Saturday, December 28, 2013


She was all of 2 days old. New to this world. She’d just arrived, and was oblivious to everything around her and in her.

It was about 7 PM and time for her feed. Suckle… Suckle…Suckle….……. Suckle… Suckle…Suckle…….…. Suckle… Suckle…Suckle. And then she started crying. She refused to have milk. In a few seconds, we realize d that she was falling short of breath. I knew something was wrong.  I patted her and then held her on my shoulder. Still, there was no change. Slowly, she was turning blue.
In such moments, your mind steps back, and heart usually takes over. Worry, Anxiety, Helplessness, Fear… So many emotions flood through your body that you tend to freeze in the moment. By sheer presence of mind, we dashed to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) or Nursery as they call it in many hospitals. Thankfully, she was attended to immediately. Apparently, she had suckled milk into her wind-pipe and was choking. The child-care specialist provided the required medical intervention to normalize her breathing. After about 45 minutes of examination and a round of tests, she appeared to be okay; but the doctors said that they needed to run a few more tests and monitor her for a couple of hours before they declared her perfectly fine.

It was only then that they let me into the NICU. It broke my heart to see her there. She was all wired up to monitor her heart rate and other key vital parameters. Entangled between the wires, amidst all the beeps and monitors around, she was sleeping.  She looked perfect, beautiful and angelic. I had so many mixed emotions, but mostly felt helpless. “What had I done wrong to put her here?” – Mostly guilt, fear, helplessness and most importantly, how small we really are in the ways of the universe. “Life’s NOT FAIR” I thought to myself. What has she done to deserve a place in the NICU? All the wise people I know always say that everything happens in your life is due to your karma. “What karma had she possibly done in 2 days that brought her to the NICU!” I wondered.

The next few hours were probably and possibly the most difficult moments of my life – Just hoping, praying and wishing that she is fine. Thankfully, she was medically certified as “perfectly fine” by about 3 AM. I was ecstatic to see her and hold her in my arms. One of those moments which I can probably never really describe, but if you’re a parent – I guess you can relate. It’s one of those moments in which you feel immense gratitude and unconditional love for the moment.

Yes! That’s my story as mother and the baby was my little daughter! The episode was a nightmare.

The next morning, I went over to the NICU to thank the doctors and the nurse-on-duty. It was only then that I saw the complete view. Last night, my eyes were on my baby ONLY!  There were 7 other babies in the NICU. It broke my heart to see them. There were twins whose birth weights were 1.4 kgs and 1.6 kgs. They were so fragile and delicate. It broke my heart to see them amidst all the wires. There was a new born baby who had heart complications. The doctors were not sure if she’d make it! She looked beautiful and was sleeping blissfully. I prayed that she’d make it. There were 2 babies who had jaundice. They’d be fine in 24 hours is what I learned. There was another baby who had fever, and was refusing milk. He was wailing and howling, and all the medical staff was attending to him. The doctor recommended a blood test. I stood numb as the nurse went about her job with the needle. A quick prick. A loud wail and the blood oozed out. It was such a vulnerable moment for me and the baby – It again broke my heart to see the baby crying. But the tests had to be done to figure the next course of medical treatment. I can’t describe the thoughts and emotions that such moments take you to! And the very last baby had a kidney problem that was undergoing dialysis. I wondered how she was bearing it, and what her family was going through.

Suffice to say, that those 10 minutes in the NICU taught me more lessons of life than any text book or classroom. And one of the most important lessons is to think before I utter the words “Life’s NOT Fair

Yes, sometimes life’s NOT fair. BUT maybe there’s a reason. Maybe that’s your karma. Maybe there is something FAIRER. Maybe it could be worse. Maybe ……..

And over the last few days, I’ve been stumped when healthy, well-educated individuals from good well-to-do families and leading reasonably decent lives have said again and again and again “Life’s NOT Fair” – when faced with the first challenge, an unexpected hurdle, unanticipated circumstance, unplanned event or minor ailment..

Honestly, I have nothing to say to them.. Just this.. Think about those babies in the NICU and their parents and ask yourself “IS LIFE REALLY NOT FAIR?”. You many just get a different answer, view and perspective!

Waiting to hear, leave a comment to let me know.

Originally published here

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