It was rare for JM to ring his apartment throughout the day, so Sophia was surprised when she heard his voice.
“Barbara’s been rushed to hospital. The paramedics think she’s had a miscarriage.” The strained words in his voice had a sound not heard in all the years she’d known him. He was in pain, in extreme anguish.
“Barbara’s secretary rang and said she’s been rushed to hospital emergency by ambulance. She also said Barbara had complained of stomach cramps not long after arriving at work.”
Sophia could hear his sporadic breathing as he hesitated with his conversation. “She heard screaming coming from the toilet. When she rushed in, she discovered Barbara sitting on the floor, slumped against the wall, trying to stop the bleeding coming from under her skirt. I’m going to the hospital. If you need me, call my cell phone.”
Barbara had been sedated and receiving a blood transfusion by the time of his arrival at the hospital. His skin went ice cold and his hands tremored as he looked down at her ashen face. He realised just how helpless he felt at not being able to help her.
“She’s in the safe hands. Her gynaecologist has been called and is on his way,” a nurse advised.
As the hospital staff spoke among themselves, JM tried absorbing their conversations. He was being reassured repeatedly that Barbara was in good care, but any information garnered from their discussions he wanted to apply to his own conclusions.
“There’s nothing you can do. It’d be better if you wait for her gynaecologist’s diagnoses,” a staff doctor suggested.
With Barbara being hospitalised JM had temporarily forgotten his daughter. His hands still shook and his voice wavered as he spoke to Sophia for the second time. “Will you be collecting Katherine from school?”
“I’ll take care of her. Don’t worry.”
With completion of Doctor Rubens’ examination, he said, to JM, “She’ll need plenty of bed rest, and some moral support. Right at this moment, I can’t explain why she had the miscarriage. I will do some tests over the next couple of days to try to determine the cause. She was into her fifth month and doing really well. I’ll ring when I have further information.”
Barbara’s life had taken an unexpected turn, but she had her family to rely on. Her mother was flying in from Toronto to be by her side, and with her having been through the same unfortunate trauma, in between having three children; she knew what her daughter would require to overcome her distress.
JM said to Barbara, the following morning, “I rang Lucy. She will take care of your clients. She sends her love, and said, ‘not to worry’.”
Barbara decided it was time to return to work after three weeks of home recuperation. Her physical health had returned to near normal, although her psychological wellbeing had some way to go. She concluded that she needed to be among those who required her help most, if her mental health was to heal quicker. Being preoccupied with issues relating to others would give her time to adjust. Having Lucy’s assistance also would ease the workload.