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'I wasn't allowed to hold him': Dia Mirza on son Avyaan's premature birth | Mother's Day Exclusive

Updated on: 11 May,2024 06:22 PM IST  |  Mumbai
Oshin Fernandes |

This Mother’s Day, Dia Mirza gets candid with on her journey to motherhood, finding strength in the most trying times with her son Avyaan, and more.

'I wasn't allowed to hold him': Dia Mirza on son Avyaan's premature birth | Mother's Day Exclusive

Dia Mirza with son Avyaan Pic/Instagram

Mother’s Day 2024: Multifaceted achiever Dia Mirza dons multiple hats - actor, climate crusader, and mother. She recalls having a very strong maternal instinct for as long as she can remember, with her friends and family enjoying the benefits of it. “My co-stars have always called me Ammi Jaan,” she laughs. The actress had a tough wait though when it came to her being a mother for real. This Mother’s Day, the ‘Dhak Dhak’ star gets candid with on her journey to motherhood, finding strength in the most trying times with her son Avyaan, and more. 

The ‘Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein’ star asserts that she was very clear early on in life that she wanted to have a child, although it took a long time for her to get there. “When I did discover that I was pregnant, it was the most beautiful moment of my life. It felt like everything that I had hoped for and wanted was finally going to happen. You don't quite fully understand the depth of that emotion until you start living with your child, physically.  And of course, the moments of the movement in your womb and just that knowing that, Oh my God, there's a being inside me that's growing. But the magic is in the interactions when the first smile that your child gives you, latches on to you, falls asleep in your arms, says, ‘Mama’, says, ‘I love you’.” 

Avyaan’s premature birth 

Dia’s son Avyaan was born premature and had to be kept in the NICU. The ‘Thappad’ actor documented her journey about the time she and her baby were both at risk. Taking a strong pause from the conversation, Dia recalled, “We almost lost our lives and he had to be brought out at the end of the sixth month, which was, you know, at 820 grams, which is so little.  And of course, the reason why I shared our journey with everyone was because I drew so much hope from the stories that I was able to read online. And my friends shared with me about, you know, somebody they knew who'd had a similar experience. And I wanted our story to give parents, and mothers hope. Because the unknowing and the uncertainty around extremely premature birth and all the complications it comes with can be a deeply distressing and unsettling time.”

Dia states that she was in a unique situation because she conceived Avyaan at an age and stage in life when she had gathered some experience. Citing it a much-desired pregnancy, Dia says her son was a baby she had deeply prayed for. “When he came to me after a very long wait, I believed with every cell of my being that he would not leave me.” 

Dia mentioned doctors informing her of the percentage and statistics of Avyaan’s chance of survival and the risks involved with surgery but she did not allow her mind to focus on it but rather on giving him love and strength. “When I saw a 36-hour baby go through a life-saving surgery he dropped to 730 grams. His resolve to live, to fight, with each passing day, the way he was responding to the medical attention, all of that was what gave me strength. While it's important to acknowledge the support system that I had in my mother, my husband, and my friends. In that hour or during those months, our strongest support was each other.”

Dia further shared that she delivered her son during the COVID-19 pandemic with many restrictions in place. “I wasn't allowed to hold him, or see him for more than a couple of hours, it was very hard.  And honestly, I didn't get the chance to, even for a second, focus on myself at that time.  Did I go through postpartum? I don't know. Did I go through depression? I don't know.”

Children and the paparazzi culture 

The former Miss Asia Pacific, who doesn’t shy away from posting videos of Avyaan on social media says that she doesn’t overdo it. To her, the platforms are to express, which makes it personal. Albeit she makes sure to ask herself if what she posts will make someone happy, or make a difference, or benefit. 

That being said, the actress is concerned about the digital presence of children and how it can make them vulnerable. “We live in a world where so much is online and we have to put in measures and understanding of what works best for us. I know so many parents are very uncomfortable with the media photographing their children. The media has also been extremely considerate. Samaira, our daughter, went through a phase where she didn't want to be photographed at all, and the paparazzi were very considerate of that. Now she's comfortable with it. So they do. Do I invite them when I'm with my children? I don't. If they happen to be, I'm not disrespectful to them. I recognise the fact that I am in the public space and there may be some amount of interest. But I'm not for my kids being constantly visible in the media.” 

Bond with step-daughter Samaira 

Dia married Vaibhav Rekhi in February 2021. Sharing her bond with Samaira, her step-daughter from Vaibhav’s first marriage, the ‘Sanju’ actress says, “I'm very fortunate that we've been able to give her the stability of a close-knit family. Avyaan is the baby sibling she always craved for and wanted. And I feel like in many ways she manifested Avyaan.  So I kind of switch between being a parent and being a friend. She's at an age where she has very strong opinions and it's very interesting to listen and discover.”

Dia - The working mother  

On the acting front, ever since Dia embraced motherhood, she took on very substantial and impactful roles. When asked if it was a conscious choice, she says that it was at the age of 26 she forayed into producer and realised the kind of effort, money, and resources that went into storytelling. “It's so important to be able to align yourself with something that has some gravitas and some depth and can offer some meaning and value. As an actor, my choices can be an instrument for social change and social good. And, and this is my purpose.  My purpose is not merely to entertain. My purpose is to be able to make a difference. And I became very clear about that quite young.”

After taking on the role of a mother, Dia says that she made considerable choices since her time belonged to her children and if she were to rob them of the same, she’d rather do something meaningful. 

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