Eleni drifted in and out of consciousness as they barrelled through the long sterile corridor to the delivery room. She was in so much pain, she couldn’t stay awake through most of it. Ash held onto her hand and every time she went limp, he got more and more scared. He asked the doctor what the hell was happening and he just told him that it happened to some women when the pain was too much to handle. Ash prayed that she would be okay., her contractions had not seemed too bad just a half hour ago. She had told him that there was time to get to the hospital, she had thought it was cute how he was fretting over everything as they made their way out of the house. She even called Kaliopi to tell her they were headed to the hospital but to take her time because it was just mild pain. As soon as they had gotten into the car, the pain had become unbearable and Ash had a hard time keeping his focus on the road when he heard her low growls beside him. She was not someone that screamed or even raised her voice, but he could see that in those moments, she wanted to. But she gritted her teeth and breathed deep into her abdomen like her doctor had showed her during a routine check up. She was so strong, he couldn’t imagine the pain she was in. Between each contraction, she stayed quiet and as soon as she felt one come he knew by the way her breathing changed.
She held her breath and felt like she was taking the biggest dump of her life. I’m never going to tell Ash that. She smiled at the thought and pushed with all her might. She was beyond exhausted at that point from all the contractions but the pushing seemed to be the easy part. She felt a burning sensation between her legs and the doctor’s hands touch her slowly.
“That’s it Eleni, your going to meet your baby soon.”
For some reason, her entire body began to shake uncontrollably. She looked up at Ash, who looked terrified.
“Doctor? What’s wrong with my wife?”
He squeezed her hand tighter and waited for him to explain.
“Absolutely nothing. Completely normal.”
They don’t warn you about this stuff in birthing classes. Geez. She smiled and waited for the doctor to give her the go.
“One last push Eleni!”
She felt her baby squirm through and a huge relief came over her body. The doctor stood up with the tiny thing and congratulated them both. Ash wiped her forehead with a cool cloth and kissed her gently on the lips.
“You did it sweetheart.”
She smiled and looked at the doctor. She frowned, why wasn’t the room being filled with cries?
“Why isn’t our baby crying?”
The doctor turned around with the baby wrapped up like a burrito and smiled.
“There will be plenty of time for that.”
As if on cue, the bundle cried as if to say hey I’m here and the new parents cried happy tears.
“Meet Eliana everyone.”
The two days they spent in the hospital had passed too fast, Eleni felt like she had barely had time to bond with her daughter, before she handed her to members of the family to hold. She didn’t want to feel that way, she wanted to be happy that everyone was meeting her, but she felt so alone when Eliana was not in her arms. Maybe it was just the baby blues as they called them, she didn’t know, all she knew is that she wanted more time with her baby. Ash sensed that something was off with her when he saw her looking at his aunt holding the tiny one. He took Eleni aside and asked her what was wrong. He knows me too well.
“I feel empty when I’m not holding her. I know, it’s crazy.”
He smiled and held her close to him.
“Not crazy at all. I used to feel that way when I wasn’t with you. Now I feel it with both of you.”
She smiled up at him and nodded that she was feeling a bit better. With Ash by her side, she could get through anything.
Woof! woof! woof! Oh my goodness, what is that little thing mommy is holding in her arms? It seems to be something important by the look on mommy’s face. I should take a look.
“Slowly Kat.” She warned me.
I sniffed the thing wrapped in the cover and stuck my snout in closer. I saw two beautiful round eyes looking at me with wonder. The thing made a small sound and I stepped closer. Whatever it was, it smelled lovely, a bit like mommy and a bit like daddy. I licked it and Eleni started laughing. The thing looked at me funny and stuck something out of the cover and touched me. It looked like mommy’s hand but it was so very small. The hand tried to touch me, so I got closer still. When I felt the tiny thing grab my fur, I thought to myself; I think I’ll like this thing, whatever it is.
Eleni was beyond exhausted, she couldn’t keep her eyes open. Ash was working late and she wanted to wait up to spend some time with him but she couldn’t resist their bed calling her. She placed Eliana in her crib and turned on the baby monitor. She was asleep before her head even hit the pillow. The door opened a few minutes later and Ash walked in. Kat came out of the nursery to see who it was, when she saw it was him, she ran to him, played a bit and went back into the nursery. He followed her slowly and when he got to the door, he saw her curl up as close as she could to the crib. He smiled and went to the bathroom to take a shower. The day had been long and he was happy to be home. As he felt the warm water running down his body, he heard a scream. He rushed out as fast as he could and found Eleni in bed, the covers and her hand full of blood.
“Ash, something is wrong.”
She barely got the last word out before everything went black.