“Safe Motherhood” is just not a slogan in Asha slums
Laxmi was born to a very poor family in a small village of Haryana. Like the fate of other girls residing nearby she too was pulled out of the school when she was in grade 3. Ever since after that, she was being prepared for the marriage. She married Sanju in Dec 2017 when she was just 20 years old and shifted to Asha’s Tigri slum community. Her husband Sanju works as a spot boy and earns INR 12000 per month (£ 152/ $ 168/ AUD 250). Their married life together was simple but good. When they found out in early 2018 that they were going to have a child, it was happiness, unlike anything they had known before. As soon as the family got to know about the pregnancy, Laxmi’s mother-in-law Kamlesh brought her to the Asha centre. Kamlesh is associated with Asha’s Mahila Mandal since 1990. After a few check-ups, the Asha team found the fetal heart rate is slower than expected during the first trimester and was categorised under High-risk pregnancy. Immediately she was referred to one of the renowned government hospitals of Delhi for further follow-ups.
Without wasting any time family also took her to the hospital. Everyone took extra care of Laxmi and the expected child. Things were fine until the delivery time. The hospital doctor noticed that there is no fetal movement in the womb. Unfortunately, she gave birth to a still child in November 2018. “We knew something was wrong, but we still could not believe it. When my child’s body was brought to me it looked like he was sleeping. Would his eyes open? Everyone cried quietly as I cooed over him, adoring his fine features. The next day we buried him. It was heart-breaking”. Her family and Asha stood by Laxmi during this distressing period.
However, her joy knew no limit when she got to know that she was pregnant again in Jan 2019. The Asha team this time took her cases with extra precaution and did her regular check-up weekly and got her every test done on time. The Community Health Volunteer (CHV) along with her mother-in-law accompanied Laxmi to the hospital every time. When she heard the heartbeat of fetal she cried with joy. In November 2019 she gave birth to a healthy boy. “My husband and I welcomed our child into our family. Although we will never forget our firstborn. My heart is full of gratitude for the Asha team specially Sunita for taking care of me and my baby” said Laxmi.
The Asha team continues its post-natal care of Laxmi and her little angel.
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