What’s that one time, when you have been terrified the most?
For me, it was those nine days starting the 9th of March 2017. It was right after I discovered that my unborn baby has a chance for Down syndrome. During the scan, they couldn’t find the ‘nasal bone’ of my baby. That was a powerful marker for Downs syndrome.
“Is there anyways to find out for sure?” I asked the gynecologist. My voice was uncharacteristically cold.
“You can wait for a month and have a follow-up scan. Or, you can go for a prenatal DNA test, which can tell you 100%. The result will take ten days to come,” her voice became gentle.
On the same day, I gave my blood sample for my baby’s DNA test.
The next nine days were the most excruciating of my life. Every second of it was pure agony. I started questioning myself.
Am I prepared to nurture a special child? I wasn’t quite sure about the answer.
I accused myself – of being selfish, impatient, and, most importantly, of being a coward. I blamed myself for being terrified. All that pregnancy hormones raged within me. Meanwhile, my baby kept fluttering in my stomach, tickling me like a beautiful butterfly.
The wait was killing me.
Nine days later, on the 18th of March, when I was alone at home, the result came. My fingers shivered as I opened the mail. My heart beat like a bird trapped inside a cardboard box. My respirations became alarmingly high. I felt it was taking forever to download the report. I tried to open it on my mobile.
Damn! The format wasn’t supported.
I staggered to my laptop and continued the entire process. It was like being burnt alive in hell – twice. The report finally opened, and then I saw it.
Trisomy 21 – Negative
My baby didn’t have Down syndrome. My eyes welled up, and soon it became a rain. I cried and cried until I smiled. And there, at that moment, something flipped in me. A fuse blew inside my head. A bolt of lightning struck. I suddenly feel liberated from all my insecurities and worries. I had passed through an abyss and had come out alive.
Six months later, I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl – Tara.
I often wonder, what if she indeed had Down syndrome?
Now that I have seen her face, my answer is this – I would have loved and cared for her, just the same. The Down syndrome wouldn’t have made any difference in my love for her.
Even though they almost took the life out of me, looking back, I am grateful for those nine days. They shook my life so violently that I started questioning everything around me. I looked at my job, which wasn’t giving me any satisfaction. Instead, it was pushing me into depression. I looked at money, which I had considered the most crucial aspect of life. I realized that money is helpless in some situations. Those nine days helped me to rise above my inhibitions and insecurities. They showed me that I am strong. They helped me realize that I shouldn’t waste my life doing things that didn’t matter. So, a few months later, I quit my engineering job and took up writing full time.
I have published three books. I have conquered depression. All because of that one incident, which pushed me to my limits, terrified me beyond description. However, I am thankful for those nine days, which made me who I am today.
By Salini Vineeth
Picture courtesy: www.freepik.com
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