She lay there in the hospital bed with the monitors beeping, the hospital stench making her feel nauseous, the nurses crowding around trying to do something useful and a team of doctors discussing their options. The world to her seemed blurred, the powerful lights were dimmed out and all that went through her mind was, “NOT AGAIN”
Ally had been married for 10 years, yes 10 years and still hadn’t given birth to a single child. She had conceived twice already, but both had ended in an abortion, just a few weeks into her pregnancy. And this one was no different. Or rather it was. Her previous abortions did not pose any problems to her health per se, but this one did. The third one proved to be unlucky. Her unborn child had died inside of her and had caused the venom to flow into her blood, damaging her internal organs, instead of expelling itself out. Who’d imagine that an unborn child could cause such harm. And yet it had and Ally had to bear the consequences.
She wasn’t in her senses. She was blinded by her need for a child. The doctors had warned her to avoid any further pregnancies without appropriate tests and yet she didn’t listen. Gerry, her husband, would try to convince her to go to the City and get the tests done. But, Ally was a stubborn girl. She never wanted to leave the comfort of her magical life in the small town, surrounded by tall tress and trimmed grass and wooden houses.
And here she was. In the hospital bed, semi-conscious, barely able to breathe with a dead foetus in her womb and poison in her blood.
The doctors had decided to operate on her. To remove the dead foetus and cleanse her womb of all the impurities. Even then her chances of seeing the other side of anaesthesia were minimal. Gerry just wanted to save her life. Ally just wanted to have a child with Gerry. Was life worth living if she couldn’t have the child with him?
“I love you, sweetie. Everything’s going to be all right,” Gerry said, his thick accent blurred out with the tears in his eyes.
“We have each other, baby, we don’t need a child to prove our love. Once you get better, we’ll have those doctors from the City come over and test you all right!”
That was wishful thinking on Gerry’s part. His job as a lumberjack and Ally’s as a school teacher, would never allow them to afford the luxury of having a City doctor come over to their quaint town. But hope was all he could offer at that time.
Two hours later, the doctor came out of the operating room and spoke to Gerry.
“We have done our job. The rest we must leave to the powers above.”
Ally was wheeled out of the theatre and into the Intensive Care. She was on a ventilator, blood was flowing into her veins from a bag and tubes were hanging out from almost every part of her body. Would she ever survive this?
Ally didn’t survive it. She passed away the next day. Gerry was distraught. His life seemed over.
A few months passed by, when Gerry received a call from Dr. Green.
“Gerry, I need to meet you in person. I’m coming to the town this weekend. Please drop by at the hospital and we can have a talk.”
Gerry wondered what that was all about, but played along. The weekend came and he went to the hospital to meet Dr. Green. The doctors cabin was big, quite big actually for such a young doctor, Gerry thought to himself. It was adorned with medals and certificates from various places, most of them Gerry had no idea about.
Dr. Green entered as Gerry was admiring his cabin. He had a brief conversation with Gerry and gave him instructions. Gerry was in disbelief, but decided to find out himself.
That night Gerry went home and opened the medicine cabinet. He hadn’t seen the medicine cabinet in years. He was a healthy man with a frugal diet with physical activity factored in too. He had not seen a doctor for years. All the medicines in the cabinet belonged to his late wife.
As he went through the medicines, he found a container with a label which read T.Mifepristone. He slumped. His eyes welled up with tears.
Mifepristone was the tablet she had taken to kill all his babies while she bore them in her womb. It was a medicine used to cause abortions.
Gerry was angry and yet upset at the same time. He couldn’t fathom the fact that Ally had done this! He wanted answers to his questions, he wanted to know why!
Dr. Green was intrigued by Ally’s case and had taken her blood and urine samples to the University Lab for testing. He’d expected to find something pathological, but the only abnormality in the samples was traces of Mifepristone in her urine. He’d normally not check for it, but he had seen cases of mothers-to-be with recurrent abortions and normal labs, test positive for Mifepristone. It had something to do with the mother not accepting her child and going through intra-partum depression. She would thus end up aborting the child with Mifepristone.
Ally was depressed. Depressed because she wasn’t sure what kind of a mother she’d be. She was worried if she would ever give her kids as much love as her mother gave her. She was worried that her kids may turn out to be junkies or gypsies or dopeheads or whatever the current crop of children land up doing when they enter their teenage.
Ally would constantly fight against these images in her head and reassure herself that everything would be fine. But the next moment she’d become a nervous wreck again. She couldn’t take it. She thought her apprehensions would disappear after the first, but they only became stronger.
When she had her third, she carried it for much longer than the others. But, as time passed by, she developed the same apprehensions. She was depressed and took the pills. Not knowing that taking those pills in her second trimester would be disastrous.
What Ally had never considered was talking to Gerry about it. How could she? Tell him that she wasn’t ready to be a mother to his children!
If only Ally would have spoken to Gerry, if only she had communicated her feelings to him. Maybe things would’ve been different. Maybe Ally would’ve been alive and a mother today. But, it wasn’t meant to be….