The One that Nearly Got Away

Written By

Nisha Kurian

Lifestyle - being me - Real women-03-07 Loading

I didn’t transition into a mother just by giving birth to my first born. He was a complete stranger to me for long. It was my son who made the effort to develop that bond. I had started going to office after the three months of maternity leave. He had not even been weaned.  But he completely surprised me with his excitement on seeing me after hours of waiting. He would bite me, lick me, pull my hair and simply giggle on seeing me — his mother.

I would give complete credit to my son for bringing out the maternal instincts in me. He opened a new world for me, where I enjoyed playing with him, watching programs which he enjoyed, reading books of his type and getting new friends of his age group. “When will you get time for yourself?” I was asked by some of my friends who were aghast over my complete shift from being an independent woman to a dedicated mother.

I never realized I was expecting my second child until I was four months pregnant. Lesson learnt, getting your period isn’t proof that you aren’t expecting. It was just a few days back I had my periods. But, why was I feeling so heavy and uneasy, I wondered?  I headed to the nearby hospital to meet the gynecologist. The doctor predicted that I could be either pregnant or suffering from UTI. I ruled out being pregnant because of my recent periods. “Go for a urine test”, prescribed the doctor.

I stood in a long queue, along with many others, holding the sterilized bottle. Apparently, a health checkup was being conducted for some corporate employees in the hospital then.  I became part of the queue for the urine test and lined my bottle along with the other bottles.

The report arrived, and the doctor said I was pregnant. “Not happening, how is that even possible?”

The doctor educated me that some women do menstruate during their pregnancy. I could be one of them. I wasn’t ready to buy this. “What if the urine sample went wrong? It’s somebody else in the queue who’s pregnant and not me!” I educated the doctor right back. “Let’s go for a scan then,” suggested the doctor.

In the scanning room, when the doctor ran the instrument over me, I could see the baby moving on the computer screen. Was that baby actually within me? There, I was pregnant. I called my husband immediately. After all, he was the one responsible for this. I heard my name being called by the nurse.

I walked into the doctor’s room. She checked my medical history and understood that I was arthritic and in my 40s. “Why do you need this child, you go for an abortion,” she stated, casually. Agreed, I was shocked to know that I was pregnant, but I had never thought of aborting it. Curiously I asked her, why she was recommending an abortion. She repeated my fear, “You are 40 and you are arthritic. Arthritis increases with age and there are chances of losing the baby. Since you already have one, why go for another one?”

How could I object when it’s a doctor who’s giving her expert opinion? I was blank and clueless. So I kept nodding my head. She took a paper and prepared the abortion chart. It was a Friday, and she didn’t work on Saturday and Sunday. “Come on Monday. We will do the surgery.” When she said this I was reminded of the oath I had taken during my college days. ‘Say No to Abortion’. Here I was being asked to sign the document agreeing to do so, right now.

I again called my husband. He said, “Your health is of prime importance, let’s go with what the doctor says.” At night when I went to bed, I looked at my son. I felt my stomach. There was a life within which was just like my son lying next to me. Would I ever wish any harm to my son? No, never. Then how could I, for this life within me?

I messaged my husband. “This child is like our son. Why go for an abortion?” Instantly, I got a call from my husband who too wasn’t getting sleep over having to lose this baby. “If you are ready, let’s go for this baby.”

And that is how my son saved his sister, long before he even knew of her existence.

Read Love’s Labour Lost for a different opinion on the issue.




Nisha Kurian, aged 42, moved for work from Kerala to Chennai and now lives in Bangalore, where she’s been for the past 11 years. Her professional life is so demanding that she believes she is a full time writer-cum-editor and a part-time wife and mother. She now aspires to be an agronomist and liberate herself from the pointless pursuit of making money, the malaise of urban life.

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