In a heartbeat
Olivia lay on an exam table while doctors hovered around her checking her vital signs and drawing blood to run tests. Everyone was talking at once and asking her all sorts of questions but she kept staring blankly at the ceiling. She didn't care about any concussions, fractures or anything else. She just wanted someone to level with her about the miscarriage. It seemed they were talking about everything else.
"Sergeant Benson? Sergeant Benson? Did you hear me?" one of the doctors asked.
"Hunh?" Olivia asked.
"Did you hear me? I asked how far along in your pregnancy you were?" she asked watching Olivia closely. She held eye contact with her and could tell that Olivia was not processing everything going on around her. "Ok everyone let's give Sergeant Benson a little privacy."
One by one the other nurses left the room and Olivia was left alone with Dr. Jorgensen. She studied the lady's features as she looked through her chart and closed the curtains to give them more privacy. Her hair was chestnut brown and tied back in a clip; she looked to be in her late 50's and was kind of short. Then again at 5'8, most women to Olivia seemed short. She actually reminded Olivia a bit of her mom.
Dr. Jorgensen pulled up a rolling stool and rolled directly over to her to try and talk to her one on one and level with her.
"Olivia, it's just you and me now. I have to ask you some questions ok?" she asked talking slowly and deliberately.
Without all the other noise and distractions, Olivia felt like she could finally concentrate on what was happening in front of her. "Ok," she said softly.
"Do you know how far along you are?"
"No. I-I just found out a few days ago. I was going to make an appointment yesterday but I got caught up at work."
"Ok. Have you had any cramping or any other symptoms?"
"No. I don't think so. The last few days have been a bit hectic…..Is my baby gone?" she asked solemnly.
"I don't know yet. I'm still waiting on some blood work but in the mean time I want to do an ultrasound on you. I would have done one earlier but there are only so many machines going around and they are all occupied at the moment," she said giving Olivia a small reassuring smile.
Olivia was still out of it and trying to concentrate on any and everything else around her so she could forget she was in this moment. Lying on a table waiting for someone to tell her if her child was gone or not.
"If you don't mind. I would like to perform a pelvic exam on you while we are waiting for the ultrasound machine just so I can check the bleeding. It appears to have stopped but I want to be sure." She was speaking very slowly and calmly trying to relieve some of the tension and fear that was radiating off Olivia.
"Have you heard anything about Liv yet?" Fin asked Amanda and Nick. They were circling the waiting room away from other people at the precinct who arrived.
"No. Did you get in touch with Elliot?" she asked.
"I left him a voicemail. I'm going to try and call him again right now," he said walking away.
Amanda was worried about the blood that she saw on Olivia's pants. Nick and Fin wanted to ask but shied away from it feeling that it may be crossing the line. Amanda knew that it wasn't menstrual blood because of how heavy it was but her and Olivia weren't the closest so she was reluctant to ask her about it. Either way, if it was something female related she figured that she would want someone to talk to so she decided to see if they would let her in Olivia's room so she could check on her.
"Hey Nick. I'm going to see if I can sneak in there and check on her. I will be right back."
"Hey," Elliot answered the phone in a groggy voice.
"Elliot man it's Fin I've been trying to call you," Fin said in a rushed voice. "There's been an accident and Liv is in the hospital."
"What?! What happened? Is she ok?" He was already up and getting dressed frantically while he was holding the phone.
"We don't know yet. She's conscious. We know she probably has a concussion but we are waiting on the doctor to get here."
"Where are you? Mercy General?"
"Yeah in the ER. Ill wait for you outside."
Elliot hung up the phone and anxiously dialed Maureen.
"Hey Maureen I need you to come sit with Eli," he said trying to keep a calm tone.
"Dad, what's wrong? What's going on?" She was now panicked because she could sense that he was holding something back from her.
"Olivia is in the hospital. Something happened at work. I don't know details I just…can you come here please? Or I will bring him to you?" he asked pacing back and forth trying to reel in his emotions.
His heart was beating so loud he felt like he couldn't hear anything else and felt like time was standing still. This was the part of her job he hated. This is what made him feel bad for everything that he put Kathy through. He couldn't imagine what it was like every time she got one of these calls when he was shot, or stabbed or beat up over the years.
"Dad. I'm coming. I will be there in ten minutes, just hold tight ok." Maureen was trying to talk to him calmly knowing what her dad was like when he was upset and not wanting to escalate the situation.
"Daddy what's wrong?" Eli called from the bedroom door. He was holding one of his action figures that he always slept with and looked terrified. Elliot hung up the phone and took a deep breath trying to calm himself before he answered.
"Nothing buddy," he lied. "I'm sorry I woke you."
"You said Olivia was in the hospital. Is she hurt? Is Noah hurt?" He was kicking himself that Eli heard his phone conversation and he didn't have the presence of mind to know that he was standing at the door the whole time listening to his conversation with Maureen.
"Noah isn't hurt and Olivia's going to be fine. I'm going to have Mo come and sit with you for a bit ok?" He tried his best to look as if everything was ok so Eli wouldn't be scared but he was pretty sure that he wasn't doing a good job.
"I want to go too. I want to see that Olivia's ok," he whined.
"How about this? I go check on her first and as soon as she's up for visitors you and Noah can come see her. Ok?"
"Ok," he agreed reluctantly.
Amanda managed to bypass the nurse's station as they were arguing over schedules and slipped into Olivia's room. She was surprised to see that Olivia didn't even flinch when the door opened.
"Hey Liv, it's me. Do you mind if I come in?" she asked peeking in the door.
"No." She didn't turn her head and acknowledge Amanda, just continued to stare at the ceiling.
"Have they told you anything yet?"
"I have a mild concussion and a few bruises," she replied stoically.
Olivia felt like she was in an alternate universe. It had probably only been five minutes since the doctor left the room but she felt like everything was taking so long. She silently thanked God that she didn't tell Elliot about the baby before because he would be crushed to have lost another child. She decided that she wouldn't tell him about the miscarriage. She refused to put him through that again. It would be a big secret to carry and she realized that it could cause damage to their relationship but protecting Elliot was her priority. A few tears trickled down her cheek and got Amanda's attention.
"Liv what's wrong? If it's just a concussion and some bruises then that's not a bad thing right?" she asked her seriously. "You should be back up and running in no time."
Olivia exhaled before turning to look at Amanda.
"I was pregnant."
Amanda tried to hide the surprise on her face but her gasp was audible and her eyes grew wide.
"Was? You aren't anymore?"
Olivia chuckled sardonically. "You saw all the blood. I'm probably not anymore."
"But it hasn't been confirmed. There's still a chance right?" she asked trying to sound hopeful.
Olivia had always found Amanda to be somewhat naïve. In spite of everything she had gone through with her sister, gambling addiction and being sexually assaulted, Olivia thought she was still very green about how life worked.
"Yeah. There's still a chance," she said simply.
They sat quietly for a few moments before Olivia felt Amanda take her hand. Before she knew it she was sobbing uncontrollably and Amanda reached out to rub her hair and kept repeating "It's going to be ok." She felt so lost. She had only known she was pregnant for a few days and as scared as she was before she found out for sure she already loved her and Elliot's child. She dreamed of what the baby would look like and how his or her personality would be. With Elliot's temper and her stubbornness she was looking forward to the teenage years when she would probably be driven crazy.
Her thoughts were interrupted by the doctor coming in.
"Ok Sergeant Benson I found the ultrasound machine so let's see what's going on."
Amanda immediately got up to leave before Olivia grabbed her hand to stop her.
"Can you stay? Please," she pleaded. She really didn't want to be alone when she got the news.
"Of course I'll stay."
"I'm going to put some gel on your stomach and it may be a little cold."
Amanda stood near Olivia's head still holding her hand while the doctor prepped the wand for the ultrasound.
"Ok, let's see here," she said as she moved the wand around.
Olivia cringed at the slight discomfort and watched the ceiling while waiting for some kind of sound. The silence in the room was deafening and the longer it went on the more tears began to flow down her cheek. If there were some movement or activity the doctor would've seen it by now she thought to herself. She was so nervous that she felt her pulse racing and felt her heart was beating out of her chest drowning out any other sound in the room.
"And there it is," the doctor said pointing to the peanut shaped blob on the screen. "There's your baby."
Olivia shot up putting her weight on her elbows. "It's there? It's ok?" she asked in shock.
"Yes, do you hear that heartbeat? Nice and strong," the doctor said smiling down at Olivia.
Olivia looked up at Amanda who had tears in her eyes and laughed at herself for a moment. The heartbeat that she thought was her own that was drowning out her thoughts was actually her baby's.
"Are you sure? The baby's fine?" she asked again not fully believing it.
"I'm sure. Olivia watched the screen in wonder not really certain she wasn't dreaming.
"Then why was I bleeding?"
"Well it looks like you have placenta previa. Not uncommon in women who are pregnant at your age. From the looks of where your placenta is, I have little doubt that this will correct itself by the time you deliver. You have already stopped bleeding but I am recommending that you take it easy for at least two weeks and be on bedrest. You will have to do that anyway because of the concussion."
Olivia continued to stare at the screen trying to listen to everything the doctor was saying and she got the jest of it that it was normal and would probably correct itself. Her focus was on the gray blob on the screen and she couldn't tear herself away.
They were interrupted by a commotion outside of the room and Olivia immediately knew it was Elliot when he heard someone yelling and asking what room she was in. She quickly asked the doctor to turn off the ultrasound machine and hurriedly pulled her shirt down without taking the time to wipe the gel off. She didn't want him to find out from walking in on her. The doctor rushed and moved everything back just in time for Elliot to come barreling in the room.
"Liv! Liv! Oh my god are you ok baby?" he said rushing to her side and looking her over to see what visible injuries she had.
"El I'm fine, calm down ok?" she said trying to coax him down.
"Calm down? You are in the hospital. They said a suspect threw a table at you and you fell and were bleeding." The words were pouring out of him and his eyes were wide and full of fear.
"Can you both give us a moment?" she asked Amanda and the doctor. "Oh and Amanda. Thank you," she said smiling at her before she left the room.
"Ill be right outside the door whenever you are ready," the doctor said giving her a look of encouragement.
"Why did you send the doctor out of here? I want to learn more about your injuries and what's going on so I can take care of you." He was still moving a mile a minute and she had to bring him down.
"Elliot. Please sit down," she said motioning over to the stool that Amanda previously occupied. "Take a breath. Look at me. I have no machines hooked up to me no IV's or tubes coming out of me. I have a couple of bruises on my back and one on my leg. I have a mild concussion that will require me to have to rest for a week or so." She was talking slowly and methodically rubbing his arm back and forth and watched as he gradually calmed down and began to look normal. His chest was no longer heaving and he was taking normal breaths.
"Liv I was so fucking scared," he said with tears in his eyes. "I didn't know what happened when Fin called and they didn't have any details." He leaned his forehead next to hers and one of his tears landed on her cheek.
"But I'm fine, it's ok I swear." She was rubbing his face now and after a few moments he seemed to be calm enough for her to move on.
"Ok. I love you," he said kissing her on the forehead.
"I love you too. I'm sorry about our date night."
"Liv seriously. You are apologizing about that now?" he said frustrated. "That's the least of my concerns."
"I know but I'm sorry because I wanted to tell you in a more special way with all the bells and whistles."
"Tell me what?"
She took a deep breath and with tears in her eyes she managed to get it out. "Elliot I'm pregnant."
He watched her for a moment as if he heard her wrong but when she lifted up her shirt and he saw the remnants of the ultrasound gel on her stomach he slowly came to the realization she wasn't.
"I'm pregnant. The doctor was doing an ultrasound before you came in here. I told her to stop because I didn't want you to find out by walking in on it. I wanted to tell you myself," she said reaching for his hand. When he was close enough, she put her hand behind his neck and pulled him into a kiss. With their foreheads still joined together and tears streaming down their face she said it again. "We are going to have a baby."
Elliot was speechless. He just held her and cried.
"And everything's ok with both of you?" he managed to choke out between tears.
"Yeah, I was listening to the heartbeat right before you came in. It was amazing El. The most amazing thing I have ever heard." Her eyes were sparkling and with her tear stained cheeks and mild bruising, Elliot thought that she had never looked more beautiful.
"Is it ok? I mean..are you ok about the baby?" she asked apprehensively.
"Yes. Yes. I'm more than ok. Liv we are going to have a baby," he said in disbelief. "You and me."
"Yeah we are."
"Can I see? Will the doctor let me see?" he asked anxiously.
"Well let's ask her."
Dr. Jorgensen came in right on cue not even attempting to hide that she was near the door listening.
"Is it ok if I come back in?" she asked.
"Yes please. Is it ok for you to put the ultrasound back on so he can see the baby?"
"Of course. You must be the baby's father. Mr…"
"Stabler but please call me Elliot," he said shaking the doctor's hand and pulling up a chair as close to Olivia as he could while the doctor added more gel and turned the ultrasound back on.
The heartbeat quickly filled the room and Olivia closed her eyes briefly to listen to the soundtrack of her unborn baby's life. When she opened them she found Elliot staring at the screen in awe with tears streaming down his face.
"Everything looks good doctor?" he asked.
"Yes it does. She has placenta previa which caused the bleeding but I've checked that and I think it will fix itself just fine. She needs to follow up with her doctor though as soon as possible for a full a proper diagnosis," she assured him.
"Ill see that she does," he responded winking at Olivia. "She can be a little stubborn doctor."
Dr. Jorgenson laughed. "Well it looks like you will be taking good care of them both."
They both watched the ultrasound in wonder for another minute.
"Why don't I give you two a moment alone? We can't leave the ultrasound going for too long but a minute or two longer won't hurt."
"Thank you, we appreciate that," Olivia said.
As the doctor exited the room, Elliot and Olivia sat quietly staring at the figure on the screen. She thought briefly about how risky her pregnancy might be and that the placenta previa might be the beginning of a lot of other problems she may experience over the course of the pregnancy but in that moment with the love of her life by her side and the life they created on the screen she wanted nothing to ruin this moment.
She giggled watching Elliot looking at the screen in amazement.
"Why are you laughing?"
"Elliot you have gone through this four times before. You are looking at the screen like you are totally bewildered."
"You are right. I have done this before. But none of those four times were with you. This is a dream come true for me Liv in more ways than you know," he said placing another kiss on her forehead.
She decided not to tease him anymore and soak in the moment. Everything seemed so dark for the last few last hours leading up to this moment but in a heartbeat, literally, everything in their lives had changed.
Once Olivia was resting about an hour later, Elliot went to the waiting room and updated Olivia's team and called Maureen. He didn't tell her or anyone about the baby quite yet. He and Olivia both decided that it was too soon and to wait until after she had her initial doctor's appointment to tell the people closest to them.
When he hung up with Maureen and assured Eli everything was fine, Elliot stayed outside for a little longer to get some fresh air. He smiled to himself and looked towards the heavens where he was sure that his daughter was watching over him and said, "Thank you."