An unforgetable night

An unforgetable night

I was woken up by the contractions and before I could take another breath the membranes bursted and water gushed out from my body as though from an open tap. I made to control it thinking it was urine and it took a second or so before it dawned on me that the baby was coming. The clock on the wall showed 2:34am. I hit my husband who was snoring away on the other side of the bed.

“Segun………Segun”

“Yes, yes, yes?” he woke up startled.

“The BA….by” I managed to utter before another wave of contraction hit me. I was surprised at how quickly the next one came.

He jumped out of the bed and grabbed the keys to the motor cycle. “Let’s go.”

I choked back on the laughter rising in my throat. He had only a pair of briefs on. “Please put on something and awww…..”

“What is happening?”

I could not answer. A strong urge to bear down came on me and as the contractions came I could not control myself. “ whoo whoo whoo….”

“Temi talk to me.”

“The baby, baby ….Ahhhhhhhhhhhh” I parted my laps and bore down.

“Stop! stop let us get to the hospital.”

“ahhhhhhhhhhh……….” I felt something slip out. “The baby is out,” I told him but the announcement was unnecessary because a cry filled the room.

I made to sit up but the horrified look on my husband’s face as he turned his gaze to where the baby was stopped me. “What is wrong?”

He continued to stare, so I sat up and between my legs lay a small figure with no legs, appendages like paddles were at the place the legs were supposed to be. The ears were absent and there was no dividing septum between the nostrils. I went still wondering what had gone wrong.

Another wave of contraction hit me and I felt the urge to bear down again. I lay back and started pushing with all my strength

“What are you doing?” my husband cried broken out of his shock by my actions.

A second cry filled the room.

I sat up and another baby lay between my thighs half on top of the first one.

“What is going on?”

I was confused too. Things like this didn’t happen now. I had done a scan and nobody had told me anything about twins or a malformed baby. All I had been told was that I had a co-existing fibroid.

“Get a piece of thread. We need to tie the cord.” I was calm now going through the motions of what I’d learnt from stories about home deliveries away from medical help.

I carefully tied both cords glad the placentas were out. I cleaned myself and asked for fresh clothes so we could go to the hospital.

I picked up the second twin and wrapped him carefully in a piece of Ankara.

Nobody knew we were expecting twins. Not even the doctors. The thought to smother her came to me and I lifted my eyes to my husband. I saw the same thought in his eyes before he quickly lowered them in shame. We could not afford a sick baby. Our joint income was about twenty five thousand naira a month. I sat on the bed and looked at her for a long time.

Then she opened her eyes and smiled. I knew she couldn’t see me but it felt like a smile specially for me. I carefully wrapped her up in another piece of Ankara, nestled her to my bossom and asked my husband to pick up our son.

We took them both to the hospital.



27 thoughts on “An unforgetable night” by osakwe (@osakwe)

  1. Oh oh…okay I know this is flash fiction. But is child birth really this easy? And is a new mother able to handle everything with her sanity and strenght intact?

    I’m not sure this is an accurate description of labour.

    But I sort of enjoyed the way you write and some of the humor in the story. I’m just not too sure about the childbirth scenario, it felt more like she took a shit rather than have a baby…

    1. there is something called precipitate labour. labour can indeed be very short

      1. labor can be short? My kids didn’t get that memo… : )

        1. mine didn’t either. i used to get jealous when i saw people who had it that way but trust me its scary when you end up delivering away from medical help because one has precipitate labour or in some cases labour that isn’t so painful that the women don’t even recognise they are in labour

        2. lollllllllllllllllll.

          Maybe it got lost somewhere in transit.

    2. this kind of birth is possible…. my mum is a gynecologist…one day, a woman who was coming to here clinic for ante-natal dropped her baby right on the clinic doorstep. all my mum did was to clean them up…it was something to behold

  2. lovely and sad story Osakwe.However ,unfortunately, labor is a lot longer than that,especially for the first delivery.It can take hours after the water breaks.Also I have a hart time believing that the second heart beat wouldn’t have been picked up by the doctors.Anyway, good job.I hope there will be a part 2.

  3. labour can be short. sometimes the water burst just before baby comes out, sometimes the doctors have to burst it themselves when they want to take the delivery.
    yes the doctor usually picks a second heartbeat but sometimes they don’t especially when they are not looking for it. Anyway the fun of fiction is being able to write the incredible within the realms of reality.

    1. Bravo….I do like the uncertainty and tension you introduced when they both thought about killing the boy. That thought was quickly smothered too, but I would love to know what happened to that baby…with the “paddles”, “no-nose” and all.

  4. Aww,touchy story.Good flow. I do know that inadequate nutrients can cause one twin to be well nourished while the other loses out. Since the child wasn’t forming well, it could have been the reason the scan didn’t detect it was a foetus but as fibroid. However, it does pay to visit different labs for scan and other pregnancy related matters. Some labour can be uneventful o. I have had 2 labour experiences and 3 kids and it’s been such sweet labour experiences. I don’t about our MC in the story but if God’s favour jam you in the labour ward, halleluyah will remain your song.

  5. I agree with you that sometimes, it might be quick. But next time make it a little lengthy so that your readers can go through every bit of it with you. That’s what makes you an outstanding writer. Even if it’s five minutes labour, they should still feel you. You’re writing about labour o oooooo…..

  6. now, I don’t know labour like Osakwe but, I believe that a ‘longer’ and more ‘tiring’ for Temi should have sold it well for me.
    I want to know more about these kids so, please develop it more.
    check: bursted…that’s Naija English. Burst is English…lol

    1. thanks.
      I actually made the labour short to account for the home delivery. I think perhaps I should have made it short but intense like Eletrika suggested.

  7. Labor can be that short, truly. Happened to my aunt. She sent her younger sis to buy something two streets away and the girl returned to find mama and baby. She has four kids now and its been that short with all four. She must have a pact with the devil, lol.
    But to the story, more intense would have helped. All the same, i like.

  8. The story was ok but I didn’t exactly feel the tension of labour. I think you could have done better but it’s ok.

  9. Water burst, labour this, labour that, contraptions, placenta.
    Men don’t need to hear all this. Just show me the baby, clean dry and with no cry.

    1. LOL Kaycee! will you be in the hallway smocking a cigar?

      1. Cigar and a glass of brandy.

        1. true musketeer style!

  10. Great story….please let us know what happened to the baby with the sweet smile. Well done.

  11. adams (@coshincozor)

    too much suspense! too many things were not said. sounds like one of the American horror movies. i like the diction of the story but its too incredible for my liking

  12. @adams, Horror movie ke? Na so U dey take fear? Hehehe..

    Not bad, but could use some work.

  13. Not bad.

    Finish.

  14. I can’t comment on how long labour takes, but I feel that the story was more about what to do with the disabled child that the MC had given birth to. I like the way you showed that disabled children are still human beings, but I’m not sure if children start smiling till they are two-three months.

  15. yeah it was more about the children. children can smile when they are born but their smile is not due to their interaction with their enviroment but just something they do. the social smile starts at about six to eight weeks. even in the story the mother knew the child was not really smiling at her.

  16. na wa o. that kin pikin? na temptation and trials be that one o.

    you did well but you could have done a lot better with this story though.

  17. @osakwe
    this is nice………………

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