Ticktock. Ticktock. Ticktock.
I silently prayed to God, if he truly is out there, please let me be happy. I still have a lot of dreams in queue. My whole life is already planned: graduate college, have a steady career, fall in love, get married and have kids, retire early, start my own cafe, and see all the blissful moments go as I watch my grandchildren play with their pet dog. I snapped back to reality. My heart is racing. Thoughts were running wild as drops of sweat fall from my chin to the cold tiles of this small wash room. I count every second that goes by.
How long has it been? Seven minutes, I guess. Only three more minutes left. Why does this take so long? My dreams hang on the line here. Stupid, Ethan! He said he knew what he was doing. I was naive enough to be fooled. All he ever wanted was to use me for pleasure. Now, here I am, suffering alone while he bangs another woman.
I jumped at the sound of the alarm of my cellphone. Ten minutes have passed. It was the moment of truth. I slowly opened my eyes while I shakily held the tiny device, the same device which will decide the course of my fate.
As if time stood still, I became trapped in an alternate dimension where everything was gray scale, lifeless and dull. My heart suddenly went dead still as I saw two red vertical lines. I dropped the pregnancy test. My whole life is officially over. Goodbye, dreams. Goodbye, successful and happy life. Farewell to the future I envisioned.
A month has passed. I didn’t bother going to the doctor for prenatal testing. My tummy isn’t showing any signs of expanding yet.Nobody knew. I never told anyone. The thought of aborting the child crossed my mind. If I could get rid of this child before anyone knew, I’ll be safe from the shame and I could continue my life, I thought to myself. But, I’ll deprive my child the chance of living because of some stupid mistake I did. A strong sense of guilt flooded my system. I started condemning myself for thinking like a heartless monster.
Four months into pregnancy and people could already tell I was pregnant. The bump is undeniably noticeable. A lot of people knew and the news spread like wildfire. It was decided I would turn over my child to adoption services to provide barren couples a chance at parenting, something I wasn’t ready for now. In the not-so-near future perhaps, but not now. I was already focused on rebuilding my broken life after giving birth.
Ethan, like the usual jerk he is, never paid any visit. He didn’t even bother answering the thousand phone calls my family and friends sent him. It would always lead to voicemail. I didn’t bother paying him a surprise visit in the neighboring city, it would be a waste of time and money.
Five months of pregnancy and the doctor said my baby is a girl! The lovely thought of fixing her hair into pigtails made me smile. We’ll even play dolls together and I would dress her up in a cute fairy costume. Too bad I’ll never get the chance to, I said to myself. My face turned stoic and cold. This baby is never mine. She belongs to a couple who really wish to have a child. I have no role in her life except giving birth to her.
Six months of pregnancy when she started kicking like crazy. She’s going to be runner, I thought to myself. She gives me powerful kicks. Some were strong enough to startle me, given that I am always anticipating her kicks. She’ll relax when I sing her the lovely lullaby my mother used to sing to me when I was little. I’ll stroke the large protruding bulge in my belly while humming the tone of the sweet melody. I know she’s intently listening since she would stop her kicking antics. We’ll both be lulled to sleep by my voice afterwards.
Eight months of pregnancy and I rushed myself to the hospital. I was home alone that time when I saw a red stain coming out from my vagina. Without a second of delay, I drove the car as fast as I could fearing I might lost my baby. I underwent a series of tests at the hospital. The feeling of relief was extremely euphoric when I the doctor said you were coming out early. I feared the consequences it might bring on your future development though. I hoped with all my heart you’d grow up normally.
I was taken to the delivery room. Even though I conditioned myself for months, I don’t know if I’m ready. Fear is at the top of the list of my roller coaster ride of emotions. My family wasn’t here. If they arrived in time during my labor, I’d only get to see their faces after everything is done. It was just me and my baby in this battle. I know I have to be strong.
I caressed my belly gently and hummed my mother’s lullaby. I silently told her, “Be strong. Mommy’s going to give her everything. Please, don’t make it hard for me.” Surprisingly, the pain I felt was bearable. I didn’t know if that was normal; but, I believe it was my baby helping me.
Hours have passed till the moment came when my baby first cried. I am wet from the sweat I have discharged from hours of labor. They were wrapping her in clean linen after cutting the chord which connected us for several months.
“Do you want to hold her before we give her to her new parents?” one lady asked me. She walked close to me as she held my baby in her arms waiting for my reply.
“Yes, please.” I managed after several failed attempts of trying to speak again. The amount of fatigue I felt was unbearable. However, the desire to hold my little angel was far stronger than the discomforts I’m feeling.
The nurse gave the fragile creature to me. I couldn’t help but smile. She was beautiful. My baby was beautiful! I cried while touching her cheeks as she let out a yawn. A chuckle escaped from me when she grabbed a finger of mine with her whole hand. That time, a flicker of light started shining. That time, I knew, she needed me. That time, I knew, I wasn’t going to let her go. That time, I knew, I was going to be her mother.