Thursday, July 10, 2014

Posted On 7/10/2014 by Team iCynosure.

Have you seen the movie UP?

It is one of my favourite movies of all time, it has the ability to make me grab tissue after tissue, whilst holding my tummy laughing away. One particular flashback scene where Mr. Fredricksen and his wife Ellie dream of a family while gazing at the sky full of baby clouds, steals my heart. And then voila! Ellie is expecting and the couple is busy decorating the nursery. However the very next scene takes place in a doctor’s room where Ellie hears the bad news about her miscarriage and shut out from the world. Mr. Fredricksen, a symbol of righteousness offers her a world of alternative adventures and eternal happiness while living together into the sunset of their lives. So perfect!

However those are things that happen only in the movies, but in real life things are very different. I know a ‘MARDAANI’ who didn't want to be defined by the child she couldn't birth... 

For several years every day she prayed for her baby to stay, every day she hoped for a miracle. But she lost them all.... seven excruciating miscarriages. Rarely did she get a chance to speak to anyone, discuss the issue or even seek medical help. Why, because of the taboo surrounding pregnancy and child-birth in our highly-educated-modern society. The man, who should have stood by her rock solid was initially supportive and understanding but over a period became indifferent and unemotional. Instead of walking by her side comforting her, he started trailing behind and finally found a new path for himself.

I often wondered over the years, how and where she found the courage to leave her husband of twenty years to move out and start a new life at a ripe age of thirty-nine. My maternal aunt today is a symbol of courage for every woman who doesn’t want to be defined by the children she has or doesn't have. She is the emotional anchor for each life she has touched in ways unimaginable. 

A few years ago I was blessed with a little angel, and when she came to bless us I finally found the courage to ask her ‘why’. Holding my little princess she said things that left me more proud than sad. 

Miscarriages or unable to bear a child is something that is as much emotionally draining for a woman as physically. Apart from the physical dreadfulness that miscarriages bring, they leave behind loneliness which only a healthy and loving relationship is able to cure. However after each traumatic loss, my husband became more and more uncaring and unapproachable. Each loss drained away everything from the relationship, leaving a brazen silence and immense awkardness. 

I would try to initiate small things from wanting to see a doctor to take a surgery to even go on pills, but was always discouraged by both my husband and my in-laws. Taking about adoption was shunned even within the closed doors of the warm household and I was told, 'Nature will take its own course'.

Over a period I became more and more vulnerable and with the disappointment started the self-blame. At that time I had hoped for my husband to be supportive and strong to help us pull through the difficult times but it didn’t happen. Sometimes in a fit of rage he would say nasty things, abuse me and even call me names. Ugly fights left me abused, physically violated and emotionally scarred. The last straw was when I got to know that he was having an affair... At that moment I had two choices – discuss it with my family and be convinced to stay in the relationship and the other was to walk out alone without wanting any answers. I chose the latter...even though I knew in my heart I wouldn't have any support. But I believed in myself and wanted to redefine who I was.

A life spelled out in a few sentences... Said with the utmost normalcy, no pride no remorse nothing. 

Today she helps women in similar situations to cope with their distress, anxiety and grief. With her simple yet committed presence she runs in and out of her one-room home to speak to couples as a mother would, encouraging them to stay strong together through the difficult times and even connects them with doctors and medical consultants. Working with the couples she is always by their side counting the days, praying that the baby stays and then finally comes a point when the counting is no more needed. 

She says that’s the time to rejoice. At times there are disappointments and at times it becomes impossible. It is the most trying times, to help women think beyond being defined by children they bear and look at alternative paths. 

Her joy knows no bounds when she holds a newborn or an adopted baby in her arms, to see the woman brimming with happiness when being gushed over by her husband. She says she lives her motherhood dreams in those few seconds. 

As I looked at her cuddling my little girl I saw a woman redefined, A Mardaani.

This is written as a part of I am Mardaani activity exclusively at for Indian Bloggers.


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