150-kg mom's bundle of joy
Weight gain during pregnancy is usually considered inevitable, but for 31-year-old Rovina Gomes, piling on a staggering 45 kg during her term nearly cost her the joy of becoming a parent. After a challenging pregnancy fraught with uncertainty, Rovina and husband Louis were blessed with a baby girl on Tuesday.
At a hefty 115 kg, Rovina was suffering from obesity even before she conceived, and by the time she was ready to deliver, she weighed a gargantuan 150 kg. From the sixth month of her term, the weighing scale started alarming Rovina, telling her that she was piling on five kg with each passing week. This unnatural weight gain arrested her mobility. “I could not even take a bath myself, or stand properly, balancing myself,” recalled Rovina.
Rovina had conceived within months of her 2009 wedding, but as she had been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, doctors advised her to abort her child. Within months of her abortion, she conceived again. But this time too, her happiness was shortlived, as she miscarried. “I was very depressed and started doubting myself. I started undergoing fertility treatment, and was hopeful that I could be a mother soon,” recalled Rovina.
Finally, eight months ago, fresh hope bloomed when Rovina conceived again. This time, doctors were ready for battle. Consultant gynaecologist Dr Reshma Rafi from the Asha Parekh Hospital, Santacruz, said, “We were monitoring her thyroid levels and other parameters on a regular basis. Owing to her obesity, we had to be extra cautious. Even though we advised her to take walks, her weight did not allow her to do that.”
According to doctors, the child being borne in such cases is prone to various complications — it may develop conditions like autism, diabetes and obesity. Doctors were constantly monitoring Rovina to check for fetal anomalies. “The child weighed 4 kg at birth. After her birth, her sugar level was slightly on the higher side, which is usually the case with infants born to obese mothers. We decided to operate upon her in her eighth month of pregnancy, as the child’s weight was already higher than usual,” said consultant gynaecologist Dr Anurag Bhate from the Asha Parekh Hospital. Explaining the challenges involved in the surgery, Dr Rafi said, “Owing to her obesity, the fat layer on the tummy was 5 cms thick, and this made the C-section challenging. Also, administering anaesthesia to such obese patients is equally challenging.”
Having quit her marketing job to tend to her child, Rovina has now resolved to shed the extra kilos. “I never knew that my weight would cause such an ordeal, and I hope that running around my daughter will make me thinner,” said Rovina with a smile. The couple has named their daughter Kiarra, and she is now admitted in the hospital’s NICU for observation.