A cold night in the small town of Egba. Rachael’s water had just broke 48 hours earlier than her doctor had anticipated. At this point, she certainly wasn’t a big fan of the army as her dire wish was to have her husband by her side for the birth of their first baby. Remonstrating, Rachael’s maiden pregnancy wasn’t going as planned as she had to make do with her 16-year old sister. She kept screaming and conjuring unconventional exclamations and awkward facial expressions that suggested she was in pain.
Perturbed and rather impetuously, Tolu dashes out of her room to the living room.
“Ah! Sister mi!” she said discombobulated.
Rachael would frown at Tolu’s pensive reaction as the last thing she needed was another pregnant woman.
“Call Salako.” She said almost whispering as she reached gently for the couch to support her jelly legs at this point.
In a flash, Tolu picked up the phone. She’d dial even with her fluttering thumbs.
“Hello…Uncle Salako…Please it’s happening. Her water just broke…please hurry!” she pleaded even as she hung up. Salako’s the family’s taxi driver and he’s been crucial in the last nine months.
Rachael begun sobbing as she could not handle the excruciating pain any further. Tolu would aid her to sit slowly on the couch in the living room.
“Stay calm sister…he’s not far off… he said he’ll be here in ten minutes max.” Tolu stuttered hoping Salako wasn’t going to apply African time.
Ten minutes seemed a lifetime to Rachael as every ostensibly pacifying word and gesture from Tolu only aggravated her pain.
“Ye! Ah! Hmm-mm! Argh!!!” she kept on with the weird exclamations.
For a moment there, Tolu wondered why one would go through such torture just to bring a baby into this world.
“Mom was right. Boys are no good.” A voice said in her head even as she continued to shrug at her sister animating.
Moments later, Salako would arrive and soon enough, they were at the town’s hospital. Quickly, the nurses laid her on the stretcher wheeling her straight into the emergency room. Door shuts. The doctor rallies his apparatus like troops with the nurses as his hands and legs.
“Just breathe Rachael, breathe. I know it’s your first time but I’ve done this a million times and eventually they all pull through. I assure you, you’re gonna be just fine. This will only take a minute alright?” the doctor assured at the end.
Panting heavily, she replied.
“That’s more like it. That’s more like it Rachael.” The doctor said even as he strapped in his gloves.
Back at the waiting room, Tolu was petrified as she kept pacing around like a scared crow. She’d put a call through to her sister’s husband. Well, his reaction to the situation was far fetch from the typical stern Nigerian soldier as he’d called Tolu seven times in the last five minutes. He was a wreck.
“Argh! Argh! Argh! Woo-Woo!!!” Rachael screaming and sobbing.
“Come on Rachael. You can do this, you’re doing great. You just need to push a notch higher. This is the moment of truth. Everything you’ve done right from intercourse have led you to this point. This is the moment all that preparation comes to the fore. You’re so close to the finish line. This is the most important moment of your life Rachael. Now let’s bring this little pumpkin home.” The doctor psyched her up with a warmth smile on his face.
Pumped, Rachael took a deep breath and pushed even harder losing her strength slowly in the process. At this point, she was losing a lot of blood. Doctor opted for a cesarean section.
Some hours later, the C.S was done. The doctor and his nurses were out of the surgery room. One of the nurses handed him a document that apparently needed his signature. Anxious, Tolu dashes down the hallway to the doctor, signing what she presumed was the birth certificate.
“Doctor…how is she and the baby?” Tolu asked excited.
“Rachael’s fine but she’ll be out of intensive care in a day or two. Wish I could say the same about the baby. We lost him.” Doctor said to the dismay of Tolu as he handed the death certificate back to the nurse.
Tolu couldn’t hold in the rain drops as they poured out of her heavy eyes profusely. She kept cussing and moping in disbelieve. The sympathy and empathy from the nurses couldn’t pacify the pain and hollowness she felt in her heart.
“I’m sorry my child but we did all we could. There were complications with the birth. The baby was dead before we brought him out of her belly. Rachael lost a lot of blood in the process but we were able to resuscitate her through transfusion that match her blood type from the blood bank. Again, I’m deeply sorry.” Doctor ended saying.
Tolu was devastated. She wondered how her sister’s husband was going to digest this horrific news. She also thought about Rachael and how she was going to react to the loss of her baby when she eventually regains consciousness. This was Rachael’s first pregnancy after 9 years of marriage. She’d hoped that this baby was going to rekindle the flame in her marriage but it wasn’t to be and Tolu knew the ripple effect.
Reality struck, Rachael couldn’t make the delivery as the effort and time she’d put into the pregnancy didn’t matter in that moment. As obnoxious as the atmosphere was at that point, Tolu knew she had to be her sister’s backbone. She knew this pain was going to be here for a while and Rachael was going to need someone to walk her down this unprecedented road of heating coals…
Moral lesson from Rachael’s story is that, Delivery is just as crucial as Preparations. A man can put in so much effort into a thing and still make a mess of things when the cookie crumbles. It’s not enough to be prepared but a question of how you go about your delivery. Truth is, people don’t celebrate Efforts but Results.
No one’s gonna talk about how much work Rachael put into the pregnancy considering she’s been without a child for 9 years in marriage. All everyone’s gonna talk about is how she lost a baby in the end. No one is gonna talk about the psychological blow that event could do to her or how she probably won’t be able to sleep at night ruing her luck. People, especially in these parts, [Africa] will only see her as a married woman without a child and sometimes even call her “Barren.”
Success may be Relative but Results to the world, is Definitive. No one cares how much you put into an examination if eventually you don’t make the cut. Sometimes we become oblivious to that fact that efforts are not Rewarded only Results. In the final analysis, don’t just make preparations for the task, make preparations for the delivery because that’s the focal point. This is Danny world…