Chapter 34. Admitted
The code light blinked and the siren rang through the ward. Maggie seemed to be in a cardiac arrest. I stood there watching them rush in, wishing she would just let go, let this misery end and leave me in peace. Within minutes they had revived her again.
“Your sister is a tough woman.”
“I know,” I replied, feeling a pain in my abdomen. All day I had sharp pains almost like menstrual cramps, and all day I ignored them. This one felt like a knife being stabbed into my belly then pulled out fast and I doubled over.
“Ms. Beal, are you all right?” asked the doctor, as the nurse wheeled the crash cart with the defibrillator out of the room.
“I . . . I don’t think so.”
“I have had pains in my gut all day.”
“I see, are you near your cycle?”
“No, I’m pregnant.”
“How far along?”
The doctor sat me down in the chair and told me to stay there while he got a nurse and a wheelchair.
“Take her down to maternity and have them check her out. She’s at 14 weeks and has extreme abdominal pain today.”
“Yes, doctor,” replied the nurse. I grabbed my purse and the nurse took me downstairs to the maternity ward. Again, the pain hit me hard. I started sobbing, afraid that I would lose Alex’s baby before I could even tell him about it.
They gave me a specimen cup and asked me for a urine sample. When I found the spotting, I began to sob even more, begging God not to take this baby. She was all I had to hold onto at that point with Alex so far away from me.
The nurse changed me into a gown and then a doctor came in to examine me, and that’s when I heard the baby’s heartbeat for the first time.
“That’s a good sign, it’s strong,” he said to me. “I think you’ve overdone it and need some adequate rest.”
“My sister is dying in ICU,” I told him.
“I realize that, Ms. Beal, but what’s more important is this child’s beginning or your sister’s end?”
“Then you need to rest. I’m prescribing you twenty-four hours in the ward bed rest. If in twenty-four hours you’re better, I’ll discharge you. Is there someone I can call for you?”
“No, really, that’s not necessary.”
“The baby’s father, maybe?”
“He’s in L.A. on business and cannot be here.”
“I see. Well, in a minute one of the nurses will move you to a room, and then I want you to rest and not worry about the baby or your sister at this point. The best thing you can do for the baby is rest. All right?”
“Good, very good.”
Because they were so busy, they did not have a chance to move me to another room for another hour and only then because they needed the space.
By the time they wheeled me into my room, I was fast asleep. They woke me to move me into the bed, only for me to drift back to sleep. A nurse came into fumble with a monitor belt around my tummy then left me be again to rest for an hour.
The next morning, the doctor asked me if I had an ultrasound yet. Since I hadn’t, an ultrasound was done of my baby, who seemed fine and the tech printed a picture of her for me. I spent hours staring at her picture that day, anxious to show Alex the picture of his baby.
I wished I could call and tell him the news, but he’d drop it all to be with me. If he did that, he’d lose the label and sacrifice the jobs of all those people. So instead I remained quiet and read the baby book they gave me about pregnancy. In between chapters I’d fall asleep, dreaming of telling Alex and his reaction. I was safe while I was down here. He wouldn’t be able to reach me so I wouldn’t have to worry about him finding out.