“I’m glad you made it Mr Williams.” Dr Peters said as she welcomed Lawrence into her office.
Lawrence nodded as he took a seat opposite her. He looked very worried and uncomfortable. A lot of things were going through his head about the probability of what might happen. But deep down, he prayed for one thing; The strength to go through whatever might come his way.
“You can call me by my first name Dr Peters. Lawrence is fine.” He said.
“Okay, Lawrence. I really need to ask you this. Are you still having doubts about the baby being yours.” She asked with a serious tone.
“I don’t know what to believe anymore Doctor.” He said as she slowly massaged his forehead, trying to prevent a headache that was already building up.
“When I received a call from Ava seven months back and she told me she was pregnant with my baby. I didn’t believe her. I thought she was lying and told her not to contact me again. But today, when you called me, I felt the need to come here.” he confessed.
“So do you believe now that the baby is yours or you want proof. We can take a test to clear all doubt.” She said.
“I think that will be a good idea,” Lawrence said.
“Alright then. You will have to follow me.” Doctor Peters rose to her feet and they both walked out of her office. They went to the lab where Lawrence’s blood sample was taken.
“While we wait for the result, would you like to see him?, I mean the baby?” She asked him and he nodded slowly and they headed to the babies ward.
“You have to put on this.” Doctor Peters handed Lawrence a blue Overall that comes with a cap and a nose cover. He wasted no time in putting them on.
They finally entered the children’s ward and were greeted with both cries and blabbering of babies. Some nurses were attending to some babies while the other babies were on their own in their crib.
Lawrence could not help but stare everywhere as he kept on following Dr Peters. He had never really been a person that was usually around babies. Except when his younger siblings were born and when Lenora gave birth to her child.
A possibility crossed his mind as to the baby they are about to see. What If he happens to be the biological father, will he be a good father? Will Silvia accept the fact that he has a son and will still want to be with him? What will his parents think of him?
Lawrence shook all those thoughts from his head as he and Doctor Peters entered an adjoining room where babies were placed in different incubators.
Lawrence’s heart went out to them. The babies were so tiny and vulnerable. They kept on walking until they got to the second to the last baby on their right.
“Here he is.” Doctor Peter said with a sad smile as she slowly turned to look at Lawrence who had tears in his eyes.
Lawrence stared at the incubator and was moved by what he saw. The baby was so tiny, frail and weak. His eyes were closed so Lawrence assumed he was sleeping. And a very small tag was placed around his wrist.
“He was born this morning. 4.15 to be precise.“Dr Peter said.
“Will he be alright?” Lawrence chipped in.
Doctor Peters nodded and said “He is a fighter. I’m sure he will make it.”
“He’s not due to be born until next month. But due to his mom’s heart disease, she had an early Labour.”
“Ava has heart disease?” Lawrence asked shocked.
Doctor Peters nodded and said, “And I’m afraid she might not live for too long.” She said and the tears finally fell from Lawrence’s face.
“She didn’t eat well and healthy enough during her pregnancy which is one of the reasons why this poor baby was born prematurely.” Doctor Peters said as she glanced at Lawrence who was still in tears.
“Ava went through a lot. She’s an orphan. Even with her heart condition, she worked multiple jobs so she could get enough money to keep up with her medications. That was until she became pregnant. Things were really hard for her. She was always falling sick that she even got fired from two of her jobs; the cleaning job and the bar attendant job. She was able to manage the waitress job which was during the day but the pay she got there was very low. She had to forgo buying her medicines to pay her house bill. Even though the health care for her pregnancy was free, she was still depressed because she had lots of debts to pay.”
“She said she called you one time to ask for help but you shunned her. She told me all these few hours after she woke up from the delivery and requested I should give you a call you if there will be any luck. She does not have much time to live and wanted her baby boy to be in safe arms. Her other option was that if you refuse to come, I should help her find a caring family who will adopt the baby.” Dr Peters whispered the last part as she wiped a tear off her face.
As soon as she finished her statement, the baby in the incubator moved his left hand and opened his eyes which made Lawrence cry more. His question has been answered. All his doubts have been erased. He did not need any DNA test to prove anything. He could see that the baby was his. He had his eyes; The same eye colour he, his dad and younger brother have. No doubt he’s the father to the little one in the incubator.
Heavy tears rolled down Lawrence’s cheeks.
“It’s time for him to be fed.” Doctor Peters said and she called a nurse over and gave her some instructions after which she dragged Lawrence who was reluctant to go, out of the room.
Immediately they got out of the children’s ward, Lawrence plopped down on a chair and cried his heart out.
Doctor Peters took a seat beside him as she squeezed his shoulder, assuring him that everything will be alright.
“This is all my fault. If only I had believed Ava when she called me. If only I had listened to what she had to say. If only I had helped her, She and my child won’t be going through what they are going through.” Lawrence sobbed, feeling guilty as ever.
“I was enjoying life somewhere without knowing that my baby and his mother are somewhere suffering. I’m so stupid. Look at what I’ve done. I will never forgive myself if anything happens to both of them. I will never forgive myself.” He wept bitterly.