April 2009, Ahmedabad, India
After a two-week workshop on pranayama (breath work) at Samahita Yoga Thailand (SYT), I went to my grandfather’s home-town in Gujrat, India. I attempted a second round of Assisted Reproductive Therapy. The IVF was successful and the pregnancy started off with excitement. The intense summer heat, 40-45C was no joke though. In the mornings I was too tired to sit and do even a little breath work let alone move on my yoga mat. By the evening, I dragged myself to do a light practice, sweated like crazy and almost always ended up asleep.
Just before I hit three months, I insisted that the doctor let me go back home. I wanted to share this time with M, to practice in my space, and to teach again. I had also signed up for one last workshop at SYT before the babies would be born.
July 2009, Chengdu, China
Huaxi Women’s and Children Hospital, Angel Hospital
Soon after the return to Chengdu though, I was practically in bed from extreme fatigue and vomiting. At 16 weeks, I had a major bleed. It was due to both Placenta praevia and Placental disruption; and was the beginning of 4 months of bed –rest, the first month in 2 different Chengdu hospitals. In this state I needed help. My mum flew in and without warning was roped into spending nine months with me.
My other source of “help” was my yoga practice. I didn’t do much else other than breath work in a supine position, but it was excellent especially when I woke up for hours in the middle of the night. There was no practice, no teaching, no workshop, no me-time, but yet a lot of yoga; a lot of “letting go” of all my expectations to do all that, and more.
Maher organised a laptop with an internet connection, friends spent time with me and brought DVD’s (series were better!) and books over. I read about pregnancy but not at all about how to take care of babies and children. Looking back, I wish I had!
I tried to do something constructive, so I set up a Chinese language tutor to come over and give me a lesson every afternoon.
September 2009, HK
At 26 weeks my mum, M and I flew to Hong Kong. The foreign doctors in Chengdu, Shanghai and Beijing suggested we leave China because the hospitals can’t handle premature births. I was certainly at risk for it. HK has reputable doctors and hospitals, and is close enough to Chengdu (a 2 hour flight) so the risk was minimised, and so that M could visit on weekends.
We got to our furnished apartment in HK with access to all the TV channels in the world, access to all websites, high-speed internet, and a beautiful view; all wonderful for someone on bed-rest. The day after, I was sent straight into hospital because I was mildly contracting and dilating. Thankfully, it was only a 4 day stay this time.
Adventist hospital, HK
At 29 weeks though I was back in hospital for another two weeks. The contractions were regular, every five minutes. The bed-rest, and IV with whatever medication they were pumping into me day and night kept the pregnancy going for two more weeks. This medication was to be used for only three and a half days at a time, but our doctor, with our consent, stretched it for two weeks, adjusting the levels daily depending on my body’s reactions.
Queen Mary hospital, HK. November 1st, 2009
At 31 weeks exactly, a Sunday, I gave birth to two babies. It was an emergency, natural delivery. Thankfully it was the weekend. M was there.