BY: ARFA MASIHUDDIN, M.B.B.S., BATCH XX
During your clinical years, you come across numerous patients, and each one of them brings out a different you – introducing yourself to the you that you thought never existed, preparing yourself for the absolute worst, helping you empathise with people you have usually always never thought about.
Taking down histories during your clinical rotations is really that; behind sentences heavy with medical jargon that describe ‘presenting complaints’, lies the real presenting complain. These medical histories are life stories, laden with broken hearts and unshared pain. And this is what I realised as I noted down ‘G5P1+3’ while taking down the history of a pregnant lady. Her first child – a son – had drowned in a water tank. She had three miscarriages after that. And now she was pregnant again. A precious pregnancy. And what affected me the most was the way she was holding up; her coping mechanism.
Having now seen several patients with histories of miscarriages, it just makes me wonder what the parents go through after each one of them. Especially the mothers; to carry a part of you and your husband inside you, to feel the feel of life growing inside you, to understand that God wants you to bring a new life and hence, a new generation into this world – a new Einstein or a new Shakespeare or a new Neil Armstrong or a new Sadequain or a new Rumi – to know that your life will be responsible for another life; and then suddenly, it’s not there anymore. It’s gone. As magically as it came, it’s gone. And a void is left behind, the kind that no other daughter or son can fill. How do you mourn the death of someone you can’t even lower in a grave? How do you mourn the death of someone you haven’t laid your eyes on? But you’ve felt their feel, you’ve felt their existence because the news of their arrival – expected arrival – had you jumping with a special kind of joy that only super-humans called parents are familiar with, and your heart seemed bigger than before and the tinkling in your spine was the kind that only your spouse felt because it was his and yours. How do they do that? When they are asked how many children do you have, what do they say? How do they feel looking at other children, even their own? Do they forever question why it happened? How does it feel to miss a child you only felt, but never saw? Do you still shed silent tears? Doesn’t it forever tear their heart apart? The mere thought of it is so devastating, so painful. It breaks your heart, doesn’t it? Because while your mind may acknowledge the medical explanation for a ‘miscarriage’, your heart cannot accept why your little love was taken away from you.
But you know what, Moms and Dads? You are not alone. You are never alone..you never were. Your baby is up there, smiling down at you, asking God to keep you away from thorns. And one day, one fine day, you’ll get to embrace them in the warmth of the love that is only, and only theirs! You will.
About the author: Robbins for breakfast, Rumi for lunch, ArfaMasihuddin.WordPress.com for dinner.