I could not believe it. A baby, right under my roof? No, this could not be happening. How would I help? With no training whatsoever in nursing, I was at a loss. A shocked loss.
She had come to our house. This is someone we had known quite some time and she had lived close by with her hubby. They were a young couple and as often happens after living together they had decided for a baby. We had not met up for some time because they had since relocated though to a not so far place. Until that afternoon when she came knocking at our house.
I invited her in and noting that she was so far gone did all I could to make her stay comfortable. She lay on the couch for a while. Though I wondered of her state as darkness began to fall, it did not bother me much. Even when she requested to spend the night because she was too tired, I just consented. Too much too soon.
Straight after dinner, i washed her feet and set her to bed. All was peaceful until around 11pm when I heard this piercing scream. And thus begun my agony. I ran to where she lay to find her doubled up in pain. It did not take me too long to realise that a baby was on it's way here. But in my house? We were in a dilemma. With no hospital clinic records we could not just have her admitted in any hospital to deliver. She did not even have any identification on her. It hit me just then, how about we call her hubby. I tried his phone and though it took longer than it should he was on the line. As soon as I explained the situation to him, he informed in not so polite words that I was on my own. That he had left her and she was on her own. It hit me so hard. That a man could disown his own child who was just about to be born? That the lady knew all along she was in labor and had not informed me? That there would be no hospital admission without the necessary records?
I woke up a neighbor. She was not so helpful either. Told me how risky it was for me having a woman in labor in case it went bad. Exhausted, I knelt down to pray. Funny how wrong i had my priorities. I said just a simple prayer asking God to postpone all my previous requests and grant that the labor could be withheld till morning came. Till I could take the lady to hospital. Answered prayer? Yes. The lady slept through till 5am in the morning. I didn't have any sleep that night. We hit the road at the first signs of daylight. The nearest clinic could not take her in with no records. She was now in so much pain.
At some point we were advised to take her to some government office. But being a Sunday it was closed. Then it hit me. We could take her to a govt hospital and leave her there. At least that way she would receive the necessary care records or no records. It was not helping my pleading to take her in. And that is just what we did. We took her to a facility, asked the Doctor to have a look. They informed her that they would not take her in without the records of her clinic visits.My ears were beginning to sting with that word-records.
And so while the Doctor checked her out we took off. Casually. Entrusting her to the right hands.
We had not driven more than five minutes when they called me. Said the baby was born. I should have been happy but in the circumstances, I felt relieved. I could now catch up on sleep. And try to think why someone in such a delicate situation would just not tell the truth. What if?