International Men’s Day 2020 : Saravanakumar Subramaniam

We have spoken to a number of colleagues who have shared their experiences on topics like men's health, challenges faced by men and being a positive role model to support the community.

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Fatherhood felt like traditional way of passage before I met my partner, Nishah. Just like an old romantic movie, I was swept off my feet with violins playing in the background. We fell in love across borders (me being from India and she from Malaysia) and we made it happen. In fact, thanks to the Bank, I was offered a role in Global Banking Services, Malaysia, which earned brownie points from my protective father-in-law.

After getting hitched, multiple miscarriages took a toll on Nishah’s emotional state. While I stood tall and supportive by her side, she had no idea I was breaking down too. After taking our time to heal emotionally, Nishah was pregnant with our little boy with a strong heartbeat. At week 22, we were told that Nishah was suffering from preeclampsia and her blood pressure was abnormally high. She was hospitalized by week 28 in the government hospital in Malaysia

To keep her calm through the process, I was sleeping on the hospital floors by night and then heading to work in the morning. This was the norm until their little hero was born.

Premature conditions of a child come with a set of fears inflicted by doctors and Google equally. Our baby Jai Dev was indeed born little; just above 1kg at 32 weeks of pregnancy.

From getting Nishah through postpartum depression, to the multiple surgeries for Jai Dev that led to his life-long diagnosis of Ultra Short Bowel Syndrome, and ultimately being the medical advocate for my son. I found solace in my role within the Standard Chartered while caring for two very fragile individuals.

One may think that your job is a hindrance to your personal life, but not for me. My purpose in my role at the Bank kept me sane through the journey and fuelled my determination to thrive ahead.