The Agony and the Ecstasy

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This story is in response to Yeah Write’s fiction prompt for this week – “I was awake when my heart stopped”. Read on!

Sleep has been eluding me for some time now. There is this sense of foreboding and looks like it’s here to stay. All this after she made that announcement. I should have been ecstatic. Isn’t that the norm? When you see those double lines on a pregnancy test? How I’m feeling though, is a far cry from ecstasy. My heart sank when I saw it. I don’t understand how and why she is so happy. How can you be so blithe and joyous when you know you will be fettered soon!

All my plans will now have to take a backseat. We won’t be able to travel, see the world, heck, even going out to dinner will be a chore. I’ve seen my friends struggle with parenthood. They used to be so cool! These days, all they do is talk about baby poop. Our world is soon going to be filled with bottles and diapers.  We’ll probably move to the suburbs soon and live a boring, staid life instead of the exciting life I had envisioned for us. The shopping frenzy started last month. All this baby stuff is swallowing the house. I am not even remotely ready!

We rushed her to the hospital last night. She was writhing in pain. It is a torment to see her go through this. I was by her side inspite of all my apprehensions. Doctors rushed in. There was so much blood! Suddenly, a dark cloak fell over me and sleep took over. The best sleep I’ve had in many a moon! I don’t remember much else, except that I was woken up by a nurse. I was awake when my heart stopped. When I looked at that tiny bundle that the nurse put in my arms.

Her little finger intertwined with mine and she turned me from skeptic to believer in that moment. I was trapped, but gladly so. The ecstasy I should have felt months ago was now here. One look at her angelic face and everything made sense. No fear and no more uncertainty, I was ready. To be a good father to her. To give her all my love.

Sleepless nights are still in my future, but I welcome them now. I welcome the agony and the ecstasy of fatherhood.

8 thoughts on “The Agony and the Ecstasy

  1. innatejames

    I like the transformation your narrator took. I'm a little lost in the verb tenses. We start out in present, then we go to future, then into the past, back to the future; but the story seems to be written chronologically (pregnancy, birth, parenthood).

    Reply
    1. mixedbag Post author

      Thank you for that much-needed feedback, James! I guess I was trying to make the narration sound natural, but now when I read it with your comment in mind, I see what you mean.

      Reply
    1. mixedbag Post author

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Kalpana. Parenting, I'd say is tough most of the time, but divine when the kids are napping haha!

      Reply
    1. mixedbag Post author

      The story and that image, in particular is drawn from my personal life πŸ™‚ I felt like we were going to be swallowed whole by all the baby stuff we bought before my toddler was born. Thank you so much, Jennifer!

      Reply

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