‘OPEN THE DOOR!’I yelled, screaming at the top of my voice.
So much adrenaline was running through my body as I carried my wife through the glass doors of Kikelomo Medical center.
The hospital was unusually crowded but I couldn’t care less. She held me tight, she was heavy and covered in sweat all over. Although her tummy was really protruded; the doctor had assured us that she wasn’t due for delivery until another 3 weeks.
‘PETER !’ She cried out
I was confused, I had a right to be, after all, it was our first child and all the videos and seminars didn’t seem to adequately explain what to do when, ‘the water broke’
‘Please put her on the stretcher’ Offered a nurse.
Under normal circumstances, I would have noticed her perfect curves and how her dark hair bounced superbly on her shoulder. The way her cheek bone aligned majestically with her oblong face and her eyes, they were magical. But then, this was not a normal situation and yes, I know I said I was married but I never said I was blind.
Back to my story, shall we!
And so, I laid her on the stretcher and watched as she was wheeled into one of the ICUs. I was asked to stay outside. I paced from side to side and watched as seconds grew into minutes and minutes strolled into longer minutes.
It was during that time, I noticed the immaculate floor tiles and the giant wall clock that stood unhurriedly at the eastside of the reception. I observed all the various patients that suffered from one ailment or the other. It was at that point, I perceived the smell. The familiar smell that hospitals have, I now perceived it and I hated it.
‘Mr. Peter, please come quickly’, requested one of the nurses
‘Your wife wants you beside her during labour’, she added.
I had pictured this day a thousand and one times and we had joked about it a couple of times. I had always told her that I would find a reason not to be in the labour room with her but; there I was, like a lamb to the slaughter.
‘Peter! You did this!’
That was definitely not part of our rehearsal.
She kept screaming and calling my name. The mid wife touched my shoulder. She was looking very calm and unshaken.
‘Is this your first child?’ I nodded in approval.
‘Don’t worry, everything will be alright. Now be a man and comfort your wife’, She said reassuringly.
I put on my ‘big boy pants’ and stood by her side. I echoed the words of the midwives.
‘Push ! Push ! Push ! You can do it’
‘Onye ! I am tired, I can’t push any more’ she replied
She became weaker with each push, I became more anxious, the midwives encouraged me to be strong and encourage her to push.
A doctor walked into the room and one of the mid wives whispered something to her.
‘One last push’, she requested, but, that too wasn’t enough.
The doctor came close to me and whispered. Your wife is getting tired; we would have to do a caesarean.
‘God Forbid!’ I yelled in surprise
‘Sheeee !’ She requested
‘You must stay calm for her sake and also for the baby she advised
‘How could I stay calm’, I thought to myself.
My wife was likely going to have a CS and I had to stay calm. I held my wife’s hand and whispered into her ear.
‘Precious, I love you and I know you will give birth to our baby, please push one last time, please’, I pleaded.
That was the magic word. She squeezed my hand, almost stopping the flow of blood. She gave one final push, and then screamed louder than anything I have heard in my entire life.
‘It is coming’, called out one of the midwives
‘Na boy!’ reported another midwife
I had tears in my eyes as I watched the creation of a new life. It was at that point I recalled an article I had read earlier. It explained that the human body was designed to take about 45del of pain but that during child birth, a woman experiences about 76del of pain (equivalent to about 20 bones breaking at the same time).
My wife (who was in pain a couple of minutes earlier) was now smiling as she held OUR baby. I was sobbing in a manly manner and I thanked God for safe delivery. I was holding in my hand a child who was literally ‘one in a million’.
It is interesting how a simple experience could change a person’s life. As I stood there watching my wife and the child we had brought to life, I made a renewed commitment to be a better person, I was going to give my best to this child. I gently placed a kiss on OUR baby’s forehead, then quietly reminded myself, “I’M A DADDY!”
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