The child that resulted from penance

The wedding is a ceremony to unite two minds. The witnesses are those who attend the wedding as guests. As far as I am concerned, the only proof of two souls so conjoined and living in harmony is the child born of such a union. [...]

The wedding is a ceremony to unite two minds. The witnesses are those who attend the wedding as guests. As far as I am concerned, the only proof of two souls so conjoined and living in harmony is the child born of such a union. When two people, living separately in the world join to form a union, it is the child that is born out of that union is a testimony of their love. We waited for such an occasion for thirteen years after our wedding. Many people say that 13 is an unlucky number. However, only when we reached that number in our wedded life could we realize the full meaning of our holy union.

When we could not get a child even after eight years of married life we started wondering whether we would be deprived of this boon. We consulted a number of doctors in the town where we lived and were treated but to no reward. When an operation had to be performed on the heart of my brother’s child, we were grief-stricken. Later on, we realized that such an incident was instrumental in bringing us to the GG Hospital in Chennai.

In the year 1991 when we asked for an appointment to see Dr. Kamala Selvaraj, we were told to come after six months. Her appointment book was full for all that period with those wanting to be treated by her. Through the good offices of Mr.N.C.Raghavachari, the famous lawyer, we got an opportunity to meet Dr.Kamala within a short time. We took treatment for artificial conception for nearly five years. Although we had to wait till 1996, our happiness became double fold when we learned that my wife had become pregnant with twins. We went to the peak of happiness. But during the seventh month of pregnancy, my wife started bleeding. I lost not only my babies but was frightened that I would lose my wife too. Our heart broke into pieces! I was scared that in the process of desiring for a child, I would lose my wife.

My wife was struggling for life, the doctors were struggling to save her life; I went to the temple on the hospital premises and prayed to Lord Ganesha. At last, my wife reached the safe condition after two days. Not only did her womb become empty, but also her heart. She started lamenting, ‘why should we go back home? What is there for us? I don’t want to face anybody’ her heart was weeping with grief.

At the time, Dr.Kamala Selvaraj entered our room. Seeing her, my wife’s sister burst into tears. “If you would have seen your sister two days before, you would have known that she has got her second life now. So, don’t cry. First of all, she has to be healthy to bear a healthy child. I give you my word now, in a year your sister will come home with her child” she said these words with a great assertion. I felt that this was an oracle for us. I had cried to Lord Vinayaka that he had shown us the light and pushed us to darkness again. But now I felt that the same Vinayaka had come and spoke to us in the form of Doctor. Before the next treatment, we went home for a six-month rest.

We had been under treatment for six years. First, we never got it and then we got it and lost it. We decided, if we could not become parents of our own child, we could take up a child who does not have parents and bring it as our own. So we selected a nine-month-old baby, brought dresses, and ornaments for her told the in-charge that we would be taking her with us shortly and proceeded to GG Hospital. Usually, we return home after a week’s stay in GG Hospital. We thought it was going to be the same this time too.

But Dr.Kamala Selvaraj told us, “You have already undergone treatment for six years. Moreover, you have got positive results once. So there are more possibilities that you could get success again”.

When I went on the third day to get the result, I was very nervous.My hands were sweating. But when I saw her and the smile that lit her face, I knew it was good news. She said that the result was positive. She also said that faith always gave wonderful rewards.

I could not look at her just as a doctor. She is the dawn of our life. My wife said, “Let us bring our adopted child here. The time we adopted her has proved auspicious for us. Let her stay with me in the hospital itself”. And then to our adopted daughter, Vetripriya, GG Hospital became home. Her first birthday was celebrated here. Whenever doctors entered the room, especially, Dr. Geetha, she would always give her a pen and Dr. Anandhi gave her chocolates. She used to call Dr.Anandhi as ‘chocolate madam’.

My wife stayed in the hospital itself but I used to go back to our place.I used to come only once a week, pay the bills and leave. The doctors gave me their word to take care of my wife during my absence and they honored it. The doctors, nurses, and ward-boys all took great care of her.

From the sixth month of pregnancy, my wife did not get down from her bed. Yet, the previous problem recurred in the seventh month. Even though it was twelve in the night all the doctors came rushing to save my wife.

We were very scared that we might loss this child as we lost the first ones. I had another thing to worry about –Vetripriya; would she become a motherless child again? How could I face my people if something happened to my wife? But Dr.Kamala was very confident that both the mother and the child could be saved.

The amniotic fluid that surrounds the fetus started oozing out and Dr.Kamala was treating my wife continuously for two days. She also prayed to her God. After two days, only when the oozing stopped she met us. I could not but bow to that doctor who took all the sufferings and woes of her patients as her own and who strived to wipe them out with all her efforts.

When my wife was due for delivery, she was in Kodaikanal. But she had already told us that she would be the first one to take the child in her hands. Even when she was travelling in the train, she enquired about my wife’s condition by cell phone.

At last, as he had said, she gave our child to my wife within a year. As our first adopted child was a female, many asked me how I felt about the second child being a female too. Truly I was so happy to have a girl child. We stayed in Chennai for another fifteen days, got our child vaccinated and returned home.

We had gone to a number of temples, but according to us, GG Hospital which gave a meaning to our life is our temple. When so many patients who came after us, left happily with their babies, we were still there not getting a hold. But we waited. We knew our time would come too. It took 12 years for our prayers to be answered. This patience gave us our reward. Not only the patients, but the other members of the family too should not raise unnecessary doubts and questions that would shake the faith or patience of the patients. Then only can we reach our target.

For us, only the thirteenth trail of assisted reproductive procedures worked out. But still, we waited with faith. For the work of the doctors to succeed, complete cooperation of the patients is also needed.

I had sent two couples from our village to GG Hospital. When they referred to my name here, it seems the doctors asked them whether they would be as patients as we had been. I also remember a patient who was five months pregnant and wanted to travel in order to attend a wedding ceremony in spite of doctor’s advice. The women travelled and lost her twin babies.

It is easy to come to the hospital and get registered, but what’s more important is for the patient is to be patient and achieve the desired result. We have to follow whatever the doctor says, after all, they are the one who gives shape to what we were yearning for all these days.

According to us, GG Hospital is the place of our resurrection. I make it a point that I come here at least once a year. When Dr.Kamala comes on the television, my daughters make a big festival of it.

I would never be able to explain our feeling towards Dr.Kamala Selvaraj and GG Hospital. Our relationship should be everlasting… this is what we pray to God.