She was going on her daily walks when she felt the gripping pain. She kept walking hoping it will soon leave, until she felt something sticky and wet running down her legs and soaking up her cotton track suit bottoms. She stopped, and holding her legs close together, trying to stop the flow, ran to the road curb and sat on the floor. She fished out her phone, ignoring the stares of people, even as she noticed a crowd was growing around her. She dialled her husband’s number and got the feedback “network busy”. She tried again, seeing the growing spread of blood on the floor where she was seated.
‘Madam, are you okay?’ a man asked coming closer bravely. She ignored him and kept trying to get across to her husband.
‘Stop looking at her like that, someone should lift her and take her to the hospital!’ someone shouted. She turned around to see the lady who had spoken, she saw a woman, and saw her fear mirrored in her eyes, her fear of losing the baby. She communicated with her through her eyes
‘ please don’t let me lose my baby. Please.’ Ngozi understood the unspoken message and shouted louder, gearing a man into action,
‘Someone should lift her for me, and follow me to my car, let’s get her to the hospital!’ Once in the car, the woman spoke out
‘please I don’t want to lose my baby, please help me.’
‘You won’t’ Ngozi said as she drove as fast as she could, scanning around with her eyes for a hospital. Sighting one, she suddenly swerved in, disrupting the steady flow of vehicles, and ignoring the curses from the angry drivers. They were the last thing on her mind. She cut off the engine and ran as fast as she could into the hospital
‘please bring a stretcher, a woman is dying in my car!’ the nurses swiftly followed her and took it over from there, obviously thinking she will be in charge of the bills, as they didn’t ask for the deposit. Ngozi realized how tired she was and sat down, she held her abdomen, which had a slight bump, showing her pregnancy. She felt fear grip her and quickly said a prayer
‘Dear Lord please protect my baby and help the woman.’ She remembered that she needed to let Stanley know where she was, and also remembered that she needed to alert the woman’s people. She went back to her car, and as she hoped, saw the woman’s phone. She remembered that the woman had been trying to reach someone on the phone. She checked the dialled numbers and called the first on the list it was saved as “heartbeat” ‘No wonder she kept trying to reach him’ Ngozi muttered as she dialled the number.
‘Hello, I was just about to call you. You should be back from your walk by now. Where are you now?’ a male voice picked and rushed on, his voice filled with worry.
‘err… sorry, this is someone else. The owner of the phone is in the hospital, she…’
‘What?’ Ngozi explained to him, hearing the same fear in his voice that she had seen in his wife’s eyes. He told her he was coming over right away, when she told him where they were. After ending the call, she called Stanley who on hearing of the incident and hearing the fear in her voice, said he was also coming over, making Ngozi relax a bit. She went back into the hospital still praying for her developing child and for the child of the other woman. Immediately she saw Stanley, she walked into his arms, and then she cried. She revealed all the fear she felt, fear for her own child, and fear for the woman’s child.
‘It’s alright, everything is fine. You are a brave and strong woman, you will be fine’ Stanley cooed, calming her down.
‘Where is my wife?!’ a man hollered, making Ngozi jump.
‘Where is my wife?!’ he repeated, ignoring the nurse’s calm voice.
‘I think that’s her husband’ Ngozi said, leaving Stanley’s arms and feeling the nervousness return. Ignoring the urge to get back into her husband’s embrace, Ngozi walked to the man
‘Excuse me, is this your wife’s phone?’ she asked, holding up the phone of the victim.
‘Yes. Please where is she?’
‘I think the doctor is still attending to her. Please calm down, and pray.’ Ngozi advised Maybe it was the fear in her voice, or the knowledge that she saved his wife’s life, or the sight of Stanley behind her, Ngozi wasn’t sure, but the man calmed down, and sat on the bench, crying.
‘I’m sorry’ he apologized
‘we have been trying for a child for over eight years, I don’t know what we will do if we lose the child.’
‘We can only pray’ Ngozi repeated, sitting by his side and pulling Stanley to sit down. She whispered prayers as she rocked herself on the bench, still holding tightly to Stanley’s hand. It seemed like eternity, but the doctor came out after an hour with an unreadable look in his eyes. He looked at three of them and asked
‘Who is directly related to her?’
‘I am her husband’ the man announced.
‘Please follow me to my office’ the doctor said and turned to walk down to his office
‘Please don’t leave yet’ the woman’s husband begged before he followed the doctor. Stanley and Ngozi could only nod.
‘Ibeh. Matthew Ibeh’ Kenneth completed for the doctor
‘Mr Matthew your wife will be fine. Thank God she was brought in early enough, or else it might have gotten worse. The child is fine too, I don’t know how that is, but both mother and child are okay. But she will have to stay here for some days so we can observe her, and when she gets home, she should be on bed rest till the delivery time. We don’t want to take any chances. The nurses will give you your bill. You can see her now, although she is an induced sleeping state.’
‘Thank you doctor, God bless you’ Matthew said, getting up and rushing out, trying not to think about what the bills will be in this kind of hospital. He smiled when he saw the couple waiting for him.
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‘The doctor said she and the baby are fine, it was obviously a miracle. Thank you for taking action and bringing her in on time.’ Ngozi nodded
‘Can we see her now?’ she asked
‘Yes, but she is sleeping.’
‘Ok then, you go ahead, I will come and check on her some other time. Here is her phone.’ Ngozi handed the phone over before she and Stanley turned to go.
‘May God protect yours for you as you have saved ours. I don’t even know your names’ Matthew said ‘I am Matthew, and my wife is Stella’
‘Stanley and Ngozi’ Stanley said ‘and amen to your prayers’
‘Matthew hurried to check up on Stella’ At the counter, Ngozi asked for the bill, and promised to pay up the next day. Stanley kept quiet until they were in his car. Ngozi’s car seat was stained, and they decided to leave it parked in the hospital parking lot until they knew what to do with it.
‘Why did you collect their bill?’ Stanley asked Ngozi looked at his face to decipher if he was angry. Seeing just curiosity, she answered.
‘Did you see how he was dressed? And you should have seen how lean the woman looked. Besides we understand how it is to wait for a child, don’t we? We are also praying for a smooth passage through this pregnancy and through the delivery. I just felt it is like working with God. I believe He sent me to them. They needed our help.’ Stanley didn’t have anything to say to that. Ngozi have always been a giver, it just baffled him how she did it so… naturally. And as she said, they understood what it felt like to wait for children and he remembered 2Corintians 1:4 He who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
He drove her home, silently praying for God to protect his wife and their own child. His wife was shaken, he just prayed she doesn’t get nightmares. He clasped her hand in his to let her know she was not alone.