Here, Preity Lakhiyan, 30, tells the story in her own words.
￼As the magical, rhythmic beat of my baby’s heart filled the room, I felt my own fill with love. Expecting our first child, my husband Sunny and I just couldn’t wait to meet our beautiful bub. We’d already had a few scans and Sunny had been
to every one.
This time, he’d had to work, so I’d come alone. But that was fine. What could go wrong?
You’re perfect, I thought, looking up at the grainy image and marvelling at the tiny life that we’d created. As the sonographer slid the wand over my bump, she barely spoke, her eyes also glued to the screen.
Like with every other ultrasound, I was expecting the all clear. Instead, my worst nightmare was realised. ‘Your baby’s spine hasn’t grown like it should have by this stage,’ she said. Maybe I haven’t heard her correctly, I thought. ‘It’s likely your child will be born deformed,’ she continued.
My world stood still, and completely numb, I could hardly follow her words. But one did stand out and it shocked me to my core. Termination.
‘It’s something you might consider speaking with your midwife about,’ she said.
Now, the tears flowed freely. I want to keep my baby, I thought. Walking out, my eyes swam and I couldn’t think straight.
The journey home was a blur. I was so distraught I could barely breathe.
Back indoors I couldn’t even remember how I’d got there, or recall crossing any of the main roads. Calling Sunny, I bawled down the line. ‘Preity, calm down – tell me what’s wrong?’ Sunny soothed.
Between sobs, I choked out the awful news. ‘I want my baby,’ I cried.‘I know, I know,’ he said. ‘Try not to panic. We’ll
go back to the clinic.’ But it was already 4.30pm and even though Sunny drove home in record time, when we got there at 5pm, it was closed. ‘What do we do?’ I asked. ‘You need to rest,’ Sunny said, holding me tight. ‘We’ll go for a second opinion in the morning.’
He was right. I’d cried so much, I felt like I had nothing more to give.
That night, I tossed and turned. Stroking my bump, I prayed that our baby would be strong like its daddy. ‘Hang in there,’ I whispered.
In the waiting room at another clinic the next day, I felt sick to my stomach. Were they just going to confirm what I was told yesterday?
Sunny held my hand throughout the scan. And when we told this sonographer what I’d been told the day before, he was shocked. ‘Look,’ he smiled, pointing out measurements on the screen. ‘Your baby is perfect.’ With that, I burst into happy tears, while Sunny wrapped me in his arms. ‘I told you,’ he grinned. Still, it was scary. What if I’d blindly taken the advice I’d been given? I could have aborted my healthy baby.
We considered going back to the original clinic and complaining. But I was so distressed, I couldn’t bear to go near to that place. ‘Let’s leave it,’ Sunny said. ‘There’s no use fighting – our baby is fine, that’s what’s important.’
A week later, Sunny confessed that he’d kept calm to protect me. ‘I was pretending to be strong,’ he admitted, tears in his eyes. After that, my hubby came with me to every appointment.
At our 20-week scan, we were overjoyed to learn we were having a baby boy. Still, in the back of my mind I couldn’t help but worry. Confiding in my mum Surinder on the phone, I said, ‘What if he really is sick?’‘When I was pregnant with you, I worried too,’ she said. ‘But stress can hurt the baby – you need to try and relax.’ So I did my best. ‘Mummy’s fine, you’re fine, we’re both fine,’ I told my son.
When my beautiful boy was placed in my arms, I checked every inch of his tiny body. ‘I told you,’ Sunny smiled, gazing at our newborn son. ‘He’s perfect.’ We’d chosen the name Davie and stroking his silky soft skin, I was in awe. ‘You’re so cute,’ I said.
As Davie reached each milestone when he should, I’d let out another sigh of relief. It wasn’t until he turned one with no sign of any problems that I completely relaxed.
Then, just after his second birthday, I found out I was expecting again.‘You’re going to be a big brother!’ I told Davie, excitedly.
Thankfully, my pregnancy went without a hitch and we had a gorgeous girl, Sylvie, now four. I can hardly believe it, but Davie is six. In Grade 1 at school, he’s thriving. He’s even the tallest kid in his class!
Wanting to be honest with him, I’ve explained just how special he is. ‘The doctors thought you would be very sick,’ I said. ‘Mum, I’m a superboy!’ Davie declared, giving me a cheeky grin. I couldn’t agree more. And Sunny and I are forever grateful that our sweet, funny, clever little boy is in our lives. So, mums and dads, trust your instincts. Please don’t ever be scared to ask for a second opinion. We did – and it saved our beautiful boy.
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