Tuesday, Dec 2015'08
Tik Tik of the roman numerical clock seemed to stop at 15.08. I ran, my eyes searching for Room no. 5, on the First floor with white tiles and white paint on the door. As I neared I could hear my wife's restless voice.
Riddhima, Riddhi-this is what I call her, was chanting Hanuman Chalisa with heaving breath and moistened eyes. Sweating, labor pains, and delivery anxiety, all came closer under one frame. The doctor had recommended for C-Section as her Blood Pressure shot up to 110/120 which was dangerous for the child as well as the mother. Her anxiety, nervousness and heavy breathing had taken a toll on her pregnancy and made the situation complicated for the delivery. She got admitted three days back so that doctors could supervise her health on regular basis.
Heavy breathing kept me glued to her and I sat beside her on the bed, holding her hands in my palm. Trying to slide away the worry, I kept smiling, lighting the torch to keep the things normal. With a smile on my face, I tendered her for meals. Saw her in ecstatic mood and a little nervousness.
Gradually her anxiety increased and Blood pressure started heading north. The doctor had flagged about Riddhima's delivery complications. The choice was mother or baby's survival. The drops of sweat started rolling down my forehead, though the AC was on. I controlled my emotions, strengthen my fist and with a heart loaded with courage, explained about the doctor's recommendations and concerns to Riddhima.
This catastrophe made Riddhima weak physically and her labor pain increased along with the blood pressure. Emotionally drained since past few days, she never wanted to lose her battle with health and for her unborn child which she had nurtured for nine months in her womb with love and care. She prepared herself to face any kind of situation. Her invincible approach made her strong to take a bold decision. She wanted her baby to enter this beautiful world of theirs.
At the onset, I would like to tell you about Riddhima's dream. A few days back, her mother appeared in the dream, saying that "I am returning to your world and am here to protect you every day." Riddhima's mother had died when she was 12yrs old. Since her health never supported her from the inception of pregnancy she always felt lonely and missed her mom.
Back to my story, Initially I hesitated to take such a risk, but Riddhima's determination made me confident and l agreed with her.
Her cries and labor pains were increasing. I immediately called out for nurses. Her excruciating pain made her helpless to move. A stretcher was brought to carry her to the operation theater. She was lifted from her bed by two ward boys and two nurses. The doctor too arrived with stethoscope and Blood pressure machine. Her heavy sweating and pain made doctors call for an emergency C-Section.
She was semi-conscious and called out for me. I could see her faith and gleam of confidence in her eyes. She held my palms and kept assuring me silently of the positive outcome. Her eyes kept staring mine and moistened. I too was broken and petrified with the stand we mutually had taken. As though a circle will break creating ends to get totally separated.
Every second and minute were like days and years passing at slow motion. I kept looking at the watch as though it has stopped working. It was half past four in the evening. By that time, I had called up my parents and her father to inform about her condition. They were to arrive the next day as they lived outstation.
It was 6.15pm when Doctors came out from the operation theatre, removing gloves from their hands and unmasked themselves. It took them 1hr 45min to complete their task. With a glowing smile, the doctor held our baby girl in his hand and gave her in my arms. He confirmed hers and Riddhima's good health. It felt amazing when he said it is a baby girl. It was still unbelievable that her mother incarnated in our lives.Tears rolled down my cheeks. Being an atheist, I never tried to understand such beliefs. But this happened.
After an hour, I went into our room holding our baby in hands and sat next to Riddhima. Seeing her in sound sleep I kissed her forehead. Riddhima woke up with a big smile and we hugged each other. Caressing my hand, she sat on the bed looking drained out, but her affectionate eyes looked for baby. She held her towards her chest and cried with joy. Very next day, our parents arrived. Happiness reflected on their faces. Her father held our baby, emotionally got weak and his smile indicated an intense love for Riddhima's mother. As I explained everyone about the dream and Riddhima's struggling health, everyone decided to keep our daughter's name as "Akira". Symbol of graceful strength.
- CHAITALI AGARWAL