“Doctor, you need to help me.”
Wale knew that his mother had to go. Labisi was clearly uncomfortable with his mother’s presence in the hospital and heaven only knew what had already transpired between them. Reasoning with his mother was out of the question, because as far as she was concerned, her place was at Labisi’s side. It would be her first grandchild and she intended to see the whole process through.
“So you want me to chase her away?” Dr Nkechi asked.
“Not exactly… please just convince her to leave.”
Dr Nkechi smiled superficially. This man wanted her to stand up to his mother, something he wasn’t willing to do. She’d met many like him, and as in most of the cases, she stepped in to secure her patient’s welfare.
“Alright Mr Ayinde.”
Minutes later, future Grandma Ayinde reluctantly left the hospital.
While their husbands stepped out to get something to eat, the two pregnant women got to know each other better.
“How are you feeling?” Miriam asked, breaking the silence.
“I’m fine, you?”
“Are you feeling anything yet?”
“Just a little… I’m tired.”
“Me too.” Labisi sighed. “How come your own mother-in-law is not here?”
Miriam smiled. “She doesn’t know. We were told not to tell any of our parents, apparently they usually don’t handle the wait well.”
“Apparently!” Labisi rolled her eyes. “I’m glad she’s gone home.”
“But you’re lucky she found out that your water broke…” Miriam pointed out.
“Yeah…. I guess it was a good thing she came along. It’s just a pity because I will not hear the last of it.”
Miriam laughed. “She’s just being an elderly lady…”
“A very annoying elderly lady, and to make matters worse, my husband is her favorite child. He doesn’t like to disagree with her.”
“It’s like he’s afraid of her or something.”
“But he sort of defended you the other time…”
“Please! He gave in to her and then got the doctor to talk to her.”
“But at least he was able to get her to leave.” Miriam said smiling.
“Yeah, whatever!” Labisi rolled her eyes.
Miriam laughed and shifted in her bed. “I just can’t wait for this baby to come out. I’m tired of being pregnant.”
“Is this your second pregnancy?”
“No it’s my first. You?”
“Mine too. So you’ll have to do this at least one more time.” She laughed.
“Ehn? No o. I’ll tell Hakeem I’m done.”
Labisi was surprised. “And he’ll just do what you want?”
“Yes o. He’s always like, “Sweetheart, whatever you want.””
“Wow, you’re lucky. I’m sure that even if I tell Wale I don’t want more kids, he’ll go and get permission from his mum first.”
Labisi sat up. “Sorry o, your husband, is he a popular person or something like that?”
Miriam frowned. “Why did you ask?”
“His face looks very familiar.”
“Oh! He’s a speaker, he usually gets invited to speak at career conferences.”
“Okay that must be where I’ve seen his face. The minute he walked in, I just kept looking at him.
“That’s my Hakeem o. The international speaker!”
Just then, Dr Nkechi and the husbands came in.
“Hello ladies. How are you feeling? Any contractions yet?” she asked, feeling Labisi’s stomach first.
“A little…” Miriam said.
The doctor walked over to her. “Tell me when you feel a contraction.”
“Okay. Okay… I feel one now.”
Dr Nkechi placed her palm on her abdomen and looked at her watch. She pursed her lips.
“Madam, we have to induce you o. Your contractions are not progressing the way we want.”
“Okay! I just want this baby out!”
Dr Nkechi smiled, her patient had no idea what she was asking for.
“We’re also going to induce you Mrs Ayinde. Your water has broken, you are at more risk than Mrs Abdul here. Your baby needs to be born as soon as possible.”
“Okay… but doctor I heard it’s painful…”
Dr Nkechi smiled. “How do they say it at the gym? No pain, no gain. You’ll be fine.” she looked back at Mrs Abdul. “I’ll check you both first though. Let’s check your dilation. Gentlemen, can you please excuse us?”
“Alright.” Wale said, getting up to leave.
“Why can’t I stay?” Mr Abdul demanded. “I mean there’s nothing you want to see that I haven’t seen already.”
“I agree with you sir, but it’s best if you excuse us.”
“No, no, no I’m staying with my wife.”
“Alright then, if you insist.”
Labisi looked at Mr Abdul with great admiration.
Both women had been induced and their husbands sat at their sides.
“How are you feeling?” Hakeem asked Miriam.
“I just can’t wait for this baby to come out.” She responded irritably, she was starting to feel labour pains.
“Sorry dear, just hold on.” He said caressing her forehead softly.
On the other side of the room, Labisi was shifting uncomfortably, while Wale was slowly dozing off. The last few days had been especially stressful at work, with him clearing up his table in anticipation of their baby’s birth. He didn’t want to be weighed down with work when his wife needed him the most. His head dropped to his chest and he sat up sharply.
“Pele, have you started feeling something?” he asked her.
“I am o!” She held her stomach.
“Sorry, it will soon be over.”
“How do you know that?” She snapped.
Wale was caught off guard by her response, but he had been told that women in labour are often feisty so he didn’t take it personally.
“I was just encouraging you…”
“Don’t encourage me!” she retorted, trying in vain not to notice that her companion’s husband was giving her some water to drink.
“What can I do to help?” Wale asked, sitting up.
“You can stay awake.”
He sighed. “I’m sorry, I’m really tired.”
Labisi exhaled as well. “I know, don’t mind me. I’m just in a bad mood.”
He held her hand as the next contraction came.
Three hours later the women were delirious with pain, hitting their bedside tables and moaning in pain. Their husbands were now standing, staring at one another and wondering what next to do.
“Come here!” Labisi screamed.
“Give me your hand!” Miriam moaned.
“Ah!!!” Labisi screamed.
“Yeee!” Miriam screamed
A nurse came in carrying a silver tray. “Just hold on, it’s almost over.” She said.
“Jesus!” Labisi screamed. “Call the doctor. Doctor o!”
“She’s on her way…” the nurse said unperturbed.
Just then Dr Nkechi and another hospital staff came into the room. “Please excuse us. You can go and sit down in the waiting room.” She said to the men.
“Na wa o!” Wale said, glad to be out of the room. “It’s crazy in there.”
“Yeah, I agree.” Abdul replied distractedly, he could hear his wife screaming.
Soon the hospital staff dashed down the hallway.
“What’s going on?” Abdul wondered.
In a few minutes, the hospital staff returned with a wheelchair running back towards the room.
“Na wa o! What’s going on? At least they should let us know.” Wale said agitated.
“Let’s just relax.” Abdul said tonelessly.
Several minutes later, Dr Nkechi came into the waiting room. The men rose up swiftly, anticipating her news.
“Congratulations Mr Abdul, your wife has given birth to a beautiful girl.”
“Congrats.” Wale said cheerfully.
“Err… Mr Ayinde, can you come with me please?”
“Ehn ehn?” Wale said, terror filling his heart. “Is my wife dead?”
“So why do you want me to come with you? Tell me the truth Doctor, I can take it.”
“Please come with me sir.”
Reluctantly, he followed her.