It seems a divine power looms over every mother and grants her mighty strength and courage to drink the pangs of pain and bring a new life to the world.
The story we have for you today is one of most unbelievable and inspiring childbirth stories ever. We trace the arduous sojourn of an exceptional mother, who traversed through Rocky Mountains and freezing rivers only to bring a new member into the family.
Residing in a remote village of Ladakh, her entire family packed their bags to trek for nine long days to cover 45 miles in freezing temperatures of -35 degrees, only to reach to the nearest hospital.
Here’s an excerpt of their journey to the hospital and back. An inspiring tale, it will touch the heart and soul of every mother (and anyone following details of the journey)
Coming from a very different world from ours, the family in question is native to a remote village in Ladakh in Northern India (Jammu and Kashmir). The village has no doctors or hospital facility.
Every time villagers need medical help, they are forced to travel 45 miles to reach the nearest hospital in Lingshed. It’s the terrain and weather conditions that make this journey so much more difficult for the sick.
The family in question here, includes an expecting mother, her husband and her young baby, who braved temperatures of -35 degree, traveled through mountain deserts and walked over frozen rivers for childbirth.
Although, under normal circumstances 45 miles may not seem such a long distance, but lack of roads and means of transport accompanied by freezing temperatures and treacherous mountain landscape can make this stretch look never ending.
The family conquered this journey through a systematic plan. Walking eight hours a day, and spending the remaining time in shelter of caves, it took them nine days to reach the hospital, and another nine, to carry the baby home. Surprisingly, the mother’s recovery after childbirth was also planned en route to their village, without spending an extra day at the hospital.
For these villagers this phenomenon is normal. They often use the river to carry goods and other essentials for livelihood. Many villagers have also lost their lives the course, and despite this, there is no other way.
Our family of three, soon to be four walked over a thin sheet of ice over the river to cross to the other side. The river we talk here is Zanskar, and when its surface freezes during the winter, many call it Chadar River (Chadar meaning a thin sheet). It’s the biggest and fastest flowing rivers in the region, and also much feared, for cracking of the ice beneath your feet may take you to the unknown.
The mountain desert of Ladakh is one of the coldest regions in the world a reason why not much human habitations is spotted here except for prominent sectors. Winters further renders the place more isolated, for kilometers at a stretch there is no human, animal, or even a blade of grass visible.
In such circumstances, people have to carry their own provisions to survive the journey across the mountains. Spot pictures here of the family, they not only carried clothes and food, but also carried blankets for the night, sleds, and other essentials in handmade bag packs.
Making a nine month pregnant woman walk for nine days can seem rather gruesome, but in these regions, it’s the way of life. The only respite to her withered body is the comforts of caves en route to the hospital, where the family spends over 12 hours every day. At night they light bonfire to keep warm, cook and unwind from the tired walk. The next morning, they again pack their bags and offset for the remaining journey.
Surprisingly, the mother is not given any spare time for recovery, the journey back home is planned to give her rest at intervals through the journey. The family carried sleds, which provides the much needed relief to the mother as she recovers from childbirth.