JYOTHI and Amit Ranade were childless though they had been married for 15 years. The couple longed to have a child, but Jyothi could not go through a pregnancy. In 2004, Jyothi had a kidney transplant done, and her doctors said it would put too much pressure on her organs if she were to carry a child.
Before the kidney transplant, she had suffered a miscarriage. The couple's families were not keen on adopting a child. I had so few options and was really disappointed. In fact, my marriage was struggling. I had no interest in my career. Nothing held much interest for me. And I was not getting any younger, says Jyothi, 36.
Then her gynaecologist suggested that she look at the surrogacy option. The doctor told her that since she and her husband had no problem with fertility, they could find someone to carry their child, on payment. The doctor said he would find them a surrogate mother.
But everything was not as fine as expected. The surrogate mother lost the baby within weeks of the implantation. Besides, the surrogate, who was living with Amit's parents, began making unreasonable demands, and they were not sure whether the demands would become endless once the baby was born.
The need for a baby is so high that you are willing to do anything, says Jyothi. It was while doing some research on surrogacy that I came across Dr Nayana Patel and her successful practice.
Dr Nayana took her case immediately as the Ranades cleared the genuine medical condition test.
Dr Nayana found a surrogate, and in no time the pregnancy was under way. However, Jyothi knew it was still too early to heave a sigh of relief. You have to leave a lot of things to her. And you have to trust the entire team. We knew this was our last option and it had to work somehow. I did everything I could to make the surrogate comfortable. She was a brave and lovely person, says Jyothi.
All went well until the surrogate caught an infection in the middle of the seventh month of pregnancy. Dr Nayana said they would have to get the baby out. We were so tense, but we had faith in the doctor, says Jyothi.
Both she and her husband were out of the country on work when the doctor took the decision. It was terribly disappointing, but when we knew the baby was normal and safe we were thrilled. When I held the baby I could not believe this had happened, says Jyothi, who reached Anand with her husband a few days later.
Jyothi spent almost a month in Anand as the baby was born prematurely. She came back home a happy mother and ever so grateful to the surrogacy programme.
Frontline met Jyothi's surrogate, Vimlaben (name changed), in her village, Waghpura. Vimla has not yet bought a house or land she had desired for. She says she is in the process of getting that organised.
How is Jyothi? She really looked after me well, she says. I feel it is good to have done something like this for a nice family.Anupama Katakam