“Shilpa.. Shilpa..hey bracelet.. wake up..you have to wake up now” He looked at her with eyes filled with worry, trying to wake her up. She had to wake up. His voice reverberated in Shilpa’s ears and she woke up calling out to him, “Armaan” she said as she reached her hand out to him. Only to realise she was still outside the operation theatre. She got here as soon as she could after Harsh’s phone call. She looked at the clock and realised that was 2 hours back. She adjusted her self on the seat and touched her tummy as she felt another cramp. “Cmon baby..hang on.. please” she pleaded. Neha, an intern at the hospital and Shilpa’s new best friend was passing by when she noticed Shilpa’s discomfort. She ran up to her and sat next to her, placing her hand on her shoulder, “hey are you okay?” She asked concerned. Shilpa nodded and wiped away her tears, “hey.. yeah I’m okay” she confirmed looking at Neha. Neha sighed and asked her, “how far apart are they?” She knew Shilpa was in labour. “Far enough” Shilpa said, “we are going to wait for Daddy. Aren’t we baby?” She smiled as she said the last part in a soft voice to her tummy. Neha knew there was no changing her mind. Besides she was already at the hospital, she thought that it would be fine for another few hours and said to her friend, “okay?but anything changes.. you let me know okay?” Shilpa nodded and hugged Neha. Neha said, “he’ll be okay” “yeah, yeah I know” Shilpa whispered. Neha gave her friend another hug of reassurance and left for her duties. Shilpa then quickly called Bi to tell her about Armaan’s situation. Bi was currently out of town visiting her sister. “Shilpa.. I’m taking the train back” Bi said clearly scared. Shilp calmed her down. She didn’t want her to worry and didn’t tell her how bad the accident really was. She promised her, she’d call her back as soon as she had any updates and would herself book her tickets if it comes to it. Bi calmed down listening to her reassurance and disconnected the call.
After a couple of more hours, the door to the OT finally opened. Shilpa got up as quickly as she could, feeling another cramp coming she took a deep breath and worked through it. Dr. Harsh stepped out and saw Shilpa struggling to stand up. He quickly went and gave her his hand, “are you okay?” He asked worried. She nodded and said, “yes, yeah I’m okay.. Armaan?” She asked with so much concern in her eyes. Harsh sighed and told her, “he’s going to be fine Shilpa. He had some serious internal injuries, specially to his lung, a few broken ribs and a gash on his head. But he is all stitched up and fine now.” He said to her smiling with hope. Listening to this Shilpa felt a a wave of relief wash over her, that she lost her balance and fell back on the chair. She smiled and looked up to Harsh “thank you” she whispered. She rested her head on her hand and rubbed her tummy again saying, “you heard that? Daddy’s going to be here to welcome you”. Harsh smiled looking at her and then continued, “they’ll be transferring him to his room now. He should be up in another 7-8 hours” and he left from there. “7-8 hours?” Shilpa thought and spoke out loud, “will you be able to wait that long baby?” She got her answer in the form of another cramp. She shut her eyes and did her deep breathing, to deal with the pain. Then she called Bi, with a new sense of relief.
When Shilpa entered Armaan’s room, it broke her heart to see him hurt. She had tears flowing down her face. She walked up to his side and kissed him on his head. He had a bandage wrapped around his forehead. She gently touched his hair and ran her fingers over the bandage. Shilpa then slowly moved her hand over his chest, which was currently completely tied up with white gauze. She again gently ran her fingers over his bandaged wounds while the tears kept flowing from her eyes. Her hand found its way back to his hair and face and gently stroked it.. “heyy” she whispered through tears and a smile. “You’re going to be fine, baby..” she felt another contraction and winced with pain. She shut her eyes and grabbed her stomach with one hand. Her other hand held Armaan’s, as she worked through it. Once it passed, she took a deep breath and looked at Armaan again. Her hand playing with his hair. She took his other hand and placed it on their baby, “your baby is getting eager to come out, Armaan. Peanut’s been so good, waiting for it’s daddy patiently.” She said smilingly. “You have to wake up soon, Armaan. We can’t do this without you, please. We need you, Armaan” she pleaded and kissed him tenderly, this time on his lips. She ran her hands over his hair again “Please wake up soon..let me look at those eyes, please, Armaan” she whispered softly and placed another kiss on the side of his head. She then pulled a chair close to his bed and sat there, her hand holding his. She waited and prayed for her husband to wake up.
Six hours passed, Armaan was still unconscious. The time between Shilpa’s pain had now shortened. But she still gave it 3-4 hours give or take. She got a start when she heard thunder. She stood up and went to the window to look outside. The sky was pitch dark and it had started to rain. There were gusty winds making almost everything fly in its way. The weatherman did warn about a storm that night. She gave a small smile thinking about how the rain always marked a milestone in their lives and looked at her tummy and said, “guess that’s a sign” she then shut the window and went back beside Armaan. She stroked his hair gently and smiled again, almost blushing, “you’re going to be holding your baby soon, Armaan” she said with tears.
She looked at the time again and thought to herself, Armaan won’t be up for another couple of hours. I should go home and get the hospital bag for the delivery and some clothes for Armaan. Armaan had bought a special outfit for their baby, which they had planned the baby would wear when it was born. It was a cute white onesie with a bunny tail and a cap that had bunny ears. She had to get her bag. All her documents were in it too. She kissed Armaan and told him that she’d be right back. She grabbed her keys and left the hospital. She did meet Neha on the way though. Neha stopped her.. “hello hello..where do you think you’re going?!” Shilpa smiled at her and told her, “just going home to get some stuff, I’ll be right back.” Neha was concerned, “are you sure?? What about the contractions?” Shilpa reassured her, “I’m fine Neha.. really. And there’s still time, maybe another 4 hours” “should you be driving??” Neha asked her. Shilpa rolled her eyes and spoke, “women have performed surgery while in labour. I’m just driving, besides I won’t get a contraction between the drive, I’ve timed it. I’m fine, really” “okay..just take care ok?and call me, please” Neha said still a bit unsure. Shilpa hugged her and then left.
The weather outside was really bad. It was pouring really heavy and branches of trees were broken and flying all over the place. Shilpa was really careful when she drove. She put on some music to calm her nerves. She was almost 5 minutes away from her home, when she had to hit the breaks. There was a car parked at the side of the road. The family was standing in the middle of the road, trying to remove a tree that had fallen, blocking the road. She had to get home and back to Armaan quick. She decided to inspect what was happening. As soon as she got out, she was completely drenched. The wind blew in her face making her grab the bonnet for balance. She walked with all her might to help the family.
When she got there, she noticed that the family was trying to help a little puppy and it’s mother that was stuck under the tree. “Oh no” she exclaimed. Her charitable and kind heart couldn’t do anything but help. She always helped people if she could. And quickly went on the other end of the tree to try
and lift it. This moment reminded her of the first time she had met Armaan, when she had hit him ok his head. She almost smiled thinking back to it and how everything seemed to have come full circle, almost. A lady came running to her, “are you okay, beta?” She screamed over the rain. Shilpa nodded and answered back, “on three...One..two..three” and they lifted the tree up. Shilpa used all her strength to do so. She felt a cramp in her stomach as she lifted and shut her eyes tight, and did her breathing exercises. “Breath breath breath”she whispered harshly. The tree lifted and the children quickly pulled the puppy and it’s mother out. They all then dropped the tree. Shilpa bent forward and placed her hands on her knees, trying to regain her strength. The lady came to her again and placed a hand on her back. Shilpa’s contraction dissipated. “Are you okay, beta?” The lady asked her. Shilpa took another deep breath and stood up straight and smiled at her, “I’m okay now.” “We will take the puppy and it’s mummy to the vet” the little girl told Shilpa. Shilpa smiled and patted the girl and then the puppy gently and said ”good, take good care of them and yourself ”. She then went back in her car and drove around the tree on the dirt road to make her way home.
Shilpa finally reached home and went to the bedroom to grab some clothes for Armaan and her hospital bag. She decided she should change, since she was completely wet now. Her pains were more frequent now. It was only a 15 minute drive to the hospital, so she kept breathing and praying for Armaan’s recovery. When she went to the bathroom to change and took off her leggings, she noticed that her water had already broken. Her white leggings were now stained red. She panicked. It had to be when she felt that cramp when she helped to lift the tree. “Shit!” She exclaimed, a little scared. “Okay, okay, calm down Shilpa!” She told herself. “Phone!call Neha, an ambulance.. okay..okay...” she calmed herself down. She felt another pain shooting through her body and she fell on her knees. Her hand grabbing the stomach and the other was grabbing tightly at a towel. “Aahhhh” she screamed. When it passed, she went and found her purse. She sat on the bed and dug her hand in her handbag looking for her phone. But she couldn’t find it. She started panicking again, “where did I keep it?!” She thought, the last person she called was bi. She had probably left it at Armaan’s bedside table at the hospital. “Landline!” She said out loud but another contraction made her sit back on the bed with pain. She walked towards the living room with hreay difficulty, anyway. She rested on the threshold of the bedroom door, as she found it impossible to take another step. She took deep breaths and walked over to the landline phone. Her face was now drenched with sweat. Her hair matted to her forehead, wet from the rain and sweat. She sat on the sofa and grabbed the phone. She put on to her ear, but there was no dial tone. The storm had destroyed the telephone line in their area. She panicked again as she felt another contraction. “Okay baby, okay...” she tried talking to her baby as she tried to calm herself down. She was a doctor, she had to think of something.
To be continued...