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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Gujarat: 87 days of anxiety, prayers after Covid hits IVF mother

They opted for In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) at Akanksha Institute in Anand and a baby girl was born in 2018. But some time later they felt the need to have siblings for her, considering their advancing age. They then opted for the second round of IVF at the same facility for twins in November last year.

Written by Aditi Raja | Vadodara |
August 14, 2021 3:18:45 am
Amarpal Singh Khosa and his wife Amandeep Kaur Khosa with their newborn twins on Thursday. (Express Photo)

Few months after Amandeep Kaur Khosa and her husband Amarpal Singh lost their 23-year-old son, their only child, in a road accident in September 2017, the couple from Haryana yearned to be parents again.

They opted for In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) at Akanksha Institute in Anand and a baby girl was born in 2018. But some time later they felt the need to have siblings for her, considering their advancing age. They then opted for the second round of IVF at the same facility for twins in November last year.

But with Amandeep, 48, contracting Covid-19 during the 26th week of her pregnancy, the couple’s journey to welcome their newborns turned into a turbulent ride of 87 days, with the twins hospitalised with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS)-C until August 11.

“Losing my 23-year-old son, who was in the final year of LL.B., was the toughest phase of my life. For a few months, I tried meditation, yoga, spiritual lectures but nothing could drive away the emptiness and pain that I felt about losing my only child,” said Amandeep.

“I would keep telling God to return what he had taken away from me. A few months later, we decided to go in for IVF procedure to have a child again. It was not an easy decision given our age and health issues, but we wanted to have children again.”
The couple welcomed their baby daughter in 2018. However, with Amarpal turning 50 that year and Amandeep at 45, the couple thought of bringing in “siblings to keep the daughter company” in life.

“We had to be practical. Both of us are aged and we thought what would life be like for our daughter if she was left alone later. So, we decided to bring in siblings for her,” says Amandeep.

“In the first round [of IVF], too, we had opted for twin pregnancy but only one survived although the gestation period was uncomplicated for the most part. So, we went for twins again and this time the complications took a toll on us as I tested Covid positive in the sixth month on April 24 and the babies had to be delivered by week 26 of gestation in May due to Covid complications.”

While undergoing Covid treatment, Amandeep experienced a drain of amniotic fluid, putting the baby boy of the pair at high risk, says Dr Nayna Patel of Akanksha Institute. The doctors decided to deliver the babies on May 25, while the due date was originally August 25.

“We also knew that the complications could pose threat to the life of the mother as well. We, therefore, decided that we would have to conduct a C-section and deliver the babies, come what may. At week 26, the babies were born and heavily loaded with Covid-19 antibodies, presenting conditions of MIS-C and other complications,” says Dr Patel. “Amandeep was in a delicate state too. The father of the twins expressed anxiety and told us that he hopes he would not lose more than what he thought he was here to take
back.”

Following the C-section, a team of doctors, including Dr Niket Patel, Dr Molina Patel and Dr Paresh Ghoghari, along with embryologist Dr Harsha Bhadarka, Neonatologist Dr Biraj Thakkar and General Surgeon Dr Sunil Vyas attended to the preemie babies and Amandeep for 87 days.

“Both the parents joined in the kangaroo care that the babies needed. Even the father wore the gown and provided the kangaroo care to one of the two babies while Amandeep worked with one. The baby boy weighed only 800 gm and was critical under the care of neonatal experts while the baby girl weighed 900 gm at the time of birth,” says Dr Patel.

Amandeep says for 87 days, every visit to the hospital was like walking on thin ice. “Every time we came to the hospital from across the street, where we have been staying in a rented apartment, our hearts skipped a beat when we spotted the car of the neonatologist. We would pray that we should not hear the bad news. But, somewhere, at the back of the mind, through prayers, I drew strength in knowing that when God has planned something like this for me at this age, he will see me through it,” says Amandeep.

Amarpal, who is a farmer in Ellenabad in Haryana’s Sirsa, and Amandeep received support from their families. “My in-laws were here, my sister-in-law has been with me throughout the stay here. My father-in-law, who is a political figure in our hometown, has been supportive throughout the tragedy as well as our decision to opt for IVF. He kept instilling faith that the twins would overcome the difficult phase and defeat the Covid-19 complications,” says Amandeep.

The couple, Amandeep says, opted for the Anand hospital for IVF based on recommendations of their friends. “Since our first IVF was successful through Akanksha, although I delivered my daughter in Sirsa, we returned to Dr Nayna Patel for the second time and decided to stay back in Anand. I think the team of doctors being dedicated to our case helped us see this miraculous survival of both our babies,” Amandeep says.

The couple has named their older daughter Gursaanjh and their newborn twins Gurmehtab and Gursifat. “My older daughter always reminded me of my son and now I am going to find some part of him in all three children. I cannot wait to get back home and re-live the joy of raising the flock all over again. Despite having age-related health issues, I am feeling energized due to the love that I see in the children God has now blessed me with.”

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