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#InfertilityNotATaboo- When it is Only About Her Womb

#InfertilityNotATaboo- When it is Only About Her Womb

She bears the brunt of infertility……almost always! A test in every way!

It was a hot afternoon in the month of April when I reached Poonam’s house in Raja Ka Tal- a small farming village in district Firozabad. The warm breeze gently swayed the trees, as their yellow leaves collected by her feet. Her body lay on the ground, a thin sheet covering from head to toe. It had thinned down considerably since I had first met her. Her husband Rajbir sat a distance away, quiet and somber.

A year back, I was part of a Rotary Club health camp that travelled across the state of Uttar Pradesh, to spread awareness about health and hygiene. It was here that I first met Poonam. “Bibiji, bachcha nahi ho raha he. Dawayee dijiye” (I am not conceiving. Give me some medicine). The treatment of Poonam’s primary infertility was beyond the scope of the mobile camp and also the tiny village Raja ka Tal. She was handed over a referral slip for a check-up at Firozabad’s Government Hospital. She faintly nodded when I communicated this to her. I saw a tear drop down her eye when she left the camp. But something in her moved me that day and I decided to follow up on her case with the village and district hospital. However, once I got back to Delhi, so caught up was I with my schedules that I just let it be, hoping that eventually things would fall in place for Poonam. A year later, I got to know about her death.

“Bimar pad gayee, khana hajam nahi ho raha tha, mar gayee”, said her mother. (She fell ill, couldn’t take food anymore and passed away). I couldn’t hold back anymore and had to get the entire story. I chatted up with Poonam’s childhood friend that afternoon, who tumbled it all out.

Poonam was married three years after puberty. A year into matrimony, and she still had not shown any signs of pregnancy. The taunts started, and soon her in-laws and Rajbir took matters into their own hands. He decided to marry again. It was for the want of a baby. The bride was none other than Poonam’s younger sister. For Poonam’s parents it was a win-win situation. Both daughters married at the cost of just one. Within a few months of this marriage, the news of her sisters impending pregnancy reached Poonam.

That was when the first signs of depression were noticeable. She would cry often, have temper tantrums, and develop low degree fever. For those around her, it meant, she had gone mad. No efforts were made to treat her. It wasn’t really a priority. She after all could not produce a baby. Within a span of four months, Poonam lay dead.

signs-of-infertility

Cut to Bangalore
I was meeting my school friend Anusha in a plush coffee shop after five long years. The first thing that I noticed was the disheveled hair and sullen eyes. “I have started my IVF and it’s taking a toll, physically and mentally”, she said.

A long silence followed. This wasn’t the same energetic woman I had known five years back.

“Ashok works late and travels often. But he still manages to be around for the IVF schedule. His presence is required, medically. Otherwise, life seems to be just going on, where we both lead our own separate lives.”

“Why don’t you adopt?” I asked. She glared back at me.

“My in-laws had been against our love marriage and, Ashok would not go against them a second time. They wouldn’t accept a baby that is not their blood. I hope God blesses me with a baby soon. I feel void and empty. It is killing me”.

Signs of depression yet again?

Whether it is Raja ka Tal or Bangalore, the brunt of infertility is often faced by women. There exists in society, a certain element of stigma when a woman is unable to conceive. At a time when she needs mental support, she gets the taunts and bears the blame.

Much as it is important biologically, for a woman to conceive, not being able to should not be the end of the road. Adoption regulations in India are getting easy, with even single women going in for one. A baby is all that matters for a childless couple. And adoption may well be the answer. It would reduce the mental trauma on the woman and provide a home to a child. It would bring about happiness in more than one life.

*This blog is to #SpreadAwareness about Infertility through Infertility Dost, India’s first website that facilitates couples to brave infertility with support and knowledge. You can find other links on Write Tribe.

Things That Define Me

Things That Define Me

Source: http://www.empowerwomen.org.nz/

I am a woman. Yes you can definitely say that by my gait and shadow. You also know that by the roles I adorn. I am a mother, a wife, a friend, a daughter and a sister. But is this all that defines me? No, I am all this and much more…

What makes me who I am?

My Passion. It is my emotional connect towards things that I feel the most. I am passionate about expressing myself through words. Words that could be woven to communicate deep down thoughts. Words that inspire others and give them a hope in gloomy days. Penning down these words each day gives me the drive to achieve small things in life. Next, I love the beautiful relationships that make my life. The love for my husband, the companionship we share, the time with my children, and the whole envelope of family bliss around me. It gives me a peace of mind.

I like the feeling of independence. It is all about doing the things dear to my heart, without having to have restrictions. It’s a freedom to express my passion, the way I want to and not the way someone else wants it. I blog and my blog speaks volumes about matters dear to my heart. It’s a place where I am free- spirited, and independent. I do it the way I want it.  I also like the “my time” I create for myself every day. It is that time when I spend unwinding with a book or penning down words. A time I don’t adorn a hat and am just me. When kids are tucked in bed and the quietness of the night makes it easy for my mind’s horizon to expand and explore, I read. I write. I dream.

Self-respect is most important to me. It makes me what I am. I come across so many contradictions in my day to day living. Most of it is beyond my understanding. Many irk me. Here is one contradiction. Why is it that when we worship the “Goddess” in all her forms across the country, why when divinity is associated with the “feminine” form of God, there’s disrespect and violence cast on many women in every part of our country? Now isn’t that a contradiction?

These are some of the things that make me who I am. And all the other woman out there too!!

Society has stereotypical expectations from woman. There are unwritten norms on what woman ought to do and what she ought to be. Many times her passions so dear to her heart, matters important to her are seldom looked upon.

When you see a rainbow in the sky the next time, try focusing on a single shade of it. You would seldom appreciate its beauty. Now look at it again completely, intact with all its seven colors. Beautiful indeed, isn’t it? As a woman, I have several shades too. You need to just look. So break the stereotype. There’s no single label- but a range of shades that define who I am.

This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus“.