The due date had been the fourth but Alisha was feeling uneasy, not only because of the uncomfortable position and the lack of sleep but because she had been brought to this small town for her delivery. Her husband’s family had this ritual that the first delivery had to be in their hometown. She was jittery about the hospitals here as she was from a metro. Though the family was reputed enough to call any doctor but anticipating bad facilities, Alisha was slowly developing a lot of apprehensions. Add to this was also the fact that none of her family members would be near her.

Today was the thirty-first and suddenly her husband had to leave for an important assignment to Delhi. She had pleaded with him to not go but he had in his own mind, had felt that she was in safe hands, which technically was not wrong. By the end of the day, Alisha started having palpitations and was having difficulty in breathing. Her husband was nowhere in sight and there was no way of communication. She was worried and tensed.

It was only when the clock struck eleven that she became uncontrollable and complained of severe pain. Everyone at home was around her but they were of no help. Finally at around eleven forty, only when she heard him come in, did she leave a sigh of relief.

But the stress had taken its toll and she started leaking soon enough. The doctor was summoned and he felt that it was seemingly normal, but that she would have to be admitted immediately. Reaching the hospital, Alisha’s stress was released a bit because it was pretty decent. The doctor had a pleasant personality and soon she took over. Taking Alisha’s hand in hers, she reassured that everything would be fine.

By this time, things were in control but somehow Alisha had started panicking, for the whole situation was out of her comfort zone. The doctors were trying to pacify her to the best of their ability but Alisha felt insecure with the whole process. The doctors had by now started inducing pains as she was unable to go into labor due to the stress.

The whole of the next day went on in trying to have a normal delivery but it seemed impossible now. As if exhausted by the whole ordeal, Alisha fainted in her room. Her husband kept on calling out to her but to no avail. She would momentarily hear his voice and then lapse into unconsciousness.

After a good two hours, she was wheeled into the operation theatre because the doctor felt that her baby was in distress. The whole process of suctioning started and it was only in the evening that she delivered a beautiful baby girl. Suspecting some lung damage, the doctors immediately kept her in the incubator for care.

Alisha was traumatized to bits and wanted to see her daughter. Heavily sedated, she could finally see her bundle of joy after two days, only when all was declared normal. Today as her daughter was delivering her first child; all the memories came in a rush, flooding her. So much of life had transpired in these years and now a new journey was beginning.

Alisha felt at peace as life completed a full circle. She had lived many lives in that span and was ready for another small life in her large Pandora’s Box.