“Oh – OH! Is it-?”
“Yes, it’s time! Get my bag!”
He was rooted to the spot, muttering something.
“Go!” I hollered.
“…losing too much blood!”
“Get him out of here!”
This wasn’t supposed to happen. Stay awake, Sarai! I tried to will myself back to consciousness…but of course I failed.
“Mom?” There was no mistake, she was there, right in front of me. Her youthful appearance combined with the long white dress she wore gave her an angelic appearance.
“Mom!” I screamed. Why was she so tall? I started to run right towards her but I couldn’t quite get through. There was a strange, flowing barrier between us, barely visible, but there all the same. Frustrated tears started to leak out of my eyes.
“I’m so proud of you, sweetheart. But Sarai, you have to listen to me-”
“Sarai!” someone called, but they weren’t in the room.
“Am I dying?” I cried. “What if I let him down? Them all down?”
“Just listen!” Mom instructed, eyes soft and kind, like an angel. Then she stepped through the barrier and enveloped me in a hug.
“Tell me how to do this.” I sobbed into her shoulder. “I don’t know how.”
“You will know.” she promised me. “Of course you will know. You’ve worked for years to get here. You are so strong, Sarai.”
“Why am I unconscious then?” I muttered.
“SARAI!” came that same voice. Yes, I knew that voice – it was –
“Lachlan?” I whispered. Obviously I didn’t know him at ten. What’s going on?
“You won’t be for much longer. Wake up, Sarai!” Mom let go of me and stepped back through the barrier.
“Mom!” I barely managed a whisper as I reached out for her. “Take me back! Just for a bit! Tell me it’s OK! I need to be OK for them!” All I could think about was getting back to her; she made it through the barrier, why couldn’t I? I have to get to her…
“Now, now, Sarai. You know I can’t do that. You have so much life to live…I’m just a ghost. But you are still alive. You’ll make it – and more. I believe in you.”
“You don’t need me. You’re an adult and a person and you’re real, and I will only ever be a memory. A memory who loves you…but there are other, living people who love you too. And you’ve worked so hard. It would break all of our hearts if you left.”
Though I was only ten, I remembered years of on-and-off therapy and calling myself out for every hateful thought I tried to heap upon myself. Of teaching myself to fearlessly love Lachlan and my friends. Of pouring everything into my business and making it successful.
But I still felt like that little girl who wanted nothing more than her mother’s arms. In a way, I was…
“Please…you can’t leave it all now. Wake up, Sarai.”
That was my mother’s voice, fading away into the distance…I didn’t want her to go, but I have to go back.
I went back. The strange yet encouraging dream ended, and I woke to a finished labour, a relieved husband, and my new son, Elias.
Now I’ve been home with my family for a month. My OBGYN told me that there was a tear in my uterus as I delivered. I bled too much and briefly lost consciousness, but I woke up fine. In a couple years I’ll get the all-clear to have another child, if I want to…let’s see how well I handle this one.
My son was born perfectly healthy, weighing 7lb 2oz. What a relief. Lachlan says he nearly lost his shit when I was unconscious, but we’re all fine now.
My dream-mother’s words rang true in my head…I have a lot of life to live, and yes, I can. I’m truly a mother now, responsible for this little life Lachlan and I created in love together…it’s a daunting idea, but one I think I’m ready for.
“He’s perfect, sunshine.” He says it a lot – we both do. I think it even more.
“You don’t have to remind me. He really is.” Gazing into his sweet little face, in my opinion the face of perfection, made me tear up. “He’s so amazing, Lachlan. I love him so much.”
“So do I.” Lachlan’s voice cracked. “We’ve gotta do this right, Sarai.” We talked about it a lot – we never want our son to feel the way we did when we were younger. He’ll feel loved and supported by his parents.
“We will.” I assured him, sounding more confident about it than I actually felt. Like Dianne said – it’s scary as hell. And I’m frightened…but also elated and excited.
Obviously I’ve been with Lachlan for years…and I’ve had my closest friends even longer. But with Eli, I really felt complete. Like I finally have everything I want – and it took a lot to make a lot of it happen. I’d do it all again in a heartbeat to keep what I have now.
“This is amazing.” I said softly to myself, as Lachlan and I got lost in our son’s wide, perfect eyes. “My life is… amazing…and I love you both so much.”
Finally I did it! I hope you were all satisfied with Sarai’s story, and that Gen 2 doesn’t take this freaking long to finish. Join me next time (probably not for quite a while, I’m on holiday and then I’m taking an exam) for the start of Generation 2: Elias.
We pick up when Elias is already six years old, so here’s pictures of him as a toddler with his parents.