This is one of the unique stories we have ever featured. Supriya Jain a mum chose to have a baby three years after her husband’s death.
The miracle was of course it would be his baby.
Speaking to Mums and Stories over an email interaction, Supriya begins her story with childhood memories. “ I think the best memories of my childhood are playing hop-scotch on the rooftop, sunning in the winters, eating Gajak, and watching kites fly on Sankranti.
I grew up in Jaipur and it’s a close knit community – we spent a lot of time with cousins and family gatherings were large. My parents separated when I was very young, and mom raised us single handedly. We went to the best school in Jaipur and never wanted for anything that could help us excel academically. I draw my strength from my mom, I’ve seen her battle all odds and stay strong, and I think I learnt independence from her.
Talking about her life with her late husband, Gaurav, Supriya shares, “ We felt more culturally connected here in India and were open to traveling, but not moving to a different country. I think it was fate that pushed us to opt for an IVF treatment. We decided very late to have a baby, and with my PCOD and our corporate lifestyles, the doctor advised some treatment. I have no idea what prompted us to opt for IVF, hence I think it was fate.
The universe knew that time was running out and Gaurav won’t be around much longer to finish the doctor’s recommended plan. It was only because we very unconventionally opted for IVF that I had the sperm sample preserved. If we hadn’t done that, I would not be able to bring ‘our baby’ in to this world.
IVF is a draining process. It’s basically hormone therapy – so it puts you in a very emotional state. Unfortunately my husband passed away a week after our first embryo transfer was done. After that I spent 2+ years in trying to have our baby. But even multiple embryo transfers were not successful.
I underwent every possible test, but the doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with me. And still I was unable to get pregnant. Finally I had very few embryos left, and once these were over I would not be able to try again as we had finished the sperm sample. It would mean I would not be able to have Gaurav’s baby and any chance to bring him back would be lost. That was when I decided to opt for surrogacy as a last resort. One of the conditions of becoming a surrogate are one prior uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery – so I felt there is a better chance for a surrogate to get pregnant. And my gut feel was right – ultimately one of the last two embryos successfully implanted in a surrogate and my baby boy was born. It was a difficult decision – but the right one.
Family and friends were very supportive, there were some questions about whether I am sure I want to do this, and how will I bring up a baby alone, but once I explained to them what it means to me, everyone accepted it. And now that my boy is here, everyone is showering him with love and attention.
( Supriya Jain with her baby. Photographs and content are subject to copyright).
When Gaurav was around, we were always of the opinion that we will have one baby and adopt one. I think adoption is a great thing and more people should opt for it. If things work out and I am able to support 2 kids, I still plan on adopting one. I chose surrogacy because my circumstances were unique and my motive was to have a piece of my deceased husband. However, decisions like these are very personal and you cannot force them on anyone. You cannot guilt or shame anyone in to opting for adoption, because that needs to come from the heart. A forced adoption will not be good for anyone, and least of all the child who will more likely than not end up getting mistreated. It’s a very important decision for the child in question, because any hesitancy on the part of the intended parents in any of the methods will reflect badly on the kid.
One thing I have learnt in this journey is that one has to live in the moment, because tomorrow is very uncertain. A lot of people advised me against having a child, since it’ll be a difficult thing to find someone to get married to later on!!!
My belief is to take the opportunity that is present today, and not wait for hypothetical possibilities in the future.
What will happen, will happen. It makes no sense to hold on to decisions today, for promises of something else tomorrow.
I would say that think through this rationally – it’s an emotionally, physically, and financially draining decision. We all get in to it very optimistically, but IVF at best has only 40% success rate and that too counting multiple attempts. So be prepared for disappointments. Have your limits defined – we will stop if it’s not working after x number of attempts, or after we have spent y number of years on it. Have a plan B in place – what is your priority, would adoption work for you, what would you do in case this doesn’t work out? Also, read up on the process – it’s very important to know what different clinics are doing and make an informed choice. The attitude of your doctor matters a lot too. Pick someone who cares for you and makes you feel comfortable.
I may be sounding very negative here, but I’ve felt this disappointment several times and I know women who’ve gone through as many as 10 cycles and still not got what they wanted.
Surrogacy unfortunately may not be a choice for many anymore since it was banned recently.
“ Talking about being a mum Supriya shares, “ You can’t really pin-point one thing that’s good about being a mom. There are just so many! Watching your baby sleep, laugh, cuddling them! For me it’s also a renewed focus in life, something to work for. I was a partner in a marketing consulting firm before my boy was born. After his birth I quit the firm and decided to work from home as an Independent content consultant and writer. I work with various companies to create content – blogs, articles, etc. and I also speak about my experiences – learning from adversity, grief etc. This gives me flexibility to be there for my baby and also to provide for us since now I am the sole breadwinner. “
Supriya has also written a book recently on her journey titled ‘A Piece of Him’. “ When I started writing, it wasn’t intended as a book. It was just a way to vent my grief, because I am not comfortable sharing my emotions with just anyone. The only person I really talked to about how I feel, was Gaurav, and he was gone. So I started writing instead. It made me feel a bit better. It helped the tears flow. It took me 3 years to write everything that is a part of what is now the book – A piece of him.
A lot of people told me I should make it in to a book. I felt it could help people struggling with loss, with infertility, with anything in life really – to find that there are others who have been through the same journey and found an anchor.”
We at Mums and Stories wish Supriya and her baby the very best in life and thank her for sharing this incredible story with us.