Our Editor-in-Chief on why our December cover star Christy Turlington Burns counts
Every mother is a superpower
I had postpartum haemorrhage when my daughter, Meera, was born in 2016. I still remember the day like it was yesterday.
I was wheeled into the recovery room after the delivery. At that point, my head was preoccupied with names—we didn’t know what to name her. An old nurse, whom I knew from my son’s delivery two years ago, cleaned me up and noticed that I was bleeding a fair bit. But the resident doctor doing the rounds dismissed it as nothing unusual. So I left it as well. When I made my way back to the room, to wait for Meera, I happened to lift my blanket only to see that I was drenched in blood. To put it mildly, it was code blue.
My mother-in-law, a doctor, and a maternal health advocate knew exactly what was going on and kept asking me to keep my eye contact with her lest my pulse drops. While she was alerting the doctors, she was also cognizant of not talking down to them given their profound goof up. Screaming at them was not really going to help the situation. It’s frustrating, really. How do you tell a doctor to do their job without putting them down for ignoring the ominous threat? This was a classic case of PPH, which could have been avoided.
Eventually, I was sent back into the OT, where I started spiralling downwards. After much vigourous massaging of my stomach by an army of doctors, who were just about grappling at their carelessness, the situation was contained. It could have been worse. Maybe it was worse.
Supriya Dravid with her children: Meera and Kabir
Everything is a blur. We remember what we want to, right. I did remember making multiple negotiations with God for a second chance at life. One of them was to not eat chocolates for a year. (I did honour that one, by the way). The hospital sent me back home with enough goodies to last me a few months, but I did think that they knew their goof up and were trying to cover up their tracks. Which is NOT okay. This was not supposed to happen. Statistics say that 1 in 100 women have PPH.
It took more than 48 hours for me to recover and now three and a half years later, I still feel weak, and my stamina is not the same. Which was why when Serena Williams went through it and came back to play multiple grand slams, I was in awe of her resilience—physically and emotionally.
It also filled me with deep admiration and respect for our cover star, Christy Turlington Burns. Having suffered PPH, when her daughter Grace was born, she set up Every Mother Counts, a non-profit that strongly advocates the importance of maternal health in India, Guatemala, Haiti, Tanzania and the US. Maternal mortality and the issues challenging it are some of the cornerstones of her organisation that aims to empower, educate and facilitate a dialogue across the world. Christy is a rare visionary, whose golden energy permeates her work.
I am so thrilled to have had the chance to have her grace our cover, particularly for our 23rd anniversary issue. When we started this year, our focus at ELLE was to throw light on those who give back to society in their own way. With Christy on our cover, it comes a full circle.
I learnt a few lessons this year: every mother is a super power. And every mother counts.
I am grateful for my second life, and my children, from whom I derive my strength and a large part of my insanity.
And finally, when you have the will to navigate your faith, life will manifest itself in the way you dreamed of it in your subconscious.
Happy Birthday, ELLE.
Happy New Year to all of you!
I hope this issue changes your life in a little way as it did for me.