A baby’s cry

“Mom, it is a baby girl…,” her voice barely audible, she called her mother in India.
“Are you okay? Is the baby okay?” Her mom inquired, her voice nervous, but excited.
Sonya was too tired to respond, but that did not stop her mother from asking more questions, “When was she born? Who she looks like? Have you named her?…”
“Mom”, Sonya interrupted, “the nurse is here, I am very sleepy; will call you later..”
“Are you okay, is the baby okay?”
“yes mom, we are okay,” she said before ending the call.

The hospital discharged her along with the baby two days later. The nurse gave her a handful of literature, each pamphlet with a different title – ‘How to care for a new born’, ‘what to expect after a natural birth’, ‘Newborn feeding techniques’….
She was tired, she was drained, she was not ready to take care of her first born. The Nurse helped buckle the baby in the new car-seat and Raj drove them home – to their apartment in Mississauga.

“How is the baby doing,” he mom phoned again next morning.
“Esha is okay, she is sleeping now.”
“Beautiful name”, she paused, “How are you doing?”
“I am okay mom, I am very tired. the baby was awake all night.”
“Oh, where is Raj?”
“He is at work, I am home alone with the baby and I am worried”
“Worried about what, Sonya?”
“If the baby wakes up..”

“What do you mean?”
“if Esha wakes up, I won’t be able to pick her up”…she paused, “my back hurts and I think I have a fever.”
“Raj should have stayed home this week, you need help.”
“He cannot. His company is laying off lots off workers lately. He is worried about his job; he cannot take any time off.”
There was a long silence.
“You said he has a good job and he gets lots of vacation.”
“No Mom, he works in a factory.”
There was a long pause, again.
“You said…” his mom searched for the right words,”he said..”.
“I know mom what he said,” she interrupted.
There was a long silence again, and a long sigh from her mom. She did not know what to say, or what to think for that matter.
The baby continue to sleep, without any fuss.
“I have to go now mom, the baby is waking up;” with choking voice, she lied “looks like she is going to cry.” Sonya put down the phone before her mom could say goodbyes.
From her eyes, down to the cheeks, and then to the bed-sheet – the tears continue to trickle down as she lay down next to the fast asleep baby.

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