“I was just sitting and having my lunch that day when I started feeling uneasy. I knew there’s something wrong and my baby is not fine. I felt sudden pain and the water broke. I was only five months pregnant! She shouldn’t be coming out now…she needed to stay safe inside for another four more months. I started to panic and things only got worse.” – Nirmala, Mother
Nirmala’s blood pressure shot up and she was rushed into the emergency ward immediately. After two hours of struggle, she had pre-term labour. With the help of a c-section surgery, her little girl fought her way into this world. However, the baby’s condition was highly critical.
The baby weighed only 500gms when she was born
“It’s been forty days since she was born. She is tiny and doctors don’t allow me to even hold her. They have kept my baby in the glass box (incubator). I can’t even lift her when she is hungry or cries. I don’t know if she knows that I'm her mother and I can keep her safe. All I do is sit near the box whole day, praying and hoping that she comes out alive and healthy."
Nirmala and Sekar's baby is underweight and has other complications like underdeveloped lungs, difficulty in regulating body temperature and poor feeding. She needs to stay in the hospital for treatment until she is strong and healthy. Since her lungs are underdeveloped she needs constant respiratory support through mechanical ventilation and medicines continuously for few more months.
“The first time I saw my child, she was all covered in tubes and wires. I broke down in front of everyone. How can a father see his own child like that…struggling to breath and move? The medicines have made her drowsy and she is always sleeping now. She has to stay like this for few more months until she recovers but the cost of her recovery…it is beyond an auto driver capability” - Sekar, Father
“Our relatives ask us to stop fighting and leave the baby to die”Sekar is an auto driver who hasn’t gone for work in a month. He had to stay with his family as there is no one to help Nirmala buy medicines or run for frequent scans and x-rays. No one from their family has visited them until now, fearing they would have to lend money for the baby’s treatment. They call occasionally, asking them to stop fighting and try for another baby. But he wants to fight for his child until she is safe and healthy.
“The whole treatment costs around 6 lakh rupees. I have to spend Rs.5000 on daily medicines alone. I have borrowed money from my friends and managing it until now. Doctors say there are chances that my baby’s stay can be extended if her recovery is slow. Each day here is costing me more and more. I depend upon my auto for a living but I am planning to sell it. I have no other options left to save my new-born” - Sekar