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Every mother’s personal delivery story is unique. Every mother should have moments, people and emotions that made her believe in the goodness of this world.
“Are you sure you will be able to handle it?” I asked Piyush. “I won’t say it will be an easy experience, but I’ll be there to support you”, he assured me.
This was one among the many conversations we had during the nine months of my pregnancy. I am chicken when it comes to something that can hurt the body, even a small prick. Even after becoming a mother, I need someone by my side whenever I have to undergo a blood test. So, going through the labour was a mammoth task for me. Thanks to the doctors today who allow husbands to be inside the labour room, I was determined to try natural birth only because Piyush assured me that he would be by my side. We were going to the best motherhood hospital. To call it a hospital sounds strange as it was more like a boutique birthing center. For nine months, I was certain that no matter what, my husband would be at my side. But do things always go as planned?
Especially in the case of a Libran baby like Pihu. She does things as she pleases. If you tell her to do anything as per your whims, she will simply ignore you. Period. So, even before getting introduced to the outside world, she twisted fate such that my favourite, regular doctor took leave around the due date. Further, the little one became adamant not to come out naturally. Change of plans, a new doctor and a new hospital. From a posh, luxurious maternity center to a big, private but government-like hospital.
So, even before getting introduced to the outside world, she twisted fate such that my favourite, regular doctor took leave around the due date.
When they got me ready for the operation, I had but one request. Please let my husband in. They looked at me like I was being ridiculous and gave a strict no, stating the hospital rules. Lying on the operation table, panic struck me. I realized, Piyush and my family were not only not by my side, but on a different floor altogether. Only my spirit would reach them if something unfortunate happened. I almost cried as I begged the doctor who was about to give me anesthesia. “Doctor, please allow my husband. He will not be scared, he has promised me”. “No, not allowed”, he said sternly. How they can be so rude to me at this time, I thought. I took a look around. All of them were professionals, and looked like robots. Each one in charge of a specific task for just another operation.
My hands were stretched, I was pricked at different places on my body, and an oxygen mask settled on my mouth while I was lost in the fear of dying among strangers. I had nothing that could settle that anxiety so I chanted for strength, but that too failed. Unable to grasp so many changes suddenly, I was already chicken by that time. The robots were doing their job on my cut-open body with a big light above that was highlighting my internal biology.
Shivering with fear, I opened one of my palms imagining it to be held by the divine power. Then something happened. I felt a touch. Someone had actually gripped my open palm. Distracted, I looked to see who it was. And there stood the anesthetist who had finished his job and was now holding my hand. I closed my grip tightly, my fear was gone and I became calm. For the next 15 minutes till the other doctors performed their tasks, this gentleman stood by my side doing nothing, but just holding my hand.
When they brought Pihu to me I remember they said, “Congratulations for becoming a proud mother of a baby girl” and I rubbed my cheeks against her delicate ones. Life has been busy since that moment and I could not say ‘thank you’ to that doctor. His gesture might seem small to others, but for me it meant a lot. It led me to forget my fears and enjoy the most beautiful moment of my life – of becoming a mother. I never tried to know him as a person or his name as that would limit such a gesture to a face or a name. His act gave me hope that compassion can be found anytime, anywhere and in anyone in this big world that appears to be cruel at times.
His act gave me hope that compassion can be found anytime, anywhere and in anyone in this big world that appears to be cruel at times.
It often fills me with amazement. I am amazed at the beauty and power of human emotions that made a stranger, a professional doctor, hold the hand of just another scared patient during just another operation. It strengthens my belief that God is not some external entity, but an internal force that resides in all of us, within us. Maybe one day when, together, we decide to forsake our differences and join hands, we’ll complete that entity. Hence, I worship that force within – the force that appears to us as Nature, as time, as living beings, as humans.
This post was first published at the author’s blog.
Image of holding hands via Shutterstock
Roohi Bhatnagar is an artist of words, colors and likes to brew & spread happiness with
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