After 2 days of Ankita’s funeral, my husband and I went to see the twins, who were kept in the NICU for they were premature. Their files read Baby 1 and Baby 2 of Ankita. While Baby 1 was fine, Baby 2 had health issues. She had to be operated for her intestines were punctured. While she survived the operation at an age of 15 days, she had a cholestomy.
After a month of that, it was time to take a decision on the babies to get them home. In those days of moaning we simply could not manage to take a decision amidst the chaos and the terrible mental state. The only solution we had was that I take over for the time being. I was not sure if I would be the Mother, but for that moment I was.
So the first thing I did was request the Nurses to stop calling them Baby 1 and Baby 2. We had not thought of the names in all that chaos – but well- we had nicknames to use – since Baby 1 was really pink in colour, AND she was born in Pink City, I decided to call her Pink. And since baby 2 was her soul mate, I decided to rhyme it with ‘Pari’. Thus were born Pink and Pari, again – to me,to us.
I had to stay with them in the hospital for a few days before they could be exposed to the outside world. I waited nervously in the hospital room. They said that day 1 I should only have 1 baby with me. So Pink was brought to me.I held her in my arms – wrapped in a blanket to add to her frail little body. She was really pink and so beautiful! I immediately felt a strong attachment towards her – an unspoken bond I could not explain. Maybe biology has little to do with it.
I spent the entire day with her – feeding her top milk when she cried and putting her to sleep or changing her diapers. I had already learnt a lot – but yet it had to seep in.
Day 2 was the turn of Baby 2 – Pari. Due to her surgery she had shorter food cycles and almost every hour she needed to be fed or her dressing had to be done. Sometimes every ten minutes, sometimes every hour. It was a painstaking job, and along with Pink it was even tougher.
Yes I had help in the room – Ankita’s sisters were there to help throughout. But those 6 days in the hospital with almost no sleep, feeding and dressing and changing diapers or putting them to sleep in hope that they won’t wake up for straight 2 hours, life was crazy. I was disheveled, acidic and frustrated. I called up my husband in panic and he promised me he would sort things out. But never even once did the thought cross my mind that I am not going to do this. I never felt even once that they are not my kids or why the hell should I go through the pain and challenge?
After 2 weeks of nurturing them, it was time to take Pink and Pari to their new home. It was an unspoken decision between my husband and I that we would take care of the babies till things with his Brother were better. He had lost a spouse - one of the worst things to happen to any person at this young an age. We did whatever we could to help – and taking care of the twins at that moment was the best we could. So we packed up and brought Pink Pari to Mumbai. And thus began my journey as The Unpregnant Mother.