Bed Of Thornes

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Chapter Twenty Seven

The doctor comes in and rests his clipboard on his chest with his arms crossed in front of it. He looks at Veronica with a straight face and gives her an option.

“Good news or bad news first?” He asks and waits for a response.

“There's bad news?” She feels weak from the words and finds it difficult to wrap her mind around what type of bad news this could be. Her head fills with possibilities and she blurts out, “Just get it over with, what's the bad?”

“Ms. Thorne, you have a heart condition. One that can't be treated at this time, at least not while you're pregnant, without risk to the baby . . . ”

“Wait. What?” Her breath shortens as fear sets in.

“A condition that causes severe complications with blood flow, ranging from poor circulation to the worst case – death from heart failure.”

She turns pale in color as her head spins from the shock of this unexpected diagnosis.

“There's certain testing we can safely perform if you wish to know the extent of your particular condition, to find out the actual state it's in. However, this is completely optional on your behalf. We try to allow the patients to decide exactly how far they want us to go when it comes to testing such things.” He lets out a sympathetic sigh before he continues, “Ms. Thorne, it's hard to tell for sure from what we found by doing your ultrasound, but I can't lie to you . . . your heart beat is dangerously irregular and the pumping we spotted when viewing the baby, it appears to be rather weak. As I mentioned, surgery is far too risky for you at this time. Medication is an option, but with your case I don't see that it'll properly handle what's needed to fix this issue. I want what's best for you and the baby, but our options are quite minimal, if not non-existent.”

“I don't understand. How can this be going on and I not know something about it by now?”

“Well sometimes the symptoms don't show themselves the way you'd imagine they would considering the extreme danger this condition poses. That's normally the problem, most don't know about it until it had progressed to such a serious case. Have you had any episodes of heart flutters or chest pains at all? How about dizziness, weakness, or sudden fatigue?” He asks as he looks down at his chart.

“Nothing I could begin to think of as . . . wait, I recall one time recent . . . just yesterday matter of fact. My heart, it felt as though it had stopped for what seemed too long, like a miss-beat. It was definitely an uncomfortable feeling, but I never expected something such as this.” She shakes her head in disbelief.

“This is the only occurrence to date with said symptoms?” He jots down a note and looks back up at her.

“Yes.” She nods. “I've never experienced anything like it before. But this just doesn't make sense, wouldn't I have had more symptoms leading up to this sort of stage my heart is in now?”

“Like I said, that's not always how the body works. I know it can be confusing and hard to cope with learning this about yourself, but in the best interest, we're more worried about your health as you go through labor. The stress on your heart muscle is where the real concern comes in. There's a high chance . . . ” He pauses as though he has a knot in his throat and can't finish the sentence.

“A high chance of what? That I could lose the baby? Tell me!” She threatens.

“The baby isn't who could be lost from this Ms. Thorne, our concern is you.” His head drops.

“Me? You're telling me that I have a high chance of dying during labor? Is that it?” She demands.

“Yes. If you plan to go through with the birthing process, you're exposing yourself to a level of stress on your heart that it'll not likely handle. Unless there's a miracle, your heart will give under the pressure and there will be nothing we can do to revive it if the damage is done as we would anticipate it would be from the strain.”

If I plan to go through? I'm sorry doc, but there is no 'if' about it. There's a man at home right now, giving his all for us and I'm not going to give any less in return. I'm having this baby. If I die, at least I did what was right in the end. This baby's life is more important than my own and I refuse to be convinced otherwise.” She shakes off the tears that are flowing down her cheeks and straightens her posture on the hospital bed. “Moving on . . . you said there's also good news?”

The doctor clears his throat and tries to regain his composure from the heavy subject. “Based on your final decision, we'll deal with your pregnancy as normal as possible. Seeing you're well-deserved of good news, I'm pleased to inform you that the baby is strong and healthy according to the ultrasound results. Also, we were able to identify the sex. All I need to know now is if you're willing to have the gender revealed to you.” He looks up from the paper that's attached to the clipboard he's holding in front of him.

“Yes, I'd love to know. I want to know all I can before the day comes that I may not have a chance to ever find out.” She answers with a curious look on her face and a smile beginning to form.

It's in this moment that she finds serenity and peacefully accepts whatever fate is to bring her way in the coming months.

“Are you ready?” Veronica smiles wide and happily bounces to hug Adrian as soon as he opens the door to greet her when she arrives home from the appointment.

“Am I ready for what? Lunch? I've never seen you this excited, you must be starving.” He chuckles in midst of her arms wrapping tightly around his neck.

She pulls back from the hug and walks past him to step inside the house. “No, daddy, not lunch.” She grins. “I have something very exciting to tell you and I can't hold it in any longer.” She lets out almost a squeal and it reminds him how adorable she can be, even at her older age than him and through the darker side he's witnessed of her.

“By all means, let it out woman, before you burst!” He laughs and follows her joyful prance to the couch.

“Sit.” She instructs and he knows he's in for something important.

“As long as it's good news for once, I'm all in.” He gladly has a seat right next to her.

She grabs his hand. “They were able to tell the gender of the baby today.”

“Damn. I missed the ultrasound?” A slight sign of disappointment crosses his face through all of the excitement.

“I know, I know. I didn't realize this was that appointment and it was too late to have you come in by the time I made it there. I'm so sorry.” She pouts her bottom lip and he taps it to put it back in its place with with a nudge from the side of his curved finger.

“No worries, babe, I understand. Just know I wouldn't have missed it for the world had I been aware.” His wink that follows his response peps her back up from the let down.

“You do want to know what we're having, right? I mean, I don't want to tell you if you were wanting to wait to find out when the baby's born.”

“Do you honestly think I can torture myself with knowing that you know all this time and I don't? Doubt it. I don't believe you could contain yourself that long anyway.” He chuckles.

“You'd be surprised how well I can keep a secret.” She winks.

“Oh wait . . . no need to remind me.” He rolls his eyes, not finding it as humorous as she.

“Okay . . . so the doctor informed me that we are expecting a very healthy and strong baby –”

He puts his hand over her mouth to stop her. “Let's just go with the flow. I think I could use a surprise in life, leave me with no clue of what to expect and only the hopes that either way it's healthy and strong as the doc says.”

Veronica pulls away from his hand and her mouth drops open. “I was literally about to tell you. Are you kidding?” She laughs. “Do you really not want to know now?”

“Seriously. I want to find out naturally when you have the baby. Until then, I don't want to think about the sex or what society will place on our child according to that particular gender. I just want to enjoy the rest of this time with you and create a bond with the baby before it's born that has no gender-related bias of sorts.” He smiles but is more serious than he shows.

“Not what I would imagine your reaction would be, but I can totally respect your decision and reasoning. One thing though, how do we buy clothes before-hand?” She giggles.

“I'm glad you can respect my wishes, let's just see if you can abide by not letting it slip out before then.” He grins. “As for clothing, just get whatever you know the baby needs and pack it somewhere hidden so I don't see until after the baby's born.”

“I can contain myself. I won't let it slip.” She promises.

“You seem so sure but a moment ago you were ready to explode from wanting to share it with me so badly. Good luck.” He laughs.

“You'll see I'll keep my promise and not expose it. I'd carry it to my grave if need be.”

“I hold you to it.” He kisses her on the cheek. “Did the doctor tell you anything else today?”

She thinks for a second about the devastating news she just learned of today and pulls back. “Nothing else new other than that.” She forces a smile and stands up to avoid him noticing her mood change. “So what's for lunch?”

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