Durba Ghosh talks about how age plays a critical role when it comes to having a baby, the highs and lows of being a mother and how her son Aurko, has managed to fill their lives with brightness
BY SANIA DHIRWANI
PHOTOGRAPHS BY AKSHAY KULKARNI
HAIR & MAKE-UP BY SACHIN GATHE
FOR 38-year-old Durba, a true Bengali, settling down in the chaotic city of Mumbai was something she never thought she’d do. Of course, life doesn’t always go as planned, and Durba found herself making a home in Mumbai after she met her husband Rabin through an arranged marriage set-up. “I’m from Kolkata and I’ve always found Mumbai to have a rather ‘professional’ approach to everything. That’s definitely not a good thing. When I compare Mumbai to Kolkata, I see the differences. People in Kolkata are approachable, friendly and welcoming. In Mumbai, people barely have time for themselves, let alone for anybody else,” she says. However, after living in this city for over eight years, Durba has come to love the differences, and appreciates Mumbai for what it is.
WHAT TO EXPECT
After their marriage, Rabin and Durba decided to wait a while before starting a family. They wanted to spend quality time together, strengthen their relationship, get to know each other and concentrate on their careers before introducing a new member to their family. After three years of married life, the couple began planning for a baby. “My husband was apprehensive in the start and would skedaddle when anything to do with ‘responsibility’ would come on his shoulders. He soon came around though,” she says. Durba further adds, “We knew our age would be a major hiccup when it came to successfully getting pregnant, but we were already hard-pressed for time. If that’s not all, stress and everyday life served as another block when it came to trying to conceive.” Naturally, this meant a considerable amount of time passed before they managed to get pregnant. Durba admits, “We spent close to five years trying to have a baby. Rabin and I even considered adoption if our efforts didn’t prove successful.” However, their prayers were answered and Durba soon found out she was pregnant.
The couple did consult a number of fertility experts and doctors, just to ascertain that nothing was physically or medically wrong with them. During one of their visits, the couple found out that Durba had the initial signs of PCOS, but they were assured it wouldn’t affect the pregnancy. Problems would arise only because of a stressful lifestyle. However, none of that mattered when the couple found out they were expecting. “In one of the home-pregnancy tests I took one day, I couldn’t believe it when the strip turned pink. Rabin had gone for his morning walk when I called out to him in excitement. He immediately rushed back thinking there was an emergency. But after hearing the good news, I saw just how excited he was,” says Durba, with the same glow as she recalled that moment. Rabin’s parents were elated when they were given the good news, while the rest of their family couldn’t wait to welcome their newest member.
However, all was not hunky-dory. All the initial excitement slowly started fading when the pregnancy blues began settling in. The first trimester is usually the hardest, and for Durba, that proved true. “I did not have an easy pregnancy. I was bleeding profusely in the first trimester and the doctors could not detect a particular reason for it. Because of the lack of answers, I was prescribed complete bed rest and I even had to take Gestone, progesterone injections, on a daily basis for the next three months, to help maintain my pregnancy,” says Durba. The bleeding eventually ceased and Durba was able to resume work, which she continued till it was time to have Aurko.
However, her pregnancy-related problems didn’t stop at bleeding. Durba also developed rashes on her body. According to research, rashes occur in a few cases, when the body identifies the growing foetus as a foreign object. If that’s not all, Durba also suffered from gestational diabetes. “Due to several gastric attacks, I would throw up a number of times in matter of hours. On such occasions I would become too weak to move. But, with time, this also passed,” says Durba, recalling her pregnancy. It was then that Durba found solace in her doctors Dr Duru Shah and Dr Sabah from Gynaecworld, Kemps Corner. “Contrary to what you read or see in the movies, I didn’t have any urge for a particular kind of food, least of all anything sour. I relied on home-cooked nutritious meals and kept a thorough check on my diet,” she says. She relied on the BabyCentre pregnancy app for additional advice and is thankful for the exhaustive information it provided her. During her difficult pregnancy, the couple didn’t give up, and eventually, everything worked out well for them.
GET, SET, GO!
Before D-Day arrived, Durba was showered with blessings from near and dear ones. She received not one, but three baby showers. “It was a delight to watch everyone so excited for the baby to arrive. My fi rst baby shower thrown by our friends was a fun pirate-themed party where our friends’ kids blessed the baby. The second one was a traditional Bengali ritual and many of our family members attended the function. The third one was organised by Rabin’s cousin. I felt special and was happy to see that the baby received so many blessings,” reminisces Durba.
It was during her 37th week of pregnancy that Durba was wheeled into the Operation Theatre for an elective C-section. The doctors explained that due to her gestational diabetes, if they waited to have Aurko at full-term, his weight would increase, and that could lead to complications. Fortunately, Durba didn’t have a prolonged labour, and within half and hour, she gave birth to a healthy baby boy. However, the baby was diagnosed with low blood sugar as a result of the medicines Durba had taken during her pregnancy and hence was kept under observation in the NICU for a day. “Rabin paid a visit to the NICU every few hours and he would come back teary-eyed. Seeing the babies fitted with drips broke his heart, but it made us incredibly grateful for a healthy child,” says Durba, with immense gratitude. After bringing their baby home from the hospital, they settled on the name Aurko, which means Sun. “It was surprising but my husband was a little disappointed when I gave birth to a boy. He was confident that it would be a girl, and for that reason, we never discussed any boy names. We’d always argue over names for a girl,” Durba grins.