"When doctors told me I was carrying triplets during my pregnancy, I was overwhelmed with joy. I was excited abut their arrival and even arranged a separate space for them in my small house. But I lost two of my babies. Even before I could hold them in my hands, I lost one baby on the 11th day after they were born, and after 2 days, lost yet another baby. I felt like I have lost a part of my soul; it is the most hardest thing I have ever experienced. My only surviving child gives me strength now - I cannot give up on her. I will never have the strength to go home without my baby. Why would fate give me 3 babies and snatch them one after other? No mother should go through this pain." - Shalini.
Shalini had unexpected labour pain during her 7th-month of pregnancy When Shalini became pregnant after 4 years of her marriage, she and her husband, Hari Prasad, waited to confirm the condition of the baby before telling anybody else. When the doctors told them that their triplets were all healthy, the couple was on cloud nine. They were extremely cautious and religiously followed all the instructions. She felt the movements of the babies and was excited about every kick. Unfortunately, Shalini felt unbearable pain during her seventh month and when her water broke, she knew the labour is imminent. She was terrified, and Hari Prasad rushed her to the hospital.
"I was in unbearable pain but my thoughts were with my babies, I was scared that something might happen to them. I had a C- section and when I opened my eyes, I did not find my babies next to me. I cried and begged everyone to show my babies to me. They were taken to NICU (neonatal care) soon after their birth. The first time I saw them, I was overwhelmed with emotions. They were so tiny, with tubes all over their body. I longed to hold them in my arms but I was not allowed to do so." - Shalini.
Photograph of the triplets, taken after a week of their birth
The poor couple live in constant fear of losing their only surviving babyShalini and Hari Prasad were hopeful that they can take their triplets home but unfortunately, they lost two babies due to extreme low weight and underdeveloped organs. They stood numb when the doctors told them that their babies didn't make it. Shalini now refuses to move away from her only surviving baby and she fears that she might lose her now. Shalini's baby has a strong will to live and has been fighting to survive every day since her birth in NICU. She has extremely low birth weight and has severe breathing issues. With NICU care, she is slowly gaining weight and doctors said her condition is improving, but she would require another 9-10 weeks to recover completely.
"My baby is fed only through tubes. I spend sleepless nights everyday at home and I go to hospital early morning every day. Whenever doctors call me inside their room, my whole body trembles, I'm not prepared for another bad news. Every time I see her, I hold her tiny fingers and I tell her that I'm there for her. It is devastating to see her struggling to breathe, I cry helplessly. Every minute in the hospital and the empty cradles at home is constantly reminding me of my lost babies and the one struggling for life. I'm desperately waiting to take her home, begging every nurse and doctors passing by the NICU to save my baby." - Shalini.
Father who works as a driver cannot afford the intensive care treatment that will save the baby's life
Hari Prasad is a driver who works for a meager salary. He's the sole earning member of the family and has had no time to even mourn his babies' death. The last two weeks have been a roller coaster for him. He is running to everyone he knows to save his daughter. He is physically and emotionally exhausted. But he gathered all the strength and is trying all the possible ways to arrange money for the treatment.
"My relatives used to ask how we are going to manage triplets on a low income. My husband was so confident that we'll raise them like any other children and he was determined to do anything for their future. We were shattered when we lost two babies, but he forced himself to be strong in my presence. We only have each other's support. We have already spent nearly 7 lakh but we couldn't save our 2 babies. Now we need 15 lakh to continue the treatment. We don't know what we can do but our lives will never be the same without our baby." - Shalini.