Memoir / Essays: When I was an expecting mother

Brindha Vinodh

Brindha Vinodh

As I sit down to pen down my memories a little down the roads of nostalgia, I must confess that this is an emotion that I have dared not to share with a lot of people hitherto. It is very tender, close to my heart and intricately embedded.
However, what makes me write today, despite getting goosebumps, is the fact that with many middle-aged women going through emotional turmoil during pregnancy, my case could invigorate their languid frustrations, not to ignore the tremendous advancement medicine has undergone in India.
Let me go down the journey like this. In the wings of time, I fly backwards like a humming bird, by half-a dozen years, to 2014, to be precise. I was pregnant with hopes and aches of happiness for the second time at the age of 32 (no points for guessing my age now, ha ha, I am not an actress to not to reveal my age, a light one before venturing into the serious stuff).
 My elder daughter was already six. I knew my fetus was growing within from the upsurge intertwined between the hunger of two creatures. The day my ultrasound revealed two placentas, the eyes of my family lit in anticipation of twins, only to discover it was ephemeral.
“We thought they were twins, but the other placenta is an empty sac.
It’s a single fetus,” the words spilled by my gynecologist echoed through the night
as I submerged in thoughts of mirage, a mermaid in a sea of turbulent waves. Thus began the first setback of my pregnancy.
The advent of second trimester crept with news to keep sinews strong,
a new term learnt in my ladders of maternity, “Grape like vesicles”. “It’s either the vesicles grow or the baby grows. The vesicles tend to multiply and the uterus has a space constraint,” said my gynecologist, Dr. Vidya Chaya.
 To put it in a layman’s jargon, only one placenta had a surviving fetus and the other placenta was mere vesicles that seemed to nourish all the nutrition. It was a tough situation where the survival of the fittest would continue. The vesicles multiplied when compared to the constant growth of the fetus.
My trepidations belittled the words; my womb would succumb to those vesicles? Dr. Vidya advised me to go for a second opinion to Mediscan, a leading scan centre in Chennai, India.
It was more of a research cum scan center dealing with genetic engineering. They explained to me that mine was an unusual case and could lead to three possible encounters. Being a student of Econometrics and business studies, I was not used to sophisticated medical parlance. So, I finally came to comprehend that a test needed to be done to figure out the fetus had the chromosomes intact. And even if it did not, it was too late as per medical ethics to terminate the pregnancy.
 The bitter truth gnawed in to engulf me in envisages of portends…
 ‘Amniocentesis’, a test of needle injected into the uterus to see if the chromosomes were intact, was the one that I underwent. With a five percent chance of abortion, I agreed to it with a heavy heart for it was a forced choice.
My prayers knew no boundaries, my family knew no new fears
for we awaited with aches of angst to pass each day in edges of hopes;
we were spiders in cobweb waiting for clouds of illusions to clear off
until the reports were negative which meant we breathed positive air yet. It was finally discovered that mine was a case of “Mesynchymal Dysplasia (PMD),” an unusual case of partial molar pregnancy. The fact that made it even more unique was that it occurred with twin placentas, the other placenta, luckily the one with the fetus, not harmed. The ensuing weeks moved in inches like a tortoise, each day pushed until week-34! 
Finally, in the last two weeks of my pregnancy, zephyrs blew in shades bright for my countenance sported a smile, a curve that could straighten things out. With the blessings of the Almighty and the good wishes of my husband, my parents, in laws, close relatives, and of course the innocuous wishes of my elder daughter, on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon, my second princess was welcomed by this world, a mother was born again!
Aren’t women, warriors?
PS: PMD is a rare case of pregnancy especially with twin placentas and research is going on in medical labs throughout the world.

Bio: Brindha Vinodh is a postgraduate in Econometrics. A former copyeditor and a freelancer, she is a writer within. Her poems and short stories have been widely published in magazines, e-zines, literary journals, and she has contributed to several anthologies. She currently resides in the United States of America with her husband and two daughters.

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