again

her eyes welled up the moment they met mine.

“dokter…”

i walked over and gave her the closest thing to a hug over the cashier’s counter. she attempted a smile and i searched my vocabulary for something to assure her with, but she held my hand and gave a nod that said it all.

thank you for thinking about me. thank you for caring.

there’s very little you can say to comfort a woman who has lost a child, even more so if she watched that child move from cot to incubator, incubator to cot, cot to home…home to heaven. i listened as she told me how she brought the baby to penang, and i stopped her before she could blame herself for the baby’s death. my heart broke when she spoke about wanting to try again but is afraid her bad obstetric history would come back to haunt her.

it’s only been 7 months, she said, is my body ready?

i couldn’t possibly tell her that it’s best to wait 2 years. time is a woman’s worst enemy. how could i tell her to wait some more? and then deal with the uncertainty of the pregnancy’s outcome again? another premature baby? another septic child? another bout of grief?

before i said my goodbye, she told me she’ll let me know if she gets pregnant again. i made her promise, then walked away with the knowledge that i’ll never get that piece of news.

i wish her nothing but the very best.

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