I am scheduled to deliver a baby tomorrow, a baby who is barely big enough to come out of my womb. All thanks to my super scared doctor and in-laws who don’t want to antagonize him. I have already gone through the five stages of grief and somewhat come to terms with this predicament. This grief although was compounded because of many more issues cropping up in my last week before the new-arrival.
It was Saturday evening when I got the news. The doctor was completely apathetic towards my requests of having the baby in October. He was in fact downright rude, that too not just to me but to my whole family. He did not give straight answers to any of our questions and concerns. He treated my father-in-law, who is over 60 and commands a lot of love and respect wherever he goes, with utter disrespect. He made us question our own judgement of selecting him for my treatment. Granted I have the gall stone. Agreed there may be complications. But there is always a better way to explain to the patient and her family. I felt sad for his students, who took the fateful decision to take OB-GYN as their PG subject. (yes, Dr. Sukanta Misra is a professor in a prestigious medical institute in Kolkata). This doctor came with recommendations from other doctors. Why else would my family have chosen him?
Lessons in life 1: Don’t trust just about any doctor’s judgement, trust your instincts more. Be prepared to stand by it. Even when your family threatens to not support you. It’s your body, your baby, and ultimately your life.
So, Saturday evening and night and whole of Sunday went with tears, rage, and helplessness. I did not know what to do, where to go, and how to take this whole baby-coming-out-early-through-a-scheduled-C-section news. I, of course, blamed the swindlers, who go by the term doctors and medical professionals today. I wished for a plane ticket to go to the US, where the OB-GYN prepares the would-be-mother for a normal delivery from the beginning (case in point Mila Kunis and a bhabhi of mine). I just wanted to save my baby from these theives for another few weeks. However, in such situations, a woman like me and in my situation cannot do anything.
Reason: God. He decided to give me little confidence in myself and also decided to come down to earth way early than other years (Durga Puja in Kolkata, is what I mean).
Come Monday and I was getting prepared to announce this to my freelance coordinator and a friend. And as if on cue, God decided my problems were not enough. My laptop did not open at all. The thing that I had considered my baby my last three years, did not switch on! I was preparing to complete my last article, send a few important mails, and make some significant bank transactions (baby delivery through C-section costs, big time); and my laptop just would not work!
Lesson in life 2: It’s damn unfair.
After the Saturday and Sunday, Monday threw me out of my chair (figuratively). I was numb for quite some hours. But soon I realised nothing could come out of a meltdown. So, I first talked to my husband, who panicked. He knew I was close to a major breakdown. Strangely, that did not come. I told him, I would keep this issue aside and concentrate on making my last five days at home worthwhile (afterall I had too much on my plate to worry about another problem). I had to prepare for the hospital and then again I was going to stay at my parents’ house for the next month and a half. I wouldn’t be returning home before November. This meant, making some space for the baby and his/her stuff, arranging my files and important documents, calling some significant people up and telling them the news, coordinating with my company officials and finalizing my leave formalities, working out last minute details to ensure smooth arrival into my parents’ home, spending worry-free last few private-days with my husband, and (biggest among these) mentally preparing for a major operation.
Day 4 & 5:
Tuesday and Wednesday pretty much went similar to Monday. I made extensive lists to streamline the entire week. First, I apologized to my coordinator for not being able to complete my last article. Second, talked to her about my pending article approvals. This took almost three days (starting Monday)! Third, arranged my files and documents, and while doing it corresponded with the laptop repairer and seller about my laptop issue. Also shared this issue with family. Silver lining: My brother came forward to take the problem out of my hands and into his. God Bless him!
Lesson in life 3: Never consider yourself alone when you’re facing a tough situation or situations. Your family is truly your support, no matter how small or big. Share it with them.
And some more:
Moving on, while I was going through these issues, my husband and other family members went through theirs. My father contracted cold, cough and fever, my husband’s company decided to issue overtime work to compensate the coming extended holidays, his bosses decided to keep meetings at odd hours, coming Saturday and Sunday were declared working days, there was a feeling that we’d be facing money crunch due to the over-priced hospital I was going to be admitted to and doctor’s stand-offishness, our common-room TV’s picture tube became a no-show, our washing machine’s pipe cracked, the maid decided to take an extended holiday of three days during this particular week, Kolkata experienced five continuous days of rain thus bringing up prices of all food items especially fish (if you understand Bengalis, you’ll know what a devasting predicament that is; although this did not concern me much – I don’t have fish much) etc. Can’t write anymore, its all too depressing. Hope you get the picture.
- My laptop can stay closed for two months, and my husband can use my wireless laptop mouse, since I will be super busy with baby.
- Both my mother and mother-in-law took the responsibilty of getting me started with the baby.
- My husband has been spending every little time he got from office with me. Even when he literally spends more than four hours each day travelling to office and returning.
- My father-in-law appreciates everything I cook, even those with less or more salt.
Lesson in life 4: God always helps no matter how tough he makes situations sometimes. Thanks God.
Day 6 & 7:
Well, that’s what my last five days has been like. Today is Thursday, and I have planned to finish my hospital and Hastings packing, cook paneer makhani sans garlic-onion-butter, have ice-cream, take the prescribed Betnesol injection, and spend my last few hours with family. Tomorrow, early morning we’ll be leaving for the hospital, and in the evening welcoming the new arrival. Wish us luck!