CHAPTER 19 (continued)

Posted: August 1, 2014 in Uncategorized
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transformation definition

Three hours later Hussain and I are in the doctor’s waiting room. I’m seated on a black leather armchair that feels like it is about to swallow me up. Hussain sits at the other end of the room, the only other empty seat that was available. The waiting room was already full when we got here, and it is still dotted with pregnant ladies and anxious husbands. There are a few older women here, probably in their forties, and I wonder if that could be me in a few years, if things don’t go well today.

The room is light and airy. There are a mixture of chairs, couches, and armchairs – all carefully placed to make you feel as comfortable as possible. A few flat screen TV’s are mounted from the ceiling running day time soap operas. Water coolers are placed at each end of the room. All is hushed except for a few children in the corner seated in a special kids play area, and the periodic gurgle of the coffee machine as it percolates invitingly. Everything around seems to have the intension of making you feel right at home, and I wonder if it is a carefully planned psychological distraction to make a person forget the real reason they sit here.

Hussain and I found this clinic on the internet and someone or the other knew someone who had been treated here. The clinic consists of a few gynaecologists, a genetic counselor, a medical blood lab, a few fertility specialists and several nurses. From what I have read, desperate couples from all over Africa have found themselves at this clinic.

Next to me, a young mother huddles what could only be a baby in a large bundle of blankets. The only evidence to support my prediction is a coo and gurgle emanating from the bundle every now and then, to the delight of the mother.

“Did you bring the immunization card?” the man next to her asks. She nods. Their eyes are both fixed on the bundle. He stretches out his hands to her and she hands over the bundle with a thankful look on her face. It must weigh a ton, I think. The man who is probably the father looks younger than her, but then, I think, he didn’t just carry a child for 9 months and give birth. I watch as the man gets up with the bundle. He begins to shed each blanket, clearly not sharing the same climate as his wife. Finally he wraps a tiny wriggling figure to his chest. Tiny fingers and toes stretch out, glad to be free from the confines of blanket jail. A swollen face, eyes shut, lies content on the father’s chest as he leans back to accommodate this delicate being. The look on the little face is so peaceful. Contentment creeps into the babies face, just as it does on the father’s.

I wonder what kind of father Hussain will be. In the past when my mind would drift to the possibilities I would quickly push the thoughts out of my mind. Back then thoughts like those brought more heartache than happiness. Now, I allow my imagination to drift. My eyes fall on to Hussain far across the room. He is earnestly reading a magazine, and seems to be completely drawn into the pages. I squint slightly to try and make out what he is reading, but I can’t. Its probably Popular Mechanics or Outdoor Adventures, I see these magazines dotted around the table near me as well, together with Baby and Me, Your Pregnancy and Cosmopolitan. I laugh inwardly at the selections.

Hussain’s brothers seem to be wonderful fathers and know just how to deal with children. I recall when Hussains brother had his first child. Hussain seemed besotted and even asked to hold the new born. He was braver than I was. These past few weeks it has become easier and easier to imagine our lives changing. Talking about doctor’s appointments, researching new developments and finally laying to rest the past that has haunted us both for so long, has given us both hope for the future.

The drive over here was even pleasant. Hussain detailed all the questions he wanted to ask the doctor. He asked me if there was anything I wanted to ask. I allowed him to take the lead. It actually felt nice to be asked and told, instead of being strong all the time. There is nothing wrong with being vulnerable, I say to myself. I learnt this from Hasina. You don’t have to show your strength all the time to be strong. Hasina didn’t announce her strength, but it was clear that she was a strong woman where it matters.

I feel a hand on my shoulder and look up. Hussain is standing over me smiling. “They are ready for us, Farnaz” he says. “Oh, Okay” , I say, wondering if I missed them call my name.

Hussain stands next to me as I reach below my chair for my handbag and get up. We walk slowly together towards the nurse standing at the open door.

“Follow me” she instructs politely and we obey. The corridor is long, white and clinical. The clicking of the nurses shoes in front of us echos through the corridor and bounces off the walls. I am glad I wore my pumps.

The nurse stops at a door and waits for us to reach her. I read her name tag – SisterJulian.

“Please have a seat” she says as she gestures to the chairs in the room. “The doctor will be with you shortly” she says before she turns and leaves. I look in. If the reception room was intended to make you feel at home, this definitely had ‘doctor’s office’ written all over it.

Hussain and I sit down. Surprisingly he lets out a deep breath. I look at him. He laughs nervously. “How are you doing?” he asks me. I think about it. “I think I am okay. Just anxious to get the results” I say. Suddenly he reaches over and squeezes my hand. My surprise is obvious and he notices.

“This time will be different”, he promises and I hear the sincerity in his voice. I find his eyes and search for our lost years. He holds my gaze as well, until I hear the door close behind us.

waiting roomhopehope change



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