Two days passed. Sharanya’s mother remained beside her while Karthik found himself shunting between both Ananya’s and Sharanya’s hospitals, that were located far from each other. During the nights, her mother and Karthik took turns to stay with her.
The baby was fine but Karthik was miserable for no one other than mothers were allowed inside the NICU. Distraught, thinking of his little one, he couldn’t help feeling sorry for her who remained all alone in the NICU, with neither of her parents around. Will she not feel helpless and scared with several unknown people handling her? Wouldn’t she cry and long for the parents’ touch? Wouldn’t she crave for their hug, care and comfort? All these questions disturbed him as he felt responsible for bringing her into this world and also her current state. Rather, he was feeling responsible for everything connected to Ananya and wanted to immediately begin justifying his roles and responsibilities, with full sincerity and as best as possible.
Tender feelings of fatherhood engulfed him and he desperately longed to see his little one…be near her…touch her and reassure her that all would be well in time. He wanted to say a lot of things to her and, in particularly tell her, that her parents love her a lot and would always remain so and they would never spare any effort or expense for her well-being. He wanted to assure her that they were going to be with her every step of the way and they have promised that to themselves. But saying all this was possible only if he were permitted inside. Every passing minute only aggravated his distress, more so because Sharanya was in no physical condition to visit her. Feelings of anguish enveloped him and most of the times, he sat outside the NICU, lost and distressed, waiting to be let inside.
Kartik’s parents had arrived from another city and were desperate to see their grand-daughter as well. They tried to persuade the doctors into letting them see Ananya, but the doctors wouldn’t budge for rules were rules and no visitors could be allowed inside, lest the other babies caught infection.
Lying on the hospital bed, Sharanya found herself recalling the whole of her pregnancy term.
Why did this happen?
Did she make any mistake? – Nothing to her knowledge!
Had she overlooked any aspect in her pregnancy care? – Never!
Did her doctors miss out on anything? – Doesn’t appear to be that case too!
She had gestational diabetes but with medications and diet, she had ensured that her sugar levels had always stayed in perfect control. She wondered, if this was a side effect of any of those medications. But she had no answers to anything right now and probably was never likely to have as well.
The doctors, from their side, had been alert to every possibility of mishap and had accordingly programmed her prenatal care, very carefully, without leaving out any loose ends. She could not blame them in anyway. They had handled her case as delicately as could have been done, under the circumstances and had been very genuine in treating her. But the future now appeared to be a big question mark and she did not know where destiny was going to lead them.
More and more questions plagued Sharanya as regards the oncoming times and she kept figuring out all that she had to accomplish. She was a strong and smart lady who understood that life has, now put her to real test, where, in no way, she could afford to fail and was determined to begin with her side of efforts right away. So whenever she was not groggy and felt up to it, she began reading more and more from her iPad about the deformity, under the doctor’s guidance and made a mental note of all that she needed to address. In two days, she had gathered a great deal of knowledge and information, the course of treatment they had to adopt, the approach they had to follow, the expenses involved, the outlook and prognostication in the long run.
While Karthik remained busy with his own side of duties, she had even managed to locate some phone numbers and talk to a couple of reputed specialists…the best ones in town whom she also requested to come and see the baby. Karthik and Sharanya were now functioning separately. Yet they were together…acting sensible and constructive… staying well-co-ordinated…remaining on the same page…and working on the same objective.
On the third day, when Dr. Mrs. Shah came to check upon Sharanya and found her incision healing well, she began encouraging her to get up and walk around, since that was vital for her recovery, improvement in blood circulation and prevention of clots. She even goaded Sharanya into visiting the baby in the NICU and breastfeed her, if possible. The other doctors similarly began urging her that mother’s touch was important for the baby at this stage, besides her milk which would make Ananya, who had to face various procedures in the future, healthy snd strong.
But Sharanya was not confident about physically making it to the NICU, though she longed to see her daughter. Finally, after some persuasion she made up her mind. She began with some slow, courageous attempts, trying to walk a few steps, at least up to the wash room and when she could effectively accomplish that a couple of times during the day, she got ready to visit the NICU.
….To be continued in Part IV…Link to – Part IV