She Slays: Having a baby is a blessing. But for Gauri, it came at a big price

An ectopic pregnancy at a young age, turned out to be quite traumatic for Gauri and left behind a slew of health issues. This is her story
ectopic pregnancy
Meet Gauri, who persevered through a complicated ectopic pregnancy and its aftermath. Image courtesy: Gauri
Reader Submission Updated: 13 Oct 2023, 14:58 pm IST
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This is the fourth in a seven-part feature series, She Slays


Hi, my name is Gauri and I am a 29-year old entrepreneur living in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. I am also the founder of the brand Tatva, which provides organic products for personal hygiene and care. However, it wasn’t easy to reach where I am today. I am an ectopic pregnancy survivor and this is my story.

At the age of 21, I gave in to my parents’ wish and had a typical arranged marriage. I was barely getting used to having a new lifestyle and hardly knew my husband when I got pregnant. It happened just after a month of marriage and was absolutely unexpected. To top it all, I was still pursuing my MBA and wasn’t ready to raise a child. My mother-in-law, who was supportive of my education, became very furious knowing about the pregnancy as this meant I had to leave my course in between.

I felt very helpless and thought of opting for an abortion
However, the doctor instead advised me to go ahead with the pregnancy because, in a world where a lot of couples are still struggling to get a child, it was a blessing for those who could have it. This changed my perception and I decided to have the baby.

The pregnancy wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be…
In the first trimester of my pregnancy, I was diagnosed with internal bleeding in my uterus. This was due to an ectopic pregnancy–a complication in which the embryo (or fertilized egg) gets attached outside the uterus instead of the inner lining.

The doctor advised me to take complete rest where I wasn’t allowed to indulge even in the most basic physical activities, as this could hurt the baby. A few months later I was also diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

At the time of my delivery, the doctor told me that I would have to opt for a C-section operation. Even though it is considered a safer option, the turmoil I went through spoke otherwise. I experienced a lot of pain and was vomiting very frequently. I also remember my newly-born baby not being able to breathe properly after delivery. I felt handicapped.

ectopic pregnancy
Image courtesy: Gauri

I also gained a lot of weight as a side-effect of gestational diabetes
As a result, I stopped going out and talking to people. I wasn’t prepared both physically and mentally to raise a child. My mother-in-law suggested that I opt for an IUD to avoid more unwanted pregnancies. So I did, and I bled profusely for a month afterwards.

My doctor told me that this is normal. But a second opinion revealed that I had sepsis because of my ectopic pregnancy. Within an hour, I was admitted to the hospital and underwent surgery.

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The operation went fine, I felt relieved for a while. Now I just wanted to focus on raising my baby and get back to my studies.

But life had its own plans for me…
My solace was short lived as I conceived again after 11 months. It came more as a shock than a surprise because after my earlier pregnancy the doctors told me that the chances of conceiving again would reduce to 50%.

My fallopian tube was removed during delivery because it was totally damaged. Going through another pregnancy would mean that there would be other complications. Out of anxiety, I asked my husband if we could abort the child but instead, he motivated me to go with it and accept it as the will of the universe.

Also, listen:

The universe didn’t get any kinder. Within a few days, I was diagnosed with thyroid, developed UTI, and my unborn child was in turn diagnosed with hyperglycemia–a condition where you have high levels of sugar in your blood because the body doesn’t produce enough insulin. As a result, I was put on very heavy medications.

Call it fate, even my older daughter was diagnosed with UTI during this phase and seeing my child going through the same trauma triggered a rage inside me. I decided that I will not let it happen anymore and will dedicatedly take care of my health and my children.

Putting health above everything else…
I began with changing my behaviour and my perception towards life because I believe that in order to change things around you, it is very important to change things within yourself first.

I researched and educated myself about thyroid and UTI during which I learnt that these were very taboo subjects in our country and not many people discuss them openly. The lack of access to menstrual products in small cities was a major reason because of which a lot of women like me had to go through terrible health problems. What was shocking was that a lot of these problems were curable but most people were unaware of it.

I got associated with an NGO to spread awareness about menstrual hygiene in rural areas. Fortunately, a lot of women came forward to join me and with their support, I also built an online community where today we openly discuss health issues faced by women, menstrual hygiene and other problems that are not discussed in our society.

I just hope that with all my efforts, I am able to bring a positive change in the mindset of women who don’t take their health seriously.

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