Acceptance9 mins 293 9 mins 293
I heard the first cry of my baby!
The Nurse said, "16 Hours, 28 Minutes, 3 Seconds" as she cut the umbilical cord. I sighed in relief after bearing the intense labour pain for the last 3 minutes. There 'He' was, in the Nurse's arms; covered in blood. This was the only time his cries were giving me eternal satisfaction and I promised myself, "He will never ever cry again. I will give him all the happiness in the world ….Always !".
I was covered in sweat, but tears of joy ran down my cheek. As I gasped for some air, the Nurse cleaned my little one and wrapped him in a cloth. I managed to speak again and asked for my husband. The Nurse replied, "Yes, we have informed him. He will be with you soon". I smiled!
It has been two years since we got married. We belong to a small village from the interiors of Maharashtra. My husband had been working in a small Insurance company in Pune and I had moved in with him to this beautiful city. For two years, we have been happily married; though away from both our families, we got to know each other and make a beautiful life for ourselves from scratch. Initially, I did complain about the Big-City rush and the crowd and traffic, but being a homemaker, I did not venture out daily and mostly depended on Vinay, my husband for local travel. Nevertheless, we had a very peaceful life and planned for our first child. With a limited salary, Vinay was skeptical at first, but he knew this is all I wanted – 'To complete our family.
Our families back in the village were so excited to hear the news of my pregnancy. My Mother wanted me to come back to the native for the next 9 months so that she could take good care of me. Instead, my Mother-in-law had volunteered to come to Pune and stay with us for the said duration. But Vinay assured both our Moms that he would bring me home right before the delivery. Vinay was ready to take all the time out for this along with his work and I trusted him.
Since the beginning, I was consulting a local female Gynecologist Dr Mrs Pawar, whose economical but expert remedies were working fine for me. She had recommended me to the nearby maternity facility which sounded like a suitable option to us. However, we were keener on going back to the village as the delivery date approaches.
Suddenly one day my health deteriorated. It was just the beginning of the 9th month. Before I could call Vinay, my neighbours rushed me to the same maternity home. The doctors and the nurses examined my situation and reported that it's an early delivery, but there's nothing to worry about. They will handle the situation well. Dr Mrs Pawar was herself by my side to monitor my condition. Vinay was unwilling to go back home at night, but I insisted. He also had to pass down the message to our families that we are delivering here. He asked our mothers to leave for Pune as soon as possible, but it was clear it will take them another day or so to be with us.
I spent almost 24 hours in intense labour, patiently waiting for the greatest happiness of my life. The next day, Vinay refused to leave my bedside. And then, the time had come!
I was shouting, crying and exhausted while bringing 'Him' to life! But it was all worth it.
"Congratulations! It's a boy !", I heard the faint voice of Dr Pawar.
Soon after, they took my baby to the post-natal care room. I was waiting to be shifted to the Postpartum room where I would be able to see him for the first time, take him in my arms and hug him. With a mind full of joy and eyes still searching for Vinay, I saw a woman staring at me from the door. At first, I didn't pay any attention to her, but I noticed she was still there. She looked ghastly. Her hair was messed up and her eyes were red and popped out. It was evident she was not in a good state of mind. I was fine till then, but as I saw her hide behind the door as the nurse walked into my room, I got creeps. "What does she want?", I wondered and tried to talk to the nurse about her. The nurse said that she did not see any woman near the door and continued with her tasks. She mentioned I was being moved to the private room soon. Once in the corridor, I couldn't stop looking around for 'that' woman. Her existence had started bothering me already!
I was taken to a dual-bed private room and placed on one of the beds. A sweet little cradle was placed next to me and immediately after, my little baby boy arrived. The nurse gave the baby in my arms and at the same time, Vinay rushed in. He hugged me first and kissed the baby on his forehead. "Thank you, Radha! You completed our family today. We are going to be the best parents and you certainly are the #SuperMom ", Vinay teased me and hugged me again. As I was about to reply, I again saw that woman near the door. This time I shouted, "Look, Look Vinay, that woman! That woman near the door!" As Vinay turned, the woman hid again. "What game is she playing?" I wondered in panic. Vinay somehow pacified me, he asked me to take some rest as he thought I'm exhausted. My baby was placed in the cradle and Vinay sat by my side until I fell asleep.
Not sure how long I had been sleeping, but I woke up with a pale cry of my baby. I opened my eyes and screamed. There she was, right inside my room, holding my baby and staring at me. I shouted, "Leave him, leave my child". The woman spoke in a low but husky voice, "I want him. I want him back. I want my baby back". I was shaken to the core, but I was too weak to move from the bed. She spoke again, "God took my newborn away. What was my fault? Why me? Why my baby? Do you know what it is to lose your child? Well, you will get to know now. This is my baby from today. I am taking him with me. He is my baby now. Not Yours! He is mine !", with a dark look on her face, she ran away from the room.
I shouted on top of my voice, "Help ! Help ! That woman took my baby. Save him please. Someone catch her".
Vinay, who was in the corridor, talking on the phone to his mother, rushed into the room. He too saw the woman carrying our baby and running in the opposite direction in the corridor. He chased her. His screams alerted the others too. Everyone saw the woman and she was chased up to the Nursing home's main gate. She was caught by the security guard. The crowd from the hospital gathered around her. Vinay pulled our baby from her arms; though she was still trying to resist and saying that she wanted the baby. One of the female hospital staff slapped her hard on the face and pulled her hair - "You thief ! Didn't we tell you yesterday your baby is dead, what are you still doing here? Get lost", she said in anger.
By now I had managed to come out in the open premises and had taken by baby from Vinay. I kissed my baby hard and cried aloud. Vinay held me tight and shouted, "Let me call the police. She must be behind the bars".
Incessant beating from the crowd had torn that woman's blouse and she was bleeding from the forehead. She sat on the ground covered in dust from peoples' slippers which hit her hard. Vinay spoke to me, "What a lame attempt at kidnapping this was! How did she think she could get away with this? There are about 100 people in the hospital, there's a Guard right here. What was she thinking?".
I replied in a calm voice, "She is incapable of thinking anything right now! She talked to me in our room, she is distressed. She is not in her sense. She is angry on God. She is seeking a futile revenge".
"What are you talking Radha? She tried to steal our baby, our life !", Vinay growled.
I handed over our baby to Vinay and stepped ahead to save her from the angry crowd. "Stop it, leave her", I said 2 to 3 times, until everyone stepped back. I picked her up and I noticed she was still staring at my baby in Vinay's arms. I held her face and tried to wipe some blood. A voice from behind said, "She was admitted here yesterday. Her child was stillborn. She is somehow not convinced and keeps asking for her baby. We sympathized with her and let her stay in the facility for another day. But today, she resorted to Kidnapping. How gruesome she is. Let's call the police now".
I stopped that Senior Nurse from reporting the incident.
I held the lady from her shoulders and bought her close to Vinay and our baby. "I can understand your pain", I told her with a heavy voice, "You took my baby away for just 10 minutes and I almost died. Fate has been very cruel to you, but you will not get justice by giving the same pain and agony to another mother. 'Motherhood' is the word that gives all sorts of endurance to a woman; it makes us stronger than ever before. Be strong my dear. God will definitely give you a second chance".
My words made her cry out loud. She seemed depressed and broken within. For the first time, she spoke as if she had regained her senses, "My husband died a few months back. I had no hope apart from my baby ! You all can kill me if you want. I have nothing to live for!". Her moaning echoed in the hospital premises.
I comforted her, consoled her, held her in my arms tight as I could until she stopped crying and apologized to me and Vinay. She said she did a terrible thing and even touched my feet in repentance.
Vinay offered her some water. The crowd started dispersing gradually as the situation subsided. The Senior Nurse took my baby back to his cradle. Vinay started taking me back to my room but I couldn't leave that woman alone. I bought her inside my room again and promised her one thing, "I do not know you, but I know the mother inside you, and I trust her! We live nearby. Whenever you feel, please do come to our house to spend time with our baby. I would love it". Vinay's expression was not a pleasant one, and 'the woman' had gauged it.
She said in a normal tone, "It's okay my dear. I do not want to breach into your life. You saved me today and moreover, you forgave me. I will always pray for you and for your child's happiness.
She joined hands and left the room with a heavy heart!