On 10th June 2009 at 1.43 pm our son was born weighing 3.1 kgs. I still relive that early morning when we drove to the Ramathibodhi hospital in the Bangkok traffic trying to be calm, chatting of this and that while trying desperately to not think of the worst – that all may be lost. Tuk had complained of pain the previous night but we both became anxious when she found herself bleeding in the morning.
We rushed to our respective pregnancy books and decided to immediately leave for the hospital. My anxieties were soothed by the fact that things went so smoothly from the minute we landed at the hospital entrance. And I cannot thank enough the government hospital and its wonderful nurses and doctors. Entering the hospital, Tuk walked to the wheelchair stand where a staff came over with a wheelchair and then we all three went to the sixth floor maternity ward. Tuk was asked to get to a bed behind a green curtain while they left the filling of forms to me and another nurse.
The nurses and doctors went about their work calmly and professionally. By now my heart was beating loud enough for them to admit me into the cardiac seizure ward. Our doctor walked in after a few minutes and chatted with the others. Then he went and checked Tuk. I had one eye and ear on the closed green curtain with Tuk on the other side while helping the nurse fill in our forms, now even more openly thinking of the worst, asking whether our son was going to make it, praying, weeping inside for everything to be alright.
A few minutes later our doctor (a cool dude) walked by and, as I waited to see if he would explain anything, he cheerily spoke to me as if wishing me good morning: “oh for sure, the delivery is today, … for sure”.
So. It was going to happen. Almost 11 days in advance of the scheduled date. I hung around hoping to see Tuk. After a while, she walked out clothed in the hospital green robe. I was still trying to figure out what was going to happen when we were told that Tuk would be taken inside to the delivery room and I wasn’t allowed there. Tuk wondered aloud to me if she should just ask for a c-section and get it over with. I was almost going to say yes just so we could get this unbearable suspense and waiting over with, but I then asked her to wait on a bit. She nodded and then walked down to corridor into the rooms.
The nurse told me that it was only the beginning of labour and it could take more than ten hours sometimes before they could tell me anything. They told me to go home and rest and gave me the ward telephone number to call and find out the status. Since men were not allowed to hang around there, I had to leave but of course I couldn’t go home really not while Tuk was there waiting and god knows what was going to happen. Tuk’s friends called by now and they told me a place to have coffee and a bite to eat.
I wandered off downstairs totally lost, surrounded by the hospital buzz of people and announcements trying to find somewhere to sit and collect myself. A small park and a coffee shop. Thank god. I tried breathing calmly and medidating, thinking of our life together which already seemed to have been filled with so much of everything, pain and joy and anguish and anxiety.
I called my close friend Sunil who advised me to go to his place and eat and rest rather than wait around. I couldn’t decide at first, waiting around near Tuk seemed the best thing to do. But then there was nothing to do there and so I took a taxi to his place. Suddenly while inside the taxi I had the urge to fling myself out and rush back to the hospital. What was I doing? Why wasn’t I near Tuk? What if she needed me? I had to grip the seat and eventually made it to Sunil’s place without completely losing my mind. A shower and food and some conversation greatly helped. We checked with the hospital every hour. They told us to check later in the afternoon.
But by 1 pm I was feeling refreshed but also anxious at waiting around so far away, and left Sunil’s place and come back to the hospital. I went straight to the 6th floor ward to check. I wasn’t sure what would have happened, probably nothing although it had been more than five hours. When I went to check, the nurse looked up the screen.
Yes, Tuk had brought us a baby son to this world at 1.43 pm, the boy and mother are well. Gosh. I couldnt believe it, and kept peering at the screen dumbfounded. Deo gratias as my father used to say. So this is how it feels. We have completed one part of our journey together, Tuk and I. I was wondering what to do next, hanging around trying to be inconspicuous in case they asked me to leave again.
Then I turned round and suddenly Tuk was wheeled out in the bed and was near me. We held hands and she looked up and I smiled at her and said “congratulations mum”. Tears immediately welled in her eyes. I’ll never forget that moment as she smiled at me, lying there in her green robe, tired and a bit dazed, but her eyes tender and brimming with tears. I wiped her eyes and cheeks and we then smiled and held hands.
I started telling everyone starting with Metta her older sister and our closest friend and companion. I still hadn’t seen the baby our son. But that could wait. He was fine they said and had been taken to be checked and would be brought back in a few hours. For now, we were relieved and happy and together again.