A month later…
“Lyse, I really think ya should be takin’ it easy.”
“Tania, I’m fine. I know when I can an’ can’t eat. Now that mornin’ sickness is over, pregnancy’s a great thing. I thought I was gonna keel over from guilt, but I finally got this.”
“Yeah, but I don’t think you’re takin’ very good care of yourself.”
I shook my head, gathering up the tickets off her desk. “What are ya talkin’ about? I quit smokin’ because I can’t stand the smell of smoke.”
“I know. I swear you’re tryin’ to make me quit too.”
“I think it’s more of a case of like father like son.”
She looked around, whispering. “Which father are ya talkin’ about?”
“His father never let me finish a cigarette because he had other things in mind. He never let me finish a whole one. Now, Logan’s doin’ the same.”
“Still, ya should take it easy.”
I sighed, shaking my head. I couldn’t agree with her more. I really was feeling horrible. Supposedly, at this point in my pregnancy, I should feel more energetic, the morning sickness should be gone, and a million other things. It wasn’t happening like that. I felt weak. I almost felt like the baby was draining me, but I wasn’t going to let anyone else see that.
Besides, my work needed me. There was a lot going on that I didn’t understand. Orders were getting messed up and it always fell on my shift for us to fix the error or find the problem, which meant my crew was getting the blame. I knew it wasn’t us. I wanted to find out who the culprit was.
“I can’t today. I’m swamped. The nightshift fucked up a bunch of shit. We have deliveries that have fallen behind an’ now we’re tryin’ to work the traffic jam down at the yard.”
“What kinda traffic jam?”
“I dunno. More than half of them are talkin’ about free delivery. This is the same deal we had the day we left for our vacation. There’s somethin’ goin’ on with Greg an’ David an’ they’re not fillin’ the rest of us in on it. Now, we have to deal with irate people when we tell ’em there’s a delivery charge if they want their loads.”
She blinked. “That sounds like more than just an oversight.”
“Yeah, I know, but I haven’t talked to Greg or David so I don’t know what the hell’s goin’ on…” I stood, shaking my head. “…but, I’m gonna find out though.”
“I don’t envy you to–”
Freeze right there.
Have you ever stood up too fast and you get the white fuzzies attack you? It’s like the shadows in the room come at you, swallowing your light, until you’re in the dark. Usually, I could brace myself and control it enough to make the shadows meld back into the wall. Not this time.
I could hear voices, but I wasn’t ready to deal with it yet. I knew something happened, but wasn’t too sure what it was. I heard the voices and knew who they were; Mike, Tania, my mother, and my father, and his mother, Maureen. I also heard drums. I thought I’d wait till I didn’t hear the drums, figuring I wasn’t all there yet.
“What the fuck happened?” Mike yelled.
“Mike, this isn’t the time to scream an’ yell,” my mother said. “We’re all upset, but ya don’t have to take it out on Tania. She didn’t do this.”
“It’s okay. I can handle it, mom,” Tania said angrily. “She was workin’. When she stood up, she suddenly went down again. We called the ambulance an’ got her in here quickly. This isn’t my fault. If ya don’t stop yellin’ at me, I’m gonna kick your ass.”
“What? He’s not gonna blame me for this shit!”
“She’s quitting that damn job,” Mike said, angrily.
“Michael, calm down,” Maureen said. “When Elyse wakes up, she doesn’t need to hear this commotion.”
He sighed. “I know. I’m just worried about her and Matt.”
I heard the confused voice of my father. “Who’s Matt?”
“That’s the name Mike wants to call the baby,” Tania told our parents.
“Oh, I thought she was namin’ him after the grandfathers?” my mother asked, curiously.
“I’m not sure what she’s namin’ him.”
“It’s not just her decision. Michael has a say in this as well,” Maureen told them.
Ugh, it was time to wake up, drums be damn. I groaned, sitting up, looking around.
“Where am I an’ what’s with the drums?”
Tania was the first one up, racing to my side, gripping my hand. “Oh, thank God! Are you okay? You’re in the hospital. Those drums are the beats of Logan’s heart.”
“Wait… now who is Logan?” Maureen asked.
“It’s the baby’s name,” I told her.
“Good Lord, how many are you having?”
I gave her a look that told her not to argue with me. “Why am I in the hospital?”
Tania sighed. “We couldn’t wake you up for shit. Smellin’ salts didn’t work. I thought we were losin’ you.”
“Thank God you’re awake! Baby, are you okay?” Mike stood and walked over, putting his hand in mine. He leaned over, kissing my forehead. “You had me so worried.”
“Honey, we’re here too,” my mother told me. “I knew ya were gonna be okay. I kept tellin’ everyone, my baby girl’s not goin’ anywhere… not when she’s got that little boy to watch out for.”
That drumming was my baby boy? Wow. He was strong like his father. I wished Corey was there. He needed to know about his son. Tears welled up in my eyes. Other than an occasional fluttering in my stomach, it was the first time I heard his heartbeat. “He’s got a crazy heartbeat, doesn’t he? He seems very strong, I think.”
“Yes, he’s fine,” Doctor Lerner said, walking in. “However, you’re not doing so good there, kiddo.” He pulled up a stool, sliding over closer to me.
Both Mike and Tania moved to give him room.
Taking out his flashlight, he looked in my eyes. “You haven’t been eating or drinking.” He moved to my ears. “You passed out at work and there was no reviving you.” He stood up and moved his hands down to feel around on my stomach. “You’re not being a very good patient.” When he’d finished examining me, he moved to my chart.
It’s one thing when your parents chastise you in front of your friends. It’s another when your doctor does it front of your family. I felt like a little kid in trouble with daddy. “I’m sorry. I couldn’t eat. That elixir didn’t work. It wasn’t a matter of me not bein’ hungry or thirsty. It was that I couldn’t keep anythin’ down.”
He shook his head, looking over my charts, writing something on it. “Okay, you’re going to have to go on complete bedrest. You’ve been spotting blood. You’ve lost ten pounds, and that’s not good. If you want to have this baby, you better listen. With you not eating, the baby’s going to be born malnourished and you don’t want that.”
“Wait… are you tellin’ me I’m about to lose my baby?” I gripped Tania’s hand. I probably should’ve grabbed Mike’s hand, but she knew whose baby it was. She knew how important this baby was to me. She knew all I did to get him, and now I was going to lose him?
“No. I’m saying if you don’t quit work, or at least do it from the confines of your bed, then you will lose the baby. I’m putting you on bedrest. You’re only to get out of bed to go to the bathroom, take showers with help, but then you’re back in bed.” He looked over at Mike. “No lifting, no stretching, no exercising, no long walks, no cooking, or cleaning until she has this baby. I’d even suggest hiring a nurse to take care of her.”
“Okay, I’ll get it done today,” Mike told him.
The doctor looked at me, wiping away my tears, smiling softly. “Honey, you need to realize your baby’s life is going to be in critical condition if you keep up this pace. Don’t worry. It hasn’t happened, yet. However, we need to fatten you up some and make sure that baby, as well as you, is taken care of.”
“Thank you, Doctor. I’ll do anythin’ to make sure my baby’s healthy.”
“Good decision! I love to hear when my patients take my advice. We’re going to keep you in that bed because we love to see your charming face.”
Mike shook his head. “Doctor, I can have a nurse at my house tonight.”
“I was teasing, Mike. She needs to stay overnight for observation. I want to make sure the spotting has stopped before I send her home. We want to hydrate her with an IV as well. I want to test her on some of the elixirs and find the right one. She should be able to go home tomorrow. Maybe we’ll put you on an ice cream diet.”
I looked up curiously. An ice cream diet sounded yummy to me, but it also sounded fattening. I really didn’t want to gain all that weight back, but I wanted a healthy baby. God was definitely punishing me.
“Thank you, doctor,” Mike shook his hand. “I’ll see that she follows these orders.”
My mom walked over. She leaned down, running her hand through my hair. “Don’t worry, darling. He’s still healthy, an’ strong. Make sure ya do what the doctor said. Your job isn’t that important, but that baby is.” She winked, leaning down to kiss me on the head.
Was that her way of telling me she knew what I did?
After the doctor left, Mike looked at me, accusingly. “I told you that you were working too much. You weren’t eating and that’s not good for either of you. This way, we’ll get you back to health too, since you’re looking a little skinny.”
“Michael, now is not the time for accusations,” my mother chastised him.
“I’m not accusing her.”
“It sounds like it to me.”
“I worry about her and the baby. She hasn’t been able to eat hardly anything at all.”
She smiled. “I know, but ya don’t have to sound like it’s her fault. You know how long she’s wanted this. I don’t think she’d take the chance in losin’ him.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for it to sound that way.”
Shortly after that everyone left, I was thankful to be alone. I laid in bed, rubbing my belly. I was a little further along now, and my baby bump was bigger. I felt him moving around. “I’m so glad ya decided to let me know you’re okay. I’m sorry, baby boy. I didn’t mean to do anythin’ that might hurt you. You’re my miracle baby, an’ ya mean more to me than anythin’ else.” I couldn’t help the tears that fell down my cheeks.
The nurse came to the door, knocking on it, wheeling in a tray of food. “Knock, knock. The doctor wanted us to get some food in you right away.” She set it up on the table to the side of my bed.
I smiled, sitting up so I could eat. “Hopefully, I can eat this. Keep one of those puke pans handy. I might need it.”
“You should be able to keep this down. We’ve got an elixir in your IV. When you can’t eat, the best thing to do is eat something liquid or soft. It’s lighter on your stomach and should stay down.”
“Thanks. I’ll keep that in mind.”
The meal she brought in was nothing that looked very filling to me. It was chocolate-swirl pudding, red Jell-O, tea, and applesauce. I found it was the pudding I really wanted. I sampled everything and it was the only thing appealing.
I laughed, rubbing my belly. “You little brat. I see you already like the chocolate puddin’, huh?”
After a few minutes, the nurse came in and looked at my tray as she covered it. “You didn’t eat it all, but at least you ate some of it. That’s the most important thing. If you get hungry, let me know. I’ll bring you in some ice cream. Believe it or not, ice cream is the best thing to have when your tummy’s upset. It gives you calories and helps with the nausea.”
“Thanks. I might have to live on ice cream until he’s born.”
“…better than living on air.” She winked at me as she headed to the next room.
After she left, I picked up my phone and called the main office at work. I had to tell them the news. I knew they weren’t going to be happy with my sudden departure, but I didn’t have a choice.
“Aivedal Rock Quarry Main Office, this is Trish. How may I assist you?”
“Hey Trish, it’s me Elyse.”
“Hey girl, how are you doing? Wow, I heard what happened. Are you okay?”
I sighed. I didn’t realize how difficult it was going to be giving up my job. I worked hard and became a powerhouse. “Yes, thanks, I’m doin’ fine. The doctor has me on total bedrest until I have the baby. I’m gonna have to take off work for the remainder of my pregnancy.”
“Oh honey, you don’t worry about anything here. Your job will be waiting for you whenever you want it back. Mike already called us though and told us what was going on. I have to admit, he made it sound like you weren’t coming back. We’ll deal with that if you decide to return. For now, you worry about having that baby and taking care of yourself.”
I felt my breath catch in my throat. Mike called my job and told them I was quitting? I felt myself getting a little angry about that. It wasn’t his place to do that. It was mine. “Mike called you?”
Trish cleared her throat. “Oh shit. I wasn’t supposed to say anything. Don’t tell him I told you.”
“Mum’s the word.”