Ethan was working in his office when he heard a knock at the door.
“Come in.” He lifted his head when the door opened. It was Lisa with all smiles.
“Lisa…” he said breathlessly as he stood up.
“What are you doing here?” He kissed her on the cheek.
“I came to run routine tests.”
“Why didn’t you tell me this morning? I would have come with you.”
“Yeah, I didn’t want to keep you waiting for you to pressure me to hurry up.”
“Oh I’m sorry…”
“It’s okay honey; I’m here now. How’s work going?”
“It’s fine. I have two surgeries today.”
“Wow…so I’m guessing you’ll be coming home late today.”
“Well not that late. The first starts in fifteen minutes. I’ve to…”
“Go…I just came to check up on you and to see if any nurse is hitting on you,” she said with a wink. He laughed.
“Uh huh; everyone knows I married the cutest doctor in this hospital. I’m the envy of all the female staff.”
“Yes you are.” He kissed her.
“I’ll see you; take care with the scalpel.”
“I will,” he said with a loving smile. He opened the door for her and they both stepped out.
Some months later…
“Honey, could you please hurry up just a little? We’re running a bit late,” Ethan said, wearing his tie in front of the mirror.
“I’m trying!” Lisa said, getting irritated. He entered the bedroom to find Lisa sitting on the bed, sobbing.
“Hey…are you all right?”
“No I’m not, Ethan, can’t you see? I can’t do anything. I can’t wear what I want to wear and I can’t work because of my condition, my mood swings so much it drives me crazy and I’ve become slower than the snail! I keep delaying you…”
“Shhh…don’t say anymore….” Ethan said softly as he sat beside her and wiped the trail of tears on her cheeks.
“I’m sorry I haven’t been very considerate with you. I know it’s been hard for you and I’m sorry for being so hard on you. And for the record, you’re as beautiful as ever whether you get to wear what you want to or not, okay?”
“You don’t think I look fat now?”
“You look heavenly, sweetheart.” He kissed her cheek.
She forced a smile. “Can you just go without me? I don’t think I’m in the mood…”
“No, Lisa; you’re not bailing out on me now. We’re launching a new wing and I need you, my beautiful sweet wife by my side. I really need you by my side.”
“What if my mood swings and I cause a scene? You know this baby has been making me act up lately.”
“You won’t; trust me. I’ll make sure of it. You’ll be by my side every minute. You know he’s very calm when we agree on something.”
“That’s true,” Lisa said with a smile. “Okay, let’s do this.”
“Yes!” He helped her get up.
“Lisa! You wear pregnancy so beautifully!” Mike praised when he saw her with Ethan entering the hospital.
“Thanks Mike. I hope we’re not so late,” Lisa inquired.
“Well, we’re about 15 minutes behind schedule.”
“Oh I’m sorry; I made Ethan late.”
“Yeah I figured; Ethan is never late for a function.” Ethan gave Mike a cautious glance.
“But it doesn’t change anything…” Mike added quickly. “You two go in and make yourselves comfortable. I’ve something to attend to.” He left. Ethan glanced at his wife.
“I’m sorry, Ethan,” Lisa murmured.
“It’s okay; it’s nothing. I’m sure not everyone is present anyway.”
“But…” He hugged her and rocked her gently.
“Please don’t get emotional on me right now…I need you to be strong for me, please?”
“I’m sorry…” He kissed her forehead.
“I know you to be a very strong woman and I’m glad to see this side of you; it’s adorable. Come on, let’s go in.”
The launching of the wing went well and the people present at the event congratulated the couple on their yet-to-be born baby.
Later in the night, as they snuggled together in bed, Lisa asked, “Honey, I think there’s something we need to discuss.”
“I was thinking because of our demanding careers, it would be advisable to hire a nanny…”
“Well, you know I’ve been inactive for more than a month now. How much more do you want me to miss out on my work?”
“If it’s about money, you know…”
“No Ethan; this has nothing to do with money. It has all to do with the much effort I put in to get to where I am right now and I’m not giving that up. Besides, what’s wrong with having a nanny? Every mother has one.”
“Not my child.”
“What? Why are you acting like this, Ethan?”
“I just don’t want to have a child who’d only acknowledge you as a figure but would consider some stranger as a mother who practically raised her.”
“That won’t happen, Ethan; I’ll ensure…”
“Of course that won’t happen because I won’t allow it, Lisa.”
“So what, you want me to give up on my career?”
“No; of course not but I’m not going to hire any woman out there to raise my child. Period,” Ethan said firmly. Lisa was stunned. She opened her mouth to say something but she groaned as she touched her tummy.
“Are you okay?” She nodded with a pained expression on her face. He touched her tummy and rubbed it gently.
“I’m sorry; I know you’re almost due and we shouldn’t be arguing but raising this child is something very important to me.”
“So is it to me too, Ethan; but you’re not been considerate here. Please just reason with me.”
“There is nothing to reason about here, Liz. I want our child to see us as the only ones who raised him.”
“And that won’t change even when…”
“Lisa! I don’t want to talk about this anymore.” He lay down. Lisa couldn’t believe her ears. She lay down cautiously and turned her back to Ethan.
In the morning, Lisa came downstairs to find Ethan eating breakfast. He got up and pulled a chair up for her.
“Good morning, honey.”
“Good morning.” She sat.
“Why didn’t you wake me up to help with breakfast?”
“That would be callous. You’re way too heavy for that.” He sat down and poured juice into a glass for her. She took it and sipped.
“Do you feel okay?” He asked, concerned.
“Good; I’ll be on my way now. Take care of yourself and please call me the very minute you feel any discomfort.”
“Okay.” He kissed her cheek. “I love you.”
He left the house.
Hours later, Lisa sat in the living room with about five files beside her. She was on the phone with her secretary, Sue.
“Did you run up a check with Mr. Anthony’s case? How did it go?” Lisa asked, sipping juice. She listened carefully.
“Did you follow up on that?” “Good.” Her phone beeped. “Hang on a second, Sue.”
She looked at the phone and saw that Ethan was trying to call her. She ignored it and continued her chat with Sue. “Go on.”
“No, no, I specifically asked you to keep a close eye on that fellow…..oh no.”
“What is it, is anything wrong?” Sue asked.
“Yeah…I think my water just broke.”
“What? Is your husband there with you?”
“He’s a doctor, Sue! Of course he’s not.”
“Are you calling to call him or should I?”
“No, don’t bother; I can handle it. I’ll talk to you later, Sue.”
“Should I come and meet you at the hospital?”
“No; if I see you, I’d be compelled to talk about work and I don’t want to do that right now. Bye.” She hung up.
Ethan sighed as he looked at his phone. “I guess she’s still mad at me.” He let the phone drop on the table.
Lisa called a cab which came to pick her up to the hospital.
Mike was at the nurses’ counter when Lisa entered with a young man. The nurses quickly got her a wheelchair.
“Lisa! It’s time already? Where’s Ethan?” Mike asked her.
“He’s coming.” She took her bag from the man’s hands. “Thanks.”
“Don’t mention it; you take care.” He left.
“Who’s he?” Mike asked, wheeling her to the delivery ward.
“A cab driver.”
“A cab…Ethan let you take a cab here?”
“It was the only way.” When he got her to the ward, the nurses took over.
“I’ll see you soon, Lisa.” He said and left.
Mike entered Ethan’s office to find him sitting there idly.
“What are you still doing here?”
“Why? What’s going on?”
“Did you forget Lisa was on her way here?”
“Lisa? I tried calling her but she didn’t answer.”
“Well, her time is due and she’s here.”
“What? Why didn’t she call me?” He asked, getting up.
“Wait, how did she get here?” Mike only stared at him in answer.
“She took a cab, right?”
“She told me you knew that.”
“Well, she lied. She doesn’t want to talk to me, I guess.”
“Why, you two were in a fight?”
“She brought up this topic about hiring a nanny last night and I shut it down.”
“Why did you do that? You totally need one.”
“You both have demanding careers…or are expecting her to quit and be a stay-at-home mum?”
“I’ve to go and see her, man. See you,” he said and left the office.
He found her walking on the corridor of the delivery ward and rushed to her calling out her name.
“I guess Mike found you,” she said, leaning against an arm against the wall.
“Why didn’t you call me? Why take a cab?”
“Ethan please, I’m not in the mood to be answering your questions right now.”
“Yes, I’m sorry; what you doing here?”
“The doctor said my contractions are not very strong yet so I should walk around for a while. He said it helps.”
“Should I help you?”
“Don’t you have a patient to attend to?”
“Come on Liz, you’re my wife. You’re my priority now.”
“Just leave me alone, Ethan. I can do this.”
“No I’m not; I know you’re still mad at me about yesterday and I’m sorry. I promise we’ll talk about it thoroughly when we get out of here, okay?”
“Just leave me, Ethan; you’re making it difficult for me to breathe.” She groaned.
“What is it?”
“I think the baby is coming.”
“Good.” He grabbed the wheelchair nearby and helped her sit on it. He wheeled her.
“I’ll be with you all the way, okay?” he said reassuringly.
“That wouldn’t be necessary,” she said, still groaning in pain.
“Please don’t get stubborn with me right now, Liz. We’re in this together.”
“What…” He stopped himself when he remembered that some women say un-called for things when they are hit with labor pangs.
When they got to the door, a nurse said, “It’s so sweet to have you here, Dr. Richards. Will you come inside with her?”
Ethan’s “yes” and Lisa’s “no” rang out together.
“Okay…,” the nurse said, not knowing what to do.
“Come on Liz, let me help you in there.”
“I don’t need it. Please take me inside,” she said to the nurse.
“Of course, Mrs. Richards. You may wait outside here, doctor.”
“Definitely.” They entered the room. Ethan sighed as he sat.
About 20 agonizing minutes later, the nurse came out.
“Dr. Richards, I believe we need you in there.”
“Why, what’s wrong?”
“The baby’s ready to come but your wife can’t seem to find her breath. Maybe you could calm her down.”
“Sure.” They entered the ward. He went to her side, taking her hand in his.
“Hey….what is it?”
“I’m scared, Ethan; what if I don’t make it?”
“What? Why would you think that? It’s not good energy, you know.”
“I don’t think I’m ready to do this, Ethan. I don’t think I’ll ever be ready.”
“Don’t talk like that, Liz. You’ll be fine; I’ll be right here with you. Everything will be perfect, okay?” She nodded.
“Can you push for us?”
Lisa looked at her husband, with fear in her eyes.
“You’ll be fine,” Ethan said, kissing her forehead. “Let’s do it. One, two, three.”
“Good one; let’s do that again.” She pushed again.
“Very good, Mrs. Richards. Keep on like this and we’ll be done very soon,” the nurse said encouragingly. She pushed again.
“I’m tired, Ethan.”
“It will all be over soon. Just one push at a time.”
“No, I’m tired. Let them take it out.”
“No, Lisa; you can do this.”
“I can’t; I feel like I’m pushing my heart out.”
“I know but it will all be over soon. Trust me.” He kissed her forehead. She pushed again. Her grip on Ethan’s hand tightened with each push.
Ethan raked his fingers through her hair comfortingly. Lisa was breathing heavily.
“I can’t breathe, Ethan; I can’t…”
“Calm down and take in one deep breath.” She tried.
“It’s not working…”
“Please push before you suffocate the baby, ma’am.”
“You can do this, honey. Take in one deep breath and let it out. Now push.” She did.
“Please understand; this is her first time,” Ethan explained.
“I know, doctor but for the sake of the baby…” Lisa pushed. She was panting now.
“You can do this, sweetie…” She pushed.
Lisa gave one last hard push and the sound of a baby’s cry was heard.
“We did it, Liz!” Ethan said, excitedly. Lisa sighed in exhaustion.
“And we have one bouncy baby boy!” the nurse declared as she cut the umbilical cord. Ethan was beside himself with joy. Lisa’s grip on him loosened. He turned to look at her. She seemed to be falling unconscious.
“Lisa…Lisa… Doctor, I think she’s blacking out.” She rushed to her and examined her.
“Call code blue!”
Lisa’s eyes opened weakly. She squeezed her husband’s hand. He looked at her and his face lighted up.
“Hey…how are you feeling?”
“I’m okay; you?”
“Better now that you’re awake. You did so well, Liz.”
“No I didn’t; I almost killed our baby because I felt so lazy to push.”
Ethan chuckled. “Don’t be silly, Liz. It was difficult because it was your first time. It’s normal.”
“Yeah…I think I’m beginning to reconsider having any more kids,” she said teasingly.
He smiled. “Maybe you’d reconsider that when you see our baby. He’s so adorable. You’d definitely want to have another one.”
“Are you strong enough to hold him?” He asked her.
“Sure; I want to see him.”
“Okay; I’ll go and get him.”
“Oh my goodness! He’s so cute!” Lisa said admiringly when Ethan gave him the squirming baby. He sat beside her.
“He’s so beautiful…” Lisa said.
“Just like his mother.”
“He has your nose, Ethan; oh gosh, he’ll be every lady’s guy.”
“And he’ll have your eyes…so mysterious and profound.” The baby held Ethan’s finger in its tiny grip.
“Thank you, Ethan,” Lisa said sincerely as she looked at him.
“For today; for being here with me. If you weren’t here, I’d have died and dragged the baby along with me. My stubbornness could have caused some serious damage.”
He kissed her forehead. “It’s my responsibility to be here. And thank you for giving us such a beautiful baby.”
“Thank you for getting me pregnant…even without my consent. It was worth it.” They both chuckled. “Welcome home, baby.”