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Joined: 04 April 2011
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Joined: 19 April 2012
Joined: 04 April 2011
"Preet is that you?" Meher called out from the kitchen.
"Hmm...Yeah it's me Meher", said Preet. "I'm done with all the chores".
"Good", said Meher, as she appeared with a tray. "I fixed you a snack and some ice cold lemonade".
"Thanks Meher, you didn't have to", said Preet as he kissed his wife on the cheek and promptly took the tray from her. "I don't want you to over exert yourself in these last days".
"Last days!" laughed Meher. She patted her bulging stomach, as Preet carefully helped her sit down on the sofa, and put some cushions behind her for extra comfort. "Preet, I'm pregnant not terminally ill".
"I know...", said Preet, as he pulled the coffee table closer and helped Meher prop her feet up. "But you know how your parents are always lecturing me on whether or not I'm taking good care of you. I mean do you have any idea what your dad would do to me if he found out you were fixing sandwiches for me instead of the other way around? Not to mention that body builder brother of yours, Nihal".
"Um...Uh...Preet isn't there a game on today that you'd like to watch?" asked Meher as she quickly grabbed the remote and turned the TV on. "Baseball, football, basketball? Let's see what ESPN has to say?"
Preet raised an eybrow questioningly. Hmm, he thought, Biwi distracting me towards TV, something is up. "Okay Meher, what's wrong?" he asked.
"Wrong? Heh heh...Why would anything be wrong?" asked Meher.
"You hate when I watch sports, and now you're actually telling me to do so. So something must be wrong", said Preet.
"Nothing's wrong", insisted Meher. She picked up a sandwich and stuffed her mouth with it. "It's just that my mom called", she said in a muffled voice.
"What?!" cried Preet. "Don't tell me...she wants to come over for a visit right?"
"No...I mean yes...I mean both of our mothers want to come by for a visit", said Meher with a weak smile.
"Oh great! There goes my weekend" cried Preet.
"Well...they wanted to see how we set up the nursery", said Meher. "Besides, it was your mother, not just mine, so how was I supposed to say no?"
"Like this...No", said Preet making a face. "Meher, they don't want to see the nursery, they want to come by and meddle. It's what our parents have been doing ever since we got married. First they said we got married too young. Then they worried about why we were living in an apartment. When we bought the house they worried about why we weren't starting a family yet. And now that the baby is coming, they were upset as to why we decided not to find out the sex of the baby. It's like we totally messed up their pink or blue shopping plans. In fact, I bet they're probably coming over to see what color we painted the nursery so they can find some fault in that too".
"Preet", said Meher, "Maybe they worry more for us, because we're the youngest in our families. In any case...you know they mean well don't you?"
"Maybe", sighed Preet. "But I tell you...sometimes being the youngest in the family seems like a curse. I mean, no one second guesses Prem Bhaiya or Herman Bhaiya. Everyone still thinks I'm incompetent".
"I don't think you're incompetent Preet", grinned Meher. "In fact I think you're the best husband in the whole wide world".
Preet smiled and leaned over and kissed Meher. "And that's why I love you so much", he said.
"I love you too", said Meher. "And now I'll leave you to your sports. Ma and Gaytri Chachee are not coming over until lunch time so you can have the rest of the morning to yourself".
Preet smiled as he watched Meher waddle off towards the kitchen. After about half-an-hour of flipping channels, Preet finally gave into the boredom coupled with exhaustion from his earlier chores, and settled back onto the cozy sofa for a nap.
"Preet!" screeched Meher.
"Wha...What happened?!" cried a startled Preet. Still groggy from his nap, he quickly went in search of Meher, and found her standing at the top of the stairs. He ran up to her side and asked, "What's wrong Meher?"
"Preet", said a very nervous looking Meher, "I think my water just broke".
"What do you mean you think your water just broke?" asked Preet. "Either it did or it didn't. I mean, you may just have lost control of your bladder function, depending on the pressure the baby may have just applied...or..."
"Preet!" screamed Meher, as she grabbed him by his shirt with both hands. "My water just broke! I think we should call the hospital!"
"Right!" said Preet, running down the stairs.
"Preet!" cried Meher.
"Oh! Sorry", said Preet, as he ran back up the stairs and helped Meher come down. He then quickly ran and got the obstetrician's number Meher had posted on the fridge door and gave it to her.
Meher called her doctor and informed her of her condition. "Preet, I spoke with Dr. Davis and she said we should check into the hospital".
"I don't understand", said Preet. "Weren't you supposed to have contractions and we were supposed to do those breathing exercises...Hee Hee Hooo...Hee Hee Hooo?"
As if on cue, Meher bent over in pain. "Ugh! Preet! Hospital!"
"Right", said Preet. "Don't worry about a thing Meher. We won't be like those couples who wind up having their baby on the freeway or something. We've been prepared for this day ever since you entered your last trimester. Your bag is all packed and'..."
"Ugh!" Meher cried out in pain. "Preet, will you please shut up and take me to the hospital?!"
"Right", said Preet. He quickly ran up to their bedroom, picked up his watch, cell phone, and wallet, then ran down to the coats' closet in the main hall, and pulled out a small suitcase. He picked up the car keys from the hook by the door, and ran out to the garage. He then threw the suitcase in the back seat of the car, and quickly sped off towards the hospital.
"It's a good thing the hospital is only 10 minutes away, right Meher?" said Preet. He glanced at the empty seat next to him. Oh Crap! He thought, as he quickly turned the car around. How could I forget to bring Meher?!
When Preet got back home, Meher was being helped out of the house by Teji and Gaytri.
"There he is", cried Gatyri.
"Preet...of all the silly things to do" added Teji. "How could you forget Meher?"
"It's nice to see you too Chachee Ji", sighed Preet.
"There he goes with the sarcasm", cried Teji as she watched Preet take Meher's hand from her and lead her to the car. "How did he think he was going to have the baby without Meher?"
"Oh give him a break Teji", cried Gaytri. "It's their first baby. He's just nervous. In fact I'm sure they both are".
"I bet you wouldn't be so calm about the matter if this had happened to Kulraj or Veera", countered Teji.
"Guys!" cried Meher. "If you don't mind, you can carry on the debate, and we'll proceed to the hospital".
"Oh dear...I'm so sorry", cried Teji. "You must be in so much pain. Are you sure you don't want us to take you to the hospital?"
"No Ma", said Meher. "I have Preet with me. I'll be fine. Why don't you call Papaji and Heer Didi, and we'll see you after I check into the hospital".
"Alright sweetie", said Teji, as she gave her daughter a reassuring hug. "We'll catch up to you guys shortly. And Preet, take care of my baby girl".
"I will", sighed Preet.
Preet helped Meher sit in the car. "Sorry Meher", he said, as he buckled her seat belt for her. "I don't know what happened. I guess I just got nervous. Your mom already thinks I'm an idiot, and now she has proof".
"It's okay Preet", said Meher with a weak smile. "What's important is that you're with me now. But...um...can we like go now, because it really hurts".
"Sure", smiled Preet, "just remember to breathe...Hee Hee Hooo".
It wasn't long before Preet and Meher checked into the hospital. A nurse came by and helped Meher sit in a wheel chair, and then took her to the maternity ward. Preet in the meantime filled out the necessary paperwork. He was about to go join Meher in her room when his parents, in-laws and Prem and Heer walked in.
"Preet!" cried Prem as he hugged his younger brother.
"Hey PB...Heer Bhabi...what are you guys doing here?" asked Preet.
"Ma called us as soon as you guys left for the hospital, so we came right over", explained Prem.
"PB we just checked in", smiled Preet. "The baby isn't here yet".
"I know", grinned Prem, "but I wouldn't have missed this for the world. My baby brother is going to be a Papa! And I'm going to be a Taoo!"
"And a Maasa!" added Heer. "How is Meher doing Preet?"
"She's fine", said Preet. "Just a little nervous, considering it's her first time and all".
"Yes I know how that is", smiled Heer. "Well you tell her that we're all here for moral support, and anxiously waiting for the good news to come. Oh and give her this", she said handing Preet a small teddy bear. "It's from Chahat. It's her lucky teddy. She wanted to come to the hospital and greet her new baby cousin, but I didn't know how long the labor would be. We'll go pick her up as soon as the baby comes".
"Thanks Heer Bhabi", smiled Preet. He took the stuffed toy from Heer and hugged his brother once again before walking towards the elevators leading to the maternity ward. This is it, he thought, as a small smile slowly began to creep up to his lips. In a little while, he was going to be a papa.
A shortwhile later, Preet was standing at the maternity ward's nurses' station. A nurse double checked Meher's room number, then handed him a cap and gown to wear.
"Is this really necessary?" asked Preet as he passed his hand over his hair.
"Just procedures Mr. Juneja", said the nurse, "Trust me, the last thing your wife is going to care about right now is how your hair looks".
"Right", Preet grinned. He put the teddy bear he was holding on the station's desk, and quickly slipped the cap and gown on. The nurse helped him tie the gown's strings, then led him one flight up to Meher's room.
Meher looked tired but relieved to see Preet. Small beads of perspiration lined her forehead, and she winced every now and then from the pain of the contractions.
"Hey Meher! How are you holding up?" Preet asked worriedly, as he took his wife's hand in his. He knew he should have expected it, but still it felt a little strange for him to see her surrounded by all sorts of monitors.
"Preet", sighed Meher. "Thank God you're here. I kept asking the nurses where you were..."
"Sorry", said Preet. "They had me filling out all sorts of forms. And then our parents showed up. Oh and PB and Heer Bhabi are here too. Eveybody sends their love". Meher smiled at Preet, then squeezed his hand tightly as another contraction caused a wave of pain to pass over her body.
"It hurts a lot doesn't it?" asked Preet. He mentally kicked himself as soon as the words left his mouth.
"Yes", sighed Meher. "The nurse was in here just a short while ago. She said I'm already quite dialated and the contractions are coming really fast. Looks like we'll be holding our baby in no time".
"Really", said Preet, "then where is the doctor? I mean, shouldn't she be here?"
"I think she's checking on another patient", Meher said, smiling at Preet. "But don't worry. I'll be okay now that my good luck charm is here".
"Speaking of good luck", Preet said, looking around. "Chahat sent you her lucky teddy, but I think I left it at the nurses' station. Let me just run down stairs and get it".
"But Preet..." said Meher.
"It'll only take a few minutes", said Preet walking towards the door. "She's going to hate me if she finds out I didn't give it to you".
Preet quickly took the flight of stairs to the level below and headed for the nurses' station. Sure enough Chahat's lucky teddy was just where he had left it. He quickly grabbed it and headed back upstairs. As he walked down the hall towards Meher's room, he found several nurses running in and out of it.
What's going on, wondered Preet. The baby couldn't have come already, could it? I was only gone for like 5 minutes. Damn! Meher's going to kill me if I've missed the delivery.
Just then Preet saw Meher being wheeled out of her room. "Hey!" he cried running down the hall. "What's going on?! Where are you taking my wife?"
A nurse stopped him. "Sir please, this is a maternity ward. We can't have you running and yelling in the hallway".
Preet pushed past her just as Dr. Davis exited Meher's room.
"Dr. Davis! Wait up please!" he pleaded, as he caught up to her. "Would you please tell me what's going on? Where did they just take Meher? Is there a problem with the room?"
"Mr. Juneja", said Dr. Davis, "I'm afraid there's been a complication".
"Complication?" asked Preet.
"The baby was fine during your wife's last check-up, but it seems to have shifted its position just before labor set in".
"Shifted its position? What are you talking about?" demanded Preet.
"The baby is coming out the wrong way", explained Dr. Davis. "It's a breech baby. We're going to attempt a normal delivery, but we're shifting Meher to the operating room, because we may just have to do an emergency C-section. I'm afraid you'll have to stay here".
"You can check in periodically with the nurses' station for progress on your wife's case", said Dr. Davis, "but I'm afraid we can't have you in the O.R. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to attend to Meher".
Preet stood frozen in a daze as he helplessly watched the doctor walk away. Within a few minutes all the commotion coming from Meher's room had died down and he was left standing all alone.
Hope you all liked it. Please leave your comments or at least hit the like button.Special thanks to Shruti for the beautiful banner...
Joined: 19 April 2012
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