Gwen woke up in a bed, disoriented by the bright light peeking through the curtains. She looked at her husband who had pulled up a chair and was sleeping with his head next to her. Where am I? She looked around the sterile white room, unfamiliar scents assaulted her senses. Smells like death. She looked down and saw an IV stuck into her arm, with tubes and bags filled with fluids attached to it. What is going on? Am I dreaming? She tried to sit up and felt instantly dizzy. She opened her mouth to talk but stopped when the door opened and a nurse walked in. She smiled when she saw Gwen, her eyes were friendly. Not a nightmare at least.
″Good, you’re awake Miss Barrett.″
Gwen brought her hand down and tousled her husbands thick hair. His head shot up instantly and he hugged her to his chest protectively.
″Don’t scare me like that again Gwen!″
She had a hard time catching her breath but she left him hug her since he was clearly distressed. When he pulled away, she asked him what had happened to her.
″You were walking down the hallway, everything seemed fine, but when you were out of sight I heard a loud thud. When I ran to you, I found you passed out of the floor.″ He took her hands in his and turned to the nurse. She was fidgeting with some papers and waiting for them to finish.
″Well, I am happy to announce that everything is okay with your wife.″
Both he and Gwen looked puzzled. Why did I faint then? The nurse answered their questioning eyes as though she knew their thoughts.
″I am very sorry Miss White, you will probably never be able to have a child of your own.″
Gwen looked down to hide the tears that were threatening to fall. She was too young to be burdened with such awful news. It had been a week since she had been in the hospital, a week since sweet Andrew had taken her out of that hellhole she had called home. The doctors words echoed in her mind as she walked out of the room and made her way to find her boyfriend.
She didn’t want to share the information, but she knew she had to. She had always been completely honest with him, even if it meant not having him in her life. She had thrown so much bad news at him over the years, she couldn’t believe he was still by her side. Love. He loved her and he showed her by staying through all the shit life threw at them.
As soon as she found him, she broke down. Heavy sobs escaped her mouth and her whole body shook violently. Andrew ran to her side and grabbed her before she fell to the hard floor. He held her and rocked her slowly as you would a little child to comfort them. He waited until she was ready to talk, it felt like a lifetime. He didn’t know what could have devastated her so much, she had finally gotten the okay to leave the hospital. She looked up through bloodshot eyes and whispered,
″He took away our chance to have children.″
Andrew didn’t break his hand smashing it into the wall because he was mad they would never have children, no, he was furious because the man had once again taken something away that had been so precious to her. He told her how he felt when he had seen the surprise and slight fear in her eyes. She had clung to him for so long after that day, not leaving his side when it was his turn to spend a day in the hospital. His hand would heal, but her heart wouldn’t.
After they had gotten over their initial shock, the nurse had asked if she could check for a heartbeat, knowing full well that it was highly unlikely. The fetal Doppler could detect a heartbeat between the fourth and fifth month of pregnancy, she was probably only at the very beginning. Gwen laid down on the chair and held onto Andrews hand, she squeezed so hard that he felt numb after a few seconds. He whispered to her that everything was going to be okay, but he was secretly even more terrified than she was.
The nurse put some cold gel on her exposed stomach, making her squirm, and went on with the examination. She pushed down a few times and all of a sudden, the computer screen starting emitting a heartbeat. THUMP ... THUMP ... THUMP ... The couple stared up in awe at the screen, not fully comprehending that the sound was coming from deep inside her belly.
After the nurse smiled and took down some notes, she left the bewildered duo to their thoughts. Both had pushed aside the idea of children, both had lost hope after so many years of not conceiving. Andrew slowly tore his gaze away from the screen and bend down to touch her belly softly.
''There is a baby in there.''
He whispered, as though saying it aloud would make the dream disappear. He sure as hell didn't want to wake up from this one. He pinched himself like he had seen his wife do on so many occasions and blinked a few times. He was still there and Gwen was laughing like a crazy woman beside him. Busted.
''Did you just- ?''
He cut her off with the most amazing kiss she had ever experienced, it was soft, and rough, and everything in between. It seemed like he didn't know what emotion he was feeling, or maybe he was feeling them all.
The doctor walked into the room and cleared his throat. They both got startled and Gwen smiled up at him as she sat up. This time it was Andrew who held onto her hand like he would never let go.
''I would like to do an ultrasound today, it will tell us how far along you are and if you are a high risk pregnancy.''
Of course he had seen her file, he knew all of her medical history. She had never even thought of getting pregnant, let along what that would entail. If she was in fact over four months along, which she doubted because of her flat belly, she probably most definitely was high risk. She didn't know however what that meant, having never had the excuse to do research about it.
Andrew held Gwen tightly to his chest, she buried her head in the crook of his shoulder. They had not uttered a single word since they had returned from the hospital, neither wanted to break the silence with unwanted words. It was evening, they were both exhausted psychologically but they wanted each other just the same. Andrew lifted her blouse over her head and tossed it on the chair, he got down on his knees and pulled her close, kissing her gently on the stomach.