Vinay paced restlessly outside the OT. His wife was in labor, about to deliver their baby. They were a few weeks earlier than the predicted due date, and he was scared of any complications that might arise. This could be their last chance at having a baby.
Vinay and Swati had been together since high school. Everyone said it wouldn’t last, but they proved them wrong. Despite going to different colleges and separate career paths, they maintained their relationship via long distance. And when both had finally made it to the first steps of their career they decided they would now spend the rest of their lives together.
All was well, however 5 years into the marriage when they decided it was time to take the step further and become parents, they came to know that Vinay could never father a child. Heartbroken they were but didnt give up hope. They decided to opt for IVF. And after two failed attempts it was their blessed moment when they learnt that she was finally pregnant.
“Hey! Relax. They are going to be fine.” Rishi walked up to Vinay, forcing a smoothie in his hands. He knew the man was too nervous to have had any food, and that after the delivery he would have no time to eat anything.
“Thanks man!” Vinay took the drink reluctantly from his best friend, knowing he would be force fed if he didn’t drink of his own volition.
“You know I wish we human males could carry our babies like seahorses. I hate that Swati has to carry all the burden.”
Rishi looked at the man with pride in his eyes. “You need to give yourself a little credit here buddy. Swati is indeed carrying the physical burden, but you have been sharing most of the emotional and mental burden with her. You are the best father and husband anyone could ask for.” Rishi said as a matter-of-fact, then looking at the blushing face of his friend he teased “You know I would have given anything to be in her place and having your babies.”
Vinay blushed harder at his words, even as he shot an evil glare at his grinning best friend.
“Well, we kind of are having a baby together, aren’t we?” he stated.
“I guess we are…” Rishi smiled happily basking in the fact that they indeed were having a baby together.
When the test results had come in that Vinay was infertile, they were crushed. But their desire for a child had made them consider artificial semination using sperms from a donor. Vinay had asked Swati if they should select sperms of an anonymous donor but Swati had instantly rejected the idea, she said she already knew who should be the biological father of their child.
Vinay and Rishis friendship had begun in college and she had seen their story unfold with her own eyes. She had seen the desire, the longing and the concern in Rishis eyes for Vinay long before he confessed them to Vinay. She knew Vinay only saw Rishi as a friend and that Rishi would never soil their friendship or her relationship with Vinay. Instead of becoming possessive or wary she had bonded with Rishi better after his confession, knowing that they both cared most about the one man in their lives. She had accepted him as an integral part of her husbands life.
“The baby’s here! You two may step in…” the nurse rushed out smiling at them. They hurried in behind her. She handed the tiny baby wrapped in towels to the father. Both Swati and Rishi exchanged looks as they watched the father of their child cradling their baby and singing to it. A new life for them had just begun.