She was tired, her feet swollen from all the weight she had been carrying around. The last 9 months had been a rollercoaster, quite literally, considering how nauseous she felt all the time. The highs were incredible, and the lows, painful; maybe it had more to do with than just the baby.
“You’re tired now; lay down. I’ll be waiting to give you the good news.”
The pandemic that was going on didn’t help her make her pregnancy any more manageable. Every step she took, everything she ate was carefully scrutinised. The atmosphere of constant fear, the news with alarming graphs and statistics, did little to soothe her nerves. Every visit to the hospital for a routine checkup was a nightmare. Was she going to be the one putting her baby at risk? Where was the promised pregnancy glow? She looked in the mirror, and all she could see was her face, pale and tired.
Her contractions started just a little past midnight, and they had rushed to the hospital. The air smelled like pine trees that day, a distinctive memory in her head. As they made their way to the ER, she held her partner’s hand tight. She would finally be able to hold her baby in her arms.
“We’ve got the time to take the world and make it better than it ever was.”
“Do we really have the time to take the world and make it better than it ever was? Time is running faster than we can hold on to it. Like water slipping right through our fingers, there isn’t enough time. The world as we know it is crumbling in front of our very eyes. A pandemic, wars, starvation, inequality, climate change, and who knows what the following months have in store. Anything that can go wrong is going wrong somewhere in the world right now; so much for the Law of Murphy.“
All these thoughts ran through her mind when she wasn’t in excruciating pain. Feeling the happiness of welcoming new life onto the Earth while pondering if the world was ever going to be good enough for her baby; It’s funny when you think about how the mind wanders when it is in pain.
“Anytime now.” she heard them say.
Her tear-stained cheeks were colored like the reddest of plums. Her lips were swollen as she tried her best to not scream, but it was of no avail. She wailed and cried out loud. The pain was unlike she had anything she had ever experienced. It was extreme and demanded its presence to be felt. When would this end? Would her baby survive the ordeal?
“And when you wake up, we’ll grow together
So don’t you give up”
As she cried out in the most primal way possible, she could feel her baby coming into the world. And at that moment, she felt loved and at one with the universe. She was the creator of life itself, blossoming into her full potential as a mother. The pain was all worth it. She had so many plans, so many firsts she wanted to witness, so many memories to be created.
Was it her imagination, or had the pain ceased to exist? She could feel herself slowly drifting away to a far-off place. “Maybe it’s more peaceful there, and the pain will stop.” she thought. She almost smiled with relief and gratitude.
“And if you don’t wake up
I’ll know you tried to
I wish you could see him
He looks just like you.”
She could faintly hear her partner’s voice, choking with emotion. Her baby looked like her. Maybe he’d have her smile. Maybe he’d have the same habit of playing with his food when he would be sad. Maybe he’d also sleep with one foot sticking out of the blanket. Even if she wasn’t around, her partner would have someone to fill the empty spaces. She was leaving a bit of her behind in him. And with that, a sense of calm washed over her.
She let go and gave in to the feeling. The world as she knew it was still the same. Filled with countless things that could go wrong, but she knew it will be better now. It has to be. Everything was going to be ok.
Written by Aarthika Srinivasan for MTTN
Edited by Shivangi Acharya for MTTN
Featured image by Lovrichaertwork
Artwork by Jill Kimura