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For all women, after marriage having a baby is the next milestone; and like any other couple me and my hubby got to know that we were expecting our first baby. We were too excited and in high spirits, planning for so many things, searching which doctor, which hospital would be better, after all we wanted the best of everything; we both were eagerly waiting for three months to pass so as to burst the news to the world. And then it was time for the 12th week scan.
We had an appointment for evening 4 o clock but since I chose a very famous maternity hospital, my turn came after 7:30 PM; doctor checked and asked to come after half an hour because something was unclear; so I walked more and more just to make my baby move more; I went for scan again and the doctor asked us to come the next day, still she was not obvious of something.
The next morning we reached on time and then scan was done and then the scan doctor told me that there could be some kind of abnormality because behind the baby’s neck, a fluid was present with thickness more than expected and this thickness could be because of some kind of abnormality or may be just like that for no specific reason.
I was shattered after hearing the word abnormal; I was an expecting mom and my baby has some problem, this fact was something that I could not accept; but in such situations you become more disturbing than practical. The scan doctor was good, she kept another patient wait just to console me; she explained me well that this risk ratio was just a probability and not sure shot factor to prove anything and she referred me to another doctor for getting a procedure done so that findings will be clear.
Right after collecting my scan report, I went to my gynecologist. She saw the report and then said, in her own words “Have you seen the movie Taare Zameen Par, the kids were like their eyes too wide, no neck, who could not speak properly, who can’t walk properly, those abnormal kids you know; your kid could be one of like them; why do you want such baby, go and abort it.” I was an expecting mom, who was expecting her first baby; I had tears running through my eyes; her response was really unexpected, totally inhuman. How could she say something like this? Keeping aside the mental trauma, the scan doctor said that this was just a probability then how can the gynecologist be so sure to say all that. Seeing my and my hubby’s blank faces, she then said to get CVS done. Now what was CVS? I had never heard about this anytime before in my life.
CVS stands for “Chorionic Villus Sampling”; she continued that CVS was a procedure in which a needle is inserted through the placenta and the fluid is taken and sent for test to check whether all the chromosomes of the baby are in pair and not in odd numbers, this procedure was to find out the presence of down’s syndrome; this procedure would cost around 16K and she asked us to get the procedure done as soon as possible; and then her final statement was, “You both are working right? You can afford this easily.”
None of the parents would mind spending any amount for the benefit of their kid; every generation earns for the coming generations after all but the statement that we can afford because we both were working showed the true intentions of that doctor. After listening to all her explanations, we left from there. Deep in my heart I made a promise to myself; that let me get the tests done and let the results be fine, I will never ever come to this doctor and hospital in future.
I was constantly in touch with my mother and told her every detail; It was a very tricky situation for all three of us: me, my hubby and my mother.
We had taken the address of that foetal medicine centre and the very next day went there with the scan reports. As expected, one medical centre never accepts the reports of tests done in another medical centre so again scan was done. But there in that centre, at least people were better. There was a counsellor who sat with us and told every minute detail that the scan ratio was just a probability and definitely things would be fine, this procedure had itself a 1% chance of miscarriage, no one was responsible for the odd number of chromosome – this can happen for unknown reasons, that this procedure was purely a choice of parents, and there won’t be any problem, in fact after this test we can be really free without any doubt about any problem in future; and all these explanations were given in such a way that was very informative and practical and not at all to scare a first time parents.
We both then decided to get the procedure done after two days.
One thing that I experienced in those days was my husband’s support at that time; he never ever for a single moment blamed me for anything (which was of course true but at such times you need theemotional support), he said to me “why are you crying, this is not your fault?; don’t worry everything will be fine.” But of course everyone was not like him or my mother, who supported me at that time; there were people who said that in their family history no one was ever abnormal and many more such teases.
We both took off from office and went to that centre. Antibiotic injection was given and then I was taken to procedure room, I lied down and held my husband’s hand when the doctor inserted a lonngggg needle and absorbed quite a significant amount of the fluid and then just put a sticker on that area and it was over; it was hardly a 10 minutes procedure including all the activities. I had water after that and was sitting quietly.
When you have some physical problem and you are at home or anywhere apart from hospital, you feel as if you are the most sufferer but when in hospital you see so many people around yourself, who have similar or rather worse problems, you feel that you are not alone who is unlucky in few aspects. One full week from the time I got to know about this issue to the time I had this test, I was so nervous and scared but when I actually went for the procedure, I don’t know from where I got all the strength that I was not at all anxious, I was sure that my baby was absolutely fine and I went ahead confidently with those injections, blood, fluid and all.
We returned back home; I was trying to be normal but I was not, physically I was alright but I was going through an emotional turmoil, I just prayed that reports should come negative that my kid did not have any chromosome in odd number.
Samples were supposed to be sent to Mumbai and the reports were to come only after a month. The wait of one month did not seem to end; deep inside I was heartbroken, I kept searching on internet about the results of CVS, about the positive and negative cases, I used to cry at night and just prayed to God, I tried to divert my mind but every time I just thought about the future, what if the results come positive. That wait was killing me. I wanted to tell everyone that I was expecting but could not because did not know what was waiting for me in future. I tried to show myself confident but it was tough to spend those days.
Then one day I received a call from my husband, he was trying to call me from long time; then my mother called and she said that the reports were fine. I called up my husband for details and he informed me that someone from that foetal medicine centre had called and informed that reports have come negative that is my kid was fine.
I was relieved, I was so glad, I had tears in my eyes; the thought that if my kid had down’s syndrome, what shall I do was the worst nightmare; but then the whole thing was clear. Me and my husband then again went to the centre the next day and collected the reports.
As soon as we asked for the report, I saw a bunch of such files which confirmed that so many expecting moms undergo these tests. I am not sure whether really there were so many risks of abnormal probability or just a way to earn thousands at a shot; it was truly needed or not I did not know. Which parent could ignore such findings after all? We collected the report and then straight way went to new doctor in another hospital; I wanted to throw this report on my previous doctor’s face but all is well that ends well. I never looked back to that doctor and hospital and continued to visit my new gynecology.
That 1.5 month span was the worst time of my life, I did not know whether I should celebrate my pregnancy or think about the CVS procedure. Now everything is fine but to be honest I do not want to even think that what would have been the situation if the results were positive for down’s syndrome.
Then after several ups and downs of pregnancy stage, I delivered a healthy baby boy.
Since then, I am riding on the motherhood roller coaster, seeing my baby growing step by step; currently my son is two years and two months and he is progressing absolutely fine. I still keep getting calls from that medical centre regarding my kid’s well being.
Now when I discuss this with any couple, I discover that 5 out of every 10 women have gone through this trauma. In previous generations there were many kids who had this problem but those were never detected and diagnosed, since now medical science has improved a lot and now every damn thing has a proper term for it; during pregnancy so many tests, scans, screenings are done, pre-natal, post natal and what not. Problem is that with these improved medical facilities, there are improved confusions as well and what exactly is true, what is not, what is really required and what is not, is not at all clear and ultimately all this drama gives nothing else but stress; it simply makes your happy life hell. But yes since I did the CVS and its results, I am sure that there is nothing wrong with my son; If I would not have done CVS, I could still be in some doubt; main culprit was that risk ratio in scan, if the scan report would have been fine, I would not have known or cared about this CVS.
I don’t know whether doing the CVS was really required or not, it is like any other procedure for doctors but for would be moms it scares like hell. My request to all the mothers who have to undergo through this trauma, is that don’t be panic-stricken, be patient, things will definitely be fine and remember one thing before doing analysis: this risk is just a probability and not surety of something; be practical, trust and understand the facts and figures ( if you actually analyze the risk factor, it is like if you deliver some thousands of babies, one could be like that and please to be honest it is not feasible to deliver so many babies) and stop thinking on WHAT IF question just for this anonymous issue.
Till then happy motherhood. :-)