Candy Apples- Random Picture Challenge
I looked down at my tiny nephew in awe. His soft pinkish skin glowed with health and his pale baby blue eyes gazed up into my face. Though I knew he wasn’t really taken anything in it warmed my
heart. His miniature fingers with their perfect mini-sized nails gripped my thumb tightly.
Tears dripped down my face but I quickly wiped them away with my free hand, not wanting to upset the baby with the drops of water. My hospital room’s door suddenly opened, allowing the noise of
outside life access to my silent moment.
“Ma’am?” Sonia, the young nurse who had opened the door, called softly. I looked up tiredly from my silent observations of my perfect nephew to face her.
“Yes,” I replied wearily, straining to keep my eyes from flicking back to the delicate bundle in my arms.
“It’s getting late,” she responded walking forward to stand next to my bed. “I think it’s time to put this little one to bed so that you can get some sleep.”
My arms tightened unconsciously around the babe as I shifted as if to place myself between him and Sonia. Thankfully she took no offence to the movement and just smiled at me knowingly.
“I’ll give you a bit more time,” she relented before leaning over to stroke the soft skin of my nephew’s head. His eyes drifted shut at the soothing touch making us both coo at him.
“Thank-you,” I said sincerely, feeling the sudden urge to hug the kind woman. Luckily I was unable to do so since I normally wasn’t very touchy feely with people I’d just met. Instead I gave her a
thankful smile. She quickly checked that I was tucked in and that my pillows were supporting me back before heading towards the door.
“I’ll be back in about ten minutes,” she warned me. “And sweet bonding moment or not, the both of you will be getting some rest.”
With one last smile she slipped back out the door and into the bustle of hospital life. As she left the sudden urge to cry overcame me. Damn hormones, I thought, weren’t they were only meant to
last during the pregnancy? Fortunately Sonia was gone before the first tears fell. Even as I cried I made sure to not let salty water droplets land on the babies exposed skin.
The tears may have begun as hormone driven tears of gratitude but they continued as tears of grief. Certainly not a feeling most normal new ‘mums’ felt but I was no new ‘mum’ and nothing about the
past nine months had been normal.
Really it had all started almost a year ago when my distraught sister, Becca, had turned up on my doorstep. It had been one of my days off so without pause I’d let her in. A packet of biscuits and
two cups of coffees later I’d gotten the entire story out of her.
Her and her husband, Tony, had been visiting the doctor that morning. They had gone to hear the results of a test to see why they’d been having so much trouble conceiving. The news hadn’t been what
they’d wanted to hear.
Becca’s womb was ‘volatile’ making it extremely difficult for her to become pregnant. Adding to this the doctors believed due to some long-word problem she would have a lot of trouble carrying the
child to term. I had soothed her as best I could before sending her home to Tony, her husband, so that the couple could deal with this devastating problem. But the pain in my sister’s face haunted
my dreams that night.
A week later the couple had been back with hopeful but guarded expressions. Surprised and curious I had let them in. What they had asked of me had made me pause but I never considered turning them
down. A month later preparations for my upcoming artificial insemination were underway.
A few months and a hefty sum of money later I was pregnant with my first nephew. Becca was my only other sibling so I hadn’t been expecting many little nieces and nephews. I also had never expected
to be the one pregnant with said nephew. But ever since our parents had died in a car crash almost a decade before the two of us had become extremely close.
So that’s why after the doctors had confirmed that I was indeed pregnant, not sick with the flu, she had immediately asked me to move in with her. Unable to deny her twenty-four seven access to her
forming baby I’d agreed.
The next five months had been a blur of early morning chucks, doctor appointments, endless name discussions and baby-item shopping. Though I wouldn’t have changed for anything else in the world.
What happened next though I would give anything, well, almost anything to change, I thought glancing down at the now sleeping baby in my arms.
I had been home alone pigging out on my latest craving, chicken flavoured crisps on toast, when the phone had gone off. Grumbling to myself I’d gotten up turning off the droning daytime TV.
Picking up the receiver I’d snapped a hello. The sober man on the other end had then calmly told me my sister and brother-in-law had been involved in an accident. In his infuriatingly composed
voice he’d continued on to tell me that my brother-in-law had died on impact but my sister was alive but in a critical condition in the hospital.
Getting to the hospital was a blur of car horns and yellow lights. The waiting room had been crowded and noisy as I’d tired my hardest to find out where Becca was. A nurse had finally taken notice
of the nervous pregnant woman and had tracked down my sister and got me a mobile bed to lay on in one of the quieter hospital corridors.
Becca was in surgery. They were trying to stabilize her but weren’t having much luck. Hours later someone had finally collected me to take me to where she had been released into intensive care.
They told me to brace myself before showing me my sister’s deadly pale and heavily bandaged form. Beeping machines surrounded her bed and were connected to her by long clear tubes.
Becca’s surgeon then explained that they’d been unable to fix a tear some important vein that connected to some main organ and because of it Sonia’s hours on earth were running out. Feeling queasy
and unsteady on my feet I’d stumbled towards her bed, tears streaming down my face. Grabbing at her limp hand a fell into a nearby seat and started to sob.
The doctor had said she was unlikely to wake but Becca had surprised us all and had woken up half an hour later disoriented and in pain. The doctors had quickly pumped her full of morphine before
leaving us alone for our goodbyes.
“Gr - Grace,” she’d said, tearing up. Her lips started to tremble as she tightened her grip on my shaking hand. “You’ve got to go on,” she had ordered starting to cry. “You can’t-can’t let my baby
- my boy go. You - you got to - got to love him. Love him like - like a mum - like me.”
Tears had been flooding down my cheeks before rolling down my neck under my door or dropping straight down to dot my loose grey maternity pants. Choking sobs had been ripping out of my tightening
“Don’t go! Please Becca, oh God, you can’t leave me - you just - I - I wouldn’t know what to do without you,” I wept falling forward to press my head into the beds mattress near her stomach.
“Grace – Grace you have to! My baby – my boy - don’t leave him parentless- please Grace – let me – die – let me die knowing he’s being loved,” she’d begged. “Please Grace, please.”
“I – oh God – I – of course Bec. He – he’ll be loved and – and he’ll – he’ll know you loved him. You and Tony,” I’d sobbed back, pain flaring harshly in my chest. The baby in my stomach picked up
on my distress and started to twist and kick out. “He says go – goodbye.”
“Bye – bye baby,” she’d said her hands shaking violently in fear and misery.
Shakily I had stood up and stumbled forward so that Becca could place her trembling hand on my rounded stomach.
“Bye – bye my beautiful baby boy. Mummy – mummy loves you and always w-will.”
We’d then sat beside each other in silence until Becca had fallen back into unconsciousness. I’d moved myself back to the seat and sat in silence until the steady beating of her heart became one
steady beep that had called all nearby doctors to her bedside. I’d sat unmoving as they all bustled around her, head ringing with the haunting beep that had just ruined my life.
The following months had been full of pain and loneliness. My world had become grey and desolate except for one glowing point of happiness. The tiny baby I carried. The last link I had to my
sister. The child my sister had prophesised to be a little boy. My little nephew.
Now I held the proof of a mothers instincts. Even though she hadn’t even been carrying him, Becca had had such a connection with her child the she’d been able to tell he was a boy without even
being the one carrying him.
Smiling down at my tiny nephew I knew I would easily by able to keep my promise. I already loved him with my entire heart unconditionally.
“We’ll get through this together,” I promised him, kissing his soft baby skin softly. “You’ll be loved forever Jacob, I’ll make sure of it.”
With that I leaned back into my pillows waiting for Sonia to come back to let us both rest. To rest and prepare for the future we were going to carve out, together.
A/N: I think this may be the most emotional story I’ve ever written!! Anyway this is for a challenge, though I’m not sure if comments and ‘likes’ are needed they’re always appreciated! =D
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