“I want to have my own baby, Doctor. Will you help me please?” 

Neha Thakker had walked into ‘Hope Genesis Clinic’ with a lot of trepidation. Sushant had warned her that it was beyond their means. But she was tired of the wait. It was more than twelve years of marriage and she was nearing her forties.

 “We’ll adopt, Neha. It’s too expensive for us. I too want our own baby. But….”

 “I am sick and tired of the taunts and the talks behind my back. Those nasty relatives don’t let me live in peace.”

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“Ignore them, Neha. It’s our life. There is more to life than just having a baby.” Sushant almost pleaded with her.

He had a clerical job in a firm and was trying to make their ends meet. He had struggled with his education with minimal family support. Tuitions had pulled him out of a downtrodden life.

And unfortunately, life was again conspiring to throw him back into that deep well!

 “Neha, your case is peculiar. Your age is not against you, but your hormones are. We will have to use potent drugs for ovarian stimulation. And there is only a fifty percent chance of success.”  Dr.Tamhane briefed the couple about all the pros and cons of the procedure. His assistant made them understand the financial implications of the In Vitro Fertilization cycle. 

Neha and Sushant pondered over the documents for a moment and finally signed on the dotted lines. 

Dr.Tamhane understood the plight of his patients. Their financial difficulties and the burden it put on them. But the state-of-the-art equipment and drugs cost a bomb. He had no control over the system.

He wondered how much strain the family was willing to endure. At the other end, the surrogate mothers were trying to make some money by lending their wombs. Life is strange, he thought.

***

Neha underwent the IVF cycle as planned. But luck was not on her side. Midway in her cycle, she landed up in Ovarian hyperstimulation. The cycle was abandoned and she landed in the Intensive care unit. 

“Sushant, she is struggling for her life. Hope she makes it.” Dr.Tamhane patted on his back.

“We just wanted a baby. How did this happen? Why does it all happen to us?”

Making him understand was difficult. 

After two weeks of intense battle, Neha finally got rid of all the tubes in her body. She made a gradual recovery and went back home. 

Sushant tried to pay the bills, but Dr.Tamhane knew it was way beyond his means. 

***

A year passed.

 Neha entered Dr.Tamhane’s cabin. Her face was unmistakably familiar. He got up and received her. He looked at her with satisfaction. At least she was alive and sitting in front of him. 

After the pleasantries, there was a long pause. Neha spoke almost in a whisper.

 “I want to have my own baby, Doctor. Will you help me please?”

***

Photo By: joelvalve

***

This is an entry for Five00-7, a writing event hosted by ArtoonsInn. Check out the event prompt and guidelines here: https://artoonsinn.com/five00-7/

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