Kannur natives Satheesh and Sheena were ecstatic when Sheena got pregnant in the end of last year. The teacher couple had waited for long 14 years for a child and at the end of a series of infertility treatment, Sheena conceived for the first time.
While the duo felt that their problems had finally ended, little did they know what was in store for them. At the end of March, when Sheena was in her 22nd week of pregnancy, the duo were alarmed when they found that Sheena's fluid had broke.
On March 31, at the end of a 24 hour struggle of shifting Sheena from their home in Pinarayi to a hospital in Kannur and again to a hospital in Thrissur, she gave birth to two tiny boys. While one weighed 550 grams, the other weighed 650 grams.
47-year-old Satheesh and 36-year-old Sheena are now preparing to leave Nyle Hospital in Thrissur where their babies had been admitted since their birth. When the couple leaves the hospital in two days, they would carry one healthy baby home.
While the baby who weighed 550 grams at birth did not survive and died five days after birth, the doctors and the medical team was successful in nursing the other baby to life.
Dr Aloke (Neonatology) of Nyle hospital calls the baby a "miracle baby," adding that babies born prematurely, especially before 27 weeks, hardly survive.
"The baby now weighs 1 kg and is completely healthy. We performed a cesarean on the mother and took the babies out. Usually in 22nd week, the chances of the baby surviving is abysmally low. Usually the pregnancy gets terminated. When she was brought in, Sheena was leaking and she had already gone into labour," Dr Aloke explains.
Both the babies were put on ventilator and given respiratory treatment. However, only one of them survived.
"The first week since birth is the most critical. If a baby survives for a week, then there is hope that it can be nursed to health. We put the baby on ventilator support for 34 days and gave an additional 12 days of respiratory assistance. The baby had breathing difficulties and was in distress. But thankfully, the baby did not have hemorrhage, which is often the case with premature deliveries, that could be fatal," Dr Aloke says.
Dr Aloke says that the determination shown by the parents was commendable. Satheesh is at a loss of words to describe the months of pain he and his family had undergone.
He tells TNM: "After her water broke, when we rushed Sheena to a hospital in Edappal where we had taken the IVF treatment, they suggested that we abort the pregnancy. But then we did not want to do so, we had waited for so long for a child. So we went to Nyle hospital, where the babies were born."
When one of the babies did not survive, Satheesh and his wife were immersed in grief.
"We lost one of them, but we did not want to lose the other child too. So when Dr Aloke said that he will do his best to save our child, we trusted in him," Satheesh says.
A team of doctors including Aloke, Dr Seema, Dr Ramesh, Dr Kavitha and the nursing team attended to the babies.