“The usual procedure in this type of case is to inform the Police and Social Welfare.”
I promptly came out of my haze as I heard the doctor murmur these words to my parents. They were both nodding in agreement even though out of the corner of my eye, I saw my mum give me a concerned look. Fine, I knew, somewhere in the reasonable recesses of my mind that I could not keep the baby. Even though I knew I was way past the ‘finders keepers’ stage of my life, that was all I could think about. She’s mine! I said fiercely to myself. I did not know how I was going to go about keeping her, but I knew that baby was sent to me. I couldn’t explain it rationally, but I just knew.
“We suspect pneumonia, but we are not certain as yet. We should be know definitely in the next few days.” The doctor was speaking so I moved closer to where he was standing with my parents.
“What are her chances Doctor?” I asked quietly.
He turned to me “The prognosis is good. If she had been out there an hour longer, I’m afraid it would have been a different story. But even if she does have pneumonia, her chances will still be good as the rate of infant mortality from pneumonia has gone down drastically.” His voice was a rich baritone, smooth like the locally made drink, kunu. I immediately felt the tension begin to drain.
“Of course there are exceptions and it would be nice if you begin to pray that no infection sets in.” He added as a warning. But no warning could take away the relief I was beginning to feel.
I thanked him profusely and after a few more soothing words, he walked back into the ward. I was lost in thought when I felt a pair of strong, comforting arms around me. I sighed as I leaned back into the comfort of my dad’s arms.
“She’ll be fine dear.” He said. I nodded silently. “Come on let’s take you home, you’ve done all you can do for now.”
I stepped out of his arms and turned to look at him aghast. I turned back to look at my mum, “mum” I pleaded.
She understood me immediately. “Tex I think she should stay for a while. We need to go but we’ll come back and check on her.”
My dad looked at me for confirmation and I nodded my agreement. “Alright then. We’ll be back later in the day to check on you chick.” I couldn’t even protest his use of that nickname, I just nodded in relief. “Do you have any cash on you?” He asked. I shook my head. He handed over a few bills to me and hugged me. “Take care of yourself alright? Make sure you eat girl!” He ordered. I just nodded.
“Honey, are you sure you’ll be fine?” That was my mum. I stepped out of my dad’s embrace and turned to hug her.
“I’ll be fine ma.” I assured her.
She squeezed me tight and moments later, they were gone.