' it somewhat like this post of ur's.U might like it.

Thanks for visting my blog and posting ur appreciative and encouraging words.