Chapter 4

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My baby, Niyati smiled as the grainy black and white image appeared on the monitor.

As usual, Kaveri Devi and she had come a sophisticated private Ob-Gy clinic of Jaipur in the after hours for her weekly appointment. The famous lady doctor and one of her trusted staff were present to attend them as usual too. Kaveri Devi Rajvansh had maintained the highest level of privacy while getting her baby the best care locally until they could fly to London. Everything had been settled on that front between the Rajvanshs, Anthony uncle and herself. Their need for utter discretion in order to pass this baby off as Uday Rajvanshs was understandable and the higher standards of medical care abroad were, of course, a good thing.

Her pregnancy, thankfully, had been progressing in a textbook fashion with no hiccups. She was in her nineteenth week now and the doctor had proposed to do sonography today just to make sure everything was fine before they flew to London in four days. While there was no big baby bump yet, her stomach was swelling at a steady rate now and it would be impossible to hide her pregnancy from any discerning eye pretty soon.

Looking at the monitor, she could make two little feet and a round head of curled up baby. Automatically her head turned towards Kaveri Devi who was present in the room. She, too, was grinning at the baby's image. Both women shared an affectionate smile.

The scan seemed to go on for ages. The staff technician and the doctor kept taking turns while measuring the baby's statistics all the while talking in medical jargon. Kaveri Devi kept up an entertaining monologue as well, betting to herself if it was a boy or a girl. Niyati, very happy to see her baby, was getting uncomfortable lying down on her back due to the pain in her lower back that had been ailing her for the last two days.

"How much longer, doctor?" she finally asked.

The doctor faced her properly in that darkened room for the first time since the scan had started. Niyati came out of her own euphoria and realized that her face was looking grim.

"Mrs. Rajvansh, we cannot find a heartbeat."

Niyati anxiously looked at Kaveri Devi who demanded, "What do you mean you cannot find a heartbeat?"

"Just that, Mrs. Rajvansh. There is no heartbeat. The baby is measuring a week smaller too."

"What does that mean?"

"The baby has stopped growing, Mrs. Rajvansh."

There was an undeniable thread of fear in Kaveri Devi's voice when she furiously denied, "That can't be so! Look properly."

It occurred to Niyati that she was having trouble breathing. Cold sweat had broken out all over her body. Everything around her was getting hazy fast, all the voices around her were nothing more than a buzzing blur. My baby, my baby, my baby!

The doctor noticed the anxiety attack and jumped into action. Kaveri Devi too rushed to Niyati's side. A cold cloth was put on her forehead and ice cold water was pushed to her lips. By the time her attack receded, Kaveri Devi was hugging her, soothingly caressing her back while the doctor and the technician were hovering over her awkwardly. She, herself, was weeping uncontrollably.

"It can't be true," she accused the doctor as soon as she could speak. "Everything was fine until last week. I saw my baby move. You said all was good too! CHECK AGAIN!"

"Okay, Mrs. Rajvansh. Please calm down and lie down. I'll check again," the doctor instantly agreed. These were some very high profile clients and she would hate to be labeled as inhuman by the obviously worried family.

Niyati laid back again but held on to Kaveri Devi's hand in a deathly grip.

This time the doctor explicitly walked them through each step, and with each passing minute, their hopes dwindled. Now, they could see the baby was not moving. It occurred to both women that the doctor had not once offered to make them hear the sound of the baby's heartbeat today, a regular thing otherwise. That the wait to feel the baby kick inside her would just be that now, an unending wait. But there it was, her baby on the screen, she could see it. How could she believe that it was dead? There must be something that could be done to revive her baby? Anything?

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