My journey of becoming a Supermom begins in 2006. When I met Kush, and got into a relationship in 2007. I’m a Gujarati and he’s a Sikh-Sindhi. In December 2014 we had our Roka ceremony and got married in February, 2016. As soon as I got married I developed trouble walking – I wasn’t able to walk properly. It felt very difficult and I was embarrassed. Firstly I was a newlywed and secondly I already was suffering from health issues.
I thought I was anemic or something. But When I got some blood tests done and everything came back normal. I was prescribed painkillers to be taken twice daily. I was on them for almost 6 months. But; the thought of being dependent on painkillers was scary.
I was really happy with my marriage with Kush and everything was perfect, so I knew that it was not stress related. I started developing new symptoms and was shedding hair like crazy, even my fingers started to swell. One finger used to swell and bend inwards and took 5-6 days to get back to normal.
I couldn’t even wash my hands nor brush properly. I tried ayurvedic and home remedies, but nothing worked. Kush had had enough. He said that I am going to solve this anyhow. We asked his uncle who is a surgeon to see what this really is.
His sister was an intern at CIMS under an orthopaedic doctor, she showed him the pictures and he said that this is not related to the bones but it is auto immune. He suggested some blood tests to know what kind of disease this is.
Then we went to a rheumatologist who put me on steroids which made me put on weight. She asked me some questions and wanted me tested further. Finally we got to know that I had SLE – Systematic Lupus Erythematosus. I had never in my life even heard about such a disease. It’s rare and there is no cure, it can only be controlled. Just like diabetes I have to take medication every day.
It is like my body attacks itself, hence the swelling. The thing here is if we tried to conceive without knowing, my body would consider the foetus to be an antibody and throw it out of the body.
Kush was always adamant that he wants me to be in the best of health if we ever planned to have a kid. I was on heavy medication and had to get blood tests done every month, because this disease affects the kidneys, liver and even ovaries. Luckily everything was fine and even after taking such heavy dosage it didn’t affect my monthly cycle ever. The doctor said that I couldn’t conceive till I was on medication. Gradually I was given a lower dose and then switched to an alternate medication which was safer if I conceived.
But I was still asked to wait until it was completely under control. So the timeline was – we got married in 2016, we waited for a year, took medication for almost 6 months, got diagnosed in April 2018 and finally conceived in March 2019. I was asked to consult a gynaecologist before conceiving as mine would be considered a high risk pregnancy.
Luckily everything was in good shape – ovaries, uterus, etc. The gynaecologist said that we can try to conceive normally but was sceptical if we would, but she said let’s try first and if not then we always have other options. I conceived in the first go! But the wait to confirm my pregnancy for an entire month was so torturous.
I was so nervous and I didn’t know what to expect. So it was 9 in the morning and I was way too edgy to check. It was written on the pregnancy kit that it will take 5 minutes for the results, so I started brushing. Kush came into the bathroom from behind rubbing his eyes and asked me if I had checked it.
I said that it would take some time. He picked it up and immediately started jumping. I told him not to overreact; as it says it will take 5 minutes. He asked me if I was blind and then showed me that the test was positive. After that we conveyed the good news to our families. Everyone was overjoyed.
We went to the gynaecologist and she told us that SLE can transfer to the baby also, but not always. And again there is no medical solution for it but we just had to pray. And it could even affect the baby’s lungs inside the womb so I had to take injections for that. All throughout my pregnancy Kush and his family took care of me like anything and have always cared for me like a daughter. I had such bad nausea during it, I mean in my entire life I have puked only twice but during my pregnancy every evening it started.
It got better during mid-trimester. I was given a specific medicine to take on an empty stomach but the day I forgot to take it I would vomit for the entire day. It got to the point where I had to carry a plastic bag along with me if I went out in case I had to puke.
But as my pregnancy progressed I got more scared about the delivery. I was someone who was afraid of getting injections. So a normal delivery for me was scary like hell. Added to that all the horror stories I had heard about childbirth. I started getting edema in my feet and wasn’t able to sleep.
I was extremely uncomfortable and was constipated all the time. But despite everything my pregnancy journey was magical – all the pampering you get and all the love.
One day I came across hypnobirthing where you go into hypnosis and feel less pain during labour. Because I was in my last trimester I was actually shitting my pants thinking about labour. The lady’s name is Rita and she helped me do affirmations and meditation and visualisation about the baby and the birth.
I slowly started gaining confidence and I also started attending birthing classes so I was prepared for what was to come. One night I started craving for strawberry milkshake and I’ve hated strawberry ice-cream and shakes always. I told Kush I needed it now and he said that nothing would be open at that time and there were no strawberries at home. The next day I had my gynaecologist’s appointment and forgot all about it.
She said that the baby had dropped but there was still plenty of time for labour. She asked me to return the next week.
On Thursday night Kush was at his friend’s wedding reception and I called him demanding strawberry thickshake. He left the reception and rushed home with it. It was extremely satisfying.
I couldn’t sleep that night and at 4 my stomach began to hurt which I thought was gas. It had happened many times before and I had scared everyone saying that I’m going into labour. So this time I wasn’t taking any chances. I walked for a while and at 4:45 I was like this could be labour, I don’t know.
At 5 I woke Kush up and told him that I was in pain. He was like, please walk for a bit and wake me up if you’re still feeling the same. I told him I was walking for an hour and he was like I’ll make you sleep, it’s nothing. The moment he put me down on the bed I felt something coming out of my vagina.
I realised that I was about to go into labour and told Kush, and he was like no check again. I was like what do you mean check again?. He has made my labour bag at that time only and kept it in the car so that we don’t forget it when we are ready, even though CIMS is barely 200 meters from where we live.
His uncle was with us all through the SLE and pregnancy so I called him to inform him and he was like, sure? I told him yes. He asked me if water was dripping and I said no which meant that it wasn’t an emergency. He instructed me to take rest and he would talk to the gynaecologist who was also in CIMS.
Kush was confused what to do as we didn’t know what was in store and he was laughing and crying together. And by that time I think my contractions had started at regular intervals, but it was bearable. The doctor told me to sleep and take rest and meet her at 12. Kush fell asleep immediately and told me I needed to save energy, but I couldn’t sleep. At 11 I had tea and puked it out because I was so nervous.
We went to the gynaecologist and she checked me and told me that the labour had started but it was in the early stages and I was only 0 cm dilated. She informed me that both the baby and I were doing fine and I could get admitted if I wanted or I could go home and come back. I decided to go home and finish the decorations that were pending.
So I was painting and sticking things while in labour and the intensity kept on increasing. By 8 the pain was bad and I could feel the baby coming really down and we had dinner and got ready to go to the hospital. I reached and they checked me and I was only 1 cm dilated.
By 12 the pain was so intense I thought I was 4 cm dilated, but the doctor checked and said I was just 1.5 cm dilated. I was losing confidence and at 1 I said I couldn’t do it anymore so asked the doctor for a C-section. I quit! But Kush was still convincing me and asking me not to lose hope, but by 2 I told him I just couldn’t because I didn’t have anything left, no energy.
Still I didn’t cry. Kush said he will talk to the doctor to give me an epidural. He called her and explained the situation but she was adamant that Janki can do it, and that even if we do a C-section Janki would only find it difficult later on. The other doctor came to check on me and my water broke. I got so scared I started shivering badly because of what I had read about the pain.
But Kush was there and I told him then that if I die please take care of the baby. He rushed teary eyed to the doctor asking her to give me an epidural or do a C-section. She said that Janki is now 7 cm dilated so we can shift her to the labour room. They didn’t allow Kush there but I knew he was outside waiting for me and the baby. I got the urge to push and took deep breaths and pushed hard. I saw the baby coming out and they immediately took it away.
I was yelling inside again and again, tell me if it’s a boy or a girl but nobody answered. Then the doctor came and said it was a girl but they didn’t show her to me. Pushing was hard but once she was out I couldn’t feel any pain. The doctor called Kush to see the baby and the first question he asked was – Is Janki okay? She informed him that I was absolutely fine and would be out in 10 minutes. But they had to keep Ziva in the NICU, because she didn’t cry properly after coming out.
If you remember the injections I was taking for the baby’s lungs because of my condition helped, otherwise it would have been worse. I delivered her around 6 in the morning which was 25 hours of labour. Coming out I saw everyone but after meeting Kush I cried so badly even though I didn’t cry during labour.
I got to meet Ziva exactly after 5 hours and she looked exactly like my dad then, even though she looks completely different now. After the labour room I was kept in pre post operating room and I yelled that I want my husband here so they let him in. He came and held my hand and said that I am the luckiest person alive because I got 2 Janki’s.
I said I still couldn’t believe that I delivered all by myself. He said I knew you could do it because you’re the strongest. He didn’t let go of my hand all night and my mom told me that he is the best husband ever! The doctor’s had checked on Ziva and told that everything is normal and got her to me at 4 in the morning.
I wanted to see her as soon as I delivered but because of her weak cry they kept her in the NICU and I had to go there to see her. I didn’t feel motherly at all till I began to breastfeed.
For me it all seemed like a dream. I mean I kept on thinking that I cannot deliver normally; I will open my eyes right now and see that it is all a dream. But the dream wasn’t ending.
My hormones were going crazy and I was also on painkillers. Breastfeeding was difficult and I was drowsy all day and night because I hadn’t slept for 2 days during the labour and then there were the painkillers, the stitches and the guests. It was all so confusing and I would get really anxious if I didn’t find Kush around.
We had a St. Bernard at home so Kush has to take him for a walk at night, and he asked me if he could go and I said yeah big deal. But he barely got to the gate when I called him and asked him to come back. I was not me and Kush was so confused. I was going into depression and I didn’t know what was going on.
What was I doing? Did I really want this kid? That was a phase where I couldn’t even talk without crying. I was discharged from the hospital and came back home. Everyone welcomed us warmly, they had even decorated the house and everything, but the Post-Partum Depression was so bad that my mom decided to stay with us. I knew it would be challenging in the beginning but I wanted time with Kush which he tried to give me but we had someone or the other come to see Ziva.
My mom was there to support me but after 7 days Kush returned back to work and I was so used to him being at home I felt abandoned. Bruzo my pet would be downstairs so we weren’t able to take Ziva down. I was confined to one room all day and didn’t want to eat, didn’t want to talk to anyone, didn’t want to do anything. I visited the gynaecologist and told her that my anxiety was getting worse so she asked me what was wrong?
Meanwhile my mom decided to go back home because for how long would she stay? My brother was home alone and he had to manage his food and everything. But that gave me such a bad panic attack I let everything out and for the first time wept bitterly hugging my mom. I told her that I don’t deserve Ziva and I can’t take care of her.
That’s when mom made me understand that everyone goes through this time; just don’t let it control you. She said that you gave birth to this child and how do you not deserve her? She then decided to stay with me for another month. After two days my hormones started settling and I felt okay.
Post-Partum Depression is really pathetic and I used to laugh that I of course couldn’t get depression, but my hormones messed me up. Now when I talk about it I feel it was so childish but in that moment it felt really scary. Everything, the sleepless nights, the breastfeeding and not time for yourself and your partner all got to me. On top of it I had decided not to make Ziva wear diapers so I had to change nappies every 15 minutes, but now I am a pro. Everyone who knew that I delivered normally without an epidural was shocked because I was petrified of injections and I delivered a baby by myself.
I remember when I was pushing I was praying that God you take the baby out and you take me. Personally I think that I could get over it all because I had a supportive husband and a loving family. I really wish I had someone like me when I was pregnant. When I tell Kush I want another kid he’s like I cannot see you going through everything all over again. But let’s see if Ziva ever needs a sibling, we can give it a thought.
Kush reminded me of when I was in labour I told him that if the doctor didn’t give me an epidural something would happen to me and when we met later the first thing he told me was never say that again that something will happen to me! I have found a family where I am treated like a daughter and have had so much love showered upon me. In this lockdown all the attention is on Ziva, mom is on rest mom and dad is playing a full time role. Ziva has made our relationship stronger. I mean it already was but still it’s different!