It was well planned. The first time over, it had worked. They were confident it would work this time as well. They calculated the day they would do it, prayed and tried to keep calm, not wanting to leave anything to chance.
The day came and went. The countdown began. She had a gut-feeling it had worked. 30 days henceforth, they thought they’ll check. They were elated. On Cloud 9. They couldn’t contain the joy. But they weren’t all too sure.
They rushed to the hospital, pregnant with hope. The doc didn’t confirm it. Said “50-50...It could be ectopic. Come back 2 weeks later”. They were confused, but decided to wait patiently. It was only a matter of 2 weeks. They went again. This time it was confirmed. Their joy knew no bounds. They rejoiced. Shared the news with their child who had been feeling lonely all along and was eagerly waiting for some company. She was euphoric.
The first month went by. The doc seemed to carry some sort of resentment. Her face was always grim. And she always sounded negative. When she was shown an ultrasound report, she read “no foetal heart flicker was noticed” and went on to say that maybe because it was too early to notice, when the report actually said “foetal heart flicker was noticed”.
The lady had some bleeding (which started in the second month), so she was already worried. And to make matters worse, she had to deal with a doc who was driving her to the edge of her seat. The doc scheduled a visit a fortnight later, to do a second ultrasound.
They got there on time. The ultrasound was done. The radiologist said there was a huge subcutaneous clot and that the doc would advise what would be best. The doc (with her usual grim expression) declared that the chances of survival were slim. And asked the gentleman “Are you sure you want to proceed with it. Maybe we can wait a month more and then go for abortion.” They were furious. The doc must have been out of her mind to think they would actually want to abort when everything was planned well in advance. That was the last visit they paid to that doc.
The bleeding continued. The lady was confident though, because she had spotting during the first trimester of her first pregnancy, in spite of which she went on to have a normal pregnancy and delivery. She continued to go to work as usual. One day, the bleeding was heavy. She confided to one of her colleagues. Her colleague was disturbed. Wanted to rush her to the hospital right away. That got her thinking. She called her husband and they fixed an appointment with another gynaec later that evening.
They went to the hospital. The gynaec seemed friendly enough, in stark contrast to the other doc. She asked the usual questions and all seemed fine until…the lady revealed that she had some bleeding and that even in her previous pregnancy she had spotting in her first trimester. The doc said she wanted to check. Then she yelled at the husband, “how could you let your wife go to work when she’s bleeding like this? Get an ultrasound done immediately!” Now they were seriously worried. They rushed. There was a long wait. Eventually, the lady’s turn came and she went in. The gentleman’s heart was beating loud, so loud he was almost going deaf with the noise. The radiologist seemed friendly too. Calmly explained that there was a huge subcutaneous clot, but the foetus was doing ok. That was some relief. They rushed back to see the doc. The doc said “get admitted to the hospital right away!”
Horror struck (the lady hated hospitals!), she begged and pleaded with the doc that she would take complete bed rest if allowed to go home. The doc said a flat no. She insisted that the lady get admitted if she wanted the baby. 4 days lying on the bed, with IV plugged to her vein. It was awful. The gentleman was the bystander, so he missed work too. The day she was discharged, she felt better, as if, she was let out of prison. And that was the last time she saw this doc too.
There was a gynaec who was her neighbour. When the lady casually mentioned to her, her situation, the doc took a look at the ultrasound reports and advised that she drop in to her clinic some time for a quick check up. This doc discussed everything, why, what and how, so the lady was comfortable and decided to stick.
The months rolled by. The bleeding continued. There were self-administered injections and medicines (the so-called “blood clotters”), but no respite. All along, there was just one saving grace. The foetus was holding up fine. In the 9th month, they knew it was a girl baby, did some quick shopping and waited for the d-day. The lady continued to go to work. No hard labour. Just some light deskwork. She ambled in and ambled out.
One Sunday night (a week before her due date), she felt a funny pain in her abdomen. She couldn’t sleep the whole night. She couldn’t roll over either, because of her full blown tummy. She tried all positions, finally she sat up. In the morning, she told her hubby about the pain. They went to the doc, who lived just a couple of floors down their apartment. The doc checked. Said the lady was ready to deliver any time now. They went to the hospital.
In a few hours, the precious little baby came out. Normal delivery. Healthy baby. The lady and gentleman thanked God, their doctor and everybody else who supported them. At the end of a grueling 9 months journey, it was a happy ending after all!