The Choice (chapter 20)

Femi turned off the car engine. He opened the door, stepped out, and shut the door. He hurried into the hospital.

Someone from the hospital had called him earlier to report immediately. Femi wasn't sure what had happened. Probably his wife had given birth, or something else had happened. He discarded the negative thought that crossed his mind. Femi ambled towards the maternity unit. He wanted to see his wife first. Sarah hadn't been picking up his calls. He wanted to be sure that she was okay. Femi pushed the door open. Sarah lay on the bed with her head slightly elevated, her belly still as big as Femi had left it. Femi drew a deep breath. What was wrong with Sarah? He doubled his steps and approached her. An oxygen tube was taped to her nose, and a pint of intravenous fluid hung on the drip-stand beside her bed was connected to her vein. Femi turned to face Sarah. Her eyes were shut. Femi's heart leaped. He shook Sarah gently. "Sarah!" Sarah was still Unresponsive. Femi slapped her thigh twice. Sarah's eyelids fluttered. She opened her eyes. Femi exhaled. "What's wrong? You scared me. Why are you sleeping?" he said. Sarah cleared her throat. "You're back. I was feeling sleepy.

How're you?" she said. "I should be the one asking how you are. What's delaying you? I thought you had delivered when I was called that the doctor wanted to see me," Femi said. "Not yet. Please go and see the doctor." "Okay. I'll be back soon." Femi left the room and headed to the doctor's office. He had been called to come over after all. "Hello, Doc," Femi said as soon as he entered the doctor's office. The doctor raised his head. "Er, Mr. Faronbi. You're welcome. I'm glad you came in time. Please have your seat," he said. "Thank you," Femi said and sat in the seat opposite the doctor. "My wife is yet to deliver. What's happening, doctor? Why is it delayed? And she was even sleeping when I came. Was she supposed to be sleeping?" Femi said. "Well, that was why I sent for you. It's a pity that your wife is not progressing as she should. And the worrying part is that the baby is in distress. We need to bring out the baby now if you want it alive." Femi raised his eyebrow. "What are you talking about? Of course, I want my baby alive." "Yeah, I expect that." "Please help my wife. I don't want to lose her, and I don't want to lose my baby either." "To help her, I need your cooperation." "I'll cooperate.

Do what you need to do," Femi said. "I need you to sign the consent form for a Caesarean section to be done. That's why I called you." "Can't she deliver the baby herself? I thought the help you were referring to was to give her something that would hasten the process. Surgery? I don't think that is the right thing to do.""Hmm. Foetal distress can do much harm to your child. This is an emergency, Mr. Faronbi." Femi hushed, ruminating on the doctor's comment. "Alright, Doctor. No problem. I'll sign." "That's good." Femi signed the form. Necessary preparations were made, and Sarah was taken to the operating room. Femi's phone rang. His mother was the caller. She had arrived in Abeokuta and had been at the park. She demanded that Femi come to pick her up. Femi left the hospital and drove to the park. He sighted his mother standing behind a white bus. He alighted from his car and went to assist his mother with her luggage.

Femi sat behind the wheel, and his mother sat next to him. "How is Sarah now? Has she given birth? A boy or a girl?" Mama Faronbi said as soon as Femi started the car. "Maami, Sarah is yet to deliver. In fact, she's having surgery right now," Femi said. "Ah! What is the problem with you these children? You just do things without informing somebody. What is your problem? Are you not supposed to tell me before allowing your wife to be taken to the theatre? Do you know what my mission here is? The child that is coming is one of your ancestors. And he should not be delivered through surgery. What have you done?" Mama Faronbi said. "Maami, stop being too traditional. The doctor said the baby was going to die if he didn't bring it out. Would you have preferred that I stop the doctor from doing what he was supposed to do? Well, I'm sorry I couldn't do that. The life of the baby is important to me," Femi said.

"So to whom is the life of the baby not important? Do you hear yourself at all? I already told your wife what she needed to do. I know she's stubborn; she must have disobeyed me," Mama Faronbi said. "Well, I don't understand what you're talking about. All I know is that she's in the operating room. The important thing now is we are meeting the baby hale and hearty." "Alright. Just take me to the hospital where she is." Femi knew the kind of person his mother was. He dared not take her to the hospital right away. "I can't drive you to the hospital like this, Maami. I have to drive home and drop your luggage first before we can head to the hospital," Femi said. Mama Faronbi raised her brow. "But the luggage is in the car. What does it have to do with us going to the hospital?" "You can't understand, ma. Let me just drop the luggage at home. I'll take you to the hospital thereafter."

"Alright. Do as you wish." Femi drove home. He took Mama Faronbi's bags out of the boot of the car and dropped them in the house. Femi told his mother to take a break since she was coming from a long journey, but Mama Faronbi insisted on seeing Sarah first. Femi was left with no choice but to consent. He got into the car and drove to the hospital, hoping the surgery would be over with already.

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