10 September 2008

Loss of the Unseen

There is no fetal heartbeat. This news was shocking for Nandini and me when we had gone for a normal check up to the health centre on 7th September. Into the 10th week of pregnancy we were looking forward to completing the first trimester. But fate had something else in store...

Medically as also for religious purposes this cannot be termed as death, as this was not preceded by birth. For us (more so for Nandini and to a lesser extent for Nerika, our four year old daughter, and me) this was not so. For Nandini, it was life that had started growing in her. Yes, another life. A life that was not seen but felt in each and every moment.

Nerika was very excited. It was her need for a sibling, particularly a baby sister, that had led us to consider for this second child. Once we shared her the news after conception she would talk about the baby, give a kiss to her Amma's pota, keep a hand on Amma's pota while reciting the Gayatri Mantra before going to bed. When she heard the news on returning from school, she cried for a few minutes.

The first thought that crossed our minds was whether we did not do something properly. Were we not as carefully as we were during Nerika's time? Was my going away from Mumbai at this crucial juncture not the correct thing? Should we have done the sonography a week or ten days earlier? Were we little complacent in thinking that nothing would go wrong this time? Our doubts only remained as doubts because the Doctor as well literature indicate that such instances of miscarriage happens in 25-30 per cent of the cases. We went for a second opinion, not exactly hoping for a miracle, but just to reconfirm. That done, we were left with the question of why us?

Left with no answer we think that it is perhaps in the larger scheme of things, which is not known. This personal loss of the unseen was not of one unknown. It was from one among us who lived with us for those ten weeks. Equally disparaging is the loss of the seen and the (un)known* in Kosi ravaged Bihar.

* Unknown form a personal point of view but known to us from a larger humanitarian perspective.

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