The Dark Night of Exchange

The Dark Night of Exchange

It was a dark night. Best friends Parul and Rajrupa were admitted at “Hopewell Maternity Home“ for intense labour.

While Parul was carrying her baby to full term, Rajrupa was admitted owing to developed complications. Their spouses, Arvind and Sudipto who were childhood friends, were married to their respective sweethearts from college. The four shared a bond closer than family. 

Parul was making tea that evening when her water broke. She started experiencing contractions and called out, “Arvind, I’m losing my fluids heavily. I feel weak and am having cramps.”. Arvind responded, “Sweetheart, don’t worry. The bags are packed and kept ready. Let me call the doctor and get you admitted if needed.”. 

Arvind then called to inform Sudipto that they were leaving for the hospital as Parul had started contractions. Both couples were excited about this new development. Later that night as a heavily impregnated Rajrupa was arranging the table for dinner, feeling happy for Parul, she slipped on the edge of the carpet and fell forward on her abdomen. There was a shooting pain and severe bleeding from her uterus. “Sudi….”, and her voice trailed off.

Wiu… Wiu… Wiu… went the ambulance carrying Rajrupa to the same “Hopewell Maternity Home”. 

The doctors got the documents signed from Sudipto and rushed Rajrupa into the operation theatre on an emergency. Arvind rushed at Sudipto’s arrival and the two friends sat comforting each other. Rajrupa’s bleeding was too severe and the case was complicated further with her falling pulse rate. The doctor kept murmuring incessantly, ”I don’t think she’s going to make it. We need to at least save the baby.”. After sincere efforts well until after midnight, a baby girl heaved her first breath. Rajrupa couldn’t be saved…

Parul, in the regular labour room was cooperating well. It was well past midnight when the mid wives instructed her to give the final push. Parul obliged and the crown was seen protruding out. The nurse pulled the baby out of her womb, but alas… a stillborn baby girl… Parul slipped into deep transition out of sheer exhaustion. The midwives and nurse tried hard to revive the baby but to no avail. 

With a heavy heart, the nurse emerged out of the labour room. Just about the same time, the doctor appeared from the operation theatre. Both Arvind and Sudipto stood up in eager anticipation. The news had to be broken. While it was routine for hospitals to see deaths every day, the doctor and the nurse empathetically conveyed the sad news to Sudipto and Arvind respectively. 

Sudipto gathered himself first holding Arvind’s hand, “Dear friend, Parul doesn’t know she has lost her baby. My little princess also doesn’t know that her mother lives no more. This is more than just a coincidence. This is an ordinance of the Lord. Would you be kind enough to give the love of a mother to my princess?”, and he broke down. Arvind hugged him as the exchange was sealed…
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Lakshmi Ajoy
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