But in the end, for better or worse, this was our child and we had to do the best for her. Many of our relatives threw the first stone - and made cruel comments on my newborn baby's face. But for me, nothing mattered more than holding my own child in my arms. Her lip condition wasn't anyone's fault. Nothing would stop me from loving my child.
Although Pushpa's birth was the happiest thing for us in years, Pushpa never seemed to be happy. She cried a lot. We worried we were doing something wrong. My husband, Shamal and I had no idea that her endless cries were actually because of her discomfort. In our happiness, we overlooked something that would put our little baby in more danger.
We live in Chandannagar, West Bengal, where Shamal works as a stage decorator for local functions. He has no fixed work and income is uncertain. He has to go in search of work all-round the year to cope with the family requirements. At Chandannagar, there is too much competition for this kind of work which makes things more difficult.
She turned abnormally blue whenever she criedWhen Pushpa was born, all she did was cry. She was irritable. But we thought as she grew up, she will be fine. But with every passing day, her cries became uncontrollable. Whenever she cried, she turned abnormally blue. Her entire body, including her nails, would turn blue. It was a terrible sight to see our baby cry and change into a different colour. We were scared.
Every time she cried, it left me torn. I knew something was not right with my baby. Shamal and I decided to take her to the doctors in Kolkata. After several visits and tests, doctors gave us bad news. My baby was born not just with a facial deformity but with a congenital heart disease. She had multiple heart defects and was living on borrowed time.
Neither Shamal nor I had an idea of how to deal with this situation. Pushpa is the baby for whom we waited for ages. Now that she had arrived, she won’t live without a heart surgery. After knowing this Shamal has tried to get work more than usual, but it seems our luck is against us.
Hospital corridors gave us shelter when there was nothing elseWe started taking Pushpa to Kolkata for regular check-ups. There aren’t doctors in Chandannagar and we knew no one in Kolkata. There were days when Pushpa needed to be admitted to the hospital. We had no place to stay in Kolkata. We ended up waiting in the hospital corridors for nights. Anything to save our precious child.
Only a few people have come forward to help us. Every time we went to the hospital, there was some new information that would upset us a little more. We were secretly hopeful that we would not need to do anything beyond our reach. But that is not to be.
Her war against death is a long oneDoctors have told us that our baby’s condition is deteriorating and an open heart surgery is the only way to save her. Also, the surgery cannot take place anywhere in the vicinity. Last week, we brought her to Bangalore and are preparing for the surgery. I am too scared but I know this is the only way to save my little baby.
We just live a hand-to-mouth life. Anything beyond that is a luxury we can’t afford. We have already borrowed from a few people. Staying in Bangalore and getting our baby treated here is beyond our reach. We are neck-deep in debt. I have to save my baby at any cost.
How can you help?I have too many dreams for my baby. But everything will be shattered if we can’t save her. Doctors are saying that the open heart surgery will not just help her live, but give her a normal life. The cost required to save my baby girl is a little over Rs 1 lakh which is huge for us.
Your help can save Pushpa.