About 2 years ago continued
How time flies when you are having fun! All too soon, the day of their return to Delhi dawned. As Khushi zipped up the last of the cases, emotions overwhelmed her, she swallowed hard, “Khushi,” murmured Arnav, he tipped up her face with his finger under her chin, her lips quivered as she valiantly tried to control herself. She tried to avoid meeting his eyes, but he persisted and the moment she met them, Khushi lost all semblance of control; she threw her arms around his neck and burst into tears; she was quite inconsolable, “Hum khush hain ki hum ghar ja rahe hain, sabse milna hai, sabko bahut miss bhi kar rahein hain, but I don’t want to leave here, it has been the most wonderful two weeks of my life and I don’t want it to ever end,” she sobbed between her tears and hiccups.
“Pagal,” Arnav murmured lovingly, rocking her in his arms, even though he understood what she meant, he too was ready to go back home, his work, his home called him, but he didn’t want to let go of this either.
“Waada kariye ki zaroorat padne par aap phir hume ‘kidnap’ karke holiday le jayenge,” Khushi pleaded.
Arnav looked at her wryly, “Pehle tum waada karo ki zaroorat hi nahi padegi aisa karne ki, that you will and must remember ki tum sab kuch nahi kar sakti, thoda saans bhi lena hota hai,” he swallowed and grimaced, “that I too have a right over your time.”
“I promise,” Khushi vowed and true to her word, Khushi had made sure that she did not carry work home and achieve that work life balance that she had not so long ago lectured her husband about. And to be honest, Arnav had no complaints regarding Khushi’s numerous ‘commitments’ any longer. But life is a state of constant flux where little if anything remains static and with the arrival of their baby the balance was about to change, work, life (including Arnav) would have to take a back seat while Khushi turned her full attention to their baby leaving Arnav to cope as best as he could.
Back to the labor room (finally!!!)
Arnav sighed as he came out of his reverie, he shook his head, ab toh ‘kidnap’ bhi nahi kar sakta, as their ‘kid’ wouldnt even let them ‘nap’! He thought wryly. Ahh well life was all about adjustments and shifting priorities, so long as he had his Khushi by his side, he could bear anything (Oh really?).
Arnav threw the coffee cup into the dustbin and brushed off the biscuit crumbs (yes ArshiD, had been to the loo during the RP-Sharada saga –he wasn’t reminiscing about that! ok?). He glanced at the time, just 5 a.m.; the doctor had warned him that labor could take anywhere between 10 to 20 hours and it had been just under 6 hours! He sighed and hoped Khushi was doing fine, anxiety beginning to make its presence felt. How much more time would it take? He fretted silently. Pata nahi kis haal main hogi, he wondered if he should have insisted on going along with her into the labor room. They had talked about it earlier and he had offered (albeit half-heartedly, not really sure whether he had the stomach for the event) but Khushi has overruled him, she knew her Laad Governor and didn’t want another crisis on her hands and besides her experience with her Jiji’s delivery which she attended had given her a fair idea of what was to be expected and was of the opinion that it was best to restrict exposing her ignominy to as less number of people as was possible.
Though Khushi was not totally ignorant of the labor room activities (she had been in it with her jiji and her black and blue wrist witness to her jiji’s pain) nothing can really prepare one for the excruciating agony and pain, not even a previous delivery! Khushi desperately crushed the sheet for the nth time and even though she bit her lips and clenched her teeth, a groan escaped her, beads of sweat appeared on her brow, hey DM couldn’t you think of a better, easier, less gross and embarrassing way of delivery! Why mix such a beautiful experience with such agonizing humiliation! Hum aur nahi seh sakte, she thought to herself, but of course she had no choice, she had to bear this and more and hours and hours of it too; she lay weak and exhausted as yet another wave of intense cramp gripped her and her throat felt raw and raspy from screaming aloud, there were no tears, just pain and more pain, she felt as if she were drowning in a sea of pain, hey DM shakti dena DM, shakti dena, she prayed in the all too brief moments of painless lucidity. The doctor returned every so often to check up on her, monitor the progress of labor (even the agony did nothing to brush away the abasement of repeated internal examinations) and the foetus’ well being. As the doctor was not satisfied with the strength of contractions, she would order an increase in the dose of the labor inducing agent and thus began another cycle of even more intense and excruciating agonizing contractions, Khushi felt as she were being torn apart; her throat was parched and she needed to go to the loo ever so often. She would sit up and manage to hobble to the washroom with the help of the attendant, waiting intermittently as even stronger waves of cramps hit her along with nausea; she clamped down upon it as long as she could, but the urge was too strong and she threw up, unable to control herself; she hung weakly over the basin, retching and gasping as another cramp hit her, she felt as if she was in the middle of a war and her body, a battlefield; Never again, she vowed, never again.
Then, as if the agony and the mortification wasn’t enough, the doctors stood over her discussing her reports in worried tones, fear clutched her, and dread seeped through her pores, hey DM keep the baby safe, please DM keep the baby safe, humare liye kuch mat kariye, baby ko safe rakhiye she pleaded over and over again. The doctor finally leaned towards her and said, “Mrs Raizada, we think it best if we go ahead with surgery because…”
Khushi grabbed hold of the doctor’s hand and squeezed it hard, “Baby!” fear nearly driving her crazy, “Doctor, the baby?” the doctor gently extricated her hand from her fierce grip and patted her hand reassuringly, “Yes yes fine everything is fine, but there are some indications and we don’t want to take any chances so we would like to take out the baby as quickly as possible.”
Khushi squeezed her eyes shut as another cramp gripped her, nothing made sense, she felt disoriented, she was alone on a vast ocean, an ocean of pain and there was no sign of any respite, she was all alone, she felt totally lost, she was suffocating, she grimly hung on to her sanity and managed to nod her head, and gasped, “My husband, please,” she bit her lips and moaned aloud, “please just,” she whispered, “just tell him, I want to see him, please,” she finally completed her sentence.
Click here for Chapter 175