Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL (01/23/20)
- TITLE: The Birth
By Francie Snell
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JoAnn slowly nodded as the memories came crashing back.
He calmly continued. “Unfortunately, the trauma from an abortion can present potential problems in subsequent pregnancies. It appears you have a considerable amount of scar tissue in your uterine lining, which I believe is causing undue stress on the baby. I consider this pregnancy high risk, and we may have to perform an early C-section if things don’t improve. So, for now, I'm placing you on complete bed rest and closely monitor you and the baby for the duration of the pregnancy. He looked her sternly in the eye. “It's crucial you stay prone at all times other than necessary trips to the restroom. Do you understand?”
“Yes,” she said, fighting down the lump in her throat.
Through the following weeks, although JoAnn strictly complied with doctors' orders, she cringed with pain through extreme cramping, spotting, and continual false contractions.Then one month later and two months before her due date, raging heat shot through her pelvis.
She grasped her stomach and cried. “Carl, something's wrong! Take me to the hospital!”
At the emergency department, Joann struggled to keep her eyes open as they laid her on a gurney. Oh my god, what’s happening to me?
“She's losing blood fast,” a male voice called out. “Prep for C-section, transfusion – STAT!”
Heart pounding.“Carl, where are you?”
The surgery room blurred with bright lights and strange faces. “You're going to be okay,honey, just hold on,” a woman's voice said, urgency in her voice. Then everything went dark.
Days later, Joann squinted in the bright sunlight streaming through the window. Her husband Carl, sound asleep, slumped in a metal chair next to her bed. With bushy red hair projecting from under a worn baseball cap, and burly arms folded across his chest, he quietly
Dr. Sciloni peeked his head through the doorway and spoke in a forced whisper. “Good Morning Joann. Good to see you're still with us. How are you feeling?”
“Tired,” she said in a gravelly voice. “Is my baby okay?”
“Yes, your baby's fine, premature but fine,” he said, stepping quietly into the room. “Three pounds and sixteen inches, she’s a beautiful baby girl. Congratulations.”
“Can I see her?”
“You will, but not yet. She came early so we’ll have to keep her in NICU for a while.And in the meantime, you'll need to rest. You've lost a lot of blood,” he said in a somber tone."Both you and the baby are lucky to be alive.”
Carl jerked from his sleep. “Jo, you're okay…oh, thank god! He lunged toward the bed,trembling. “Thought I was gonna lose you, Jo. Thought I was gonna lose both you and the baby,” he muttered through tears. Repeatedly, he kissed her face, sobbing. “But you made it, Jo. You
made it, and so did our baby girl. I saw her, Jo. She's beautiful, just like you.”
“Yes, she is a beautiful baby,” Dr. Sciloni agreed, “and two months premature, but healthy and strong none the less” He paused for a long moment as if struggling in his thoughts.Then the aged doctor spoke. “I'm sorry, Joann, but this baby will have to be your last.”
Joann grabbed Carl's arm and gasped. “We can't have any more children?”
The doctor shook his head. “No, I'm sorry, your body can't withstand another pregnancy. I strongly suggest one of you do something permanent to prevent any further possibilities of having one. And whatever way you choose, do it quickly; you can’t afford the
Joann squeezed Carl's arm as tears welled in her eyes.
“But count your blessings and be happy you two,” the doctor added, “You've been blessed with a beautiful child and entrusted with the most important job in the world – parenthood. So be grateful. You’re all alive and well and beginning a new life as a family.”
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