Imtiaz Fazil was pregnant 24 times, but only two children survived. Her first pregnancy was in 1999. Over the next 23 years, she had stillbirth 17 times and gave birth to a dead child five more times.
The woman from Levenshulme, Manchester, who is now 49 years old, told the media that what happened to her was something she never thought she would experience. She said that she chose to speak about it because it is being discussed in South Asia, which is where she is originally from.
She said she wants to overcome the stigma of women being shamed if they talk about the children they lost. Imtiaz added that her relatives do not talk about what happened to her because they think that they will cause pain if they remind her. “I’m not good at all; that’s why everyone doesn’t like to talk about me,” said Fazil.
She also said that even though she lost many children, no one asked her how she was feeling and thinking about her children. “Not a day goes by without me thinking about the children I lost,” said Fazil.
Sarina Kaur Dosanjh and her husband Vik also hope to dispel the fear of a woman coming forward and talking about her missing children. Sarina, 29, from Walsall in the West Midlands, has set up a charity called the Himmat Collective, which gives South Asian girls a chance to speak out about child mortality.
The couple, who divorced twice within two years, said that the pain did not allow them to talk to other people about the situation. “I think people are hiding the issue,” said Sarina.
She also said that it is difficult for every pregnant woman to stay away from everyone because it can affect their opinion. “This is an intervention that must be stopped,” said Sarina. Vik said he got mixed reactions from the people he talked to about his family’s depression.
He said that some men admitted that he helped them to forget the children they lost, but others told him that it was wrong to talk about it. However, he said that he is confident that every issue will be resolved once it is discussed. “Our society must understand that it is not a shame to lose children,” said Sarina.
Imtiaz and Sarina said they hope people will make it normal to talk about their unsaved children without feeling ashamed. Imtiaz noted that she still feels the pain of the 22 children she lost, but she wants to give advice to women who have been in the same situation as her.
“Don’t take that to heart,” said Imtiaz.
If you think about it too much, you will panic. You have to come out and talk about your situation, otherwise, you will be in trouble. ”