"Very soon after my marriage, my monthly cycles became a big let down to the family elders. They wanted to have a grandchild as soon as possible. I succumbed to the mounting pressure. I never thought that I would have problems getting pregnant.
At every family function we attended, there would be direct personal questions. People would ask all sorts of things; Why haven’t you had a baby yet? Why don't you start some fertility treatment? Who has the problem - you or your husband? Why don't you try going around the peepal tree everyday? You should do this puja for so many weeks. The list wouldn’t end.
The sting of certain incidents hasn’t faded over time. Once, when I was cutting a papaya, a relative noticed that the fruit didn't have a single seed. She mentioned that it is kaliyuga and even the fruits are becoming maladu (barren). I was deeply hurt and cried through the night.
I did many things at a subconscious level to avoid any hurtful comments. For instance, I stopped picking up any newborn baby, I stopped complimenting people about their kids, I avoided playing with little children. I didn't want people to feel that my ‘barren status’ might bring negativity to their beloved baby's health. A few well-wishers said that I should consider myself fortunate because any other family would have already started looking for another bride for their only son. To maintain my sanity, I took up a full time job to meet new people and drown myself in project deadlines. No matter how much I tried to deny it, though, I was beginning to feel the first pangs of depression.
Luckily, my husband got transferred to the US. We cherished this time since it brought us closer and made us stronger as a couple. But after a while, it started becoming very mundane and boring. We felt that something was lacking in our lives. That was when we decided to get back to our country and start the adoption process.
We got our baby and eight years later, to my own surprise, I also became a biological mom. I am a mother to a rebellious pre-teen daughter and a toddler in his terrible twos and they keep me on my toes.
I wanted to share this story to give readers some idea of the social stigmas I faced when I wasn’t able to conceive. I will never be able to sugar coat these bitter experiences. In our country many people go through this trauma without any help or counselling. With my story I would like to bring faith and hope into the lives of people who are sailing in the same boat as I was. ”