Kashmera Shah on opting for surrogacy: I think my kids didn’t want me to go through the trouble of nine months
Actors Kashmera Shah and Krushna Abhishek recently celebrated the first birthday of their twin sons, born through surrogacy.Updated: Jun 19, 2018, 17:20 IST
Kashmera Shah is brimming with joy and her happiness knows no bounds, as she talks about her twin sons, Rayaan and Krishaang, who turned one earlier this month (June 3). Born through surrogacy, the kids, says Kashmera, make her “a complete woman”. Though she couldn’t experience the joy of carrying them in her womb, she says she would love to go through this “beautiful feeling” someday. In an emotional conversation, the actor opens up about how life has changed after becoming a mother, the decision to opt for surrogacy and the stigma attached with it and how hard it was when one of the two kids was put on ventilator.
Despite 14 failed attempts at IVF, what kept you going, each time?
Giving up was not an option. I knew if I’d give up, these kids would never be born. So, I decided to keep trying till I did not get pregnant or till the time I didn’t have kids in my hand. I would have gone beyond 14 attempts also, if it was working out for us.
What’s your take on the stigmas attached to surrogacy and adoption in the Indian society?
That’s due to uneducated minds and superstitious beliefs. I wish people were a little more open. Not everybody who opts for surrogacy is doing that to save their figure. People have genuine problems. There are girls who can’t conceive even at 23 or 24 and that’s because of stressful lifestyles they lead. And we, as actors, sleep at wrong times, eat wrong things and are constantly in the rat race, plus the option of getting married at 21 is not there [for us]. So, we get married when we can. And, I didn’t get married to just anyone. I wanted to select my own partner and have kids with him. So, it turned out to be late for me.
How did your families react to your decision of going for surrogacy?
Krushna told his family and they didn’t support. I don’t know what they were thinking. I told my family just a month before kids were born and I had to explain to them what surrogacy was. They read up about it and they said it’s your kid, obviously we are excited.
Do you miss that feeling of carrying a baby inside you? Would you want to experience it someday?
You know, we still don’t know why I couldn’t conceive. Everything seemed to be perfect — the embryo was good, lining and womb was fine. I think my kids just didn’t want me to go through the trouble of nine months. But, 100% I want to experience getting pregnant myself. I will not stop trying. Though I have two very sweet, naughty munchkins and my hands are very full with them, so, let’s see.
You wanted to adopt a girl, so while expecting twins, did you secretly wish for a girl?
I always had a feeling we’d have two girls and we were very excited. Krushna was scared and was like, ‘oh my god, these girls would turn out to be like you.’ And when I realised that I was having twins, I never said that I need one boy and one girl. I was just keeping my fingers crossed hoping that they would be healthy.
One of your sons fought for his life for six weeks in the hospital. It must have been a real tough phase.
They were the toughest six weeks of my life. I was feeling guilty of bringing this kid in the world. He was going through surgeries, scans, X-Rays, MRIs and he was on ventilator, too. I felt I forced him to come here and he was suffering because of me. There came a point when I stopped praying also. I was just numb. It was emotionally, physically, mentally, psychologically, the worst time of my life. We couldn’t celebrate the birth of our twins, as the moment they were born, we found out within 15 minutes that one needed to have a surgery. So, despite being such a joyous moment, we couldn’t declare it to anyone.
Now that everything is fine, who is spoiling the kids more? And has Krushna changed after becoming a father?
We don’t really spoil the kids but they’re very young right now so we can’t really put rules on them, as they’ll not understand. But, we both are strict parents. And yes, Krushna has completely changed and I knew he would. He was always like a kid. Now, he has become even more like a kid. So, I literally have three kids in my hands and all three boys and all three Geminians. I’m in major trouble right now (laughs).
Interact with Monika Rawal Kukreja at Twitter/@monikarawal