In India, no one talks about the difficulties in getting pregnant. To start with, in biology classes we are taught that when a sperm fuses with an egg, fertilization occurs and we have a baby. Nothing is mentioned about the difficulties in conception that couples face (even when EVERYTHING is absolutely 'NORMAL' according to allopathy) in any of these text books. Since I never looked beyond text books where these matters were concerned, that's all I knew. I fell in love with my guy when I was 23. However, life gave us some tough situations to handle, and we started living together only when I completed 33 years. Around this time, we started trying to have a baby.
I thought HAVING A BABY WAS THE EASIEST THING IN THE WORLD. Well, I still do, but it depends on what you think is the meaning of EASY. Easy is most definitely not conception on the very first try. It does happen for a few. A few 'claim' they conceived on the very first try, for reasons best known to them. But for me and my husband it did not happen that way. Initially, the first couple of months I was pretty cool about it. However, when month after month I did not conceive, I panicked, my anxiety levels increased and I started feeling depressed. I started to obsessively think about all the 'WHYS' for this FAILURE to conceive. I went in for follicle study, hormonal tests and for a Sonosalpinogram using saline water for determining if there are any blocks in my fallopian tubes.
There was NO need for me to have gone through these tests....because everything about my physical health was normal, I am a classical dancer and hence FIT. But you see, I was stressed and freaked out, mainly because of my age, which I thought could be the sole reason for the delay. I was 33 and all the websites that I opened asked me to 'DO SOMETHING AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!!!'. There were some genius suggestions given to me, that, if I stopped dancing I will conceive. I stopped dancing for about 8 months. I became very unhappy and depressed. I made my husband's life MISERABLE. Uniting in Matrimony and starting to FINALLY LIVE TOGETHER, which was supposed to be the best part of our life, became a nightmare. I used to breakdown everytime I got my periods, which always came on the 27/28th day, perfectly on time every cycle. Our sex life, which used to be PHENOMENAL, became traumatic for both of us.
At this point I started reading up on the various 'LINE OF TREATMENTS' for my condition which is UNEXPLAINED INFERTILITY.....Starting from tablet and injection to IUI to the more advanced IVF, there were many options available to have a baby QUICKLY by playing with our hormones, pituitary gland, ovaries, hypothalamus and ultimately with the unborn children. I don't see a point in explaining the above sentence because it is self explanatory. The advanced procedures like IVF are also terribly expensive. All I can say is, I did not feel that TREATMENT was necessary when there was no problem or illness. I don't believe in UNEXPLAINED INFERTILITY. But I was perennially confused and was not sure if I was doing the right thing. Later, I realized that it was not only me, many of us are confused and unsure of what is the best course of action, to go in for the fertility treatments or not. After all, when we WANT something very badly, we do EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO GET IT...Right?
Because even after all these procedures there is very little chance of conception, and the failure stories are many. The possibility of having a miscarriage, twins, triplets is higher, simply because what we are doing is against the nature. We need to consider all these possibilities, and also the possibilities of various health problems that are associated with these fertility treatments objectively, (which is NOT a CAKE WALK), before opting for it. In all these years of working with my body, mind and soul (as an artiste), I have come to realize that, the natural equilibrium and workings of the body, when disturbed, is DEFINITELY not good for the mind and vice versa.
'Where there are choices to make, make the ones you won't regret'.
With respect to the statistics related to AGE, I don't believe that to be true either. Yes, we are all born with a particular number of eggs, but we can never predict the workings of a human body, NO ONE CAN!!. With faith and HOPE miracles happen and the conception of a child is a MIRACLE. I was conceived on the very first try by my mom who was then 24 and my dad who was 51. It is also worthy to note here that before I was conceived my mom had had 4 abortions, all forced and not natural. An aunt in my family conceived at the age of 48, and a cousin of mine at 40 (after many failed attempts at IUI, and after the doctor told her that she will not conceive) in the natural way.The following blog is a must read for all those who are worried about their age, thegoodshufu.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/howd-i-get-pregnant-naturally-at-45-5/
I feel that in our society 'giving birth to a child' is blown out of proportion and surrounded by many misconceptions. However, giving birth to a child is not the only purpose in life. There is a reason why a child is called 'Kuzhandai Selvam' (my precious child) in Tamil. The conception WILL happen when it happens. Nothing can change that. If it is not meant to happen, it will not happen, no matter what we do and how HARD we try. But, in the process, we might be damaging our mental health and thereby our physical health or vice versa.
The important thing that I realized at this point in time in life is that making a baby is not in our hands. As a wife my Dharma is to live as a WIFE to my husband, and the baby will be and should be a miraculous outcome of our family life (Illaram, as they call in Tamil). That is the beauty of it. It becomes very ugly, when we chart the PRIME DAYS, become anxious, frustrated and expect things to happen the way we want it to happen.
I CHANGED. I started dancing again because after a lot of research in this area I found sitting like a duck was not going to get me pregnant, but on the contrary, it was making me a very difficult person to live with. (Serena Williams' story was a HUGE inspiration). I started AICA kalaikoodam.weebly.com/aica.html, which I am really passionate about and for the FIRST TIME I really understood what they meant by RELAXING. We are still trying to have the baby but if it doesn't happen I am fine with that too, because I believe in the philosophy of Bhagavath Geetha, that it is our duty to only do our duty and not expect the rewards.
Why am I writing this blog....
Because although not conceiving is not anyone's fault, most of us think something is terribly wrong with us when we are unable to get pregnant. It is not. Nothing is wrong. We are perfect the way we are.
People, especially women usually don't talk about the tough time that we go through while trying to get pregnant. We should. Atleast I have, because I want others going through this journey to know that its ok and you are not alone. I am not afraid of being judged.
Women can do a lot. Giving birth to a child is not our only purpose in life. For all the mom-in-laws who force the daughter-in-laws to get fertility treatments done against their will, it is a monstrous way to treat a human being. It is appropriate to mention one of my favorite quotes here by the world renowned Cardiologist, who decided to THINK and be human.
Although there is no PILL for every ILL, there is definitely an ILL following every PILL
Finally, my dear friends remember HAPPINESS is a CHOICE. Marriage, children, a great job, lots of money, a luxurious life style need not necessarily mean happiness. Happiness is a state of mind, that is achieved only when the mind is tranquil and you are at peace with yourself. So be HAPPY. May be what we think that we absolutely neeeeeeeddddd, is not that important when compared with our health, happiness and well-being. Think about it.:-)
Where there is hope, MIRACLES happen!
Signing off with this favourite quote of mine by Kalpana Chawla.
'The quickest way is not necessarily the best.'