After-effects

Chapter 28

Once Tin-Tin's bracelet, rings and necklace were safely zipped into his inside pocket, Alan escorted her into the hospital. The pair were shown to a private room and over the next hour Tin-Tin was given a variety of medications to take, had an IV port fitted to her left hand and had blood taken so it could be analysed prior to her going into the operating theatre.

A nurse knocked on the door fifteen minutes before they were due to go downstairs and handed Tin-Tin a set of disposable pyjamas, some stiff white socks and a surgical cap to put on. She gave Alan a gown, surgical cap and shoe covers and explained that he would need to wear them until he left the OR. "Also, Mr Tracy, your brother wanted me to let you know that he's in the waiting room if you need him. He says he'll relay messages to both your fathers as and when required."

Alan helped Tin-Tin into the bathroom and put on his own protective clothing while she got changed. He turned towards the door as Tin-Tin pushed it open and the pair looked at each other in their paper clothes and laughed. "At least it's not just me," Tin-Tin giggled. "Although you don't have these lovely things." She pulled one of her pyjama legs up to show Alan the tight, white socks. "I bet you're jealous."

~#~

The nurse popped her head around the door again ten minutes later and nodded when she saw that the couple were waiting. "They're ready for you downstairs," she murmured. "I have a porter here ready to take you down. Mr Tracy, don't forget your shoe covers."

Alan held up his left and waved the covers at her. "I have them. Is Scott still outside?"

The nurse nodded. "He is. You'll pass him on your way downstairs and you'll be able to have a very brief word with him if you wish."

~#~

To Tin-Tin's surprise she was taken downstairs in her bed. The porter raised its head to make it more comfortable for her and then simply pushed the whole thing out of the door and down the corridor towards the elevator.

They paused at the waiting room door and whistled to Scott who immediately jumped to his feet and stepped out to greet them. "Father tried to get here," Scott told them. "I mean he really tried but he just couldn't do it. He got through the door, past Reception and then sort of hit a barrier, started shaking and couldn't get any further. Kyrano's taken him outside and apart from apologising continuously he seems fine now. They both send their love."

Tin-Tin glanced at Alan who nodded. "We always knew he might not be able to make it." He rested his hand on Tin-Tin's shoulder. "I'm sorry you couldn't see Kyrano before you went downstairs."

Tin-Tin patted his hand. "Father and I spoke before we left the farm. He guessed that Mr Tracy would need his help more than I would and he wondered if they might end up in the garden rather than the waiting room."

"That's exactly where they've gone," Scott replied and then nodded when the porter gave a quiet cough. "I guess it's time for you to go." He leant down and placed a gentle kiss on Tin-Tin's cheek and then patted Alan on the shoulder. "I'll see the three of you in about an hour."

~#~

Everything went smoothly in the operating theatre and Peanut was delivered safe and well. His head was covered in thick, black hair and Kelly held him up to show Alan and Tin-Tin as soon as he was born. She then handed him to the midwife, Suzi, so she could clean him up.

Suzi rubbed him briskly with a soft towel and then carried him over to Tin-Tin and laid him on her chest. She made sure he was secure before stepping aside so that Alan and Tin-Tin could finally meet their son.

"Oh, Alan, he's beautiful," Tin-Tin squeaked. "…and so small. Look at his little fingers and…Oh, hello darling." Peanut had opened his eyes and was staring directly at his mother. "Aren't you the most gorgeous thing ever?" She carefully reached out her right hand and gently ran the back of one finger down his cheek. "Alan, he's so soft. Touch him."

Alan gingerly mimicked Tin-Tin's previous move and stroked the side of Peanut's face. "He's ours, Tin," he whispered reverently. "We've got our own little person and he. Is. Awesome."

Tin-Tin nuzzled her nose against Peanut's forehead and smiled when his face scrunched up. "He certainly is." She rested her hand on Peanut's back and sighed. "Awesome Adam."

"Adam?" Alan repeated. "Is that what we're calling him?"

Tin-Tin nodded. "Is that okay?"

Alan leant forwards and placed a gentle kiss on her lips. "I love it. Adam, son of Alan. First of the newest generation of the Tracy family." He stopped and thought for a moment. "If we have a girl next are we going to call her Eve?"

Tin-Tin awkwardly reached up and cuffed his head. "I need to get over this…" She waved at the blue cotton screen across her stomach that the doctors were still working behind. "…before you're allowed to even start thinking about doing it again, and besides, I thought Tracys didn't throw girls."

"I guess we'll just have to wait and see if that's true or not." Alan shrugged and ran his fingers through his hair where Tin-Tin had messed it up. "Are you feeling up to a photo? I need to send this little guy to everyone."

Tin-Tin smiled and leant forwards to gently kiss Adam's head. "I've got no make-up, no jewellery and I'm wearing a paper shower cap. It's just as well he's cute because I'm sure I look awful."

Alan waited for Tin-Tin to lay her head back down and kissed her soundly. "You look fine to me, and bearing in mind what's still being done back there…" He waved at the screen in the same way that Tin-Tin had done before. "…I'd say you look amazing and anyone who says otherwise will have me and my brothers to answer to."

Tin-Tin grinned and leaned her cheek against Adam's hair so Alan could take his first photograph. He took several more of Tin-Tin with the baby and then some of just Adam and some of just Tin-Tin. Suzi took the camera from him and took a couple of pictures of the three of them together and Alan picked the best one to send to Scott, Jeff, Kyrano and everyone back on the island.

~#~

Kelly signalled that she was almost finished behind the screen so Suzi stepped forwards again and explained that she needed to get Adam weighed and then wrapped up in preparation for going back upstairs. "I'll just be over there," she pointed towards the workstation to Tin-Tin's right. "You'll be able to see him the whole time and Daddy can come with me, if he wants to." She raised her eyebrows in a questioning manner. "Either way, I won't keep him away long."

Alan looked worriedly between Adam and Tin-Tin. "What do you want me to do?"

A single tear rolled down Tin-Tin's face and she sniffed softly. "Go with Adam but…be quick."

Alan gently wiped the tear away with his thumb. "Don't cry," he whispered. "We won't be long and when we come back you can cuddle him for the rest of the day if you want to. Deal?"

Tin-Tin let out a breathy sigh and nodded. She stroked her hand down Adam's back and gently brushed his cheek with her fingertips. "Be good for Daddy," she whispered. "…and hurry back to me." She sniffed again and blinked hard as she fought not to cry. "Alan, take him please or I'm not going to let him go."

Suzi handed Alan a soft, warm blanket and helped him to safely transfer Adam from Tin-Tin's chest, into the blanket and then up into his arms. Alan bent down and held him level with Tin-Tin's face so she could see he was safe. "We won't be long."

~#~

Adam objected strenuously to being unwrapped from the blanket so that Suzi could weigh him. He squealed piteously from the moment his back touched the plastic scales and he continued to wail the whole time he was being diapered and dressed. He was still squealing when Suzi lifted him from the changing mat to wrap him in a clean blanket and only stopped when he was finally placed back into Alan's arms.

Alan smiled as Adam's dark blue eyes stared up at him. "I can't say I blame you," he whispered. "It didn't look like fun to me either." He glanced up to see that the room was considerably emptier than it had been and that the screen had been removed from across Tin-Tin's stomach. The head of her bed had been raised slightly and Kelly was standing beside Tin-Tin, holding her hand. Both women were watching Alan and he bent down to whisper to Adam. "I've got to take you back to Mommy now or I'm going to get in trouble."

Alan stepped back to where Tin-Tin was waiting and carefully transferred Adam back into her arms. "Are you alright?" he murmured and then glanced at Kelly. "Is she?"

Kelly nodded. "Everything's fine but you've got to remember that Tin-Tin's just had major surgery." Kelly rested her free hand on Tin-Tin's shoulder and smiled down at her. "She's got a lot of drugs in her system, she's had an epidural so can't currently feel anything from the waist down and her hormones are all over the place. A few tears are only to be expected. We'll be keeping a close eye on her over the next couple of days but I'd say, all in all, everything looks good."

Alan gently ran the back of his hand down Tin-Tin's cheek and smiled when she pressed her cheek against his hand without taking her eyes off Adam who was staring placidly up at her. "He's happier now he's back with you."

~#~

Tin-Tin and Adam were eventually wheeled back upstairs. Scott winked at Alan as they passed the waiting room and a couple of minutes after Tin-Tin was settled back in her room there was a gentle tap on the door. Alan cracked the door open and smiled when he saw Kyrano. "Tin, you have a visitor." He stepped backwards and opened the door further to allow Kyrano into the room. "Has Scott gone out to Dad?"

Kyrano nodded gently. "He has. Your father is well but discomfited by his inability to come inside."

Alan nodded and then stepped aside so that Kyrano could pass him. "Tin-Tin's still numbed up so she can't move around a lot. She's also a bit emotional so don't be surprised if you see a few tears."

Kyrano bowed his head and paced slowly over to where Tin-Tin and Adam were waiting. He spoke to her softly in Malay for a moment and then leant forwards and kissed her forehead. He pulled the visitor's chair, which Alan had been sitting on until he'd got up to answer the door, closer to the bed and sat down. "He is a beautiful child, my daughter, and much reminiscent of yourself when you were first born." Kyrano paused and looked at Tin-Tin wistfully. "You were always so very much like your mother."

Tin-Tin smiled sadly and glanced at Alan who nodded gently. "She'll be watching over him, just like Mrs Tracy and we'll make sure he knows all about both of them." She adjusted her hold on Adam so the baby was facing his grandfather and then kissed the top of his head. "Won't we, little one?"

~#~

Kyrano sat and talked quietly with Alan and Tin-Tin until Adam started to become fussy almost twenty minutes later. Alan hurried out of the room to find a nurse and when he returned Kyrano had disappeared. He sat cross-legged on the end of the bed while the nurse helped Tin-Tin to give Adam his first bottle and then grinned like a crazy person when Tin-Tin passed the baby to him to wind.

The nurse left them alone once Adam had finished his feed and it became clear that the couple were coping well. Adam fell asleep on Alan's shoulder and rather than disturb him Alan carefully shuffled himself up the bed until he was sitting beside Tin-Tin. Tin-Tin gazed at him through heavy-lidded eyes and then rested her head on his other shoulder and sighed heavily. "Tired."

Alan leant his head against hers and smiled. "Close your eyes and go to sleep. We're safe, secure and we're together. What more could we want?"

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