"A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep
To everything (turn, turn, turn)" ~ The Byrds
Last month, P’s wife had a baby who was just 1.5 kgs. We went “Oh My God!” The baby was kept under intensive care in the hospital, the bill running to lakhs.
There have been some 6 pregnancies in the team and people have been going on maternity and paternity leaves. It is a different feeling all together to see female colleagues get pregnant and see the baby develop each day. I have been with them throughout the cycle- from morning sickness, to the various rounds of ultra sounds to food cravings. Sometimes, I crib and ask them to spare me as they go on and on about the .2mm long nose or 3cms long legs in an ultrasound which is like a patch of black and white marks to me. I had felt V’s stomach the first time the baby kicked and then it was the turn to feel R’s stomach again. V has just come back from her leave. During her absence, R had carried on the legacy and updated me almost everyday on the progress of her baby. Her mom prepared 5 different kinds of rice and fed her, her husband sings nursery rhymes to her stomach, they are planning to invest for the baby, and she will go for one of the best hospitals to deliver so that all of us can visit her.
R was just about to go for her maternity leave in another week’s time. She did not feel any movement suddenly and was rushed to a hospital and we came to know she has lost the baby. Just a day before this, she had said the baby is looking very chubby in the scan. She is in a family of doctors too. We have only been praying as her husband got in touch with us saying she is still in a state of shock.
Her cubicle is bang opposite mine. I see the empty chair and our group photo on the desk with a heavily pregnant R smiling radiantly.