Chapter 11: The Road Ahead

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Adult Romance  |  House: Booksiesilk Classic Group

Reads: 115



Chapter 11: The Road Ahead -


It seemed that we stayed at Eastcairn until we were certain that Sairya had sufficiently recovered from her operation. We then returned to our own home. Jamie was sad to leave, but soon settled down again, especially because he met a new friend, whose family had just moved into the plot on the opposite side of the lane from us. Her name was Allenya, and she was a year younger than him.

One day he came into the lounge, a broad smile on his face, and announced that he had a girlfriend. We tried very hard not to laugh. He was only three years of age after all. But his expression told us that he was taking this very seriously indeed!


Almost six months after her accident, I noticed that Sairya was having to get up and go to the bathroom early in the morning. She had always enjoyed a good breakfast, so when she began missing the morning meal I became concerned. I insisted that she go and see a doctor, but she said that she was fine. One morning I returned to our home earlier than usual, and found her doubled over the basin. She was obviously being sick.


I had been away for about four days. When I returned, Sairya was still suffering. Again I told her: “You need to see a doctor about this! It’s been going on for too long now.”


Sairya smiled at me and responded: “I will be better in about two or three weeks, do not worry.”


I asked: “Have you seen a doctor?”


“Yes.” Came the answer, “She said that this is normal.” I stood there dumbfounded for a moment, and she continued with a smile: “Mela en’amin. It is - how you say - morning sickness! We are going to have another baby!”


It took a while for the news to sink in, at which time I took my wife in my arms and almost lifted her off her feet. She hugged my neck and kissed me on the cheek. We laughed together, whirling around a few times with elation.


I asked her how far she was. She replied: “About a month to six weeks.”


Although we had been assured that the abnormality that caused so much trouble with the birth of our first child would not recur, I was still somewhat concerned that it might. We visited the doctor when the pregnancy had reached three months, just to make sure, and left relieved that there was no such problem this time around. Sairya enjoyed an incident free pregnancy, that is up until the last two months at least. She started complaining that she was feeling dizzy, and spent a lot of her time lying down. When we spoke to her obstetrician, she informed us that it was because the foetus was demanding too much nutrients from her mother. If this had happened earlier in the pregnancy, it would have been more of a problem, but could be treated with the right supplements and medication. Then on January third, or the same day of Narvunye in the Sylvan calender - and almost exactly a month early - Sairya started to go into labour.


I was not even there at the time because I was helping a friend move house. When I was made aware that there was an emergency, I rushed back home and prepared myself for the journey to the other side. I arrived at the house, only to be met with a note that said: ‘My time has come. Meet me at the clinic.’ It was in Sairya’s handwriting. I hastily made my way to the hospital and headed straight for the theatres. I arrived there just in time! The nurses were wheeling Sairya into one of the Operating Rooms. I quickly changed into the protective clothing and met her in the room, her doctor at her side. It had been decided, that just to be safe, Sairya would have her child delivered in the theatre, just in case there was another complication.


To our relief the delivery went without a hitch, excepting that our latest arrival seemed to be in an awful hurry to be born. The staff had only just wheeled Sairya in when the baby started crowning, and it was all over almost as soon as I arrived. I went back to the change rooms to get dressed again.


Soon Sairya and I were back in the maternity section of the clinic, eagerly awaiting the new addition to our family. It was not long before she was wheeled into the ward, and I saw my daughter for the first time. I fell in love with her right there and then. She was truly beautiful! So small and delicate!


Even though Jamie had also been a month premature, he was as big as a full-term baby at birth. In fact he was a bit larger than normal. But our second child was much smaller. Her tiny hands were so dainty that we were almost afraid to touch them lest we break those seemingly fragile bones, but when one of us placed a finger against her palm, it was obvious that this was no porcelain doll. Her fingers curled around in a firm strong grip that assured us that she was tough, despite her petite frame.


Another difference was evident as soon as she was born. James had such a soft cry that we had to put his crib in the bedroom with us. Otherwise we could not hear him at night, even with a baby-camcorder. The latest arrival - on the other hand - made her presence and her wishes known almost right from the start. When I left the theatre, and went to change back into my normal clothes, there was a doctor in the room with me busy preparing to perform an operation. Both of us were a little shocked to hear a loud high-pitched cry coming from the theatre.


The physician remarked with a whistle: “Now - There is a child with a healthy set of lungs!”


To which I rather sheepishly replied: “I think that one is mine.”


We both laughed, and he bade me the best of luck.


Before she was born, there was some debate as to what we were going to call our newborn child. Eventually we decided on Selma Brigid. The second name is the archaic form of Bridget, again originating from Gaelic. The name Selma came from a rather tragic tale that we had read together while Sairya was still pregnant.


It was written by the Lebanese philosopher Khalil Gibran. When he was still a student, he fell in love with the daughter of his father’s best friend. He was a doctor in Beirut, where Gibran spent most of his young life. Farras Karamy, the girl’s father, was about to retire. Fearing that he could not continue to give his daughter the life that she had been accustomed to, the ageing doctor arranged for her to marry a rich priest. This devastated the young student, but what made matters worse was that the priest was a cruel abusive man who treated his wife like dirt. Her only escape were the brief encounters with Gibran with whom she was having an affair.


She fell pregnant, but alas - whether because of her husband’s abuse or due to ill health - she died during childbirth, the infant dying as well. So heartless was the priest, whose name was Bishop Galib, that he did not even attend her funeral because he was busy marrying someone else!


Gibran was so heartbroken that he did not go to his beloved’s funeral either. Instead he visited the cemetery some time later. He asked the groundsman where she had been buried, and was told that her resting place was next to that of her father, and that her child’s coffin rested on her breast. In his own words, this was Gibran’s response: “Then in this place you have also buried my heart.” The sad tale closes with these words: ‘As the groundsman left to continue with his work, I could no longer resist. I fell to my knees next to Selma’s grave and wept.’


The woman in this tragic tale was called Selma Karamy, and that was why we called our daughter Selma; to honour her memory and give this sad individual the chance of having a better and happier life, even if it was through her namesake.

Our joy at the birth of our second child was somewhat marred when Sairya fell ill again about three months after Selma was born. A visit to the doctor revealed that the process of removing the Mole just after Jamie’s delivery had left scar tissue in Sairya’s uterus. The physicians thought that it had been dealt with when they did the D&C, but it appeared that it had only made matters worse. So much so that there was even talk of her having to undergo a hysterectomy, something that we refused to even consider as both of us had our sights on having at least four children.


The doctors did insist that we cease trying for another one until a proper solution could be found, and this saddened Sairya immensely. I tried to come to terms with it, but watching her struggle with a sense of loss and deep sadness broke my heart, and what made matters worse was that I could do nothing for her. I have always been the kind of person, that if there is a problem, I want to solve it. But this was way out of my league, and it was all I could do to offer her emotional support.


Selma was always very slender, but her light build did not mean that she was a princess by any small means. In fact she was a real tomboy, preferring boys clothes and playing outside to frills and girlie games. She did not go as far as cutting her hair short however, and kept it at shoulder length. She and her brother were inseparable, getting up to all sorts of mischief together.


Jamie thought the world of his baby sister, and was always there for her, like the time she fell out of a tree and cut herself. Convinced that she had injured herself seriously, he came running into the house, screaming at the top of his lungs for us to go and investigate. The problem was that whenever he got too upset or over excited about something, James would lose his breath and require first aid himself. Thankfully this came to an end once he had started swimming and learned how to control his breathing. But in this case, Sairya had to rush out to see whether Selma was all right while I made sure that Jamie was not going to collapse himself. Even when we tried to assure him that Selma would be okay, only needing the wound to be cleaned up and properly dressed, he was not convinced. He watched her like a hawk for the next three days, much to our amusement and her annoyance.


Their relationship was not all sunshine and roses however. In fact the two of them were involved in such a heated fight that James lashed out and struck his sister in the face. Needless to say that Sairya’s reaction when she saw this happening was quick and decisive! What was heart-warming was that he was more devastated by what he had done than the fact that his mother had punished him.


They both attended the same school, and even there they remained close. James began to take a keen interest in sport, and found that he had a talent for track and field, especially long-jump and high jump. Selma - on the other hand - surprised us all by becoming more and more involved in dancing. Her light build and smallish stature worked in her favour, and she had a natural grace about her that was also an advantage. Unless it clashed with their own timetable of events, the two of them were each other’s most devoted fans. Jamie would even be sitting in the wings when his sister was on stage, cheering her on. Likewise she would be in the front row at meets, rejoicing in her brother’s triumphs and encouraging him whenever he was defeated.


Just after Selma started senior school, Sairya became ill once again. This was especially severe every time her monthlies came around. She would suffer the most terrible cramps, and bled much more than usual. At first the doctors tried treating her with various medicines, but to no avail. In fact her condition only became worse, so much so that she was admitted into hospital where they ran a number of tests and scans in order to find out what the problem might be. This was because she even began bleeding between periods. The major concern was that she might be suffering from polyps or fibroids, or as a worst case scenario, endometriosis.


While we were relieved when these had been ruled out, the question remained as to what the cause might be. The only explanation was that it was due to the scar tissue that had formed during Sairya’s first pregnancy.


Once a diagnosis had been made, we were called to the doctor’s rooms. Nervously we both sat down, expecting the worse.


“Okay - what I am abut to tell you is not good news.” She stated openly, “The scar in Sairya’s uterus is damaging the womb more and more, and it has to be removed as soon as possible. But the tidings are not all bad either. If we act quickly, we will probably be able to excise the effected area without further damaging the uterine wall. The longer we take to decide, the more our chances diminish. Even at this stage there is the danger that it might not succeed, which would leave us with only one other option.”


Not really wanting to hear the answer, I asked: “And what is that?”


“Your wife would have to undergo a hysterectomy.” Came the reply.


Our blood froze, and I felt Sairya’s hand clasp mine. We looked at each other, and it was as if we had reached some kind of telepathic agreement. Sairya was in tears and unable to speak, so it was up to me to enquire further.


My mouth was dry, and a chill went through me when I asked: “What are our chances if she has the procedure immediately?”


“From what I have seen, they are relatively good.” The doctor responded.


“Give me a percentage.” I insisted.


“I cannot say for certain, but if the information from the scans is accurate, I would say a sixty-five to seventy percent chance of success.” She stated, “But that is all dependent on the accuracy of the information we have at present. We will only know for certain once she is on the operating table.”


“Thank you doctor.” I said, “Can you excuse us? We would like to discuss this in private if you don’t mind.”


“Certainly.” She agreed, “I will speak to my receptionist, and return shortly.”


We both thanked Doctor Rendel, and waited for her to leave before we began. It did not actually take us very long to come to a decision in any case. It was clear that surgery was inevitable, even if it was only to ascertain the extent of the damage. All going well, the chances of recovery seemed pretty good too.


Sairya went into theatre the following morning. This time I felt a strange emptiness when I left her in the waiting-room and the nurses took her away from me. Even when they had repaired her knee, I was allowed to be at her side. But now she was alone in there and I outside with my thoughts and fears. I paced the corridor unceasingly, trying to straighten out the knot that had formed in my stomach. One of the sisters kindly offered me some tea, which I accepted gratefully and drank far too quickly for it to be of any benefit.



Two hours later Doctor Rendel came out to speak to me. I was visibly shaking when I saw her tired face. Part of me expected the worse, and a shred hoped for the best. She put her hand on my shoulder, and when I eventually plucked up the courage to look at her, I was relieved to see a smile on her face.


I almost fainted when she assured me: “Your wife is out of danger now. We were able to repair the damage without having to remove her uterus.”


I could no longer contain myself. I hugged her, my eyes welling up with incredulous tears.


I repeated: “Thank-you! Thank-you! ...” I don’t know how many times.


The physician then said something that almost knocked the wind out of me. She told me: “If everything goes according to plan, there is the possibility that the two of you could try for another baby.”


My heart leapt into my throat.


“What?!” I exclaimed, hardly believing that I had heard her correctly.


“Well it cannot do any harm.” The doctor confirmed, “And if the damage has healed, I would say that there is a good chance that it might work.”


“Oh Doctor!” I almost yelled, “I hope so with all of my heart!”


I returned to the ward, and waited for the nurses to wheel Sairya back from theatre. When she arrived, she was still under anaesthetic. I was asked to wait outside while they attached the leads for the ECG and the other monitors. Once this was done, I was allowed to sit with her. I held her hand, stroking the back of it with my thumb. I knew that this would help calm her down when she woke up.


After some time, she whispered my name, and said: “Don’t stop.”


Her eyes flickered open and she managed a weak smile as she tried to focus, eventually looking at me. Through the tears of relief I smiled back at her.


“Welcome back.” I said, and she put my hand to her lips and kissed it.


Later that evening, Doctor Rendel came to see us. By that time Sairya was almost fully awake and had been given a small glass of water to drink. She was still attached to all the monitors, so the physician could check on her progress. It was then that Sairya received the good news.


“The procedure went very well, considering how long that scar had been there.” She stated, “In time the lining of your uterus will heal, to what extent only time will tell. But as we stand at present, you are very likely to recover completely.” We had decided not to give Sairya the news about her being able to conceive again until she was well enough, but that was overturned when she asked the question herself. Doctor Rendel replied: “It depends on how well you heal. It is possible - yes - but for the moment, let us just take things one step at a time.”






Even though Sairya was still struggling with the after-effects of her operation, I was sure I noticed a look on her face that I knew all too well. The moment she heard that the possibility existed that we would be able to add a new member to our family, a sparkle came into her eyes, one that told me she was determined to make this dream come true, no matter what it took.


Sairya was kept in hospital for a week after her operation, and when she was discharged, she was given strict instructions as to what she could and could not do. These she did her level best to follow down to the last detail. The idea was, that if we were careful enough, it would improve the final outcome. So we stuck to the regimen faithfully, and if we felt unsure about anything, we were quick to clarify the issue with the doctor.


Four months later, we were back at the clinic for Sairya’s final check-up. Once all the tests were done, we met in Doctor Rendel’s rooms once again so that she could share their results with us.


She explained: “Okay - I am glad to inform you two that the recovery is almost complete. In fact it has exceeded my expectations. The scarring has all but healed but for a small mark, and even that will disappear before long I expect. You say that your monthlies have all but gone back to normal as well.” Sairya nodded, and said that she felt better than she had even before the trouble started. To which the physician responded: “I am happy for you, but not surprised. Your uterus is in better condition than it was even before you were pregnant with James. All traces of the problem have almost completely healed up.”


We did not even have to ask the most important question. The doctor concluded by informing us that we could go ahead and try again. Both of us leapt up and hugged her, thanking her over and over again. We almost skipped out of the consulting rooms, and could not wait to get home!


Once I had returned to my own bedroom, I lay there pondering over what had happened, and the emotional roller-coaster that we had been on during these last few months. As stressful and painful as these experiences had been, they did confirm again that they really happened. If I had made all of this up, everything would have gone smoothly and without any problems. Only real life can throw one so many curb-balls in such quick succession! And the next surprise was soon to come.


Almost three months after our last visit to the doctor, on the fifteenth of June - or the fourteenth of Nare on the Sylvan Calender - we were celebrating ‘Agelong’, the Mid-Year. Jamie and Selma were home from school, and we were all seated in the lounge opening gifts as was the custom. We handed our two kids an envelope containing a handwritten message, and told them to read it out loud.


James asked: “Who is it from?” To which I answered: “It’s from both of us, but mainly from Amre (the sylvan word for ‘mum’).”


Both of them eyed us suspiciously, but Selma elected to finally open the letter. It simply said: “Hello there Big Brother and Big Sister. I am looking forward to meeting both of you. I will be arriving next year, in Rethe (March). Love - Your little brother or sister.”


It took a moment for the truth to dawn on them, but once they had seen it, all they could say at first was: “What!” James went on to add a “No way!”; while Selma seemed to need some clarification.


She asked: “Are you pregnant?”


When Sairya answered positively, Selma at first acted as if she was crying. James tapped her on the shoulder, and she stopped. But it was not long before her tears were real. She exclaimed: “I am going to be a big sister at last!”


This time her brother’s hand came out to offer her support. Jamie then asked: “Is it a boy or a girl?”


“We do not know yet.” I explained, “It is still too early.”


The next question came from Selma. She enquired: “How many months?”


“Only two weeks, or maybe three.” Came the reply. Thereafter followed a debate as to whether they would prefer a brother or sister. Selma was adamant that she wanted the new arrival to be a girl, whereas her brother was more ambivalent about it, saying that he was happy either way, but that it would be nice if he could have another brother.


When Sairya was fourteen weeks into the pregnancy, we decided to find out whether the baby was a boy or a girl. We went to the clinic for an ultrasound. At first the image was not very clear, and then the gender was revealed: We were going to have another daughter! I contacted the other two and gave them the good news. Selma was overjoyed, but James was understandably a little disappointed on hearing that his wish was not going to come true. Nonetheless he too was happy for us.


Now that we knew what we were expecting, both of us began to try and choose names for her. In keeping with our tradition, we decided that one of her names should be Kimberley, or Kim for short. This was because one of my close associates, who shared the same name, had been brutally murdered by her ex-husband before he turned the gun on himself. Kim owned a small esoteric shop where we used to purchase herbs, oils and other stuff necessary for the work that we did. The news of her death came as a terrible shock to us as we had spoken to her just three days before she died.


Similarly we had also chosen Raven as a name. This was after one of Sairya’s aunts who died about the same time as her own parents. This would have been the second name.


Almost as though she was making up for both her older siblings being premature, this time the child was almost two weeks late. The doctors wanted to induce labour, but we convinced them to wait. If she had not been delivered by the end of the second week, they would have gone ahead. But it was as if she heard what was going to happen, and decided to make her appearance just on time. Even then she was in no hurry, and Sairya was in theatre for five and a half hours before she finally gave birth.


As soon as she was born, we knew that we had got her names the wrong way around. Her hair was thick, and almost jet black. Hence she was officially called Raven Kimberley. After some time the colour changed to a dark reddish brown, but the name still stuck.


Unlike her older sister, Raven was very much the princess. She loved frilly dresses, and her hair was always done up in ponytails or Alice bands. The female population in our family might have outnumbered us males, but we were compensated in one way: James, Raven and I had blue eyes, whereas Selma and Sairya’s were dark brown. With the older kids both at boarding school, Raven had her parents’ undivided attention, especially her mother’s. She was very affectionate, and loved to cuddle up to us. Again Sairya was the lucky one there. This also became less once she started school herself.


She enjoyed preschool, and was very popular among the children as well as with the teachers. However Raven did not take school very seriously, and preferred the social side of it rather than the academic. Nonetheless she was as bright as a button, and learned new things relatively quickly. Like her brother, she also - alas - became bored rather easily, and needed constant stimulation and encouragement, or else she would lose interest. She is now nearly four years of age, and a very bright spark in our lives.


... And so my life has never been more complete. Even though my marriage and my family relationship would not be considered as ‘Normal’, I have a sense of contentment that I have never felt before. My dimensional romance, that began centuries ago with a chance meeting between a humble woodsman and an elf-child, has grown and evolved into something I could not have imagined in my wildest dreams or fantasies. I even have the assurance, that when I die - as die I shall one day - what awaits me on the other side will be better by far. Then my family and I will be together without barriers or interruption. Whatever the path beyond the grave might have in store for me, I know that I shall not walk it alone.


A wise man once said: ‘With soul-mates, their meeting is planned by the souls long before they encounter one another in the body.’ Our journey has been long and at times hard for both of us, but looking forward, it has most certainly been an exciting one.






Submitted: May 03, 2020

© Copyright 2022 Tristan Biggs. All rights reserved.


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