The Post, 3-7 May 2006
A Mayville couple are elated that after a six-year mental and physical battle to conceive a second child, they were blessed a month ago, with the birth of their “miracle” son, named Oviyan – which, in Sanskrit, means work of art.
When Pragashnie Govender; 30, an alternate health therapist, of Dale Road, Manor Gardens, gave birth to her first child Deshlan, seven years ago, she and her husband Deena, 33, an information technology specialist, vowed not to have another child.
Said Pragashnie: “Deshlan’s birth was very traumatic. I was in labour for almost 27 hours. He weighed a hefty 4kg at birth and I had a normal delivery which left me battered and bruised. I was sick for weeks and did not have the energy or feeling to care for my son.”
She said she suffered from post-natal depression for months and relied on her mother Grace Naidoo, 50, of Parkgate, Ottawa, to care for her baby.
“Deena was also traumatised after the birth and we took a decision that he would undergo a vasectomy. At the time we did not want to risk any chance of me falling pregnant.”
She said she turned to alternate healing to “find myself” and after one year she felt “broody” and longed to have another baby.
“As the months passed by Deena and I realised we wanted to have another child and regretted our hasty decision for him to have a vasectomy. It was a very emotional time because I believed it was impossible for me to have another baby.”
She added they did not know there were options available to them to conceive a baby.
“Six years passed by and I met a friend who had experienced difficulty in falling pregnant. She told me about two fertility specialists in Durban and how she had successfully had a baby.”
Govender said she did some “research of my own” and suggested her husband reverse his vasectomy.
“The success rate for this procedure is not very high. However; we put our faith in Lord Ganesha and decided to give it a shot.”
She said after spending almost R25 000 the reversal was a failure, but she did not lose hope and “prayed for a miracle”.
In May last year they consulted fertility specialist Dr Anil Ramdeo.
“He gave us hope. He said the reversal of Deena’s vasectomy was a waste of time and money and told us to move on.”
She said that for the first time in months they were optimistic but “worried about the financial implications” because the fertility program cost almost R100 000.
“We took a further bond and decided to concentrate on falling pregnant.”
She said Ramdeo spoke to them about a process called ICSI – Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection – and they started treatment in July.
According to Ramdeo, ICSI is when the egg is extracted from the female and sperm cells are injected into it to fertilise.
He said this was a highly successful procedure especially when men had vasectomy at a young age.
Said Pragashnie: “They extracted sperm cells from Deena which were frozen and a month later I began treatment. I had to use a nose spray for two weeks to strengthen my uterus and thereafter began a series of injections to increase my egg count.”
She said her husband injected her and it was a “painful” and emotional roller coaster ride because “my hormones were going crazy.”
In August, Ramdeo harvested seven eggs which were fertilised and three embryos were placed back in her womb and four were stored at the fertility bank.
“Two weeks later the doctor confirmed I was pregnant. We were over the moon and thanked God for His blessing. I was initially pregnant with twins but one aborted I was devastated but had to concentrate on the development of the other embryo.”
She said the nine months preceding Oviyan’s birth were exciting but also extremely successful.
“Oviyan was born on March 29 at the Westville Hospital and weighed 3kg. When I held him for the first time it was like a dream come true. My years of physical and emotional anguish to conceive a baby seemed to have vanished in an instant.”
An optimistic Pragashnie said she planned to have a third child because it was “already mapped out in the stars”.
“Our family will be complete after the birth of our third child. At one stage I would not have thought that this was possible. However; with the expertise of Dr Ramdeo and God’s hand firmly over us we have defied the odds. Other couples in a similar situation should not lose hope. God has a plan for everyone and there is a time and place for everything.”